Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People [review]

It’s not a secret that I absolutely adore the creative minds of the Sedaris family. While Amy has a different brand of humor than David, she’s funny (kitschy) nonetheless. While perusing Twitter and checking out the awesome publishers with a strong Twitter presence, I noticed that Grand Central Publishing had review copies available of Amy Sedaris’ newest book, Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People. My first thought? “I need, I need. I want, I want.”

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Inside Secrets of a Jewish Mother [partial book review]

I have a unique family. I have so many relatives within a one square-mile area that we had a float in our city’s Fourth of July parade called Dozens of Cousins. Some of my favorite memories involve weekly Friday night dinners at my Great Auntie Phyllis’ house, where she successfully piles 30+ people, week after week, stuffing them full of all things good and Jewish — from matzo ball soup to brisket. Surprisingly in-time for dinner, my Great Uncle comes home from the hospital — head-to-toe in surgical scrubs — to talk bones with some aching relation. He has an orthopedic practice with his three sons and one daughter-in-law. We sit, we eat, and we schmooze. This weekly gathering is nothing compared to Rosh Hashanah dinners, or Thanksgiving. Every dinner ends with my Great Aunt and her dear friend Mary-Joe hand-counting how many people came and how it differed from weeks and years in the past. This year’s holiday was different. Still lots of food and family, but my grandmother’s absence (she passed away last Thanksgiving) was a noticeable and uncomfortable void.

After my Bubby Cyrille’s death, Jewish holidays became difficult to celebrate, and I was dreading moving to New York to spend my first Rosh Hashanah away from home. I had an apartment, a job, and a reasonable amount of good friends from work. I even had family. My New York family is great, and incredibly hospitable, but no dynamic can possibly replace that of my Detroit roots.

On Rosh Hashanah, I was invited to dine with the delightful Wexler family. I had done some work with Lisa and her radio show in the past, and in a quick e-mail exchange, I had mentioned not having anywhere to go for the holiday. Like any good (and typical) Jewish mother, she insisted that I join her family. I hesitated responding at first, because while we had welcomed many a wandering friend into our home and my Auntie Phyllis’ over the years, I never thought I’d be in that position of need.

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The Fashion File [review]

As a social media coordinator for a book publicity firm, I’m usually in the soliciting position when it comes to book reviews. During Book Blogger Appreciation Week, I noticed a giveaway hosted by Grand Central Life & Style for a book based on one of my favorite shows, Mad Men. Given that I never win anything, especially when the winner is chosen randomly, I was shocked to see my name appear on the winner’s list for this particular title. Shocked, but certainly pleased. Click read more to see what I have to say about Fashion File!

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