Hand To Mouth by Linda Tirado

Hand to mouth, linda tirado, Poverty thoughts, book journey

The Author of the popular “Poverty Thoughts” essay puts into her own words what it is like to be poor in a world that expects more from you even if you don’t have the means to grasp for more.  Author Linda Tirado shares what it is like to not have the money to get the clothes, to get the car, to get the education,to have what it takes to get the job that one needs to make a living that is actually to provide LIVING.



This is why I usually don’t chose to read and review non fiction about authors lives or memoirs unless Ihave purchased the book/audio myself.  It is so hard to review a non fiction about someone’s life without somehow it being taken as a personal jab on that person.  Basically, what I am trying to say is that it is hard to separate the book from the author when it is about the authors life.

When I accepted this audio for review I had never heard of the essay “Poverty Thoughts”.  I chose this book because I thought it would be interesting to hear from a person who struggles to make a living and make ends meet.  I totally understand that it is a hard world we live in and it is hard to get ahead – and in many aspects in this book, Author Linda Tirado has valid points on working for minimum wage, trying to cover rent costs, etc.. and get ahead of the bills – that I get.

However –

I did not enjoy hearing about her smoking habit and how she is tired of hearing people tell her how she should not smoke (waste of money) when clearly she feel she must smoke (stress).  The same goes for her reasons to drink.  AND if we are going there, and I guess we are – she also had excuses of why it is ok to have sex with random people because poor people are also lonely people.

Linda has very poor teeth and she talks a lot about this int he book and how they stop her from getting better paying jobs.  I understand that.  She says she can not go to the free clinic because of how many appointments she would need and how much time it would take off work and I understand that as well, however something as important as your appearance seems to me like it would be worth making it work out in the long run doing whatever it takes.

She complains about the low paying jobs she has had and the lack of respect that comes with them, calling out Walmart many times.  Again, I know that not all Wal-Marts are created alike – but I worked at our local store for 14 years and not only was I paid a good wage, I was treated very well.

She also talks about the expense of having a child but speaks of the child at times as a piece of property and not in very flattering ways.

Ok  – I may be way off base on this one.  I feel that Linda Tirado may have been on to a decent book here, the one that I had hoped to get when I agreed to review this.  I did not need to listen to sexual stories or why she has bad habits.  It started to seem like she was just talking about anything to make it book length.

This review is absolutely nothing against the author or her family.  This is my personal opinion on what was said in this book.  It was not a win for me.  The essay however – was interesting to read.  And in Linda’s defense, I am not in her shoes, so maybe – most likely – that opinion is all my own.



  • Listening Length: 4 hours and 24 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio; Unabridged edition (October 2, 2014)


4 thoughts on “Hand To Mouth by Linda Tirado

  1. I appreciate your candor, Sheila. I’ve had similar thoughts while reading other memoirs that just didn’t resonate. I’ve read some good ones too.

  2. You are right, it is very hard to read and review a book when it is a memoir and delves into the author’s life, including her many personal thoughts and habits.

    I have fortunately found some very good memoirs that were a delight to read and review, but that doesn’t always happen. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts.

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