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For You Mom, Finally Paperback – April 6, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ruth Reichl is the editor in chief of Gourmet magazine and the author of the bestsellers Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples. She has been the restaurant critic at the New York Times and the food editor at the Los Angeles Times.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143117343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143117346
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.4 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ruth Reichl, Gourmet's editor in chief, is the author of the best-selling memoirs Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me with Apples, and Garlic and Sapphires, and the forthcoming Not Becoming My Mother and Other Things She Taught Me Along the Way. She is executive producer of the two-time James Beard Award-winning Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie, which airs on public television across the country, and the editor of the Modern Library Food Series. Before coming to Gourmet, she was the restaurant critic for the New York Times, receiving two James Beard Awards for her work. She lectures frequently on food and culture.

Customer Reviews

Beautifully written, easy read.
Barbara Brenner
Miriam is determined not to be a typical housewife and becomes increasingly depressed because in the end she is very typical for her day.
Terri J. Rice
It seemed to be a way to rewrite old matrial and get another book out of it - I felt deceived and misled by the title.
barbarafeduska

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Lippincott, Chilehead Adventurer on May 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
An ongoing conversation takes place within the community of memoir writers around topics such as privacy of others, respect, compassion, and truth. Ruth Reichl tackles these issues head-on in this book. She begins by explaining the chagrin she felt after reading her first memoir volume, "Tender at the Bone," when she realized the full extent to which she had used her mother's foibles for dramatic and comic effect. Even though her mother had been dead for years before that book was published, Ruth still felt a strong sense that she had betrayed her. This deeply moving new volume is offered in atonement. It may provide guidance for memoirists who are struggling with these concerns.

In the compact space of 120 small pages, Ruth takes us along on her personal journey of discovery as she explores a box of old letters and diary-like notes scribbled on random scraps of paper. This is a heroic journey on her part, as she was reluctant to start, uncertain that she wanted to know what she might find. Over the course of the journey, she finds compassion and deep understanding of the pain her mother felt at the strictures of life in her generation, compounded by a bipolar disorder that was never effectively controlled. In a very real sense, this story depicts the frustration of an entire generation of women who lived at an intersection of history when modern conveniences had replaced many of the chores women had traditionally done around the home without providing them adequate opportunity to direct their energies into new domains.

Ruth is humbled as she realizes the sacrifices her mother made with regard to her relationship with her beloved daughter in order to ensure that Ruth would have a better, happier life than her own.
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75 of 79 people found the following review helpful By S. mcfarland on April 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a new Ruth Reichl book - the cover states "previously published as Not Becoming My Mother". There is a new afterward to the original book "relating the wisdom she's gained after sharing her story".
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By rude dog on October 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Keenly disapppointed with my purchase, as it is EXACTLY the same book as "Not Becoming My Mother", differing only by having an afterword chapter that doesn't add anything to it anyway. Save your money. "Not Becoming My Mother" was not that great, but this is just a rip-off with a new title. Do read "Tender at the Bone" if you have not, also by Ruth Reichl. That is an engaging book, but the other two are nothing new and no new insights. What editor approves publishing the same stories 3 times under 3 titles, do you suppose?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By barbarafeduska on August 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I felt like ths was her book to apologze to her mother for all the unkind things (but probaby true) she said about her in past books and articles. It seemed to be a way to rewrite old matrial and get another book out of it - I felt deceived and misled by the title.
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Format: Paperback
No, I'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist, so no, you don't have to accept the following as authoritative from a professional viewpoint, but I'm gonna say it anyway: Does no one else recognize the signs of ADHD in Miriam???!!?!

I've read other comments/reviews that say she was bipolar, but to me, the anecdotes scream A.D.D. symptoms. Her spontaneity, improvisation (such as the snack story), the impulsivity, the ability to hyperfocus on a structured task that she enjoyed (hence why she would have thrived in a structured job outside the home, with its externally imposed deadlines and defined goals), her depression over lack of stimulation, lack of challenge from mind-numbingly monotonous household chores... omg, this is a woman struggling with adhd, it seems to me! I recognize myself, here. Is having a job, a career, the answer? Maybe. If she found the right job. But maybe not. Not if it didn't keep her challenged and engaged. The trick is not just any job. The trick is the right job, or the right challenge, and the support structure and validation that we all crave and deserve. What strikes me the most about this book is, how many daughters never even considered that gosh, maybe my mom needed help, but there just wasn't any yet. Maybe she was struggling due to very real, very scary reasons and deserved proper healthcare and just never got the professional help or tools she needed to overcome her particular disability/challenges? Why doesn't that occur to anyone?
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By icecreamcats on September 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the same book as Not Becoming My Mother except if has a chapter at the end..an update. Not really worth spending the money to read.
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14 of 22 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
First this IS!! a previously published book, unless you see the book cover in person , you cannot distinguish the small print at the bottom of the cover "Previously published as Not Becoming My Mother". There is a 7 page after word where Ruth Reichl explains about writing the book and some of her experiences on book tours with it. There are also questions for book groups.
She does state with truth that "everybody who opens these pages discovers a different book".

I personally would not recommend this as a Mother's Day gift, especially with the thoughts that every day she wakes up grateful not to be her mother or any of the women of her generation. She has never known so many unhappy people as those of her mother's generation. She does admit her mother was probably mentally ill...just one of millions of drugged Americans.

I wish working women would recognize that it is possible for there to be some happy stay at home mothers, this thought never seems to occur to Reichl. Personally I have known a few. There is a lot of anger and disappointment in the writing contained in the 107 pages; but there is also much room for thought.
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