In addition to about 20 magazines (they are my motivation for the treadmill), I read three books over the March Break:

{Note: it didn’t really take me this long to write the post – I had to hold off on publishing it until closer to the release date for one of the books.}

Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun

Recommended on Twitter by Kathy Buckworth, I was hoping this one would have general tips about speaking, but it’s actually geared more towards those on a professional speaking/lecturing circuit. (It’s also a bit scholarly – there are footnotes, people!) I did pick up some good ideas though, and the anecdotes about the author’s own speaking experiences are entertaining.

Everybody Has Everything by Katrina Onstad

This Canadian choice was also a Twitter recommendation (Cityline’s Tracy Moore tweeted out one Saturday that she had spent the afternoon reading by the fire, so I asked what she was reading, and it was this). While the bare bones of this plot could go into chick-lit territory (infertile couple inherit friends’ child after car accident) Onstad would never let that happen, and there is nothing light and fluffy about this story. It is heavy stuff…I actually felt physical pain several times as I read it (the anguish related to marriage, parenting, work, friendships). But Onstad is an incredible writer and I would definitely recommend it.

Don’t Lick The Minivan and Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say To My Kids by Leanne Shirtliffe (release date: May 2013)


Another Canadian pick, this one’s nonfiction, and a humorous account of the author’s experiences, from being pregnant with twins while living in Bangkok, to dealing with delayed postpartum depression and the toddler years through kindergarten and beyond. This one (sent to me for review) is fairly light and fluffy and very funny (though we all know every parenting issue is tryingly real), and a good read as well (I’d suggest cracking it open every time you need a break from the book named above). The quote that resonated with me the most: “The best thing about being a teacher is having the summers off with your kids. The worst thing about being a teacher is having the summers off with your kids.”  After nine days of family togetherness on the March Break (with a much-appreciated sleepover at Grandma’s in the middle) we were all ready to get back to school!

Note: Leanne Shirtliffe is a fellow (and much better known) Canadian mom blogger, writing  at Ironic Mom. Check her out, and tell her I sent you! (She doesn’t know me, but she will then.)

Since the March Break, I’ve also enjoyed:

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

As a mom with paid employment outside of the home (was that politically correct enough?) this book is eye-opening and motivational in regards to the status of women as leaders in the work force. As many readers and critics have noted, not all women want to “Lean In”, and many are not only content but actually very fulfilled in a non-leadership role at work (just as many women are fulfilled at home full-time with their children) but I enjoyed the book and the glimpse into the life of the mom of two and COO of Facebook.

My most recent read was:

The Honest Life by Jessica Alba

I’m not embarrassed to say that I am a junkie for books by celebrities, but this one is less an autobiography than it is a how-to book for living a greener, healthier life. (Purchasing products from Jessica’s “The Honest Company” is of course strongly recommended, but she mentions many other brands too). I’m going to be blunt and say that I am too lazy and/or picky to follow a lot of the tips, but those who are passionate about this type of lifestyle (with your food, home, fashions, etc.), especially those with young kids, will love this reference guide. Lots of colour photos of Jessica, her family and home as well.

2 comments on “This Mom’s Recommended Reading”

  1. I laughed just reading the title "Don't lick the minivan…" – very much one I will be checking out 🙂

    Last year I tried to read 52 books in 52 weeks – and made it to, I think it was 61? I tried again this year (year being may 1 – may 1) and for some reason lost my reading oomph…

    I haven't read a book in over a month – and for me, that's unusual… Hopefully some good picks will get me back into the swing of things!

  2. I laughed outloud when I read "Don't Lick the Minivan!" It was a great Saturday afternoon read and so true in so many ways! When I was in university, two of my unnamed nieces and nephews proudly displayed their writing skills on the door of my brand new car.

    I have just started Everybody Has Everything and am looking forward to some quiet time to read (if that ever happens).
    Thanks for the recommendations!

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