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Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We're Saying Now

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  252 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Irreverent, thought-provoking, hilarious, and edgy: a collection of personal stories celebrating motherhood, featuring #1 New York Times bestselling authors Jenny Lawson and Jennifer Weiner, and many other notable writers.

Listen to Your Mother is a fantastic awakening of why our mothers are important, taking readers on a journey through motherhood in all of its complexity,
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published April 7th 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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3.87  · 
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 ·  252 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, parenting, wellness
Listen to Your Mother is composed of a huge selection of short essays written by various women (and a few men) in a variety of relationships and life circumstances. Authors are daughters, wives, widowers, husbands, gay, straight, trans, single, and divorced--with children both biological and adopted (or even none at all). Honestly, the variety of perspective in this book is actually pretty impressive.

And this is serious motherhood here. Sure, there are a few lighthearted, aiming-to-be-funny essa
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Some really affecting essays in here, all reflecting the diverse experience that is motherhood, yet there's some universality as well. More complete review to come.

Full review:

Listen to Your Mother is an interesting, diverse collection of essays ruminating on all things related to motherhood: a mother's influence on her children, the trials and tribulations of motherhood, and a good representation of family structures that don't necessarily include a mother. Some of the essays are humorous, some
Jessica Woodbury
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, arc, nonfiction
I'm saving you a lot of time: this is what to get your mother, your wife, your friend, your sister, your daughter, your anyone for Mother's Day this year.

I'm a Listen To Your Mother director and cast member (2013 Providence, 2014 and 2015 Boston) so of course I love Listen To Your Mother and everything it's about, how it gives voice to the position that is often the quietest one. The book is a collection of some of my favorite essays from men and women around the country.

Putting together a List
Suzy Soro
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
(I got an advanced PDF of this book so my review is based on that.)

I've followed Ann Imig's journey from the inception of her live show, Listen to Your Mother, to this book by the same name.

If you've ever had a mother, known a mother, or are a mother yourself, there is something in this book for you. Some of the essays are hilarious while some are sincerely touching. Ann has curated these essays from the regional shows held around the country and has given us an excellent cross-section of how we
Peyton Price
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is not a collection of essays to scarf down. This book is delicious, but rich. Read one or two of these honestly and well told stories, then spend the afternoon or evening with them. Swish them around a bit. They take a little time to digest. Even the ones that go down easy have a surprisingly sharp and complex aftertaste. Read one before bed, and you’ll have vivid dreams about mothering and being mothered.
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure that I am biased: I participated in the 2014 LTYM show, and it changed my life. Even still, this is a rich anthology on parenting (on mothering, really) that kept me laughing and crying - sometimes in the same piece. The addition of the video clips of some of the performances in this deluxe addition is a happy bonus.
Kristin Boldon
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, own, memoir
A great collection from a wide range of voices about many aspects of mothering--funny, sad, hard, weird. I do wish the author bios had appeared at the end of each essay, and that some of the essays would have left off their last paragraph, which pulled some of the punch of what went before.
Apr 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This diverse collection of essays was written by ordinary people from all over the country, focusing on motherhood today, in all its forms. I thought reading it just before Mother's Day seemed appropriate, but it would have been a great experience no matter what the season.

I chuckled over Wendi Aarons' hilarious explanation of why motherhood ISN'T the toughest job in the world and Marinka's revelation that when you get a call from your kid's school, it's never good news. And I was touched by Kat
Rita Arens
May 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This collection contains some bone-rattlers, some essays that make your breath catch. Though the pieces are short, I wouldn't call this a quick read. I'd treat it more as a daily touchstone as long as you can make it last.
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Great Mother's Day gift. An homage to mothers. Thank you Goodreads First Reads for my free copy.
Kizz Robinson
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As with the shows so goes the book. A fabulous experience!
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a mother myself, I absolutely loved this book. It was great because with it being short stories, you could read a little at a time. You could find yourself connecting to different mom stories throughout the whole book and experiencing all of the different emotions you experience as a mother. I enjoyed it!
Mar 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm not a fan of the cover, but the book is good. I'm torn between a three and a four, but I am going to round down since it's been a few weeks since I read it and it hasn't stuck with me as much as I thought it would. That being said, all of the essays are brief. Some are funny, some are somber. Several are absolutely beautiful.
April Rogers
Dec 28, 2017 rated it liked it
An eclectic collection of essays averaging about 3 pages each on the topic of mothers- some humorous and some more serious or sad. There were a few I’d have liked to have had longer passages but it did convey the essence of the topic.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I like the concept of the book, but really only read the sections with authors I know. Jenny Lawson has a strong writing style and makes me love her crazy wit. Jennifer Weiner is funny and clever while still being self-deprecating.
Joan Morin
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating essays on what it means to be a Mother in today's world. New insights from two- Mom families, handicapped Moms, Dads who have had to take on the Mom role, adoptive Moms, a daughter whose Mom is mentally ill and also homeless.

Easy and enjoyable read.
Jennifer Buczynski
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed these very short 2-3 page essays from different mothers. There were a few too many lesbian/transgender mothering stories for my taste, but I skipped those. I loved hearing from mothers of different life stages, about their mothers, their children, their unique family situations.
Christine Leigh
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Insightful...challenges preconceived notions about motherhood.
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
LOVE!! Could read it over and over. It is my go to gift!
May 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
Nice read around Mother's Day, but I think I'd prefer to see one of the live performances. Just not a huge fan of short stories.
Karla Winick-Ford
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Some funny stuff! Recommended
Mar 16, 2015 rated it liked it
*Receieved through Goodreads' First Reads in exchange for an honest review.

I'm not really sure I was the target audience for this book. I'm pretty sure I entered this giveway at 2 or 3 in the morning half-asleep. I make it a goal to enter as many as possible. After all, how can you win if you don't enter? Still, I'm not always sure what I'm going to get, and I've gotten some interesting ones. Including Listen to Your Mother.

These essays were nice and short, perfect for skimming or reading all th
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Rich book; if you are a mom or have a mom or want to be a mom; touching, poignant, and I literally laughed out loud several times, and cried. Very short essays. Lots of different parenting, regular, single, divorced, never married,fertility, homosexuals, transgender.

"PRACTICING GRATITUDE; not just feeling grateful, but making it an active verb" "The children ate my gratitude"

"will they be happy? will they be loved? will they be kind and compassionate? and the pulse that races beneath each of th
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads-wins
**Won this book through Goodreads First Reads**

3.5 Stars

This is a compilation of real life essays on being a mother, having a mother, or knowing someone who is like a mother to you. Whether traditional or untraditional, Listen to Your Mother will have a story within it's pages that you can relate to your own family.

Reading this reminded me of the time I spent , as a kid at my grandma's house, reading her Reader's Digest magazines. There were inspirational and personal stories in those, just lik
Disney Princess Recovery
May 04, 2016 marked it as to-read
Last year for Mother's Day, I took my mom to Listen to Your Mother. Several incredible stories about motherhood were read on-stage by mothers from vastly different experiences. But at the end of the story telling, there was this beautiful theme that emerged like a thread connecting each story.

This year, my mom, who when asked what she wants on any given occasion (birthday, Mother's Day, Christmas ) usually has requests like, "Oh nothing, I don't need anything" actually called to say, "For Mother
Sue Jackson
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Listen to Your Mother is a book of many essays about mom. They are written by men and women of different backgrounds taking about their mom or themselves. Although this book did make me reflect on parenting and on my mother, it fell flat. It would have been great to hear the stories told by each author. It might have even worked as a blog. But, to put them together just didn't fit.

This is a quick read since the essays are rarely more than a few pages each. It's as if each essay stands alone in
May 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I had the pleasure of introducing a live reading event for the Listen to Your Mother book this week, and by the end of the reading there wasn't a dry eye in the house, from both laughter and sadness. All of the short essays in here are easily digestible, and they all show how universal it is to be a mother, or a child - but how incredibly specific each person's experience is. I had never heard of this live lit series and now I can't wait to go to the event next year. These personal stories are a ...more
Michelle Cynthia
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing

A wisdom-filled collection of short pieces from the points-of-view of a variety of mothers, including mothers of special needs children, birth mothers, adoptive mothers, and other men and women sharing their memories of their mothers, as well as their own mothering experiences. The love and loss often eloquently described brought tears to my eyes more than a few times. My personal favorite pieces were "Becoming Invisible" and "All You Need is Lovey" and "Hummingbird." I can think of many women w
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Maybe I'm just happy to be enjoying reading again, but I really liked the short essays in this book. Each one is just long enough to paint a picture, make a point, share a moment. The editor, Ann Imig, did an excellent job of including a variety of stories about mothering, some of which I identified with and some of which I learned something from someone with very different experiences from mine. What else could I ask for from a book? I will definitely be rereading some of these stories.
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness. This is beautiful. I cried over several of these stories. Wow. Definitely going to have my mother read this.

"A hummingbird. A frantic pulsing performed so expertly that it still looks like stillness--like nothing. Moving your whole being all the time until those movements disappear from view. But me? I see you all the time. And I will always hold on to you and count myself blessed, ears tuned to you impossible hum."

Thanks Mom.
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add this anthology to my author page 3 17 Apr 07, 2015 09:13PM  

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Ann Imig is the Founder and National Director of the live-reading series and video sharing company LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER. A Stay-At-Home Humorist, Ann’s writing has been featured all over the internet, on sites like CollegeHumor, Huffington Post, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. She writes the blog Ann’s Rants, which has been named a Babble Top 100 Mom Blog, A BlogHer Voice of the Year, and a Sh ...more