Wednesday, April 21, 2010

When the Whistle Blows by Fran Slayton

Product Details
Pub. Date: June 2009
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Format: Hardcover, 160pp
Age Range: 12 and up
ISBN-13: 9780399251894
ISBN: 0399251898

Meet a town and a train and a time and a boy – Jimmy Cannon. And meet his father – as strong as a Mallet locomotive – whom Jimmy simply cannot figure out! But who, in a dramatic and unexpected twist, turns out to be so much more than Jimmy ever knew.
In a book that goes to the core of boyhood – its Halloween mischief, its hunting day mystery, its championship football game surprise, and its nighttime adventures – Fran Cannon Slayton brings her listeners to the breathtaking crossroads of an unforgettable West Virginia railroad town, a family that matters, and adulthood itself.

My thoughts
I signed up to review this book as part of 1 ARC Book Tours. Each reader gets a week to read the book and then mails it to the next reader so that reviewers have a chance to read new books sometimes even before they have come out in stores. It is a really neat idea, if you are interested in trying it out here is the link:

I signed up for this tour in October and it was a small tour, only 5 or 6of us so I thought I would receive it rather quickly. In looking at the log it looks like the first reader kept the book for 4 months, my guess is it was misplaced and she forgot about it but I was surprised by the gap of time. Since then more policies have been put in place to help the books circulate a bit faster so hopefully the kinks are being worked out of the system!

This was a very enjoyable book about small town life in a the late 1930 through the 1940's. The story was told in Jimmy's voice and it was very easy to read and get into. Each year you get a snapshot of one day, All Hallows Eve, which also happens to be his father's birthday. Seeing Jimmy grow and change and watching the changes made to the town when the switch is made from steam engines to diesels shows a lot about the past and what happens to a town and to a community when their source for jobs and incomes changes. Jimmy felt real and authentic. I enjoyed watching him try to catch up to his two older brothers, dreaming about becoming a steam mechanic, and playing in a championship football season. The interconnectedness of the past and the future was very clear and was a great message. I think readers young and old will enjoy this book!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova


Psychiatrist Andrew Marlowe has a perfectly ordered life—solitary, perhaps, but full of devotion to his profession and the painting hobby he loves. This order is destroyed when renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient. In response, Marlowe finds himself going beyond his own legal and ethical boundaries to understand the secret that torments this genius, a journey that will lead him into the lives of the women closest to Robert Oliver and toward a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism. Ranging from American museums to the coast of Normandy, from the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth, from young love to last love, THE SWAN THIEVES is a story of obsession, the losses of history, and the power of art to preserve human hope.

My thoughts:
I received this book from Reader's Favorites for review purposes. This is the first audio book for adults that I have listened to in years, I usually listen with my children in the car so this was a nice change. I wasn't quite prepared for how long it would be, especially since I didn't want to listen to it with my children, but towards the end I was really enjoying it!

It had a bit of a slow start but I stuck it out, not only because I had agreed to review it, but also because I had so enjoyed The Historian a few years ago. I enjoyed how each of the characters had his or her own reader, Treat Williams read the main character, Anne Heche was another and then the other readers were also actors but not ones I was familiar with. It added a depth to the story and the characters and made them a little bit more real. It made it easy to hear whose point of view the story was being told from at any given time.

The story about Robert Oliver really drew me in, he is a painter who one day walks into a gallery with a knife to attack a painting. After he is hospitalized for his mental instability he stops talking altogether, not just for a little while but for months maybe even a year. Since I listened over the course of time I lost track of just how long he was silent for but it was quite a long time. During this time he kept painting the same woman who turns out to not be either his wife or ex-girlfriends but someone he has never met. Watching his doctor unravel the mystery involving letters from the late 1800's written in French and his silent patient draws the reader in. Marlowe meets with Oliver's ex-wife and starts to build a history for his patient based on the past. He talks with his former coworkers and his ex girlfriend. His search takes him to Europe and Mexico, New York and North Carolina. I couldn't imagine a doctor being that curious and interested in helping his patient that he would put in that amount of effort, time and expense, but the mystery really is lovely to watch unfold. I would highly recommend this book to other readers!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Adventures of King Midas by Lynne Reid Banks

Product Details
Pub. Date: October 1993
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback, 160pp
Age Range: 9 to 12
ISBN-13: 9780380715640
ISBN: 0380715643

The Kings Foolish Wish

King Midas loved gold so much he wished everything he touched would turn to gold. But what a terrible curse it became when his wish was granted and everything he touched — his food, his dog. . . and his beloved daughter — instantly changed into cold and lifeless metallic objects.

Lynne Reid Banks has re-created the ever-popular legend of King Midas into an exciting story that brings to life the reality of having greedy and thoughtless wishes come true.

My thoughts:
My daughter checked this chapter book out of her school library because it has a dragon on the front. While I was familiar in a general way with the story of King Midas, I don’t believe I’ve ever read a short story or book about him. I must have heard one at some point but the details are fuzzy to me. I have to say I wasn’t overly excited about reading this book but it surprised me. The first chapter wasn’t great and I thought about trying to talk her out of finishing it, but it improved and kept my children’s attention.

After being granted his wish to have everything he touches turn to gold, Midas discovers that what he thought was a blessing is actually a curse as he turns first a bird, then his dog, then his daughter to gold. He goes on a long journey to find the River Cigam (magic backwards), finds Gollop, a witch and a baby dragon. He learns his lessons and while he is freed from his spell/curse he also manages to repair all the damage he has done and help the magician.

The author is also the author of The Indian in the Cupboard which I have somehow managed to never have read. At some point I am sure one of my children will check it out of the library and we will be reading it. It is interesting every week to see what they self select at the school library. I was a bit surprised that this was at my daughters school since she currently attends a kindergarten center, but I guess all libraries have books of differing levels to meet all needs and most of the children are still having their books read to them anyway so it doesn’t matter if they are above the current reading level of the student.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Jane Slayre by Charlotte Bronte and Sherri Browning Erwin

Product Details
Pub. Date: April 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Format: Paperback, 396pp
ISBN-13: 9781439191187
ISBN: 1439191182


A timeless tale of love, devotion . . . and the undead.

Jane Slayre, our plucky demon-slaying heroine, a courageous orphan who spurns the detestable vampyre kin who raised her, sets out on the advice of her ghostly uncle to hone her skills as the fearless slayer she’s meant to be. When she takes a job as a governess at a country estate, she falls head-over-heels for her new master, Mr. Rochester, only to discover he’s hiding a violent werewolf in the attic—in the form of his first wife. Can a menagerie of bloodthirsty, flesh-eating, savage creatures-of-the-night keep a swashbuckling nineteenth-century lady from the gentleman she intends to marry? Vampyres, zombies, and werewolves transform Charlotte Brontë’s unforgettable masterpiece into an eerie paranormal adventure that will delight and terrify.

Featuring a Gallery Books Readers Guide

My thoughts:
I received this book as part of Gallery & Pocket Books SciFi/Fantasy Blog Tour Group. It is the first book of its type that I've had the chance to read. I borrowed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies from the library earlier this year but was too bogged down by books I had committed to review to read it. Since I know they have a copy I plan to borrow it again once I have managed to whittle my pile down a bit. I wasn't sure if I was going to like this book, but really wanted to give it a try. I recall reading Jane Eyre in high school but can't really recall a great deal. This book made it a bit more exciting, breathed a new and different kind of life into it. I don't recall disliking the original and have been meaning for years to reread it. I have a copy of it in my personal library for that day when I decide to read it again.

The authors take on zombies, vampires and werewolves was interesting and really fits into a lot of the popular paranormal work I've seen lately. It was hard seeing Jane as an orphan living with her vampire aunt and cousins, being forced to stay awake at night and sleep during the day. Watching her grow and mature and live up to her name was an exciting adventure. This is a book I would recommend to friends and other readers. I am glad I had the opportunity to read it!

Charlotte Brontë once wrote, "It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it." Though she led a quiet life (and died young), Brontë indeed created action in her sweeping, passionate novels, such as the Gothic drama Jane Eyre.

Sherri Browning Erwin
A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Sherri lives in Western Massachusetts with her nearly-perfect husband, and their charming actor son, amazing violinist daughter, a crafty corgi(Pembroke Welsh), and a very special pug.

Sherri writes historical and contemporary fiction, often with a paranormal twist. You can visit her web site for more about her and her work:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Twilight Gospel by Dave Roberts

About book:
The blockbuster Twilight Saga is being read by teenager and adult alike. These powerful novels are getting even more popular as the movies hit the theaters. Crisply written and with a gracious spirit, The Twilight Gospel will help teens, their parents, and their pastors discern what is good from what is unhealthy in the novels and equip them to be biblically literate readers.

From the back cover:
With these powerful novels getting even more popular as the movies hit the cinemas, the call for a Christian response is strong. What values and ideas do Meyer's novels promote? What is good about them, and what deserves closer inspection?

The spirituality and worldview of the Twilight Saga are fascinating, but they do not sit easily with orthodox Christianity. This book carefully and graciously assesses what is praiseworthy and what is less so. It helps the reader to think more clearly about issues to do with occult spirits, life after death, myths and legends, sexuality, personal spiritual power, the culture of glamour and the lure of materialism. All these subjects are woven into the fabric of the Twilight Saga.

The central point of the book is to help teens (and their parents) discern what is excellent from what is unhealthy, helping to create robust, shrewd, and literate young adults.

My thoughts:
For a short book, this book inspired a lot of thoughts and wasn't what I was expecting. I have to admit to not being that good about reading blurbs about books. I hate to know too much ahead of time so I try to read as little as possible. If I read too much it is like seeing too many previews for a movie and then seeing it and realizing that you already saw all the funny parts.

When I started this book I was glad to see that the author stated that he planned to both praise and raise questions about Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga. If it had been all criticisms I would have been put off from the beginning. It was also helpful that he included a synopsis of the four books in chapter one for either readers who hadn't read the whole series or ones whose reading of it had been a while ago (like me). One of the things he called into question a number of times was improper sexuality. But Edward and Bella wait until marriage to have sex. He felt they went too far in their desires. As for the other couples in the Cullen household, they all act as if they are married but I don't know if they actually are or not, I can't recall and he doesn't mention it. He suggests that we use vampire mythology to explore morality when not using the claims of conventional religion.

He suggests that Meyers is asking her readers to look more closely at their own lives, their religion an their spirituality. He has a while section on clumsiness syndrome which I don't totally buy into. But in chapter three he points out that the duckling becomes a swan and the pun of it hit me when I read it, don't know why i never saw it before. He also seems to think that Meyers is telling her reader that there is a need to aspire to physical beauty (like the vampires) to have a good life. Also he finds fault with Alice and her buying, her consumerism with buying clothes and cars and her conspicuous consumption is seen as a good thing. He feels that Twilight celebrates the pursuit of having the ability to possess items and links that to a sense of self-worth and well-being. he sees it as endorsing and worshiping money. I saw this in a different way. The type of spending the Cullen's, and especially Alice, are able to do is impossible for me and I'm not even sure I would want to be able to spend like that but to me that makes this a fairy tale for teenagers and Alice is the Fairy Godmother granting the wishes that she decrees for her family. The money may have been unfairly attained, as the author states, by her psychic gifts but she is putting it right back into the economy which may actually help with jobs and such.

Back to the authors take on sexuality in the book, one of the things he finds fault with is that the reason Edward and Bella wait to have sex isn't because they believe it is morally wrong but because he is afraid of hurting her. To me, whatever the reason that they showed restraint should be applauded. With so many examples in popular culture today of teenagers having sex it was nice to see a committed couple who care deeply for one another, who plan to spend the rest of their lives which will be much longer than a normal life span together, waiting to take their relationship to it's most physical until after it has been consecrated by a church.
This book was provided by LitFuse Blog tours for review purposes. To see other reviews on the blog tour you can go to:

About the Author:
Dave Roberts is the author of the best-selling The Toronto Blessing and Red Moon Rising with joint sales in excess of 100,000. He is a former editor of Christianity and won awards for his work on Renewal magazine. He is a local church pastor and conference director for three major annual conferences on worship, children's ministry, and women's ministry.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Moonlight on the Magic Flute by Mary Pope Osborne

My thoughts:
As I’ve mentioned before, I love this series of books. I used them as a classroom teacher and I read them with my children. I love that Mary Pope Osborne is still writing them. They have just enough history and actual facts mixed with fun and imagination. In this installment Jack and Annie take a trip to Vienna, Austria and meet Mozart as a six year old child. They are tasked with finding an artist and helping him or her regain a love of art. Being children they have a hard time believing that the artist they are looking for might be a child. Through the course of the story they meet Her Imperial Highness, wear period dress, use a magical flute to return animals from the palace zoo to their homes and help Wolfie to love music again. My children were in suspense as to who the artist was going to be, but as an adult reader it was obvious once Wolfie is named. I love that my children are being introduced in a general way to different time periods and that they see the differences in the way people lived in different times or how they live in different places. Can’t recommend this series enough!

Product Details
Pub. Date: March 2009
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Format: Hardcover, 128pp
Sales Rank: 2,662
Age Range: 7 to 12
Series: Magic Tree House Series, #41
ISBN-13: 9780375856464
ISBN: 0375856463

Jack and Annie head to 18th-century Austria, where they must find and help a musician by the name of Mozart. Decked out in the craziest outfits they’ve ever worn—including a wig for Jack and a giant hoopskirt for Annie!—the two siblings search an entire palace to no avail. Their hunt is further hampered by the appearance of a mischievous little boy who is determined to follow them everywhere. But when the boy lets the animals out of the palace zoo, Jack and Annie have to use the only magic at their disposal to save themselves and the naughty little fellow.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts

My thoughts:
This is the second book in Nora Roberts Bride Quartet (the first was Vision in White). The third book comes out at the end of this month on the 27th. It was so nice to read a self selected book, lately I’ve been mostly reading books for review and, while I have enjoyed almost all of them, there is just something about picking a book to read just because I felt like it right now. Today it is back to some review books but I am trying to be more selective so I can do more of my own selecting!

I read the first book in this series in the fall, it focused on one of four women who have been friends since they were children. Together they have built a business called Vows which handles all aspects of planning and having a wedding. They live and work on the estate which was part of Parker Brown’s family with each woman having an integral part in planning wonderful weddings. Mac is the photographer who was featured in the first book when she met and fell in love with a history professor. Emma is the florist who works wonders with bouquets, outside plants and indoor decorating with swags and flowers. She and Jack have been friends for years and Jack is the architect who has planned much of the renovating that has been done on the grounds of the Brown estate to convert the carriage house and guest house into Mac and Emma’s homes and work spaces. Parker and Laurel live in wings of the main house above the areas used for weddings.

Jack and Emma have been attracted to each other for years but never acted on it due to the close friendships they share within their group and some misperception of prior romances. They have great chemistry and a lot of fun together but run into some snags along the way, like Jack’s reluctance to sharing his personal space.

It was nice to revisit Mac and Carter to see how their relationship is progressing and to see Jack and Emma work through the early kinks of getting to know each other romantically. The business the four women run planning and holding weddings was so inspiring, wouldn’t it be lovely to have a job you loved working with your best friends and making people happy with a very special occasion?
Since I also reviewed Vision in White in October her is the link to the review if you are thinking about starting the series:

Product Details
Pub. Date: October 2009
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Format: Paperback, 358pp
Sales Rank: 413
Series: Nora Roberts' Bride Quartet Series, #2
ISBN-13: 9780425230077
ISBN: 0425230074

Since she was a little girl, Emma Grant has always loved romance. So it’s really no surprise that she has found her calling as a wedding florist. She gets to play with flowers every day and work with her three best friends in the process. She couldn’t ask for a better job.

And on the surface, Emma’s love life seems to be thriving. Slim and sultry, she brings color into every room she enters, just like the arrangements she creates. Men swarm around her, yet she still hasn’t found Mr. Right. And the last place she’s looking is right under her nose.

But that’s just where Jack Cooke is. He’s been best friends with Parker’s brother for years, which makes him practically family. The architect has begun to admit to himself that his feelings for Emma have developed into much more than friendship. And when Emma returns his passion — kiss for blistering kiss—things start to get complicated at Vows.

Jack has never been big on commitment. Emma yearns for a lifelong love affair. If the two are to find common ground, they must trust in their history — and in their hearts…

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Ashley and Tiana by Jessica Dreistadt

Ashley and Tiana

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Ashley and Tiana is the story of two unlikely friends, Ashley Glazier and Tiana Thompson, who meet at summer camp in Pennsylvania during the summer of 1982. Tiana, who lives in the Bronx, is into Hip Hop and Ashley, who lives in Greenwich Village, is into punk rock. After an awkward meeting, they become best friends and learn that they, and their music, have a lot more in common than they first realized. Following a series of adventures, their summer culminates in the most highly anticipated and exciting event of their young lives. Ashley and Tiana is an inspirational, educational, and entertaining story for girls and boys of all ages about the value of friendship, persevering in the face of challenges, and embracing the everyday joys of life.

My thoughts:
I read this book online for free at This is the first non-picture book that I have read entirely on the computer. With my children I don’t often get the chance to sit down for long in front of the computer during the day, and by the time I do get a break at night I have too many other things that need my attention. I wasn’t sure if I would like seeing it on the screen rather than being able to hold it but it wasn’t as issue.

This book is written for young adults and is less than 100 pages long, so it read fairly quickly. Ashley and Tiana are two 12-year-old girls from New York who meet at a summer science camp in Pennsylvania. Tiana is African American and from the Bronx while Ashley is Jewish and from the Village. They become roommates and friends and teach each other about rap and punk music in 1981. Both girls have lost a parent and feel alone. They maintain their friendship even after they return to the city but aren’t sure how their parents react to their being friends.

I’m not really all that familiar with what music was being made or listened to in the early eighties, so many of the bands mentioned weren’t ones I could bring to mind songs for. It was neat how the characters had records to listen to and a boom box which added to the feeling of the 1980's. While I can see this book opening children’s eyes about both the differences and similarities we all share, I am not sure if current 12 year olds would relate well to the time references. While I like music, it has never been my passion so I wonder if I had been more into music if it would have added another element to my enjoyment .

Part of what made me decide to read this book is that they author is someone I went to school with. I think many of us dream of one day writing and publishing a book and I very happy for her that she has made this dream happen. It is inspiring to me to see her success. She has mentioned that she is working on another book and it will be interesting to see what the next one will be about.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

This Little Prayer of Mine by Anthony DeStefano

Author Anthony DeStefano’s adult books, The Prayers God Always Says Yes To and A Travel Guide to Heaven, have sold a quarter-million copies. Illustrator Mark Elliott’s cherished artwork has appeared in popular picture books and novels for young readers, including Gail Carson Levine’s ever-popular Princess Tales series.

Now, these acclaimed inspirational experts have come together to create This Little Prayer of Mine, a beautiful and alluring book designed to guide children into a very simple, real and expressive relationship with God.

Through engaging rhymes and alluring illustrations, This Little Prayer of Mine shows children—and their parents and grandparents—that complete dependence on God is what brings peace and fulfillment. It invites children to know and believe that God is always just a simple prayer away and that He longs to respond to them with a resounding, “Yes!”

This Little Prayer of Mine appeals to readers from all different faiths. Easy-reader format allows children to read alone, or with someone older, and encourages them to openly express their fears, thanks, and needs directly to God.

My thoughts:
I liked how this book showed children talking to God and learning to pray. Through the text the children were recognizing that what is really important in the world is our relationship with others and God and not material items. The illustrations went well with the text and added to the story. I think this is a message that even as adults we sometimes forget. When I attended church this past weekend with my children they each received a plastic egg with a few surprises inside. My daughters included a bracelet with the saying, "When in doubt pray." and that was the simple message here as well, whenever you are in doubt ask for help through prayer and trust that you will find your way. This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. To purchase the book you can go to

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Raindrop by Brian D. McClure

The Raindrop by Brian D. McClure
My thoughts:
This book is about the water cycle but it has taken out some of the science and made it more personal by following one raindrop on his journey. To make it even more interesting this raindrop starts the story thinking he is too small to be any good and that he will never amount to anything or matter to anyone. From the cloud, through the ground, into the underground water, up through a hose, into the ground, through a corn plant and then back into a cloud we follow the same drop. As he goes he learns that he matters and that we all matter. We are all part of the cycle and everything matters in the big picture. I liked this message because it shows children that even though they are small and still learning, they matter as we all matter, and the world would lose some of it’s brightness without them. Seeing the interconnectedness is a good lesson for children, and one that many adults have forgotten as well! Along with the oneness the author is focused on the science is all there as well, with the water cycle and the drop breaking up when used by the corn and put back together when the oxygen and two hydrogen meet back up in the cloud. I received this book from PUMP UP YOUR BOOK PROMOTION VIRTUAL BOOK TOURS for review purposes.

Product Description

Though the uplifting rhymes and profound messages of acceptance, respect and understanding, author Brian D. McClure educates and entertains children, parents and grandparents in the adventurous journey of The Raindrop. In this story, The Raindrop experiences many emotions as it travels from feelings of uselessness to the discovery of its importance and Interdependence of all things big and small.
The Raindrop like the other seven books in The Brian D. McClure Children’s book series offer universal life lessons that empower and educate the whole family. Readers can purchase the book from

About the Author

Ohio born native Brian McClure is the Founder and President of The Universal Flag and its affiliate companies. He is an author, human rights advocate and messenger of the oneness of all. Inside of the Universal Flag Companies, he set up a Non Profit Foundation to help relieve the suffering which he has witnessed in third world countries, along with spreading the Universal Flags throughout the World. The flag was recently paraded and flown at The United Nations as part of World Peace Day.

Brian has been interviewed on countless national radio shows and has been in a number of publications including CNN, CBS & NBC TV. He is the host the hit radio show, "A Call To Consciousness" – which is heard weekly on KTLK 1150AM in Los Angeles and KFNX 110AM in Phoenix Arizona.

He has spoken at many organizations, churches and institutions including The Agape Spiritual Center, The Inside Edge and The Onion based at the Unity Spiritual movement Center. Brian’s humanitarian efforts have extended worldwide. Recently Brian took it upon himself to visit and document impoverished communities in Sierra Leone which had just ended an 11 year war several years before, and Uganda. Upon his return he has been very proactive creating awareness about the real conditions which go largely unreported in the US.

Brian once stated: ''The power of a symbol cannot be underestimated. Politicians use symbols to gather and mobilize support. Corporations use logos to create effective, profitable brand loyalties. Now, the world has a new symbol, the Universal Flag is one that calls forth promise and potential for all. It defines our interconnectedness and oneness with ALL.” As Brian has said many times, “the Universal Flag Symbol acts as a signpost reminding us of our deepest truths. The symbol represents a world filled with infinite possibilities.”

Brian has developed an awareness of equality among all people and nationalities. His primary goal is to help people remember that inside each of us we hold the higher truths that are transforming our world.
You can visit Brian online at and

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Just Let Me Lie Down by Kristin van Ogtrop

Kristin van Ogtrop knows she's lucky--fulfilling career, great husband, three healthy kids, and, depending on the hamster count, an impressive roster of pets. She also knows she is tired. Always.

Using stories and insights from her own life, she provides a lexicon for the half-insane working mom. Anyone who has left a meeting to race to the Halloween parade immediately understands van Ogtrop's definition of "Kill the messenger" as "The action you must take in order to forget about the office for a time--that is, to remove your Blackberry/Treo/iPhone/whatever from your person and store it as far away as your neurotic self will allow." Filled with essays, lists, and resonant observations, JUST LET ME LIE DOWN establishes van Ogtrop as the Erma Bombeck of the new millennium.

My thoughts:
In the time since I became a mother seven years ago I have both worked and stayed home. I worked for the first year and a half of motherhood. After adding a second child to our family and trying a job sharing plan that didn't end up working out as planned which coincided with a decision to relocate across the country and sell our house (which meant I wouldn't be able to stay at that job anyway) I started staying home and I have been home now for a number of years. I know that the clock is starting to wind down to my going back to work outside of the home, but I also know in my heart that right now I am not ready to do that. This book works well for both working outside of the home moms and stay at home moms. I hate the fact that stay at home moms are viewed as not working, as if every day is a day off, but that is a whole different topic.

Kristin van Ogtrop is the editor at Real Simple Magazine and has been working since before her first child was born. Her writing is funny and easy to read. I got through the book in just a few days mostly while I was nursing my son or winding down before bed. Each chapter is arranged with a letter and alphabetical listings of terms for moms. Some examples are "accounting error" when you accidentally have one more child than you can handle, "boredom fantasy" when you remember back to when you were much younger and actually had enough free time to be bored, "ignore the tray" where you must act like a waiter and not look at all that is on your plate otherwise it will all tip- just keep you head up and keep going and you will be fine, and "that-sounds-like-fun-I'll-try it!" where you end up thinking you can do more than you can and end up in a situation that may be uncomfortable or just a pain like having your house renovated while you are still living in it.

Van Ogtrop is really funny, it is nice to read about other mothers who don't feel like they have it all together all the time. I really enjoyed the alphabetical nature of the book, it made it feel organized. Earlier this year I read a book called Mother Daze and this reminded me of that one. It was also written by a working mother who had three children and they both did a good job with relating to the reader and using humor. For all mothers and maybe even all women, there is such a balancing act going on in our lives with how much time to give to our jobs, our families and ourselves and it is so hard to achieve what feels just right for all of those areas and really, sometimes if we just managed to get a bit more sleep it would go smoother but it feels like there isn't enough time to get that rest since so much needs to be done and we just keep going around on this treadmill.

I requested this book for review from Hatchette Books and also hosted a giveaway last month. I hope my three winners (Donna, Kelsey and Kelly) enjoy the book as much as I did. To purchase this book you can go to

About the book:
Publish Date:4/1/2010
Size:5-1/2" x 8-1/4"

About the Author
Kristin van Ogtrop is the editor of Real Simple magazine and has held positions at Glamour, Vogue, Travel & Leisure, and Premiere. She lives outside New York City with her family.