Thursday, May 21, 2009

Review: Pregnant Pause

I was pretty excited to get the email from Jenn about the book Pregnant Pause by Carrie Friedman. A book about people who may not want kids, or those who just aren’t ready yet?! I’d LOVE to read it!!!

And I’m so glad I did!!! It wasn’t just another dry non fiction book. It was written for those of us who just aren’t ready or just aren’t sure if they even want kids. It was written for those of us who have to keep hearing the question “Sooooo, when are you going to get on the baby train?” And it was written for those of us who have multiple friends who already have kids, and feel the pressure from – well, just about everywhere.

I got married about two and a half years ago, lots of my married friends have kids already, and believe me, I’ve been reminded that I’m not getting any younger. Reading this book, I seriously thought that someone had gotten inside my head, read all my thoughts on the subject and then wrote it all down.

Ms. Friedman reminds us, in a witty, truthful and funny way that it’s not selfish to not want kids, or to not be ready to have them when the rest of the world is ready for you to. She also tells some fabulous stories about unruly kids, and some…interesting parenting techniques.

I laughed out loud in several different places of this book, all the while nodding my head thinking “YES!” I’ve told several of my single/married without kids girlfriends about this book, too, and I’m sure they are going to feel the same way.

So, a huge thank you to Carrie Friedman for finally writing down all the things I have been thinking about kids! And, if you’ve ever experienced this question coming from your mom, your great aunt, your friends who already have kids, or random strangers, then you need to read this book. Even if you already have kids, you’ll still get a kick out of this book!!

Check out Carrie's website to read more about her, her books and articles and read her blog, too!!

Thanks to Jenn for sending me this awesome book - and making sure I knew I was not alone!!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Review: Who Do You Think You Are? A Memoir

I was ready for a memoir when I was contacted to read Who Do You Think You Are? by Alyse Myers, but I don't know if I was ready for this powerful and heart wrenching tale of a young child and the struggles she faced growing up.

Soon after Alyse Myers’s mother dies, Alyse and her two sisters are in her apartment, deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. Her greedy sisters are trying to get anything of value that they can get their hands on, but the only thing that Alyse really wants is a wooden box that has been sitting in the back of her mother’s closet since Alyse was young. Once her mother had said about the box “You can have it when I’m dead. In fact, it will be my present to you.” Alyse takes the box, but doesn’t open it right away.

Alyse grew up in 1960’s Queens. Her parents are constantly fighting, shouting, swearing and throwing hateful words towards each other. From the very beginning of this memoir, you can see that resentment and hatred that Alyse’s mother held towards Alyse. She was constantly put down and berated. These things, along with some major chain smoking by both of her parents, were a regular part of every day life for Alyse. Her two younger sisters, though, seemed to be treated with less severity than Alyse.

Alyse’s father would disappear for days or weeks at a time, and when she asked her mother when he would be coming home, the response was “If you ask me one more time, I’ll get the strap.”

This book grabbed me from the very beginning. It is very fact paced and easy to read, the writing pulls you right in. I felt for this young girl as she struggled through life with her mother, and I felt for the adult who tried to come to terms with her childhood. I cringed and shook my head in disbelief and some of the things that this child had been through, but am impressed by and respect the strong woman she has become.

Alyse finally opens the box she took from her mother’s house after years of letting it sit in the closet. She opens it with her own daughter, now old enough to understand. It is a truly touching experience these two share, and one that will help them get to know the woman Alyse’s mother had been before.

I recommend this book because it shows that the spirit can overcome both physical and psychological abuse. This book is so touching and heart-wrenching, it will stay with you long after you put it down.

Read more about Alyse at, including news clips about the book (and an interview from The View!!), and an excerpt from the book!!

Thank you to Julie for sending me this book!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

And the winners are...


I've sent you all an email letting you know!! Just email me back your snail mail addresses, and I'll get them to the publisher!! Congratulations!!!!!

Thanks to everyone who entered my contest!! I have a TON of reviews coming up, so stay tuned for those!!!

Timestamp: 2009-05-18 17:01:04 UTC

Monday, May 4, 2009

Review: Things I Want My Daughters to Know and Giveaway!!!!

I am excited to share with you the novel Things I Want My Daughters to Know by Elizabeth Noble. I had read some great reviews about this book, so I was super pumped to have been contacted by Nicole at HarperCollins and asked to do a review! I jumped at the chance, and I am so glad I did.

The novel begins with a letter from Barbara to her daughters. Barbara wrote the letter while she was dying of cancer, and it gives instructions on planning her funeral. We then meet Barbara’s four daughters. Lisa, the oldest, is a commitment-phobe. Jennifer is married but terribly unhappy in her marriage, and is facing a decision to have kids with a man she isn’t sure she loves anymore. Amanda is a wanderer, traveling around the world – even while her mom is dying. And Hannah, the 15 year old, rebels against the loss of her mother.

The novel tells the story of these daughters, as well as Mark, Barbara’s second husband and the girls’ step-father, throughout the 12 months following Barbara’s death. The letters from Barbara are combines with stories of love, revelations, and secrets. Each daughter is touched differently by the letters, and we are able to follow the journey of each girl during this year.

This novel really touched me. I am very close with my mother, and honestly don’t know what I would do without her. She is one of my closest friends, and I feel so lucky to have her. There were several instances where I totally lost it and found tears streaming down my face – because I really felt like I could relate to what was happening in the girls’ lives. It is interesting how you can read a book that truly speaks to you in a certain time of your life.

I love how Barbara was portrayed – beautiful, upbeat, fun, quirky, and outgoing – with amazing and heartfelt advice. She seemed very wise, and gave advice by telling of her own experiences and how she learned what she did. She was not perfect, which the daughters learn throughout the course of the book. She had her own weaknesses, secrets, and insecurities – she was human. The daughters learn to accept all parts of their mom – both the good and the bad.

This book really struck a chord with me, and I highly recommend this novel to all moms and daughters. In fact, I’m excited to announce another giveaway!! Nicole from HarperCollins has offered to giveaway 5 copies of Things I Want My Daughters to Know!!! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post – that’s it!! Be sure to leave an email address with your comment – if you don’t, your comment will be deleted and you won’t be entered (I HAVE to have a way to contact you!!) The contest will run until May 14, and I’ll pick a winner on Friday, May 15!!! I am a little late on getting this out for Mother’s Day, but it’ll be a great novel at any time of the year. This contest is open to US residents only, and no PO Boxes, please.

Good luck and happy reading!!