LIFE'S THAT WAY
by Jim Beaver |

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REVIEWED BY SUE CORBETT

MEMOIR
When his wife, Cecily, daughter of Get Smart's Don Adams, was diagnosed with lung cancer at age 45, actor Jim Beaver (Deadwood?) began writing e-mails to friends and family each night, providing himself with a cathartic outlet and saving him from having to repeat, over and over, the increasingly grim details. But after her death in '04, Beaver kept writing, using the nightly missives to process his grief about Cecily (better known to Star Trek fans as Moogie) and his worries about their daughter Madeline, now 7, who had been given a diagnosis of autism just before her mother got sick. Beaver's bracing honesty makes this a Hollywood story that will resonate, a chronicle of heartbreak that ends—not to spoil things—with hope. It's also a reminder to cherish your own partner. As Beaver puts it: "Not all couples get to grow old together, no matter how desperately they want to."

by Giulia Melucci |

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REVIEWED BY DANIELLE TRUSSONI

MEMOIR
Through her young life's highs and lows, Brooklyn-born Melucci has had one constant: genius in the kitchen. After moving to Manhattan, she fell in love, encountered heartbreak and cooked, refining her taste in men and food. Her culinary passion may betray "pre-feminist housewife inclinations," but in this endearing memoir-with-recipes, cooking is an artistic endeavor that brings order to the chaos of dating. "Good food is the best complement" to love's vicissitudes, Melucci decides. She's right.

'Family, careers, home and security.... We had it all, and then the roof fell in'

>JUST IN TIME FOR MOTHER'S DAY

EYE OF MY HEART edited by Barbara Graham In illuminating, unsentimental essays, 27 writers offer up insights on the tricky art of grandmothering.

NOT BECOMING MY MOTHER by Ruth Reichl Gourmet editor Reichl ran from her late mom's circumscribed life—but not from her hard-earned wisdom. A tribute.

TOO MANY COOKS by Emily Franklin A foodie mother shares the triumphs and trials ("This sauce is killing me, Mom") of cooking for her picky family.

>• For his new book, author Jerry Camarillo Dunn Jr. asked 75 well-known people to name the spots they love the best:

"I love to go and sit on a certain rickety bench [near the Golden Gate Bridge].... The world goes by at a pace that money can't touch." —SUZE ORMAN

"Jerusalem is the city of my birth. The air feels ... thick with passions." —NATALIE PORTMAN

"The moon... I weighed only 60 lbs. I had fun hopping like a kangaroo." —BUZZ ALDRIN