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Lies I Told My Children

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Karen McQuestion not only admits to having lied to her children, she lists it as one of her top secret parenting strategies. Some of her finest parenting moments, she recounts, have involved deception. On planes she’s translated the garbled pilot’s announcement to her advantage saying, “This plane won’t ever land if you keep kicking the back of that seat!” and once introdu Karen McQuestion not only admits to having lied to her children, she lists it as one of her top secret parenting strategies. Some of her finest parenting moments, she recounts, have involved deception. On planes she’s translated the garbled pilot’s announcement to her advantage saying, “This plane won’t ever land if you keep kicking the back of that seat!” and once introduced a new entrée to her fussiest eater by saying, “Honestly, we’ve had this before and you really liked it.” Among the 30 essays collected here (many previously published in the Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, the Christian Science Monitor, or broadcast on NPR's Lake Effect) are the author’s account of her first time cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the in-laws, an identity mix-up at a Chinese restaurant, and a description of the most important place she visited while in Washington D.C.—the women’s bathroom in the Department of Agriculture building. Throughout, McQuestion shares stories of her life and family with humor and heartwarming insights.


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Karen McQuestion not only admits to having lied to her children, she lists it as one of her top secret parenting strategies. Some of her finest parenting moments, she recounts, have involved deception. On planes she’s translated the garbled pilot’s announcement to her advantage saying, “This plane won’t ever land if you keep kicking the back of that seat!” and once introdu Karen McQuestion not only admits to having lied to her children, she lists it as one of her top secret parenting strategies. Some of her finest parenting moments, she recounts, have involved deception. On planes she’s translated the garbled pilot’s announcement to her advantage saying, “This plane won’t ever land if you keep kicking the back of that seat!” and once introduced a new entrée to her fussiest eater by saying, “Honestly, we’ve had this before and you really liked it.” Among the 30 essays collected here (many previously published in the Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, the Christian Science Monitor, or broadcast on NPR's Lake Effect) are the author’s account of her first time cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the in-laws, an identity mix-up at a Chinese restaurant, and a description of the most important place she visited while in Washington D.C.—the women’s bathroom in the Department of Agriculture building. Throughout, McQuestion shares stories of her life and family with humor and heartwarming insights.

30 review for Lies I Told My Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Each and every one of these little essays/stories left me thinking "and... so what?". This book came across as more of a series of half-thought-out blog entries than something that should be published and sold. Not "bad", as such, but left me wanting more. Just not necessarily from this author. Each and every one of these little essays/stories left me thinking "and... so what?". This book came across as more of a series of half-thought-out blog entries than something that should be published and sold. Not "bad", as such, but left me wanting more. Just not necessarily from this author.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Preston Lee

    I picked up a copy of Lies I Told My Children based on reviews praising the lovable autobigraghical narritives of the authors family life. All the stories are told as anecdotes only several pages long, making this a quick and easy read. Indeed, the stories revolving around the theme of white lies for the better family good make one appreciate the naivety of the saying "never tell a lie". These are truly adoring, and come from a place of true honesty: a loving yet imperfect humans best attempts t I picked up a copy of Lies I Told My Children based on reviews praising the lovable autobigraghical narritives of the authors family life. All the stories are told as anecdotes only several pages long, making this a quick and easy read. Indeed, the stories revolving around the theme of white lies for the better family good make one appreciate the naivety of the saying "never tell a lie". These are truly adoring, and come from a place of true honesty: a loving yet imperfect humans best attempts to provide for her children while still retaining her sanity. The first third of the book sticks faithfully the theme, but unfortunately drifts into a lala land of textual family slide shows too soon to be forgivable. The latter half essays are only sometimes cute minutae of her daily life, covering relationships with the neighbors to the owner of the neighborhood Chinese restaurant. In other words, nothing to do with the enticing title via which I was lured into purhasing this. If it weren't for my completionist nature I would have put down the book after I noticed the topic of "Lies I Told my Children" run out of steam, roughly halfway through. (Given how the stories are organized, I'm sure the editor was aware of the issue and only somewhat accurate title.) Recommendation: Only pick up the full version if you love hearing about other peoples kid while getting a pedicure. Otherwise opt only for the first few stories or skip it completely.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nenette

    A nice collection of mommy stories, more like a mommy blog of ordinary events that could easily be forgotten if not committed to memory, or in the case of the author, to print. My own mommy stories are all committed to memory, and just like this book, it's always good to go back and see how far our children have gone from their younger years. A nice collection of mommy stories, more like a mommy blog of ordinary events that could easily be forgotten if not committed to memory, or in the case of the author, to print. My own mommy stories are all committed to memory, and just like this book, it's always good to go back and see how far our children have gone from their younger years.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Therese

    I loved this book! What strikes me is how real Karen is. Her life is like most moms, but the humor she puts into everyday life events makes me realize that there is a lot more humor in life than we often think! Superbly written! Looking forward to reading more from her.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Hough's Books

    Awesome!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hayden

    This collection of essays/short stories was pretty hilarious. Karen McQuestion is a great mother, I'm sure. At least she has a sense of humor about the chaos that is raising children. And at least she compiled her tales into a book so other people could relate to and laugh at them as well. *UPDATE* Most of these stories were pretty funny, although towards the end they got pretty mundane... But as far as 61 page collections of essays/short stories go, this one was a winner, I'd say. I kind of wish This collection of essays/short stories was pretty hilarious. Karen McQuestion is a great mother, I'm sure. At least she has a sense of humor about the chaos that is raising children. And at least she compiled her tales into a book so other people could relate to and laugh at them as well. *UPDATE* Most of these stories were pretty funny, although towards the end they got pretty mundane... But as far as 61 page collections of essays/short stories go, this one was a winner, I'd say. I kind of wish she'd found some way to connect it all and make it into a book ending with the successful flights from the nest of her children, because with a mom like her, I'm sure Charlie, Maria and Jack can't NOT be well-rounded, sensible, decent people. But I get it. Mothering is a busy job and she jots down these funny experiences when she gets a chance to come up for air. Props to Karen McQuestion.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kara

    On Monday I was starting to feel the pressure of the Goodreads.com book goal I set myself. I had to finish the book I was reading and read two more to meet my goal and more importantly get my little profile badge. On my quest to find my second to last book of the year, I dug into my extensive to read list and found a compilation of essays by an author I had read three times over the summer. It was short, looked funny, promised to be a quick read, and I already knew I liked Karen McQuestion. Was I On Monday I was starting to feel the pressure of the Goodreads.com book goal I set myself. I had to finish the book I was reading and read two more to meet my goal and more importantly get my little profile badge. On my quest to find my second to last book of the year, I dug into my extensive to read list and found a compilation of essays by an author I had read three times over the summer. It was short, looked funny, promised to be a quick read, and I already knew I liked Karen McQuestion. Was I wasn't expecting was how quickly this book read. While I didn't have a ton of time to read, I still finished it in 3 days. McQuestion's essays were both funny and easy to relate to. Either they fit me or one of my girlfriends. I really enjoyed this little book!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    Karen McQuestion admits to having lied to her children as they were growing up and, upon reflection, I realize that I also lied to my children. Little things like making up the fortunes in their fortune cookies in those wonderful years before they could read. Of course, I was totally busted as their reading skills improved, but those were golden years. In 30 essays of just a few pages each, McQuestion details her life. Amusing, but I was a little disappointed. I thought that there would be some Karen McQuestion admits to having lied to her children as they were growing up and, upon reflection, I realize that I also lied to my children. Little things like making up the fortunes in their fortune cookies in those wonderful years before they could read. Of course, I was totally busted as their reading skills improved, but those were golden years. In 30 essays of just a few pages each, McQuestion details her life. Amusing, but I was a little disappointed. I thought that there would be some good laughs and what I ended up with were some smiles. Charming in an off-beat way.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Charity

    With all of the great reviews and the amusing title, maybe I was expecting too much. It's not that it wasn't good, I just thought I'd be rolling with laughter and I wasn't. I thought I would totally relate as a parent, and I didn't very often. I thought I'd be anxious to read another book by the author and I'm not. It was a quick read and enjoyable. I am just let down because I thought I'd be raving about this book once I finished reading it and I can't. With all of the great reviews and the amusing title, maybe I was expecting too much. It's not that it wasn't good, I just thought I'd be rolling with laughter and I wasn't. I thought I would totally relate as a parent, and I didn't very often. I thought I'd be anxious to read another book by the author and I'm not. It was a quick read and enjoyable. I am just let down because I thought I'd be raving about this book once I finished reading it and I can't.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    It left me desiring more, however, it had its cute moments. The intro and title suggested that it would be full of humorous advice from a mother who didn't take life too seriously. That was not the case. It seemed that when the opportunity to get interesting presented itself the chapter just ended. It left me desiring more, however, it had its cute moments. The intro and title suggested that it would be full of humorous advice from a mother who didn't take life too seriously. That was not the case. It seemed that when the opportunity to get interesting presented itself the chapter just ended.

  11. 4 out of 5

    ABC

    Extremely fluffy and fast. She tries to be Erma Bombeck, but that's already been done. I didn't like how she says that two of her three kids are adopted but then later says mean things about them. (Calls one adopted kid "the sullen one" and the other one "the moody one") She never says anything mean about her biological kid, I noticed. Extremely fluffy and fast. She tries to be Erma Bombeck, but that's already been done. I didn't like how she says that two of her three kids are adopted but then later says mean things about them. (Calls one adopted kid "the sullen one" and the other one "the moody one") She never says anything mean about her biological kid, I noticed.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sandy

    It was a funny, easy read, but I quite literally took the title that it was going to be funny experiences that she experienced with her children. There were maybe two examples of this, but the rest of the book was just moments in her life and at times just random thoughts that left me questioning where did this come from?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    "What is this, an extended mommy blog?" I asked myself. Yes it was. Or, to be more accurate, a collection of essays written by a mother. I gave it two stars compared to other books, but for a book of this genre (extended mommy blogs, look it up) it was pretty good. AND good for the 99 cents I paid...from a gift card. Thanks, Amazon! "What is this, an extended mommy blog?" I asked myself. Yes it was. Or, to be more accurate, a collection of essays written by a mother. I gave it two stars compared to other books, but for a book of this genre (extended mommy blogs, look it up) it was pretty good. AND good for the 99 cents I paid...from a gift card. Thanks, Amazon!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Barb Hogan

    I read this entire book on a layover at Chicago O'Hare. I found the book about as entertaining as spending the day at the airport. I kept waiting for the good, funny stuff to kick in and it just didn't. A big disappointment to me. I read this entire book on a layover at Chicago O'Hare. I found the book about as entertaining as spending the day at the airport. I kept waiting for the good, funny stuff to kick in and it just didn't. A big disappointment to me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ann (Noumena12)

    Definitely a book for people of a certain age...remember when TV went off the air, test patterns, etc. Have you tried talking to your kids about these concepts. Read this woman's account of those and more interactions with her children. Definitely a book for people of a certain age...remember when TV went off the air, test patterns, etc. Have you tried talking to your kids about these concepts. Read this woman's account of those and more interactions with her children.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    This was a super cheap book on the kindle, so I decided to try another short/funny story compilation. I was definitely entertained, and this was super short, so it was a fast read. Another fun summer book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chatfield

    I'm still reading this. It is short stories so maybe I will get through it some day. I was hoping for funny stories but so far, the ones that I have read have been very flat. So far, I'm disappointed. I'm still reading this. It is short stories so maybe I will get through it some day. I was hoping for funny stories but so far, the ones that I have read have been very flat. So far, I'm disappointed.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Barb Van

    Just a bunch of random happenings in the authors life that are boring and mundane and no different than everyday life. I didn't even smile reading through these stories. It was a quick short read but still not worth the time. Just a bunch of random happenings in the authors life that are boring and mundane and no different than everyday life. I didn't even smile reading through these stories. It was a quick short read but still not worth the time.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chelly

    Ok for 99 cents on the Nook. Was wanting more depth as I reached the end of each essay. Kinda reminded me vaguely of Dave Barry columns. Read A Scattered Life by her last yr and it was much better. Cute and kinda funny but not as funny as other books I have read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Angela Clayton

    I must not be the target audience for this, but I did force myself to finish, like a person eating Lucky Charms eating the oat bits. The oat bits are fine, serviceable cereal, but obviously it's all about the marshmallow bits. There just weren't enough marshmallow bits here for me. I must not be the target audience for this, but I did force myself to finish, like a person eating Lucky Charms eating the oat bits. The oat bits are fine, serviceable cereal, but obviously it's all about the marshmallow bits. There just weren't enough marshmallow bits here for me.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kipp Poe

    Yet another great read from Karen McQuestion a fun breakdown of stories of being a parent and a glimps into a writers life a must read and yes i feel the same way about Mashed Potatoes

  22. 5 out of 5

    Doh

    not particularly clever, funny or scandalous. I suppose I smiled form time to time while reading it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    This book was REALLY short, I read it in about an hour. The stories were REALLY short. It was funny and very relatable.

  24. 5 out of 5

    ♫Angielee♫

    I couldn't read the whole book and I skimmed the parts that I did actually read. The best part was the relatives chapter. We all have realitives that fit into the catagories she offered. I couldn't read the whole book and I skimmed the parts that I did actually read. The best part was the relatives chapter. We all have realitives that fit into the catagories she offered.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    It had some funny parts.. But it was missing something.....

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lori Anderson

    I thought it was hilarious. A very quick read, and now I don't feel quite so bad about my parenting skills! I thought it was hilarious. A very quick read, and now I don't feel quite so bad about my parenting skills!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Aja

    Very short collection of (also short) essays largely about life as a mother.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Craig a.k.a Meatstack

    A very short book of short essays about being a parent, none of which really develop or "payout." Felt more like stories told across the table at a dinner party than a book. A very short book of short essays about being a parent, none of which really develop or "payout." Felt more like stories told across the table at a dinner party than a book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    ChristyMac

    Great quick read and validating for a parent!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

    Cute and funny stories.

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