Spike Gillespie tells it like it is. Whether she's writing about men, mothering or money, she cuts to the chase, unabashedly recounting the exhilaration and uncertainty she is forever encountering along the odd path that is her life. Gillespie approaches her subjects with a keen eye for curious details and a readiness to ask hard questions and give honest, even brutal, answers. Her willingness to "put it all down-the painful, the funny, the mundane, the embarrassing" has won legions of readers for her print and online columns.Surrender (But Don't Give Yourself Away) collects forty-six essays, which initially appeared in such publications as the Washington Post, Austin Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Bust, Gargoyle, and thecommonspace.org. As Gillespie describes them, "There are odes to my good days and bad, to trips I've taken-both real and metaphorical, to holiness found in unexpected places, to men I have not slept with, to learning to live sober. Too, there are miscellaneous ruminations on my alter-ego, my inner-teen, the floor mat in my car, a dead squirrel in the road." Binding these pieces is the thread of hope: there are moments the thread slips out of view only to resurface in some unexpected location. Sometimes it takes awhile, but Gillespie always relocates hope, discovering even in her darkest times that life is full of an embarrassment of riches.