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Notes from the Underwire: Adventures from My Awkward and Lovely Life Paperback – July 7, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1 Original edition (July 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401322867
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401322861
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,058,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cummings, a former child actor from movies and TV shows of the late 1970s, has spent much of her life defined by those three words: "former child actor." Despite this, she's led a rewarding L.A. life in a variety of occupations and, as explored in this quirky memoir, as a mother. In a series of exceedingly funny and honest vignettes, Cummings explores topics ranging from home repair to childhood orthodontics to film industry "success" with deft, sharp prose that begs to be read aloud to friends. What is perhaps most impressive is the way Cummings owns her child stardom, with a level of grace and perspective that defies expectations. Fleshing out the acerbic, particular observations of a rather strange but loving mother, Cummings shares her experience in a way that will remind readers of their own adventures in child- and parenthood.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Quinn Cummings is a master story-teller and her book is nothing short of delightful. Her insights into topics like celebrity, parenting, and cats with a taste for homicide are pithy and uproarious and not to be missed. Notes from the Underwire is charming, hilarious, and just snarky enough to be ultimately satisfying.—Jen Lancaster, bestselling author of Bitter Is the New Black and Such a Pretty Fat.

Erma Bombeck with an edge.—USA Today

I hadn't laughed out loud while reading a book for years, but Quinn Cumming's struggles nearly did me in. Although she describes herself as a woman who constantly blurts out exactly the wrong thing, she says everything exactly right in the brilliantly overwrought Notes from the Underwire.—Bob Tarte, author of Enslaved by Ducks and Fowl Weather

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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It is lovely and touching with a good sense of humor about life.
L. E. Bowers
I have been a true fan of her blog and was eagerly anticipating the release of her book.
lm
I finally just reread the entire book, and I'm sure I'll read it again soon.
T. Martin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Liberty on July 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
This quote made me spit my breakfast onto my desk - and it's not even that far into the book. This whole thing is riotous! Quinn's book is one hysterical essay after another, mostly about her family, her work and her pets. (The chapter about her cat getting high off her bedding was especially snort-inducing - good thing I read it alone.) And she's whip-smart, relaying her observations with a humorous, no-nonsense attitude. More, please!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kim Gruenenfelder on July 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
I think that sums it up - I laughed so hard at one point, I had to put the book down and calm myself. The book is nonfiction - a series of funny (and occasionally sad) essays about Quinn Cummings' life (she apparently has a famous blog which I haven't read yet.) Kind of like Laurie Notaro if she were a parent.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Julie Klam on July 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
It is the hardest thing in the world to be funny, Quinn Cummings doesn't seem to be able to not be funny. Every page of this book was a joy to read. Quinn is honest, touching, funny, this is the kind of book you read and think, "I wish she was my friend."
The surprising part is that aside from being funny, Quinn is a gifted storyteller, and a terrific writer. Buy extra copies to give to your friends, they will thank you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K.S. on July 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
Like many people who will buy this book, I was a big fan of Quinn Cummings, child actor. However, after reading this book I am an even bigger fan of Quinn Cummings, author, Mom and pet caregiver. She is funny, extraordinarily intelligent, clumsy, self-deprecating, generous and entertaining. When I read this book, I felt as though we were sitting at my kitchen table drinking wine and laughing over her stories and misadventures. I found myself laughing out loud and saying "me too" back to the book. Go buy this book...you will love it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Aletheia Knights on August 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Quinn Cummings is the sort of person you could easily love to hate. I mean that as a compliment. Just read the author blurb on the back of her first book, "Notes from the Underwire," a collection of short humor pieces: "Quinn Cummings is a former child actor. By the age of ten, she was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. Her blog, The QC Report, has received accolades from publications like *Newsweek* and *USA Today*. She is the creator of the HipHugger, a stylish sling for carrying a baby, and is a full-time mom. She lives in Los Angeles with her family." I mean, talk about an overachiever! We all admire people like that, but it isn't always easy to relate to them.

Then you start in on page 1, when Cummings is on her way back from the bathroom to rejoin her daughter in a parent/child art class. "I dashed up the stairs and bounded through the doorway into the classroom," she recalls. "Only, to keep things lively, I didn't pass through the open door but slammed into its adjacent plate-glass window instead. The flat light shining through from the classroom had rendered it invisible. Now it was abundantly visible thanks to the smeary marks made by my nose, lips, and cheek crashing into its surface at full trot."

As it turns out, that's typical Quinn: notoriously prone to clumsy accidents and foot-in-mouth disease, hopeless at arts and crafts, guilty of various bad fashion choices over the years, devoted to her boyfriend and their daughter but desperate once in a while for a little time and space to herself. This accomplished woman happens to be an extraordinarily ordinary person - just like you and me, but funnier.

Not since Dave Barry has a writer had me sitting in a room, alone with a book, and laughing out loud.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Erin Nass on December 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
Raising a child and a significant other is not easy. Raising a child and a significant other while under the influence of being a former child star is still not easy, only funnier. Braving the actor infested streets of LA, a mouth that has a mind of its own, painful clumsiness, and summer camp mania, this Golden Globe nominee triumphs over her "awkward and lovely life" with wisdom and humor.

Quinn Cummings' 15 minutes of fame are her childhood roles in the movie The Goodbye Girl (1977) and the TV show Family (1977-1980). After her acting career, Quinn lived as a typical teenager (well, typical for LA) while dealing with parental illness and loss. Upon becoming an adult, she tried her hand at being a talent agent with hilarious results. Going forward, she invested in a home with an attitude that forced her to endure out-of-control home remodelling and repairs. Finally, Quinn embraced the joys of a committed relationship with "Consort" and immersed herself in the wacky pleasures of being a stay-at-home mother. Meanwhile, Quinn's interactions with the animal kingdom border on the bizarre while touching the heart of pet owners everywhere.

Notes from the Underwire is an amusing autobiography in the same vein as Erma Bombeck. Quinn's ability to charm and move the reader with her hilarious accounts of her daily life as a mother, a partner, and a former child actor ("Former child actors aren't people...they're memories from your childhood...) proves that the accolades her web blog (The QC Report) received by Newsweek and USA Today are well deserved. Spend an evening with Quinn Cummings and go to bed with a smile on your face and a good feeling in your heart.
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