Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Mother's Day Book Review and Giveaway

I am a reader.  I love a good story, they suck you in and make you think about the world in a different way.  But good stories don't have to be fiction, some of the very best stories are our own stories.  These are the stories of our past and they shape how we come to understand the future.

With this in mind I jumped at the chance to review Mom: A celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps edited by Dave Isay.  Maybe you have heard of StoryCorps before as they are featured on NPR's Morning Edition.
StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 30,000 interviews from more than 60,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. 
We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening, and weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that every life matters. At the same time, we will create an invaluable archive of American voices and wisdom for future generations.
Pretty cool huh?  So I was very curious about a book on Moms pulled from these 30,000 interviews.   The book jacket highlighted why this felt like such an interesting topic to me.  Here is what it says about the book:
Through conversations between parents and children, husbands and wives, siblings and friends, the life of the American mother unfolds. In stories that take us from the woods of New Hampshire to urban Detroit and beyond, we meet mothers and children from all walks of life-an immigrant mother instilling in her children the importance of education, adult children caring for an elderly parent, a woman remembering the sound of her mother's laugh, and mothers and children of all ages learning to grow into new roles over time. Visiting families in moments of profound joy and sadness, courage and despair, struggle and triumph, we learn new truths about that most primal and sacred of bonds-the relationship between mother and child.

With this vital contribution to the American storybook, StoryCorps has created a tribute to mothers that honors the wealth of our national experience. An appreciation of the wisdom and generosity passed between mothers and children, this generation to the next, Mom offers powerful lessons in the meaning of family and the expansiveness of the human heart.
And so I began to read.  The vignettes in the stories are short so they are quickly read, but they are also quickly read for the stories they contain.  Within its pages are real people telling real stories of their mothers.  There is sadness and grief, there is joy and laughter.  In many ways it has the impact of the very best Chicken Soup books but without the feeling of being emotionally contrived.  These are real stories of real moms and they touched me.

They were stories of overcoming obstacles, of adoption, of birth, of death.  They were also very diverse stories ranging in ages, race, ethnic and religious upbringings, and even sexual orientation. They were living stories of moms and I cried more than once while reading these pages.  But when I finished I was filled with a lightness that comes from knowing someone else's story, that and a desire to interview everyone I knew for StoryCorps in order to hear their own story.

Our stories hold us together - as a nation, as a family, as a people.  And the stories of Mom speak to the very heart of who we are, as most often, our mother's are one of the biggest influences in our lives.  I really enjoyed Mom: A celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps and was glad that I took part in this review from TLC Book Tours.

And best of all, if the book sounds interesting to you, you can win a free copy! Entering is easy.
1. Leave a comment telling me one story about your mother. Please include your email.
2. Open to US and Canada.
3. Giveaway ends May 11, 2011 at 9pm.

For an extra entry you can also follow my blog, just leave an additional comment saying that you do follow.

I recieved a free copy of this book from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  TLC Book Tours is also providing the book for the giveaway as well.


amy said...

I love my mom because she acts like she's 20 and she's hilarious. She's very honest and fiesty. I also love her because she has been through so much in her life, divorce, cancer, I could go on and on.

Happy Mothers Day Liz. Hope the new house is going well. :)

Momma Hunt said...

I am excited to see tha tyou have a mommy and book blog. Now that is it is almost summer I hope to get some more reading in. I would love to win a cpy of the book. As far as my mom...although we often don't see eye to eye she is the reason for me being the person that I am. She would always expect excellence from me and that is now what I expect from myself. Excellence! Thanks for the great review

heathertlc said...

Thank you for taking the time to read and review this book, especially right before Mother's Day. I love that there are books like this out there, ones that remind us of the love of a mom.

Karla J said...

I love that my mom tells stories in the longest way possible. Every detail, including ones she must know that I already know. But it's awesome and funny! said...

My mom and I used to have scheduled time together when I was growing up. Chicago Hope and ER were our time together. She would come home from night school, and we would watch one or the other of them each week together before I went to bed.

I stopped watching er when we stopped watching.

Chelsea said...

My mom once got mad at my dad and threw a raw egg at him. They've been married over 35 years now...

LisaMM said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed MOM! Thanks so much for being on the tour.