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Everything That Makes You Mom: A Bouquet of Memories Hardcover – April 1, 2013

5 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

All those years of advice, of her words of wisdom, of loving, of scolding, of laughing ... You are you because she is your mom. Celebrate every memory.

About the Author

Laura Lynn Brown is the publisher of the multi-author website makesyoumom.com. Her essay "Fifty Things About My Mother," which led to this book, won the Iowa Review Nonfiction Award and was named a Notable Essay of 2013 in Best American Essays 2014. This is her first book.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (April 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1426767463
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426767463
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,568,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Laura Lynn Brown's Everything That Makes You Mom: A Bouquet of Memories is a delightful book to read, but it offers so much more. As a contemplation about her own mother, Brown's book is a lovely memoir of sorts, describing personal, funny, and thoughtful experiences from her past. Brown, however, invites the reader to not only read her reflections but to use them as a jumping-off point for the reader's own stories and insights. Her evocative vignettes are followed by questions that invite the reader to write and share stories from their own life. This beautiful bouquet of memories, as she calls it, is a wonderful gift for a mother, sister, or special friend!
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Format: Hardcover
I'm skeptical of "gift books" because they generally skimp on content and compensate with fluffy design and offensive marketing ("easy, but she'll cherish it!"). But Laura Brown's book is a true gift, and I highly recommend it, primarily because it beautifully combines memoir with writing prompts. Not only do you as the reader get to enjoy Laura Brown's own memories, so finely crafted with a captivating personal voice and poetic attention to detail, but you also get to join the project by responding with your own memories. Neither simplistic nor burdensome, the writing prompts contained within the book generate contemplation, and I expect they will quickly help readers (even those who do not fancy themselves writers at all) do the kind of storytelling she (or he) might more naturally do around the table at a family dinner.

This book's writing prompts assume that you want to record memories and practice thankfulness, but they do not assume uncomplicated relationships, and I like that. Though the cover of the book is indisputably "feminine," any reader could find the prompts useful. Though the prompts themselves assume that you will have many positive memories to record, Laura shares not packaged but authentic memories, so a reader with more complex memories could easily resonate with her stories and then respond to the prompts as well.

Readers of all sorts, then, might enjoy this book--readers with mothers who are still living, and readers with mothers who are not, readers with birth mothers and adoptive mothers and step-mothers, readers who enjoy great relationships with their mothers, and readers who would describe their relationships as more or less complicated. Men and women. Young and old. Readers who intend to then give the filled-in book as a gift, and readers who intend to keep it for their own record. So I'm glad for the book, not least because it's helping me make my own bouquet of memories.
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Format: Hardcover
I sat down this evening with Laura Lynn Brown's Everything That Makes You Mom: A Bouquet of Memories to get my copy of this beautiful book ready to give to my own mom. I thought I had bought it as a gift for her, but was surprised to find what a gift it was for me. I loved reading the author's short vignettes of memories about her own mother - both touching and funny. I found myself laughing, wishing I had known Laura's mother, and feeling strengthened to become a better mom myself. When I began to fill in the blank pages with my own memories of my mother I was shocked at the power this book had to jog my memory. Stories came pouring out of me that I had long since forgotten. I was laughing and tearing up as I wrote them down, and now I can't wait to see my mother's reaction and hear the stories she will remember as she reads them. This is a well crafted gift of memories recounted, stories told and relationships strengthened masquerading as a book. I'm planning to buy several more copies as gifts for friends, both those whose mothers would appreciate the gift and those who will want to record the memories of their mothers who are no longer with them.
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Format: Hardcover
As soon as we opened the package, this book began to spark a dialogue among my family about a variety of memories of our Mothers, some distant, others recent. Some questions were more challenging for us to recall than others,...but made us think of happy times as well as bitter-sweet moments. Even if we couldn't answer the specific question, the book seemed to open discussions on other nearby topics surrounding our Moms. What a pleasant way to stimulate real, meaningful conversation among family or friends in our non-verbal communication, text/email age. Definitely a special way to remember your MOM as Mother's Day approaches.
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Format: Hardcover
This book turned out to be more than I expected. I thought it would be a sappy book of quotes and poetry. Instead, it seems more like a journal with prompts to help you remember specific memories. For example, there are questions like, "What did your mom do with leftover scraps?" or "How did your mom worship?"

The author shares many poignant memories like running through the sprinklers her mom set up, stories about the items she would sew, etc. This really is a nice tribute to the authors mother, but it will spark new memories about your own mother.
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