Is That The Shirt You're Wearing?


Non-Fiction - Memoir
286 Pages
Reviewed on (not set)
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Author Biography

Kristen Hansen Brakeman’s comedic essays have appeared in the New York Times Motherlode, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Working Mother Magazine, Scary Mommy, and Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop, where she is currently the Humor Writer of the Month.

She has appeared on Huff Post Live to endlessly debate the use of the word “Ma’am,” and is a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books. Real humans have compared her writing style to both Erma Bombeck and Nora Ephron, but possibly they were intoxicated at the time.

Brakeman works behind-the-scenes on television variety shows and lives in the suburbs of Los Angeles with her husband, and three daughters.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lucinda E Clarke for Readers' Favorite

Is That the Shirt You’re Wearing? by Kristen Brakeman is a collection of short essays, most of them previously published in various magazines and periodicals. They chart the progress of the long summer holidays when all three of her children are home, two teenagers and one still at primary school. As a freelance editor working in television, and a full time mother, the author is fully occupied as she bounces from one activity to another disaster in a desperate bid to hold it all together. To add to the chaos, she has worries about her own mother’s health and feels guilty she is not giving her enough attention. Throw into the mix first one, and then a second dog, a cat, and the lack of funds to pay for the very expensive college her eldest daughter has set her heart on. There is a countdown at the beginning of each insert as the holiday period blissfully comes closer to ending and the children’s return to school.

In Is That the Shirt You’re Wearing? by Kristen Brakeman, the author covers a wide range of subjects, from teenage behaviour, to softball mums socializing, to vacations, visits to the vets, meal times, video games and many, many more. I loved this book - her writing reminds me of Erma Bombeck and I laughed out loud at page after page. A mother after my own heart who has a down to earth approach to her children. Many of the children’s remarks were not only funny, but also insightful. So, this is a humorous book, but it also raises many issues that made me stop and think as well. Welcoming a same sex family, the emails about the proposed fund-raising event, the reticence over returning a pair of shoes the wrong size, and lots of other topics. Yes, these are everyday events we all face, but in this book they are given a delightful twist. Recommended reading, especially for the days when your children are leapfrogging over the furniture, swinging from the chandeliers, and the dog has just thrown up on the Persian carpet. Ignore it all, download this book, and lose yourself in it. A well deserved 5 stars.