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

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  619 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Meet Quinn Cummings. Former child star, mother, and modern woman, she just wants to be a good person. Quinn grew up in Los Angeles, a city whose patron saint would be a sixteen-year-old with a gold card and two trips to rehab under her belt. Quinn does crossword puzzles, eats lentils without being forced, and longs to wear a scarf without looking like a Camp Fire Girl. And ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Hyperion (first published January 1st 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,831)
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Beth Harbison
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,
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
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
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
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
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.
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...
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.
Michelle R.
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!
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
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.
Awesome. Almost as good as Laurie Notaro. In some places, just as good.
Very funny, smart - like reading the blog of a really smart funny friend.
Funny, thoughtful, and sometimes poignant. Wonderful read!
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
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 18, 2012 Krissy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Gentle readers, I snorted. Frequently. I chuckled constantly. I may have even guffawed. More than once.

From the awesome cover, immediately recognizable to those of us Of A Certain Age as a Maidenform bra ad (I dreamt I soared to new heights in my Maidenform bra!)to the tales within of growing up semi-famous in Hollywood (nominated for an Academy Award!) to raising a daughter in LA, or more specifically, West Hollywood (trick-or-treating was quite the treat), Cummings is a witty delight.
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
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
Amusing anecdotes about her life. Unfortunately, I read Amy Poehler's "Yes Please" last month and keep thinking about how Amy does the same but has better form and a message. This reads a little flat and random. For me, two comedic memoirs is enough
Lee Anne
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
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

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
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
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
Feb 20, 2010 Anne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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