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Lying to Children

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"The flawless celebration of the quintessential suburban family and raising children, Lying to Children is perfect for fans of Tom Perrota, Jonathan Tropper and Nora Ephron. It’ll have you experiencing happiness, laughter, sadness, heartache, and every emotion in between." --Redbook A fictional father writes letters to his college-aged daughter and son remembering events, "The flawless celebration of the quintessential suburban family and raising children, Lying to Children is perfect for fans of Tom Perrota, Jonathan Tropper and Nora Ephron. It’ll have you experiencing happiness, laughter, sadness, heartache, and every emotion in between." --Redbook A fictional father writes letters to his college-aged daughter and son remembering events, large and small, from their family’s past in the poignant and hilarious Lying to Children. This collection of sometimes outrageous, sometimes sad, often heartwarming interconnected vignettes features a delightful confessional celebration of family life told in stories from a dad’s unique perspective. Centered around the untruths parents regularly tell their kids in an effort to protect (or silence) them—from “Daddy Loves his Job” to “There’s a Jolly Fat Man who Brings You Presents (Assembly Required)” —Lying to Children is an unforgettable familial history filled with laughter, tears, and life lessons, and brimming over with a somewhat-less-than-perfect suburban dad’s unwavering love.


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"The flawless celebration of the quintessential suburban family and raising children, Lying to Children is perfect for fans of Tom Perrota, Jonathan Tropper and Nora Ephron. It’ll have you experiencing happiness, laughter, sadness, heartache, and every emotion in between." --Redbook A fictional father writes letters to his college-aged daughter and son remembering events, "The flawless celebration of the quintessential suburban family and raising children, Lying to Children is perfect for fans of Tom Perrota, Jonathan Tropper and Nora Ephron. It’ll have you experiencing happiness, laughter, sadness, heartache, and every emotion in between." --Redbook A fictional father writes letters to his college-aged daughter and son remembering events, large and small, from their family’s past in the poignant and hilarious Lying to Children. This collection of sometimes outrageous, sometimes sad, often heartwarming interconnected vignettes features a delightful confessional celebration of family life told in stories from a dad’s unique perspective. Centered around the untruths parents regularly tell their kids in an effort to protect (or silence) them—from “Daddy Loves his Job” to “There’s a Jolly Fat Man who Brings You Presents (Assembly Required)” —Lying to Children is an unforgettable familial history filled with laughter, tears, and life lessons, and brimming over with a somewhat-less-than-perfect suburban dad’s unwavering love.

30 review for Lying to Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melki

    This book is a series of letters written from dear old Dad to his kids in an effort to explain "what really happened while your mother and I were raising you." While I got a few chuckles out of his reminiscences, I had a lot of problems staying interested in the writing. This is really in no way, shape, or form a novel - it's more like a stand-up routine. Imagine watching a not-too-funny Jim Gaffigan comedy special - and you have this book! A novel involves plot, and characters: the Mom and kids This book is a series of letters written from dear old Dad to his kids in an effort to explain "what really happened while your mother and I were raising you." While I got a few chuckles out of his reminiscences, I had a lot of problems staying interested in the writing. This is really in no way, shape, or form a novel - it's more like a stand-up routine. Imagine watching a not-too-funny Jim Gaffigan comedy special - and you have this book! A novel involves plot, and characters: the Mom and kids in this book are not characters; they're simply catalysts for situations about which Dad gets to crack wise and make jokes. There's really no warmth, heart, and depth on display. Take a look at Alex Shahla. I think this may be a problem of "writing what you know. The author looks like he's maybe . . . 26? This type of book is always better when written by someone with a couple decades of raising kids under his or her belt. I do hope Shala continues writing . . . just not about parenting.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Haider

    I won a copy of this book in a goodreads giveaway. Parenting is hard. In Lying to Children a dad addresses his now college-aged children about his experience raising them and the lies he had to tell. The book has a good mix of touching and humorous moments. We hear about big moments and the minutiae of the day to day. As someone who is still in the middle of raising elementary-aged children I found plenty to relate to in this book. 3.5 stars What to listen to while reading... Lying to Children by I won a copy of this book in a goodreads giveaway. Parenting is hard. In Lying to Children a dad addresses his now college-aged children about his experience raising them and the lies he had to tell. The book has a good mix of touching and humorous moments. We hear about big moments and the minutiae of the day to day. As someone who is still in the middle of raising elementary-aged children I found plenty to relate to in this book. 3.5 stars What to listen to while reading... Lying to Children by The Switch Dissolve Me by Alt-J Too Many Cookies by The Oot n' oots The Adults are Talking by The Strokes The Suburbs by Arcade Fire Hakuna Matata by Nathan Lane

  3. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    From the nine months it takes to create that perfect little life until the eighteen years and beyond it takes to raise them, children are by far the greatest gift we ever receive.  Their first smile. Their first laugh. Their first words. Their first steps. All are such monumental milestones. As parents, we smile and encourage them and are their biggest fans.  Sacrifice. That is what parents do, and they do it with grace. Putting children first for millions of year... yup, that pretty much wraps up From the nine months it takes to create that perfect little life until the eighteen years and beyond it takes to raise them, children are by far the greatest gift we ever receive.  Their first smile. Their first laugh. Their first words. Their first steps. All are such monumental milestones. As parents, we smile and encourage them and are their biggest fans.  Sacrifice. That is what parents do, and they do it with grace. Putting children first for millions of year... yup, that pretty much wraps up parenting... but what if you could REALLY say what you wanted to say to your children? What if for once you could say, "Just stop being selfish and whiny! Have YOU had to wear the same underwear for 18 years?" What if you could write it all down, all the funny, crazy, angry, OH MY GOODNESS I WANT TO KILL YOU moments that you would NEVER admit to in real life, and hand it to your kids and walk away? This is my side of the story. One day when you tell your future significant others, children, or therapists what horrible parents your mother and I were and how we ruined your lives, this book might help to exonerate us. What if your kids really knew how you felt about getting that new puppy when you already had a dog, and how that puppy ruined your dog's life, therefore, causing you interminable amounts of grief? Every time I came home, I expected to see a message spelled out in kibble: "Couldn't take it anymore. Had to leave. Love always, Steve. PS: I shit on her side of the bed." Have you ever turned to your loving spouse and said: "Honey, I want to use my 'Get Out of Parenting Free' card." It's ok. You can admit it. The author Alex Shahla sure let it all fly loose in his comical and heart-warming (and yes, completely identifiable) book Lying to Children. Rarely do I laugh out loud when reading a book (smile, yes...laugh, no) but Shahla managed not only to make me laugh out loud, but also laugh until I had tears as I identified with all of the "letters" he wrote to his children.  One chapter on Christmas and Santa brought me giggles and left fantastic images in my head! I never did understand why at Christmas we don't just tell our children that we have worked and slaved all year long to purchase them the overpriced toys that we know they will either play with five minutes or abandon in pursuit of happily playing with the boxes said toys arrived in. But hey, we all play the Santa game, right? Hold on; give me a moment while I put on my Mr. Rogers sweater. Okay, here goes. If you ever wake up in the middle of the night and there's a large man with a sack standing in front of your fireplace, realize that he is not there to bring you presents; he's there to steal your presents. There is no such selfless figure. Aim for the chest and fire in rapid succession. Shahla managed to take everyday parenting and turn all of the struggles and giggles in raising children to a poignant and entertaining read. His humor may not be for all and there are many places where the punchline is a bit repetitive, but for me, he presented a great tribute to parenthood and all of the daily struggles, joys, and fake (as well as real) smiles that come along with it.  I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars for the laughter it provided me. I think you should go now and read it too. Take a journey and think about all those times you also wanted to scream and pull your hair out when your kids "knew better than you." Smile as the reach adulthood and congratulate them... But seriously. Congratulations. You've reached the end of the Yellow Brick Road and what awaits is the joy of partying your way towards massive amounts of educational debt, followed by the misery of adulthood, where you'll discover there are repercussions for your actions beyond being grounded. Enjoy! ~Janet 

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lourdes

    I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway this is how I felt.. and how it is written. ///Lying to Children is an unforgettable familial history filled with laughter, tears, and life lessons, and brimming over with a somewhat-less-than-perfect suburban dad’s unwavering love./// A nameless father writes to his children to tell them the truth behind the lies we tell our children, it was very funny, I really enjoyed it, the first time from this author. I would recommend it to anyone who is loo I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway this is how I felt.. and how it is written. ///Lying to Children is an unforgettable familial history filled with laughter, tears, and life lessons, and brimming over with a somewhat-less-than-perfect suburban dad’s unwavering love./// A nameless father writes to his children to tell them the truth behind the lies we tell our children, it was very funny, I really enjoyed it, the first time from this author. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a great read!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cayla

    Funny, but a little...much. At times the dad was an exaggeration of a character; it felt a little like I was reading a sitcom. Nevertheless, I'm sure parents can relate to a lot of moments. And there were some definite laugh out loud moments. Thanks Goodreads for the kindle win! If at first you don’t succeed, maybe trying isn’t your thing. Funny, but a little...much. At times the dad was an exaggeration of a character; it felt a little like I was reading a sitcom. Nevertheless, I'm sure parents can relate to a lot of moments. And there were some definite laugh out loud moments. Thanks Goodreads for the kindle win! If at first you don’t succeed, maybe trying isn’t your thing.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eva

    Thanks to Goodreads for the giveaway. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was hilarious and true to life. The characters were well developed and relatable. You may think you wouldn't like someone who lies to children; after reading this you will feel differently. Dad, the narrator, has many admirable qualities. His love for his family is easily apparent, second only to his love for cookies. The last chapter was pretty perfect, a great way to end. Thanks to Goodreads for the giveaway. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was hilarious and true to life. The characters were well developed and relatable. You may think you wouldn't like someone who lies to children; after reading this you will feel differently. Dad, the narrator, has many admirable qualities. His love for his family is easily apparent, second only to his love for cookies. The last chapter was pretty perfect, a great way to end.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tracy (The Pages In-Between)

    This book was hilarious. As a mom of four, I found that it was very easy to relate to. I've done the tooth fairy lie, the Santa Claus lie, Discouraging the desire to own a pet. and currently I am fighting the "I want a baby sister battle" with my youngest kids and now I find myself saying "How about a puppy?" haha! This is one cool dude, and I think it is genius that he had the idea to write a book like this. I loved the roller coaster emotions this book, the ha-ha moments, to the awwww moments.  This book was hilarious. As a mom of four, I found that it was very easy to relate to. I've done the tooth fairy lie, the Santa Claus lie, Discouraging the desire to own a pet. and currently I am fighting the "I want a baby sister battle" with my youngest kids and now I find myself saying "How about a puppy?" haha! This is one cool dude, and I think it is genius that he had the idea to write a book like this. I loved the roller coaster emotions this book, the ha-ha moments, to the awwww moments.  Which each chapter you learn something. As a parent you sacrifice things you want, or things you do, or things you need  in order to make your children's life the best that it can be. With raising kids you tell them the lies, to make them happy, to keep them safe, and sometimes just to make yourself feel better. "Lying to Children" hit the nail on the head with many of its chapters, and it's definitely a book I can pass on to parents who need a good hearty laugh. Thank you to Booksparks for sending me this book for the #popupblogtour 

  8. 5 out of 5

    Cat

    Parents of grown children should read this for a laugh, cry, cringe! It will bring back memories in a good way. Then recommend the book to friends! Might make a fun book club read for the right group. I received a free ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a fair review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Lying to Children is truly a not to be missed, one of a kind book! I literally could not stop laughing. Just when I thought I was done, I would read another quote that would have me laughing all over again. Quotes like: "In the game of life, there are winners, there are losers, and then there are those people who are too stupid to find the stadium." "Sorry to disappoint, kids, neither one of you was adopted. You are both members of my gene pool. And what a dirty pool it is." Each chapter focuses on Lying to Children is truly a not to be missed, one of a kind book! I literally could not stop laughing. Just when I thought I was done, I would read another quote that would have me laughing all over again. Quotes like: "In the game of life, there are winners, there are losers, and then there are those people who are too stupid to find the stadium." "Sorry to disappoint, kids, neither one of you was adopted. You are both members of my gene pool. And what a dirty pool it is." Each chapter focuses on a different lie: Daddy Loves his Job We can't have a puppy If I kiss it, it will make it better (I still believe in the power of a kiss makes boo boos better) If you put a tooth under your pillow, a magical fairy will bring you money There is a bunny who brings you presents on the day Jesus rose from the dead If you eat too much candy, your teeth will fall out You can be anything you want to be There is a fat jolly man who brings you presents (assembly required) The dog went to live on the farm with your goldfish where they'll have more room to run around Those are Daddy's cookies The enemy of your enemy is still your enemy Daddy loves going to Grammy and Grandpa's house The doctor is not going to hurt you Always take the high road, because that is what I did I'm happy you moved out of the house and are going to college In each chapter, you will learn why Annabelle and Peter's father "lied" to them. Oh, and did you know that Elf on a Shelf actually works for Vladimir Putin. Yes, he is a Russian spy (he is evil). Plus, why do commercials for places like Sonic get advertised in areas that have no such places. Don't forget that a child's first word should not be "puppy" but maybe "goldfish". There is so much more I could go on about this book but I will just leave it at you need to pick up a copy for yourself. You will not regret it. In fact, you will be thanking yourself that you made a smart choice.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Wulfwyn

    I really enjoyed this book. I think it’s important to note that these are letters the author wrote from a fictional dad to his children. It is not a novel where you read about this family from the birth of Annabelle to her going off to college. It is letters where the dad tries to explain his side of various memories. They were funny. I read them a bit each morning with my coffee. They helped brighten up a year that has been tremendous. What stood out to me the most was the love this dad has for I really enjoyed this book. I think it’s important to note that these are letters the author wrote from a fictional dad to his children. It is not a novel where you read about this family from the birth of Annabelle to her going off to college. It is letters where the dad tries to explain his side of various memories. They were funny. I read them a bit each morning with my coffee. They helped brighten up a year that has been tremendous. What stood out to me the most was the love this dad has for his family. That might be lost in reading these letters. Some may think the dad is over the top or trying to hard for laughs. What I found was a dad who was being real. He was writing to his children in the way they would recognize him. He was telling them not only of his love for them but also his love for their mother. I found it very relatable. It reminded me of the Erma Bombeck books my mom had. I read those at 13, before having my own children. I remember enjoying them so much because they felt real. That is the feeling I had reading this book. This is a real, (but fictional), dad talking to his real, (but fictional), children. I loved reading this each day and am a bit sorry that I am at the end of the book. Read the book and enjoy his fictional memories. I’m sure you will laugh and you might even remember similar things that happened in your family. You might be inspired to write a letter or two to your own children. I am grateful to have won an electronic copy of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I voluntarily reviewed this book because I enjoyed it. I hope you do, too.

  11. 5 out of 5

    High Plains Library District

    I was sold on the first page. It’s hard to believe that the stories told within are completely fiction. From kissing minor injuries to make things feel better to the existence of prominent holiday figures, sometimes the lies we tell are to help our children fit better into society and other times it’s for more selfish reasons. But, regardless of the morality and intention, they all go into shaping our children's lives. Alex Shahla welcomes the reader to a behind the scenes commentary on parentin I was sold on the first page. It’s hard to believe that the stories told within are completely fiction. From kissing minor injuries to make things feel better to the existence of prominent holiday figures, sometimes the lies we tell are to help our children fit better into society and other times it’s for more selfish reasons. But, regardless of the morality and intention, they all go into shaping our children's lives. Alex Shahla welcomes the reader to a behind the scenes commentary on parenting and the lies parents (or other adults) tell their children. Shahla writes from the perspective of a dad writing a book to his children who have gone off to college. Each chapter is its own story, but they build on each other as new characters and turning points appear. The dad reveals his parenting fails and successes and moments of pain and joy with a good dose of humor. I can say no more about this book than that you should read it. Why? Because it is downright funny, relatable, and worth every second reading. You don’t have to read it all at once. Just a chapter here or a chapter there, on the bus or in the waiting room, there is a laugh to be had no matter how much you read of it or where you read it. However, as comedic as this book was for me, it may not fit everyone’s sense of humor. To me, the stories in the book were very much like stories told at my family reunions, so I found them relatable and realistic.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    I ended up liking this book more than I thought I would! I laughed out loud so much!! And I also was very touched by the tenderness displayed by the author in the last 3 chapters. My favorite chapters were: #1, #3, #6, #7, #13, #14 #15. At first I though this was based upon a true story as much of the writing seemed very realistic. Then I found out it was written by a young man in his late twenties! He admits to having a lot of help from parents, friends, etc. At times, the author seemed extreme I ended up liking this book more than I thought I would! I laughed out loud so much!! And I also was very touched by the tenderness displayed by the author in the last 3 chapters. My favorite chapters were: #1, #3, #6, #7, #13, #14 #15. At first I though this was based upon a true story as much of the writing seemed very realistic. Then I found out it was written by a young man in his late twenties! He admits to having a lot of help from parents, friends, etc. At times, the author seemed extremely immature and selfish, but some Dads are like that! I really related to the overall theme that most parents love their children, they only want the best for them, and feel quite an emptiness when the children start to leave the nest. I remember how I felt the first time my son moved away to attend college in San Diego. I was a divorced mother of two teens at the time. I really missed my son and he didn't phone much the first semester, except when he was in need of money or food! He did come home for holidays with piles of laundry too! Just like the author wrote about! haha! This book was a perfect antidote to the trying times we are living in. I needed humor and I got it in spades!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    A funny, tongue in cheek compilation of stories about the lies we tell our children. As a recent empty-nester, I found myself reflecting back on all those times as a parent, being put on the spot, and trying desperately to find a way out. One chapter brought back a memory of my daughter asking me about a client (I work from home and she overheard a whole phone conversation and then my blood curdling scream afterward out of frustration), why did I work with him if I didn't like him. Oh, if things A funny, tongue in cheek compilation of stories about the lies we tell our children. As a recent empty-nester, I found myself reflecting back on all those times as a parent, being put on the spot, and trying desperately to find a way out. One chapter brought back a memory of my daughter asking me about a client (I work from home and she overheard a whole phone conversation and then my blood curdling scream afterward out of frustration), why did I work with him if I didn't like him. Oh, if things were only so simple! This would be a great gift for any parent whose kids are heading off to college.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Funny and touching I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I was a little anxious starting it because it’s a humor book about being a dad. I’m a mom and know that often dads just think they’re funny. But they’re really not. This dad is funny. I laughed out loud a lot. Teared up some but mostly laughed. Don’t stop with this book Alex. Bring on the next one!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    I really loved this book. (And I'm not just saying that because I FINALLY won a Goodreads book giveaway.) I am a parent at the same point as the author - one has just left for college leaving me feeling nostalgic, so proud of her, anxious that she's taking care of herself some 600 miles away from me, and sad for me - and my other child is at the end of high school looking for where she can go to get far away from me. And we've told the same lies and felt the same overwhelming love for our childr I really loved this book. (And I'm not just saying that because I FINALLY won a Goodreads book giveaway.) I am a parent at the same point as the author - one has just left for college leaving me feeling nostalgic, so proud of her, anxious that she's taking care of herself some 600 miles away from me, and sad for me - and my other child is at the end of high school looking for where she can go to get far away from me. And we've told the same lies and felt the same overwhelming love for our children. I'll probably read this one again one day as it affirms all those parental feelings that you wonder if you should be having!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Pooja

    A sweet book that goes over the top in regards to humor sometimes, but still manages to pass time with a warm glow. Disclaimer: This book was won in a Goodreads giveaway. This is my honest and voluntary review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nada

    Lying to Children by Alex Shahla had me laughing on page 1, and I really did not stop until the end. The book reads more like a collection of essays with a memoir like quality than a novel to be read beginning to end. I relate to the narrator and the situations. I laugh...a lot. I look forward to sharing this book with my children as the “other side of the story” to childhood. Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017... Reviewed for NetGalley Lying to Children by Alex Shahla had me laughing on page 1, and I really did not stop until the end. The book reads more like a collection of essays with a memoir like quality than a novel to be read beginning to end. I relate to the narrator and the situations. I laugh...a lot. I look forward to sharing this book with my children as the “other side of the story” to childhood. Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017... Reviewed for NetGalley

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    First, I want to note that I won This book from a Goodreads giveaway. This book was a series of letters written by a father to his grown children. The letters were funny at times and very relatable to parents. I found the father to be a bit unlikable at times, but maybe that was intentional. If you have raised a child/children, you will enjoy this book!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jena

    “Believe me, it’s not easy being a dad. It takes love, strength, patience, understanding… and the ability to lie sincerely to impressionable young children about all manners of things, from the existence of Santa Claus to why they can’t have a puppy.” Lying to Children is a funny novel, set up as a series of vignettes. Each chapter is named after the appropriate lie, like “Daddy loves his job”, which then goes on to tell the children stories related to that lie. It’s a unique take on telling pare “Believe me, it’s not easy being a dad. It takes love, strength, patience, understanding… and the ability to lie sincerely to impressionable young children about all manners of things, from the existence of Santa Claus to why they can’t have a puppy.” Lying to Children is a funny novel, set up as a series of vignettes. Each chapter is named after the appropriate lie, like “Daddy loves his job”, which then goes on to tell the children stories related to that lie. It’s a unique take on telling parenting stories, and reads as seamlessly as a well-structured fictional novel. Anyone raising kids, or who has already raised their kids, will connect with this book. The writing is funny and captures the insanity of having children. Telling these stories from the perspective of the children already grown, gives it an added twist of humor, because let’s face it, owning up to some things we do as parents is quite hilarious at times. At the end of each lie, there is a lesson. Or a piece of parenting advice. So, the use of ‘lies’ is riddled with deeper meaning. Sometimes we realize later in raising children, that they are tougher and smarter than we give them credit for. Sometimes the white lies and mistruths we tell them to protect them were unnecessary. Or they serve a purpose, to help teach a lesson. This novel does an excellent job of taking through that journey in these short snippets. Many pieces of this book are seriously laugh out loud funny. Even though the father is definitely a caricature of a father, he reminds you enough of a normal father that these embellishments serve to highlight the lunacy of life rather than belittle it. There is a Chevy Chase in Family Vacation humor to this father. He is over the top and ridiculous, but at times, aren’t all fathers in some way? Have children: and at the end, if you’ve never questioned your sanity, you will be my all time hero. They make us behave in bizarre and inexplicable ways. My absolute favorite chapter in this book is “If you eat too much candy, your teeth will fall out.” The piece when he describes leading his daughter and her friends as Frodo, is one I was laughing through the entire time. Imagine a father rallying the teenage troops, and they are all true to character, and he has no idea what these characters are. It is quite comical. “One does not simply walk into Palisades Park,” the other human with the sword said. “It is riddled with fire and ash and dust. The poisonous fumes alone could kill you.” “What?” I asked. The pieces that I found the funniest, and I’m sure this is true with any reader, are the ones that felt relatable. As I mentioned, the Halloween one was one of my favorites. I am sure that my siblings and I have mystified my father on more than one occasion. If we begin talking about Star Wars or Harry Potter, at some point I’m sure he thinks we’re just making things up. When this father shakes his head and plunges forward not understanding his children, I thought of how many times my dad probably did the same thing. As with any good novel on parenting, there are a few moments that warm your heart and make you want to call your own dad. They aren’t super sappy, or over the top heavy with emotion and sentimentality. They are fitting and appropriate for the book. Raising children is ridiculous and filled with wonderful moments. But there are just as many that make you angry and break your heart. And at times, our children will terrify us with their own fragility. This is part of being a parent, and again, Shahla navigates those waters with each lesson fitting appropriately within each lie. “I learned a valuable lesson the day. There are no shortcuts in life, and there are no shortcuts in parenting.” This is a fast enjoyable read. It’s perfect for reading on vacation, or near your own family. I found myself reading parts aloud to my husband and son. It is a book that would be fun to share with my parents and siblings. While there are the hilarious moments, there are some moments that drone on a bit and feel like Shahla is simply trying to hard. The humor misses, and it feels more like rambling than a cohesive story. A few chapters would have been a lot better with those parts cut out. Whether you had a ridiculous father or not, there is enough truth written in each story that I think people can identify and relate. It is meant to be funny, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t truth written in the humor. Lying to Children is available on Amazon now. Thank you to Booksparks for sending me this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    Received this book as an ARC for my honest review. Ok, on what planet did the publisher think this was a good book to publish. It is a bunch of rambling from a father to his children in a "pretend letter" now that they are adults. The story starts with "if you ever look back and want tell therapists what horrible parents your mother and I were and how we ruined your lives, this book might help exonerate us." If the kids wanted to go back and tell how horrible their lives were with this father, I Received this book as an ARC for my honest review. Ok, on what planet did the publisher think this was a good book to publish. It is a bunch of rambling from a father to his children in a "pretend letter" now that they are adults. The story starts with "if you ever look back and want tell therapists what horrible parents your mother and I were and how we ruined your lives, this book might help exonerate us." If the kids wanted to go back and tell how horrible their lives were with this father, I would send him to jail in a heartbeat. My goodness how self centered, selfish and immature can a grown man be. From saying that he didn't have love at first sight with his now wife to holding his nephew up against his helmet because he was trying to recreate the play from the Superbowl and then he dropped him and talked about how he wasn't quite right after that and he kept thinking that was the reason why. Talked about his wife's friend who seems to one-up him all the time so he started doing things to have them spend money. Talked about how one Halloween he didn't want to go and he pissed off a 13 year old kid who then egged him along with other things so the next year he got dressed up and got a whole bunch of little kids to go stalk that kid and have retaliation and still lost. I could go on and on and on as it never stopped it was always like this. I know this book is supposed to be fake but he wasn't even likable, not even a little bit.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Thank you to Booksparks for providing me with a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. I had a blast reading this book. This was exactly the type of humor that I love: sarcastic and smart. I will admit that I’m not a parent so I couldn’t relate to the stories on that level, but I have parents and I could totally hear them in these stories. And that made it so much funnier. I think this is a great book for anyone who’s looking for a good laugh, something to read to escape their s Thank you to Booksparks for providing me with a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. I had a blast reading this book. This was exactly the type of humor that I love: sarcastic and smart. I will admit that I’m not a parent so I couldn’t relate to the stories on that level, but I have parents and I could totally hear them in these stories. And that made it so much funnier. I think this is a great book for anyone who’s looking for a good laugh, something to read to escape their surroundings for a bit. I also think it would be a great book to keep on the coffee table to allow people to grab it and read a story here and there. Because these are definitely stories and laughs worth sharing.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Emi Bevacqua

    If Alex Shahla writes a holiday letter about his family, I bet it's funny and if this book were edited to fit on one page, I'm sure it would make me laugh. Although his book Lying to Children is stylized in letter form, it reads more like the personal journal of a smug, snarky one percenter. Bragging about having spoiled your children isn't all that endearing or entertaining, I find. If Alex Shahla writes a holiday letter about his family, I bet it's funny and if this book were edited to fit on one page, I'm sure it would make me laugh. Although his book Lying to Children is stylized in letter form, it reads more like the personal journal of a smug, snarky one percenter. Bragging about having spoiled your children isn't all that endearing or entertaining, I find.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lois

    Really funny, was like reading an Erma Bombeck book. For those of you who never heard of Erma, read her books too. I received this book from Good Reads.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Plucky St.

    Only four books had ever made me laugh out loud: Catch-22, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Will Durant’s The Story of Philosophy, and Cat’s Cradle. Now there are five. The book’s narrator, a nameless father, writes to his children to tell them the truth behind the lies we tell our children. Each chapter nominally treats with a different lie parents tell their kids. So much of the quality of writing and story telling lies in Shahla’s attention to detail. The chapter titles are brilliant. “There Only four books had ever made me laugh out loud: Catch-22, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Will Durant’s The Story of Philosophy, and Cat’s Cradle. Now there are five. The book’s narrator, a nameless father, writes to his children to tell them the truth behind the lies we tell our children. Each chapter nominally treats with a different lie parents tell their kids. So much of the quality of writing and story telling lies in Shahla’s attention to detail. The chapter titles are brilliant. “There Is a Bunny Who Brings You Presents on the Day That Jesus Rose from the Dead” and “Daddy Loves Going to Grammy and Grandpa’s House” are two of my favorites. The detail shines through in the character names too. The names are practically onomatopoeia. Prescott and Gwenyth Fairchild as the pretentious, one-uppers from the book? Of course! We all know them. You could have guessed their roles from their names. How about the neighborhood’s mischievous semi-bully? Perkus. Nailed it. The names, the different voices the characters have, the crazy situations the dad find himself in, it all just fits. For a first book, especially in a fictional humor genre littered with the remains of poorly constructed absurdism, it stands as quite an achievement. Make no mistake, there are absurd moments but they are paradoxically believable and all the funnier because of that paradox. Part of me expected more heavy-handed, saccharin moments and I was really glad to see that the author did not succumb to that trap. It is one of my pet hates when authors tell me how to feel. He showed, rather than told, how much the father cared. A feat seldom accomplished. The prose itself won’t make you weep for beauty but it is perfect for a fictional humor and Shahla gets the narrator’s tone just right. As I said before, it all just fits. I was alerted to this book after seeing it one some summer reading lists but there’s depth to this book that transcends beach lit. After reading the book I just have to admire the author’s imagination. He puts the narrator in absurd situations and they are hilarious. Shahla, however, is equally good at finding humor and insight parenthood’s innocuous moments. The way he weaves these semi-related stories together is wildly impressive. You won’t be disappointed.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    As a Goodreads Giveaway win, I wondered what I was getting into with Shahla’s “Lying to Children”. I was not disappointed. Rather, I am very happy to have discovered Shahla and his particular brand of sardonic storytelling. I didn’t research Alex Shahla until after finishing and was startled by how young he appears to be – how could someone so young perfectly nail the inner workings of a parent’s mind? Yet that’s exactly what he did, and under the premise of writing intended for the father’s chil As a Goodreads Giveaway win, I wondered what I was getting into with Shahla’s “Lying to Children”. I was not disappointed. Rather, I am very happy to have discovered Shahla and his particular brand of sardonic storytelling. I didn’t research Alex Shahla until after finishing and was startled by how young he appears to be – how could someone so young perfectly nail the inner workings of a parent’s mind? Yet that’s exactly what he did, and under the premise of writing intended for the father’s children to read later in life it was awesome! A few of my favorite quotes: “Life was pretty good. Better than I ever could have expected. And then we had you, Annabelle. During the first year of your life, I never slept more than three hours in a row. I was fatigued. On edge. Any time a person without children told me that they were tired, I wanted to punch them. You don’t know what tired means, I’d think as I clenched my fist, ready to swing. But I held back. Who was I kidding? I was too tired to hit anyone, and even if I had made contact, it wouldn’t have hurt. I lacked the energy needed for violence.” “Personally, I think Beethoven probably stunk the first time he tried to play the piano.” “It’s not important that you defeat your enemies; sometimes just standing up to them is all that matters.” “Plus, I had been sprinting—or whatever you call it when you’re forty, out of shape, and trying to move as fast as you can; it wasn’t so much sprinting as it was disorganized jogging—and if I didn’t slow my pace, I was liable to die.” “And yes, children, I did already have a drill, but I had burned out the motor on it within fifteen minutes of use. I needed a professional drill, not the kind you use to build IKEA furniture when you fail (i.e., neglect) to follow instructions properly. No, I needed the kind that contractors built homes with.” And my very favorite: ““The world needs more people who don’t have to think about what to do when they see somebody doing something wrong.” Shahla will wend you through the crazy, frenetic, loving mind of a parent with surprising insight, biting wit and just enough emotion to make it a unique experience that you didn’t know you needed (and this is just his first published work!). Look for great things to come from Alex!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    #GoodreadsGiveaway I received a free copy of this book from Goodreads Giveaways. This was a quick and witty non-fiction read! Written as letters to his two children, the author goes through a list of all the lies he has told his children over the years, complete with humor and wit. Each chapter discusses a different lie (i.e. santa) and the author details a humorous event about that topic. The stories usually involve the author with a bad attitude about things requiring his participation as a pare #GoodreadsGiveaway I received a free copy of this book from Goodreads Giveaways. This was a quick and witty non-fiction read! Written as letters to his two children, the author goes through a list of all the lies he has told his children over the years, complete with humor and wit. Each chapter discusses a different lie (i.e. santa) and the author details a humorous event about that topic. The stories usually involve the author with a bad attitude about things requiring his participation as a parent and usually a mishap or some kind of shenanigans ensues. What I liked: displeasure in the parenting process makes me laugh and I love when parents take an honest approach to how damn exhausting and silly parenting sometimes is. I liked the wit and the honesty and how the author makes excuses for his distaste for whatever the situation is. I also like that this is such a special thing for the authors kids to have. I have only minor doubts about to veracity of everything, but it’s really sweet that his kids have this in the future in their father’s voice, told specifically to them. What I didn’t like: some of the humor and style started to feel forced and repetitious after a couple of chapter. By halfway through, I felt like each chapter was just a different iteration of the same concept (author is annoyed by event, hi-jinx ensues or details told with sass). Because it is told to the author’s children specifically, sometimes these stories, for me personally, felt just a little like “you just had to be there” moments, that aren’t really that funny unless you lived it or were personally involved. I imagine a lot of these stories would be GREAT told in person, like comedian/comedy show style, but sometimes reading the words without the verbal and nonverbal cues and facial expressions, etc. leaves a little to be desired. All in all this was a fun read and I appreciate the humor!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I won this book from a Goodreads giveaway. I LOVED this book! I would never have imagined the author isn’t a man who has two grown children, writing this as a fictionalized biography. The story is more like short (funny) essays about a man telling stories to his children so they can see how his parenting shaped their lives. (I also believe there is an undercurrent of a love story written to his wife within these same pages.) The main character is irreverent, slightly manipulative (LOVE the story I won this book from a Goodreads giveaway. I LOVED this book! I would never have imagined the author isn’t a man who has two grown children, writing this as a fictionalized biography. The story is more like short (funny) essays about a man telling stories to his children so they can see how his parenting shaped their lives. (I also believe there is an undercurrent of a love story written to his wife within these same pages.) The main character is irreverent, slightly manipulative (LOVE the story about the Fairchilds!), humorous, tongue in cheek, and at the same time, loving, nurturing, and dedicated to his family (Capture the Flag is a sweet, funny story too!). I feel like the main character would be someone I’d call a friend, because that little bit of snarky, droll, under the radar humor is what I enjoy most (Revenge...never put Baby in a corner, or underestimate a Mama Bear!) The story is mostly clean, though there are a few times the author lightly scatters profanity into his writing. Overall, I really hope the author has another book in the works, even with going with an entirely new cast and plot, I believe he has a true future in the publishing community! The author peppered his writing with pop culture, as well as references to classic literature, sometimes not even “announcing” that was what he was doing....he just expected that his readers would pick up on those references because they are intelligent people (or at least that’s what I’m assuming for the ego boost) BTW, I was only a few pages in at 9:30pm....it is now 2:45am.....I couldn’t ever find a place that I would be happy leaving off to go to sleep! Oh, and now I want to go bake cookies for my family at 3:00am, lol

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jan farnworth

    am pretty sure i got this book in a box of books that i won so their was a random selection of books in their. I doing my best to clean books out from my ever growing stack of books that i want to at least give a chance. I read the blurbs on the back on most of them and while most of them are not my usual read they all sound good. Some are like this one they are the perfect bedtime read as they are not hugely detailed or overly big. I dug through the pile and pulled this one out and decided it w am pretty sure i got this book in a box of books that i won so their was a random selection of books in their. I doing my best to clean books out from my ever growing stack of books that i want to at least give a chance. I read the blurbs on the back on most of them and while most of them are not my usual read they all sound good. Some are like this one they are the perfect bedtime read as they are not hugely detailed or overly big. I dug through the pile and pulled this one out and decided it was time to give this one a go. I ended up rating this one at a three as the stories contained are ones we all as parents can relate to we all tell these type of innocenct lies to get through parenting this little angels that we brought into the world. What made this book worth the read was the down to earth way the farther tells them to his children. I looked forward to seeing how each story held some sort of nugget of truth for his now college bound children to take with them as they headed out this journey of life. My favorite by far was the last one as it the final story before his daughter heads off to college and it really gives you the whole perspective of what this dad who never emotional feels as he getting ready to move on from parenting children to parenting adult children. I especially thought the home depot science was most touching. I not at this stage just yet i got a few more years before my only heads out beyond my home but i would like to think that he would enjoy a book like this for when he feeling homesick.

  29. 5 out of 5

    letshaveakya

    Lying to Children by Alex Shahla has got to be one of the best fictional comedy reads of 2017 hands down! From the foreword to the acknowledgment I was cracking up! The humor and relatability of his characters was spot on in this story of a fictional father retelling his children’s adolescents from his point of view. The truthful, yet entertaining, reality of moments in their family history rather then the parental-shielded version. And all of it was done in a loving and hilariously honest way t Lying to Children by Alex Shahla has got to be one of the best fictional comedy reads of 2017 hands down! From the foreword to the acknowledgment I was cracking up! The humor and relatability of his characters was spot on in this story of a fictional father retelling his children’s adolescents from his point of view. The truthful, yet entertaining, reality of moments in their family history rather then the parental-shielded version. And all of it was done in a loving and hilariously honest way that his now adult children could hopefully appreciate lol. Of course with these re-tellings come life lessons for his son and daughter to help them navigate the newness of their new admission into adulthood, and possibly one day parenthood. So many scenes/chapters in this novel reminded me of my family that I just started to read it out loud to my friends and family that were around me so they could laugh and nod their heads in agreement as well! This book is truly one that anyone, not just parents, can relate to, appreciate and share with others. It is also an amusing and witty reminder to kids that their parents were once carefree and fun to be around - before responsibilities and taxes took away their smiles. I had never read an Alex Shahla story before and I’m so grateful this book was sent to me as he is now one of my go to authors for sure!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cat

    When dad jokes become a book (not a bad thing!) Thanks to Goodreads and Alex Shahla for the chance to read a copy of this book and provide a review. This book is a series of letters to fictional children, providing the dad's point of view on things like the tooth fairy, kissing imaginary booboos to make them better, and what happens when your daughter has to go to a birthday party on the night of the Super Bowl. It's like a novel-length dad joke, which I found warmly comforting. I chuckled at jokes When dad jokes become a book (not a bad thing!) Thanks to Goodreads and Alex Shahla for the chance to read a copy of this book and provide a review. This book is a series of letters to fictional children, providing the dad's point of view on things like the tooth fairy, kissing imaginary booboos to make them better, and what happens when your daughter has to go to a birthday party on the night of the Super Bowl. It's like a novel-length dad joke, which I found warmly comforting. I chuckled at jokes like "the time before you were born, or as your mother and I call it, the best and most profitable years of our lives" or when the unnamed dad uses the Elf on the Shelf to get the kids to eat their vegetables -- and his vegetables too. The stories take us through a genial suburban existence, with tales of one-upmanship against in-laws and pretentious friends, of cookie hoarding and epic sundae making, of breaking out military jargon with other dads trying to figure out how to watch the Super Bowl (pre smart phones) during a child's birthday party. It's very goofy and very low stakes, and is the reading equivalent of a sitcom (again, not a bad thing!). I had fun reading it, and I think it's an excellent comfort food -type read for when you just want to read jokes about how mall food courts and all their free samples are the dad version of tapas.

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