Annie Choi is a funny lady. This is her second collection of essays, Shut Up, You’re Welcome, and was even funnier than the first (Happy Birthday or Whatever). Annie capitalizes on her humorous family and gently pokes fun at them as well as at herself in a way that is never nasty, but full of love.
Annie’s loony mother stands front and center in most of Annie’s stories — criticizing her underwear, her dating life and her career choices. Her foul-mouthed brother vacillates from being on Annie’s side to being against her. My favorite, however, is her father, who believes that his chemistry degree makes him an expert in anything involving science. He spent a good hunk of her childhood gold-plating everything he could get his hands on. Annie’s description of his disastrous laboratory — which he plans to leave to her along with his stash of gold bars — had me cracking up.
What’s great about Annie’s stories is how relatable they are. I am not Korean-American, but I too have been dragged on an overbooked, way too hot road trip with my family and waaay too much of our stuff. I fight with my sibling while simultaneously teaming up with her to rag on our mother. And anyone who knows about my father and his rock collection could see that he’s just a PhD away from mad scientist as it is.
Luckily, I’ve never flown home cross-country for Christmas only to find my entire family celebrating elsewhere.
This is a fun, quick read that I really enjoyed. I also made a note to check out Annie’s website, www.annietown.com to see if her blog entries live up to the book.