Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco

Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?

The acclaimed New York Times bestseller, now in paperback! "Always fascinating and very funny, Alyssa's book is full of juicy stories from one of the world's most glamorous jobs." - Mindy Kaling, New York Times bestselling author of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) and Why Not Me? If your funny older sister were the former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, her behind-the-scenes political memoir would l...

Details Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?

TitleWho Thought This Was a Good Idea?
Release DateMar 6th, 2018
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Politics, Biography

Reviews Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?

  • Tulay
    After seeing her on Charlie Rose, had to read this audio book. Every 18 to 25 years old female should read this book. Author has great advice for those looking for work. Loved behind-the-scenes look of youngest woman working in the White House and after. Needed this book fifty years ago, but I loved her humorous writing, she's definitely very comfortable in her own skin. Her story about tampon dispensers made me laugh, and her tragic story about ...
  • emma
    Because I cannot do anything earnestly, I'll preface this review by saying that I really, really hate the title of this book. It's a blatant play on Mindy Kaling's first book, but it doesn't stick in the memory. In fact, I couldn't remember the title well enough to look it up, and had to go by the author's name.https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co...With some mild complaining out of the way, let's do this thing. (I say, as if I could possibly li...
  • Dea
    "I also wanted to write this book because I didn't see anything like it out there. When I was trying, kind of desperately, to get a job in politics, and then one I got one, all my mentors were men. Most political memoirs are written by men--because most of the people who work in politics are men."This is like if Mindy Kaling wrote a book that was half-memoir/half-what it's like to work in the White House: kind of a mixed bag.While the memoir part...
  • Emily
    Alyssa Mastromonaco has met the Pope, the Queen of England, and Colin Firth. She has worked for Bernie Sanders and John Kerry, and has jumped on the hood of Newt Gingrich's car. Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush both inquired after her sick cat while flying Air Force 1. Anna Wintour texts her and Mindy Kaling comes to her parties. And, of course, she worked for Barack Obama while he was a senator, and then on his historic campaign. She's the you...
  • Kinksrock
    I am stopping at page 159. This book is too annoying. I love political anecdotes, but this woman thinks she is funny (she is not), and I have read enough about her menstrual cycle, digestive problems, and love life. She has not kept my interest nor entertained me. Not recommended. Moving on.
  • Sarah
    2.5 stars. What to say about this one?The writing itself is not very good. And it feels extremely derivative of Mindy Kaling's work and style (even going so far as to basically copycat Kaling's own book title, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)). Mastromonaco is pretty open about the influence there: she specifically mentions that she's friends with Kaling, that she loves Kaling's books, that The Mindy Project is her favorit...
  • Jean Poulos
    This is the autobiography/memoir of Alyssa Mastromonaco. She starts off telling about growing up in a small town in New York. While attending the University of Vermont she did her summer internship with Bernie Sanders. After college she worked for Senator John Kerry then obtained a job with Senator Barack Obama. When Obama became President, she became the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President. She was the youngest women to assume this office.The...
  • Lauren
    I stumbled upon this book because a) I read the NYT bestseller list (sue me, okay), and b) I listen to Crooked Media like it's a side hustle I'm hiding from my boss: aggressively and in a panic - America better start subsidizing heart medication for millennials after this administration, I swear. Mastromonaco's book is exactly how it was marketed: a fluffy book about life as a young person in positions of power, alongside people of power, written...
  • Lesa
    I'm the wrong demographic for Alyssa Mastromonaco's story of her time working for Barack Obama, in his Senate office, his political campaigns, and the White House. Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? is subtitled "And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Won in the White House". I guess I thought a forty-year-old would write a thoughtful book, maybe with some humor since it does have that title and jacket cover. But, it's really mean...
  • Katie
    I work in library IT and have no desire to work in a different industry, especially the private sector, and I'm finding these stories of powerful woman who work in public service really valuable and inspiring.
  • Patrick Pilz
    Writing this book was definitely not a good idea. It reads like a book written by a 20-year old youtube star for teenagers, definitely not of a 40 year old successful manager of Barack Obamas back office. I guess once you reach certain heights, it is prudent to write a book to start the next career, but I am not sure what her move will be. It is not going to be book writer.Disclosure: I stopped reading at 60%, I really tried and did not give up h...
  • Emily
    From the A+ Obama anecdotes to the zany but practical career advice, I loved every minute of this. Alyssa Mastromonaco is obviously a badass who has seen some crazy stressful situations in her professional life that many of us will (thankfully) never have to navigate, but she has written a book that is completely approachable, charming, and applicable for women in all career paths.And also I would be remiss if I didn't mention that her relationsh...
  • Susie
    Disappointing, even after discovering it's YA aimed. Here's an example of the writing and the book's (lack of) depth: "At any high-powered job, you're going to have to work a lot. America is a nation of people who work a lot and of people who strive to work a lot." (Page 130) I'd seen the author speak in an interview and I was excited to read the book. It appears the author's goal is to inspire young women to consider politics as a profession, an...
  • Katie
    I waffled on how I felt about this book up until Obama calls Alyssa from Air Force One to express his condolences over her cat's death. Then I started crying. What an amazing (and kind of crazy?) gesture—it completely won me over.Reading about Alyssa Mastromonaco's experiences working in the White House stressed me out. To say that she's dealt with some intense exchanges would be an understatement. She coordinated transportation in Haiti follow...
  • Barbara (The Bibliophage)
    3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.Alyssa Mastromonaco’s memoir of her political career, including her time in the Obama White House, is funny, inspiring, and vulnerable. When I bought it, I was wishing for a reminder of what made Obama’s presidency exemplary. I really had no idea tampon access in the White House would be covered. But kudos to the young staffers who made it easier for women to be a vital part of the political structure of this countr...
  • Figgy
    -- Proper review to come --Full disclosure: I am an Australian who has long been the kind of person who tolerates politics but has never been tempted to pick up a political-themed book. For some reason this one spoke to me, and I decided to give it a go. I'm very glad I didI laughed out loud quite a few times, I cried (maybe even sobbed) once.Funny, heartfelt, honest. This book, while not entirely about Obama but also about Mastromonaco's road to...
  • Courtney Judy
    Considering I read it in three days, I would say I liked this book quite a bit. The author did a great job of proving some 'behind the scenes' without it coming across like a gossip column. She also didn't push any political agenda, which was nice. It felt like a book that's not-not about politics that omitted any overtones of overt political talk. And while the author does specifically mention that her plan was to not write the book chronologica...
  • Jess
    I didn't expect to tear up while reading this, but I did!Anyway, I really enjoyed it. It's more life advice book than straight memoir, but it blends them together well enough. The stories are AMAZING and the lessons are certainly stuff that bears repeating. And it's novel to get this from a youngish woman who has held incredibly important political positions, and therefore I am glad to have read it.
  • M.L. Brennan
    Full of great anecdotes, plus a lot of interesting advice on navigating challenging professional environments. And in the current political climate, this book will make you unbelievably nostalgic for the days of the Obama presidency, and for when we were led by such a classy and wonderful adult. I'm giving this three stars because in terms of the structure of a memoir, this one struggled a lot. Mastromonaco has a lot of interesting thoughts, usef...
  • Judith E
    Make sure to check out You Tube and Alyssa Mastromonaco's highlights on the Charlie Rose interview. In an attempt to make her book humorous and trendy, it bypasses Ms. Mastromonaco's true composure, confidence and intelligence. The book really does not do her justice in this respect. The author's experiences are important for girls and young women to hear. The lessons she has learned and writes about, from working at a grocery store to working at...
  • Rachel Wall
    I enjoyed this! Very insightful and funny. The tampon chapter was ridiculous, not to mentionIt was a sad representation of a grown ass woman not being able to prepare for (numerous times) something you should've learned how to prepare for as a teenager. Followed by chapters on the importance of planning, making lists, etc. it was just odd. But I'm glad the machine got installed! However, loved the rest and find her to be incredibly intelligent an...
  • Katelyn
    2-3 stars. I love reading inside accounts from pretty much any field. This includes some interesting stories from one of Obama's top staffers. This book wasn't in chronological order, which was a little disorienting. Mastromonaco is writing specifically to give a glimpse of her political positions to young women who may be interested in getting into politics, so I'm not her target audience. This book isn't trying to convince you on political issu...
  • libbyscreen
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book (though it did make me feel a bit lazy for all the times I've sat at my desk and tried to summon motivation from the gods). I wish this had been written 10 years ago so I could've read it when I was trying to decide what to do with my life - though that decision-making process is never really over.
  • Ame
    This is a funny and informative memoir by Alyssa Mastromonaco concerning her years working for Barack Obama, from his Senatorial days to becoming his Deputy Chief of Staff in the White House for about a term and a half. You'll find out how Mastromonaco became interested in politics (interning for Bernie Sanders and working as a scheduler for the Kerry campaign) as well as these great anecdotes about her relationship with President Obama. It's nec...
  • Nancy Martira
    Sometimes, a book finds its way to you in the exact moment that you need it. I had a five star love affair with Alyssa Mastromonaco's audiobook. This memoir is the antidote to all the "Girl Boss" "Boss Babe" "Sexy Baby Millionaire" titles out there. In a cultural moment that fetishizes entrepreneurship it is so refreshing to hear from a woman with a j-o-b *job*. Mastromonaco is not the boss, but she is in a position of tremendous leadership and r...
  • Chedva Kleinhandler
    It's like your BFF worked in the White HouseI love this book so much. Alyssa Mastromonaco takes us behind the scenes without being shocking. She manages to write about her work for the President without being full of herself. Instead, being real and talking about things we all go through in our professional life, especially women, and making the reader feel like they too can achieve such things and overcome challenges.
  • Tena Edlin
    For a lot of this book, I was trying to figure out who the audience was supposed to be... high-achieving high school gals? Up-and-coming Millenials? Old broads like me? I still don't really know, but the book had a lot of entertaining stories, and the story at the end about POTUS and Schrummie was over-the-top wonderful and made me miss President Obama so much, I actually hurt.
  • Jen
    Really enjoyed this. Mastromonaco has a great voice. I loved her irreverent and fun voice talking about having one of the most important jobs in government. I also enjoyed that this wasn't just a memoir but that she used her experiences to discuss important lessons that professional young women should know.
  • Katie
    This book is basically the voice of Mindy Kaling meeting Obama White House… which is right up my alley… I really enjoyed Alyssa's memoir of working at the WH, it was funny, thoughtful and may have caused me to shed a tear or two. If you like memoirs, politics, feminists and/or funny ladies this one is for you! :)