All of Adair’s Books Naked, Drunk, and Writing (Ten Speed Press)

2008: The Granny Diaries (Chronicle Books)
2007: You Know You’re a Writer When (Chronicle Books)
2007: The Bigger the Sign, the Worse the Garage Sale (Chronicle Books)
2004: Oopsie! Ouchie! (Chronicle Books) a board book for children
2003: Normal Is Just a Setting on the Dryer, and Other Lessons from the Real Real World (Chronicle Books)
2002: Hanging Out the Wash: And Other Ways to Find More in Less
2001: Hold Me Close, Let Me Go (Broadway Books). A memoir.
1996: Best of Adair Lara (Scottwall Associates)
1995: At Adair’s House, More Columns by America’s Formerly Single Mom (Chronicle Books)
1994: Slowing Down in a Speeded-Up World (Conari Press), later re-released as Hanging out the Wash by Red Wheel.
1992: Welcome to Earth, Mom (Chronicle Books)
1982: History of Petaluma, A California River Town (Scottwall Associates) (out of print)

mybooks (1)

Many of my books are available on or from Book Passage.

Naked, Drunk, and Writing

Naked, Drunk, and Writing is a funny, anecdotal and highly useful guide to writing personal essays and memoirs. You can read an excerpt from the book here. It will be published by Ten Speed Press on August 31. You can order a copy from Indiebound.orgAmazon.comBarnes&Noble, or

Jon Carroll reviewed a previous edition in the Chronicle:

“Naked, Drunk, and Writing” is smart, funny (Lara is always funny) and useful. It’s not really a book about how to write; it’s a book about how to think about writing. The focus here is on writing personal essays and/or memoirs, but a lot of the advice would be good for novelists too…I do sincerely recommend this book, even though it was written by a friend of mine who knows more than I do – the very worst kind. [read the whole thing]

The Granny Diaries

When Morgan the Bad grew the rest of the way up and became a lawyer and had two little girls, Maggie and Ryan, I wrote a little book about being a grandmother called The Granny Diaries. (I wanted to call it Know When to Hold ‘Em: Playing Your Cards Right as a Grandmother, but the marketing department at Chronicle Books nixed it). My goal was to write the first book for grandmothers that you don’t need a shot of insulin to read…

You Know You’re a Writer When…


The best gifts come in teeny packages. Adair Lara, who taught us that Normal is Just a Setting on the Dryer, has written a quick and witty read, You Know You’re a Writer When…, that’ll have writers laughing as they recognize themselves in Lara’s list of quirky hallmarks.

You know you’re a writer when…
“…All your bedspreads have ink stains on them.”
“…You secretly love your own handwriting.”
“…You accidentally sign a check with your pen name.”
This book, which came out in September, would make a great gift for any writer in your life…even if you are that writer.

Chesterfield Writer’s Club

How do they know these things?

I got this silly little book from one of the gals at work a few weeks ago: You Know You’re a Writer When… by Adair Lara. It’s full of one-liners, and an appalling number of them are true. My favorites so far:

“Writing is the only thing that makes you happy, and you hate writing.”
“You secretly love your own handwriting.”
“You read the dedications and acknowledgments in every new book to see if there’s anyone you know.”
“You think people who eat alphabet soup are barbarians.”
“A new ream of paper can bring on an anxiety attack.”

Sarah Miller

Hanging Out the Wash

My first book of columns, Welcome to Earth, Mom, was published in 1992 by Chronicle Books. My second, At Adair’s House, More Columns by America’s Formerly Single Mom was published May, 1995, also by Chronicle Books. A third book, Slowing Down in a Speeded-Up World, was published January 1994 by Conari Press, and has since been translated into French, German, Spanish, and Korean. It was re-released as Hanging Out The Wash.

The Best of Adair Lara

The Best of Adair Lara (Scottwall Associates) compiles all the popular and award-winning columns of the past ten years. These are the ones that have been clipped and emailed by countless readers. Most have never before appeared in book form.