Saturday, January 31, 2009

Giveaway for 3 Copies of Outliers Audiobook Ends Tomorrow, Sunday Feb. 1st!


This giveaway ends tomorrow, February 1st at Midnight, for 3 winners to each receive an audiobook version of Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. This is an unabridged set of CD's that is read by the author.
To Enter: Go HERE to my original post for the details.
Go HERE to read the review of Outliers on my blog.

Review: Get Positively Beautiful by Carmindy

Get Positively Beautiful:The Ultimate Guide to Looking and Feeling Gorgeous By Carmindy

Description: According to a recent study, only 2% of women describe themselves as 'beautiful.' (Dove Global Study 'The Real Truth About Beauty: A Global Report', 2004) The media instructs women how to 'look ten years younger,' 'cover up wrinkles,' or 'get fuller, plumper lips.' And even makeup products play off womens' insecurities, promising to conceal perceived flaws, define cheekbones, or make eyelashes fuller and longer. The underlying message? That there's something inherently wrong with the way women look and that they have to spend time, money, and energy keeping up with all the ways they should 'fix' themselves.

In GET POSITIVELY BEAUTIFUL, makeup artist Carmindy from TLC's hit program What Not to Wear shows you how to change your mindset from negative fault-finding to a positive beauty philosphy. You learn how to find and focus on your best features and how to combat negative thoughts about your appearance. Carmindy demonstrates easy makeup techniques for eyes, brows, lashes, lips, cheeks, and skin, and how to adapt looks to different weather conditions and 'beauty moods.'

As we are nearing the start of the second month of a new year, it is the perfect time to read a book about beauty. We each deserve to take the time to establish new attitudes, goals and routines and GET POSITIVELY BEAUTIFUL is a great book to help. What I liked about GET POSITIVELY BEAUTIFUL was the mix of Carmindy's beauty philosophy with how-to ideas about makeup. She encourages you to find your best features and then enhance them with postive mantras/positive self talk. She features make up ideas for each major area: eyes, skin, cheeks, lips. There were ideas for different eye shapes and skin types. There were Question & Answers interspersed throughout the book that were very interesting. Carmindy also focused on makeup ideas to reflect different moods and seasons that I hadn't thought much about before. I especially liked the chapter focused on real makeover's. She captured a variety of different women at different stages in their lives and with different features. There is a nice shopping guide at the back of the book that keeps in mind that we each have different budgets. This would be a nice book for teens as well as there is a positive focus on the beauty of your own features and attitudes towards beauty.

Check out Carmindy’s website:

A Special Thanks to Hachette Books.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Review:The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb

The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb

Description: Wally Lamb's two previous novels, She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, struck a chord with readers. They responded to the intensely introspective nature of the books, and to their lively narrative styles and biting humor. One critic called Wally Lamb a "modern-day Dostoyevsky," whose characters struggle not only with their respective pasts, but with a "mocking, sadistic God" in whom they don't believe but to whom they turn, nevertheless, in times of trouble (New York Times).

In his new novel, The Hour I First Believed, Lamb travels well beyond his earlier work and embodies in his fiction myth, psychology, family history stretching back many generations, and the questions of faith that lie at the heart of everyday life. The result is an extraordinary tour de force, at once a meditation on the human condition and an unflinching yet compassionate evocation of character.

When forty-seven-year-old high school teacher Caelum Quirk and his younger wife, Maureen, a school nurse, move to Littleton, Colorado, they both get jobs at Columbine High School. In April 1999, Caelum returns home to Three Rivers, Connecticut, to be with his aunt who has just had a stroke. But Maureen finds herself in the school library at Columbine, cowering in a cabinet and expecting to be killed, as two vengeful students go on a carefully premeditated, murderous rampage. Miraculously she survives, but at a cost: she is unable to recover from the trauma. Caelum and Maureen flee Colorado and return to an illusion of safety at the Quirk family farm in Three Rivers. But the effects of chaos are not so easily put right, and further tragedy ensues.

While Maureen fights to regain her sanity, Caelum discovers a cache of old diaries, letters, and newspaper clippings in an upstairs bedroom of his family's house. The colorful and intriguing story they recount spans five generations of Quirk family ancestors, from the Civil War era to Caelum's own troubled childhood. Piece by piece, Caelum reconstructs the lives of the women and men whose legacy he bears. Unimaginable secrets emerge; long-buried fear, anger, guilt, and grief rise to the surface.

As Caelum grapples with unexpected and confounding revelations from the past, he also struggles to fashion a future out of the ashes of tragedy. His personal quest for meaning and faith becomes a mythic journey that is at the same time quintessentially contemporary—and American.

The Hour I First Believed is a profound and heart-rending work of fiction. Wally Lamb proves himself a virtuoso storyteller, assembling a variety of voices and an ensemble of characters rich enough to evoke all of humanity.

Wally Lamb is most definitely, one of my favorite authors. I was thrilled when I heard about his upcoming novel, The Hour I First Believed and was anxious to read the book. I had read his previous novels and enjoyed them both and I had a feeling that this one would not disapoint. I was right, The Hour I First Believed, is a rich novel filled with layers of detail and intrigue that it felt like I was peeling away the layers of an onion waiting to reach the core or the truth at the center. I never knew exactly where the story would take me and the storytelling was superb. The novel held my interest throughout and that says a lot as this book is over 700 pages! There were some sad and difficult moments to read and I found myself deeply touched by many of the events. I found the main character, Caelum Quirk to be following the same metaphor of peeling away the layers of an onion. He was able to peel away the layers related to his life to find the heart of his issues and to discover some of the the truth that he sought. I felt connected to the characters who were extremely well developed throughout the story. After I finished the book, I would often think of the characters and what may have happened next. To me, that is a sign of a great novel!

The author chose to use a unique style of combining a fictional story with non-fictional events. Throughout the novel he wove in details related to Columbine, 9/11 , Hurricane Katrina, the history and conditions of women's prisons and others. I found this style very effective as I had been effected by these events through media and from knowing others effected by these tragedies and their own personal experiences. As readers, most of us have been effected in some way by the events in our world and can relate to that experience. As many of you know as you read my blog, I am very fond of epistolary novels and love reading books related to letters and journals. This is a favorite style of writing that I like to read. Wally Lamb chose to add journals , diaries and letters related to second generational family members to share the story. To me, this was an enhancement to the novel which personalized the story and helped to better understand the characters family history.

The search for faith is a strong theme in the book. The book explores the possibility that randomness controls our existence as well as exploring the theories of chaos vs. order. I loved the symbolism connected to the Praying Mantis that was woven throughout the novel. The Mantis appeared to me to symbolize hope and of stillness, the reminder to listen to the small voice within and you will eventually find the answers you are looking for .

*FYI: There are some graphic scenes related to violence, sex and language. Peronally, I did not find it offensive as it went along with the characters, the style of writing and the storyline. Keep this in mind, if you are sensitive to this style of writing.

Here are a few things to supplement your reading experience of this book:

* I want to thank Book Club Girl for sending me this beautiful, Signed First Edition copy of The Hour I First Believed. I will treasure this special copy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My New Header Picture: Montmartre in Paris, France

I've gotten such nice complements on my new header picture and wanted to share the background on this picture. My new Header Picture was taken in 1996 when my husband and I went on a trip to Europe and visited family in Germany and Paris, France. We took a bus from Mainz, Germany and went to Paris with my cousin Sabine and her husband Brian. We took this picture while walking along a street in Montmartre. This is such a lovely city with beautiful architecture and lovely shops and restaurants. I enjoyed walking the streets and taking in the culture and beauty of this city.

Montmartre is referred to as a hill in the north of Paris, France. Montmartre was a little village on the outskirts of the city of Paris until it was discovered by artists in the nineteenth century. Many famous painters lived and worked here, Van Gogh, Lautrec, Seurat, Monet etc

This was truly a trip of a lifetime and I have fond memories of this special time.

More information about Montmarte can be found here.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Giveaway: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell


Hachette Books has given me the opportunity to host this giveaway for 3 winners to each receive an audiobook version of Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. This is an unabridged set of CD's that is read by the author.

To Enter: Please comment on the review of Outliers which you can find just below this post or through this link.

Rules of the Giveaway:

  • Three copies of the Outliers audiobook version will be given away.
  • Make sure that you include your email or that your email is in your blog profile. If I have no way of contacting you by email, your entry will automatically be withdrawn.
  • Only residents of the US or Canada are eligible to win.
  • No PO Boxes please!
  • Audiobooks will be sent directly from the publisher.
  • Contest ends at midnight EST, on Sunday February 1st, 2009. I will use to determine the winners. The Winners will have 2 days to respond via email with their mailing addresses or another winner will need to be chosen.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Review: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (Audiobook)

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

(Unabridged Audiobook Version)

I am pleased to share this review written by my dear husband Greg. He frequently listens to audiobooks during his 90 minute commute to and from work. I hope we'll see more reviews from Greg in the future.

Why are some people wildly successful? Is it strictly due to ability alone or could there be other factors at play? We are a culture of hero worshippers, could that bias us more towards the belief that individual ability is the essence of success? Is there a reason to believe you're safer when a less experienced pilot is flying the airplane? These are the kinds of questions Malcolm Gladwell explores in Outliers. The subject matter here is Outliers, those individuals such as Bill Gates, whose success doesn't fit into statistical norms. Having already listened to his two earlier books The Tipping Point and Blink, I came to appreciate Gladwell as a rather iconoclastic sort whose ideas buck the common wisdom. Those not used to observing patterns and applying critical thought to observed events and trends would likely be dismissive of his ideas, yet he offers supporting data as well as compelling rationale for his conclusions. Take for example, the counter-intuitive correlation between professional Hockey players and the month in which they were born. Here Gladwell has done his homework and provides a rather surprising rationale. Could there be subtle age related effects at play? The message becomes even more critical when one considers that the same effects parallel rankings and placements within our educational system. More speculative, yet convincingly supported, is an association between cultural differences based on language and work ethic where Gladwell concludes that a history of rice farming actually provides a strong foundation for excelling at mathematics.

This audio book is organized into three parts. The first part focuses on the effects of timing and opportunity on success whereas the second part deals with advantages conferred to one by virtue of their heritage and upbringing alone. The third part is an interview with Gladwell himself, where he takes a reflective view of his own heritage and how a series of unlikely events have landed him to where he is today. Gladwell narrates throughout, which enhances the overall quality of the listening experience.

The broad lesson imparted here by Gladwell's message is that things are not always what they superficially appear to be. The laws of unintended consequences and second order effects should not be ignored. Our society could reap significant benefits by revisiting its own established sacred cow policies and traditions with an open and critical mind combined with a healthy willingness to alter them. This stance should be emphasized in situations where the intent is to judge one by their own merit. The net effect could be to better utilize the talent pool within our society, not only for individual benefit, but for the collective benefit of all.

Thank you to Hachette Books for sending this audiobook.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Elizabeth Alexander's Inauguration Poem: Praise Song for A Day

Here is a video of the Inaugural poem read yesterday for Barack Obama by poet, Elizabeth Alexander. I was glued to the TV watching her read this beautiful and poignant poem. Here is the complete transcript of, Praise Song for the Day, from The New York Times.

Praise Song for the Day
by Elizabeth Alexander

Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others' eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.

A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."

We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side; I know there's something better down the road."

We need to find a place where we are safe; We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day. Praise song for every hand-lettered sign; The figuring it out at kitchen tables.

Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy self."

Others by first do no harm, or take no more than you need.

What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. I had some nice surprises in the mail, here's what I got:

What books arrived in your mailbox last week?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thoughts on Kids Books: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney

This book is the 3rd book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series. The first book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid debuted in 2007. The second book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules was released in 2008. This third book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw was just released on January 13th. According to a Shelf Awareness newsletter: "Some 3,000 people attended Kinney's appearance that night at the Barnes & Noble in Carle Place, N.Y., on Long Island". In this slow retail market of book selling, it's great to see excitement over a book and books are selling!! This book sold 80,000 copies on the day it was released.

Why, do you wonder that I am sharing this with you? My 10 year old son loves this series. He thinks they are terribly funny and inhales the books when he has read them! I got him a copy of the 2nd book for Christmas this yearand he read it in 2 days. He would have finished it in a day except he started reading it late in the evening. He is so excited to get a copy of this 3rd book in the series. His teacher ordered a copy for the class. This week, it arrived and she had to draw names for the child who got to read it first. There was so much interest and excitement over reading this book! My son didn't get his name picked and was a good sport about it. He looks forward to reading the book soon. I just saw an ad in the paper that our local indie bookstore is having a weekend sale and we just may stop in and try to find a copy and give our business to a local bookstore. We hope to get there as soon as the weather warms up as it is currently 9 below zero with windchills at 20 to 30 below zero!! I plan to read the books as well so that I can understand the experience, they do look like fun books to read. I just love to see excitement and joy in a child over reading great books.

Some other details about this series:

  • The series started off online at in 2004. The author didn't plan to release the book on the internet but found the opportunity to reach millions of kids on Funbrain irresisitable. So, he published the book in the form of daily entries, much like a blog.
  • All books are 224 pages. There are 2 more books in the series that will be published.
  • Reading Level: 9-12 years old
  • There is a movie version of the book being developed through Twentieth Century Fox and they are currently casting for the role of the main character, Greg. Details are on the Diary of a Wimpy Kid website. Check out the website for much more information.

Here is a neat sneak peak video to see how the 3rd book was printed. It's very interesting to see the process of how a book is printed.

I would love to hear your comments on any of these questions:
  • Have you or a child you know read this series and are they as excited as my son?
  • What books have your children gotten excited about reading?
  • Do you read the books that your children read? If so, which ones have you read and like or disliked?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Review: The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin

The Nine by Jeffrey Toobin

Description:In The Nine, acclaimed journalist Jeffrey Toobin takes us into the chambers of the most important—and secret—legal body in our country, the Supreme Court, revealing the complex dynamic among the nine people who decide the law of the land. An institution at a moment of transition, the Court now stands at a crucial point, with major changes in store on such issues as abortion, civil rights, and church-state relations. Based on exclusive interviews with the justices and with a keen sense of the Court's history and the trajectory of its future, Jeffrey Toobin creates in The Nine a riveting story of one of the most important forces in American life today.

I must start out by saying that this is not a book that I would normally choose to read. It was my book club book for this month that the group voted on. With that said, this is definitely a book that took me out of my comfort zone and I am very glad that I read this book. Mr. Toobin goes into great detail of the inner workings of the Supreme Court justices, their backgrounds as well as their personal and political beliefs. He interviewed "the nine" justices (Rehnquist, Stevens, O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer), plus the most recent two (Roberts & Alito). He also interviewed their clerks and added great details of Court History to blend the information. Toobin goes into great detail to show the controversies that have affected the court on both sides of the liberal and conservatives on the court. This book was a reminder that all members of the Supreme Court, the highest body in the United States, are appointed by the current President and confirmed by the Senate. Also, the President selects individuals who share his idealogical views. Toobin shows how these choices affect major decisions faced by the courts. This book does cover controversial issues that have come before the court including segregation, abortion, gay rights and affirmative action. It was a thought provoking and engaging book and it reminds us of what the constitution stands for and how much has changed in our own society since then. It was not a quick read, at least for me, and it is definitely dry reading at some points. If you don't have a legal background, you just may find yourself needing a dictionary at your side. Also, using google searches for background information will be helpful. I would recommend this book for those interested in history and legal issues and for those of us who should know about what is going on in our own government!

About the Author: Jeffrey Toobin, a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1993 and the senior legal analyst for CNN, is one of the most recognized and admired legal journalists in the country. (Information from the authors website, for more information go HERE. )

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. I had a busier week compared to the past few weeks. Here are the goodies that arrived in my mailbox:

From Paperbackswap:

From a book trade with my friend Bonnie F. Who is a guest reviewer here on my blog:

What books arrived in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Book Clubs and Author Visits

Did you know that there is a growing phenomenon of authors who are visiting book groups to participate in discussions of their books? I think that this is an amazing way for authors and readers to connect. What can be better than to read a book and then have the opportunity to discuss the book with friends in your book club and talk to the author in person or via speakerphone?!

Check out this article from the Philadelphia Enquirer about Joshua Henkin, author of Matrimony, it's called Author, Your Group is Calling. It talks about how Joshua Henkin has met with over 80 book groups in person or by phone. So, if you want to have an author chat with your book club definitely consider contacting Mr. Henkin.

This is one of my goals for the coming year, to have an author chat with my book club. I would love to hear what your experiences have been with author chats. So, please comment and share them with us.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Mailbox Monday~January 5th

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. I had a bit of a break this past week as I only received 2 books in the mail. This is a good thing. I need the breathing room to catch up on the books that I already have waiting to be read.

To read other Mailbox Monday posts, check them out HERE.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Curse Of The Bone Pirates:Nui Island Eco-Logical Adventures

Curse Of The Bone Pirates:Nui Island Eco-Logical Adventures
by B.T. Hope

Description:An evil force is destroying the natural wonders of Nui Island, and it’s up to three new friends to solve the mystery. When Big B is dragged from his comfortable life and close friends in Chicago by his grandfather’s mysterious affliction, he’s sure he’s going to have the worst summer ever. But soon after arriving in the tropical paradise of Nui Island, he is caught in a web of danger and intrigue. The Maemae reef is dying, his grandfather’s brilliant mind has been infected and creepy Island legends are coming to life. Big B and his new friends, Sam and Nalu, rely on wit, courage and strength to unravel Nui’s ancient mysteries. What they uncover will help them save the Island, restore his grandfather’s soul, and break the curse of the Bone Pirates. With a captivating plot, fascinating characters and an important ecological message, Curse of the Bone Pirates: Nui Island Eco-Logical Adventures will haunt and delight young readers.

This children's book takes an adventure story and turns it into a learning experience. It teaches them about the threats to our environment and encourages them to take action at home, at school and in their neighborhoods. Curse of the Bone Pirates: Nui Island Eco-Logical Adventures is set in the South Pacific Ocean on exotic, fictional Nui Island. The story focuses on three friends who face challenges and solve mysteries in an adventure to save Nui Island.

Here is some interesting information about Nui , the company and Publisher of this book:

Nui, is a healthy kids lifestyle brand that donates 50 percent of its beverage profits to children's health and environmental charities. The mission of the book is the same as the company's: to encourage kids to improve their physical, social and environmental health. Their hope is that by telling these adventure stories, in a manner that kids can relate to, kids will gain a better understanding of these issues.

The Nui website states "From the sale of each copy of Curse of the Bone Pirates, Nui donates $1 to support Healthy Child Healthy World and Surfers for Cetaceans."

The Nui website also has some fun features for kids such as Fun Facts, Games, Downloads, Coloring Book and you can register to win free gifts.

Thanks to Family Review Network and Nui for sending this book.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cookbook Giveaway #2: Confetti Cakes For Kids: Delightful Cookies, Cakes, and Cupcakes from New York City's Famed Bakery


Confetti Cakes For Kids: Delightful Cookies, Cakes, and Cupcakes from New York City's Famed Bakery

By Elisa Strauss, Christie Matheson

Check out my review of Confetti Cakes For Kids HERE.

Hachette Books has graciously offered to allow me to host two wonderful Cookbook Giveaways. This is Giveaway #2 and you will have a chance to win one of 5 Copies of Confetti Cakes For Kids!! This contest has some restrictions, only residents of the U.S. (No P.O. Boxes) or Canada are eligible to win.

To Enter:

  • Please post a comment for one entry.
  • For a 2nd entry, blog about this giveaway and post a link back here.
  • For an additional 2 entries, subscribe to my blog through google reader or other sources and/or follow my blog through blogger. If you are already following or subscribe to my blog, let me know and that will count as an entry.

Please make sure that I have a way to contact you by email as I would hate for you to lose out on the opportunity to win a copy of this book. If there is not an email in your post or through your blog profile, I will not be able to add your name to the drawing. I will use to randomly choose the winners. The contest will end January 11th, 2009 at Midnight, EST.


Cookbook Giveaway #1: The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity


The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs

By Karen Page, Andrew Dornenburg

You can read my review HERE.

Hachette Books has graciously offered to allow me to host two wonderful Cookbook Giveaways. This is Giveaway #1 and you will have a chance to win one of 3 Copies of The Flavor Bible!! This contest has some restrictions, only residents of the U.S. (No P.O. Boxes) or Canada are eligible to win. To Enter:

  • Please post a comment for one entry.
  • For a 2nd entry, blog about this giveaway and post a link back here.
  • For an additional 2 entries, subscribe to my blog through google reader or other sources and/or follow my blog through blogger. If you are already following or subscribe to my blog, let me know and that will count as an entry.

Please make sure that I have a way to contact you by email as I would hate for you to lose out on the opportunity to win a copy of this book. If there is not an email in your post or through your blog profile, I will not be able to add your name to the drawing. I will use to randomly choose the winners. The contest will end January 11th, 2009 at Midnight, EST.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Review: Becoming My Mother's Daughter:: A Story of Survival and Renewal by Erika Gottlieb

Becoming My Mother's Daughter: A Story of Survival and Renewal by Erika Gottlieb

Book Description:
Becoming My Mother’s Daughter: A Story of Survival and Renewal tells the story of three generations of a Jewish Hungarian family whose fate has been inextricably bound up with the turbulent history of Europe, from the First World War through the Holocaust and the communist takeover after World War II, to the family’s dramatic escape and emmigration to Canada.

This is a moving and touching memoir of three generations of Jewish women originally from Budapest, Hungary. The main focus of the book is on the ties between mothers and daughters and how they survive, grow and change during times of trauma and stress. Erica, the narrator of the book (the author) tells most of her story from the viewpoint of herself as a young child during the Nazi Invasion of Hungary. She writes of events that shape and form relationships and experiences of her grandmother, mother and sisters. The family is able to emigrate to Canada safely and their lives change in many other ways. As her mother ages and deals with illness, Eva goes through a cathartic process of looking back in the past through mementos and photos that her mother saved. These items were treasured and protected in an old purse that her mother carried with them as a child as they were in hiding. This purse was a saving grace during difficult times as it may have held a piece of bread,or some chocolate. Eva was able to assemble these mementos in albums and in the process gleam a better understanding and connection to her mother and herself . She is able to reconcile her love and understanding for her mother and to find answers to many unanswered questions. This book is one that any mother and/or daughter can relate to as the bond between mother and daughter is universal. This book did make me stop and think about my own mother and grandmothers and how what they experienced in life had a great effect on their own lives and our relationships. Eva is also a visual artist and there are sketch drawings interspersed throughout the book that often accompany the telling of a story or experience that she shares.

Thanks to Mini Book Expo and WLU Press for sending me this book to read and review.

Becoming My Mother's Daughter, released in March 2008, is part of the Life Writing Series at Wilfrid Laurier University Press which: "publishes life writing and new life-writing criticism in order to promote autobiographical accounts, diaries, letters and testimonials written and/or told by women and men whose political, literary or philosophical purposes are central to their lives." (Quote from the WLU Press website)