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Notes from the Underwire: Adventures from My Awkward and Lovely Life

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  724 Ratings  ·  106 Reviews
"Erma Bombeck with an edge."
--U.S.A. Today

"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 Lancas

Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Hyperion (first published January 1st 2009)
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(showing 1-30)
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Beth Harbison
Jul 18, 2011 Beth Harbison rated it it was amazing
This is truly one of the funniest books I have ever read. Like one of the top TWO funniest books I've ever read (Bill Bryson's NEITHER HERE NOR THERE is up there). Quinn's essays on life, love, childhood stardom, and family pets are nothing short of hilarious. I am dying for her to come out with a new one. Meanwhile I follow her blog,
Mar 01, 2012 Florinda rated it liked it
I remember a little bit about Quinn Cummings' career as a youth actor - her Academy-Award-nominated role in the movie The Goodbye Girl, her joining the cast of the TV drama Family - but she's been kind of a "whatever happened to...?" for quite a long time. She stepped out of the limelight about 20 years ago, and grew up to be an entrepreneur, a mom and a blogger who has achieved the blogger's dream - a book. I didn't know about her blog until I heard about the book, but it's a long-established o ...more
Dec 01, 2008 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
Quinn's book!

Have to admit that I'm biased: I've been reading the QC Report for years, and she never fails to make me snort with laughter or tear up, often in the same post. So when I heard about the book, I was both excited and leery, since I've been disappointed by other blog-to-book experiments before (see Quiet, Please for one painful example).

But Quinn rules. Even stories that were familiar to me from the blog were still compelling and delightful to r
Aug 26, 2013 Jen rated it it was ok
Tired jokes about her kid eventually needing therapy; boring tales about how she's so helpful, yet nobody is asking her for help (and it always seems to end badly); essays about the many expensive activities her child is part of (yawn)... Plus, she uses the same uncommon words within a single paragraph (she needs a better proofreader), making for a read that is anything but seamless. On a personal note, her next-to-last story - involving the stray dog - left an incredibly sour taste in my mouth. ...more
Margaret Andrews
Aug 19, 2009 Margaret Andrews rated it it was amazing
I love Quinn Cummings' writing style. She's snarky and funny and sarcastic. Her metaphors and use of language are beautiful. I hope to publish something this good someday. And I'm not just saying that because I interviewed her for my blog ( ). I really enjoyed this memoir. In case you don't already know, Quinn Cummings played the daughter, Lucy McFadden, in The Goodbye Girl (and was nominated for an Academy Award). So we get to read about Los Angeles, how ...more
Sep 18, 2009 M rated it it was amazing
I picked this up on a whim at the airport and ended up reading it twice. It's a pleasurable, easy read that will keep you laughing out loud; however, there's a depth to her writing that's not often found in other similar books. Writers who churn out collections of witty recounts of uncomfortable situations are a dime a dozen right now. But Cummings was able to weave together stories from her life to create an interesting, touching and humorous account that leaves the reader longing to read more.
Michelle Rever
Aug 22, 2009 Michelle Rever rated it really liked it
Funny and touching essays from the Little Girl from The Goodbye Girl :grin: She's left that life behind though and the stories are very relatable -- Hey! I'm clumsy, too! Hey! I like to rescue animals, too!
Jul 20, 2009 Andrea rated it it was amazing
I REALLY loved this book. Quinn's writing is hysterically funny, as well as touching. Her life is just everything you would never expect from a "former child star"-which is quite refreshing. A great book for any Mom to read...
Sep 10, 2009 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
This was a great book! It's been a long time since I laughed out loud while reading a book. Each chapter is a delightful experience. Hope you enjoy it as much I did. Ms. Cummings knows how to write and to entertain.
Jun 20, 2009 Julie rated it it was amazing
Sep 23, 2009 Donnaquilt rated it liked it
This book was O.K. I think Quinn Cummings has the makings to be a very witty author. I look forward to future books as she polishes her writing. I do want to check out her blog.
Elizabeth  Fuller
Jul 20, 2009 Elizabeth Fuller rated it really liked it
I've been reading the author's blog since it began. The book is just as good -- one of the few writers who regularly makes me laugh out loud.
Sep 10, 2009 Tricia rated it really liked it
Very funny, smart - like reading the blog of a really smart funny friend.
Aug 07, 2009 April rated it really liked it
Awesome. Almost as good as Laurie Notaro. In some places, just as good.
Sep 20, 2009 Debbie rated it it was amazing
Funny, thoughtful, and sometimes poignant. Wonderful read!
Oct 07, 2009 Ciara rated it liked it
another book from the school of goofy funny memoirs. think laurie notaro, & then refresh your memory of my distaste for her shtick (she's like a modern-day female dave barry! not too funny). cummings's writing is a touch more sophisticated than notaro's, but not by a lot. i mean, i guess i knew what i was getting into. it's not like anything about the book tricked me into thinking i was picking up great literature or pithy insight on a david sedaris-type level. i wanted something fun & l ...more
Sep 04, 2012 Krissy rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents
I grew up watching Quinn Cummings in films and was always interested in her. I loved The Goodbye Girl and have probably seen it over a dozen times. It was so like my life, my single mom always falling for losers and me the smart ass cynical kid - so much like Quinn Cummings character. So, because of this I was excited to read her collection of humorous essays based on her life.

I'm glad I did. It was mostly enjoyable and she is very funny and would often say things that were unexpected and I like
Aug 11, 2013 Lauren rated it liked it
Quinn Cummings is a former child star living a quiet life in Los Angeles. Mother to a pre-teen daughter, lover of pets, and witness to the crazy lifestyles of La La Land, Quinn shares humorous stories about her experience as a former child actor, her family life, and the unexpected surprises her pets bring her.

If you could tell from my lackluster description of the book above, I wasn’t very jazzed about this memoir. I read a lot of books like this, and to be honest, they all sort of blend toget
Sep 02, 2009 Erin rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 18, 2010 Danielle rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up
In retrospect, rather reminds me of the way Erma Bombeck writes, but with a more contemporary flair (I am, after all, still in the under-30 crowd, so Bombeck is still a bit dated for me). I might even go so far as to compare her writing to David Sedaris, which is to say, it's a nice diversion, but nothing to write home about.
(EDIT: I see Erma Bombeck is mentioned in the description here on goodreads. Ha.)

The writing was fairly funny, but it ultimately wasn't enough to keep me reading. I read abo
Feb 15, 2012 Suzy rated it really liked it
This book is more 3 1/2 stars...okay, maybe more like 3 3/4! It was a recommendation from Amazon based on something else I had read and I bought it because someone likened Quinn Cummings to Erma Bombeck. I find Erma Bombeck hilarious and if that makes me a nerd than I embrace my inner nerd.

Apparently Quinn Cummings is a former child actor from the 70's and I had never heard of her, which makes it strange that I would be interested in her life in the first place. Again, I was wanting some Bombec
Jul 10, 2012 Denise rated it really liked it
Okay, memory quiz, for those of you willing to admit you go back this far: Remember the character of the little girl in the 80's TV series "Family?" Or, how about the character of the daughter in "The Goodbye Girl?" Both of those were played by Quinn Cummings, who, as it turns out, has grown up to be a very entertaining writer and blogger. This book was just chance pickup at the Friends of the Library book store, but it has been a fun companion in the car, perfect for reading for fifteen minutes ...more
Lee Anne
Jul 26, 2009 Lee Anne rated it liked it
Given my recent grumbling about "everyone with a blog does NOT deserve a book contract," you might be surprised to see I'm reading this. I will totally admit that I would have avoided this book without a second thought if it hadn't been written by Quinn Cummings, who was the raspy-voiced, wise-beyond-her-years kid in The Goodbye Girl, a movie I love.

The good news is that this book is more a collection of humorous essays (fleshed out from blog posts, I'm guessing) than yet another "perils of moth
Sep 20, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
I rather liked this. The author, apparently, was a child actor but I don't know what she acted in (and never bothered to Google her to find out) and it doesn't come up often in the book. It is pretty much a collection of amusing stories from a pretty average life, which is something I have found I usually enjoy quite a lot. She falls back on some stories about her daughter which normally I'm not interested in, but she is an amusing author and I found myself entertained, almost in spite of myself ...more
May 04, 2012 Leigh rated it it was amazing

I always loved Quinn Cummings growing up. We were the same age and I admired her precociousness in every role she played. Well, Quinn is still adorably precocious and now I can admire the way she is raising her she never got into drugs, alcohol and rehab at a young age; instead, she was working an AIDS hotline when she was 18. She is also hysterically funny...every page had me laughing out loud....well, except for a chapter towards the end, that had me crying. But no spoilers...I
Jun 05, 2010 Anna rated it liked it
Shelves: pleasure-reads
I'm not sure why this book just didn't do it for me. The writing was surprisingly smart--and funny, and the topic of her life as a former child star living in Hollywood was fairly interesting. I guess, after 50 pages or so, I just wanted to say, "Okay, I get it. You are the exception. You are smart and funny, and you survived Hollywood, unlike all your friends and acquaintances. Can I go now?" I read enough pithy blogs every day. When I read a book, I want it to be different from the off-the-cuf ...more
Aug 26, 2015 Jodi rated it it was amazing
I loved her on the show, Family....she was spunky and funny and just a bit twisted. She grew up to be even funnier, spunkier and more than a bit twisted. I LOVE that in a person! Love this book. PS: the date above is for a re-read - loved the book the first time, loved it more the second! I don't often re-read books, but, when I do, it's because they were extremely entertaining - I hope Quinn has a second and third and fourth and more books in her, because, I like her style! You will too, if you ...more
Jan 27, 2010 Anne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of David Sedaris, Bill Bryson
Shelves: humor
Quinn Cummings, former child actress, has turned into a good writer in the style of light, humorous essays. This memoir of growing up in Hollywood, covers the author's life now as a wife, mother and keen observer of life's peculiarities. She has a wry, self-deprecating sense of humor and either weird things happen to her more than to most people and/or she has the knack for finding the story in the details of everyday life. I follow her tweets and blogs too. Recommended for fans of humorists lik ...more
Barry Rocklin
Ever read a book, and you can feel the author smiling, thinking, "Oh, I was RATHER clever there" ? That's the feeling you get reading this, my least favorite of the last 100 books I've read... except it's just not all that clever. Another review I read mentioned how the anecdotes that are actually interesting (few and far between) end too soon, while the endlessly boring tales of the minutia of her life seem to go on forever. This wasn't even good bathroom reading. Some authors I can't put down. ...more
Mark Levitt
Some funny cringeworthy moments

Funny anectdotes from life of Cummings. Some verging on too precious or "cutesy" themes like her favorite soap or her temperamental pets. Funnier ones deal with awkward social situations with Cummings and her hyper sensitive nature. I would have liked more about her social life, semi famous friends, and any more grittier situations. Cummings does create many funny turns of phrase, colorful characters, and ridiculous situations to keep you interested/amused througho
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