Category Archives: erma bombeck

The Grass Is Always Greener Over The Septic Tank

The Grass Is Always Greener Over The Septic Tank

Anyone who has ever lived in a small town or a subdivision will find this novel hilarious. I grew up in a really small town and didn’t live in a subdivision myself but have seen them popping up everywhere since I was a child and had many friends whose families moved into them as soon as they sprung up. Little boxes in a row indeed, each coming up with smaller yards and getting closer and closer to your neighbors. It was surprising to me how relevant the novel remains even though it was written in the ’70s. The suburbs and subdivisions they inspire are still as popular as ever as more and more people move from the city to the suburbs in search of a cheaper cost of living.

Every chapter is a little foray into suburb and small town life from going to garage sales to attending block parties. Some of my favorite chapters are the ones where the mother has to go into the schools and be a yard duty. I remember those mothers well at my own school and find it even funnier now that I myself work in education. The depiction of kids is priceless. If you’ve ever watched the show Recess from the Disney channel it’s exactly like the kindergartners. So spot on it’s scary. I also loved the garage sale chapter. I remember way back in the day when my grandmother used to make my brother and I man the cash box at her garage sales and how crazy people get bargaining over the things you think are total crap.

The nostalgia factor is again so high in this novel. It just reminds me of growing up and being surrounded and enveloped by subdivisions. I laughed out loud quite a few times by different caricatures of people I’ve known or friends’ parents. Even my own parents at times. My dad who always insisted on fixing everything himself and the conversations we have over dinner, probably the same three over and over again.

I didn’t think I would find this novel as funny as my grandma said it was but I can happily say that it is. I would definitely recommend it for this who like dry humor and commentary on the norms and mores of suburb living.

Rating: 4/5

Next up in Book Battle 2015 is the flipped of this one. A book that will make you cry. Stay tuned for the title. Happy reading!


A Blast From The Past

A Blast From The Past

The next book in Book Battle 2015 is one I picked up from my grandmother’s house called The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side of the Septic Tank by Erma Bombeck. I had a few different funny books in mind for this challenge but my grandma convinced me to give this one a try.

First published in 1972, this book became an instant best seller for over 11 months in the 70’s. I had never heard of the book before but have heard of Erma Bombeck. I remember my grandparents reading her syndicated column in the newspaper. Plus, when I opened the book a tardy slip of my mom’s from 1976 fell out. Apparently she overslept. Funny that my grandma should use that as a bookmark.

Upon reading the back I discovered that this novel is a fictional account of what happened when the Bombeck’s moved from the city to the suburbs. The blurb they had on the back and in the front of the book did make me laugh which is a great indication of what’s to come.

Has anyone else heard of this book or read one of Bombeck’s others?

One thing this book has already inspired me to do is create a new challenge, maybe for later this year, where reader’s are challenged to read books they pick up random places. I can’t say how many times I’ve been walking down the street and have paused at a box marked free with books inside, picked up books from coffee shops, or even picked up books from the discard bin at the library. How fun would it be to read some of those disparate books in a challenge? I think it should definitely happen.

Happy reading!