Comfort Reads discussion

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Biographies and Memoirs > Humorous Memoirs/Biographies/Autobiographies

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message 1: by Lisa, Co-Mod Comfort Reader Extraordinaire (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 3784 comments Mod
As Christina said in the introductions folder: "I think anything you read multiple times even as a teenager qualifies as lifelong comfort reading."...

Probably 2/3 of my comfort read books I first read between the ages of 7 & 17.

And a lot of my favorite funny books don't always end on a funny note (such as Never Cry Wolf, which I mentioned in another thread) but

one of my favorite memoirs as a teen (and I still like it and still enjoy the movie; I was a Hayley Mills fan) is The Trouble with Angels, first published with the title Life With Mother Superior.


CeeAnne | 3213 comments Wait, my other post belonged here...sorry. I listed Funny in Farsi  A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America by فیروزه جزایری دوما / Firoozeh Jazayeri Dumas, and she also wrote Laughing Without an Accent  Adventures of a Global Citizen by Firoozeh Dumas


message 3: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (LeeKat) | 3956 comments Mod
These look fantastic Christine thanks for posting them.


message 4: by Lisa, Co-Mod Comfort Reader Extraordinaire (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 3784 comments Mod
I've been wanting to read Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America and the other book looks interesting also, Christine.


Chrissie I simply must mention the two following books:Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal and the lives and times of archy & mehitabel. The first I haven't read yet, and yes it is also historical fiction, but it is about who else but Jesus! So does it belong here? I don't know! The second is about Archy the cockroach and Mehibitabel the cat. So it is a memoir, but of animals. Hej, we are animals too. It is truly hilarious. About the only poetry that I can read. It is a kid's book AND an adult's book too!


message 7: by Lee, Mod Mama (last edited Jan 08, 2010 02:18PM) (new)

Lee (LeeKat) | 3956 comments Mod
Chrissie, both of those books look very funny and duh, *smacks forehead*, you can tell I don't read poetry much because I haven't even created a folder for it! I will remedy that right now.


message 8: by Lisa, Co-Mod Comfort Reader Extraordinaire (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 3784 comments Mod
Oh yay! Poetry!!!


Lynne | 20 comments I have re-read All the Fishes Come Home to Roost: An American Misfit in India just for the laughs although the ending is more serious.


message 10: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (LeeKat) | 3956 comments Mod
Lynne, I believe that's the one we were discussing with Chrissie a few months ago? I'm really looking forward to reading it.


CeeAnne | 3213 comments Lisa wrote: "I've been wanting to read Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America and the other book looks interesting also, Christine."

It is seriously too funny. All of the things her dad did to do the American thing. He even went on a gameshow (that doesn't spoil anything) which was hilarious.


message 12: by CeeAnne (last edited Jan 09, 2010 06:55PM) (new)

CeeAnne | 3213 comments Lynne wrote: "I have re-read All the Fishes Come Home to Roost: An American Misfit in India just for the laughs although the ending is more serious."

Oh, that sounds good!

ETA: Okay, I'm pitiful. I just ordered this, but I found a used copy so it wasn't too bad.


Jeannette (Jvmimo) Peregrine wrote: "Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr.

Life among the Savages and Raising Demons by Shirley Jackson"


Cheaper by the Dozen is an excellent story! A friend of my says the best stories are true stories, because nobody could think this stuff up. This applies to the Gilbreth family! This one is great in audiobook format, too.




Luann (AZbookgal) | 46 comments Jeannette wrote: "Cheaper by the Dozen is an excellent story! A friend of my says the best stories are true stories, because nobody could think this stuff up. This applies to the Gilbreth family! This one is great in audiobook format, too."

I used to read Cheaper by the Dozen at least once a year growing up. I loved that family! I was very upset with the movie that came out a few years ago with Steve Martin. The only parts from the book they kept were the title and the fact that the family had 12 children. They even changed the family's name. The 1950's movie is well worth watching for fans of the book, though.


Jeannette (Jvmimo) I agree!


Kathryn | 374 comments Summer at Tiffany (midwest 20s girl goes to work at Tiffany & Co jewelry store in WWII era NYC)

Our Hearts Were Young And Gay: An Unforgettable Comic Chronicle of Innocents Abroad in the 1920s (SO very funny--I love the 1920s anyway and here we have two college grad chums who decide to brave Europe on their own and encounter a host of hilarious situations and famous people!)


message 17: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (LeeKat) | 3956 comments Mod
Kathryn, those sound like perfect comfort reads!


message 18: by Lisa, Co-Mod Comfort Reader Extraordinaire (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 3784 comments Mod
Kathryn, That first one is on my to-read shelf. I've heard of the second one; I'm glad to know it's so enjoyable.


Gundula | 2722 comments Mod
More to put on the to-read shelf; it never stops.


Jeannette (Jvmimo) Kathryn wrote: "Summer at Tiffany (midwest 20s girl goes to work at Tiffany & Co jewelry store in WWII era NYC)

[book:Our Hearts Were Young And Gay: An Unforgettable Comic Chronicle of Innocents Ab..."


I have to mention that Summer at Tiffany was written by the aunt of my daughter's choir conductor! The author and her friend are from small town, rural Iowa! I haven't read it yet, but I get a kick out of seeing it on these posts.




message 21: by Lisa, Co-Mod Comfort Reader Extraordinaire (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 3784 comments Mod
Jeannette wrote: " have to mention that Summer at Tiffany was written by the aunt of my daughter's choir conductor! The author and her friend are from small town, rural Iowa!"

Jeannette, It's always fun to personally know or know of an author!




message 22: by Jeannette (last edited Jan 15, 2010 07:41PM) (new)

Jeannette (Jvmimo) Yes it is. The choir director's mother is 87, very fit and lively, and loves to regale us with family history. I assume it was her sister that worked at Tiffany's; I'll have to ask her. She (the mom) wrote a book with her husband Bail out over the Balkans: Escape through Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia, which is his WWII memoir.


message 23: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (LeeKat) | 3956 comments Mod
Isn't that neat that both sisters are authors? They sound like a fun family to hang out with.


message 24: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (LeeKat) | 3956 comments Mod
I know I mentioned this book somewhere else but I actually started reading it last night and it's a great comfort read. My Family and Other Animals is about a ten year old English boy who moves with his mother and three siblings to Corfu. I'm only on page 40 but I've already been giggling over the family's introduction into Greek ways and enjoying the details of the natural world which fascinate the young narrator.


message 25: by Lisa, Co-Mod Comfort Reader Extraordinaire (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 3784 comments Mod
Oh Lee, I'm glad you're enjoying that book. It is so funny and sweet.


Jeannette (Jvmimo) I wasn't sure where to put this one. I just heard a radio interview with the author and the book sounds good.

Yours Ever: People and Their Letters

I've added it to my tbr list.


Kathryn | 374 comments Jeannette wrote: "Yes it is. The choir director's mother is 87, very fit and lively, and loves to regale us with family history. I assume it was her sister that worked at Tiffany's; I'll have to ask her. She (the..."

That's SO cool, Jeanette!




Jeannette (Jvmimo) Kathryn wrote: "Jeannette wrote: "Yes it is. The choir director's mother is 87, very fit and lively, and loves to regale us with family history. I assume it was her sister that worked at Tiffany's; I'll have to ..."

I think they are just a family of storytellers! And, some of them got their stories published. :)




message 29: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (LeeKat) | 3956 comments Mod
Jeannette wrote: "I wasn't sure where to put this one. I just heard a radio interview with the author and the book sounds good.

Yours Ever: People and Their Letters

I've added it to my tbr list."


Looks interesting Jeannette!


Jeannette (Jvmimo) The excerpts in the interview were certainly interesting: Woodrow Wilson's love letters, letters from Noel Coward, and Groucho Marx. Hope the book is as good as the highlights!


Gabriele Wills (Muskoka) | 178 comments Lee wrote: "I know I mentioned this book somewhere else but I actually started reading it last night and it's a great comfort read. My Family and Other Animals is about a ten year old English boy..."
I love the title, Lee!

And that reminds me of James Herriot's books. I absolutely love them, and the TV series, which I've seen at least 5 times. Packaged in different ways, some of the books are:
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot The Lord God Made Them All by James Herriot

We did a tour of Herriot Country in Yorkshire, which was a real thrill.


Gundula | 2722 comments Mod
Gabriele, a tour of Herriot Country sounds marvelous. Have you read the biography of James Herriot (Alfred Wight) that was written by his son?


Gabriele Wills (Muskoka) | 178 comments Yes, I have, Gundula, and another one that was not so kind to Herriot by Graham Lord. Alf Wight died just a couple of months before we got to his town, Thirsk, where he still went to his "surgery" a few days a week, and met with fans. I was so crushed that I never had a chance to meet him!

We toured the Dales, visiting the places used as sets in the TV series, eating at his favourite pubs, and just being awed by the magnificent countryside. Fortunately, my daughter was raised on "All Creatures Great and Small", so she, too, enjoyed this pilgrimage. We talk about Siegfried and Tristan, James and Helen as if they were indeed our friends. Isn't that what makes books and movies really comfortable? It's just spending time with friends!


message 34: by Gundula (last edited Jan 20, 2010 12:58PM) (new)

Gundula | 2722 comments Mod
I read Graham Lord's "book" and donated it to Value Village (I don't usually give away books, but I was really really angry, especially in light of the fact that some of his information supposedly came from individuals with whom Alf Wight had had differences); the whole story just sounded like a trashy gossip column. What did you think of Lord's book?

Your trip sounds wonderful. And, I've watched the TV series more than a few times as well.


Gabriele Wills (Muskoka) | 178 comments I thought Lord's book did a disservice to a great man. You're right that it seemed gossipy and based on hearsay, Gundula. I think you can judge the writer somewhat by his books, and I have nothing but admiration and respect for him. I'm glad that his son set the record straight in his biography.


Gabriele Wills (Muskoka) | 178 comments By the way, Gundula, we drove through the "water-splash"! : )


Gundula | 2722 comments Mod
I think what was really horrible was the fact that both Alf and his wife thought of Graham Lord as a friend, so that was a very dirty trick to pull indeed. I also do not tend to be in agreement with most unofficial, unauthorised biographies for precisely the fact that they are often not only full of gossip, but often also written with the intent of either discrediting the individual being described or with the intent of cashing in on some "juicy secrets."


Gabriele Wills (Muskoka) | 178 comments Cashing in, indeed, and claiming that he (Lord) was responsible for Herriot's success through an article he had written, if I recall correctly.


Gundula | 2722 comments Mod
Well, according to Jim Wight, Alf Wight did credit Lord for some of his success, but that is all the more reason for Lord to have written a more favourable biography. It sounded as though Lord had a bone to pick with the Wights, especially Joan (Helen), whom he really described negatively. And, I will come clean. The first time I read Lord's book I donated said book to Value Village. Then, after having read his son's excellent biography, I decided to reread Lord's biography for comparison, and I got so angry, I actually threw the book into the garbage (the first time I've ever done that to a book).


CeeAnne | 3213 comments I think that this book belongs on this thread, although it's actually a graphic novel memoir. It is by the author of Persepolis (which is about the political history and war in Iran, and it was very heavy)...but this one was very different. It's funny and light. It's about a group of Iranian women sharing secrets about marriage and sex while they drink tea. I read it in about an hour. It would be a great book for an airplane ride or something like that. Just an idea.Embroideries Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi


message 41: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (LeeKat) | 3956 comments Mod
Hey Christine, I thought this book was pretty funny too. It was very different from The Complete Persepolis but just as enjoyable in a different way.


Grace Tjan Gabriele wrote: "Yes, I have, Gundula, and another one that was not so kind to Herriot by Graham Lord. Alf Wight died just a couple of months before we got to his town, Thirsk, where he still went to ..."

I'm envious! My really regret not going north when I was in England. I really wanted to see the Yorkshire dales/moors.



Gabriele Wills (Muskoka) | 178 comments They're beautiful, Sandybanks - they live up to expectations and more. When we were there the last time, we also came across the filming of "Heartbeat", which was great fun to watch, as we had been fans for many years (and still watch). I watch everything I can that's set in Cornwall as well, and am having fun with "Doc Martin".


Cheryl (CherylCory) | 28 comments I've loved James Herriot's books since I was a kid and just discovered the TV series a few years ago (thank you, Netflix!). Hmmm...never read a biography of the man, but looks like I may want to stick with his son's book if I ever decide to.

Along the same line, I really enjoyed The Black Panties: Tales of Animal Mischief and Veterinary Intrigue by Monica Mansfield (what a title!). The author is a vet and writes about her experience starting out in a small-town New Hampshire practice. Reading her book, you'll think you've stumbled upon the modern, American, female James Herriot (haha!). A touching and entertaining read.


message 45: by Lee, Mod Mama (new)

Lee (LeeKat) | 3956 comments Mod
Cheryl, it sounds like a lot of fun and I like the title!


Cheryl (CherylCory) | 28 comments It is a fun book! I met the author at a book signing and she mentioned that her son was the one who suggested the title, based on one of the stories, and it stuck. Apparently, dogs are known to eat the strangest things! ;P


message 47: by Lisa, Co-Mod Comfort Reader Extraordinaire (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 3784 comments Mod
Cheryl, I saw that book on your feed on my home page and immediately put it on my to-read shelf; it does look good.


Cheryl (CherylCory) | 28 comments I think you'll like it, Lisa, especially seeing how you're a fan of both dogs & cats. Lots of stories about both, maybe weighted a bit more to the dog side.


message 49: by Lisa, Co-Mod Comfort Reader Extraordinaire (new)

Lisa Vegan (LisaVegan) | 3784 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "I think you'll like it, Lisa, especially seeing how you're a fan of both dogs & cats. Lots of stories about both, maybe weighted a bit more to the dog side. "

I do like both, weighted somewhat to the dog side, so it sounds perfect for me.


Jeannette (Jvmimo) I want to add The Parrot's Lament : And Other True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity. After following this thread, I remembered this fascinating book about animals. I want to re-read it now -- it is very good!


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