The book was well written. But really, there shouldn't be a need to accuse Nora of stealing your lines and quotes, again and again. Since Nora is no l...moreThe book was well written. But really, there shouldn't be a need to accuse Nora of stealing your lines and quotes, again and again. Since Nora is no longer here to speak for herself, the complaints sound bitter and jealous.(less)
There were only a handful (or even less) books that influenced me deeply after reading; The Year of Magical Thinking by Didion was one of them. This p...moreThere were only a handful (or even less) books that influenced me deeply after reading; The Year of Magical Thinking by Didion was one of them. This particular book she wrote right after her husband's death from heart attack. The grief and pain in the book were so raw and deep that I could feel my own heart being torn into pieces. I purchased her newest book, Blue Nights, on publication date, but decided to put it aside until I'm actually emotionally stable enough to devour another sad book from her. Most of the times, I feel too vulnerable to let her strong words play with my feelings.
I read this book to prepare for my reading of Blue Nights. It's wonderfully written. The author knows Didion quite intimately, and has been friends with her for over 40 years. The Joan Didion one perceived from this book is as real as one could get. The author captured her physical, emotional, and spiritual changes through out the years in a wonderful way.(less)
This book came just in time for Mother’s Day 2013. It’s a collection of short stories/essays written by 31 different female authors. Some of them are...moreThis book came just in time for Mother’s Day 2013. It’s a collection of short stories/essays written by 31 different female authors. Some of them are well known, others, not as much. The theme? They wrote about the one thing that their Mom had given them with the most meaning or long-lasting impression.
As a reader, I truly believe that investing a little time to understand the background, education, life experiences, and childhood of an author would greatly improve my reading experience. When I saw the names of several authors I know, I thought this book would be a great supplement for my books. I also predicted that this would be an inspirational and uplifting easy read. After all, who else could influence us as much, or as positively as our Mother does?
I was quite wrong.
It was a shock to discover that not all stories were positive or easy to read. Some authors downright hate their Moms, or lack mothering there of. The “gift” their talked about were not all tangible as well, although most were. They varied from tangible: a nail polish, a photograph, a part of their home, an outfit; to intangible ones: memories, pain, love of words, a day’s experience. The essays also varied from pleasant to down right painful to read, from eloquent to mediocre. Some realized their Mothers loved them right there and then, others, years later. The essays definitely covered all sort of Mothers and daughters, some good, some not so good….just like in real life. A few stories I definitely had fond memories of even a few weeks after reading the book: A Thousand Words a Day and One Charming Note by Lisa See; The Missing Photograph by Caroline Leavitt. The introduction by Elizabeth Benedict was quite emotional to read as well.
Since the chapters are divided by authors and their piece. One can read this book all in one sitting, or divide them up and read one or a few at a time. I highly recommend this book to all who want to study the complex mother/daughter relationship, or just as a simple gift for a Mom or a daughter.
I received the ARC from NetGalley…and later purchased a copy as a Mother’s Day gift for my best friend, who has a “it’s complicated” relationship with her Mom.
I gave this book 4 stars when I first finished, since it made me chuckle and laugh out loud so many times. A few days later, I have no recollection of...moreI gave this book 4 stars when I first finished, since it made me chuckle and laugh out loud so many times. A few days later, I have no recollection of what this book was truly about, except techniques to fake that you've read a book, or several books by the same author, without actually reading it. Some chapters are really fun to read, especially the ones about how the author grew up as a bookworm, with a bit of inflation on her part, of course. The chapters about hitting on men in bookstore and imaginary dinners with literary couples are both fun. All after all, the only agreement I have with the author is that sometimes we need to take a break from reading serious books that requires thinking, and read something plot-driven so our noodles can take a break. She reads Stephanie Plum for those occasions, and I do, too. It's a fun, little book to read to people who actually reads a lot and know what and who she's talking about; otherwise, this book can be summed up as: lots of mockery, showing off, inflated history, and nothing else important. (less)