Thursday, October 8, 2009

Book Review: Because I Said So

It does seem to be Book Review Week around here. Which I think is good, because we are heading up toward Simchat Torah, in which we celebrate our most precious Book of all, the Torah.  
 
The full title of this book, "Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race & Themselves," is a real mouthful. But it's a totally worth-it mouthful. This book is awesome.

I read it right after reading Bad Mother* by Ayelet Waldman. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Her essay from this book, "Motherlove," created a big ol' storm when it was published in the New York Times in 2005. I mostly expected to read the essay and return the book back to the library from whence it came.
(*I totally need to write a review of this book one day, because it was also amazing. Take my word for it, go read it. You won't regret it, it's truly wonderful.)

And then I started reading all the rest of the essays. I thought I'd like Ayelet's essay, I thought I might find another essay to like. Instead, I liked almost all of them! These are some amazing women, writing amazing stuff. Published in 2005, before the whole mommy-blogging thing really took off, these authors were not afraid to write what they thought, and Camille Peri and Kate Moses gave them a platform and a voice. They run the gamut of motherhood issues: autism, spousal abuse, growing up, babysitters, dolls, parents-to-be from different races, and a single woman having two children by artificial insemination...and even more. It is now on the top of my list of favorite parenting books.

Run...do not walk...to get yourself this book. Or, like all the other reviews this week, leave a comment here on this post and I'll choose one really lucky reader to receive a copy from me!

Other reviews from this week:
Day After Night
Bending Toward the Sun
Loving Rabbi Thalia Kleinman

7 comments:

Reiza said...

You are a book-reading and giving fool lately, aren't you? I love reading your reviews because I've been wanting to add some new books to my list.

So, I'll try my hand at winning this, but if I don't, I'll add it to my library queve. :-)

mother in israel said...

I definitely want to read this one!

dlk said...

Hey, Phyl. You continue to amaze me, and I still want to find a time to connect telephonically one of these days.

In the mean time, thanks for the recommendations, and chag sameach!

(I read Waldman's NYT column back in 2005 and loved it, and look forward to reading her book, too, one of these days; our friend Rabbi Axler has been praising it as well.)

Give my best to all your boys, and girl--

Jew Wishes said...

This is a great review, and just shows how we become involved and wrapped within the pages of a book.

Rivster said...

Every year, I spend a goodly amount of time selecting one special book that I am going to read starting on the day after YK. "Bad Mother" was this year's selection. Amazing...

Carla Campbell said...

Well... you've certainly given me ideas for books, even if the lucky winner is someone else :) Thanks so much!

Sara said...

I'm not even a mom and I'm intrigued by these books! I took a class in college that covered (among many, many other topics) the unreasonable expectations we make of mothers (and parents in general) in our society. This has probably been added as required reading since then :)
[crossing my fingers for a win!]