Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
March, 2008

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We asked our editors and columnists to look in their book bags and on their night stands to tell us what they're currently reading. We hope our readers find titles to add to their own "Now Reading" lists! And then spread the joy! Download the list here and bring it to your favorite mama-friendly bookstore!

Creative Nonfiction co-editor, Susan Ito, writes, "I'm now reading David Sheff's memoir, Beautiful Boy, about a father's struggle with his son's meth addiction. It's exquisitely written, heartbreaking, and powerful."

Suzanne Kamata, Fiction Co-editor, just finished reading The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal by Jonathan Mooney. She writes, "Mooney was diagnosed as dyslexic and with ADD as a kid. He learned to read at the age of 12 and later graduated with honors from an Ivy League university. In this book, he writes of the unique and incredibly interesting people he meets as he tours the states on a short bus -- the type of bus kids in special ed ride to school -- and of his quest to banish his special ed demons. I laughed, I cried, and sometimes I nodded my head in recognition."

Literary Reflections Co-Editor, Violeta Garcia-Mendoza, just started reading Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, a story collection by Ben Fountain. She writes, "This collection comes to life with the passions and demons of its revolutionary settings. I'm really savoring the great writing."

C. Delia Scarpitti, Columns Co-Editor, is working on "an amazing new release, Gardening at the Dragon's Gate, 
by Wendy Johnson. A founder of the organic Farm and Garden Program 
at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, Johnson spent a decade writing this 
book which explores gardening as a path of personal growth. Not 
only does this book share scientific fact and practical how-to 
knowledge about plants and soil, it reflects on Buddhism, 
meditation, and global ecology. During this cusp time of year when 
winter is finally (almost) loosening its grip, Gardening at the 
Dragon's Gate has offered me a glimpse of the coming spring season!

Rebecca Kaminsky, Reviews Editor and Columnist, just finished The Mascot: Unraveling the Mystery of My Jewish Father's Nazi Boyhood by Mark Kurzem. She writes, "This is one of the best memoirs I've read in recent memory. The story is fascinating, heartbreaking, and wonderfully told. I could not put it down and read it in two days. A beautifully wrought relationship between father and son, history, psychological drama, thriller, unanswerable moral questions, it has everything."

Caroline Grant , Senior Editor and Columnist, recently read
"Sara Miles' wonderful Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion. Miles is a journalist and activist who was stunned to find herself converting to Christianity in midlife. She was so moved by communion that she founded a food pantry -- not a kitchen serving meals, but a pantry, set up on the altar and benches of her church, where people can come to collect whatever groceries they need; seven years later, that pantry has distributed over one million pounds of food. Miles writes with clear-eyed honesty and humor about church and community politics, her unexpected Christianity, and feeding both spiritual and literal hungers by distributing food."

Finally, Kate Haas, Creative Nonfiction Editor, just finished Mildred Armstrong Kalish's Little Heathens: Hard
Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression. She writes,
 "The title says it all, and this memoir is a real kick, full of chores,
pranks, a one-room school, upright hardworking farmers and a childhood
with more freedom and more responsibility than most of us can imagine.
A retired English professor, Kalish wrote Little Heathens last year at
age 83. The book brings vividly to life all the sensory details and
memorable characters of her farm childhood. Plus recipes!"

Violeta Garcia-Mendoza’s poetry and fiction have recently appeared in Kestrel, Coal Hill Review, and Cicada. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, and two daughters.

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