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I Know What I'm Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself: Dispatches from a Life Under Construction
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I Know What I'm Doing and Other Lies I Tell Myself: Dispatches from a Life Under Construction

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  1,636 ratings  ·  160 reviews
New York Times bestselling author and stand-up comedian Jen Kirkman delivers a hilarious, candid memoir about marriage, divorce, sex, turning forty, and still not quite having life figured out.

Jen Kirkman wants to be the voice in your head that says, Hey, youre okay. Even if you sometimes think you arent! And especially if other people try to tell you youre not.

In I Know
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 12th 2016 by Simon Schuster
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  1,636 ratings  ·  160 reviews

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Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My face while reading:

I fucking love this book. I love everything Jen has written so far, and I can't wait for the next one. So amazingly put together, grounded, and with so many laugh-out-loud moments. I adore every sentence.
Mark Wilder
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooks
As with most of these memoir type books, it was fine, but nothing special. Less funny than her comedy but not unfunny.
Jan 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Comedian Jen Kirkman on Life After Divorce, Turning 40, and Finding Gray Hairs (Down There!)

(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through Edelweiss.)

So here's the thing about memoirs, especially humorous ones written by comedians and actors: if I can, I usually try to "read" the audio versions. Even though I miss out on the funny-embarrassing awkward family photos and cringe-worthy '80s/'90s pics, the trade-off is more than worth it. Funny people aren't just funny for
Rebecca Lyman
I just couldnt really get into this book. It was definitely funny, there were some parts that made me laugh out loud. But Im a married woman who is looking to have children so I think I just wasnt in the target audience for this book that makes fun of married woman who have/want to have children for 200 pages. Was a funny read but I would probably only recommend it to people who are divorced or who have no interest in getting married or who have no interest in having children. See my full review ...more
May 04, 2016 rated it it was ok
Save your money. It's many of the same jokes she already said for free on television.
Jamie Cerretti
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Jen Kirkman is the best. Favorite quote from the book: It sounds defensive and corny, and I know that most people already know that they're supposed to love themselves, but I don't think I always really got what that meant. I grew up in the suburbs of Boston. There was no talk of loving oneself. If you did, someone would get in your face and say, "What? You think yah so fahkin' great or somethin'?"
Diane Sparks
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: funny
Biased because I am a Jen Kirkman Superfan. I read her previous book before knowing who she was, watched all of her comedy specials on Netflix, and listen to her weekly podcast I Seem Fun. This was a touching, bittersweet, and laugh-out-loud funny book about finding yourself again as a woman over 40. Highly recommend especially to women going through a divorce, but good, enjoyable read for anyone who appreciates a smart, funny, strong woman.
May 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Parts of this book were funny. But after the first 50 pages I found myself skipping certain stories. For some reason books like this need to be extremely compelling to keep my attention and for some reason this one didn't.
I dont like misleading covers/titles. I thought this was going to be a humorous collection of essays about aging and life changes, but it was pretty goddamned depressing. Loved Jen on Chelsea Lately, but havent watched her standup (yet) nor read her previous book (skipping). I just couldnt really relate to this at all. Thats not her fault, but it affects my memoir enjoyment. Awarding an extra star for her honesty. ...more
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I've seen her one stand up special on Netflix, but it didn't make me laugh quite like her book.

Jen Kirkman has been married and divorced, and now she travels the world manless to do her specials. She sheds light on some of the terrible things people say to us girls that like being unmarried and childless. After all, like she titled her last book, we can barely take care of ourselves. This is why I was able to connect with the material. She talks about feminism and the double
Mar 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I wasn't familiar with Jen Kirkman before winning this book in a goodreads giveaway, but I am a fan now. She has a great knack for sprinkling humor into stories about everyday life, particularly her divorce and reentry into the dating world at 40. I love that she's an unapologetic feminist who doesn't care if people judge her for not wanting kids or traveling without a man. Her travel stories are some of the best chapters, and would make a good read on a summer trip.
Sara Hart
2 stars. Not really sure why I even bothered to finish listening to it, perhaps I kept expecting it to get better? It didn't. I was bored, it felt pointless, long, contrived, and lacking any depth. Definitely not one I'd listen to again or bother trying the written version in case it's somehow better. I'd probably even return this one to Audible if I hadn't gotten it on a 2-for-1 sale.

(note: returned audiobook to Audible)
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of Jen Kirkman since her last book "I Can Barely Take Care of Myself." And while yes, she is a comedian it's not a joke book - it's a collection of stories of various times in her life where she thought she knew what she was doing but was all wrong. It's humorous and oh so relatable, because come on haven't we all been there? Read it.
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A lot of fun chapters with superbly picked quotes--that is an art to pair your chapters with diverse quotes that can be inspiring, humorous, and direct!

Fun tales of travel and hard work and giving yourself a break for not being perfectly coiffed. I'm a fan!
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
This is my second Jen Kirkman book. I really didn't love the first one but every time I see her on tv, I think she is funny. I enjoy her feminist take on things but I just don't enjoy her books.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Ive seen two of kirkmans stand-up shows on netflix and thought they were pretty funny but i didnt enjoy the book as much as i though i would which im actually really sad about.
McKinlay Dennis
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
i liked her last book a lot more. i just couldn't relate to this one, except for maybe one chapter.
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed listening to the continuation of Jen Kirkman's life and exploits in her new book. She is a successful single woman, but as every successful single woman knows, society judges success by your marital status and the amount of children one has. Now that she has zero, she relishes the amount of freedom that that affords. I like how she sees the humor in situations that go less than perfect for her, she has the maturity to accept the outcomes in each of them. She also talks about intimate ...more
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
I've never seen Jen Kirkman on tv or anything, so this book was my first introduction to her....and probably last.

I was hoping that her background in stand up would make her a great storyteller but I found most of the chapters very boring and dull. I don't mind a little exaggeration to make the story better, but I think a lot of the tales were just made up, or an imagined worst case scenario.

Also, like the title says, Jen definitely lies to herself. If you want to hear someone justify bad
Oct 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
What a disappointment this book was... Contrary to the promises of it being very funny I found it flat and whiny. The concept is not new either - I believe this has been done already (and much better) by Elizabeth Gilbert. Although I am sure it was very helpful to Jen's self healing and building her own personality to be writing down these experiences I strongly believe they should have stayed in her personal journal on her bed table.
Nov 06, 2017 rated it liked it
It's with a heavy heart that I can't recommend this book because Jen Kirkman is one of my favorite comedians. If you haven't seen her Netflix specials stop what you're doing and go.

I think I didn't like it because the entire first half was about justifying her divorce. Neither she nor her husband had any kids so why would I care if you get a divorce or not? Do what you want.
Zee Monodee
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Failed to connect. This was a huge rant on divorce, being single, with a sort of 'envy' and 'eff-you' attitude towards people still married, and it read rather bitter and not exactly funny. Not what I'd categorize as a humorous book or even a funny look at the situation of a woman who finds herself single after divorce.
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
I've been a fan of Jen's since seeing her on @midnight a few years ago so I was thrilled to win a copy of this book. It didn't disappoint. Every chapter was a perfect mix of brutally honest and hilarious with just a touch of sentimentality when needed!
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this in a giveaway here, and I was excited to read it because I found the author, Jen Kirkman, funny when she was on Chelsea Lately. However, I didnt find this book very funny. It was okay. I think I laughed a couple times. I guess I thought it would be a little more funny. ...more
Nov 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
I kept waiting for the funny. I already know divorce sucks. Seemed like the writer was just reading her diary. 11/21/2016 (Did not finish)
I really like her stand-up so I don't know why this book read so flat to me.
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this so much. Highly, highly recommend.
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Funny and insightful
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
I read Kirkman's previous go at being a memoirist, and this book just felt like more of the same.
Jayde Rasband
Jun 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
I bought this after hearing an interview with her. It might just be my time at life, by the first portion and end of the book were great, but a lot of the middle stuff wasn't really for me.
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Jennifer Ann "Jen" Kirkman is an American stand-up comedian, television writer and actress. She is known for her regular appearances as a round-table panelist on Chelsea Lately, as well as for her appearances on the Funny or Die sketch series Drunk History and its 2013 continuation television series on Comedy Central.

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