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I first told you about this book in July when the cover was revealed. Now the book is out for your reading pleasure and I was asked to review it. Yay me. Although, little did they know I would have reviewed it even if they hadn’t asked.

Remember the columns Erma Bombeck used to write for the Dayton Daily News a few decades ago? Well, Stacey Gustafson’s book ARE YOU KIDDING ME? My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives, Is in that vein. A humoristic view of life in the suburbs with more children than sanity, where the station wagon of Erma’s time is replaced with a minivan and we are now allowed to talk about things like sex, mammograms, and SPANX. (I wasn’t even sure what SPANX was.)

It shouldn’t surprise anyone where first learned about Are You Kidding Me, because you know I attended the bi-annual Erma Bombeck Writing Workshop in April of this year. While there I had the privilege of meeting Stacey and she regaled us with a live performance of the mammogram story. We were rolling in our seats even as the wine had those same seats warming. I think the wine was mostly for Stacey as she practiced the routine she’d perform the next night to a room full of workshop attendees. She did wonderful by the way and that performance, if not her bubbling personality had me looking for her book.
Its humor at its baseline.

I hate to continue to compare the stories, and basically that’s what we have is a collection of short stories compiled into a book, to Erma’s stories, but I couldn’t read any of them without thinking of her. And for those who live in the Dayton area, the current reign of humoristic columns, Sharon Short and her Sanity Check series. If you enjoyed those, you’ll enjoy the stories brought to us by Stacey. With her own sense of what makes right.

Do you frequent Starbucks? Ever have to deal with kids and homework? Housework? Fashion? Even family vacations. No topic is off limit if there might be an amount of humor found lurking in the background. Okay, seriously, Stacey can find humor in any situation.

Stacey keeps blog where she writes columns that every woman can laugh at. She also offers writing advice, books reviews, and a list of bloggers she follows.

Did I like the book? Yeah, what’s not to like about life at its funniest? Though for me, my first pick for escapism isn’t realism, but the stories had me in tears.

Would I recommend the book? You bet. If you like Erma Bombeck and Sharon Short, you’re going to like Stacey Gustafson’s take on life, motherhood, middle age, and mini vans.

Are You Kidding Me?  My Life with an Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives is available on Amazon.

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