I am an Eager Reader for Elle Magazine.
Throughout the year I have the privilege of reading a handful of nonfictional proofs, ranking them in order of preference and writing a 50 word (approx.) review for each manuscript. My reviews appear at Elle Magazine online. I feel really cool about myself when they do! I know it’s not a “real” book review, but I take it seriously, like I’m writing for Publisher’s Weekly or the New York Times. Here is my most recent submission, minus my book reviews, as it was sent to the panel. I will highlight the reviews once published.
If you have the time, read each and every one of these books. They are remarkable!!
My submission to Elle Magazine:
I know I ranked them all as #1, but at least there is an order. Haha! Does that still count? I loved each book, each voice, and the life-transforming act that is childbearing /child rearing from three perspectives: Father. Mother. Grandparent. The need for balance resonates from each perspective. I will feel better if I rank them in order of greatest surprise, but consider it a rank of Favorites if you prefer.
Without a doubt I knew I would adore Making Babies and Some Assembly Required. I love Anne Enright’s dry Irish humor. Her unbiased, unsentimental tone and raw revelations spoke to my soul. I found myself laughing out loud and reliving the peaks and pangs of motherhood. And Anne Lamott, her ability to speak blatantly, to “say it like it is,” and draw a spiritual meaning from each and every occurrence, makes for an intense and touching journey through “grandparenthood.” But, my greatest surprise vote goes to Joe Blair, author of By the Iowa Sea. I read this book first, certain I would enjoy it the least. Instead, the conversational writing and honesty of a father’s journey blew me away. Blair’s memoir reveals a man who struggles to recapture his dreams and reignite passion with his wife, while performing everyday routines and learning to interact with this three “normal” children and one autistic son.
3) Official Reviews…should appear mid March at Elle Magazine.