Things To Bring, S#!T to Do by Karen Rizzo

The emotional highs and lows, the romantic escapades and the financial setbacks, the moments of comedy, anxiety, and personal tragedy—they’re all brought vividly to life in Things to Bring, S#!t to Do, the first memoir told entirely in lists. Annotated with Karen’s insightful recollections, the book presents a compelling portrait—sometimes touching, sometimes hilarious—of a woman, her family, and her friends from 1970s America to the present day.

Like many women (and some men, too), Karen Rizzo is a compulsive list-maker. She scribbles grocery lists on Post-It notes, pencils lists of resolutions on the backs of greeting cards, regularly jots down all the things she needs to bring, to do, to remember . .

Unlike the rest of us, however, Karen has saved her lists—dating from the list of favorite things she wrote as a kid (Favorite animal: horse; Color: purple; Food: olives from Dad’s martini). Together, these scraps of paper form an intimate chronicle of her life’s journey, from her early struggles with work and love to the years spent watching her mother battle breast cancer to the times she’s had to juggle the demands of marriage and motherhood with those of her career.

KAREN RIZZO’s essays and stories have been featured in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Living Fit, Fit Pregnancy, and two anthologies of women’s humor published by Random House. Her plays and performance pieces have been seen at New York’s Ensemble Studio Theater, Playwrights Horizons, and Samuel Beckett Theater, and ARCADE in Los Angeles.