I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.People I Want to Punch in the Throat by Jen Mann
Also by this author: Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat
Published by Random House Publishing Group on 2014-09-09
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Essays, Form, Humor, Marriage & Family, Personal Memoirs, Topic
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A debut collection of witty, biting essays laced with a surprising warmth, from Jen Mann, the writer behind the popular blog People I Want to Punch in the Throat People I want to punch in the throat: • anyone who feels the need to bling her washer and dryer • humblebraggers • people who treat their pets like children Jen Mann doesn’t have a filter, which sometimes gets her in trouble with her neighbors, her fellow PTA moms, and that one woman who tried to sell her sex toys at a home shopping party. Known for her hilariously acerbic observations on her blog, People I Want to Punch in the Throat, Mann now brings her sharp wit to bear on suburban life, marriage, and motherhood in this laugh-out-loud collection of essays. From the politics of joining a play group, to the thrill of mothers’ night out at the gun range, to the rewards of your most meaningful relationship (the one you have with your cleaning lady), nothing is sacred or off-limits. So the next time you find yourself wearing fuzzy bunny pajamas in the school carpool line or accidentally stuck at a co-worker’s swingers party, just think, What would Jen Mann do? Or better yet, buy her book.Advance praise for People I Want to Punch in the Throat “People I Want to Punch in the Throat is so good that it’ll make you want to adopt all the cats in the world. I’m not sure about the correlation, but it’s that good. It should come with a warning.”—Jenny Lawson, author of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened “Jen Mann has an amazing way of telling stories that will make you cringe and burst out laughing at the same time. From swinger parties to racist toddlers, she makes the suburbs unbelievably funny.”—Karen Alpert, author of I Heart My Little A-Holes “Jen Mann says the things we’re all too afraid to say. Her honest and hilarious writing style reminds me of David Sedaris and Tina Fey.”—Robin O’Bryant, author of Ketchup Is a Vegetable: And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves “Jen Mann’s shrewd and unrelenting assault on the absurdity of suburban life is an honest peek into the occasional nightmare that is part of living the American dream. I love Jen. I wish she was my neighbor. It’s so refreshing to know that I’m not the only one who wants to punch almost everyone in the f***ing throat.”—Nicole Knepper, author of Moms Who Drink And SwearFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
A few years ago I came across a link to Jen Mann’s screed against Elf On The Shelf on facebook. Despite being childfree with no real understanding of Elf On The Shelf and it’s phenomenon, I clicked the link. Mann’s rant was epic and hilarious. I told myself I would continue to read and watch her blog. However, I am a bit lazy and terrible at internet-ing, so I stopped paying attention to her blog. When I saw that People I Want To Punch In The Throat was coming out in book form, my memory was jogged and I just knew that I had to read Mann’s book. Comedy isn’t easy and from what I remember about Mann’s Elf On The Shelf rant, she has real talent for being funny. Suffice to say, I expected People I Want To Punch In The Throat to be a barrel of laughs and for once, my expectations were totally met.
People I Want To Punch In The Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots And Other Suburban Scourges opens with Mann’s story of meeting her husband via AOL. It made me nostalgic for a simpler time when everyone was into AOL Instant Messenger and meeting people from the internet was dangerous. The book continues with a story about Mann’s wedding day and some grown up items, and then continues with her life and adventures living and raising her children in Kansas suburbia. Even though my life is drastically different from Mann’s given that I live in a super-rural area where I am pretty sure people don’t even have playgroups, I found myself able to connect with Mann’s narrative. She writes of people with pretension and snobbery in such a hilarious way. I think we’ve all come across humblebraggers no matter where we live or our lifestyle. We all know those people who like to one up everyone around them. Like Mann, I too often want to punch those people in the throat, but refrain.
There are some chapters that definitely stick out more than others. Among my favorites were when Mann and her husband accidentally go to a picnic at a swinger’s house as well as one about Mann’s son Gomer being bullied by this one girl whose mom is actually really awesome and runs this exclusive book group. Also her stories about people to watch for at garage sales was super funny too. To be honest, this entire book is hysterical and worth reading.
I have a mouth like a sailor, so there was absolutely nothing in this book that offended or shocked me. I loved how Mann seemed so down to Earth in this book and like the sort of person I would enjoy being neighbors with. People I Want To Punch In The Throat is the type of book that I read in a blink and then went around telling everyone I work with who actually has a sense of humor to read. I mean, I would not recommend this book to someone who prefers books with no swearing or “clean” books. However, if you are salt of the earth or roll your eyes at suburbia, you should pick up a copy of Jen Mann’s People I Want To Punch In The Throat.