Book Review: What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding


Kristin Newman’s travel memoir What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding is a refreshing read. When the majority of stories in movies and on television revolve around a woman finding Mr. Right, Newman’s story manages to celebrate the single life with a lot of travel and humor too.

Newman is a television screenwriter and has written for popular shows like That 70s Show and How I Met Your Mother (the latter a personal favorite of mine). Her career afforded her several months off at a time and so while a lot of her friends were getting married or having babies, Newman was not and she decided to travel solo while not working.

Each chapter in her memoir takes place in a different country she traveled to from 2000 to 2011 and captures the many hilarious stories she amassed over the years. From London, Paris, Amsterdam, and Russia to Brazil, Argentina, New Zealand and Australia, Newman reveals sexual escapades, romantic flings, and a lot of embarrassing moments her Dad might cringe at reading but she does it all with honesty and self-deprecating humor as funny as the shows she writes for.

Newman gets addicted to travel, like so many of us do, and also the single life. While she enjoys it all, she also wonders if she should settle down as well like her friends. Maybe she’s doing something wrong? Newman is courageous for coming to terms with the fact that she fears commitment and a stagnant life.  Ultimately she faces those fears and meets a man who wants to travel to every continent with her before settling down.

I loved Newman’s story because she proves you can either do the single life or settle down or do both. Neither way of life is discouraged and it’s comforting for a single girl like myself, and no doubt many other single girls, who are filled with individual worries or fears or who feel pressure from all kinds of places to marry and have babies on the same timeline as everyone else. What I Was Doing While  While You Were Breeding is a witty and entertaining read with heart and I call for more stories like Newman’s that celebrate women who deviate from the status quo and sort their lives out in their own way.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

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