by Claire Dederer |
REVIEWED BY SUE CORBETT
After the author injured her back carrying her "pleasingly substantial" infant daughter, she got the same advice from everyone (even a homeless guy) in her Seattle neighborhood: Do yoga. Despite reservations about becoming a "self-indulgent middle-aged woman seeking transformation through the customs of brown-skinned people," she acquired a mat. And soon, an addiction. This memoir about her decade doing downward dog while raising two kids and trying to keep her marriage alive reads like Eat Pray Love for hip but harried moms. A journalist, Dederer moves in a circle of mothers "consumed with trying to do everything right." The food is organic; the love directed mostly at the kids. She sees yoga not as a spiritual journey, since she's ambivalent about religion, but as a way to begin uncovering the real sources of her tension. Dederer's account of her journey to a life that's "more real and less perfect" is funny, well-observed and ultimately inspiring.
Being Polite to Hitler
by Robb Forman Dew |
REVIEWED BY LISA KAY GREISSINGER
This final book in Dew's trilogy chronicling family life in small-town Ohio focuses on Agnes Scofield, a 54-year-old widow, teacher and mother tired of her narrow life. Flouting mid-century convention, she marries a younger man-proving to herself and those around her that renewal is possible at any age. A winning, quietly lyrical account of a simpler time.
by Jeremy Page |
REVIEWED BY KRISTEN MASCIA
After the death of his daughter and the breakup of his marriage, Guy holes up in a barge off the coast of England, a man unraveled. For years he literally drifts, keeping his daughter alive in imagined diary entries, until an enigmatic woman reawakens him. "Sea change," borrowed from Shakespeare, means transformation, and Guy's reminds us that love can heal even the worst wounds.
HOW MUSIC WORKS
by John Powell
The difference between a note and a noise, how perfect pitch is no big deal and why some songs make us cry.
THE TRUTH ABOUT GRIEF
by Ruth Davis Konigsberg
Five stages? Maybe not. This hopeful book upends old ideas and emphasizes resilience.
HOW TO WRITE A SENTENCE
by Stanley Fish
"A sentence is, in John Donne's words, 'a little world made cunningly,' " writes Fish. He'll teach you the art.
Twentysomethings aren't rushing to grow up-and Not Quite Adults co-author Barbara Ray says that's A-OK.
WHICH STEPS IS THIS GENERATION DELAYING?
Marriage, work, living on their own. Many move home after college to save money and figure out a good first step.
AND THAT'S SMART?
Economic changes have made jobs more unsteady, so you have to be strategic. You want your first job to be a step in the right direction. Slowing down ensures a more secure future.
WHAT SHOULD PARENTS DO?
Relax. If a child moves home, it's not your personal failing. Most of the kids we talked to were planning; they weren't playing video games on the couch. Parents are a good resource. Share your advice.
BUT WILL KIDS LISTEN?
Parents and kids are much closer today. Young people do have the epiphany, "Mom is right, and she can help."