Wendi Aarons is a blogger, humorist, mom, and unabashed woman over 50. The recently published memoir, I’m Wearing Tunics Now: On Growing Older, Better, and a Hell of a Lot Louder, is an excursion into her Austin, Texas, life. It’s also laugh-out-loud funny, especially if you’re a woman “of a certain age,” like me.

Aarons tells stories about her brief stint in Hollywood during her 20s after growing up in North Dakota and Carson City, Nevada. She describes the challenges of moving to a Southern town where other women said they “already had enough friends.” And then, she shares the triumphs and travails of motherhood, career, and, most importantly, meeting the group of women she considers her friends.

Every moment of this book is a story with jokes. Along the way, though, Aarons includes poignant moments and plenty of self-discovery. As an early Gen-Xer, I relate completely to her story, despite our differences. Aarons reminded me of how fraught the 1980s were for young women. And she managed to do so while making me laugh at the memories.

My conclusions

Had I met Aarons at BlogHer or another Internet-connected function during the early days of the Internet, I imagine we would’ve had commonalities. As an early adopter of blogging, I relate to how it connected women without the ever-present duck faces of today’s Instagram. But even if you weren’t online until the days of Facebook or Twitter, Aarons’s story of self-actualization is relatable.

Every story has universal truths about things like being the new mom in town or realizing that your knees now creak every time you stand up. Despite each decade of her life offering new challenges, Aarons zips joyously through each one while skewering those snobby ladies who spurned her “back in the day.”

Listening to the audiobook, read by the author, I spent all seven hours with a smile on my face. And, of course, I broke into plenty of laughs as well. Generally, I prefer professional narrators for my audiobooks, but Aarons’s speaking experience allows her to carry this off relatively well. It’s too personal to turn over this particular memoir to another narrator.

If you’re a woman over 40, this book is a fast-paced choice that will leave you inspired. It’s a great book club choice as well.

Pair with another coming-into-your-own memoir, like Rebecca Woolf’s All of This.


Thanks to NetGalley, Andrews McMeel Audio, Andrews McMeel Publishing, and the author for a digital advanced reader’s copy in exchange for this honest review.