Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo?: And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had to Ask
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

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

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  484 ratings  ·  93 reviews
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 t...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by Villard (first published January 1st 2009)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,121)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Erica
Jan 07, 2011 Erica added it
There's a genre I have in my head that I call "women who should be famous instead of Sloane Crosley." I have nothing against Sloane Crosley personally, and I've heard from people who've worked with her that she's nothing but lovely, but I think her writing is boring and not funny. And women like Rachel Shukert, Julie Klausner, and Jancee Dunn are funny. I loved Jancee Dunn's But Enough About Me, which was a collection of essays about her years as a celebrity interviewer, and this book, which foc...more
Melody
Dunn is a strange phenom in the world of 40-something memoirists. She's practically ordinary. She's someone you recognize. She doesn't shoot heroin, she doesn't fess up to being sexually abused at the hands of her kindergarten teacher, she doesn't have 13 cats. She's got a soft heart, an incisive wit that isn't wounding, and a family so dotty they could be English. I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would at the outset, once I settled into the sheer comfort of stories about a family who.....more
Bethany
I loved, loved, loved Dunn's debut memoir But Enough About Me: A Jersey Girl's Unlikely Adventures Among the Absurdly Famous. I initially picked up that book because I was interested in the Rolling Stone aspect of her life, but I hadn't anticipated falling in love with the side stories of her family life. So, upon picking up Why is My Mother Getting a Tattoo? I was all set to meet Dunn's family again. Some of the stories are charming, some get a touch tedious, but overall it just didn't live up...more
Corielle
Jancee Dunn's first memoir, But Enough About Me, was a collection of stories about rock and roll interviews and crazy nights in the city interspersed with reminiscences about her wholesome upbringing and goofy family. In Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo?, the goofy family takes center stage, which I really liked. There might not be any shocking information about your favorite celebrity in this memoir, but Dunn's obvious love for her rather dorky parents (then again, doesn't everyone have dorky...more
Arminzerella
Jancee Dunn is a writer in her early forties, she’s close to her family, loves her husband, Tom, likes to be a hermit when she’s at home, likes to travel to faraway places, once fell in love with a high-end toilet in Japan, and she’s written this hilarious collection of essays about herself, her friends, and family. After reading this you’ll have learned that:

1.)You know nothing about really planning Thanksgiving dinner, until you’ve done it with Jancee and her sisters.
2.)JC Penney retirees are...more
Lori
Creepy as it may be, to feel about someone who is well known or talented enough to publish personal memoirs, .that "I could be friends with them! They're so much like me!" feeling...This is exactly the way I view Jancee Dunn. Recently, I was looking for a lighter read. Always a sucker for my favorite New Pastel tinted era -- the 1980s -- I latched onto Dunn's first work of fiction, a fun little book called "Don't You Forget About Me." I was surprised by the way this light read resonated with me....more
Florinda
I genuinely enjoy reading Jancee Dunn. She's worked for Rolling Stone and O: The Oprah Magazine, she's been an MTV veejay and a Good Morning, America correspondent, and she's written one novel and two books of nonfiction - and yet her voice throughout remains down-to-earth and conversational.

Her most recent book is a collection of memoir/essays concerning recent events in the lives of her family, who we first got to know in But Enough About Me. The Dunns have their quirks, but they're ordinary q...more
Heather
I like personal essay collections a great deal, and while I enjoy tales of fucked-up childhoods and weird parents, as I get older I find that even more I like hearing stories about slightly wacky families who, above everything else, love one another a whole helluva lot. They're funny, they're strange, but they're not MEAN. I'm into it. My friend Erica's review of this book here on goodreads made me ask to borrow it, and now that I've finished I'll be picking up the Jancee Dunn title that's been...more
Ciara
i have almost nothing to say about this book. it's another goofy funny essays ripped from the headlines of the authors personal life. the conceit here is that the author's family is constantly getting up to wacky & hilarious shenanigans. which...sure. let's go with it. they do crazy things like argue for five hours on the phone over which dessert to make for xmas dinner. or there was the time when the author's mom decided to get a raven tattooed on her wrist even though she's old. are you la...more
Laura
I really enjoyed 'But Enough About Me. . .' but had a very hard time getting into this. Maybe because it was too much like my own life? Other than not drinking, this could almost be my family.. while I could see the funny quirks, it just wasn't that interesting to me. Why is <(view spoiler)...more
Shea
I went to the library to check out Jancee Dunn's novel Don't You Forget About Me. It wasn't there, but they had this and I liked the title (my mom, incidently, has a tattoo), thought I would enjoy/relate to it, and therefore decided to check it out.
I've been drawn to memoirs a lot more recently (I used to be completely opposed to non-fiction) and the problem I usually find is they're nothing like what I thought they would be. This one was: it was a quick read about a family you'll probably recog...more
Brenda
While But Enough About Me focused mostly on Jancee Dunn's career as a rock journalist and VJ, this memoir is about her lovable, tight-knit, crazy family (and friends). Stories include a trip with her Southern mother to Savannah, her siblings' plot to revisit their childhood home (long since inhabited by another family), how Dunn announced her surprise pregnancy to her husband (with her whole family as an audience), and the titular story of her mother getting a tattoo. She also transcribes severa...more
Sandy
Funny snippets of life with the author's quirky family and friends, and I mean that in a good way.
Heather
I can't remember where I heard about this book? Real Simple maybe? I think I was reading an article she wrote and thought what a great title for a book. This book made me want to be a part of Jancee's family. It did kind of bug me how she proudly states that her family is not dysfunctional. I thought it was kind of odd to alienate probably 75% of her readers that were from dysfunctional families - though I'm probably overstating. This book got me excited to read her fiction and her other memoir(...more
Lisa
Pretty funny in parts, although slow going in others. I could really relate to many bits centered on 40-something Jancee's relationship with her parents. All these years I thought my mother's passive, aggressive approach to giving advice by mailing newspaper clippings to me was uncommon!

Overall I enjoyed this memoirist's picture of quirky individuals who form what appears to be a genuinely functional family. A nice change from the more common memoir relaying details of a tortured upbringing.
Robin Rountree
I had two problems with this book...it wasn't long enough and it should have been a hardcover.

Charming collection of essays. I think of all the writers I enjoy, I'd want Jancee Dunn to be my best friend. I had no idea someone else on this planet mooned over the Swiss Colony catalogs like I did! :)

I'd say this is a fun read for gals in their mid 30s to early 40s. Not sure if the subject matter would transcend to all ages, but if I'm wrong, I'll gladly stand corrected!
Babette
I put this on my Christmas list because it was a runner up for the 2010 Thurber Humor Prize, and Amy chose to give it to me because she liked the title. While I liked the winner, this had me laughing so hard I kept Jack awake as he tried to sleep next to me while I read on our vacation last week. I truly hated for it to end. Oh, and for the haters on goodreads who say this is only for Dunn's demographic (40-something), I am 60 years old.
Kate SouthernBelleSimple
this book was too funny. i related to several of the issues facing the author especially where her parents are concerned. it cracked me up and made me feel better to know that there are others out there whose parents insist on talking to them via speakerphone even while they proceed to do several other (often loud) things at the same time. this author is consistently clever and i look forward to her next book.
Nicky
I love Jancee Dunn's books - they're like talking to a friend (granted, it's a one-sided conversation). I anticipate her essays like long letters or emails from my favorite people - there's a spark of joy as you dig in, knowing you're going to laugh, smile knowingly at parallels in your own life, and feel pleased that someone has chosen you as their confidante. Good stuff.
Stacey
Dunn was an MTV VJ and a writer for Rolling Stone, and I quite like her books about growing up in Jersey. Her first "But Enough About Me..." was interspersed with interviews she did for Rolling Stone (the stuff she could not necessarily print), and this one is a little more about being a grown-up and the stuff that her parents do now that is really quite funny.
Heidi B
This really gets 3.5 stars. Some of the stories about her family were very funny. I would like to know this author, but since she and I both prefer to stay at home, we will never meet. Her friend Julie sounded delightful, so of course I had to see what she's written too (among other things, Julie Klam and her husband worked for Pop-Up-Video, a VH1 gem).
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Sep 09, 2010 Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jenny (Reading Envy) by: http://www.thurberhouse.org/program/adlt_prize.html
Shelves: read2010
Ugh, not great. Not every journalist should write a memoir.

It would have been funnier if she had been a voice isolated from the antics of her family, instead she demonstrates how well she fits inside of them. Her husband must be a saint to put up with a wife who has to have her entire family weigh in on every decision, minor or major.

Christina
this is a great little book which was fun and quick to read. the collection of little stories of the author's life made me laugh out loud. Even though we have nothing in common, i was able to connect with the quirkiness of her family and experiences. i particularly loved the author's sense of humour.

thanks kiki for lending it to me.
Amy
Jul 01, 2010 Amy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Amy by: Jancee Dunn fan
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
Funny, but didn't grab me the way But Enough About Me: A Jersey Girl's Unlikely Adventures Among the Absurdly Famous did. That book was hilarious, this one not as good.
Rachel
A finalist for 2010 Thurber Prize for American Humor. Love Jancee Dunn. She the literary equivalent of Tina Fey. Was a fan of hers way back when she wrote for Rolling Stone magazine. Liked her previous memoir "But Enough About Me" as well. An easy, entertaining read, if you're looking for something easy and entertaining.
Kim
I feel like Jancee Dunn and I are good friends, only she doesn't know it yet. I think this book was aiming for some Major Idea about growing older and how this changes one's relationship/perception about one's parents, but mostly it was just an enjoyable read about a normal family in all its quirkiness.
Kimberly
This book was absolutely hilarious! It was like hanging out with a funny girlfriend that tells the best stories. I read the book in less than 10 hours, which I never do. It's so light-hearted, and such an easy read...it'll raise your spirits and make you laugh out loud. And the stories are oh-so-true!
Georgia stewart
I so loved this book , it is well worth the 1.00 I paid at half price books I truly enjoyed it , it is very humorus and real I love Jancee she is a awesome writter and cant wait to read her other books , so wish i could meet her she is a awesome story teller , love this book and you will too.
Kristen Northrup
A sweet, fun book. First thing by her that I've read. We're basically the same age and have a fair amount in common (including a recently-tattooed mother) so quite a bit was relatable. The humor is more Sandra Tsing Loh than Laurie Notaro -- very little in the way of bodily fluids.
Maryellen
An amusing book of essays I read over about 4 months. Nothing unusual, nothing spectacular, mostly funny. I was disconcerted by how easily the author slipped from kid free and proud of it, to pregnant. It almost seemed like two different people writing those sections.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 37 38 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Show Me the Way: A Memoir in Stories
  • Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
  • Elliott Smith
  • Imperfect Endings: A Daughter's Tale of Life and Death
  • Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived in That House
  • Stand and Deliver: The Autobiography
  • You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up: A Love Story
  • Who Do You Think You Are?
  • Fat Girls and Lawn Chairs
  • Notes from the Underwire: Adventures from My Awkward and Lovely Life
  • Early Bird: A Memoir of Premature Retirement
  • Happy Chaos
  • Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence
  • Perfect from Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life
  • Rock On: An Office Power Ballad
  • Feed Me!: Writers Dish About Food, Eating, Weight, and Body Image
  • Cooking Dirty: A Story of Life, Sex, Love and Death in the Kitchen
  • Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music
A writer for Rolling Stone since 1989, Jancee Dunn was a correspondent for Good Morning America and an MTV veejay. She has written for GQ, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, the New York Times, and other publications. (from the publisher's website)"
More about Jancee Dunn...
But Enough About Me: A Jersey Girl's Unlikely Adventures Among the Absurdly Famous Don't You Forget About Me Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir

Share This Book