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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

5 Books to Buy Your Mother/Daughter/Sister/Girlfriend


Julie Owsik Ackerman

Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story, by Sue Monk Kidd and Anne Kidd Taylor. Loved it loved it loved it!!! 

I adored this book. I loved it so much, I never wanted it to end. I listened to it on CD, as I drove around in the car. The authors read the book, and now I want Sue and Anne to always be with me, telling me stories and observations as I drive. Sue introduced me to the idea of goddesses as archetypes. Anne mirrored some of my own journey of discovering I wanted to be a writer. They each gave me insights into mother-daughter relationships, and made me long to be closer to my own mom.

174635Goddesses in Everywoman, Jean Shinoda Bolen. Highly recommended reading

Sue Monk Kidd mentions Jean Shinoda Bolen in Traveling with Pomegranates. Intrigued, I looked up this book online, and immediately bought it. Bolen looks at the seven most important Greek goddesses, and examines how these goddesses are archetypes for women. I love this book. It’s so validating to read about seven different ways to be a woman. Sure, there is Demeter, the earth mother. But there is also Athena, the warrior, and Artemis, the hunter, and Aphrodite, goddess of sex and creativity. Reading this book helped me see different facets of myself and other women I know, and be less judgmental. I don't see things the way a Demeter woman does, but that's okay.

How to Be a Woman
How to be a Woman and Moranthology, Caitlin Moran, Highly recommended reading
The essays in these books are honest—almost too honest at times—but also funny and thought-provoking. People compare Moran to Tina Fey, but to me, Moran is a lot edgier and angrier, in a good way. She writes about everything from sex and feminism to body hair and motherhood. She also writes about clubbing with Lady Gaga and interviewing Paul McCartney. After reading these books, I totally wanted to be friends with her. Having her writing is a pretty good substitute.

Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace
Bad Mother, Ayelet Waldman. Recommended reading

Ayelet Waldman wrote an essay for the New York Times in which she stated that she loved her husband more than their children. This caused a huge uproar, prompting Waldman to reflect more on parenting, and write the essays in this book. I could relate a lot to Ayelet. Like me, she had a high-powered attorney job she chose to leave. Like me, she found full-time motherhood to be soul-crushingly boring. Like me, she had to learn to carve out time for herself. I suspect I'll like this book even more as my son grows, because many of the essays are about issues with older children.  


  1. Julie, I'm a fan of novels and admit I rarely read essays or shorter fiction. Your reviews make me want to. Thank you especially for the Sue Monk Kidd review. I love her writing and totally missed this book.

  2. Julie, I'm always open for tips on reading. This list reminded me of Sue Monk Kidd, and I uploaded one of her books from Bard, the library for the blind, for my mom to listen to. I love the idea of the goddess book, so I'll be on the lookout for that one. Great post idea for just before the holidays.