“Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House” by Alyssa Mastromonaco

Lately, it’s been hard to keep up with my reviews or remember what I want to say in them. I was more organized last year because I would jot down my thoughts soon after completing a book in my spiral-bound notebook. But at the beginning of this year, I was so lethargic and sluggish when it came to reading and blogging that I stopped recording my impression of what I read immediately after completing the book.

Most times I’m able to write a decent review despite not having recorded my initial thoughts. I highlight so many passages as I read that once I reread them, I’m able to recall why I highlighted it, how that portion of the book made me feel, and what that particular passage made me think. So a notebook isn’t necessarily needed, but it is helpful in easing the load of thoughts I store in mind as I read more and more books without posting reviews of them.

Such a notebook comes in handy when I read library e-books that disappear after its due date without me having posted a review. That’s what happened with Alyssa Mastromonaco’s memoir Who Thought This Was a Good Idea, which is about how she became the youngest woman to serve as deputy chief of staff at the White House.

I should have jotted down my thoughts and wrote out the few lines I highlighted, but I procrastinated and didn’t remember to do so until after the book’s due date. Because of this, I don’t have much to say or quote from Mastromonaco’s book because I’ve forgotten much of what I thought of it since completing it at the beginning of May.

What I do remember is that I thought the book was an okay read and that Mastromonaco is funny, especially when She discussed having irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and needing to take a dump while visiting the Pope at the Vatican but was unable to find a restroom.

Mastromonaco wrote her memoir not only to inspire women to seek jobs in government and politics, but also to share how she became the youngest woman to serve as deputy chief of staff for operations to the president.

The book wasn’t insightful to me, but it provides helpful career tips and is entertaining because of Mastromonaco’s humor. It maintains a friendly tone throughout that’s obviously geared toward young professionals, which made the book a quick read and made Mastromonaco seem relatable.

However, there are so many people mentioned, both by their given names and nicknames, that I sometimes got confused about who Mastromonaco was talking about. Also, sometimes the memories she shared to elucidate a point didn’t seem to match up with what she was trying to explain. Though it is possible that I missed the connection between the example and the point made because I was reading too quickly, so that’s probably my fault.

Overall: ★★★☆☆

It was a quick, fun read, and I recommend it.

Buy | Borrow | Bypass

I liked it, but it wasn’t memorable. Plus, I borrowed my e-book from the library.

Related articles:

I’m okay with this as a reflection piece, but I don’t think the review part was great, so I recommend that you check out these articles to know more.

From Grocery Checker to Obama Staffer (washingtonpost.com)

‘I Basically Ran on Adrenaline’: A Staffer Remembers Obama’s White House (npr.org)

Always Carry an Extra Tampon and 9 Other Things You Learn As a Woman in the White House (thecut.com)


8 thoughts on ““Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House” by Alyssa Mastromonaco

  1. Sometimes I highlight pages and when I get back to them, I really can’t work out what passage it is that drew my attention. That is reminding me that I have a review to write that I really should get on with – thanks! This sounds like it was something a little different, and quite interesting, even if you had to remain focused throughout to remember who was who! Really enjoyed reading this!


  2. It’s so hard to remember specifics when you don’t take notes! At least for me it is. I sometimes put post-its in the back of library books so I can jot down notes without my notebook handy. Sometimes I just want to read and not take notes at all!


    1. Lol! That’s how I felt, that’s why I stopped, but I need to get back to it, especially since I blog about every book I read. The notes help with recalling details.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.