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My So-Called Normal Life Hardcover – April 21, 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Zammett tells her story as if she were recounting it to a girlfriend...her humor is the book's strength. -- Publisher's Weekly, March 7, 2005

From the Publisher

Twenty-three years old and fresh out of college, in love with her boyfriend Nick, and having just started a great new job as assistant editor at Glamour magazine, Erin Zammett was looking forward to a future of unlimited promise - until she was confronted by the one experience that no person, young or old, is ever prepared to face. A routine checkup by her doctor seemed to indicate that she was in perfect health, until she was called back just a day later to be told that a blood test revealed she had a type of cancer, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, the only known treatment for which was a bone marrow transplant; without treatment, she had roughly five years to live. After the initial shock wore off, and with the support of her family and friends, her own inner strength, and a recently approved experimental drug, Zammett immediately began the journey that would lead to her recovery. She began to document her experiences to provide an outlet for the thoughts that came rushing to confront the brave new world she had entered, and the result, My So-Called Normal Life, is a memoir of unparalleled candor and poignancy, encompassing much more than leukemia and the battle to overcome it. Above all, it's the story of a twenty-something living her dream life amid the unlimited excitement and adventure of Manhattan and confronting the challenges of life and her new job - battling cancer - with unbounded courage and optimism.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 270 pages
  • Publisher: The Overlook Press; 1 edition (April 21, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585676438
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585676439
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,582,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Erin's story of how she handled her leukemia diagnosis at age 23 is written with an almost unbelievable take-no-prisoners attitude-- "I should be doing shots of tequila not shots of chemo. Bartender, gimme another" she remarks about one fund-raising event. "Cancer made me feel special in a weird way... I didn't feel bad for myself and I didn't want other people to either." The woman's insouciance is breathtaking (and could well be offputting to those who, unlike Erin, are losing their battle against the disease); love her or deplore her, it's hard to dispute that her brazen disregard for tactfulness reveals a most distinctive voice. Barbs fly in all directions -- including zingers at her adored mom, dad, and 2 sisters -- and she holds nothing back about her own motivations, e.g. "I hadn't really done much volunteer work since high school and even then it was fueled by my desire to look well-rounded on my college applications -- and because all the cool kids did Key Club." It may not be the prettiest picture, but it comes across as very real.
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Format: Hardcover
I read all of Erin Zammett's columns in Glamour magazine, so when I came across this book I hesitated to read it - I didn't want to re-read everything that was in the columns. Plus, I thought, how interesting could reading about someone's cancer treatments be? Turns out, very interesting.

That's because this book is about much more than just Erin's cancer treatments. It's about her life as a whole, while going through some unusual and hard cirumstances. Ms. Zammett has a great writing style and manages to keep things interesting and fast-moving while instilling humor into the book and telling it like it is. It's obvious that she's very honest and makes no attempt to stay "PC." (She openly states that she lost weight while undergoing treatment, and still loves how she looks in pictures from that time period.)

This book is an easy, interesting read, and after finishing it you can't help but admire Erin and her family for what they've been through and feel a little bit grateful for your life as it is.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm actualy Steve's wife, Jodi who's writing this review. I had been following Erin Zammett's story in Glamour magazine since her diagnosis. Every three months I would look forward with anticipation and hope about her latest entry. Her writing style was so real, and she wore her emotions and feelings on her sleeve. She had nothing to hide from her readers. Cut to this summer, I was vacationing in Maui with my husband, right there, at our hotel was the girl from the pictures that I had read about for all these years. We spoke and she told me that she was on her honeymoon and that she was doing and feeling great. I told her that I loved her articles in Glamour. She then told me she had written a book. I quickly bought it, and didn't put it down til I had finished it.(I even tried to read while driving) This book is a must read. Erin is truly an inspiration to many people. Keep fighting and stay strong!
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Format: Hardcover
I first fell in love with Erin's writing style when I read her column in Glamour magazine. She's very witty and funny. I remember thinking I had to tell my best friend that she had to read it. I always looked forward to her next one. When I found out she had written a book, I quickly looked for it and purchased it. At first I thought I might just be reviewing what I had already read in the magazine, but obviously the book goes into much more depth and I really enjoyed learning about and "getting to know" her family. I really feel like I know them and it made me want to be one of the many houseguests at her parents' home! I could not put the book down and was very sad when I finished it because I wanted to keep reading more. I hope Erin writes another book giving us an update and telling us all about her wedding to Nick.
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Format: Hardcover
An amazing account of reality in a young woman's life; told as it is. The author offers readers the upside and downside of life with cancer. An inspiring book to those who suffer similarly and shows them that life must go on and may still have much to offer. Instead of letting cancer ruin and run her life, the author demonstrates that even a dreaded disease can have positive effects. Any reader of this book should walk away with a better appreciation of family, friends and the knowledge that life is what you make of it.
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Format: Hardcover
I am only halfway through this book, but I am already so impressed and cannot say enough good things about it! Erin Zammett is one of the most honest, witty writers I have seen, and her spunky attitude showcases itself all throughout the book! She is an amazing young woman with a zest for life that cannot be wiped out, not even by cancer. I strongly recommend reading this book, and I hope to see a lot more books from this talented young author!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm 26 and was recently diagnosed with brain cancer and wanted to read other young women's accounts of their diagnosis and how they handled life going forward. Erin's book is interesting, but it comes across as slightly self-involved. The most moving parts are when her sister is diagnosed as it gives a more rounded perspective. There were a couple of funny moments and a few tear-jerkers that that I can relate to. I think the tough thing is that Erin's story is vastly different to the majority of cancer patients as she had the connections to hook her up with a wonder-drug, whereas everyone else endures chemo and radiation.
The book is ok, but I didn't really find it relatable and I'm hoping there is better out there.
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