People I Want to Punch in the Throat Review
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Unabridged digital audiobook
Runtime: 5 hours, 22 minutes
Read by Renée Chambliss

We’ve all met them: the crazy, obsessive, judgmental people who make us consider going off the grid and living our lives in seclusion. But it seems that, once you have children, you meet even more. And in the audio edition of People I Want to Punch in the Throat, author Jen Mann tackles some of the worst of them.

In this hilariously irreverent audiobook adaptation of her popular blog, Mann offers up a collection of outrageous essays that take a look at the strange creatures that you may encounter at some point on your journey as a suburban mom. These include (but are not limited to): overambitious dance moms, garage-salers (of various varieties), play group dictators, the delightful moms of sadistic kindergarteners, and perfectly put-together “Dolce moms.” But she also discusses her life as a wife and mother, starting from the very beginning: meeting her husband.

Admittedly, the book gets off to a slow start. Though Mann’s story about her early days with her husband has its amusing moments, it doesn’t seem to fit within the theme of the book—nor does the chapter on her loyal cleaning lady. Once she skips ahead to her adventures in motherhood, however, the stories get crazier, her observations more hysterically biting.

Of course, your appreciation of this book will depend on your own attitude toward motherhood—and life in general. If you run your household like a tiny, organic-fed corporation, you’ll find it absolutely maddening—and quite possibly offensive. But if you tend to fly through life by the seat of your comfiest pants, just doing the best you can in your role as parent as you look on in awe, fear, and morbid fascination at the women who seem to have it all together, you’ll most likely relate—and you’ll find yourself laughing out loud at each ridiculous (yet totally realistic) scenario.

Each chapter is funny because it’s true. If you’ve got kids, there’s a very good chance that you’ve been judged, guilted, and shamed by people who don’t agree with your parenting choices. You’ve met many of the uptight, judgmental, and just plain clueless people in this book. And, if nothing else, listening to these stories will make you laugh a little more about your own experiences—while reminding you that you’re definitely not alone.

After a long day of carpools, play dates, and PTA meetings, People I Want to Punch in the Throat will most likely make you laugh until you cry. Once you finally get the kids to bed, pour yourself a glass of wine and give it a listen.

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