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Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo?: And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had to Ask [Kindle Edition]

Jancee Dunn
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $6.01 (43%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Despite her forty years and a successful career as a rock journalist, Jancee Dunn still feels like a teenager, especially around her parents and sisters. Looking around, Dunn realizes that she’s not alone in this regression: Her friends, all with successful jobs, marriages, and families of their own, still feel like kids around their moms and dads, too. That gets Dunn to thinking: Do we ever really grow up?

Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo?
explores this phenomenon–through both Dunn’s coming to grips with getting older and her folks’ attempts to turn back the clock. In a series of hilarious and heartwarming essays, Dunn conspires with her sisters to finagle their way into the old family homestead, dissects the whys and wherefores of her parents’ obsession with newspaper clippings, confronts the seamy side of the JC Penney catalogs she paged through as a kid, and accompanies her sixtysomething mother to a New Jersey tattoo parlor, where Mom is giddy to get a raven inked onto her wrist. And Dunn does it all with humor and insight.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Dunn's travails will be instantly recognizable to readers in their late 30s and 40s—a generation that's shifted the family bickering about what to serve at holiday dinners to conference calls and e-mails. Her parents are a bottomless well of comedy, sending her wacky newspaper clippings and grilling her loudly about her inability to go to the bathroom during their vacation. Her circle of friends is equally familiar, like the gay buddy who invites her over for TV-movie parties and can always be counted on to make catty remarks about strangers. Several chapters are filled with transcripts of phone conversations with her best friend, Julie, flitting from topic to topic, comparing the embarrassing songs saved on their iPods and wondering why their parents haven't figured out voice mail isn't like an answering machine (Hello? Anybody there? Hello, it's Dad). Dunn's tone is genial, only turning serious briefly near the end when she discusses not having kids—and then inadvertently discovers she's finally pregnant. The seriousness doesn't last long, though, and soon it's back to affectionately mocking her mom's decision to get tattooed—although, as her sisters point out, she's secretly pleased to have something new to write about. (June 23)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"I want Jancee Dunn to make me a pie. Actually, I want to sit around and listen to her entire family argue about what type of pie. Such is the extreme charm of her world. No matter the subject, Dunn's gimlet eye for all of life’s minor infractions and daily quirks is superbly addictive." —Sloane Crosley, author of I Was Told There'd be Cake

“[Jancee Dunn’s] wonder, bemusement, befuddlement, and frank delight at growing into adulthood are highly entertaining… Readers who enjoy humorous memoirs infused with a healthy dose of pop culture are sure to love this book, which has the potential to be an entertaining and provocative book club choice.” —Library Journal
“Genial [and] affectionately mocking…Dunn's travails will be instantly recognizable to readers in their late 30s and 40s…. Her parents are a bottomless well of comedy [and] her circle of friends is equally familiar.”—Publishers Weekly

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 537 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; Original edition (June 23, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002CCN9ZW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #651,466 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I missed the Dunns July 1, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved Jancee dunn's last book and I truly couldn't wait for her to write again. I wasn't disappointed. I love her, I love her family and I love her friends.
I read it in one day because I simply couldn't put it down. Even so I couldn't help but appreciate Jancee's clever, self deprecating stories. Every once in awhile I find myself smiling at something that she, her mother or one of her sisters has said. And who among us wouldn't love to go back and look at our childhood home? Of course we might not think if using our little nephew as a prop.
Jancee is such a terrific writer and this is a terrific book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner July 4, 2009
By L. Bush
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have loved all of Jancee Dunn's books and this one was terrific too. She blends insight, sensitivity and lots of humor in these essays about her family and friends. I laughed out loud all the way through it and was sad when I finished it. Can't wait for the next book by her!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After thoroughly enjoying 'But Enough About Me', I was excited to see Ms. Dunn had a new book out of short stories about her life. This book is a bit more on the personal side, focusing mainly on stories of her family (who just crack me up!) and her own life, whereas her previous book was more about her job at Rolling Stone, and the famous people she had to interview.

Some of her stories are just too funny (like her and her sister's obsession with their childhood home after their parents sold it, and Heather's poor son wondering why he has to trick or treat in a strange neighborhood an hour and a half away from home! Oh, and the Japanese toilet! I almost peed myself reading that one! ). Some of her stories are sweet (like her father's incessant need to send clippings about every possible disaster just to make sure his girls are ok). And some are very sad (like her father not having a recording of his own father's voice and the tapes Jancee gives him of his mother).

But the best story, by far, is the title story. Way to go Mrs. Dunn for getting that Raven!! I must agree with Jancee though...when it's not your own mother, you think it's a great idea...but I'm not sure how I'd feel about MY mom telling me she wanted a tattoo! Anyway, I definitely recommend this book for those of you interested. Ms. Dunn has a great sense of humor, and a fantastic family for her to get her writing inspiration from. I look forward to whatever she comes up with next!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!! You can't beat Jancee Dunn for a smile! September 24, 2009
Jancee Dunn has the most captivating, comedic and down-to-earth persona, through her writing voice, that reading her memoirs is like visiting with a wonderful long-time friend. It appears as though Ms. Dunn has no qualms and holds nothing back as she brings readers into her little corner of the world, and what an adventure her world is.

I had previously treated myself to Jancee Dunn's first published memoir, But Enough About Me: How a Small-Town Girl Went from Shag Carpet to the Red Carpet. I was instantly hooked on her tales of wacky interviews with those famous faces that constantly grace the magazine covers and t.v. screens that capture our average eyes. When I discovered this third title, I was nearly jumping with anticipation. Picking up the innocent pink cotton candy colored covered book, with the anything-but-innocent title pertaining to tattooed mothers, I was anxious to read this next installment of Ms. Dunn's life. After reading the first few pages, I knew this would be a highly entertaining and satisfying read - I was not disappointed.

I think that part of the enticement of Jancee Dunn's books is the simple fact that this is a real person, going through real life, and so many of us can relate. Be it crazy but loving family members to insane pressures of work and having the knowledge of a close friend always having your back. Why is My Mother Getting a Tattoo? is written in such a way that it truly does feel as though you are sitting down and chatting with a friend over a cup of yummy, frothy and calorie filled coffee. *(excuse me a moment while I go grab a pumpkin spice latte.... Okay, as I was saying...)

One of my favorite parts, among many, was when Jancee and her friend were comparing music on their iPods.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! June 30, 2009
By Allison
I have read all three of Jancee's books and this is the best yet! "Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo" picks up where "But Enough About Me" left off and delves more deeply into relationships between Jancee and her colorful family and friends, many who we already know. This is a perfect summer read and a great book for any book club. Jancee has a way of pointing out that so many things we dwell on are really just blips in life, and she does it with great wit, humor and and sensitivity. I love her positive, forgiving and refreshing look at the world. Great book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! June 28, 2009
Well, I have waited for Jancee Dunn to write another book and this did not disappoint. In fact, I still haven't stopped laughing remembering all her funny stories. Having a close knit family myself, I enjoyed her hilarious yet touching stories about her parents, siblings and friends. I loved that it was in essay form because with small kids I was able to get a laugh in every chance I could. Soooo funny, I wish it was longer. I guess I will just have to wait for her next!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm still laughing!
I loved this book from the opening vignette! The author described with detail & humor incidents from her own family life which very well could have been written about my family as... Read more
Published 1 month ago by K M Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun
I really enjoy Jancee Dunn's humor and observations - a quick, easy read.
Published 7 months ago by PTTP
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably Best Read by Women
This is the second book I've read by Jancee Dun. The first one was more universal. This one feels like a chat with my girlfriends. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Karen K. Little
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than the first memoir
I liked Jancee Dunn after "Enough About Me," and I liked her through most of this book, but I loved her close to the end with the bake sale scene. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Amanda Rose Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars I Loved it!
I love Jancee Dunn and all of her books. I swear that we shared the same childhood, same parents, and same quirks. Read more
Published on November 3, 2011 by Bellingham Bookworm
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but maybe I'm getting old?
Having teased my 76 year old mother about her own recent "ink" (her eyebrows,) I bought this book based on the title to read and to share with my Mom. Read more
Published on October 19, 2009 by Elizabeth Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Jancee!
I happened upon Jancee Dunn's "But Enough About Me" this summer and enjoyed it so much that I immediately had to read this one as well. Read more
Published on September 7, 2009 by N.L.
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I was looking forward to this book, having enjoyed her two previous ones. However, I just can't read it. I've got as far as the third story and have had to give up. Read more
Published on August 5, 2009 by H David
4.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
She did it again. Drew me right into her world and her family's world. It's the kind of book that makes you feel like you were visited by a friend. Read more
Published on July 29, 2009 by E. Gagliano
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More About the Author

Jancee Dunn grew up in Chatham, New Jersey. She was a writer at Rolling Stone from 1989-2003. She has written for many publications, among them the New York Times, Vogue, GQ, and O: The Oprah Magazine. She has been an entertainment correspondent for Good Morning America and, for five years, a veejay for MTV2. Her memoir "But Enough About Me," about her life as chronically nervous celebrity interviewer, came out in 2006, and the novel "Don't You Forget About Me" followed in 2008. Her collection of essays entitled "Why Is My Mother Getting A Tattoo? And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had To Ask" was a finalist for the Thurber Prize For American Humor. Most recently she collaborated with Cyndi Lauper for "Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir," released September 2012. She and her husband live in Brooklyn.

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