I've recently discovered NetGalley, a website where reviewers can receive copies of books from publishers in exchange for honest feedback. I need more books like I need a hole in the head, so naturally, I signed up. I was perusing the offerings last week and came across blogger/author Jen Mann's new book, People I Want to Punch in the Throat. Random House-Ballentine was kind enough to accept my request to review Mann's book.
Let's start with the title. When you go for the jugular and title your book, People I Want to Punch in the Throat, you risk coming across as harsh or bitchy. It could alienate readers. This is unless, your reader "gets you". Mann is my kind of people. Like me, she is a bit of a non-comformist and an introvert. I don't actually want to punch people in the throat and I don't think that she does either. It's just that it's a darn good phrase when you're fed up with other people. Plus, as far as books go, it's an attention grabbing title.
Mann is the mother of two young children living in the suburbs in Kansas. Much of her frustrations are directed towards other parents and the hyper-competitve nature of parenting in her neighborhood. If you've watched a TLC Reality show, you get the idea. I don't have kids, but I still found her book to be highly entertaining, primality due to Mann's writing style. She writes in a way that made me feel like she was telling me stories over a bottle of wine. Much like Blogger, Jen Lancaster, I have a feeling that if I met Mann, we would be good friends. She has a personable writer's voice.
Mann's collection of suburban complaints is very funny. I read it in less than twenty-four hours and it was so entertaining, that I often had to pause to read sections aloud to my husband. We both agreed that if we had kids, I'd be a mom very similar to Mann, especially when it comes to moaning about missing out on Survivor! And no amount of peer pressure will ever make me do crafts!
I've just started following Mann's blog and I will definitely check out her other books. I think that Mann's books might have enough of a broad appeal, that they could be recommended to friends that don't normally take the time to read books. It's was very entertaining!