Jennifer Niesslein at the Independent Review of Books:Stielstra’s collection of essays combines the things I love best in writing: humor, smarts, and extraordinary insights about being human. In more specific terms, Once I Was Cool is about adulthood, with essays ranging from running into an old lover while tripping, to managing postpartum depression via a baby monitor. The first essay in it, ‘Stop Reading and Listen, inspired me to put down the book, go to my computer, and message her a completely embarrassing anecdote about my unladylike behavior at a concert, which only goes to show 1) how she’s able to make such an amazing connection to the reader, and 2) that I’m a dorky fangirl and never had any cool to lose.