Book Reviews · Essays · Memoirs · Non-fiction

People I Want to Punch in the Throat

I may be in the minority here, but I love reading nonfiction. When I was a kid, I really enjoyed books about different time periods and cultures, and was especially interested in ancient civilizations. That hasn’t changed a whole lot since becoming an adult, and most of my choices for nonfiction reading (probably about 80%) are either history or anthropology books. The other 20% of my nonfiction reading is pretty evenly split between biographies, memoirs, true crime, and essay collections.

While a lot of my nonfiction reading focuses on serious topics, there are times when I just need to read something that makes me laugh. There are a tremendous number of funny memoirs and essay collections that you can find, which are an absolute pleasure to read. One of my favorites is People I Want to Punch in the Throat, by Jen Mann.

People I Want to Punch in the Throat is a collection of humorous essays that always manages to make me laugh. Each of Mann’s essays focuses on a different topic, such as: meeting her husband in an AOL chatroom, reasons why she and “the Hubs” never get along with their neighbors, picking up her son from school while wearing pajamas, parties where people try to sell you things, and mothers who go way overboard when it comes to their kids’ birthday parties (as well as Christmas in July, gender reveal parties, etc).

One of the things I love about People I Want to Punch in the Throat is how relatable the essays are. I’ve read the book several times now, and I always find myself thinking, “I know that person,” or “That’s so true!” That’s part of what makes this book (and, in fact, the other two books in the series) so much fun to read.

People I Want to Punch in the Throat is definitely written for an adult audience. The book does contain some profanity, and there are a couple of essays that include content that is a bit more adult in nature, such as when the author and her husband discovered that the 4th of July party they’d been invited to was actually a swinger’s party. But I actually think the book is easier to relate to if you are an adult, particularly if you are a parent (or have a career where you work with children). Several of the essays talk about marriage and raising kids, as well as having to deal with other parents.

If you have the opportunity to read People I Want to Punch in the Throat, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. You might also consider checking out a couple of Jen Mann’s other collections of essays, Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat and Working With People I Want to Punch in the Throat. These two books are also hilarious.

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