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I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids Hardcover – April 16, 2013
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“If you've ever been told you'd ‘change your mind’ about anything in life—when you knew that you wouldn't—this book is for you. Jen has a unique, fresh and funny way of reminding people that sometimes, you really do know what's best for you. I’m glad she didn’t change her mind about writing this smart, brave, and heartfelt book.” (Sarah Colonna comedian and New York Times bestselling author of Life As I Blow It)
“Boldly funny without being anti-mom.” (InTouch magazine)
“Very funny. . . . the core of the book is about not wanting to have children, and the ways in which society gets up in your face about it . . . I laughed out loud several times.” (TheHairpin.com)
“Candid, funny stuff.” (Sacramento Bee)
"A standup comedian's hilarious explanation for why, gee, thanks for asking, but she isn't going to change her mind about not having children." (Tampa Bay Times)
“Full of humor, wisdom, and laugh out loud moments.” (The Kentucky Democrat)
“Kirkman puts her comedic talent to use by snarking to her readers about the ridiculousness of baby culture, overly-enthusiastic parents, and total strangers who feel it necessary to publicly pry. And since it’s a good bet that those readers feel the same way, this book may very well strike a funnybone.” (Savannah Morning News)
“A seriously humorous stance on deciding not to have kids. . . . With the novelist’s penchant for self-flagellation and exploitation, and jokes punctuating at least every page, this book is ideal for the woman who needs a quick comeback for those who criticize her about not wanting kids, or for those just looking to laugh.” (Publisher's Weekly)
“Between these charming, cringe-worthy, and badass tales, Kirkman successfully convinces us she isn’t meant for motherhood. It’s safe to say she’s much better suited to birthing books.” (ThirdBeatMagazine.com)
“This book takes you through the journey of Jen Kirkman’s misunderstood child-free life. I’m now convinced of two things: Jen is freaking hilarious and she should definitely not have a baby—she should have a Valium.” (Whitney Cummings creator of Two Broke Girls and Whitney)
“Jen Kirkman’s wickedly original yet totally universal debut about the expectations of others kicks so much ass you'll agree with her even when you don’t. Not for the stupidly over-sensitive. For lovers of great!” (Greg Behrendt #1 New York Times bestselling author of He’s Just Not That Into You)
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
I've seen some people take shots at Jen Kirkman for being a child hater. If you read this book, you'll see that Jen doesn't hate kids at all. There was recently a story from the UK about a woman in her 50s who took to the press to tell the world that her greatest regret in life was having kids. (...).dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2303588/The-mother-says-having-children-biggest-regret-life.html).
That is someone who hates kids. Jen's story is quite the opposite. She knows she doesn't want kids and not having any is the most responsible thing she could have done.
But as much as the book is a thoughtful analysis of a person's life and how she is, indeed, very happy in a life without children (or a spouse), it's also an endearing and hilarious story about a person navigating her way through her own mind.
I'm a married guy without kids and this book really spoke to me. It's not just for women (with or without kids) and it really isn't like the books from others who work with Chelsea Handler (I think it's a lot more thoughtful and a lot less of the "I got drunk and slept around" theme). It's very funny, but not in a bawdy or crass way. Like her comedy, Jen Kirkman's book finds its humor in observational story telling with a positive, yet sardonic, bent.
This is a book for anyone who hasn't conformed, in one way or another, to what society expects of us.
I greatly enjoyed this book, and I predict I will be rereading it soon!
Of course, if you are a fan of any of the Chelsea Lately authors, or Chelsea Handler herself, buying this book is a no-brainer. If you aren't a fan of Chelsea Lately, don't let that stop you from getting this. If you have ever felt like an outsider, or worried that you will die alone on the kitchen floor, or worn bell bottoms to school in 1985, or had a fear of airplanes falling out of the sky onto you, or had horrible interactions with teenagers, or tried to enjoy a vacation at a adults-only pool that was full of kids, you will enjoy this book. (I know, some of those situations are pretty specific, but I don't know you, so maybe you had those situations too)
I hope Jen Kirkman writes more books because I feel like there is plenty more to be mined from her 'happy life without kids'.
I have a female friend at work who told me she never wants to have children. And, as I was reading this book, I was amazed at how much I sounded like some of the people described within. I said things like "But you'd be a great mom", and "But you might regret this later on", and "You're 32 years old. What if you change your mind when it's too late?". I have, of course, since apologized to my friend and I have this book to thank for opening my eyes.
Jen Kirkman is funny. And this book is no exception to her self deprecating and completely honest brand of comedy. Being on stage allows for some wiggle room when it comes to honesty. People expect to laugh and if exaggerating the facts gets that response, it's all fair game. Which is fine! But writing a book always seems to bring out a more down to earth feel from comedians and this book is no exception.
You just feel you're getting to know Jen in a way that's separate from her stand up, while maintaining a sharp sense of humor. She hets her point across without sounding condescending. And, although people don't give her the same response, she never once comes across as bitter or "I'm about to run amock with a meat cleaver" angry. As a matter of fact, she says several times throughout the book that she UNDERSTANDS why women choose to have kids. She GETS it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Jen Kirkman’s books are highly relatable to anyone paying attention to the pressures of modern society. Read morePublished 16 days ago by M
"I like that Hillary has murdered a lot of people" Jen KirkmanPublished 18 days ago by geoff keller
This book had very little to do with being childfree and a lot to do with the author's thoughts about her own mental health issues. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jackie
Funny and so true! It was an easy and enjoyable read! I thought that I was the only one that felt this way! It made my life decision so much easier! Every woman... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Missy
I really enjoyed this book. Witty and insightful writing. Very enjoyable read!Published 2 months ago by Mrs. Ken
Ohmygosh I loved this book. It was amazing on a relatable level as someone who also doesn't want to have kids, and it was incredibly funny and made me laugh out loud at multiple... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kate Cole
As a relatively new listener to stand-up comedian Jen Kirkman's I Seem Fun podcast, I decided to give her first memoir a try when I ordered her latest (I KNOW WHAT I'M DOING AND... Read morePublished 2 months ago by m.
Good book, great read for women who choose to not have children.Published 3 months ago by Patricia L Mckenrick