You’re Not the Boss of Me

From a first-paragraph description of the sexual position used to conceive her first child, Erika Schickel spends 228 pages bemoaning her “pussy belly,” hating her minivan, vacillating between alternative and traditional moms, playing Grand Theft Auto, and enjoying lap dances from female strippers.

Warts-and-all mothering books are often refreshing, as they strip the gloss from happy-clappy homemakers, but documenting the history of how mothers have medicated their misery while bitching about how hard it is to quit smoking weed? Have a drink. Excuses for how much you hate your cat, to the point of returning it to the shelter? What the hell is wrong with you? Freaking out because foot surgery hurts and renders you temporarily handicapped? Try spinal surgery in this age of restricted opioids. Your whining pushes your husband to the limits of his anti-depressant? Put on your big-girl panties and shut up.

Pseudo-humorist Susan Reinhardt’s blurb is prominently featured on the cover, which should serve as a warning to readers. She and Schickel peddle the same tone-deaf “funny stuff” — apparently the nonfiction specialty of their mutual publisher, Kensington — and anyone searching for genuine belly laughs should steer clear of this hot mess. Check the shelves for any Celia Rivenbark book.

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