Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui

Listen to the Squawking Chicken

As the 800,000+ U.S. fans of Elaine Lui’s site know, her mother, aka The Squawking Chicken, is a huge factor in Elaine’s life. She pulls no punches, especially with her only child. “Where’s my money?” she asks every time she sees Elaine. “You’ll never be Miss Hong Kong,” she informed her daughter when she was a girl. Listen to the Squawking Chicken lays bare the playbook of unusual advice, warnings, and unwavering love that has gu...

Details Listen to the Squawking Chicken

TitleListen to the Squawking Chicken
Release DateApr 22nd, 2014
PublisherG.P. Putnam's Sons
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, Cultural, Canada, Humor

Reviews Listen to the Squawking Chicken

  • Gabby
    I received an ARC of The Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui in return for an honest review. I gave this book 2 Stars because it was very well written. That's all I thought it had going for it.Elaine Lui has a very unusual mother who has a very unusual background. The mother is the Squawking Chicken about whom Lui has managed to put together enough material to cover a whole book. The Squawking Chicken sees no need to filter anything she says. That ot...
  • Amanda Bolderston
    Sooooo disappointed! I love Lainey and her snarky blog, I think she's smart. witty and can deliver a killer one-liner so I was really looking forward to this biographical account of her relationship with her mother. I think there were two problems for me. The first was that Lainey's colloquial style (like a deliciously bitchy email from a girlfriend) works well on a blog, but can't sustain a full book. After a while it looks shallow and trite. Th...
  • Andrew
    Now I understand my mother-in-law better. I understand why not to get attached to a dim sum place (you'll always move to a newer one), why my wife doesn't get birthday gifts (for being born? her mum did the work that day), and why soup must be drunk (put simply, you'll likely die immediately without it).Not that my wife hasn't patiently explained all this to me. Some small part of me always said, "But it must be only her mother." No. Apparently E...
  • Wanda
    This book made me miss my mother. I wish I could phone her. I wish I could get her to read this book and tell me what she thinks of it. I just wish I could hear her voice once more—something that I haven’t heard for eighteen years.Now let me be clear—my mother was nothing like Elaine Lui’s mother, the Squawking Chicken. She had a happy childhood, a good marriage, and I think the normal desire to see her children do well. The Sqawking Chic...
  • Amanda
    I sat down to read a couple of pages in the library and got sucked into finishing the whole thing. Ms. Lui can write, and write well. The whole thing made me a little sad though. So much pain in the lives of both of these women, and that is - mostly - glossed over.It does not surprise me that Lui deliberately chose not to have children. Her own childhood was difficult and her relationship with her mother was fraught with resentment that she is no...
  • Jacki (Julia Flyte)
    Elaine Lui is a Canadian Entertainment Journalist who writes the gossip blog "Lainey Gossip". This memoir is about her relationship with her mother, aka the "Squawking Chicken" (a nickname that she's had since she was a teenager). Lainey explains in the book's introduction that she wrote the book to honour her mother and to acknowledge how every success that she's had in her life stems from her mother's devotion to her. While I believe she means ...
  • Jen Kirsch
    This morning I read Lainey Gossip's much talked about "sorta" memoir, Listen to the Squaking Chicken. The book is all about her mom, her moms history, friendships, failed relationships and mostly, her parenting skills (or lack thereof.) Within reading the first chapter, I was anxious to finish this book, only so I could go on to read to my next one waiting - calling - for me on my bookshelf. I felt disappointed in myself that I decided to go for ...
  • Brittany
    How I Came To Read This Book: I got a digital ARC from the publisher.The Plot: Elaine Lui is a first generation Chinese-Canadian. Her mother is the titular squawking chicken. Through 10 essays (each of which is typically stitched together from 3 or 4 shorter anecdotes) she explores her mother's insane (by Western standards) way of raising her daughter - and why Elaine may not be entirely grateful for a lifetime of shaming, but at the very least r...
  • Sue Louie
    There seems to be an undertone of bitterness below the shallow layer of 'humour' in this 'sort of memoir'. Calling her mom a squawking chicken for example raises a red flag. Is the author not aware of the connotation of labelling a woman a 'chicken'? (squawking or otherwise) It isn't exactly a term of endearment.-What about the repeated mentioning of her mom's violation. Yes, the traumatic event has been woven into the fabric of both their lives....
  • Chihoe Ho
    If this book was supposed to be incredibly funny, the humour was lost on me. Sure, "Listen to the Squawking Chicken" did elicit some smiles and chuckles, but I would hardly characterize it as "laughing till I rolled off the bed" as author Kevin Kwan describes it. Catherine Gildiner also says she "learned more about Chinese culture from this book" than her time in Hong Kong. It's misleading because while there are commonalities to the traditions a...
  • Samantha Trillium ☂
    Anyone who is not familiar with Elaine Lui, (aka Lainey gossip) do yourselves a favour, and get familiar. This woman is a firecracker! And although her main claim to fame is celebrity gossip, she is so much more than that... for further proof, tune in to the Social (a Canadian "The View") and just listen to one of her classic rants. When she has an opinion about something, she's going to tell you exactly what it is. Her "memoir" of sorts is mostl...
  • Tiffany
    I'd rate this 3.5 stars if I could, but since I can't, I generously added the other half star. ;) Fluff. Pure fluff that you can digest in a day or two but likely won't remember a lot of it in 3 months. But that's ok, not every book is meant to fill you up. I did appreciate the anecdotal style of the book, I actually quite enjoy reading little stories of people's lives. Especially lives lived so differently from my own. The writing style was easi...
  • rebecca ɤ
    Absolutely loved this memoir. It was heart warming, funny, blatantly truthful, and simply entertaining. As a child of parents who are also immigrants I could relate to Elaine a lot. Full review to come.
  • Joanne
    I waited a long time to read this book because I hated the title. That turned out to be prophetic, because I really, really didn't like this book. I've been reading Lainey's column almost from the beginning, and I've read her occasional rant about her mother with amusement. That's fine and dandy, but 200 pages of her mother is 199 pages too much. This woman has no discernible redeeming qualities. No matter how tough a childhood is or what kind of...
  • Elvina Barclay
    I think I want a Squawking Chicken mother. It wouldn't be easy of course but despite the cringing embarrassment and at times strange advise I would definitely be a much better person.Elaine's mother's story is at times heartbreaking but ultimately so uplifting. I would love to be her friend, if only for 18 months or 2 years until I did something so low classy that she cut me loose without a word and left me scratching my head in wonder (is head s...
  • Kate
    I did not care for this book. I'm familiar w/ Elaine Lui, aka Lainey Gossip; I've seen her a few times on TV and have read the occasional blog post. But I am not a regular follower of hers. However, what I've seen indicated that this would probably be a well-written and interesting book.It was well-written. Or at least, nothing bothered me about the writing. She brought the characters in the book to life. And she seemed to have a good strong edit...
  • Rosanne
    I'm a Laineygossip fan and did like her writing style but I maintain that bloggers turned authors really don't produce very good books. I would have been disappointed if I had purchased this (yay library!), but it is a quick read with some pretty wild and entertaining stories.Lainey either has a serious case of Stockholm Syndrome or she is only telling us half the story, I just can't imagine how her daughterly devotion can result from her relatio...
  • Char
    I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of this book ( thanks Random House Canada) This book filled in some missing pieces for me. I've followed Lainey Gossip for years now and have been entertained by the small servings dished out in her blog. This book was the whole meal that I devoured over one weekend. I could have done it in one sitting but I wanted to make it last as I knew I would only be getting small bits again through her blog and on T...
  • Anna
    Elaine Lui runs a gossip blog called Lainey Gossip and sometimes she gives her readers fascinating glimpses into her life with her mother, which is why I wanted to read this book, and why I'm glad I did. I don't know very much about Chinese folk religion or Feng Shui, and so I found seeing the world through the eyes of people who wholeheartedly believe in it to be very interesting. This is a light, gossipy book that can be read in a single aftern...
  • Shanna
    I enjoyed Lainey's light, conversational tone. As an avid reader of her blog, reading her book was another step in our growing, one-sided and imaginary bff relationship. The dynamics of the mother-daughter relationship are hard enough to contemplate on the best of days, with the sanest of mothers. On a regular day with a crazy mother, hell bent on having everyone live life on her terms, well, that's a whole other story that's told with 'class' an...
  • Jenn McRobbie
    The writing was superb and kept me coming back DESPITE hating the subject matter. Otherwise I would've rated this book much lower. I am half Chinese and half Caucasian. Books like this, in my opinion, just highlight stereotypes about the Chinese. I know, I know "stereotypes have basis in reality" but I found myself cringing through this book. I imagined how mortified my own mom would knowing that The Squawking Chicken's actions would be attribute...
  • Anne Boardman
    I scored an advance copy of this book from the Penguin Books First to Read program. I really enjoyed the stories of the Squawking Chicken. Definitely some life lessons in there that I would imagine can only be appreciated when you've lived through the experiences and got some distance for perspective. I have to say though that if my mother acted like the Squawking Chicken or my daughter talked about me like the author did of her mother, I would k...
  • Deandra
    Lui spends her day writing blog posts and speaking on TV, so she’s articulate, and it shows through her writing. It’s eloquent and I really liked the style of speaking briefly about some life lesson, or cultural Chinese reference, and then throwing in a story but always tying it together in the end. She kept me completely enthralled and entertained the entire time...(find full review here:
  • Karry Vanherreweghe
    I won this book as a First Reads, Goodreads winner.This book has a little bit of everything, but mostly humor. The Squawking Chicken used every opportunity to teach her daughter a lesson and it wasn't necessarily a way my mother would have used, but probably a way she would've wanted to! I laughed, I was shocked and I even learned a few things... like, I really need a Feng Shui master!
  • Daylene
    I love the laineygossip blog, so I was looking forward to reading this book. It definitely is not as great as I was hoping it would be. Sure, there were a few funny parts, but overall, it was sort of lacklustre.
  • Cath
    This book made me chuckle more than once. I envy and admire the relationship EL has with her mother. It's beautiful, complicated and each needs each other to survive. I hope my own daughter sees my faults in the same forgiving way as EL does for her mother. Lucky.
  • Caitlin Anderson
    Lainey's writing style is extremely engaging, and her stories about her mother fluctuate between funny, heartfelt, and vaguely horrifying. Quick, fun read.
  • Melissa
    I didn't love this book. It was interesting to learn about mother/daughter culture in China but I bristled at the 'mother knows best' theme that ran through the book.
  • RYCJ
    The writing style won me over. I needed to read something powerful, yet easy on the psyche. This story met that need. Not too much. Not too little.The historical references. The customs. The depth and sheer breadth of storytelling. The tone. The humor. The hypocrisies and the many, many messages, and many more lessons... all neatly, and I politely insert, cleverly melded in unembellished, humble, brilliant writing. I was too tickled about Elaine ...