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Life of Mimi Smartypants a wickedly fun read

Mimi Smartypants is the smart woman's snark.

Tramp around inside her head for a bit, in "The World According to Mimi Smartypants," and you'll agree.

But be forewarned: Don't go reading this book in public places where a sudden outburst of mirth may net you evil stares. Rather, do as I did -- read it during the Sabres' game on TV, while your mate is oblivious. Trust me, it'll pass those three hours like magic.

Mimi Smartypants, for those who don't know her blog, is a Chicago woman in her early 30s who writes an online diary about her life. (Find it at www.smartypants.diaryland.com.) She is married to a man called "LT" and, a couple of years ago, adopted a baby girl, Nora, from China. Mimi (the name is invented; she keeps her real identity under wraps) works as an editor at a Chicago publishing company and likes to go out drinking. She rides public transportation and wears offbeat clothing. She is funny and witty and wise, and all of this comes through in this, her first book -- a quick read that will leave you wanting much, much more of Miss Smartypants.

This is, by the way, not really a "book" in the sense of being anything other than a collection of Mimi's online diary entries, rough-hewn into loosely connected epistolary book form. It was published in England last year; now it's available in the United States, too, in a paperback that's cheap -- and that looks a bit cheap, too, unfortunately, although you should ignore the cover (which sports legs in pink high-heeled shoes atop a globe) for the very reason that Mimi herself, online, bemoaned it as being very unlike her. Apparently she didn't nix it, though. Too bad.

Anyway, these diary entries all predate the arrival of Nora the baby, so here you get Mimi the social butterfly and late-night carouser in all her unadulterated glory. (Post-Nora, as you'll learn from reading her current blog, Mimi's social life has tamed down somewhat. But mommy Mimi is still funny and sharp as they come -- maybe even more than before.)

Among the Mimi-isms in the book, you will find these, pulled at random from between the covers:

* "I was at the drugstore the other day. You know, a lot of my sentences start like that. When am I ever not at the freaking drugstore? Apparently I spend my life buying toiletries."

* "There's an adult bookstore near my office that has this sign in the window: LADIES WELCOME. I have two things to say about this: (1) Why, thank you. (2) 'Ladies?' "

* "I dreamed recently that Bono was breastfeeding a baby and droning on in his Irish Voice of Great Sincerity about how wonderful it was that science had allowed him to experience the miracle of feeding an infant with his own body . . . and I remember wishing he would shut the hell up."

Trust me. If you're a woman of a certain Gen-Xy age who likes a snarky read, and you don't know Mimi, give her a try.

You'll be passing this one on to your wickedest girlfriend quick as a flash.

Charity Vogel is a News Feature reporter and frequent book reviewer.

e-mail: cvogel@buffnews.com

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>The World According to Mimi Smartypants

By Mimi Smartypants

Avon Trade, $13, 237 pages paper

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