Friday, October 16, 2015

Book review: Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review for myself. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone. 

Before I start on the book review, I should add another, more personal disclosure. This book that I am about to write about is focused on the stresses (and resulting hilarity) of the holiday season. Personally, I did not grow up celebrating Christmas and my husband's family are very low-key Christmas people, so the winter holidays are not particularly stressful for us. Ditto with other holidays. I have no memories of crazy family celebrations while I was growing up, so can't relate to the family stories. But still, I found this book highly amusing :)

The book in question is entitled: Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat. It's written by a popular blogger from the site Here's a bit about the book, from the publisher's website:
In this hilariously irreverent collection of essays, Jen Mann, nationally bestselling author of People I Want to Punch in the Throat, turns her mordant wit on the holidays. On Mann’s naughty list: mothers who go way overboard with their Elf on the Shelf, overzealous carolers who can’t take a hint, and people who write their Christmas cards in the third person (“Joyce is enjoying Bunko. Yeah, Joyce, we know you wrote this letter.”). And on her nice list . . . well, she’s working on that one. Here, no celebration is off-limits. The essays include:

• You Can Keep Your Cookies, I’m Just Here for the Booze
• Nice Halloween Costume. Was Skank Sold Out?
• Why You Won’t Be Invited to Our Chinese New Year Party

From hosting an ill-fated Chinese New Year party, to receiving horrible gifts from her husband on Mother’s Day, to reluctantly telling her son the truth about the Easter Bunny, Mann knows the challenge of navigating the holidays while keeping her sanity intact. And even if she can’t get out of attending another Christmas cookie exchange, at least she can try again next year.
I thought this book contained a very nice assortment of very funny stories. I particularly related to Ms. Mann's opinions on Christmas cards/letters and now feel much better about my decision to avoid them that I have held for the past few years. I always love it when books reaffirm my prior life decisions.  Overall, the book made me laugh and I thought all of the essays were clever and quite well written. This is an excellent choice to pick up as we head into the crazy winter holiday season (which apparently begins somewhere in the middle September these days, according to the stores I shop at, at least). Happy reading!