Thanks Susan Ready for the book review!!
Reading Joan Hasskamp’s humorous debut memoir ‘We Don’t Care Who Wins As Long As Joan Loses” is the perfect antidote to the continual barrage of troubling news that comes our way each day. It’s a refreshing read and certainly a sweet comic relief to escape while laughing at everyday happenings we all experience. The author is upfront letting readers know her memoir could very well be loaded with half-truths, gossip, hearsay, and innuendos.
Each chapter is a series of vignettes covering Hasskamp’s family life growing up in a small town in central Minnesota. Each story was carefully crafted in an interesting manner building up to laughs. The last sentence or two in each chapter ended with a “zing”. The memoir is written in chronological order covering a wide span from childhood into adulthood highlighting the antics of daily life happenings and good-natured rivalry Joan found among her family and friends. Early on Hasskamp was tagged by family and friends with the joyous refrain we don’t care who wins as long as Joan loses. At that time Hasskamp wished she had created her own clever ditty in response. But perhaps by writing this book it was just that opportunity she had been waiting for all these years.
Hasskamp is gifted at storytelling and knows how to embellish her stories for comedic value. Her stories are sharp-witted, relatable, and interesting. Readers can connect their own personal experiences with Hasskamp’s similar childhood experiences, parents and school interactions, hobbies, and even death of loved ones. No subject is off-limits for this author. Some of my favorite stories include coupon clipping, Costco shopping, and speedo runs.
Many of her childhood stories place her mom as a central figure. Hasskamp has captured her strength, patience, wisdom, and fairness resolving family situations where Hasskamp’s defiance and oppositional behavior often got her into trouble with siblings, friends, and in school. Hasskamp was young when her parents died. She was able to write about their deaths and the impact on her life in a sensitive and heartfelt way. And that would be no easy task when writing a mostly humorous book.
Hasskamp subtly slips in some of life’s gentle lessons in her stories as well as how cathartic it can be learning to laugh at one’s self despite the seriousness of life. I give Hasskamp credit for being able to own and embrace her own quirkiness and wanting to share with readers.
“We Don’t Care Who Wins As Long As Joan Loses” is a book that shows readers laughter is the best medicine as it can lighten our hearts. This book would be a wonderful choice for holiday gift-giving. I look forward to Hasskamp sharing more of her escapades with future books.
Books can be purchased online on Amazon.