Book Review: I Know What I'm Doing (and Other Lies I Tell Myself) by Jen Kirkman

Jen Kirkman is a stand-up comedian who is perhaps most well-known for her role as a panelist on Chelsea Handler's show Chels...

Jen Kirkman is a stand-up comedian who is perhaps most well-known for her role as a panelist on Chelsea Handler's show Chelsea, Lately. Before reading I Know What I'm Doing (and Other Lies I Tell Myself), I had never heard of her.

I loved several books in the same genre, like Amy Schumer's The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, anything by Mindy Kaling, and Tina Fey's Bossypants, so I thought I would really like this book, too. I really struggled to get through it though.

The aforementioned books literally all had me laughing out loud in public places like a crazy person. I Know What I'm Doing made a chuckle occasionally internally, but overall, I didn't find it funny. It wasn't even that I couldn't relate (to turning 40 or going through a divorce). There were definitely things I related to - like Kirkman's struggle with anxiety or not getting the big hoopla about New Year's Eve. I just didn't find her funny.

That's not even to say I would dislike her as a person, and perhaps her stand-up is hilarious. Her book just did nothing for me. Unlike other "essay" type memoirs written by celebrities, her stories seemed like they were going in order at first. It read almost like a novel, but then the timeline was so confusing. I never knew what year I was in within the book, or even what events happened first, which had me flipping pages back to try to figure it out (I couldn't).

She even used a few jokes more than once, which bothered me. For example, she used death in life being considered a failure as an analogy for more than one thing being considered a failure (like divorce).

I'm not easily offended, so her stories didn't bother me - I think it was just the way it was written. Or maybe, I really just couldn't relate to most of it. But that didn't seem to be an issue with other similar books.

I wasn't a fan, but maybe it would be your cup of tea (or vodka).

Do you enjoy celebrity "essay" memoirs? Are you a fan of Jen Kirkman?

I received this book free from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

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  1. I wonder if this book was less entertaining because you haven't really heard of this girl before? I think I would be less entertained by someone that I wasn't familiar with. I remember reading Amy Poehler's book Yes Please and I wasn't really into it because I'm not too familiar with any of her performances apart from the one in Mean Girls.

    1. I think that could have partially have been it, but I don't think that was it 100%. I would love to read Yes Please - I just haven't gotten around to it yet. I love Amy Poehler.


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