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What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding

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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  2,074 ratings  ·  379 reviews
A funny, sexy, and ultimately poignant memoir about mastering the art of the "vacationship."

Kristin Newman spent much of her twenties and thirties buying dresses to wear to her friends' weddings and baby showers. Not ready to settle down and in need of an escape from her fast-paced job as a sitcom writer, Kristin instead traveled the world, often alone, for several weeks e
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Paperback, 291 pages
Published May 20th 2014 by Three Rivers Press
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Kristin Newman
Mar 26, 2014 Kristin Newman marked it as to-read  ·  (Review from the author)
It makes me smile to imagine this book being read by nervous solo travelers, pretty girls on a plane by themselves for the first time, unscrewing their tiny bottles of wine and curling up to read about some of the many kinds of fun they might be about to have. I imagine it read by mommies, at home, after their kids go to sleep, where they can imagine in a “Sliding Doors” sort of way what their lives might have looked like if they had chosen my kind of adventure instead of their own family-making ...more
Morgane
I thought I would enjoy this book because I, too, am not interested in marriage or children, and I, too, enjoy traveling, particularly alone. In fact I read this while I was on a solo travel. So I thought, you know, it would resonate.

Turns out few of her travels were actually done alone; she only traveled solo for the first time in her early 30s. Amateur hour.

But at least maybe the travels would be, umm, thoughtful? Interesting? Not really. They all still manage to revolve around men, rather tha
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Angie
Received a free advance copy from publisher.

I'm a sucker for a witty title.

I wanted this book to be more than what it was. Instead of a book of female empowerment or taking your own path, it was a long list of exotic locales and sex partners spread out across the globe. No "slut shaming" here but listing off the number of dudes you bedded in different countries just doesn't do anything for me. The book is well-written and has its moments of humor, don't get me wrong. I guess I was looking for
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Whitney
This book easily skyrocketed to one of my favorite reads; it's irreverent, laugh-out-out-funny, hopeful, desperate, and most of all, deeply courageous. Kristin Newman shares the details of her life that most of us would be too shameful to ever confess while simultaneously capturing the feeling of sacrifice in order to "have it all." I found Newman's insight that we all end up envying the life we decided not to live wondering it all would have been life if we chose the alternate path. So few wome ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Disclaimer: I got a review copy of this from the publisher, but I was actively looking for a copy after reading about it somewhere online. Hooray!

Kristin Newman is best known as a sitcom writer - That 70's Show, How I Met Your Mother, and the Neighbors, and also branching out into shows like Chuck, which was funny but no laugh track. Of that list of shows, I loved The Neighbors, a show I was apparently the only person watching, since it has now been cancelled.

Television writers have very intens
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Diana Band
Wow, wow, wow. Kristin Newman’s memoir is funny, poignant, and very relatable – even for those of us who fall more squarely into the “breeder” category.

I’ll admit – I was hesitant to pick this one up at first on the title alone. I’m 27, recently married, and while I don’t have any kids yet, there’s a strong possibility for some in the future. I tend to get all bristly and defensive when someone – especially other women – try to invoke a high and mighty attitude over one life path or another. Bu
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Dawn
I had such high hopes - what a great title. It's a title that I might have used for my own memoir. But I can only give it 2 stars. "It was OK."

And perhaps that was my problem with this book. I've lived my own version of a single-woman-traveling-and-having-adventures-of-all-sorts life, so this wasn't exactly a titillating story. Just a long accounting/brag about her travels and her relationship mistakes. It had some high points and held my interest for about the first 100 pages, and then it was j
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Mindy Lawrence
I received an ARC of this book and oh I wanted to like it so badly. The title is so good and I love a good travel memoir. But it wasn't to be. The problem I guess for me was that the I just couldn't get past the fact that this is a long winded brag about all of the men Newman bedded in foreign countries. That's great for her and I'm all about empowering women to take what ever it is that they want, but I'm not sure there's a lesson or message here other than feel free to get busy when you're abr ...more
Sandy Hall
I received this as an early review via NetGalley. I found this to be well written, but boring. While the author may have found that analyzing her seemingly never-ending sexual encounters to be equal to meaningful insights, I did not. In the end, she did not so much gain wisdom as simply gaining a modicum of maturity.
Amber
I won this in the giveaways. Thank you Goodreads and Crown Publishing.

I love memoirs. I love them especially when they are funny and when something about them tugs at my heart. This memoir was both of those things. I will never be single. I met a good man when I was very young and I will be with him forever and I am happy about that, but this book made me wonder what it would have been like to take advantage of traveling as a single young woman. I was actually more jealous of the cool time Krist
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Kellie
Okay, I will admit it. I am a book stalker. A full-fledged, crazy-lady, book stalker. I don't mean that if you read a book and then recommend it to me, I will also read it. If anyone who's taste I even remotely respect, so much as mentions a book in passing, I will be hunting that book down almost as soon as they have stopped talking. It's embarrassing actually, but these people have turned me on to some of the greatest books I have ever read. My very good friend mentioned this book by Kristin N ...more
Susan
Author Kristin Newman lived a moderate life in America as a sitcom writer – a career which gave her the time and money to indulge her love of travel and, possibly, her ability to run away from home and not face her problems. Her main problem seemed to be her fear of committing to the expected role of wife and mother, as long term relationships became serious. I found Kristin to be a witty and self effacing writer and, although it is clear that her humour often masks a real sense of confusion – e ...more
Kalu Davies
This book was complete and utter rubbish, very disappointing with few redeeming features. Kristin frames her journey of self discovery and sex under the guise of 'flaunting the norm' and is proud of not subscribing to entrenched ideals of female morality. Yet she describes herself as a "slut" only when away from America-when at home, she behaves like a "lady" should and before she's even started the book she spoils the ending in the dedication-in case you were under any illusions that she really ...more
Shannon
How disappointing this one was. I was expecting and hoping for a book that told a different story - a story of how some women choose paths other then marriage and motherhood because they want to and how that is also a valid option. Instead, this read like the story of someone who desperately wanted those things but was just a bit too emotionally immature to hold on to them - until one day she finally did. To top it off, the writing was not even that clever. Someone compared her writing to David ...more
Leftbanker
What I Was doing While You Were Breeding, an attractive title for any unmarried person but it would seem to me a bit combative and accusatory for those who are hitched up while fumbling with a car seat and a puking toddler. Basically the author tells about her adventures in travel as a single woman. I’m sure the author doesn’t mind that men read her book but it’s meant for women, kind of like Sex and the City which women love but I hated, but I didn’t hate this book. What I can say is that I wis ...more
TM
Im fairly certain I fell in love with this author and her story just from the title and from her dedications. After all, who wouldn’t want to know more about the life that would “give dad diarrhea” and who reasoned that NOT sleeping with the Russian bartender would cause the terrorists to win?

“What I Was Doing When You Were Breeding” is a memoir written by the hilarious Kristin Newman. After suffering her first major heartbreak, she decides to give in to her wonderlust and seek the road less tra
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Lissa
So, I will start this by saying that I was one of those breeding while Kristin Newman was out traveling to exotic places and having romantic adventures. Did this keep me from enjoying this book? Absolutely not. At one point near the end, the author ruminates that we are lucky to be in a place and time where we can make one choice that we are happy with and feel a little regret about the other choice that we could have taken but didn’t. I think that sums up this book. Newman did not feel that set ...more
Tatiana
I bought this book in a good ol Bookstore (as we all should do lest amazon render poor writers even poorer). I saw it on the new arrival at Strand. The cover caught my attention and when I read the title I was 50% sold. When I read the back I knew this would be the perfect present for my single younger sister, who I keep encouraging to enjoy her single life while she has it. As a self-proclaimed restless nomad and friend-diagnosed "travel addict," I couldn't resist reading it first. I really enj ...more
Becca
I received this book free for an honest review.

The thing is, I really expected to like this. I'm unmarried (though not single), have no children, and I love to travel. I thought it would be funny and that it would be more about being independent, that the author would at least be an interesting person.

She's pretty much not any of those things or at least she doesn't come across that way in her book. Instead it's just a long account of self indulgence and sex with lots of men in other countries
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Linda
This was a fast read: funny, and ultimately somewhat disappointing. Newman's travel stories focus on self-deprecating and bodily humor while occasionally touching on issues of self-esteem, commitment, and the narrowing availability of choices we face as we age. I wasn't looking for a political tract or a self-help novel, and this is my first foray into the modern travel memoir -- I've happily managed to avoid Eat, Pray, Love so far -- but I was surprised by how shallow I found this to be.

The ne
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Judith Sheppard
I received this book to review and I have to say it was so funny and poignant. It made me want to travel more and say yes to more adventures. I recently booked an international trip because of it. Her frustration with dating in the States and dealing with men who can't commit in their 30's and 40's struck a chord. I found myself laughing out loud in public while reading and I have preordered 10 copies to give to friends. Guys and girls who I know will laugh and finally do the things they have be ...more
Meryl
I devoured this book like a box of chocolate bars from Trader Joe's. As a comedy writer who is trying to make it in Hollywood, it was exciting to see how wonderful my dream job could play out. To have an amazing fun creative job where you work very hard and hold your own in the male-dominated comedy-writing world, and then take full advantage of your time off sounds ideal to me. Like many single women, I think Kristin would have been happy to have done some of this traveling with the man of her ...more
Mary
I won (in a GoodReads Giveaway) a Memoir by Kristin Newman called What I was Doing While You Were Breeding. Yes, the title caught my attention as I wanted to know! So glad I did. This woman is my hero. She's funny, smart, independent, courageous, adventurous and travel savvy. Fantastic story of her travels abroad as a single and free woman with or without a companion. She fell in love a few times but really wasn't ready to settle down yet so she explored and experienced the world. I am in awe.

Sh
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Michelle
I received an ARC copy of this book. The title captured my attention, but I don't know that I would have picked it up if it hadn't been a giveaway because I wouldn't have thought I would have connected with the book. I'm glad it ended up in my hands. Kristen Newman is funny and engaging. Her stories were super relatable, even though I hate traveling (Anti-flying). In fact, Kristen's list of perfect travel companion qualities were pretty much the opposite of me. I admired her bravery even more fo ...more
Alexis
Feb 15, 2015 Alexis rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2015
This is more a 2.5 or 3 star rating for me. I was pulled in by the title and didn`t really know anything about the book. It`s actually a travel memoir, mostly. Kristin Newman is a comedy writer who has written for Chuck, that 70s show and How I met your mother. During her 20s and 30s, Kristin watched as her friends got married and had babies. While they were doing this, she worked as a tv writer and then went on long trips (because being a tv writer allows you to do this). The beginning of the b ...more
Ana
I received What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding for free at my desk one day. (The beauty of working in publishing, right?) And I immediately got a good chuckle at the title. Oh, Ms. Newman--you clearly get me. I am a twentysomething woman with no foreseeable plans for reproduction. A quick flip between the front and back cover's reviews also sold me: "David Sedaris, but with more joy." "If Eat, Pray, Love were written by your funniest friend." And Kristin Newman, sitcom-writer, would seem to ...more
Pam
Kristin Newman and I are polar opposites. I am a 50+ woman who rarely travels (but hopes to remedy that), who has practically always been in a serious relationship (been married 25+ years) and yet I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I listened to audio version and found it very entertaining.

Kristin Newman is a comedy writer, who instead of settling down, chose instead to travel. Not just travel, but travel to the fullest. Seeing and doing everything possible, and that includes lots of relationships
...more
Dana
What I Was Doing While You Were Breading reminded me of Sex and the City and Are You There Vodka, It's Me Chelsea. Told through shirt stories, the book gave me the confidence to travel alone. The writing had the same biting humor that Chelsea Handler's book had, but the author's pride for her life decisions made her come across as overconfident, and not in a good way. I expected the story to be more of a travel diary enhanced with her romances with men all over the world. Instead, this book was ...more
Jennifer
How can anyone walk by a title like this and not pick it up? As a single, childless woman in my mid thirties, I like to discover memoirs of people in a similar state. I'm a firm believer it doesn't have to suck to be single and childless (at any age), and while I admit here to closet fluff romance reading from time to time, I'm much more refreshed when the story ends and the girl just stays alone. It's the 21st century, let's save ourselves, girls!

What I liked about this memoir is the fact that
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Stormey
Most inspiring book I've ever read. I was afraid of being scared of settling down... of not having a 5 or a 10 year plan.
my wanderlust running rampant through my veins.

This book, however, completely settled my resltess soul. It reassured me that its all okay. It also pushed me to buy a plane trip to Europe... alone (something i was so afraid of)

Thank you Kristen!
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7235684
This is a "25 Things About Me" exercise I did for Facebook about five years ago that Facebook recently regave me. I provide it to you now:

1.) I am doing this exercise solely to procrastinate. Other activities done for this purpose today: plucking eyebrows, walking to Pinkberry rather than driving, making a To Do List when I really only have like 3 things to do, which doesn't require a list to reme
...more
More about Kristin Newman...

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“And I would tell him, so full of twentysomething wisdom, that life is almost never about choosing between one thing you really want and another thing you don't want at all. If you're lucky, and healthy, and live in a country where you have enough to eat and no fear that you're going to get shot when you walk out your door, life is an endless series of choosing between two things you want almost equally. And you have to evaluate and determine which awesome thing you want infinitesimally more, and then give up that other awesome thing you want almost exactly as much. You have to trade awesome for awesome. Everyone I knew, no matter what they chose, was at least a little in mourning for that other thing.” 4 likes
“To me, marriage was an ending, not a beginning. A stone on my chest. A giving-up, a decision to walk away from an interesting life for one just like everyone else’s. Much more “ever after” than “happily.” 3 likes
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