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

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  620 Ratings  ·  108 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 ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 23rd 2009 by Villard (first published January 1st 2009)
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Jan 07, 2016 Alison rated it it was amazing
For all of my life as an aspiring (or wanna-be) writer, I felt plagued by the fact that I had had a happy childhood and loving family. I mean, come on, anyone that lucky hasn't earned the right to become a novelist (or whatever). Jancee Dunn's writing about her love for her family, and childhood, fills me with an almost giddy sense of "yes, I totally get this!!" empathy. I want to call her up and say, "I love my parents, too! And I would totally cry about having to say goodbye to my childhood ...more
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 ...more
Mar 09, 2010 Melody rated it liked it
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 ...more
Dec 07, 2011 Bethany rated it it was ok
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
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
Oct 04, 2009 Lori rated it liked it
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
Apr 01, 2012 Florinda rated it liked it
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
Nov 24, 2015 Corielle rated it liked it
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
Jan 19, 2016 Soraia rated it really liked it
Tenho quase certeza de que quem escolher esse livro pra ler, já terá lido But Enough About Me e se deliciado com as partes engraçadíssimas da família dessa autora. E olha que o foco nem era pra ser a família, mas sim a carreira dela como jornalista da revista Rolling Stone e VJ da MTV, o que consequentemente gera muitos babados do mundo das celebridades.

Não duvido nada que o Why Is My Mother Getting A Tattoo seja resultado de um feedback positivo recebido pelo livro anterior. Sendo assim, o foco
Jan 30, 2011 Heather rated it liked it
Shelves: home-library
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
Apr 08, 2010 Ciara rated it it was ok
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 ...more
I generally don't pick up books with pink covers, or this kind of memoir, but it appealed to me somehow. I was not familiar with the author, I have to admit, so it was sort of a random choice. I was pleasantly entertained, but didn't laugh as much as I thought I would. Although Dunn and myself are separated by a generation, I still understood her historical-cultural references, and found they really resonated with me. It was an enjoyable and quick read. And growing up in the South and in ...more
Dec 21, 2010 Shea rated it liked it
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
Oct 01, 2013 Laura rated it it was ok
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
Jun 19, 2013 Brenda rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
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
Oct 09, 2015 Shirley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015
I normally reserve five stars for books that WOW! me, that show me something new. And though this memoir is more about normal life events, I had to give it five stars because I just enjoy Jancee's writing and perspective so much. There's moments of poignancy and moments of humor. I LOVE when she talks about her parents and describes their conversations-absolutely hilarious, laugh aloud funny. She is never deprecating towards people or mean-spirited. I enjoyed her first memoir as well, though it ...more
Sep 04, 2010 Lisa rated it liked it
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.
Jul 12, 2010 Heather rated it liked it
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 ...more
Kate SouthernBelleSimple
Nov 02, 2009 Kate SouthernBelleSimple rated it really liked it
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.
May 02, 2016 Claire rated it really liked it
A majority of the book is most entertaining, except the chapters that are dialogues between Jancee and her friend Julie---BORING!! Like listening for an hour in the carpool line to a couple 12-year-old girls who are oh-so-funny only to themselves.

But those chapters are easy to skip right over and thoroughly enjoy the other sections. Like eating potato chips--you can't do just one. I would LOVE to be at one of their family Thanksgivings. I'd bring whatever dessert they told me to bring.
Feb 22, 2012 Babette rated it it was amazing
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.
Robin Rountree
Aug 31, 2009 Robin Rountree rated it really liked it
Shelves: pastreads
I had two problems with this 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!
Jan 30, 2010 Heidi rated it liked it
Shelves: funny-ladies
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).
Jan 12, 2010 Stacey rated it liked it
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.
Apr 02, 2010 Kimberly rated it really liked it
Shelves: mmbc, non-fiction
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'll raise your spirits and make you laugh out loud. And the stories are oh-so-true!
Aug 15, 2010 Rachel rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 02, 2010 Kim rated it liked it
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.
Apr 06, 2010 Christina rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 29, 2014 Cristina rated it really liked it
After reading "But enough about me..." I wanted to hear more about her family. I love the mother and the father, especially the father, he sounds like a great guy who loves his daughters and wants the best for them, even though they tune out his advice. Just reminds me of myself when I was younger. This book made me laugh also, but not as much as the 1st book, still a great read though.
Allison Herman
May 10, 2014 Allison Herman rated it really liked it
I just read Jancee Dunn's other memoir that preceded this one and had to read her follow-up. This book was compiled of short vignettes about her life, concluding with the title-mentioned tattoo. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and found myself laughing out loud at various sections. Dunn has put her life on display, and I am so happy she did.
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New York Times bestselling author Jancee Dunn has written five books, among them the rock memoir But Enough About Me and the essay collection Why Is My Mother Getting A Tattoo? And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had To Ask, which was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. Her latest book, How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids, will be out in March 2017. She also writes for many ...more
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