Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
June, 2009

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Searching for some great summer reads? This month we've got mystery, cooking, and drama on our list. Choose one, or start them all -- your hammock is waiting for you!

Download the list to find it fast at your local bookstore or library.

Suzanne Kamata, Fiction Co-Editor, is reading Best Intentions by Emily Listfield. "This title is billed as a murder mystery, and it is, sort of, but the real tension comes from more mundane concerns: as the economy goes into freefall, will Sam and Lisa be able to keep their jobs (and keep their daughters in private school)? And is Sam lying about an affair, or something else? Reading about the lives of the Upper East Side PTA moms and creative-types with cool jobs was something of a guilty pleasure, but Listfield's elegant prose, well-drawn characters and dead-on insights set this book well above the average offering of mommy lit."

Kristina Riggle, Fiction Co-Editor, says, "I'm reading All We Ever Wanted Was Everything by Janelle Brown. I first adored it for its wonderfully whiny title and the cover image of a melting ice cream sundae. It's proving to be a witty skewering of a California family which falls apart on the day the husband's company goes public, but he goes off with his wife's tennis partner, leaving his brittle wife Janice, disillusioned Margaret and poor 14-year-old Lizzie coughing in his dust, wondering what to do now."

Caroline Grant, Editor-in-Chief and Columnist, writes, "I am always interested in how other parents manage to make healthy meals for their families, day after exhausting day, so Betsy Block's book, The Dinner Diaries: Raising Whole Wheat Kids in a White Bread World, caught my eye. "I'd always thought food was pretty straightforward," Block writes, "you're hungry, you eat; you're not, you don't. Then I became a mother." She consults with nutritionists, visits farms, and packs the book with useful tips, resources and recipes like "Even the Kids Love Butternut Squash When It's In This Pie." She writes with great humor and not a hint of didacticism about her efforts to steer her family into healthier eating habits."

And finally, Literary Reflections Assistant Editor, Christina Marie Speed, shares, "I recently finished The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I found myself reading each vignette and having a bit of my heart broken for Walls and her three siblings. At the barest minimum, I want a warm bed, a warm meal, and warm hugs for my children each and every day; I was astounded by how her parents were comfortably the opposite. For me, this book opened the door to the mind of the homeless child and shed light on how her suffering was internalized. And, selfishly, it extinguished my own maternal guilt of not providing 'enough' for my own children. Walls's memoir is moving on every human level."

Christina Marie Speed writes poetry and creative nonfiction. Her work has appeared in a variety of online and print publications, including Caper Journal, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune Online, and The View From Here. She lives with her husband and two sons in a sunny fourth-floor walkup in Brooklyn, New York.

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