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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?, a 2018 Thurber Prize Semi-Finalist, 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 h The humorous essays in the memoir, Is That The Shirt You're Wearing?, a 2018 Thurber Prize Semi-Finalist, 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?, a 2018 Thurber Prize Semi-Finalist, 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 h The humorous essays in the memoir, Is That The Shirt You're Wearing?, a 2018 Thurber Prize Semi-Finalist, 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.

35 review for Is That The Shirt You're Wearing?: a memoir in essays

  1. 5 out of 5

    Karen Laven

    Holy cow .... You want real? Read on. True. Real. Sigh. Beware. You will wake your snoring partner three times within five minutes with your guffaws. Kristen has the spark we all wish we had. Bitch.

  2. 5 out of 5

    CB Davis

    Hilarious... even if you don’t have kids I’ve got no children, but Brakeman makes you laugh with her quick witted stories of motherhood and family. Loved it!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Louise

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Schulberger

  5. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Santistevan

  6. 5 out of 5

    Linda B McCabe

  7. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  8. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

  9. 4 out of 5

    Joy Cagil

  10. 4 out of 5

    Christine Reilly Patrick Reilly

  11. 4 out of 5

    wendy eddy

  12. 4 out of 5

    steen

  13. 5 out of 5

    notcooking

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carole Hackett

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marianne Cook

  16. 5 out of 5

    Terp Evans

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kathy C

  18. 5 out of 5

    Desmond Noel

  19. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joyce Wishner

  22. 5 out of 5

    Camden R. Carr

  23. 5 out of 5

    Prashant Tanavade

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michele Gardiner

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mary Jones

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michaila

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kandre

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lori B Levy

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jaider Garces

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vickie

  31. 4 out of 5

    Christine Dahl

  32. 4 out of 5

    AmethystKat

  33. 4 out of 5

    Krystal

  34. 4 out of 5

    john rogers

  35. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Blanco

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