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Forever, Erma: Best-Loved Writing From America's Favorite Humorist

4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,256 Ratings  ·  128 Reviews
A lot of columnists write words to end up in the Congressional Record or on the president's desk or at the Pulitzer Committee's door. But Erma Bombeck went us all one better. Her words won her the permanent place of honor in American life: the refrigerator door. Now we are again at wit's end."--Ellen Goodman

"Erma Bombeck may be gone, but she'll live forever in her columns.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 1st 1997 by Andrews McMeel Publishing (first published 1996)
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May 28, 2016 Monnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Waxing nostalgic usually isn't my thing. If nothing else, when you're as old as I am, the past stretches back so far that details become a little muddled - so why bother? But when I saw this book on sale at Amazon, the memories really did come flooding back and I snapped it up. Besides getting a good deal, I needed a dose of comic relief from the psychological thrillers and grisly murder books that are my standard fare and figured this one would provide it. And I was right.

For those who don't kn
Alyce Wilson
Jan 07, 2012 Alyce Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite humorists of all time, Erma Bombeck ruled the newspaper pages, inspiring and amusing readers with her entertaining observations about the nature of motherhood. "Forever, Erma" was a labor of love: a posthumous collection featuring the most loved Bombeck columns, as well as a smattering of lesser known pieces and a chapter of tributes from colleagues, friends and family. For those unfamiliar with Bombeck's work, it's a good introduction. For those, like myself, who have loved h ...more

Not quite my thing but that's okay because I don't particularly think I'm the intended audience for this. It's more of a tribute for fans which I'm really not. I only picked it up because I vaguely remembered reading one of her books back in the 1980s and I thought I'd liked it.
May 16, 2015 Ally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Growing up, my mother was a devout Erma fan. She religiously read the columns and had all her books. I thought of it as, 'mom stuff' and never ventured a glance. Later, I would see Erma on talk shows and found her very amusing and realized my mother might have had a sense of humor, and this 'mom stuff' might have actually funny. Of course it was, and it was lost on me until I became a mother myself.

My mom has been gone 20 years now (way too young, both of us) and I'm always searching for ways to
Shari Larsen
Jul 08, 2013 Shari Larsen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Erma Bombeck was an American humorist, popular for her newspaper column At Wit's End, which depicted suburban home and family life humorously, from 1965 until a few weeks before her death in 1996.

This is a collection of her most popular and best loved columns. She was great at finding humor in the ordinary; and she was never mean or hurtful. She showed women that you don't have to perfect to be a great mother.

I was a child in the 70's; I grew up reading her columns, and even though most were abo
Apr 09, 2009 Mommywest rated it it was amazing
I laughed my head off while reading this book, but I also found myself in tears. Erma Bombeck was one of my mom's favorite columnists, and I loved reading the Erma column in Good Housekeeping when my mother was done with it. Even though I didn't totally understand it then, I still thought she was pretty funny. Now, as a mother, I truly appreciate the things she wrote about--all from the perspective of a mother and housewife, something you usually only find in blogs today.

The book is filled with
Donna Davis
Maybe it's a generational thing. If as I did, you grew up reading Erma Bombeck's columns in the newspaper and laughed until your sides hurt, this volume, which has the strangely combined feature of being a memorial edition and humor also, will need a place of pride on your shelves.

Like a few other really wonderful writers, Bombeck's letters were successful not only because they resonated with many people--not only mothers, but children, fathers, and not only members of the middle class (never lo
Kelli Di
Apr 28, 2011 Kelli Di rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a trailing spouse and a stay-at-home mom, I so love Erma. I wish she were alive and I wish she were my neighbor. She makes the mundane hilarious. She was a kind heart with a very quick wit. I get very caught up in my life and think that "NO ONE has ever gone through what I am going through." but her articles from the late 60's completely encompass what I am feeling in kids are weird, my husband IS the Prince of Darkness, and I'm NOT going insane, I'm just in the middle of life.
Sep 16, 2014 Deborah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having never been around these articles when they were first published, but often having heard the name Erma Bombeck, I was curious enough to respond when I saw the title in a list of reduced price ibooks. The wry humour was very engaging and many of the pieces were also very touching (a few went a little far for me and bordered on schmalzy but they were of their time and very sincerely penned). The other fascinating aspect of this book was the selection of pieces from different time periods of ...more
Jan 08, 2010 Mari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished this book en route to Wichita Falls, TX, Target on New Year's Eve with my mom and sister. The end section with tributes to Erma was touching. I think all bloggers should read Erma, because she was doing it right before the format was even invented!
A wonderful collection of some of Erma Bombeck's most popular columns. From 1965 through her final column in 1996 this book is filled with her warm, witty, touching, and inspiring words. The book closes with letters written to her family after her death, some of the words spoken at her funeral, and touching tributes from those who knew her.

I laughed a lot, some times I cried, sometimes I laughed so hard that I cried, and I enjoyed every word. The columns from the 60's and 70's reflect their time
Anne Marie
Apr 15, 2014 Anne Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
like sitting down with an old friend and remembering or laughing about the realities of daily life. I can read this over and over.
Jul 18, 2016 booksandcarbs rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Around sixth or seventh grade, my best friend and I discovered Erma Bombeck on her mom's bookshelf and used to crack each other up reading the essays out loud. When this "collected works" was available as a $1.99 ebook deal a month ago, I bought it for old times sake. What a gift Bombeck's humor, honesty, and wit must have been in the days before technology (email, blog posts, social media) made it easier for moms to share their daily observations, challenges, and laughs. There are a lot of oppo ...more
Jul 31, 2012 F rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Without doubt there is the Bombeck take on family life, and parenting -as with all of her work. This compilation proves to any of the uninitiated or those too young to recall racing to the newspaper to catch that day's column, that Ms. Bombeck was America's premier humorist ... surpassing, for my money, Thurber and Buchwald ... For me she the was the honest voice is a turbulent America - another Totie Fields, breaking through boundaries, another artist laying down macadam on new roads leading fr ...more
Dec 11, 2013 Robyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, kindle
I grew up reading Erma, as many my age did, both in the paper and in the clippings posted around the house (refrigerator, next to the phone, et cetera). This is a nice collection of many of her columns, arranged first by topic and then chronologically within each topic. I'd never realized just how long she kept that column going, and it was fascinating to read the genesis of the washer stealing socks from the early 1960s when I remember reading more about it in the late 1980s. I don't know if th ...more
Ashley Anderson
Mar 12, 2014 Ashley Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Erma's subversive wit and penchant for finding the humor in the pits and peaks of parenting will lift even the loneliest housewife out of her drudgery...or at least get her to laugh long enough to feel relieved.

* This was the first time I've read Bombeck, and I'm reminded why we, over and over again, give books a chance. When that match strikes the right spot and a small flame starts a fire, we see through darkness and feel warmth even in the coldest of spaces. Erma's all that and a toasted mar
Jun 19, 2016 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book really put me in a time warp. I remember my mom, who passed away in 1981, loving Erma Bombeck when I was growing up and reading this brought back some great memories. The humor is very much of its time and yet somehow timeless. The book was well edited with columns grouped by subject and then chronologically within each section. The final section of tributes written about her when she died were a poignant reminder of how many lives she touched over her four decade career.
May 26, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, essays, philosophy
Subtitled 'best-loved writing from America's favorite humorist".

817.5 Humor - The housewife columnist whose gently subversive humor has won her a prominent niche in American culture is commemorated in this posthumous collection of 189 of her most popular and memorable essays, including her first, "Children Cornering the Coin Market," from January 1965, and her last one, "Let's Face It," from April 1996.
Jun 30, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not grow up in the era where I read Erma's column, clipped it out, and left it to yellow on the side of my refrigerator. I wish I did. Did I come across ones that were outdated and didn't apply? Of course. But there were so many that took me back to my own childhood and then so many more that apply to my life as a mom, wife, friend, sister, and daughter today that I actually purchased this book from a used bookstore. I want to put little sticky notes on the ones that made my eyes teary fro ...more
Megan OBrien
Jul 17, 2013 Megan OBrien rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started this book bc I knew Erma Bombeck was a pioneer among women as a humor columnist. I started this book for laughs and as I laughed I was transported back to a different time in American culture. I was touched by this amazing female writer's perspective and her ability to laugh at herself. I was reminded of the women I know and knew of that era who I live so dearly. Most specifically I was reminded of my dear grandmother Elma. She was a fan of Bombeck, as was my mother. As I finished this ...more
Apr 20, 2016 Jelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Usually, I can finish reading an Erma Bombeck book within a few days. That was not the case with this book, Forever, Erma, a collection of her best columns. At first I was almost annoyed to find that every few pages I wound up crying. I didn’t pick up this book to cry. There are plenty of other ways to make me cry. But then something clicked for me. These are her best columns. This is her best work. After my delayed realization, this book became so much more special to me. Still having to st ...more
Beverly Hollandbeck
From the Catholic Sun editorial, May 2, 1996, on the death of Erma Bombeck: "Erma Bombeck made people laugh. Never in a mean-spirited way. Never resorting to crudeness or profanity. She had us laugh by allowing us to look at the lighter side of everyday life and seeing it's not as bad as we thought it was."
She made me laugh. She made me want to read aloud from this book to whoever was sitting closest to me. What a treasure she was.
Eleanore B. Robins

I am now 70 years old. I looked forward to reading her columns in our local paper. As a teen , I laughed and cried, appropriately. I read until her last column and mourned when she died. The tributes to Erma were memorable. Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank was classic Erma. Erma was Every Woman who worked, hard kids, or both.
It was fun to revisit the wit of Erma Bombeck. She was ahead of her time - sarcastic & truth speaking. I loved her books as a kid. Nostalgic & tender, but not a memory I'll probably need to visit again.
Eileen E Cartwright
Big. Fan

I loved this book. I was always a huge fan of Erma Bombeck's. She told it like it is. I think my children and I survived their upbringing because of her. A truly great talent.
Mary Janelle
Eh… ok. Had several pearls of wisdom and definitely a great attitude and humorous perspective. Just too many essays, and many were dated such that I didn't catch her references.
My two favorite parts: One - Erma's response to a reader who says she's too self-absorbed was that she learned over the years that the safest person to poke fun at was herself. Two - the essay making the analogy that children are like kites -- in the end, we have to let them go to fly away and live their own lives.
Carol Wakefield
Apr 20, 2016 Carol Wakefield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A compilation of Ermas columns from the many years of her newspaper writing. If you are of an age that remembers Ermas humor, here it is again. A bit dated but still very welcome.
Pam Marra
Feb 06, 2016 Pam Marra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
She was the best - illustrating honestly lives ups and downs with her gifted writing and humor. This is a collection of some of her best columns and life's observations.
Lisa Stipancic
Jun 15, 2016 Lisa Stipancic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Will always be a legend

I have read several of her books and until reading this collection of columns had forgotten her humor I am sad to say. But this collection of columns let me revisit what I have been missing. Being able to laugh at yourself is a great trait. 20 years since her passing and she is still missed.
Jun 22, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people old enough to have read her in the newspaper - when newspapers were actually on paper
I saw it at the library. It was very nostalgic, reading about the days when women managed the house and Christmas was a religious holiday.
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Erma Louise Bombeck, born Erma Fiste, was an American humorist who achieved great popularity for a newspaper column that depicted suburban home life humorously, in the second half of the 20th century.

For 31 years since 1965, Erma Bombeck published 4,000 newspaper articles. Already in the 1970s, her witty columns were read, twice weekly, by thirty million readers of 900 newspapers of USA and Canada
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“I've exercised with women so thin, buzzards followed them to their cars.” 26 likes
“Enter my first neighbor - a woman who spoke in complete, coherent sentences, who ate with a knife and fork and who only cried at weddings. I couldn't help myself. In a dramatic gesture, I bolted the door and threw my body across it to prevent her exit. She understood.” 19 likes
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