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Is That The Shirt You're Wearing?: A Memoir in Essays

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The humorous essays in the memoir, Is That The Shirt You're Wearing?, are woven together by journal entries from two summers in the author's life when absolutely everything happened. The essays address a diverse range of topics, from Brakeman hating being called -Ma'am- (and proposing a wonderful alternative), to accidentally teaching her seven year old daughter to swear; f The humorous essays in the memoir, Is That The Shirt You're Wearing?, are woven together by journal entries from two summers in the author's life when absolutely everything happened. The essays address a diverse range of topics, from Brakeman hating being called -Ma'am- (and proposing a wonderful alternative), to accidentally teaching her seven year old daughter to swear; from discovering the perils of shopping in the loud and stinky Hollister store, to being scolded by a Very Important Singer. Each essay is introduced by a journal entry that provides a humorous or poignant (yet always very relatable) update on the lives of her husband, three daughters, and elderly, yet still guilt-inducing mom. The journal entries emphasize the cyclical nature of life, and trace the author's bumpy transformation from chronic planner to one who discovers the joy of living in the moment before she runs out of moments. This is not a mommy blogger whining about her kids. Instead it's a slice-of-life of a typical American family, a chronicle of the ups and downs of modern life. Readers of Brakeman's previously published essays have compared her writing to that of Nora Ephron. Though the humor is often wry in tone, ultimately people will find this collection to be life affirming. When not writing, mothering, daughter-ing, or wife-ing, Brakeman works behind-the-scenes on variety television shows. Also, she is a nice person and eats her vegetables. PS. She lies about the vegetables.


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The humorous essays in the memoir, Is That The Shirt You're Wearing?, are woven together by journal entries from two summers in the author's life when absolutely everything happened. The essays address a diverse range of topics, from Brakeman hating being called -Ma'am- (and proposing a wonderful alternative), to accidentally teaching her seven year old daughter to swear; f The humorous essays in the memoir, Is That The Shirt You're Wearing?, are woven together by journal entries from two summers in the author's life when absolutely everything happened. The essays address a diverse range of topics, from Brakeman hating being called -Ma'am- (and proposing a wonderful alternative), to accidentally teaching her seven year old daughter to swear; from discovering the perils of shopping in the loud and stinky Hollister store, to being scolded by a Very Important Singer. Each essay is introduced by a journal entry that provides a humorous or poignant (yet always very relatable) update on the lives of her husband, three daughters, and elderly, yet still guilt-inducing mom. The journal entries emphasize the cyclical nature of life, and trace the author's bumpy transformation from chronic planner to one who discovers the joy of living in the moment before she runs out of moments. This is not a mommy blogger whining about her kids. Instead it's a slice-of-life of a typical American family, a chronicle of the ups and downs of modern life. Readers of Brakeman's previously published essays have compared her writing to that of Nora Ephron. Though the humor is often wry in tone, ultimately people will find this collection to be life affirming. When not writing, mothering, daughter-ing, or wife-ing, Brakeman works behind-the-scenes on variety television shows. Also, she is a nice person and eats her vegetables. PS. She lies about the vegetables.

41 review for Is That The Shirt You're Wearing?: A Memoir in Essays

  1. 4 out of 5

    Juls

    I will say up front that I am a friend of Ms. Brakeman and we've known each other for many years. I have always been a fan of her writing so when I learned that she was publishing her first book, I was happy to support. That's what friends do for each other, right? What friends don't have to do is try and tell everyone to read her book. If you're a mom, a mom of daughters or sons (Ms. Brakeman has 3 girls), a mom who grew up in the 80's & 90's, if you've had parents, if you have a sense of humor I will say up front that I am a friend of Ms. Brakeman and we've known each other for many years. I have always been a fan of her writing so when I learned that she was publishing her first book, I was happy to support. That's what friends do for each other, right? What friends don't have to do is try and tell everyone to read her book. If you're a mom, a mom of daughters or sons (Ms. Brakeman has 3 girls), a mom who grew up in the 80's & 90's, if you've had parents, if you have a sense of humor about yourself, your parenting and your kids, you MUST read this book. This book is a collection of essays so it's a quick and fast read. Ms. Brakeman writes about her kids, her observations on parenting, work, her parents, and family with grace, insight, fun and great wit. I can't tell you how many times I laughed out loud. I nodded my head thinking "My girls have done the exact same". Ms. Brakeman's writing style is easy. She gets you interested in the story right away and you're right there with her. Most of the essays are slice of life and humorous, some are more serious but the reader can definitely relate to every one of her stories and emotions. I can't recommend this book highly enough.

  2. 5 out of 5

    ElizrdbthSpeaks

    I love how these are written, little tidbits ... I find in my life that humor gets me through it all, even the most hard/tough/difficult times ... I know we all have different lives, but at moments they can be oh so similar or even we might go in similar situation but in different ages of our lives ... but it is fun to see we can relate & sympathize or commiserate over that similar life situations!! Please tell me that made sense? LOL!! All you need to know is I love KHB style of writing and thi I love how these are written, little tidbits ... I find in my life that humor gets me through it all, even the most hard/tough/difficult times ... I know we all have different lives, but at moments they can be oh so similar or even we might go in similar situation but in different ages of our lives ... but it is fun to see we can relate & sympathize or commiserate over that similar life situations!! Please tell me that made sense? LOL!! All you need to know is I love KHB style of writing and this book was priceless, precious and so so much fun to read!! I LOVED IT. thank you for the chance to read this. I love this book cover too!! I can't wait to read more from KHB very very soon. ( ;

  3. 5 out of 5

    Barb Ristine

    "Ten weeks remain. It’s 9:00 AM and my captors are still sleeping." Wait-- is this a spy thriller to be read on the beach this summer? No, it’s the opening to Kristen Brakeman’s funny exploration of family life. I’ve been reading Kristen Brakeman’s comic essays on motherhood and life for several years now. I received an advanced reader copy of this book to review. She’s published many satirical articles and essays in such media outlets as the Huffington Post and The New York Times, so I expected h "Ten weeks remain. It’s 9:00 AM and my captors are still sleeping." Wait-- is this a spy thriller to be read on the beach this summer? No, it’s the opening to Kristen Brakeman’s funny exploration of family life. I’ve been reading Kristen Brakeman’s comic essays on motherhood and life for several years now. I received an advanced reader copy of this book to review. She’s published many satirical articles and essays in such media outlets as the Huffington Post and The New York Times, so I expected her new book, Is that The Shirt You’re Wearing? to be funny and snarky. She calls this book “A memoir in Essays” and has included many of the essays I’ve read over the years. What I didn’t expect was the heartbreaking poignancy of the personal stories she weaves in between those essays. These stories are presented as journal entries spanning two tumultuous years of her life. Brakeman has a sarcastic voice that is a pleasure to read. Her observations on being a parent are so spot–on that I thought she may be eavesdropping on some of my interactions with my own family. Her parenting misadventures include inadvertently teaching her youngest daughter to swear and reluctantly hosting a pre-teen sleep-over party. She even lies to her children about the family vacation plans--telling them they’ll be staying in a yurt in the woods-- because that will make their actual trip to a lakeside cabin in northern California seemed luxurious. Mothers everywhere can recognize themselves in Brakeman’s stories. Who hasn’t pulled a fifteen-year-old dressy outfit from the back of the closet, convinced it will still fit? Brakeman’s self-deprecating humor shines whether she’s describing a home-hair dye disaster or the horrifying discovery of an unwanted chin hair. In between these hilarious moments, Brakeman chronicles the trials and frustrations of everyday life. There’s never enough money or time, children and husbands have health challenges, and family pets are less than adorable at times. She explores the difficulty of dealing with an aging parent, an experience many of us have faced. But throughout the book, Brakeman’s hilarious observations had me laughing out loud. Is That the Shirt You’re Wearing is a witty reminder that being a wife, mother, and daughter is a universal experience that’s best accompanied with laughter, and perhaps a glass of wine.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I received an advanced reader copy of "Is that the Shirt You're Wearing?" Kristen Hansen Brakeman manages to capture both humor and grace in this well told memoir of every-day family adventures. You can't help but smile as Kristen contemplates escaping her kid "Captors"or her aversion to being called Ma'am. I received an advanced reader copy of "Is that the Shirt You're Wearing?" Kristen Hansen Brakeman manages to capture both humor and grace in this well told memoir of every-day family adventures. You can't help but smile as Kristen contemplates escaping her kid "Captors"or her aversion to being called Ma'am.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karen Berger

    This book is as real page turner. I especially enjoyed its humor and candor.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pat

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lucianna Wolfstone

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hanna

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michele

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Phelan

  13. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  14. 4 out of 5

    Laura Jones

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Brakeman

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jane Haderlein

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melly Mel

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Cisneros

  19. 5 out of 5

    Claire

  20. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  21. 5 out of 5

    Donna Chadwick

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

  23. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Piper

  25. 4 out of 5

    SALLY WHITE

  26. 4 out of 5

    Betty

  27. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Bradley

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christie

  30. 5 out of 5

    Erin Slaven

  31. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Reader

  32. 5 out of 5

    Kat

  33. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Kennedy

  34. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

  35. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Muscat

  36. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

  37. 4 out of 5

    Diane

  38. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

  39. 4 out of 5

    Edgar Connell

  40. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Farr

  41. 5 out of 5

    Wanda C

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