Molly's Reviews

The Gallagher Guide to the Baby YearsThe Gallagher Guide to the Baby Years
The real moms’ survey of top rated products and advice
Editor: Stephanie Gallagher
Atria Books

Informative Read ... Recommended ... 4 stars

The narrative is not a storybook. "The Gallagher Guide to the Baby Years" is a 222 page compilation of new parenting information gathered by the editor. Chapter one covers Pregnancy including ways to cope with morning sickness, maternity wardrobe and picking the baby name. Chapter two offers information pertaining to the nursery while Chapter three guides the new parent toward wise purchasing of baby gear. Chapter four helps prepare new parents for the birth of the baby; what to take to the hospital, getting rid of the extra pounds and the homecoming. Chapter five covers creative Birth announcements, stress free baptism and a plan for getting thank-you notes taken care of. Chapter six provides the new mother with some hints on taking care of herself; how to deal with all the unwanted advice that comes to all new moms, coping with sleep deprivation and taking time for herself. Chapter seven offers some ideas on taking of baby; some easy methods for getting baby to nap, how to deal with the early wake ups and how to face colic, burping, constipation and bath time with ease. Chapter eight covers an assortment of food and nutrition related themes. Chapter nine presents some thoughts regarding child care; how to locate great child care, how to choose a nanny and the transition back into the work force. Chapter ten is filled with saving money tips. Chapter eleven offers getting organized information; how to save time in the morning, getting stains out of kids’ clothes and how to get dinner on the table fast. Chapter twelve: entertainment discusses toys, books, music and TV. Chapter thirteen offers help for parents facing sickness and health issues; teething, how to take baby’s temp, how to get a good night’s sleep with a sick baby in the house. Chapter fourteen deals with making and preserving memories. Chapter fifteen provides information for dealing with toddlers; how to get rid of the pacifier or stopping thumb sucking, moving from crib to bed, potty training. Chapter sixteen: ready for another one offers information on best times to conceive, pregnancy with toddlers or older children to care for and how to tell children they will have a new baby in the house.

Editor Gallagher has produced a book using contributions from real moms and meant to be used by real moms. From start to finish the new mom is offered suggestions on everything from which type of formula is best and why individual women prefer one over the other to what features to look for in a stroller. Moms who have faced late night diaper changes suggest one piece pajamas with zippers rather than cute footed garments that are hard to put on and take off. Women who have faced sleep deprivation during the first weeks following the birth of their baby offer good sound advice to new moms concerning the importance for baby AND mom to get enough sleep. Each hint is presented in clear, concise language and in type large enough to read easily. Chapters are filled with short easily read hints new moms can read while nursing or bottle feeding their new baby, while waiting for the train to pass by or the light to change. Format is sensible; few new mothers have time to plow through pages and pages of tiny print.

"The Gallagher Guide to the Baby Years" is the product of some 200 moms, including 30 doctor mothers, world wide who contributed to the book. For interested women www.GALLAGHERGUIDE.COM is where you can add your own hints and thoughts on child rearing for the next book.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.

Apple Pie and Promises: Motherhood in the Real WorldApple Pie and Promises: Motherhood in the Real World
Compiled by Linda Hoffman Kimball
Cedar Fort

Entertaining Read ... Recommended ... 5 stars

"Apple Pie and Promises: Motherhood in the Real World" is not a story book per se, rather it is a collection of ‘quick reads’ meant to be read at those odd moments in the day when readers have a few moments to turn to something interesting and fun to read.

This is a 125 page work comprised of forty plus vignettes authored by a group of women who share their thoughts and experiences as daughters and mothers. Titles of individual works include: ‘The Reluctant Mother’ in which Lael Littke states "I look like a bellicose buffalo" in reference to her pregnant figure. ‘Folk Wisdom,’ ‘Feisty Women,’ and ‘By Proxy’ offer varying views of motherhood and mothering. ‘What Mom Left Us’ in which the writer tells of her mother’s quilts touched a particular spark for me: my grandmother died when I was 4, she too left behind quilts, quilts, quilts. ‘The Year of Mothering Intensely,’ ‘The Hunt,’ and ‘Picture Perfect’ continue the narratives. ‘Just YourTypical Mormon Family’ is a poignant read telling of problems to be found in step parenting and how one family attempted both traditional and non traditional methods for achieving success in the long run. ‘Up and Down and All Around’ is a touching recounting of the problems facing those who experience fertility problems. ‘Piece of Cake,’ and ‘Am I My Mother’s Keeper?’ recounts the sadness facing those when Mom or Dad experiences serious health issues late in life.

Linda Hoffman Kimball has brought together a delightful series of works in her book "Apple Pie and Promises: Motherhood in the Real World." Along with the short stories she adds quotes regarding motherhood and mothering taken from women and men from all walks of life. Quotes include a Spanish proverb, comments from John Erskine, Elizabeth Stone and Oprah Winfrey as well as a Chinese proverb.

A verse from The Bible or Book of Mormon regarding mothering can also be found. A tongue in cheek remar kby Mark Twain, an Indian proverb and a quote from Dr. Spock round out the work. Kimball has added a little something for everyone in her compilation of ancecdotes. Each of these honest to goodness real world MOM encounters presented on the pages of this little volume are worth the read. I like particularly the format: each short anecdote is just that – short, quick reads for busy women to enjoy over a warm cookie or while waiting for the train to cross the intersection.

"While Apple Pie and Promises: Motherhood in the Real World" is written by Mormon women, the themes are common to mothers the world over. "Apple Pie and Promises: Motherhood in the Real World" is an excellent choice for the home library and pleasure reading for Mormon and non Mormon alike. After experiencing my own problems during pregnancy I found 'Up and Down and All Around’ a particularly compelling read.

"Apple Pie and Promises: Motherhood in the Real World" is a good book for a lazy summer afternoon or for the quick stolen moment when the baby is napping and all is quiet at least for this minute.

La BohemeLa Boheme: melody of poems
Milena Gomez, Patricia Alzate, Xenia Martinez
1stBooks Library
Order from Amazon

Interesting Read ... Recommended ... 5 stars

'La Boheme: melody of poems' is a 132 page offering presented by lyrists Milena Gomez, Patricia Alzate, Xenia Martiinez. The elegant, lyrical elegies dispensed by poet Gomez are located on the first 40 pages of the volume and run a spectrum of emotions from the titillation of tenderness into longing and finally to thwarted hope. ‘Halfway to your Heart,’ ‘Flaming Love,’ ‘Fantasy World of Hope,’ ‘Books Last Forever’ and ‘Wilted Rose’ are penned in the ethereal style characterized by poet Gomez in her earlier works.

Poet Alzate’s ‘Where You Are,’ ‘Your Kiss,’ ‘Spring,’ and ‘I’m Not In Love’ acquaint the reader with another exhilarative muse whose mellifluous works are a further pleasure to read. Alzate’s works are set out over some 30 pages in the center of the tome.

Writer/poet Martinez culminates the book with the last 40 or so pages filled with her exquisite works. ‘Destiny,’ ‘I am,’ ‘Unfold’ and ‘Faith in Us,’ each is a delight to read.

Richly drawn, well written, skillfully wrought, each of the various ode presented by three talented writer/poets is a carefully chosen offering meant to delight the reader and bring the reader back to read and re-read the odes again and again. Emotions are deftly captured, as each poet paints a keenly focused view of life, love, emotion and passion.

Gomez, Alzate and Martinez have wrought a talented set of agile and flowing sonnets certain to enchant all who enjoy rhythm and stanza, and to move those who purport they do not. La Boheme: melody of poems is filled with tender renditions dealing with that most basic of all our being: melody running through every aspect of our lives. Our emotions, passionate, tender or anger filled feelings all are part of the greater whole of the song of our life.

Fans of accomplished stanzas meant to be savored, enjoyed and savored time and again are sure to want this volume for their own home library. Excellent choice for a Christmas gift for a co-worker, friend, Mom, sister or favored Aunt.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.

Murder on Sunset BlvdMurder on Sunset Blvd
Various writers
Edited by Rochelle Krich, Michael Mallory
and Lisa Seidman
Top Publications

Highly recommended, enjoyed the read, 5 stars

The book of 221 pages is a collection of writings produced by some of the foremost writers today. Included the reader will find Closing Time by Dana Kouba, Beaudry Rose by Gayle McGary and The Red Car Murders in which Richard Partlow's tale set in 1946 keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. The tale is told in the first person by a seventh grade grade newspaper salesman who finds a silver gun on the streetcar. Before long Mark faces a desperate killer, a woman cop who is not allowed to carry a gun and 'A Special Agent.'

Extreme Prejudice by Dale Furutani, Three Killings and a Favor by Joan Waites and Two Mules for Sister Sarita by Kate Thornton are a nice change of pace. Neither Tarnished Nor Afraid by Gay Toltl Kinman is another tale told in the first person and is set in 1942 during WWII. Police officer Agnes Graham is a big gal who realizes that were it not for the war she would not have gotten the chance to join the police force. An Open and Shut Case by Mae Woods, Love on Sunset Boulevard by Linda O Johnston and LA Late @ Night by Paul D Marks add to the reading enjoyment.

The work is completed with Leap of Faith by Anne Riffenburgh again told in the first person, but in more modern times combines intrigue, murder and a whole batch of interesting characters. The last tale in the collection written by Gabriella Diamond is Black and Red and Dead All Over.

Each of the various authors presents a matchless narrative from their unrivaled perspective and written in their own unique style. Because this is a collection of tales there is something for everyone.

As a Californian I know Sunset Boulevard is a place dear to the mystique of the state. This dozen clever yarn spinners speed the reader along the often squalid ride across Los Angeles with enthralling tales filled with machination, retaliation, apprehension and deficiency. Gay Toltl Kinman with a Philip Marlowe restate of Hollywood will be of particular interest to those who miss the old time tales.

Characters are credible, Sunset Boulevard comes alive under the fertile pen and imagination of these master storytellers. The sights, scents and people found then and now along this most famous of streets in America are presented in gritty detail.

From the murder of a child killer outside a ratty pool hall to a twisted anecdote of lost love, this is a perverse trek along the byway of a city known for peculiar and strange happenings. A tale of vengeance and assassination carried out within the upper crusty boundary of the street near the ocean, another offering a chilling glimpse into the maneuvering found behind TV crime shows and an attorney's convoluted course to atonement all are presented for the reader's enjoyment.

There is truly something for everyone in this anthology filled with conundrum, mystery and plain good writing.




[Home] [Sleuth] [Fantasy] [Children] [Stories] [Reviews]
© 2005 by Molly Martin