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December 15, 2010


Oh. Em. Gee. I have an Erma Bombeck bio and The Egg and I next to my bed this very minute. My mom and grandmother were big Bombeck fans, so like you I grew up reading her before bed. I remember just how they looked too - heavy oversized 1980's hardcovers and bright bright dust jackets. And Mom gave me her own set of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books when I was about seven (my favorite story was always the rainy day when all the children searched her house for the drawers of money and jewels. I think they found the last one in the flooded basement). I bought TE&I a few months ago, but didn't make it past page 20 or so before setting it down. On your recommendation though, I will give it another shot.

I adore Bombeck, too.

And I don't know if this counts, but I started reading my mom's romance novels when I was in middle school (the Flame and the Flower! Oh my...), and while the romance was idealized, it at least gave me something more positive to think about than my own parents' divorce. It's been fun to keep reading them and see how depictions of women and relationships have changed over the years, too.

Oh, AWESOME Post! Now I wanna go and read Bombeck (I've heard of her, but not enough) and The Egg & I book, which sounds hilarious.

Mommy blogging is what ruined my academic life. ;) I used to read books, now I read blogs. Seriously. But I love it.

OMG. I remember being on vacation at our family's lake place and since I'd grown past the kids books and wasn't interested in the extensive collection of sci fi and fantasy discarded by my uncle, the only book I found to read was by Erma Bombeck. It was hilarious. The grass is always greener over the septic tank, I think.

I wasn't old enough to realize how special she was, but I was old enough to realize that she was hilarious and that suburban BS was...BS. Damn, she was cool. And I am so glad that she turned to writing. I'll have to read that bio.

I've read and loved all the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books (and already bought them for my daughter), but hadn't thought to look for more by Betty MacDonald.

As far as Betty Crocker goes, my husband is the devotee in our house. It was the only cookbook he owned in the one year he ever lived alone, before food blogs and recipe sites.

You have good taste in ladies!

Bailey White. I always wanted to tell a story like Bailey White.

I enjoy a good Erma Bombeck, but I believe she was one of the first to point out that adopting means you'll fall pregnant right away (liars!). I believe she adopted and then went on to have two biological children (all three in like 15 months or something crazy close like that).

Can I name a man though? Can Dave Barry be my foremother?

i think a trip to mccays is in order...

I have to say that Mike Royko was the inspiration of my childhood. My grandparents had a paperback copy of Sez Who? Sez Me in their house, and even though I didn't understand more than 60% of it as a 10 year old, I thought he was the best writer I had ever read. I had a serious crush on him, even though he was old enough to be my grandfather. I cried for an entire day when he died in 1997. I still miss him.

I have very similar good memories of reading my Mom's Bombeck books! It's funny how many people have these stories of reading fairly age-innapropriate stuff as kids! I still remember the jolt I got from reading a similar tribute to "Saint Erma" in one of Ariel Gore's books (if zines are the mothers of the blogosphere, then certainly most so-called mommy bloggers must pay homage to Gore's HipMama).

Now, I don't write a blog, but I read blogs... a lot. I love the episodic autobiographical form; it's like reading a letter or a diary. But even as a reader, and not a writer (or at least, not one online - as a pastor, I have to write the occasional sermon!), your question about unlikely sources of inspiration made me think immediately about two authors I read as a child that made me want to tell a story: James Herriot and L.M.Montgomery. Both authors' works were not necessarily 'high' culture, but when those two names popped into my head, I realized that it was their abiity to describe communities and relationships in ways that really reflected my very rural experience that rang true for me.

arb, absolutely! I have hipMama and zines as the mothers, in my personal blogsmology.

I love Mike Royko too! And Russell Baker!

And melody, I adore James Herriot too!

Yay. Fun!

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