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Spending the Holidays with People I Want to…

Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Yuletide…

by Jen Mann

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I wasn't really sure what I was getting into when I saw this book for review. I loved the title and though that it would be funny regardless of what it was. The way I read the title I thought it would be able various people we all want to "punch in the throat" during the holidays but was happy to find out that Jen Mann runs a blog called such and this was a collection of her stories of the holidays.

Now I have to be honest, more than once I had to stop reading and ask myself, 'oh crap is this woman in MY family?' -- sadly no, but we have lived through some very similar things especially during the holidays so I found this book VERY relatable.

Mann's tales of the holidays are laugh-out-loud funny and I found myself enjoying all of them. I was even sad when the book ended. I will definitely be stopping be her blog to check it out, so if you have no idea who she is and happen on this book, know that, you can still crack-up reading it. This book was a wonderful start to my holiday reading. ( )
  sszkutak | Sep 28, 2016 |
Before reading this book, I was not familiar with Jen Mann or her blog/books. Since reading this book, I have put her books in my cart on Amazon, added them to my Goodreads lists, and I now follow her blog. This book made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. From her dislike of everything pumpkin spice, to her dread of going to cookie exchanges, Jen speaks to my underachieving soul. Pick up this book if you're looking for a light, fun, read for the holidays! ( )
  pennylane78 | Jun 6, 2016 |
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Perfect book for my Christmas in 2015: I’m pretty much home alone this December. Not to sound all schmaltzy or depressing, but my children (and granddaughters) aren’t coming home this year for Christmas, and my wife is out in California for most of the month helping a niece whose husband passed away this weekend after a three-year battle with cancer. So, not much holiday cheer in my household other than a Pandora Christmas station playing in the background while I’m watching NHL hockey and football bowl games (and reading, of course).

This is a drastic change. Normally, my wife and I go all out decorating the house starting on Thanksgiving evening and working all day Black Friday, much like the author’s over-the-top-when-it-comes-to-Christmas mother. We have the Christmas village (20 buildings and growing), snowmen, Christmas settings for the formal dining table, lights outside on the trees, all the “standard” stuff and a lot more. It's a two-hour job just to get everything out of the attic. As much as I say I don't like the work that goes into the decorating, it is worth the effort, especially when we get to see our granddaughters' eyes light up when they arrive.

The thing I liked most about the book is that while the author seems to be bashing Christmas and all that comes with it, there is a real feeling of how much she actually enjoys the season. Like rushing out with her fiancé to buy a tree when her parents decide to come to New York one year or making sure her daughter (who has the Christmas gene) is able to decorate the THREE trees in her room to her hearts content. Jen Mann may not be insanely crazy about Christmas, but she obviously loves the people around her that do, and is willing to take a step towards the extra mile to make sure their Christmases are special.

This book is light-hearted and very funny, and she highlights things that we all think at one point or another about Christmas. This is an enjoyable collection that can be read over and over again for the simple reason that it elicits our own Christmas memories. Highly recommended! ( )
  ssimon2000 | May 31, 2016 |
Holiday Laughs Mann presents a fun, quick, easy to read book of her stories about the holidays. Several times my wife looked at me questionably as I snorted and laughed out loud while reading this. The author's stories led me to reminisce about my own experiences with relatives during the holidays, leading to remember many happy and memorable events. If you are in the mood for a light hearted, fun book, give this one a chance. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. ( )
  1Randal | May 22, 2016 |
Spending the Holidays With People I Want to Punch in the Throat by Jen Mann
Published by Ballantine Books ISBN 978034554990
Trade paperback, $16, 224 pages

I was sorry that I didn't post a review for Spending the Holidays With People I Want to Punch in the Throat before the holidays because it was such perfect antidote for those of us who feel that the holidays can be a bit overwhelming and we somehow don't do it as well as everyone else.

Jen Mann's mother goes all out for Christmas, with multiple themed trees in every room. It takes her weeks to get all of her decorations out and weeks to put it away. She never throws any holiday decoration away, and adds more to it each year.

Perhaps as a reaction to all of this holiday merriment, Jen has an aversion to all of the holiday hoopla. She does buy Christmas gifts throughout the year for her two kids, and hides them so well she thinks she should create a treasure map because when the time comes to wrap them she has no idea where they are, and sometimes they are not found in time. (Been there, done that.)

Jen's young daughter has inherited her grandmother's joy of Christmas, so she has been given hand-me-down decorations much to Jen's utter dismay. Jen also shares the panic all of us parents have faced as our children's Christmas list change at the very last moment and the hunt for that ultimate gift is on.

I loved Jen's descriptions of conversations between the mommies who spend all day at yoga class as they describe the gift of cosmetic procedures bestowed on them by their husbands, and their un-ironic Christmas letters sent with all of their family members' brilliant achievements. Needless to say, Jen's letter is completely different.

If the holidays were just too much for you, Spending the Holidays With People I Want to Punch in the Throat may just be the cure for you. I laughed a lot at it. (Note- the language is a little salty for some.) People who like Jenny Lawson and Jen Lancaster will enjoy this. I recommend it.

Jen Mann has a website- People I Want To Punch in the Throat and it can be found here. ( )
  bookchickdi | Jan 14, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345549996, Paperback)

For fans of Laurie Notaro and Jenny Lawson comes an uproarious and oddly endearing essay collection for anyone trying to survive the holidays in one piece.
When it comes to time-honored holiday traditions, Jen Mann pulls no punches

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.

Advance praise for Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat
“Jen Mann understands that wanting to be a good person and yearning to punch the deserving in the throat aren’t mutually exclusive. At no time is this more evident than during the holidays. Buy this book if you’re a fan of not spending the holidays behind bars.”—Jen Lancaster, author of I Regret Nothing
Praise for People I Want to Punch in the Throat
“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
“Comedy gold . . . Reading her stories is like riding a waterslide: fast, direct and unpredictable.”—New York Daily News
“Will make you cringe and burst out laughing at the same time.”—Karen Alpert, author of I Heart My Little A-Holes

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 17 Jul 2015 06:48:43 -0400)

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