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Book Review: Are You Kidding Me?

Are you kidding me? It’s a question some of us ask a thousand times a week, typically directed at our kids or spouses and said in the most sarcastic of tones. It’s the elongated version of Really?, but packs way more punch.


Stacey Gustafson asks this hard-hitting, mocking question in her appropriately titled book, Are You Kidding Me? My Life With an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives. Amid all the family and memoir-type publications, her unique and witty voice stands out. There were times I felt as if Stacey was sitting right next to me in my living room telling me the stories first hand, which says so much about the voice within the book. She is direct and hilarious, reminiscent of Erma Bombeck, but owning her own brand of humor and wit.

I love books that take me on a ride and for this one you MUST buckle up! I traveled through the suburbs in a matter of hours. I learned what women really want, how to win your fair share of the Crystal Light Iced Tea, and that one mom’s trash is still crap. Always. Here’s a peek:

When it comes to emptying boxes after a move, I’m a regular whirlwind. I unpack and stuff everything into closets and drawers as swift as Apple develops a new iPhone. But during the last move, I regarded the boxes and thought to myself, “Why do I keep moving this junk around? What the hell is in these boxes anyway?”

I tackled the kitchen boxes first. As I unwrapped, it became clear that I have too much useless crap and made a pile called, “To Be Identified Later.” That evening, I reexamined the heap and realized that all the items had one thing in common: they were gifts my mother had bestowed on me ever since my wedding day.

Congratulations! You’ve just won a new bagel slicer. I scrutinized a piece on top of the mound. A six-inch silver metal utensil resembling giant tweezers. One end was pointy and the other end looked like a flat shovel.

“Do you have any idea what this is?” I asked my husband. “A salad bowl fork?” he said, glancing back at the newspaper. Really? Maybe a back scratcher? Shoehorn? That doesn’t even make sense.

We can all relate in some way to the hilarious and endearing stories in this book. It’s like sitting around with some wine and your best friend, laughing, maybe smiling fondly, while sharing those crazy times of your lives that made you who you are today. Stacey is so open and honest in revealing some of her most personal stories. It is refreshing and validating.

I highly recommend Are You Kidding Me?, which makes the perfect gift!

Crystal Ponti

Crystal Ponti is the founder of Blue Lobster Book Co., a full-service, self-publishing boutique. Before launching her own business, she spent a number of years as a business and marketing planning consultant helping entrepreneurs plan, launch, and grow their businesses. Since then, she has focused on book marketing. Most recently she served as Managing Editor, Contributing Author, and publisher of the book, The Mother of All Meltdowns. She also blogs at MommiFried. Instagram: mommifried

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