Raising newborn twins in Bangkok wasn't easy, but it was certainly colorful, according to Leanne Shirtliffe's raucously entertaining memoir. From eating deep-fried bugs to entangling with her blunt French hairdresser, Shirtliffe describes parenting abroad with a snappy zest, which is matched by Trudie Kessler, who lends a breezy tone to Shirtliffe's witty observations, ranging from astonishment to self-deprecation. Her examination of post-partum depression interjects a needed dose of poignancy, as does her self-described "sappy" realizations on the joy of motherhood. The locale may be different, but parents will find similarly relatable and hilarious experiences in Don't Lick the Minivan.
As a woman used to traveling and living the high life in Bangkok, Leanne Shirtliffe recognized the constant fodder for humor while pregnant with twins in Asia's sin city. But in spite of deep-fried bug cuisine and nurses who cover newborn bassinets with plastic wrap, Shirtliffe manages to keep her babies alive for a year with help from a Coca-Cola deliveryman, several waitresses, and a bra factory. Then she and her husband return home to the isolation of North American suburbia.
In Don't Lick the Minivan, Shirtliffe captures the bizarre aspects of parenting in her edgy, honest voice. She explores the hazards of everyday life with children such as:
A delayed encounter with postpartum depression helps Shirtliffe to realize that even if she can't teach her kids how to tie their shoelaces, she's a good enough mom. At least good enough to start saving for her twins' college - eh, therapy - fund. And possibly her own. Crisply written, Don't Lick the Minivan will have parents laughing out loud and nodding in agreement. Shirtliffe's memoir might not replace a therapist, but it is a lot cheaper.
©2013 Leanne Shirtliffe (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
"Leanne Shirtliffe writes with hilarity and poignancy as to the trials and pains (literally) of motherhood. She is our new Erma Bombeck!" (Elizabeth Boyle, New York Times best-selling author)
I don't review every book--only books I feel strongly about--hence the many 4-5 star vs 1-2 star reviews. Just my opinions--hope they help.
Humor is an odd thing. I know from the other reviews I read that many people found this to be hysterically funny. I was really looking forward to a light-hearted upbeat listen. The problem was that I just didn't think it was funny at all. It all sounded forced. To my ear the narration was halting and strained. I would seriously suggest you listen to the audio sample carefully before download. Can't recommend.
I expected laugh out loud funny. Instead, all I could think was, please let it end. The material in this book is no more or less funny than anything any parent experiences.
Thank you for sharing your memories. This is a sweet story sprinkled with humor. I think the reader sounds older than the age of the mother in the story. Voice is trying too hard. Story is cut though.
The stories in this book have the potential to be funny -the author certainly doesn't lack for humorous material- but the way they're written just sounds like the humor is forced, which leaves the episodes themselves sounding very commonplace. Plus the narrator didn't do a good job with humorous inflection, which might have helped, but instead left the stories very dry.
I am not really great with reviews since I like everything and suspend reality quickly but I do it anyways. Umpire and classic books yay
As a parent of twins myself, I could relate many times with the author about the trials of double to fun. Of course, as a father,I related more to Chris. There are a lot of interesting stories which cause a chuckle but a lot of it seems like a collection of blog posts. I don't want to critique parenting styles as every parent does it different since kids don't have an instruction manual that comes out after the placentas and she seems to be doing well for her kids.
The reaction of mom and Chris to her kids engraving their names into the back of the minivan with a rock seems like something my kids would do. Thank goodness they never thought of it.
The scene in Bangkok where they don't really know where the babies are after being handed off to a group of women who wanted to hold the babies. I can relate to that.
The conclusions of the author are pretty good but I really was expecting more statements you never thought you would say. My wife thought of putting together a list of saying she had said through 4 kids and I thought more of these would be in here. I guess it's expectations and shouldn't hurt the overall view of this book. I do think this is targeted more towards moms than me and that's where I think I didn't catch everything.
This was a fun, easy listen. I think most parents of young children will be able to find some stories in this book that they can relate to. Nothing in this audio book had me laughing out loud, but it definitely put a smile on my face.
I listen to audible books at bedtime as I'm falling asleep. It made me laugh so much, that I had to stop listening to it a number of times, just so that I could fall asleep. I just wanted to keep listening and laughing, but it kept me awake.
GREAT intonation in her voice!
I wanted to, but didn't have time.
middle, not the best, not the worst book I have listened to.
poor recitation, flat, no emotion, choppy, with pauses where there should not be any. Poor narration distracts from the humor that the author wishes to portray
This was a poor listen, not because of the content, rather the poor naration .
Hilarious, funny, heartwarming
How to laugh at myself, my children, and life in general
This book was hilarious. I could relate to the author as a woman and as a Canadian - not as a mother (since I do not have children yet). Her details of giving birth and raising children in Thailand were both universal and unique in scope, and her hilarious descriptions of parenting coupled with her "sappy files" provided a wonderful counterbalance.
Loved the story . Laughed the whole way through . The narrator was brilliant putting on different voices for the different characters. Definitely recommend this audiobook
"Great character narrator, tedious storytelling"
Loved The narrators voice, it was fresh, and had buckets of character. It's a big part of why I purchased the book. She just sounds so funny! But the story telling is not funny. I could tell what was supposed to be funny, but it wasn't funny. The metaphors and similes were too many and varied, and there was far too much hyperbole. Over done, all overdone.
A David Sedaris book. I thought this book was going to be like a female David Sedaris, with witty observations and insights,
I would look out for other comedic books with this narrator. Honestly, great performance, but the story telling couldn't keep me listening.
Boredom, annoyance, tedium.
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