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Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Yuletide Yahoos, Ho-Ho-Humblebraggers, and Other Seasonal Scourges

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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 m 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. Praise for Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat “Mann’s writing has transcended from witty anecdotes and complaints to notable satire. Hidden among the many laugh-out-loud zingers are lessons on how we relate to each other, and how ridiculous parenting culture has become.”—Associated Press “Following the success of her first book, she is now punching throats at holidays, starting from her being age two and continuing to the present, where she is a harried mother bemoaning not just Christmas but all holidays. . . . Harried holiday haters will chuckle and perhaps see themselves somewhere in Mann’s lifetime dislike of and misbehavior during America’s increasingly commercialized celebrations.”—Booklist “The cure for my cold holiday spirit this year is the sidesplitting new book by Jen Mann. . . . Mann delivers her signature punch lines and sharp critique on the oftentimes ridiculous shenanigans of the modern family. Her ability to make an otherwise boring subject come alive with colorful personalities, biting sarcasm, and impressively astute observations on suburban culture is what makes Mann so much fun to read and so easy to relate to.”—The Huffington Post “A lighthearted, laugh-out-loud book . . . with a feel of peeking into a diary.”—Mommy’s Memorandum “It really does make you laugh out loud.”—Shooting Stars Mag “A quick and delightful read that you can sneak in right before bed or when the kids are finally napping.”—FangirlNation “Grab a cup of hot cocoa, sit back and enjoy Jen’s latest collection of humorous rants dissecting the ‘most wonderful time’ of the year. She unleashes her biting wit and hilarious opinions on everything from cookie exchanges to annual humblebrag Christmas letters from overachieving moms to horrifying Christmases of her childhood.”—Creating Serenity “[Mann] has really mastered the short story format. . . . She packs the maximum amount of funny into the fewest words, and many of these essays are downright hilarious. . . . If you’ve read and liked her other books, you will definitely want to read this one, too.”—Bug Bug Book Reviews


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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 m 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. Praise for Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat “Mann’s writing has transcended from witty anecdotes and complaints to notable satire. Hidden among the many laugh-out-loud zingers are lessons on how we relate to each other, and how ridiculous parenting culture has become.”—Associated Press “Following the success of her first book, she is now punching throats at holidays, starting from her being age two and continuing to the present, where she is a harried mother bemoaning not just Christmas but all holidays. . . . Harried holiday haters will chuckle and perhaps see themselves somewhere in Mann’s lifetime dislike of and misbehavior during America’s increasingly commercialized celebrations.”—Booklist “The cure for my cold holiday spirit this year is the sidesplitting new book by Jen Mann. . . . Mann delivers her signature punch lines and sharp critique on the oftentimes ridiculous shenanigans of the modern family. Her ability to make an otherwise boring subject come alive with colorful personalities, biting sarcasm, and impressively astute observations on suburban culture is what makes Mann so much fun to read and so easy to relate to.”—The Huffington Post “A lighthearted, laugh-out-loud book . . . with a feel of peeking into a diary.”—Mommy’s Memorandum “It really does make you laugh out loud.”—Shooting Stars Mag “A quick and delightful read that you can sneak in right before bed or when the kids are finally napping.”—FangirlNation “Grab a cup of hot cocoa, sit back and enjoy Jen’s latest collection of humorous rants dissecting the ‘most wonderful time’ of the year. She unleashes her biting wit and hilarious opinions on everything from cookie exchanges to annual humblebrag Christmas letters from overachieving moms to horrifying Christmases of her childhood.”—Creating Serenity “[Mann] has really mastered the short story format. . . . She packs the maximum amount of funny into the fewest words, and many of these essays are downright hilarious. . . . If you’ve read and liked her other books, you will definitely want to read this one, too.”—Bug Bug Book Reviews

30 review for Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Yuletide Yahoos, Ho-Ho-Humblebraggers, and Other Seasonal Scourges

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shelby *trains flying monkeys*

    Those Christmas books you see every one reading about love and shit? This is not one of those. This is the Holiday version for the 5% of us that really don't work up that much Christmas spirit. That stuff takes too much energy. I am a 5 percenter. I LOVE Jen Mann. I read her other book People I want to Punch in the Throat and realized that I think we are sisters separated at birth. So then I started stalking her blog and Facebook. In this book she talks about her over achieving Christmas loving m Those Christmas books you see every one reading about love and shit? This is not one of those. This is the Holiday version for the 5% of us that really don't work up that much Christmas spirit. That stuff takes too much energy. I am a 5 percenter. I LOVE Jen Mann. I read her other book People I want to Punch in the Throat and realized that I think we are sisters separated at birth. So then I started stalking her blog and Facebook. In this book she talks about her over achieving Christmas loving mom. I had the Dad version of that. My dad was that Christmas ornament/decoration hoarding version. He even took it so far as to playing Santa as long as he could. (I miss him badly) Jen admits to her Christmas slacking. That whole Elf on the Shelf thing. He is in this book. The little bastard. "Yes, and one time last year he took all the ornaments off our tree! Teeheehee." Teeheehee? Why in the world would I make my Elf do something like that? I'M the one that has to clean up his mess. Amen sister. The whole decorating your house stuff? I hate putting up our own lights. No one will ever drive by my house and have someone in the backseat beg for a second pass because "it was just so pretty!" Hell will freeze over first. Come on down south Jen. I live at the end of a subdivision. My dark house is the calm one on the street since I live in the south. My neighbors do "white trash Christmas"...it helps with not feeling bad about my own lack of decorations. The cookie shares? I'm not doing that crap either. I'm expected to have something pretty and jolly and preferably sparkly to display my two dozen shareables on so that they look beautiful on the hostess' goody table. I don't have that kind of shit. I usually arrange my offerings on a paper plate festooned with holly or some sort of winter wonderland shit that was left over from a school party. *fist bumps* While reading this little book I snorted a few times and my son asked me why I was laughing. I told him I was reading another book by that lady who took her kids to school in her pajama's. The boy child said "Oh..like you don't do that." He just went on the BAD LIST. This is my kind of Christmas and holiday reading. I needed this. Now one thing. That big old dang TV that the husband talked me into replacing? Jen's "hubs" took hers to a donation center. You know where mine is still sitting months later? Yes, In my kitchen. Dust and all. Because I refuse to touch it. (You have to read the book to understand this whole line..sucka!) Yes, that pic above is my dad and that's my dusty ass TV because it's Christmas and this is my version of the version of the White Trash Humblebrag. I spread class wherever I go. Now call me Jen Mann and we will talk some smack about those weirdo suburb moms. Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review. I'm highlighting my friend Mich's review Mich has put up with me for a long time. She is one of those 5% of weirdos too.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

    I love humor writing, and so when I saw the title of this book, I had to have it. My overall feeling after finishing it is that while it had lots of stories that made me smile, it felt a little forced and contrived. This book is a collection of short stories about the holidays (duh), and all of the funny family interactions that took place. There are some really funny stories here (I liked the caroler one and basically anything that involves 80s mullets), but most were just mildly amusing. I wan I love humor writing, and so when I saw the title of this book, I had to have it. My overall feeling after finishing it is that while it had lots of stories that made me smile, it felt a little forced and contrived. This book is a collection of short stories about the holidays (duh), and all of the funny family interactions that took place. There are some really funny stories here (I liked the caroler one and basically anything that involves 80s mullets), but most were just mildly amusing. I wanted something that would make me absolutely snort with laughter but this wasn't it. I think I have to try People I Want to Punch in the Throat next because I hear that that book was much better. I don't doubt it, this author has talent. I just think a holiday story collection was a little too thin on material to be a complete success. **Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kelli

    Hmmm. This had some truly funny parts to it but other parts felt a little contrived. I have found this with most blogger books...it often feels like there isn't quite enough material there for an entire book, so some essays get a little away from the theme or they just don't fit. I have heard the first book was better and I believe it is waiting for me at the library. I will circle back on that. I got some laughs with this. The story about the carolers was hysterically funny. I attempted to retel Hmmm. This had some truly funny parts to it but other parts felt a little contrived. I have found this with most blogger books...it often feels like there isn't quite enough material there for an entire book, so some essays get a little away from the theme or they just don't fit. I have heard the first book was better and I believe it is waiting for me at the library. I will circle back on that. I got some laughs with this. The story about the carolers was hysterically funny. I attempted to retell it to my husband this morning and I literally could not speak. And I almost peed my pants because I was laughing so hard. Too bad I don't have a blog because that would be a good entry!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    Unfortunately I found that this book was not able to live up to the hilarity of it's predecessor. Where People I Want to Punch in the Throat came off as witty and snarky, this sequel ended up going into the direction of bitter and exhaustive. I think the issue was that there simply wasn't enough appropriate subject matter that fit into the theme of the book, and therefore every quip came across as far reaching. Complaining simply for the sake of complaining. There were still some funny moments in Unfortunately I found that this book was not able to live up to the hilarity of it's predecessor. Where People I Want to Punch in the Throat came off as witty and snarky, this sequel ended up going into the direction of bitter and exhaustive. I think the issue was that there simply wasn't enough appropriate subject matter that fit into the theme of the book, and therefore every quip came across as far reaching. Complaining simply for the sake of complaining. There were still some funny moments in here, even laugh out loud ones, but the magic of the previous book is nowhere to be found. This isn't a terrible book by any means, but if you are interested in this author I would recommend reading the original first. You can check out my review of that here Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: Borrow 2.5/5 Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Monroe

    And a-one, and a-two! On the twelfth day of Christmas Jen Mann sent to me: 12 Christmas-obsessed relatives Eleven annoying carolers Ten gift-wrapping conundrums Nine selfish visitors Eight embarrassing anecdotes Seven failed Mother's Day hints Six present-related tantrums Five totally-true-but-we-don't-wanna-admit-it truuuuuths Four decorating contests Three grabby Santas Two inappropriate Halloween costumes and a hilarious, yet touching boooooook ARC provided by Netgalley Other song reviews: The Last Ever Afte And a-one, and a-two! On the twelfth day of Christmas Jen Mann sent to me: 12 Christmas-obsessed relatives Eleven annoying carolers Ten gift-wrapping conundrums Nine selfish visitors Eight embarrassing anecdotes Seven failed Mother's Day hints Six present-related tantrums Five totally-true-but-we-don't-wanna-admit-it truuuuuths Four decorating contests Three grabby Santas Two inappropriate Halloween costumes and a hilarious, yet touching boooooook ARC provided by Netgalley Other song reviews: The Last Ever After To All the Boys I've Loved Before

  6. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    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 stat 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!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cher

    2.5 stars - It was alright, an average book. Not as enjoyable as People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges, but I felt like this one gave me more of a glimpse of what kind of mother I imagine I would have been, had I chosen to have children. ------------------------------------------- Favorite Quote: I am offended by anyone who gets offended if they aren't wished the proper holiday. First Sentence: So you think you might be one of the c 2.5 stars - It was alright, an average book. Not as enjoyable as People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges, but I felt like this one gave me more of a glimpse of what kind of mother I imagine I would have been, had I chosen to have children. ------------------------------------------- Favorite Quote: I am offended by anyone who gets offended if they aren't wished the proper holiday. First Sentence: So you think you might be one of the characters in this book?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mich

    What a hoot. Loved the freakin holiday hilarity I love her blog. Follow her on FB. This book does NOT disappoint and that it was .99 kindle was even better. After reading it I would've paid full price. Freakin funny. ( and freakin would be the PC term not necessarily mine for this review!) YEA!!!! Recommended it and they agreed with me!! Oh just go get it! What a hoot. Loved the freakin holiday hilarity I love her blog. Follow her on FB. This book does NOT disappoint and that it was .99 kindle was even better. After reading it I would've paid full price. Freakin funny. ( and freakin would be the PC term not necessarily mine for this review!) YEA!!!! Recommended it and they agreed with me!! Oh just go get it!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Four stars: A hilarious and realistic look at the holidays. For all you who are tried of all the mayhem, greed and keeping up with the Joneses when it comes to the holiday season, this is a must read book. It is a laugh out loud, realistic and funny book at the holidays and all the good, bad and ugly. If you are like me, and are tired of the rat race here are some reasons why you need to read this book. The title: Seriously, how can you resist a book with a title like that? You secretly want to pun Four stars: A hilarious and realistic look at the holidays. For all you who are tried of all the mayhem, greed and keeping up with the Joneses when it comes to the holiday season, this is a must read book. It is a laugh out loud, realistic and funny book at the holidays and all the good, bad and ugly. If you are like me, and are tired of the rat race here are some reasons why you need to read this book. The title: Seriously, how can you resist a book with a title like that? You secretly want to punch all those over achievers that you know in the throat, but can't so now you can relate with someone who gets it by reading this book. You want validation for your feelings regarding the holidays. You need tips on how to handle that awkward moment when you open the door and find a gaggle of enthusiastic Christmas Carolers. How to handle holiday lights. What to do when it comes to the dreaded Cookie Exchange. You need tips on writing that annual Christmas letter. How to not be an overachiever when it comes to the Elf on the Shelf. How to survive the holiday season, and the other holidays in general without punching people in the throat. How not to act on Christmas day when you don't get what you really want, like a pretend Mcdonald's. You want to laugh at the holidays instead of stressing out! Reasons Not to Read This Book You love everything about the holiday season, and you can't stand the thought of others treating it sacrilegiously. You are a total holiday overachiever. You completely deck out your house inside and out. You love to bake dozens and dozens of cookies and exchange them. You love writing the holiday letter. You excel at doing the Elf on the Shelf and you are totally on board with the tips on this blog: Elf on the Shelf Ideas. You absolutely love it when carolers come to your door. You live to hear Christmas music. You live, breath and love the holiday season, no matter what. Seriously, this book is a must read for anyone who needs to know they aren't alone when it comes to the hassle of the holidays. I could totally relate to Ms. Mann's humorous posts. I admit, I hate opening the door and standing there while people sing Christmas carols, talk about awkward. Not to mention, I totally fail when it comes to the Elf on the Shelf, I forget to move him around. I am glad I am not the only one. If you want a wickedly funny read, grab this one. If you are a holiday enthusiast, this is not the book for you, and you will likely be on many people's list of people they want to punch in the throat. I had a great time, and I recommend this book for anyone with a edgy sense of humor. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review. [email protected] Day Ramblings.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lorilin

    I read People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges last year and really enjoyed it. That book was a bit rambling at points--and there were a couple of dud essays in there--but it did make me laugh. So I figured I would like the Spending the Holidays version, too. My only worry was that the one-note holiday theme would get old after the first few essays... Far from being boring or predictable, however, Spending the Holidays with People I read People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges last year and really enjoyed it. That book was a bit rambling at points--and there were a couple of dud essays in there--but it did make me laugh. So I figured I would like the Spending the Holidays version, too. My only worry was that the one-note holiday theme would get old after the first few essays... Far from being boring or predictable, however, Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat is actually BETTER than the original. Mann is definitely still clever, caustic, honest, and FUNNY. But I think she takes things to the next level in this one. She has really mastered the short story format. Her writing is tight, creative, and well-edited--no meandering or repetition. She packs the maximum amount of funny into the fewest words, and several of these essays are downright hilarious. I love "You Can Keep Your Cookies, I'm Just Here for the Booze." I can completely relate: I was always the only person in my family who didn't care for my aunt's special holiday cookies, and this still baffles me. How many different versions of dry sugar cookies can one person be expected to eat (AND pretend to enjoy)? Two more of my favorite essays are "Annual Christmas Letters: The Art of the Humblebrag" and "Suburban Mom's Endless Christmas Conversation Loop" As my kids get older, I have more opportunities to run into these ever-competitive and overachieving parents (mothers, especially). It can be INTENSE interacting with these people, and it sure is nice to know I'm not the only one out there who thinks this weird kid/life/exercise/organic eating/oil pulling braggy stuff can be a bit...much. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It's a quick, light read--easy to knock out all at once or in multiple sittings. If you've read and liked her other books, you will definitely want to read this one, too.

  11. 4 out of 5

    April

    I absolutely KNEW that I needed to read Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Yuletide Yahoos, Ho-Ho-Humblebraggers, and Other Seasonal Scourges which is essentially the longest title of all time ever, but you guys, this book is actually funnier than her first one. WHAT! I know! So, yeah, add this to your Christmas cart and get your read on. Read my review here I absolutely KNEW that I needed to read Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Yuletide Yahoos, Ho-Ho-Humblebraggers, and Other Seasonal Scourges which is essentially the longest title of all time ever, but you guys, this book is actually funnier than her first one. WHAT! I know! So, yeah, add this to your Christmas cart and get your read on. Read my review here

  12. 5 out of 5

    Meredith Spidel

    This book did exactly what I need a holiday book to do--lift me out of the hustle and bustle with a hefty dose of witty perspective to laugh the crazy away. Medicine for the harried soul along with the sweet gift of making you feel far more normal. Get your hands on this book!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Morris

    “Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat” is a memoir in essays about Christmas and other holidays. It will make you laugh, cry, cringe, feel sorry for the author, and ultimately, make you feel nostalgia. Most of the stories had me actually laughing out loud. Some of them made me snort. Quite a few of them left me wondering if we may be related. The point is: We have all been in her shoes, and we have also all been in the shoes of one of the other poor souls. No holiday is “Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat” is a memoir in essays about Christmas and other holidays. It will make you laugh, cry, cringe, feel sorry for the author, and ultimately, make you feel nostalgia. Most of the stories had me actually laughing out loud. Some of them made me snort. Quite a few of them left me wondering if we may be related. The point is: We have all been in her shoes, and we have also all been in the shoes of one of the other poor souls. No holiday is perfect, but it’s the funny stories of things gone that leave us longing for more. It’s this very fact that makes the book much more than a collection of funny stories. It has heart, and it is bound to touch the hearts of everyone with a fondness for holidays and families, in spite of all of the hassle they bring. “Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat” is well-written and a quick read. Sitting down with it will be a perfect break from the upcoming holiday rush. Also, it will make a great not-so-subtle gift for all of the “holiday overachievers” in your life. (Watch me get three copies.) This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    J

    Jen Mann's People I Want to Punch in the Throat is an example of blog to self pub to picked up by big publishing house working out well for some folks. Mann has found a topic that people can relate to and the type of self deprecating humor that makes her not sound holier than thou such that the book works ... in small snippets. The more concise she is, the better the story. The few times that Mann roams into longer territory, so too does the whole point of the tale. Thankfully the longer chapter Jen Mann's People I Want to Punch in the Throat is an example of blog to self pub to picked up by big publishing house working out well for some folks. Mann has found a topic that people can relate to and the type of self deprecating humor that makes her not sound holier than thou such that the book works ... in small snippets. The more concise she is, the better the story. The few times that Mann roams into longer territory, so too does the whole point of the tale. Thankfully the longer chapters are few and far between. I wouldn't want to plow through this book, but taken in chunks of two or three a day, it's somewhat charming and occasionally hilarious to the point of everyone staring at you on the bus. A solid book if one's holiday related foibles are your cup of reading tea (but don't get Mann started on Pumpkin Spice anything). Note: ARC received via Amazon Vine in exchange for review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dirty Dayna

    is this one of those books that sucks you into the couch and you lose track of what year it is? NO however it is that typical coffee table book that its fun to open it read a few lines and then carry on with your date I love the authors wit and sass most of all . I don't much care for her stories because they come off very spoiled brat like however the show stopper is whenever there is a lsit of something the morale of this book is .. we all HATE holidays... and we all LOVE them and no one knows is this one of those books that sucks you into the couch and you lose track of what year it is? NO however it is that typical coffee table book that its fun to open it read a few lines and then carry on with your date I love the authors wit and sass most of all . I don't much care for her stories because they come off very spoiled brat like however the show stopper is whenever there is a lsit of something the morale of this book is .. we all HATE holidays... and we all LOVE them and no one knows why

  16. 5 out of 5

    SallyHP

    Really funny and relatable. Her blog post about elf on the shelf was so funny! This is a quick, easy read but worth checking out.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Terra

    This book was a real hoot!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sandra "Jeanz"

    Wit, wisdom, traditions and comedy all rolled into one fantastic book, not just to be read around Christmas! INITIAL THOUGHTS I was feeling like I needed a funny, maybe even laugh out loud book. When it feels like everything is going wrong I look for a "cheerful" read and this one sounds like it may fit the bill. MY REVIEW I received an e-copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. The cover is dominated by the title which is a long one! The other item on the cover is a ginge Wit, wisdom, traditions and comedy all rolled into one fantastic book, not just to be read around Christmas! INITIAL THOUGHTS I was feeling like I needed a funny, maybe even laugh out loud book. When it feels like everything is going wrong I look for a "cheerful" read and this one sounds like it may fit the bill. MY REVIEW I received an e-copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. The cover is dominated by the title which is a long one! The other item on the cover is a gingerbread man. . with a shocked face and one leg bitten/broken off! I also love what for this review I will call the byline, maybe some will see it as a title extension, any how its the "Yuletide Yahoos, Ho-Ho-Humblebraggers, and other Seasonal Scourgers." part I love it, as it hints at the funny stories to come within the book! There is also a recommendation from another Author/Reviewer Jen Lancaster who wrote No Regrets . . .another book I think I may need to check out soon. Would the cover make me pick this one up from a book shelf? Being totally honest. . YES! It has an amusing cover and a punchy title (pardon the pun! lol) so it would attract my eye on a bookshelf amongst seasonal titles on a shelf, or amid the humor section in a bookstore. I'd definitely pick up this title for a flick through and probably purchase at least one copy as a fun gift for Christmas. This book has a great mixture of fun stories, comedy, and diary/memoir all rolled into one. Though the cover suggests this book to be about the season of Christmas, which it does cover but there are also other holidays and traditions included. One of the first things covered in the book is how many Christmas Tree's do you put up? Well Jen following the tradition of her own mother has more than one tree. Then there's type of decorations you put on them, the "posh" "do not touch" tree, a "snowman" tree, and a "decorations made by the children" tree. Of course there is also the Santa ornaments to be put out, and don't forget the children's tree's (yes Jen's daughter has more than one tree in her room, as Jen say's she is continuing the "tree obsession" tradition!). Jen covers the photograph with Santa, a tradition her mum began with her and her brother. Her mum of course always took them to the upmarket superstore Santa even though they maybe had to queue for a few hours! Jen in later years was trying to recapture the sentiment of the whole Santa photograph with herself and her brother as a gift to her mum. The only problem was neither Jen nor her brother had a lot of time, so obviously they didn't want to queue for hours and they had left having the photograph done until the last minute and ended up going to have their photograph taken with a rather tacky Santa who wanted Jen to sit on his knee, when she declined the offer and sort of perched in mid air, the cheeky Santa pinched her bottom! Another great story how Jen and her parents end up spending Christmas with her partners parents, and they have the "Christmas Dinner" her partners family have at a Chinese restaurant! Jen also recounts one of the Christmas Eve traditions her family do which is all visit her Uncle Olaf and Aunt Ruby. Uncle Olaf makes up a "new family trivia game" every year, the questions usually based around the family. Which means anyone new to the family obviously doesn't have a hope of winning! but the eldest member of the family, Grandmother who knows and can remember everything ends up the winner almost every year! The "prizes" on this particular year are Grandmothers old Christmas Tree decorations. As grandmother is going into a home and does not have room for so many trees etc. Jen's kids love the fact that the ornaments were grandmothers and take time to look through the whole box. Jen is trying to guide them into picking "more quality items" rather than what she may call "tat" when she see's two snowflake ornaments her children had lovingly made when they were toddlers, yes admittedly they aren't as pretty as they could of been but her children had made them with love. So Jen is understandably upset that these little treasures have been put in the "reject bin". Jen cannot hide how upset she is and confronts her grandmother who immediately blames Aunt Ruby as she was the one who helped sort out the best decorations for Grandmother to take with her to the home. Aunt Ruby obviously doesn't want to take the blame either so in the end Grandmother and Aunt Ruby put the blame on an Uncle that is not at the gathering! How convenient! I also adored the whole scene described by Jen of her children sorting out the Nativity Scenes they each have for their bedrooms. Jen's son insists "the baby in the basket" is Moses! and Jen just manages to sort out her sons confusion when her daughter enters the discussion holding the Joseph figure from her Nativity Set and she is persisting in calling that figure Jesus! So did I enjoy the book? Absolutely adored it! Great to know that other people also have cringeworthy holiday traditions! Would I recommend the book? Oh yes, if you are feeling bogged down by tradition or just need a funny uplifting book, then this is for you! Would I want to read another book about Christmas Traditions? I have to admit I love reading about Christmas Traditions so yes I guess I would love to read even more. Would I want to read another book by Jen Mann? I've taken a look at some of the other titles by Jen Mann and I think I'll be putting some of them on my Want To Read list for sure. FINAL THOUGHTS An amusing light read. Brilliant to dip in and out of perhaps on a bus journey or on your tea/lunch break at work. Makes you laugh out loud!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chris Torretta

    How to share my feelings about this book? It is so hilariously good. I wanted to cry it is so funny. I have so much of this highlighted to share and I cannot even choose which parts to share. The first reason this is great is because Jen Mann is snarky. I really understood but also felt her anecdotes. It is her life with her family during various holidays but it is really everyone's life. Who relishes recounting their favorite holiday story of the day their niece or granddaughter was a tyrannical, How to share my feelings about this book? It is so hilariously good. I wanted to cry it is so funny. I have so much of this highlighted to share and I cannot even choose which parts to share. The first reason this is great is because Jen Mann is snarky. I really understood but also felt her anecdotes. It is her life with her family during various holidays but it is really everyone's life. Who relishes recounting their favorite holiday story of the day their niece or granddaughter was a tyrannical, out-of-control toddler? My family, that's who. No Jen. It's every family, trust me!! The stories are freaking hilarious though! And it is all hilarity and PAIN that we go through during the holidays that make us laugh. Otherwise we are all going to just break down and cry. She is surrounded by a family of overachievers that go out of their way to do everything from decorate multiple trees, to buying the best gifts! It's not only her family though, it is every single person around her. Except her husband! He is Chinese and doesn't' get the whole "American" Christmas thing. This just causes more stress and hassle, which again is hilarious! There is a bit religious talk but it doesn't go overboard. Although I celebrate Christmas for reasons from before Christ, I understand why Christians celebrate his birthdate on that day. She talks strictly about Jesus's birth. "Right. And what is Chrismas about?" I asked. "Presents!" yelled Adolpha from her closet. "No!" I said, shaking my head. "No. We celebrate a birthday. Whose birthday are we celebrating? He was born in a stable ... a long time ago ... " "Grandpa?" Adolpha called. Jen also talks about shopping with her during the holidays. How she has children and she also has friends that do not and have no clue about what needs to be done on a daily basis to make your kids happy. "You guys, don't feel bad for me. My life is great. I have my bad-ass minivan, yoga pants for every day of the week, and a husband who is willing to buy front-loaders as his Christmas present. Not many husbands would do that." I was puzzled. Neither of them looked the least bit envious. In short: this entire book was hilarious. The only downside was that it is sometimes difficult to tell when her snarkiness starts and where it ends. When talking about something like religion, not knowing where someone is being sarcastic could make their point hiccup. Received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Fluff Smut & Murder

    Available: October 13, 2015 Thank you to NetGallery.com and to the publisher for the ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review. OMG. If Jen Lancaster spawned 2 children, she would morph into the amazing Jen Mann who I just discovered. I LOVE HER!!! I am clicking on her page at Amazon.com to get everything she has ever written (3 other books!) because she is putting my entire soul on a page and sharing it with the masses. Thank you Thank you Thank you Random House for the early birthday pr Available: October 13, 2015 Thank you to NetGallery.com and to the publisher for the ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review. OMG. If Jen Lancaster spawned 2 children, she would morph into the amazing Jen Mann who I just discovered. I LOVE HER!!! I am clicking on her page at Amazon.com to get everything she has ever written (3 other books!) because she is putting my entire soul on a page and sharing it with the masses. Thank you Thank you Thank you Random House for the early birthday present of a new author I can binge over!! What I loved: Did you not just read my first paragraph? I LOVED EVERYTHING!! She is snarky, sweary, honest, blunt and her life is so much like mine that I feel I have found my soul sister. Jen Mann made me remember so much of my past holiday experiences (McDonald’s toy!) that I haven’t thought of in years. What I didn’t love: Hello – you’ve written a book about my entire life and I’m not seeing any royalties??? What I learned: My house is bugged – how else did she mimic almost every one of my conversations in her book??!!??? Seriously – I’m just glad there is someone else who is as twisted as I am out there… Overall Grade: A+++

  21. 5 out of 5

    SheriC (PM)

    Middle class suburban mommy humor. I’m not the target audience. Or, according to the author’s intro, I must not have a sense of humor if I didn’t find her book hilarious. Audiobook, borrowed from my public library via Overdrive. Read by the author, which was probably a mistake. It might have benefitted from a professional performance. I read this for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, Square 8: December 12th - 24th: Book themes for Las Posadas: Read a book dealing with visits by family or frien Middle class suburban mommy humor. I’m not the target audience. Or, according to the author’s intro, I must not have a sense of humor if I didn’t find her book hilarious. Audiobook, borrowed from my public library via Overdrive. Read by the author, which was probably a mistake. It might have benefitted from a professional performance. I read this for The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season, Square 8: December 12th - 24th: Book themes for Las Posadas: Read a book dealing with visits by family or friends, or set in Mexico, –OR– with a poinsettia on the cover. –OR– a story where the main character is stranded without a place to stay, or find themselves in a 'no room at the Inn’ situation. Most of the essays dealt with holiday scenarios involving parties or celebrations at the homes of either the author or family/friends. Previous Updates: 11/26/17 52% Am I really only halfway done?

  22. 4 out of 5

    La La

    More like 2.5 stars. This isn't a story perse, it is a collection of the author's blog posts about different holidays spent with her friends and family. At points in the first half of the book I wanted to DNF because frankly it was boring, and swearing and being non-PC does not automatically make you funny; you actually have to be funny! Parts like eaves dropping on other moms conversing in a mall, and the fake Christmas "humblebrag" letter about the family with all the K names went on way too l More like 2.5 stars. This isn't a story perse, it is a collection of the author's blog posts about different holidays spent with her friends and family. At points in the first half of the book I wanted to DNF because frankly it was boring, and swearing and being non-PC does not automatically make you funny; you actually have to be funny! Parts like eaves dropping on other moms conversing in a mall, and the fake Christmas "humblebrag" letter about the family with all the K names went on way too long. The second half of the book was better, but not enough to save it from being less than three stars. Why anyone would think a reader would pay $11.99 for an ebook (ebooks of best seller novels are not usually that much) of hobbled together blog posts they can read for free on the writer's blog is beyond me. I was approved for this book via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sally Hannoush

    I couldn't wait to read this book because I enjoyed Jen Mann's other book "People I want to Punch in the Face." It has the same feeling of hanging out with a friend while I read. I had a great time hearing about more of her thoughts and life stories. She tells them well. This book is great to read straight through or break up into parts and read a little here and a little there. I love the "conversations" in her book. Some of her own memories take me back to my own. I couldn't wait to read this book because I enjoyed Jen Mann's other book "People I want to Punch in the Face." It has the same feeling of hanging out with a friend while I read. I had a great time hearing about more of her thoughts and life stories. She tells them well. This book is great to read straight through or break up into parts and read a little here and a little there. I love the "conversations" in her book. Some of her own memories take me back to my own.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christine Lussier

    I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. If you love Jen Mann, you will love her latest book. Absolutely had many laugh-out-loud moments! A funny, quick read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    At times, I felt like I was reading a blog by one of the Bad Moms leading ladies - in a good way. Because this is, in part, collected from her blog, there are a few repetitious moments, but it's nothing too bothersome. At times, I felt like I was reading a blog by one of the Bad Moms leading ladies - in a good way. Because this is, in part, collected from her blog, there are a few repetitious moments, but it's nothing too bothersome.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kandice

    2.5 stars

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mary Widdicks

    Spending The Holidays With People I Want To Punch In The Throat is the second collection of hilarious essays from author Jen Mann. In her first book, People I Want To Punch In The Throat, she laid waste to suburban scourges and Stepford wives. This time she’s taking on the pumpkin-spice latte-drinking, Black Friday shopping, Elf posing, holiday merrymakers by blending memories from her own ghosts of Christmases past with her usual brand of snarky observational humor. The first thing I do whenever Spending The Holidays With People I Want To Punch In The Throat is the second collection of hilarious essays from author Jen Mann. In her first book, People I Want To Punch In The Throat, she laid waste to suburban scourges and Stepford wives. This time she’s taking on the pumpkin-spice latte-drinking, Black Friday shopping, Elf posing, holiday merrymakers by blending memories from her own ghosts of Christmases past with her usual brand of snarky observational humor. The first thing I do whenever I pick up a new book is judge it by the cover. (I know, I’ve heard you’re not supposed to do that!) I received an advanced copy of Mann’s new book from the publisher in exchange for writing an honest review, and when I finally looked at the sad, broken gingerbread man residing beside her catchy subtitle (Yuletide Yahoos, Ho-Ho-Humblebraggers, and Other Seasonal Scourges) I began to worry. I love Christmas. My husband has to physically restrain me every year from decorating our house before Thanksgiving and I will cling to our lifeless Christmas tree until Valentine’s Day, or when the last brown needle falls to the floor, whichever comes first. I listen to Christmas music on repeat in my car (who cares if there are really only 15 good Christmas songs?), string twinkle lights from every surface in my home, put Santa hats on the dogs, dress my entire family in matching Christmas jammies, and force my poor, confused British husband to watch A Christmas Story exactly 243 times every year. How could I possibly offer an objective opinion on this book? What if it was about me? My fears turned out to be unwarranted as Mann’s book opens with some hilarious stories about her some-what disastrous memories of her childhood Christmases. Tantrums are thrown, surprises are ruined, and gifts are abandoned or left unfinished. Yet underneath these laugh-out-loud tales of Christmas chaos was a story about a family who loved Christmas so much they went to ridiculous lengths to make it as perfect as possible. Ah, perhaps the author wouldn’t want to punch me in the throat after all. Next Mann offers a glimpse into her current Christmas traditions as she grew up, left her parents’ house and started a family of her own. Despite the fact that as a young adult she had to run out one year on Christmas Eve to buy a plastic Christmas tree to please her mother who came to visit, forgets to move her Elf on the Shelf almost every night, and occupies the only “dark house” on a Street of Lights, her sarcasm is laced with a clear love for the holiday and her family traditions. She hooked me with the story about discovering that her husband-to-be had never seen the movie A Christmas Story until the day she was supposed to have Christmas dinner with his parents at a Chinese Restaurant. I’ve have spent many holidays trying to explain to housefuls of Europeans why this movie is a classic, and why it simply must be enjoyed ad nauseam every year. Despite my enthusiastic chortling in the background, my husband, too, considered having me committed after viewing it for the third time in a row on Christmas day. Mixed with her honest stories about her own Christmas traditions, are some of Mann’s signature snarky Punch Lists. My favorite was her reaction to the 101 Fun Ideas To Do With Your Elf On A Shelf. Despite my own enthusiasm for all things Yule, even I laughed out loud at the idea of placing a spare toilet on your front lawn for the sole purpose of posing a wooden elf. We all have our limits. And for those of you who aren’t big on the Christmas holiday, Mann saves the best for last for you with a series of hilarious anecdotes about other occasions she’s celebrated in the past, like the time she invited 100 clients to her house to celebrate Chinese New Year and why she will NEVER do that again. I’ll give you a hint, it involves a mystery stain on her duvet and a surprise behind a potted plant. Now I’m wondering what I have to do to get invited to a Throat Punch party. So if you’re a holiday humbugger or a Christmas cheer-magnet, there is something to love about Jen Mann’s new book, Spending The Holidays With People I Want To Punch In The Throat. It’s wit meets nostalgia meets National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and it would make a fabulous gift for friends, family, and suburban scourges alike this holiday season.

  28. 5 out of 5

    I'd So Rather Be Reading {Nat}

    This was such a fun read! I love to read Jen's blog: People I Want to Punch in the Throat and as soon as her book was released, I knew I had to read it. I love Jen's blog for her humor and snarky writing. She often says exactly what I'm thinking, and she's not afraid to speak her mind on anything. That's a trait I really admire! Jen's book is about the holidays (obviously). I think that the inspiration for her book came from her hilarious blog post about the Elf on the Shelf (read that post here) This was such a fun read! I love to read Jen's blog: People I Want to Punch in the Throat and as soon as her book was released, I knew I had to read it. I love Jen's blog for her humor and snarky writing. She often says exactly what I'm thinking, and she's not afraid to speak her mind on anything. That's a trait I really admire! Jen's book is about the holidays (obviously). I think that the inspiration for her book came from her hilarious blog post about the Elf on the Shelf (read that post here). In fact, if you like Jen's Elf on the Shelf post, you'll love her book. Her book is full of essays about the holidays, some of them satirical, all of them hilarious. She covers topics like cookie exchanges and the annual holiday letters (which are actually opportunities to brag about everything your perfect family has done over the past year). I love Jen's open, honest writing and I love her perspective on things. It's so nice to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way about many parts of the holidays! I'm really glad I read this book and really enjoyed it. My one complaint is that it was quite short for the price. I wanted more: more laughs, more rants, more from Jen. I'm definitely going to be reading and buying her next book!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kristina Aziz

    The author starts this book off in a way that implies she's assuming you've read her last book. This is not really an issue if, you know, you did. But if this is the first book you've read of her it comes off a bit cocky and ridiculous. The saving grace for this, though, is that I found out on the very first page that pumpkin spice EVERYTHING gets on both of our nerves. As I went on, I got used to the author's voice and was able to focus on the stories themselves, which range from funny to exposi The author starts this book off in a way that implies she's assuming you've read her last book. This is not really an issue if, you know, you did. But if this is the first book you've read of her it comes off a bit cocky and ridiculous. The saving grace for this, though, is that I found out on the very first page that pumpkin spice EVERYTHING gets on both of our nerves. As I went on, I got used to the author's voice and was able to focus on the stories themselves, which range from funny to exposing. This is the kind of book that becomes of writers who take a lot of stock into the phrase "be nice, or I'll write you into my next book" Overall: this type of writing seems better suited for a blog than a book. I most likely wouldn't spend money on this book, despite the stories being interesting and short. But the thing is, I'm not sure I would even borrow it at a library. There are too many other books I'd want to read. The saving grace: I work in a call center with a lot of cynical people who would probably not hate this as a gift. Thank you NetGalley for the complimentary e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Norine Dworkin-mcdaniel

    When you've reached your limit on the seasonal treacle dished out by the Hallmark Channel, et al., lock yourself in the closet and let yourself gorge on this deliciously snarky holiday treat by humorist Jen Mann. Filled with seasonal goofs and gaffes, crazy faux pas and hilarious f*ck-ups, this is the anti-holiday reader for those who understand that Thanksgiving to New Year’s is the most stressful time of the year ... and that striving for "perfection" is an invitation to disaster. Sharing her When you've reached your limit on the seasonal treacle dished out by the Hallmark Channel, et al., lock yourself in the closet and let yourself gorge on this deliciously snarky holiday treat by humorist Jen Mann. Filled with seasonal goofs and gaffes, crazy faux pas and hilarious f*ck-ups, this is the anti-holiday reader for those who understand that Thanksgiving to New Year’s is the most stressful time of the year ... and that striving for "perfection" is an invitation to disaster. Sharing her tales of celebrations gone south from childhood through the recent past, Mann skewers everyone from her penny-pinching Hubs and Christmas-besotted mom to skeevy mall Santas, over-achieving Elf-on-the-Shelfers, insufferable humble-braggers, and even herself. She gleefully laces her stories of holiday hum-buggery with snark that's tart without being Grinch-y. The result is a delightfully wicked reminder that no matter how much our own festive attempts may miss the mark, things could always be worse. Or hysterically funny.

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