Two women wearing black shirts holding a container of milk in each hand
VCU two-time alumna Anne Marie Wonder (left) and her writing partner Tara Lawall set out to create a book filled with some of the dumbest things to complain about. What's more annoying than the deluge of milk options on the market? (Courtesy Anne Marie Wonder)

Got milk? VCU alum’s snarky new book finds the ‘dumbest’ things to complain about

Anne Marie Wonder, a two-time VCU grad, is the co-author of “There Are Too Many Milks: And Other Common Annoyances of Modern Life.”

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Once upon a time, there were three kinds of milk: whole, low-fat and chocolate.

These days, the choices seem endless, with fat-free, lactose-free, lower-sugar and higher-protein all with their own place in the market. And that’s before you get into the nondairy varieties such as soy, oat and almond vying for the top spot in your fridge.

That’s the premise behind Tara Lawall and Anne Marie Wonder’s “There Are Too Many Milks: And Other Common Annoyances of Modern Life,” which came out last week.

The idea for the book emerged during the height of the pandemic, said Wonder, a two-time graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University.

“Tara and I had toyed with the idea of writing something together for years, but in the throes of the pandemic we really liked the idea of making a book that was filled with some of the dumbest — but realest — things to complain about,” she said. “When the book was coming together, it was still very much in the thick of the pandemic so there were so many legitimate things to get upset about and focusing on the dumb things about life actually was a really nice distraction.”

Five glass containers of milk positioned around a book with the title \"THERE ARE TOO MANY MILKS\"
"There are Too Many Milks" deals with the humorous annoyances of modern life -- such as the existence of too many milks. (Courtesy Anne Marie Wonder)

“It’s definitely a bit snarky but also incredibly neurotic,” she said. “Just like us, I suppose.”

Wonder and Lawall wrote “Too Many Milks” together and Wonder sketched ideas for the illustrations.

“I just spent a lot of last winter avoiding Omicron and drawing everything up,” said Wonder, who graduated from the School of the Arts in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in communication arts and from the Brandcenter in 2016.

Now an art director at 72andSunny’s New York office, Wonder has always worked on creative side-projects, but said this is the first “real thing” she’s been fortunate to make outside of her job.

“During the pandemic, having something long term to work on was a nice respite from literally the world falling in on itself,” she said. “We were just incredibly lucky that we found a publisher willing to work with us and also that, as of this writing, the world hasn’t completely collapsed — yet.”

If you don’t happen to find the deluge of milk vexing, Wonder promises the book has a little something for everyone. Among the tome’s “other common annoyances” are social norms, wellness fads and even forks.

“Truly there is a complaint for everyone to relate to in this book,” she said.