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Topic: Looking for funny book recommendations for my mom

Forum: Stage I Breast Cancer — Meet other members with a Stage I breast cancer diagnosis to share information and support.

Posted on: Jan 11, 2010 09:52PM

WendyK wrote:

She's undergoing testing for swollen lymph nodes at the base of her tongue..suspicious for cancer of some sort. I'm a cancer survivor too and my dad died of pancreatic cancer. I want to buy her a present...several funny books she can take with her and read when she's at all these tests/app'ts etc and to keep her smiling during the long northern evenings. Any recommendations?



Hoping for the future and living for today! Dx 12/13/2004, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 11, 2010 10:59PM suemed8749 wrote:

Hi Wendy - Hope your mom turns out to be fine and the swollen lymph nodes are nothing serious.

I like Laurie Notaro - her nonfiction is better than her fiction, I think. My daughter (22) loves the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich (sp?) - and when she left one at my parents' house, my dad ( in his 90's) read it and asked her if she had any more the next time he saw her. So I guess that series is good for all age groups!

Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jan 11, 2010 11:02PM konakat wrote:

I LOVE Janet Evanovich!  And have lots of friends who do too. 

Elizabeth's Mantra: When in doubt, eat cake. When you haven't a clue, add ice cream. Elizabeth's Mets: Liver, bones, brain (yuck), and lungs (more yuck). Dx 5/2007, ILC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 13/19 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jan 13, 2010 10:42AM mymountain wrote:


I found some great laugh out loud funny books that I read while going through treatment.  David Sedaris's "When You Are Engulfed in Flames" and actually all of his are funny, "Me talk pretty one Day" and "Dress your family in Courderoy".  Another author I laughed out loud to is Jen Lancaster.  Hers are loosly based memoirs (In the biography section)  "Bitter is The New Black",  "Does this Book make My Ass look Fat?, or why Cake is not the Answer" nad one or two more from her verry funny!


dx5/08 ILC 1cm/dcis in margins stage l grade ll 0/3 nodes er+pr- her2-,mast/diep recon
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Jan 15, 2010 06:01AM KAJDerby wrote:

Living Somewhere Between Estrogen and Death by Barbara Johnson

is one of the best books for laughing and thinking.  She has some excellent stories and anecdotes!!  Oh my!!  Here is an example:

"My friend Irene is always complaining!  I took her to a greeting card store the other day, and she looked and looked and looked.  Finally I said, 'Irene what in the world are you looking for?'
"She replied, 'I'm looking for a card that says, "I have what you've got-only WORSE!"'"

Grace - Diagnosis: 12/2/2009, IDC, DCIS 7cm; Stage ?, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Jan 16, 2010 01:20PM Faith316 wrote:

The Purse-Driven Life:  It Really is All About Me by Anita Renfroe is hysterical. 

I haven't laughed so much in a long time as I did when I read this book.  This is a great thread.  I hope other people will also come in and add their favorite funny books.  I am always looking for things to read.

DX 4/08 IDC, ER-, PR-, HER2+, IIB, Grade 3,lumpectomy,2/8 nodes,4 AC,12 wks.Taxol,Herceptin,30 rads. DX IBC 6/09 while still in treatment. Now Stage III. 6 mo. of Xeloda done, still on Tykerb. Uni-mx & another node dissection 2/4/10.
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Jan 17, 2010 09:39AM badger wrote:

Mary Kay Andrews makes me giggle.  So far, I've read Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies, Savannah Blues, Savannah Breeze, and Blue Christmas.

Find your calm. Move forward from this place. Dx 12/22/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 17, 2010 10:49AM RobinWendy wrote:

I haven't read a funny book in quite a while.  But, I will never forget being in the breast surgeon's little exam room at Sloan-Kettering, and I was reading a book that my husband had just finished.  It is called "Under the _____ Sun" (not Tuscan), by Bill Bryson and it is about his travel's through Australia.  Here I am in the worst place possible and just before the surgeon comes into the room, I read something SO hilarious, that I burst out laughing... you can best believe that that is not a normal sound for a cancer surgeon to hear right before an appt. with someone with BC.  I had to stifle my giggles in order to speak with the surgeon.  You should've seen her face when she walked into the room.

My anecdote aside, I thought I had the book on my bookshelves but I cannot find it so I cannot give you the complete name but with the author's name, you should not have a problem finding it.  It is a "travel" book but written with so much wit, humor and interest, that I just loved it.

I have read some books that I thought were wonderful but not humorous.  "The Eight" by Katherine Neville and the follow up "The Fire" which is good but not as good as The Eight.  Just read a riveting book called "The Forgotten Garden" cannot remember the author's name.  Again, not funny but awesome nonetheless.

Wish I knew some more funny ones!  Good luck to your mom.


dx Stage II primary BC in Jan. 2001;dx with DCIS on other breast in Jan. 2003; dx with mets to lungs in Jan. 2004 and in May 2007, mets spread to liver. Dx ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 18, 2010 10:47AM badger wrote:

A bit twisted but funny nonetheless is "Nice" by Jen Sacks. (Grace is nice to a fault. She never picks fights, and doesn't like to criticize or hurt people's feelings. Problem is, the men in her life never seem to take a hint. And she just can't bear to tell them outright when she isn't interested. So she kills them.)

For the R's: "Great political wit - laughing (almost) all the way to the White House" by Bob Dole.

For the D's: "Who let the dogs in - incredible political animals I have known" by Molly Ivins.  GREAT cover art.

For all of us: "The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio" by Terry Ryan.  (The inspirational true story of an enterprising mother of ten who kept poverty at bay with wit, poetry, and perfect prose during the "contest era" of the fifties and sixties.)

Find your calm. Move forward from this place. Dx 12/22/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 7, 2010 03:18PM badger wrote:

Just remembered a funny series I like - the Goldy Schultz culinary mysteries series by Diane Mott Davidson.  Catering to Nobody, Dying for Chocolate, the Cereal Murders... 

Find your calm. Move forward from this place. Dx 12/22/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 7, 2010 05:09PM Jelson wrote:

Sarah Strohmeyer is the author of a series with a barbie look a like protagonist, Bubbles Yablonsky - a hairdresser who wants to be a journalist. VERY funny - the first book is Bubbles Unbound. Her stories take place in PA

Jennifer Crusie has written quite a few laugh out loud books that are not in a series, so you could pick up any one to start.

Donna Andrews has a murder mystery series which is set in Virginia - I have enjoyed every book. The first in her Meg Langslow  is Murder with Peacocks, they all have animals in the title. she has a slew of wacky relatives and it is all alot of fun.

M.C. Beaton's Agatha Raisin series - a public relations exec who has personality issues retires to a small village in the Cotswalds and has many adventures involving love and murder - she ends up founding her own detective agency. She is her own worst enemy. Like I am always cringing - no no Agatha don't do that!! 

Dx 4/17/2009, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Feb 7, 2010 05:19PM patoo wrote:

Erma Bombeck is also funny.  Has series of books about lots of things we face as women.

"for we live by faith, not by sight" - 2 Corinthians 5:7 Dx 10/24/2008, ILC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 2/12/2009 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 4/2/2009 Breast Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel
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Feb 7, 2010 06:37PM lovetosail wrote:

I second the David Sedaris recommendation.  Dave Barry's books are also laugh-out-loud funny

Dx 10/19/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Feb 13, 2010 11:15AM helenkilber wrote:

I second RobinWendy's recommendation of Bill Bryson.  I'm Australian and his Australia book - it's 'In a Sunburned Country' - is hilarious.  And I love his other books too.  All of them make me laugh out loud!  If your mom is having a hard time reading at any stage, all of Bill Bryson is available on CD with him reading the books.  I just downloaded them all for my mom who is having radiation therapy and commuting 3 hours a day.  Figure she can listen to them on the Red Cross bus even if she is really tired.  If you are reasonably tech savvy, you can download them online for free and put them on CD or on an iPod for her. Let me know if you want to do that and I'll send you the link. 

HelenK Dx 1/7/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Feb 14, 2010 03:18PM aprilgirl1 wrote:

I second the book "Bitter is the new Black" - I found it hilarious.  Also, the Nora Ephron "I don't like my neck" was funny too.  I am well read but thru this entire BC ordeal I really only wanted to read funny, lighter books - no Oprah recommended books for me at this time!  Please, just help me keep my mind off of cancer - I'm sure you can all relate!

I will check out these other books - they sound great!

recurrence in lymph nodes (superclavicle/mediastinal)"You can do it like it's a great weight on you, or you can do it like it's part of the dance." Ram Dass Dx 11/7/2008, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 11/13/2019, IDC, Left, Stage IV, metastasized to other, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy CMF Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Targeted Therapy Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Surgery Lumpectomy: Left
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Oct 27, 2011 02:35PM - edited Oct 27, 2011 02:36PM by 101UsesForAFakeBoob

Hi Wendy! I sincerely wish your mom the best! (And to already have lost your father to cancer...ugh. I am so sorry for your loss.)

 My mom, a Stage 3A breast cancer survivor, and I co-wrote/illustrated a humorous gag "boob book" titled "101 Uses for a Fake Boob (or two)" that is about 101 silly uses for a breast prosthesis. Like the cover says, "Breast cancer isn't a laughing matter, but the breast prosthesis can be!" The website is Healing Through ( and it also has a Facebook page. :) -Jennifer, Owner of Rock-a-Thigh Baby and co-author/illustrator of "101 Uses for a Fake Boob (or two)"

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