UP FOR RENEWAL: What Magazines Taught Me About Love, Sex, and Starting Over is Cathy Alter’s true-life story of living by the advice of magazines for one full year. For twelve months, she consulted the sages at Elle, Marie Claire, O, Self,Real Simple, Cosmopolitan, and others for advice on everything from getting rid of under-arm jiggle to how to have a meaningful relationship with her mother. For twelve months, she would learn how to make men melt at her feet, throw fabulous parties, command her coworkers with a firm shake of her pen, and (of course) “Find His Seven Secret Pleasure Triggers!”
That was the idea, anyway. But more than learning how many lunges it takes to get great glutes, the true story behind UP FOR RENEWAL is Cathy’s surprising inner transformation. With equal parts honesty and hilarity, Cathy chronicles the course of her magazine year as she deals with many of the difficulties of life—a rotten job, a dear friend with a serious illness, her complex relationship with her mother, and her own fears of rejection and loneliness. Ultimately, she comes to realize that anything can change a life that’s ready for it—even hers, and even Cosmo.