Dear Mable: The Advice Column That Solves All Your Problems With Books

by  | February 16

As you already know (wait, you didn’t read my original column?? Okay go do that first THANKS), my name is Mable and I LOVE giving advice. Unsolicited, harsh, it don’t matter. Consider me that one friend that tells you the truth even when it hurts. And since all problems in the world can be solved with books (try me), books are at the heart of all my advice.

To submit problems for future advice columns, please send them to me via email (, Facebook message, or Twitter DM. I promise I won’t share your identity with anyone. Here we go, round two.

Dear Mable,

I didn’t get into med school, and I feel like I’m a failure. I don’t know if I should even pursue medicine now, I’m just so disheartened.


Dear #fail,

First of all, Oprah and JK Rowling failed early in their careers and look at them! So chill. Besides, you now have an amazing opportunity to find yourself. You’ve come to a crossroads in your life, so why not pull a Frost and take the road less traveled? Reading The Elephants in My Backyard by Rajiv Surendra will help you embrace failure and learn to love the journey no matter the outcome.

Who’s Rajiv Surendra?

Only everyone’s favorite Mathlete Kevin G! That’s right, Kevin Gnapoor from Mean Girls wrote a book.

What’s more is that it’s an AMAZING book, as it’s a memoir chronicling Surendra’s journey as he attempts to land the role of Pi in the film Life of Pi (spoiler alert–he doesn’t get it). It all started on the set of Mean Girls when Surendra was told he was exactly like Pi (he even grew up near a zoo!), prompting him to read Yann Martel’s novel. He immediately threw himself into becoming Pi, so that the director would have no choice but to cast him. He quit school, moved to South India, befriended Yann Martel, learned to spin wool, keep bees, and look a tiger in the eye (I mean, damn).

But when the director for Life of Pi didn’t choose him, Surendra had to deal with the collapse of his dream. How he overcame such a crushing loss, and how he found a new life for himself is detailed in his achingly beautiful (and funny) memoir. If you aren’t impressed by his composure and resolve by the end, you have disrespected Kevin G and will not be forgiven.

As if you needed more reason to love him, Surenda writes calligraphy and drew the cover of his own book!!!

Love always,

Dear Mable,

I’m 26 and feel like I’m always wasting my time! I always have these grand plans to go to a museum or art show, or even just go for a run, but at the end of the day I’m still somehow at home doing nothing! I want to really do something with my life, but I just can’t, help!

Bored of My Own Accord

Dear Bored of My Own Accord,

I believe the medical term for what you are experiencing is “quarter-life crisis.” Have no fear, its curable! What causes quarter life crises is usually social media, where a simple scroll through Insta shows that everyone and their mother is having a WAY better time than you, leaving you to think you are wasting all your precious time! You should probably stop checking Instagram so often, and you should definitely stop following people who make you feel bad about your own life (Gigi Hadid will be the death of me).

You should also read Why Time Flies: A Mostly Scientific Investigation by Alan Burdick. While I’m a huge fan of the fact Burdick used “mostly” in his title, I’m really recommending this book because it breaks down time in an incredibly witty and original way (Burdick is a New Yorker writer after all).

Burdick went above and beyond for this book, living in the Arctic to lose all sense of time, meeting with neuroscientists to make time go backwards (for like, half a second) and finding a 25th hour in the day, which is also known as the answer to all my prayers. It’s time as you’ve never thought about it before, because why would you have ever thought about time like this?

But no matter how much time you’ve spent analyzing time (so meta), this book will radically change your perspective, and hopefully change how you spend your time. Seriously though, chill with the Instagram.

You got this,

Dear Mable,

My best friend is dating a guy who is all wrong for her. He’s shady, irresponsible and mean, but she just doesn’t see it! Everyone knows he’s a bad guy, but she just refuses to see reason! How do I help her?

Paralyzed Friend

Dear Paralyzed Friend,

Unfortunately, we’ve all been your friend. Everyone, at some low point in their life, is blind to the suckiness of their significant other, which is why I like to forget my college years. In this case, the book I’m going to recommend to you is actually for your friend.

Get her to read The Widow of Wall Street by Randy Susan Meyers by saying you read it and loved it, or saying it’s this month’s pick for book club, or literally any other reason. Basically, LIE. Girlfriend needs all the help she can get to leave her gross BF.

A novel about the dangers of blind love, The Widow of Wall Street is a tale of deception and manipulation that will help drag your bestie from the hole she’s digging for herself. Meyers’ main character Phoebe is madly devoted to her husband Jake, and fully supports all his successful endeavors on Wall Street. However, when he is revealed to be running a Ponzi scheme, and his world–and Phoebe’s–begins to fall, Phoebe’s loyalties are tested. She must pick a side–her children’s or Jake’s. Her children vow to never see her again if she stays with her husband, but it seems impossible for her to leave Jake, despite all his lies.

Focusing on the danger of love, and loyalty to the point of ignorance, Meyers paints a brutal, revealing tale of a woman with everything to lose. Let your friend come to her own conclusions, but make sure the conclusion is to leave her skeezeball boyfriend.

Play it cool,