Now Read This! The Neverending Mother’s Day Story

As Mother’s Day approaches, I’ve been thinking about the most powerful gift my mother ever gave me: my love of reading. Not just any reading, mind you. When it became clear that 8-year-old finicky reader Bethanne Kelly was bored to death by age-appropriate bedtime tales, 35-year-old Julia Kelly quickly “thought outside the book”: She dug out her old college literature texts and started reading me the poetry, short stories and essays they contained. That sounds sweet, doesn’t it? Sure – until you hear some …

Now Read This!: Carol Burnett & Debbie Reynolds Look Homeward

When I heard that Carol Burnett and Debbie Reynolds have new memoirs out this month, I imagined writing about their mutual love of fashion designer Bob Mackie. Why’s that? Because if every sequin and bugle bead from the Mackie gowns they own were laid end to end, they’d stretch from Burnett’s hometown of San Antonio to Reynold’s of El Paso. Turns out there’s more grit than glitter in Burnett’s Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story. Part of the tale …

Now Read This: Life, Loss, and What We Read

In 1995 Ilene Beckerman wrote and illustrated a charming memoir called Love, Loss, and What I Wore. It captured her life according to outfits worn at key moments, from the Brownie Scout uniform Beckerman was sporting when she went off to camp at age 7 to the dress-up clothes her granddaughter favored decades later. In 2008 Nora and Delia Ephron turned this “time capsule of a woman’s life through clothes” into a successful play of the same name. I thought …

Now Read This: ‘Guy’s Guy’ Mike Greenberg Writes Chick Lit

Mike Greenberg is a “guy’s guy” – he co-hosts the ESPN show “Mike & Mike in the Morning”- so when he decided to write a novel from the perspective of three women, he knew he’d have to rope in some “gal’s gals.” To “get things right” in his recently released All You Could Ask For, Greenberg told me, he formed the world’s most homegrown focus group: his wife, his agent’s wife, and their female yoga instructor. But there’s one vignette …

Now Read This: Don Draper’s Very Hot Beach Book

In Season 3 of AMC’s Mad Men, Betty Draper’s father, Gene Hofstadt, moves in with the family. He and his granddaughter – the 9-year-old Sally Draper – soon bond over Edward Gibbons’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. “You just watch,” Gene reassures Sally when the first chapter they read together proves slow at first. “All hell’s gonna break loose.” Foreshadowing, anyone? By Episode 4 of that season, Gene had made a pass at his daughter (!) and …

Now Read This! 50 Shades of Satire

The spoofs of E. L. James have been coming hard and fast: 50 Shades of Gay…50 Shades of Black and Blue…even 50 Shames of Earl Grey. But last week I received a knockoff with a difference: Tucked inside my review copy of The Secret Life of a Submissive by Sarah K was a silken cord of the variety not intended for home repairs. Yup, publisher HarperCollins had sent this suburban blogger a sex toy. This isn’t the first time a …