Karen Bergreen, Perfect is Overrated

Karen Bergreen’s Latest Funny Novel for Moms

Perfect Funny Novel for Moms’ Book Club

Please welcome my guest author, friend from college, and comedian Karen Bergreen. I have other posts on her here and here.

Comedian, author, stressed-out mom

Karen Bergreen, Perfect is OverratedI admit it. Sometimes I wish I could spank my kids. There’s something so simple about it. You do something wrong, you get a nice thwack. You learn from it. And you never do the bad thing again. I don’t spank them. I ‘m not a hitter by nature and I don’t want to become one.

What if I like it?

No. I’m not a hitter. I’m a yeller. I yell things like if I haven’t hit you by now I never will. I had convinced myself it was ok. I know. Don’t tell me. All the people on TV say don’t yell at your kids. You don’t know my kids I scream at the box. They don’t make listening a priority so I have to ambush them with volume. When I go to the teacher conferences at their schools, I always wish for a hearing aid. All of them are low talkers. How is my kid going to learn anything. I’m channeling Jaime Summers of bionic woman fame she had 6 million dollar robot ears, but and all I can make out is (something ironic). And yet my sons come home, happily chatting about the Lenape Indians or bar graphs.

“Great,” I praise them because we all agree praise is good, “time to do homework.” They disappear. Suddenly the lights are blinking on and off . I hear piano music. Jingle Bells even though it’s march and even though jingle bells was twenty seven piano lessons ago Jingle Bells. Jingle Bells . Jingle Bells over and over again.”Okay, let’s get to work,” I say. Plink Plink Plink pause plink plink plink—lights blink out of rhythm.

“Home work”

Plink plink pl——-“

“Time to settle down,”

“Jle Jingle Jngle Jingle, the little one giggles atonalslly as he mans the light.

“Plink Plink Plink” I think I hear a piano key crack.


I’m deeply ashamed. If I could just schedule a spanking I wouldn’t have to yell. But, it works. They start doing their homework so it seems like it was a good idea at the time. But then an hour later the big one starts yelling at the little one.

“What’s going on?” I ask.


Now you know how I feel, I say my most condescending, hoping a light bulb will go off over his head.

But there is no light. He is screaming about the monopoly and the little one is crying. And the light bulb goes on over my head. I sound like him. The screaming doesn’t make them listen—it gives them permission to scream.

So I have stopped.

They still don’t listen but the house is happier.

Her latest novel is hot off the presses!

Perfect is Overrated by Karen Bergreen

What the best cure for post-partum depression? After years of barely moving, Kate springs back to life when the mothers-youlove- to-hate in her daughter’s preschool begin to turn up dead. Murder as a cure for sadness? Sounds evil, but it’s not. In Perfect Is Overrated, stand-up comedian and author of Following Polly Karen Bergreen presents a lovable heroine who is so at sea she’s still not sure whether what she suffers has to do with the birth of her little girl or with the fact that her handsome hunk of a detective husband doesn’t live with her anymore. She might fall back in love, she might find a killer, but she sure won’t be spending all day in bed anymore.

And her debut novel got rave reviews!

“Karen Bergreen’s Following Polly sparkles. It’s got wit and energy, along with fabulous characters to love (and loathe).  A fine first novel: polished, acutely observed, and delightfully mean. What fun!”—Susan Isaacs, author of Close Relations“I LOVE this book. It’s funny, original, satisfying and a real page turner. Karen Bergreen has created a lovable heroine who is a bundle of totally unique neuroses. I couldn’t put it down and I can’t wait for the sequel!” –Susie Essman, author of What Would Susie Say?“Funny, intelligent, accessible.  Following Polly captures what makes Karen one of my favorite comediennes.” –Jim Gaffigan, actor/comedian/writer

 “Stalking, dysfunctional family, murder and unrequited love–what could be more delightful? It’s a great read!”– Joan Rivers, author of Men Are Stupid…And They Like Big Boobs
Following Polly is a delicious debut novel.  Murder most foul is most fun, and Alice Teakle is so clever and quirky a protagonist–or is she a perp?–that you won’t be able to stop reading.  Bergreen is a wonderful new voice in the mystery world.”–Linda Fairstein, author of Hell Gate

“It’s like Comedy Central picked up Law & Order for an episode…combines edgy thrills with a wicked sense of humor and an endearing heart of gold.” —Publishers Weekly

Following Polly is a murderous romp featuring a clever and gently unhinged protagonist. Author Karen Bergreen, a professional comedian, exercises her comedic skill in creating New Yorker Alice Teakle, a perpetually underemployed (now unemployed), Harvard grad. Alice harbors unresolved resentment toward her former dorm-mate, Polly Linley D…

Would you call Alice Teakle a stalker?  Or just someone with an, um, healthy obsession with golden girl Polly Linley Dawson?  No one much notices Alice: not her boss, not the neighbors, not even her Mother.

Besides, everyone follows Polly: her business selling high-end lingerie you can imagine only her elegant self wearing, her all-over-the-social-pages marriage to movie director Humphrey Dawson, her chic looks, her wardrobe. Alice just follows her a little more….closely.

And when she loses her job and starts to follow Polly Dawson one Manhattan autumn afternoon, Alice stumbles on the object of her attention sprawled dead on the floor of a boutique.  Alice is forced to become truly beneath anyone’s notice. Invisible, in fact. Because she’s accused of murder.

But can another obsession help save Alice with the fallout?  Charlie is Alice’s longtime unattainable crush.  He might be able to help her out of the mess she’s in…in return for a favor or two, that is.    And how will Alice find out if Charlie is really the man Alice thinks he is?

KAREN BERGREEN is a comedian who performs live at Caroline’s, Stand-Up New York, Gotham, and The Comic Strip and has appeared on Comedy Central, the Oxygen Network and Law & Order. She was previously an attorney who clerked for a federal judge. She lives in New York City.

To view any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book or purchase at Barnes and Noble by going here.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Dr. Rajka

    Too funny. On the yelling, wish I was perfect and never yelled. But perfect is overrated!
    Dr. Rajka recently posted…I have a degree in molecular science but now I’m a mum no-one wants to employ me.My Profile

    • Hi Dr. Rajka,
      Karen is so funny. We read her first novel, Following Polly, at my moms’ book club and everyone read it and liked it (unusual for us to get everyone reading book). I am excited to read her new one. I just ordered it and it’s coming soon! YAY!

  2. vanita

    i have a way of yelling that isn’t yelling. it’s the change of tone in voice. it works where nothing else will when i’m at the end of my rope and no one is listening. it means i mean business mister and if you don’t stop now, you’re losing something. a toy. a trip to the playground. tv time. and then older tot goes quiet and little tots says “oh-oh mean mommy voice” then i give her “the look”, the one that says this isn’t a joking matter and she should stop ruining the effect of my putting my foot down, and she starts cracking up and he starts cracking up and they go back to not listening, hitting each other, writing on the walls, scattering my clean laundry, whatever they think is the best fun ever.
    yeah, the yelling, doesn’t work.
    vanita recently posted…Tuesday’s Tear Sheet: New WordPress Design projectsMy Profile

  3. Ann

    So funny! Definitely going to read!

    I really try not to yell (I am not always successful) – my husband says I have a lot of patience so I guess I am not doing too bad.
    Ann recently posted…Summer CalendarMy Profile

    • Hi Ann,
      We really enjoyed her last book and I am looking forward to sitting down with this one. On a beach somewhere. Without kids interrupting me every 5 seconds. A mom can dream!

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