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Secrets of a Jewish Mother: Real Advice, Real Family, Real Love Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
The latest of TV's Real Housewives of New York City to enter the publishing arena, Zarin wisely recruits her sister, radio host Wexler, and their mother, online columnist Kamen, to produce an opinionated guide to life from the point of view of three Jewish moms-the kind whose "stereotypical traits" ("domineering, interfering, tactless and loud") have resulted in strong families and successful careers. Insisting that "if a lesson is worth teaching once, it is worth teaching at least two thousand times," the trio use a conversational, collaborative approach to make each themed chapter (including dating, health and beauty, education, career, and, of course, parenting) stick, trading off charismatic group narration with first-person interjections and personal stories that expand upon traditional, time-tested advice: "We come from a long line of long marriages. ...We were taught it is normal to go through bad times in a marriage, even bad year." They also provide "ask yourself" questions to motivate further exploration, and a short chapter on "Superstitions and the Clichés that Matter." Honest, self-aware, and frequently funny, these women deliver a triple-strength dose of universal advice.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A great book this Mother's Day"
-MSNBC's Morning Joe
"Filled with candid, humorous and loving advice and personal glimpses into their lives, this trio offers up some tips we should all heed and live by...This is a thoroughly enjoyable read and should be passed around to mothers, daughters, sister, nieces, aunts, girlfriends and all ladies who might enjoy reading and discovering that in the end we are all basically the same - with the same hopes and desires - and remember an old adage redefined here: 'Hell hath no fury like a [Jewish] mother scorned!' Bravo! to Kamen, Wexler and Zarin (and I don't mean the TV channel)."
"Reading Secrets of a Jewish Mother is like a sitting around the kitchen table with a pot of coffee and a chocolate bobka, listening to advice from old friends."
-Barbara Bietz, author of Like a Maccabee.
"[Jill Zarin's] sharing little pearls of wisdom, along with her mom, Gloria Kamen, and sis, Lisa Wexler, in the book Secrets of a Jewish Mother: Real Advice, Real Stories, Real Love. (Just in time for Mother's Day!) Their prescription for successful parenting (friendships, dating, etc.) has a universal quality to it, so it's not only for Jewish moms."
"I felt this book was incredibly smart. It shows the ups and downs of these three women's lives. Like the book title says "Real Advice, Real Stories, Real Love." Nothing is sugarcoated and artificial. I really like how each chapter of the book has stories from each person's life. How Jill dealt with divorce, Gloria's struggle with her friendships at certain points in her life, and Lisa's view on money...In conclusion, I really feel this book is a wonderful read. It makes you think differently about life in certain ways that you normally don't."
-Sammi's Blog of Life
"...an astonishing cornucopia of heartfelt insights from three savvy, headstrong women who share tried- and-true strategies for dealing with universal issues relating to friendship, dating, marriage, parenting, and family, and you don't have to be Jewish to appreciate it."
-Elise Pearlman, Huntington Patch
"All-in-All, I love everything that the three mothers had written. I did learn quite a bit of things from each and every one of them. I liked the fact they each gave their own advice and stories in each chapter. From friendship, dating, beauty, marriage, parenting, money and more, this is a great book and a keeper! Another part I liked was in the chapters there was a section called 'Ask Yourself', because I do find myself answering the questions... So I would like to say Mazel Tov to Jill, Lisa and Gloria. Toda. Thank you for letting me read this wonderfully written book."
"It's not just a Jewish mother that has these secrets, it's a lovely book."
-Kathy Lee Gifford, Today
"It's a good book, check it out."
-Steve Doocy, Fox & Friends
"From friendships to love, marriage and children, the book covers many aspects of life with laugh-out-loud stories and pointed advice the [authors] have learned as Jewish mothers and Jewish daughters."
"Practical advice. A mother's wisdom: Know how to laugh at yourself apologize when you're wrong and always carry pepper spray!"
"Aside from advice on raising kids and stories from Kamen and her daughters, Secrets of a Jewish Mother deals with marriage, friendship, dating, money, and more, and includes practical quizzes and self- assessment action steps."
"You don't have to be Jewish to read this book, but after reading this book everyone will want to be Jewish. The best practical advice a girl could need from three extraordinary Jewish mothers....Jill's, Lisa's, and Gloria's advice will save you a lifetime of aggravation."
-Patti Stanger, Bravo's Millionaire Matchmaker
"Gloria epitomizes the Jewish Mother! She has a heart of gold and earrings to match!"
"You don't have to be Jewish to need a good Jewish mother. Gloria has sooooooo much good advice....Chicken soup has got nothing on this lady."
Top customer reviews
I watched Jill and her plasticine Mom on TV talk the book up--but, then to read this trite nonsense--They objectify and diminish everyone. While using the term "sincerity" they offer cold and calculating advice. They do not give Jewish Women a good name. I liked Jill Zarin as a character to watch, love her new hairdo and color. However, this book is such a woeful piece of trash that pretends to be wisdom, I am truly offended by it and Jill and her Mom. Actually the whole show has turned into a shameless Infomerical for their various products and services so I've lost interest in it.
PS; Full disclosure, I also bougth the Countesses first book and Bethany's too. Bethany's book, although I like her the the least, actually had sold good advice on how to eat well, live a fast paced life and stay slim. The Countess's book was just sort of silly. But Jill and her Mother and Sister have written a book that if they have any decency they will rethink and disown, instead of trying to sell it to us poor women who are looking for honest, loving clues on how to live a good and decent life, but to these women that seems to mean lots of money, at all costs. Very Dissappointed.
I found it hard to put down - and not in a good way. I was driven by morbid curiosity, like rubbernecking at a car accident.
Now I don't know who Jill Zarin is and have never watched "Real Housewives of New York" but as I skimmed through the book I found the nuggets of wisdom to be either pretty much common sense or, more often, "Tips on how to perpetuate any number of negative stereotypes about Jewish people and New Yorkers."
Want to "get" a man? - then you need fake lashes, big hair and red dress out. Don't settle for less than you deserve - unless he makes good money. It's better if he loves you more than you love him (where's did I put my Love-O-Meter?) Great tips if your goal is a loveless marriage on Long Island Sound!
The rest of the tips were pretty strange and flaky - I suppose if you're living off your parent's dime and dating a dentist then you don't care about taking your dinner home from a restaurant.
In between the "car crashes" was a lot of gossipy, syrupy stuff about growing up - I found these stories to be incredibly boring but I guess some people watch Nascar for the car wrecks too.
The more I read it the more I couldn't believe this was a serious self-help book. Was this written by monkeys? Published by The Onion? I peeked behind the potted plant to see if there was a hidden camera.
Perhaps the title should be "Secrets of a Jewish Mother: how to make sure you and your daughters are attractive and financially secure but still as miserable and petty as you are."
I'm waiting for the "Real Housewives of West Virginia" version to come out. That should be good for some laughs too.