Do Your Laundry Or You’ll Die Alone: The Wit and Wisdom of Becky Blades

Lisa writes: Mary Dell and I have read Becky Blades’ beautiful volume, Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone,  and we love it. We don’t just love it because we have high school (and college!) graduates this year. We love it because it is the perfect gift of wit and wisdom for any girl/young woman, age 15-25, and because of the messages of empowerment, understanding and optimism Becky conveys.  It is a little manual for life, and who doesn’t need that?

Do Your Laundry or You'll Die Alone

But Becky’s book is even better with some of the back story. Her slender and beautifully illustrated volume is very much a “mom story” that so many of us can relate to, and we had the pleasure of interviewing her to hear  firsthand.

Interview With Author Becky Blades

Lisa: You say in the book that you wrote this as a reminder to oldest daughter before she headed off to Harvard? Why did she need reminding and why didn’t you just tell her what you had to say?

Becky: My firstborn, Taylor Kay, was a driven child, and busy, busy, busy. Every minute seemed so intense – with few of those hang-around-and-chat moments where topics just come up. When we WERE in the same room, I shared her attention with the crowd of people who were texting or Facebooking on her phone. Since she was working so hard, and I didn’t want every conversation to be an argument, I gave her a pass on that, and other things – like doing her laundry.

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Holiday Books: What to Read Next

Lisa writes: What do December and August have in common? Holiday Books.

The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt

Summer reading, with toes dipped into a pool or backs pressed against warm sand, is a time for lazy reading. We look for books that can be discarded with the nearly empty bottles of suntan lotion, left in the bottom of a beach bag and easily forgotten. In the same way that we crave more substantive foods in the winter, we look for holiday books with more depth. Here are four works that can be mulled over again and again through the winter months as their characters stay with us long after we close the cover or turn off the Kindle.

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Amazon Kindle’s “Send Sample Chapter”

Amazon KindleLisa writes: Over the holidays I did some reading and caught up on your, our readers, book suggestions. One important caveat for my selection is that if it’s not on Amazon Kindle, I won’t read it.  All my life I have loved books, read them, wrote them, and even collected Modern First Editions, scouring used bookstores everywhere I went.  Now the walls of my house are lined with the fading cloth spines of books I will never touch again and my iPad is bursting with the titles of every book I love.

For me, turning a page feels like rolling down a car window, or dialing a phone, not something I am going to start doing again.  I have had this argument, book vs e-book, with many, many friends, and my own children who prefer paper, but I am pretty sure that time is on my side and here is why.

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Reading on Your Mind with these Best Books

Lisa writes: December is book month whether buying gifts for others or just looking for something to curl up with over the holidays.  So in the spirit of the season, here are a few titles that we want to share, ones we put in the category of “best books.”  Some are new, some are not.  There is fiction and fact and the only common ground is that we loved them all.

 

Helen Simonson
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand (2012)

I love small stories writ large, tiny worlds carefully constructed by truly gifted writers in which, as the reader, I can transplant myself.  Helen Simonson’s first outing gives us such a world and that rarity of rarities, a true midlife love story.  Major Pettigrew is stuffy old Britain, a man who finds it easier to show his love for his treasured Churchill rifles than his son.  Mrs Ali is the new Britain, worldly, industrious and passionate in her love of family. These two characters, the embodiment of two eras, bring out the very best in each other.  Simonson’s sense of humor  emerges in a very funny undercurrent as we see her American characters through very British eyes.  As an American who long lived in England, I did not know whether to blush or apologize. This is a book without artifice.  If you are tired of reading books of contrived youthful passion and instead want a tale of real adult love, Major Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali will not let you down.

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