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If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries—What Am I Doing in the Pits?
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If Life Is a Bowl of Cherries—What Am I Doing in the Pits?

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,548 Ratings  ·  222 Reviews
" See if you can read a paragraph without laughing out loud."
Art Buchwald
The enchanting lady of laughter has done it again--this time taking a hilarious swipe at husbands, honeymoons, tennis elbow, marriage, lettuce, the national anthem, and a host of other domestic dilemmas.
" It's fun from cover to cover."
Audiobook, 0 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Recorded Books, LLC (first published 1971)
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Feb 06, 2013 Frances rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first heard of Erma Bombeck when I was 13. My mom had gone to the doctor and came home with the news she was pregnant. I was the baby up until then so you can imagine her shock. My dad, being funny, brought home a pillow that said, " It's A Crying Shame," and a book by Erma Bombeck. That book was If Life Is A Bowl Of Cherries, What Am I doing In The Pits? My dad got hit by the pillow but the book cheered my mom up.
When I saw this book on Net Galley I had to get it. But, I admit, that I was won
Mar 26, 2012 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
It was nice to take a trip back to the seventies with Erma Bombeck. I believe I enjoyed the nostalgia of it as much as Bombeck's humor. Being the first book I've read by her, I didn't realize that she could be inspirationally serious at times such as in the last chapter. I liked her observations on sports reporting how no one wins a game they always hammer, outscore, bomb, run over, etc.

Rather than give away all her punchlines I recommend this book to the younger generation who are curious of wh
When I was a little girl staying with my grandparents, after my cousins went home and there was no more playing Payday or that weird soccer game where your fingers are the players' legs, I would need to read (I was a very nerdy child). My options were the Bible, Sidney Sheldon, or this book. Obviously, I picked the Bible. No! I picked Erma, who I discovered to be totally humorous when I turned the light on after I was sure everyone else was in bed, and snuggled under my brown-and-orange swirled ...more
Nov 08, 2010 Miss rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do you like standup comedy? This book reads like one.
It is a collection of humourous stories without chronological order or any order whatsoever about family life from the perspective of an overworked, overstressed mum. Some stories are better than the others, but they are all really funny, I laughed out loud every few paragraphs, people on the subway must have thought I was crazy :).
It ends on a bittersweet note that brought tears to my eyes. The story titled "When Did I Become the Mother and
Okay, I admit to being an Erma fan. I inherited several of her paperbacks when a friend of mine moved over seas and left several boxes of her books with me. I remembered reading this one as a teen, but it always seemed like something my mom would be interested in. However, for satirical insight on the middle-class female point of view on the big trends of the seventies and eighties, Bombeck is very insightful. I guess it took age and the ability to reflect back on those decades to appreciate her ...more
Linda Rowland
Feb 26, 2016 Linda Rowland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this in a stack of books someone gave me for the book shop. Have always enjoyed Bombeck and this was no different. I may have read this before but still had a good time with it.
Jan 25, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspirational
Even though this book was written in the 70's it is still relevant for me today. From the snoring husband, the overly dependent kids, the housework never ending, and of course the totally wrong fads and fashion(Pantsuit that doesn't look good on anyone unless your 2), this book had me laughing and saying at least I'm not the only one who thinks that.
One of my favorite laugh out loud moments: "how come a child can eat yellow snow, kiss the dog on the lips, chew gum fromt he ashtry, put his mouth
Steph (loves water)
Loved Erma Bombeck...My mother and I to this day can quote her verbatim. She's provided us hours of entertainment. It was like losing a family member when she passed. RIP Erma, I'm sure you've got them laughing somewhere else!
Mar 27, 2014 Kari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, kindle, 2014
I remember reading this book a long time ago, probably in college. Having reread the book, I'm not sure I was able to full appreciate the book back then. Now, reading it as a wife and mother, I loved it. Even though Ms. Bombeck wrote this back in the 70s, I found that about 90% of it is still relevant today. Husbands still snore, kids and families still drive us crazy and the debate over working mom vs. stay at home mom still goes on 30+ years later. I found myself laughing and nodding my head t ...more
Dec 28, 2009 Meredith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this for an initiative at work. We are to read a book each month with a different angle. January's assignment was to read a book published in the year you were born (for me, 1978). Someone recommended Erma Bombeck, since she wrote humor based on being a mother and housewife. I must say, for the most part I just didn't get it. I didn't laugh or even smile once. First of all, there was language to decode. For example, "wedgies." No, not what happens when your undies get in a twist. Apparent ...more
Feb 06, 2016 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be uneven. Some stories I really enjoyed while others I didn't. I am amazed at how some issues or themes continue to prevail even after all these years. Such as children leaving their wet towels on the floor or a parent calling their child by the wrong name (which was probably my favorite story in the book as well). She has some great lines in the book as well such as her son "staring into the refrigerator waiting for something to embrace him."
May 01, 2011 Adrienne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. Sure, a very small number of the cultural references were lost on me due to my age, but I was laughing out loud--literally, not acronymically (is that a word?)--at least 80% of the time. Bombeck has a gift for making us laugh at the things that would otherwise make us throw our hands up and walk away. I think every mom should have at least one of her books hanging around the house for those days when we really just need to check out and have a good laugh. And the bonus is that ...more
Feb 24, 2016 MJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My great aunt loved this author and she was a hoot so I had to read her and see for myself. So glad I did! Bombeck was hysterical.
Cheryl Sinclair
May 26, 2016 Cheryl Sinclair rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know many of you have not heard of Erma, but she is not to be missed. Crazy funny.
May 26, 2016 Barb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read many years ago. Erma is always good.
Bombeck was the favorite humorous essayist of both my mother and my aunt (Bombeck died in 1996).

I wouldn't think of badmouthing the woman. She was a brilliant humorist, and had the storytelling gift in full measure. If I personally always preferred Jean Kerr (who, like me, was definitely NOT a 'morning person'), I'm not blind to Bombeck's often wicked invective, tempered by a not quite unfailing compassion.

I can see why my aunt and my mother like her--their own storytelling styles are often simi
May 14, 2012 SS rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One review said that every wife and mother should read this book. I think every daughter should too, if only to get some insight on what lies ahead. (And, of course, to pick up little tips like "green is not a happy color" when it comes to food.) Erma Bombeck talks about everything with such wit and candor, not to mention comedy.

When I was little, my mom used to read the "funny parts" to my sister and me. Once I was a little older, I read the entire book, and still couldn't stop laughing.
May 20, 2009 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading this from my mom's bookshelves a long time ago, and when I saw it at the library, I picked it up for a fun, quick read. Written in the early 80s, it's fun to see how different (and how much the same) life is/was for mothers. Some of it is universal, and other sections are very much 30 years ago. But the parts that she writes on parenting (and being married) are so funny, I found myself laughing out loud at parts, and getting misty at others. Recommended.
Aug 03, 2011 Alexa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: moms and their cubs
Shelves: biography
The first book that I ever finished reading.
I was 12 years old then and about to start my new life in high school.

My puberty years.
Time when not-so-childish-not-so-mature ideas clashes with parents.

I begun laughing upon starting on its pages and end up cryin....

"I love you enough to say NO even if you'll HATE me for it
and that what HURTS the most."

From that time on,
I never got hurt when mom says NO!
Apr 25, 2016 Courtney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been in a bit of a reading slump and the usual types of books I read haven't been appealing to me. When this popped up as a daily ebook deal, I smiled and bought it because it made me think of my grandma who was an Erma Bombeck fan. I had never read Bombeck's works before so at first it was slow going because the humor seems a bit dated and unrelatable to my life. Then I heard in an interview about how Garry Shandling (whom I LOVE) created a lot of jokes that we now consider generic and ove ...more
Feb 10, 2014 Shan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humorous, audio-book
I figured that since I've been reading such depressing books (A Child Called It, all its squeals, Into the Wild, I Am Legend, Anne Frank, etc), that I should interject that path with a little humor.

I had never heard of Erma Bombeck until I searched the humorous section of the audiobooks from the library website and found out that this woman has quite a few books published. So, naturally, I had to try her out.

I didn't know that this book was written/published in the seventies. I also didn't know
Barbara VA
Apr 28, 2012 Barbara VA rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-read
A re-read from my favorite columnist ever, Erma "spoke" to me from the time I was a teenager about the age of her daughter and we bought prom dress the same week. I read her books as a newlywed in the 70's and as a new mom. Remembering what life was like before cell phones, computers, and dvd's was a joy. I miss this warm, kind and funny lady!
May 28, 2015 Bunny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bunny by: Meltha
Shelves: owned, read-in-15
100th book of 2015!


Erma Bombeck is hilarious in an easy way. This book was written in the 70's, and it's still hilarious, and still timely. There are very few moments where you realize how times have changed. Unless you're wondering why she doesn't mention her children's Twitter accounts.

So so great.
Nov 29, 2010 Marshaferz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite of Bombeck's books. I haven't read it in 20 years, but certain turns of phrase, passages, even whole stories are so clear in my memory. Even with my familiarity with the material, it still made me laugh out loud. Let's face it, motherhood is funny and insane in pretty much the same way now that it always has been.
Oct 11, 2011 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Erma Bombeck is my hero. She is funny and smart and absolutely wonderful. She is funny without being mean and just a wonderful observer of people and family. I love re-reading her work when I need a boost. In my opinion, everyone can read it -- but a mother gets so much more out of it!
Gena Lott
Apr 12, 2011 Gena Lott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
How can we have EVERYTHING as we do in America, and still be so depressed and downtrodden? Although these are older books, they are still very pertinent today. Besides getting a laugh, you will love her in your face style which questions just what we as women should find important.
Apr 27, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one lady I really miss!!! I have read all of her books and probably 3 times each! You don't get funnier, more real, and more touching then her stories. It makes you feel like you are hearing the confidences and real life fiascos of your best girl friend!
Erin Hecker
Apparently, humor has a shelf-life. And, Bombeck's is nearing expiration.
I think I would have loved this in another decade/lifetime, but unfortunately, I couldn't relate.
Jumpsuits? Ralph Nader references? Strong gender roles? It was like looking into a time capsule.

I think the only time I laughed was at this passage:
"I have seen my kid straggle into the kitchen in the morning with outfits that need only one accessory: an empty gin bottle."

The rest was trite and somewhat obnoxious. Only at the
Mar 02, 2011 Sera rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy
I thought that this book was funny when I had read it as a teen. I think that I was a weird kid sometimes...
May 02, 2012 Nellie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. All around funny. Good get away from reality reading
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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
More about Erma Bombeck...

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