Writer’s Digest score for — I Punched Myself in the Eye (1 is “needs improvement" and 5 is “outstanding”):
Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
Plot and Story Appeal: 5
Character Appeal and Development: 5
Voice and Writing Style: 5
"The book definitely delivers on its promise of ‘hope and humor in the face of life’s challenges.’ The author walks a beautiful line between inspiring and amusing throughout. I loved the words the author makes up, like ‘Metabopause’ for the slowing down of metabolism. There is so much freshness and unique handling of life’s challenges, it makes for an engaging and enjoyable read. Author’s writing voice is light and friendly. Nice job. I like the ties the author puts in to connect the essays, like returning to ‘man, I need a massage.’ That kind of organization and wise knowing of lines to re-deliver is stellar. ‘Being able to call him my Dad is what grace sounds like to me’ is very resonant and stays with the reader. Well done. Gorgeous phrasing throughout. Structure is excellent and serves well to bring the reader through the book. Dialogue is natural and engaging. I loved the section that says ‘JoAnne still thought of me as who I was.’ Very thought-provoking. We ask who in our lives does this. The ‘this is where you are’ tattoo is another memorable line and image. Author writes resonantly, a great strength in this book. Lots of heart in the mention of graves and their resulting question of whether or not left-behind spouses sought God to fill the void. Moving and very enjoyable. Nice work."
-- Judge, 4th Annual Self-Published e-Book Awards - Writers Digest
PUNCTUATED WITH HUMOR
"Pamela Capone must be a riot at parties. She can turn the most mundane details of a day into witty poetry, and find a way to connect it all to God's higher plan for us. From the mini-essays in this collection, it is clear that Pam is the kind of woman you'd want in your corner when you're in trouble to say just the right thing and help you laugh along the way...Some details of Pam's life are repeated motifs--her adoption into an Italian-American family at a young age, her children, her charity work--but her voice, rather than her situations, really drive the stories."
OFFICIAL "RECOMMENDED READ" LIST FROM KIRKUS REVIEWS
"Messages of faith sprinkled throughout will appeal to readers with connections to the Christian tradition, but they're handled with subtlety, so readers of other persuasions can still enjoy the work....Capone's gregarious, approachable voice allows her to deftly handle a broad variety of subjects. Rather than dwelling on misery and mishaps, the collection calls attention to the glimmers of hope and humor that lie in life's challenging moments. An upbeat, honest celebration of imperfection that makes a compelling case for the power of accepting oneself, warts and all."
-- Kirkus Reviews
FIVE STAR REVIEW FROM FOREWARD CLARION
"Even when cracking jokes, Capone is gentle, often poking fun at herself for small offenses fed by insensitivity. As the book progresses, the author's personality becomes its primary strength, a situation not unlike a celebrity's or comedian's collection, and the author's experience with stand-up comedy may factor in. Though many vignettes also deal with serious or sad subjects, the majority cast the author's life in a humorous light. The book's editorial style engages with wordplay, including puns, and is at its strongest when delivering jokes. I Punched Myself in the Eye is a family-oriented book most likely to appeal to Christians. Easily read in a series of short sittings, or in one long one, this collection of short-short essays easily punches above its weight."
-- Foreword Clarion Reviews
HUMOR AND GRACE
"In this engagingly written, faith-based essay collection, Pamela Capone finds the humor and grace in ordinary --and sometimes extraordinary-- situations. Capone has coined the term, 'messay' for her prose, a combination of 'messy (informal untidy, embarrassing, difficult)' and 'essay.'... More than a few of the essays are poignant and thoughtful, rather than out-and-out funny - albeit handled with Capone's appealing light touch and conversational style... Adopted at 18 months by her foster parents, after her birth parents were charged with child neglect, Capone writes many of the essays as reverent tributes to the parents who raised her and to her birth siblings, with whom she has a special bond. She also writes about her work at a girls' school in Guatemala and about helping in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake."
-- BlueInk Review
ANY READERS OUT THERE WHO NEED A GOOD BELLY LAUGH?
"Pamela Capone’s latest work I Punched Myself in the Eye is just the tonic for any reader looking for a fun book to pick up. This is a sparky collection of sketches drawn from everyday life: by turns hilarious, familiar, heart-warming and heart-rending. It’s a book the reader can dip into at leisure, enjoying the bite-sized chapters in any order. This is observational comedy in a very human style, and the reader (be they male or female) will surely find themselves laughing or crying out loud along with the author as she regales us with her witty prose…
"Capone’s ability to, as she says herself, 'admit we don’t have all the answers,' is very endearing, and her willingness to expose her own foibles and shortcomings is something readers will most certainly appreciate. Genuine laugh-out-loud humor is a more and more rare thing to come across in books these days, and the author takes readers back to the era of 'I Love Lucy' and the kind of selfless comedy that audiences used to enjoy on a regular basis once upon a time. Effortless writing in the dialogue in every story helps to make this a smooth read, while characterization is rounded, well-observed and vivid…
"'I’m all about carpe diem, I have the tattoo!' Capone cries out – and on the strength of this well-crafted book that just about sums her up." -- Self-Publishing Review, 4½ Stars
AN INVITATION TO BECOME PART OF HER FAMILY
"I Punched Myself in the Eye is a look at a lifetime collection of very short essays highlighting the life of Pamela Capone and her family. Each essay was unique and had a special thought, emotion, idea or event to pass along. Pamela shares her stories beautifully, both the good and the bad, with readers - starting with her message; followed up by her favorite chocolates; going to Grandma’s house; God encounters; her childhood, her husband and her children; making bread; traveling to foreign countries and to New York City; a middle of the night intruder; a scary train, and mermaids. There are just too many to tell you about and it is impossible to include more of the details without spoilers, but each one was special in itself.
"I Punched Myself in the Eye is easy to read and many times I found myself shaking my head in agreement and laughing or crying at a remembered moment in my own life. Pamela Capone has written her essays with love and an invitation to become part of her family and share in their life. This non-fiction story of real life happenings is indeed worth reading and, as the description claims, it is filled with imperfection and perfect grace. I found it impossible not to like Pamela, and felt as though she was sitting in my family room and we were sharing the stories of our lives. If you are a mother, wife, woman, and a believer in God, this is a must-read." -- Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite