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Review: I Didn’t Ask to be Born (But I’m Glad I Was)

November 11, 2011

Bill Cosby is back with another collection of humorous essays, taking on a variety of topics, but focusing on parenting and family dynamics.   His love of family, in particular his wife, is evident in the pages of his latest book – I Didn’t Ask to Be Born (But I’m Glad I Was).  This book reminded me of what a comic genius Cosby is!

I found myself smiling, laughing, and nodding my head in agreement quite often as I read through these essays.    Cosby has a down-to-earth, common sense approach to life that is never mean-spirited, but still makes readers think.  A great example is in the essay Children Aren’t Your Friends:

I’ve tried to make our children my friends.  But I found out right away it doesn’t work, because friends that I’ve had, I remember, they had jobs, and any friend I loaned money to became a non-friend, because they wouldn’t pay it back, and after a while I just stopped talking to them.  But that was a good thing.

You can’t do that with children.  You have to talk to them for the rest of your life.

Some of the essays are about events from Cosby’s childhood and they had me reminiscing for the days when children were expected to entertain themselves, no questions asked.  A few of the essays stretch the truth just a little, in typical Cosby fashion.  As you would expect in a collection like this, not every essay hit a home run for me, but most did.  The only one that I wasn’t crazy about was Missing Pages – an essay about the book of Genesis.  Overall, this book was a hit for me – I just love Cosby’s self-deprecating humor.  Be sure to check it out the next time you need a laugh.

The book opens with an old favorite of mine, Me and Marcia: You Bet Your Life

Review copy provided by Hachette Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
28 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2011 5:43 am

    I’ve been a Cosby fan for years. Glad to know his latest doesn’t disappoint.

  2. November 11, 2011 6:48 am

    Cosby fan here too. I wonder if there is an audiobook version yet. When I was young we had one of his albums – it was great and I suspect even better because of his delivery. I’m glad you recommend this book.

  3. November 11, 2011 6:50 am

    I like Bill Cosby as well, so I’m sure I’ll want to read this at some point. Glad u liked it Kathy.

  4. November 11, 2011 7:19 am

    Oh how I miss him on television. He was in a class on his own.

  5. November 11, 2011 7:28 am

    I’ve always adored Cosby! Thanks for letting me know this book existed. I have to get my hands on this one.

  6. November 11, 2011 8:03 am

    Sounds fantastic. I’m so adding this to my list of parenting books to read later on.

  7. November 11, 2011 8:17 am

    I love Cosby and cannot see a “Cosby sweater” without thinking of him!

  8. November 11, 2011 8:18 am

    I used to listen to Bill Cosby’s albums when I was a teenager and thought they were hilarious. Glad to know that he hasn’t lost his comic touch. I have to get this one, thanks!

  9. November 11, 2011 8:32 am

    I love Cosby, and really, really want to check this one out. It sounds like it’s very funny, and that it gets right to the heart of things. I loved the excerpt that you posted. I need to read this one! Great review, Kathy!

  10. November 11, 2011 9:30 am

    I have always loved Cosby. I wonder how this is on audio.

  11. November 11, 2011 10:22 am

    I don’t know much about Cosby aside from the years I watched the Cosby show. I’ve always enjoyed his humor, though. Thanks for putting this book on my radar.

  12. November 11, 2011 10:23 am

    Another Bill Cosby fan here but lately I thought he had lost his sense of humor in his quest to promote responsibility, particularly in black parents. I’m glad to see him return to his special brand of humor. This video with the lady from North, South Carolina had me laughing so loud the neighbors probably heard me. Thanks, I hadn’t seen it before.

  13. November 11, 2011 11:08 am

    I love Bill Cosby and wish we would see more of him on tv. I guess since he is not on tv I can get my Cosby fix by reading his new book. Glad to hear it is entertaining!

  14. November 11, 2011 11:27 am

    Glad to hear you enjoyed this!

  15. November 11, 2011 11:56 am

    Always loved his show, a great fan of his.

  16. November 11, 2011 12:29 pm

    I always find Mr. Cosby funny…and what he says so often filled with truth. Sounds like a winner.

  17. November 11, 2011 12:39 pm

    I bet I’d like this. I’ve been a fan of Cosby’s for as long as I can remember.

  18. November 11, 2011 1:34 pm

    I do love Cosby. Sounds pretty funny!

  19. November 11, 2011 2:07 pm

    Cosby is a funny man and I’ve enjoyed him on The Cosby Show, on Kids Say the Darndest Things (I think that’s the name!) as well as in interviews and things. I’ve never read a book by or about him and this one sounds terrific. I really enjoy Cosby’s sense of humor and am interested in the topics he covers in his essays and what he has to say.

    I’m glad you enjoyed most of these essays. In my experience with books like these, there’s always a few pieces that I don’t connect with but that’s okay.
    Another great post, thanks Kathy!

  20. November 11, 2011 2:59 pm

    Have always enjoyed Bill Cosby both on TV and reading. Will have to put this one on my list. Glad to see he still has that special way to get the meaning across with laughter.

  21. November 11, 2011 3:39 pm

    LOL! I have such fond memories of The Cosby Show and I even remember my parents sitting around listening to a Bill Cosby album…

  22. November 11, 2011 4:31 pm

    Sounds as though it is a fun book to read….maybe with a bowl of Jello Pudding…

  23. November 11, 2011 5:34 pm

    Another stellar review, you!! :] Long time since hearing from Mr. Cosby. I was sorry about the controversay that put a dim light on his wonderful career. He was the first really funny guy I remember growing up…”Fat Albert” and the gang.

    Deb

  24. November 11, 2011 8:47 pm

    Glad to hear Bill is still active and doing stuff. He is so funny and I still think of his routine about his brother and the chocolate cake.

  25. November 12, 2011 9:48 am

    I actually had a few free minutes this mornign to watch the video-Thank You! I can now get on with my day with a smile on my face. Jason and I listened to a few of his performances in the car a few years ago and it was so much fun!

  26. November 12, 2011 10:52 am

    Glad to see that he’s back in rare form!!! He’s the reason I loved The Cosby Show so much!

  27. November 15, 2011 5:05 pm

    I love Cosby! One of my favorite quotes is one of his:

    “A word to the wise ain’t necessary – it’s the stupid ones that need the advice.”

    This book sounds great. He always makes me laugh.

  28. November 19, 2011 3:44 am

    I love Cosby! I remember watching him on TV and always, always had a good laugh. He’s wonderful. I love that quote and it’s so true!

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