I Am Not Myself These Days

Written by: Josh Kilmer-Purcell

I Am Not Myself These Days Book Cover
The New York Times bestselling, darkly funny memoir of a young New Yorker's daring dual life—advertising art director by day, glitter-dripping drag queen and nightclub beauty-pageant hopeful by night—was a smash literary debut for Josh Kilmer-Purcell, now known for his popular Planet Green television series The Fabulous Beekman Boys. His story begins here—before the homemade goat milk soaps and hand-gathered honeys, before his memoir of the city mouse’s move to the country, The Bucolic Plague—in I Am Not Myself These Days,  with “plenty of dishy anecdotes and moments of tragi-camp delight” (WashingtonPost).
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I Am Not Myself These Days Reviews

Anwen Ross
Very funny. Kind of sad too, because the relationship is so messed up, but Josh/Aqua is just hilarious.
Cathy
Filled with sexuality, vulgarity, emptiness, soul-searching, brutal honesty. If you like taking a walk on the other side and experiencing life through someone else's eyes, this is a good book to do that. Josh is an excellent writer. His use of words color the story in the perfect way. Although, I must admit ... I had to look up a few of the words he used! I love a word challenge every now and then but not in every chapter - makes the story too complicated to read. The sprinkling of new words thr Filled with sexuality, vulgarity, emptiness, soul-searching, brutal honesty. If you like taking a walk on the other side and experiencing life through someone else's eyes, this is a good book to do that. Josh is an excellent writer. His use of words color the story in the perfect way. Although, I must admit ... I had to look up a few of the words he used! I love a word challenge every now and then but not in every chapter - makes the story too complicated to read. The sprinkling of new words throughout the book was perfect for me. Cool stuff to read at the end of the book too!
J1B
I remember reading this as a young boy coming to grips with his sexuality, and honestly I came away from it thinking then what I still think today: I so absolutely want high-heel boots with fish living in them.
Proof :: Ten Little Indians :: The Táin: From the Irish epic Táin Bó Cúailnge :: Jennifer Government :: Goldfish
Elizabeth
This book is truly a gem. I haven't been consumed by a book like this in a really long time. It's exotic and seductive, hilarious and heartbreaking.
Judah
I began this book fully intent on hating it, frequently muttering to myself that it's the sort of trash that carelessly fuels America's comfort with thinking of gay men as silly little martini-soaked, hyper-sexualized clowns useful only for their bitingly witty remarks and womens' fashion expertise. Somewhere around page 75 or so, though, I alas admitted that it was a bit unfair of me to hold Kilmer-Purcell responsible for accurately reflecting the entire queer spectrum-- afterall, it's HIS memo I began this book fully intent on hating it, frequently muttering to myself that it's the sort of trash that carelessly fuels America's comfort with thinking of gay men as silly little martini-soaked, hyper-sexualized clowns useful only for their bitingly witty remarks and womens' fashion expertise. Somewhere around page 75 or so, though, I alas admitted that it was a bit unfair of me to hold Kilmer-Purcell responsible for accurately reflecting the entire queer spectrum-- afterall, it's HIS memoir and, in all fairness, he really was an alcoholic drag queen in a disastrous relationship with a literal crack-whore at one point. It takes a good 220 pages to finally realize Kilmer-Purcell's purpose in writing this memoir isn't merely to share humorous anecdotes of his misadventures in drag, for he eventually grabs hold of the reader's emotional vulnerability when it becomes increasingly clear the relationship he finally allowed himself to become reliant on is quickly crashing. Though Kilmer-Purcell reveals early in the book that he's no stranger to bad decisions, the reader is no less horror-struck as Kilmer-Purcell looks on in helpless agony at his male escort lover smoking crack-cocaine each night in their kitchen, all the while growing more distant from their once odd but happy life together. As their once deeply satisfying relationship crumbles, it becomes apparent that, for his own survival, Kilmer-Purcell must escape not only from Jack's self-destruction, but his own as well. While his writing was, dare i say, witty, Kilmer-Purcell is certainly no Ernest Hemingway, and I think that any book as easy to breeze through as this one is probably not all that good for you. Nevertheless, it's a splendid, sometime's heartbreaking and sometimes hilarious book. Worth the read for sure.
Jamie
I don't really do beach reads, but I just bought a NookColor and found this lil' one on there for $0.99. Been meaning to read it for some time, and so ended up making it my first e-reader book ever. An absolute, unabashedly naughty memoir tracking the first year of a boy's life in NYC as a drag queen/ad agent - the conflict comes with the escort he ends up dating and living with. Between Josh's alcoholism and his boyfriend's crack addiction, you'll never feel more proud of your own substance-abu I don't really do beach reads, but I just bought a NookColor and found this lil' one on there for $0.99. Been meaning to read it for some time, and so ended up making it my first e-reader book ever. An absolute, unabashedly naughty memoir tracking the first year of a boy's life in NYC as a drag queen/ad agent - the conflict comes with the escort he ends up dating and living with. Between Josh's alcoholism and his boyfriend's crack addiction, you'll never feel more proud of your own substance-abuse-moderation. The antics of the two, as ashamed as I am to say it, legitimately mitigated my own astonishment at the crazy things I've done. I feel like a 'normal' again, as the boys of this book might say. I rarely read 'trashy' memoirs, but this - despite at-times sloppy or cliche prose - was hilarious, riveting, and strangely moving. I found myself invested in everyone that passed through this microcosm of psychosis - even old Houdini, the married British father who pays Josh's boyfriend thousands to enslave and humiliate him on a monthly basis. I hope he's o.k.

No but really. I know I can be a lit-snob, but this was a real breath of fresh air. Might even look into Kilmer-Purcell's other memoir, though I doubt I'd have the same forgiving palate for his novel.
Maisie Smith
This book ignited a need for me to seek out drag queens in later life; they are portrayed as being very cool! The temperamental relationship between Josh and Jack is written excellently and I really enjoyed it. The unknown possibilities that Josh could have walked in on when entering their home added a sense of mystery to the otherwise thrilling story. To know that someone actually lived a life like this upsets me and makes me happy. It upsets me because the love he thought he found turned out t This book ignited a need for me to seek out drag queens in later life; they are portrayed as being very cool! The temperamental relationship between Josh and Jack is written excellently and I really enjoyed it. The unknown possibilities that Josh could have walked in on when entering their home added a sense of mystery to the otherwise thrilling story. To know that someone actually lived a life like this upsets me and makes me happy. It upsets me because the love he thought he found turned out to be a love full of pain. But it makes me happy because the author clearly found happiness in the period of time after which the book accounts for. Being only 16, I was still able to appreciate the themes and messages this book was giving out and have already recommended it to many of my friends. I even made my mum read it, though her view wasn't as praising as mine. Each to their own I suppose! Anyone who wants an easy read to make their Sunday afternoon a bit more interesting, I highly recommend!
Jennifer
Holy crap. I put the book down after the first two pages, took a deep breath, and forged ahead. The lives led by the author (an alcoholic ad exec by day, alcoholic drag queen by night) and his crackhead whore of a boyfriend (as the boyfriend was a male escort, I feel okay with the "whore" terminology) are horrifying enough to make you throw the book into a Dumpster, take a scalding shower in Lysol, and find the nearest hellfire and brimstone church so you can receive a cleansing of your soul. Bu Holy crap. I put the book down after the first two pages, took a deep breath, and forged ahead. The lives led by the author (an alcoholic ad exec by day, alcoholic drag queen by night) and his crackhead whore of a boyfriend (as the boyfriend was a male escort, I feel okay with the "whore" terminology) are horrifying enough to make you throw the book into a Dumpster, take a scalding shower in Lysol, and find the nearest hellfire and brimstone church so you can receive a cleansing of your soul. But, the author treats his life with an appealing mix of humility, bewilderment and humor, and helps the reader feel safe in reading further. It's compelling and funny and sad and, frankly, weird. Will you be a better person for reading it? No. Will you have better insight into humanity? No. Will you want to celebrate your inner drag queen? No. Will you want to become a crackhead or a prostitute? No. Will you have spent a few hours amused and bemused? Yes.
Tiffany
Yay!! What a fun little book! I threw this book into my the store shopping cart along with a bunch of other books. I figured it had to be a light read and I'd save it for my upcoming beach vacay. Last weekend I picked it up to read the first page...just the first page to get a taste. But dammit! Here I am a few days later I've eaten the whole box of girl scout cookies!

I hesitate to provide too much detail with this review because I don't want to oversimplify the story or take away from the great wr Yay!! What a fun little book! I threw this book into my the store shopping cart along with a bunch of other books. I figured it had to be a light read and I'd save it for my upcoming beach vacay. Last weekend I picked it up to read the first page...just the first page to get a taste. But dammit! Here I am a few days later I've eaten the whole box of girl scout cookies!

I hesitate to provide too much detail with this review because I don't want to oversimplify the story or take away from the great writing. On the surface, this book reads like a silly, twisted, gay, drug-inflicted romance novel. Dig deeper and you'll laugh, cry, and ponder some of life's greatest questions.

Sounds crazy, but this paperback has reinvigorated me and my love of books. I haven't read something this catching in a while. Loved every page of it!
Laura
This is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I passed it along to my friend, who passed it to a friend, and on down the list it goes ...... Hilariously funny. Not for the delicate.
This book is a must read for all those who are or have ever been involved in the gay club or bar culture and who enjoy witty banter and extreme circumstances. Surprisingly, given its content and focus on a twenty-something alcoholic advertising exec by day and drag queen by night and a high-end fetish prostitute This is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I passed it along to my friend, who passed it to a friend, and on down the list it goes ...... Hilariously funny. Not for the delicate.
This book is a must read for all those who are or have ever been involved in the gay club or bar culture and who enjoy witty banter and extreme circumstances. Surprisingly, given its content and focus on a twenty-something alcoholic advertising exec by day and drag queen by night and a high-end fetish prostitute, the book is incredibly insightful and well written for even the most discerning and well-read critic. It's truly a mix of fun and outlandish situations and commentary on life that is a great read.
Angie
This book was hella clever. It sucks you in with the prologue but the story is so engaging when it ends where it begins you are surprised. Kilmer-Purcell is hilarious. My favorite line was, "I'm slowly donating my liver to the pursuit of my balls."

A tale of his first year in New York as a gay drag queen sounds cliche but Kilmer-Purcell makes it seem original with snappy quips and honest emotions.I read it quickly, in a day. It was that good! There are many clever definitions for the drunk and/o This book was hella clever. It sucks you in with the prologue but the story is so engaging when it ends where it begins you are surprised. Kilmer-Purcell is hilarious. My favorite line was, "I'm slowly donating my liver to the pursuit of my balls."

A tale of his first year in New York as a gay drag queen sounds cliche but Kilmer-Purcell makes it seem original with snappy quips and honest emotions.I read it quickly, in a day. It was that good! There are many clever definitions for the drunk and/or delusional. For instance the subtle difference between coming to and sobering up is offered as well as an optimistic position on black outs as opportunities to fine tune one's detective skills.

This book won't make you a better person, but it is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon!
Josh(ua)
never before has a book sucked me in so quickly from the first moment of reading it. i finished this book in 2 days, which is a record for me and big boy books (as opposed to YAF). in a little over 300 pages, you are taken through the highs and lows of the author's relationship with a male escort who ends up getting hooked on crack. i highly recommend this book to everyone, but especially the people who might enjoy reading about the relationship of a witty former drag queen, borderline alcoholic never before has a book sucked me in so quickly from the first moment of reading it. i finished this book in 2 days, which is a record for me and big boy books (as opposed to YAF). in a little over 300 pages, you are taken through the highs and lows of the author's relationship with a male escort who ends up getting hooked on crack. i highly recommend this book to everyone, but especially the people who might enjoy reading about the relationship of a witty former drag queen, borderline alcoholic and his seductive escort boyfriend. so yeah, you'll laugh and cry, if you're anything like me. great fucking book. the end.
Jennie
This memoir whirls itself into a dazzling knot of addiction, night life, goldfish, and violence that one might find in the bottom of Aquadisiac's (Josh Kilmer-Purcell drag alter ego's) make-up bag. Kilmer-Purcell creates a slick and engaging story from his first seven months as a New Yorker. He takes the horrifying and outlandish elements of falling in love with a prostitute turned crack addict and his own descent into alcoholism via his nightly drag performances and forms them into a story abou This memoir whirls itself into a dazzling knot of addiction, night life, goldfish, and violence that one might find in the bottom of Aquadisiac's (Josh Kilmer-Purcell drag alter ego's) make-up bag. Kilmer-Purcell creates a slick and engaging story from his first seven months as a New Yorker. He takes the horrifying and outlandish elements of falling in love with a prostitute turned crack addict and his own descent into alcoholism via his nightly drag performances and forms them into a story about choosing a calmer version of an interesting life.
Jason Scoggins
I absolutely loved this book and the extraordinary look behind the curtain of Josh Kilmer-Purcell's past. I think a lot of folks might be shocked and turned off by what he writes... this is not the Will & Grace-side of gay culture to be certain... but if you can get past the grittier elements, it is a tragic love story that begs to be told. You'll laugh, you'll get upset, and if you have even an inkling of a heart... you'll cry. 'I Am Not Myself These Days' is a beautiful memoir that I highl I absolutely loved this book and the extraordinary look behind the curtain of Josh Kilmer-Purcell's past. I think a lot of folks might be shocked and turned off by what he writes... this is not the Will & Grace-side of gay culture to be certain... but if you can get past the grittier elements, it is a tragic love story that begs to be told. You'll laugh, you'll get upset, and if you have even an inkling of a heart... you'll cry. 'I Am Not Myself These Days' is a beautiful memoir that I highly recommend.
Justin
Fun book, kind of in the whole David Sedaris style that's so popular these days. The author talks about his life as an NYC drag queen and his relationship with a man who has sex for money. I was entertained, though I'm not sure how much I really took away from the book. The individual stories were interesting, but I felt it lacked a strong, grand narrative arc. Sometimes books can get away with that, but I think this one could have benefited from it. That said, I had a good time reading it, and Fun book, kind of in the whole David Sedaris style that's so popular these days. The author talks about his life as an NYC drag queen and his relationship with a man who has sex for money. I was entertained, though I'm not sure how much I really took away from the book. The individual stories were interesting, but I felt it lacked a strong, grand narrative arc. Sometimes books can get away with that, but I think this one could have benefited from it. That said, I had a good time reading it, and in the end, that's really what counts, right?
Abby
It was an easy read, and i wanted to know what happened next, but not because i was enjoying it. Most reviews talk about how hilarious this book is; I'm not sure I read the same book. I didn't find it funny at all. I thought it was trying to be funny, in a "watch how casually I talk about this fucked up situation that I put myself in, isn't that hilarious that I'm talking about it like it's no big deal" way. I personally don't find that funny, I find it grating and distasteful.
Fishface
Funny, depressing, zany and horrifying by turns. Very engaging writing, marred only by the persistent use of "lay" where the correct verb is "lie." Took me inside a world I have not seen much of. I deeply resent the author calling the lives of Goldfish "negligible," but I guess he has a right to his totally-wrong opinion in this one area. By the way, in Japan they are called "kingyo," not "koi" -- koi are carp. You know, the kind with a moustache.
Anne
This was really not what I was expecting. I was drawn in by the cover & title, read a few pages, and guessed it was a jokey, glib memior of a drag queen. It sort of is, but it's also a slightly depressing, crack pipe and whore-laden description of this guy's messed up relationship. So, I probably wouldn't give it as a gift, but I also didn't throw it in the recycling so no one else would ever read it again (I'm looking at you, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell).
Mary
Just because I "really liked" this book, I am NOT recommending it to anyone I know. I am a curious person, so enjoyed learning about the life of a gay male prostitute and a gay transvestite -- and their problems with drugs and alcohol. Also, the cover says this book is "absolutely hilarious." It is often funny -- as in "laugh out loud" or read a paragraph to the spouse -- but overall it is a very sad love story.
Korri
I never thought a memoir about the downward spiral of substance abuse and a relationship going awry could be so entertaining, but then drag queens aren't beloved for being maudlin folks. Josh Kilmer-Purcell's mixture of tragedy and comedy shines. The sharp dialogue and trenchant observations sing.

'Things in New York City sparkle a lot longer than you'd expect before burning out.'
Naomi
It's the fact that this was a memoir and not a made-up story about people with weird and kinky sexual fantasies that make this book so compelling. Kilmer-Purcell shows that money, sex, alcohol, and drugs combined with the universal quest for love, acceptance and meaning can create a toxic pit of self destruction. But he crawls out of that pit, and that in itself is amazing.
Roxie
I love the love story in this book. That gets five stars. The characters get another five. However, there are way too many places where I cry "BULLSHIT". I believe all of the drag and the drugs, it's the parts that sound like speculation or, well, like a made for TV movie that I rolled my eyes over.
Connie Smith
Reading the jacket, I figured I was in for laughs on every page ..a gay midwesterner moving to NYC in his mid 20's! Drag queen by night! (Aqua, btw, was gorgeous - as I discovered via google images). But was surprised with how much introspection there was, as well as serious choices & situations. A great read!
Liz Dahl
This was a quick read, full of sordid details of benders and drug-fueled sex, written by a drag queen who witnessed and participated in it all. I honestly couldn't put it down. Is it as well written as a Borges novel? No. Does it have deep philosophical meaning? No. But it is an easy summer reading guilty pleasure, for sure. I enjoyed it.
Bryan
Both fun and disturbing, this memoir is a look at Kilmer-Purcell's time as a drag queen in NYC and his intense relationship with his escort boyfriend. The book read like a quirky novel, and at times I found myself shaking my head and laughing out loud at the craziness of it all. I look forward to reading his other books, especially The Bucolic Plague
Sabrina
For some reason I though a love story between a semi-alcoholic drag queen and a drug-addicted escort would be more interesting, but it really wasn't. I guess it's because it was a memoir, so everything was somewhat real. But it just didn't draw me in- I expected more laughs and more "feels" but it was just okay.
Troy Boyer
Highly recommend. Read the entire book on a round-trip flight to California from Chicago. Funny, poignant, extremely dirty (the good kind). Josh Kilmer-Purcell is an excellent writer who brings you into his world. I felt as if I was there on all his adventures.
Agathafrye
I didn't give it five stars because it was definitely a first book, but "I am not Myself These Days" was certainly a great read. If you find the idea of a drag queen with functional fishbowls for breasts appealing, pick this one up.
Erin
Kindle for iPhone

It's so hard to reconcile this wild Josh with the relatively staid guy we see on "The Fabulous Beekman Boys", but set that aside and this is a great memoir - very well written and engaging. Really enjoyed it and I'll look for more from this author.
Katie H
Surprisingly compelling story about a former alcoholic drag queen and his male escort boyfriend. This was a very quick read. Humorous at times, depressing and bittersweet at others. I'm looking forward to reading his next book to learn about his life as a farmer.
Celine
the 90's NYC underground scene, drag queens, and hookers- what's not to love, really
hilariously told, frank and unapologetic on all counts... also, it's camp as hell which I relished, naturally
Sarah
wow, this was totally a different lifestyle, one that carried a lot of pain, but hell, a lot of fun too! hope things work out for this guy, can't imagine living like this...I was exhausted reading this. We think new mom's don't get sleep, drag queens/alcoholics get far less.
Rebecca
Could not put this down, read in 3 work days which if you know my schedule, is super fast for me. It's raw, unbelievably astounding, a whirlwind. Lives lived on the edge of complete combustion, death at any time, a binge, but I couldn't put it down.
Ken
Loved it. Have read it twice and will probably read it again. Worth every page.
Tom
I was given this book as a freebie. I very much enjoyed it. A story about a drag queen and her escort drug-using boyfriend. Quite a few laugh out loud moments. Would wholeheartedly recommend.
Angela
It's tough to get past the traumatic sloshing that the fish endure nightly, but this book is positively wonderful. I loved it!
Meredith
Solid 3 1/2 stars. This book had moments of greatness but also missed out on some real depth at the end. Maybe I am sad because I want to know more about Jack and what happened to him and the come down from the relationship. I was super intrigued by his description of the pull to the extremes that life has available, but also the pain and subsequent masks that we go through to achieve those highs. And, of course, the masks that many have to wear daily for just an average Monday at school or work Solid 3 1/2 stars. This book had moments of greatness but also missed out on some real depth at the end. Maybe I am sad because I want to know more about Jack and what happened to him and the come down from the relationship. I was super intrigued by his description of the pull to the extremes that life has available, but also the pain and subsequent masks that we go through to achieve those highs. And, of course, the masks that many have to wear daily for just an average Monday at school or work. The book had some gaps, like his relationship in between drag shows...what was it? Were the gaps just because life was a vodka blur or just that maybe the book could be 2 shorter stories. I did find the love story sweet and the I love the showcasing that normal comes in all packages and many of us want some friends around us on the holidays. And that love is love. And sometimes love can save you, but sometimes it cannot and you need to get out before everything explodes.
Shelli
After watching Josh and Brent win the amazing race I was excited to see more of my favorite team. Netflix had The Beekman Boys on for a time and it was seriously one of the best shows I have ever watched and I would gladly watch it again and again. It's been years since I saw the show and this raw and honest novel makes me want to again see what is happening with the Beekmans. I know they must be doing well since I am able to pick up various Beekman products at Target.

For some reason I thought t After watching Josh and Brent win the amazing race I was excited to see more of my favorite team. Netflix had The Beekman Boys on for a time and it was seriously one of the best shows I have ever watched and I would gladly watch it again and again. It's been years since I saw the show and this raw and honest novel makes me want to again see what is happening with the Beekmans. I know they must be doing well since I am able to pick up various Beekman products at Target.

For some reason I thought that Josh had written a kids or teen novel, not an autobiography of his drag queen days living in New York with a male hooker that struggled with crack. That is what I get for not ever previewing the back cover before reading. However, I loved it and any fans of the Beekman series will love it too.
Jennifer
For a tale about an alcoholic drag queen meeting her match in a crack addicted male escort, this little story read quickly and poignantly, and in some instances, I “awwwed” at the genuine sweetness exchanged between the two. It’s not all champagne and roses (see: above subject matter) but it certainly induced all heartwarming and heartbreaking moments that any mainstream rom-com story would, except with far more interesting character subplots. Being also from New York City, I was engrossed in th For a tale about an alcoholic drag queen meeting her match in a crack addicted male escort, this little story read quickly and poignantly, and in some instances, I “awwwed” at the genuine sweetness exchanged between the two. It’s not all champagne and roses (see: above subject matter) but it certainly induced all heartwarming and heartbreaking moments that any mainstream rom-com story would, except with far more interesting character subplots. Being also from New York City, I was engrossed in the descriptions of the late night drag club scene that only rarely intersected with my own diversions - almost like reading about a parallel universe that was physically close by, but light years away at the same time. I highly, highly recommend this book.
Kaitlin
Usually, I would steer more towards fictional books. So when I chose this nonfictional book as my annual summer read, I didn't expect it to be all that well, but I was wrong. This book made me feel like I wasn't alone through the love that once hurt me. This book showed me raw informational on the world around me (including drugs, drag, and not living at your best). Maybe it's because I'm still so young and "haven't been exposed to such things", but I felt like this book really took a deeper dig Usually, I would steer more towards fictional books. So when I chose this nonfictional book as my annual summer read, I didn't expect it to be all that well, but I was wrong. This book made me feel like I wasn't alone through the love that once hurt me. This book showed me raw informational on the world around me (including drugs, drag, and not living at your best). Maybe it's because I'm still so young and "haven't been exposed to such things", but I felt like this book really took a deeper dig at things (that need a deeper dig at) that most books haven't before. I read this book within three days, faster than any book I've ever read, because I just couldn't put it down. There was never once a boring time in the book.
Lisa
This was the perfect book to get me out of my depression...loved the writing. Here's an example (Josh has just gotten on a motorcycle without a helmet): "For a second, the advanced class sixth grade hall monitor in me starts to panic...This sort of behavior is sure to disappoint someone. My parents, my old teachers. I picture Mrs. Zariff, my fifth grade teacher, suddenly waking up with a start in her floral print bed knowing that somewhere, one of her teacher's pets is flagrantly crossing the li This was the perfect book to get me out of my depression...loved the writing. Here's an example (Josh has just gotten on a motorcycle without a helmet): "For a second, the advanced class sixth grade hall monitor in me starts to panic...This sort of behavior is sure to disappoint someone. My parents, my old teachers. I picture Mrs. Zariff, my fifth grade teacher, suddenly waking up with a start in her floral print bed knowing that somewhere, one of her teacher's pets is flagrantly crossing the line. I picture my sixth grade Good Citizen Citation spontaneously bursting into flames in my old desk drawer at my parents' house."
Ann
The line describing drag queens as "a celebrity trapped in a normal person's body" hit a chord with me; not one of empathy, but one where I truly felt that I was experiencing something that I would never have been able to come up with from the confines of my own mind. I think the most amazing thing about memoirs is being able to experience a person's life through the lens of their own perspective, and this book truly did take readers into the intimate life of a man who was struggling in a way th The line describing drag queens as "a celebrity trapped in a normal person's body" hit a chord with me; not one of empathy, but one where I truly felt that I was experiencing something that I would never have been able to come up with from the confines of my own mind. I think the most amazing thing about memoirs is being able to experience a person's life through the lens of their own perspective, and this book truly did take readers into the intimate life of a man who was struggling in a way that I don't think he even really realized at the time.

Despite his overwhelming self confidence, I got a sense of isolation, where he sought out love, relationships, and family connections, when all the makeup, seven inch heels, big wigs, and glitter were stripped away, in a way that was very much relatable. We all put on fronts, his was just more flamboyant. Though the relationship between Jack and Kilmer-Purcell was by no means healthy, especially given the events in the prologue chapter of the book, I found myself supporting their, often toxic, love for one another. At the end, I had to take a moment to go back and re-read the prologue, now with the context of the full length of their relationship, and the blasé tone of the chapter, rather than horrifying me as it did at first, now made me so sad for the path that Jack had taken, and the almost inevitability of their spiraling situation.
Jeff
An interesting glimpse into a very unorthodox romance and the world through a drag queen's eyes. This book took a few chapters to really grab me but it become quite fascinating to imagine that this is all real and actually happened to someone.
The ending was where it kind of lost me again. The final few chapters attempted to be very abstract and full of deeper meaning. They did not quite fit with the rest of the book. The extra content at the end of the book was a nice touch to answer a few of t An interesting glimpse into a very unorthodox romance and the world through a drag queen's eyes. This book took a few chapters to really grab me but it become quite fascinating to imagine that this is all real and actually happened to someone.
The ending was where it kind of lost me again. The final few chapters attempted to be very abstract and full of deeper meaning. They did not quite fit with the rest of the book. The extra content at the end of the book was a nice touch to answer a few of the questions that were left after reading this book.
Herbie
This book was tough to read - parts of it were traumatizing, triggering, and occasionally problematic. At the same time, reading about Josh's harrowing life as a drag queen with an alcohol problem and his crack-addicted-sex-worker boyfriend was fascinating.

It made me anxious and it made me cringe; but I also often had a lot of empathy and compassion for Josh as he tried (and struggled) to figure it all out.
Tina H
Incredible. Wish it hadn’t been more sad than it was funny.

Despite the unintentional (or perhaps intentional) pain and heartache Josh and Jack inflict on themselves and on each other, there is genuine love and adoration between them that amount to a greater strength than the fuckups they amass. Real life shits on people all the time, but sometimes it carries flecks of glitter.

One of my new favourites.
~ Lei ~ Reading Is An Adventure ~
★★★★☆ ~ 4 Stars
I enjoyed the writing style and hoped against hope that this would end happily, alas, that was not to be. A working towards alcoholism drag queen and and an expensive rent boy with a nasty crack habit found love but ultimately couldn't make it work.

The Christmas presents that Jack presented Josh with were so insightful and loving, Aqua's transformation was informative and interesting and the humor laced through made this a book by an author I'd like to read more from.
Danielle
The first chapter sets out the premise of the book, which is that a drag queen named Aquadesiac (or "Aqua") who has two small tanks of goldfish for boobs (I should also mention they are lit up by mini flashlights: important detail), moves in with her crack addict male escort boyfriend. You can guess the rest. The premise is pretty much what's interesting about the book. The premise IS the book.
Lindaellen
I loved this book! I feel obliged to say it's not for everyone, but, then again, maybe it is. It's a funny, sad, poignant, sometimes confusing, sometimes scary deeply personal memoir, and it enthralled me. A dear friend recommended it to me, and I'm so glad he did. Anything I could say about the "story" itself might be considered a spoiler, so I'll say no more.
Stephanie
Fast-paced, fascinating glimpse into the life of a young man dividing his time & mind between NYC’s advertising world and drag queen club scene. Josh is honest about his desires and addictions, adding snapshots from his childhood + relationship with his family to help himself flesh out what he really wants (and doesn’t want) from life.
Zach
Somehow, "I Am Not Myself These Days" manages to tread back and forth between light and dark, leaving my unable to accurately describe how it's left me feeling. However, it DID make me feel SOMETHING--and I suppose that's the whole point, isn't it? It was a bit of a roller coaster from page one. I don't know. I need a drink.
Jenny
Interesting book about an alcoholic drag queen and his drug addicted boyfriend. Surprisingly funny at times, but overall, it made me sad to think that these people were having such a terrible time in their lives. Fairly well written, but skips over the heartfelt portions with humor or flowery language. Worth the read, but could have been better.
Courtney
I really enjoyed this memoir. It's hilarious, uncomfortable, heartbreaking, and just really arresting. The author's life during this time just seems so exhausting. I was exhausted reading about it but in the best way. It really reads like a fiction novel rather than a memoir, and the dialogue is just so good. Plus, who doesn't love an irreverent love story about a drag queen and a hooker?
Morgan Javins
3.5 stars, but upped it for it being a TRUE STORY! This was one crazy life, it’s amazing her survived. And scary how much he was willing to put up with. The ending felt really rushed, and if you don’t read all of the extras at the end of the book, you miss out on more of the story, which was just as interesting. Quick, but devastating in ways, read.
Brady Jones
‘I Am Not Myself These Days’ is an entertaining and sobering coming-of-age memoir that also brought me to a lot of personal reflection. Though the anecdotes are hilarious, they mask deeper veins of sadness that line the personal journey Josh travels over the course of his first year in New York City. This is definitely a book for anyone who needs to take a similar journey at any age.
Alison
A quick read. I found it endearing at some points, disgusting at others and hysterically funny from time to time. Amazing that this is a memoir and that Josh is alive and well after the events in this book! Worth a read, but not if you are easily shocked!
Eufe
3.5 stars. Enjoyed the campy yet tragic evolution of Jack/Aqua through his drug and alcohol infused NYC days, but ultimately it felt a little one note. It’s a quick summer read with enough charm to keep you wanting to know how this downward spiral of a memoir ends.
Shane Seweryn
Zaskakująco sprawnie napisana, przyjemna lektura. Przez całą książkę miałem wrażenie, że sam mógłbym ją napisać, jako opowiadanie rzecz jasna lub za x lat z trochę inną zawartością, a w podobnym stylu jako historia mojego Vicente.
Kk
Ok..its a disturbing book...however, the one thing that keeps repeating in my gourd is..

How much will you allow love to take over your life?

Its a sad book that makes you wonder why you read something so depressing..
Valerie
One of the more enjoyable memoirs I've read. It reads like well-written, interesting fiction, and the ending had me a bit misty because it hit a little close to home, despite the fact that I never retired a drag queen persona in this lifetime.
Carey Gibbons
This memoir was pretty great. I think JKP does a great job balancing humor and sadness. Drag life, hookers, drugs - I was riveted. Also, while this book definitely stands well enough on its own merits, it's probably a pretty good stopgap for Drag Race withdrawal between seasons.
Rikke
only 3/5th of the way through the book did i realise it was an autobiography, it was so well written and so humorous, not to mention borderline unbelievable, that i only connected the dots when the main character said his surname was hyphenated,,,, just like the author's.
Heidi Hespelt
This is a raunchy read but I was drawn in and ended up really enjoying the ride. Sometimes it is way over the top but isn't one of the reasons we read to sink into someone else's reality?
Shelley Bricker
Heart-strings were not tugged. They were thrashed. This will stay with me.
Smudgedink7
Total guilty pleasure. It's not a mainstream topic so I was intrigued by the novelty of it. It's dark and gritty but not a downer. A beach read!
Sophie Lynne
An amazing ride through a life so different from my own.
Amber Wawers
Amazing story!! I read this a few years ago and could barely put it down.
Maddy Hayes
It was okay, but I feel like it's plateaued and isn't getting more or less high stakes. DNF'd. His writing style is very good, though.
Nicole
Thoroughly entertaining. I never knew what was going to happen next.
Kait Lorraine Gardiner (Holbrook)
I’ve recommended this book to everyone! I couldn’t put it down! It’s as touching as it is hilarious, quirky and twisted and poignant. Loved this!
Paulina Aldaba
If this was out of 10 starts, I would give it 5.
If it wasn't because the characters were so likable I would give this book a solid 7. It is an easy read with solid writing, but the plot was lacking.

In this memoir, Josh - an alcoholic drag queen named Aqua at night and a marketing agent by day- falls in love with Jack- an extremely wealthy prostitute/dominatrix.
The story is full of fun anecdotes and interesting events that happen when such characters and lives mix, but it ofen feels as if they If this was out of 10 starts, I would give it 5.
If it wasn't because the characters were so likable I would give this book a solid 7. It is an easy read with solid writing, but the plot was lacking.

In this memoir, Josh - an alcoholic drag queen named Aqua at night and a marketing agent by day- falls in love with Jack- an extremely wealthy prostitute/dominatrix.
The story is full of fun anecdotes and interesting events that happen when such characters and lives mix, but it ofen feels as if they're a pointless stream of nothingness in a relationship that will ultimately end in unhappiness. (How else could it, given the situation?)

Towards the end of the book we discover that Jack has developed a heavy crack addiction, which is the ultimate reason for their demise. This, a key component of the story, is something that is barely fleshed out, with only a couple of instances that give real depth to the characters (like Jacks tearful request to smoke in the kitchen before Christmas.)
The whole third part of the book feels rushed and anticlimactic- and in turn makes the first two parts feel slightly pointless.

Overall, an easy read, but definitely not something I would recommend.
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