Why in the world would I chose “We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters” by Cokie Roberts? That’s a great question. I’ll give you the story…because you know there is a story.
I bought this book the day that I found out there was a used bookstore in the mall. FYI: I just spent ten minutes looking back in my posts but found that I have not shared this glory with you. I could have sworn that I, at least, posted about it on my Instagram, but alas… Sad. I do know it was the same day that I entertained millions at Costco, and I did write to you about that, but I’ll tell you now that there is a used bookstore in the Moreno Valley Mall called The Dollar Book Fair and it has…ready for it… $1 and $2 books!
I do realize that you might think that if you don’t live here, it means nothing to you, but it does. If these bookstores can exist here, they can exist anywhere. We must spread the word and create more! Go my book loving business friends!
You know I went running inside this place when I saw it. And then there I was browsing the used books, looking forward to buying a few books and getting something tasty at the food court, probably a corn dog much to the dismay of my friend who thinks they are gross. In other words, I was in heaven. I went straight to the memoir section, and then history, and finally classic fiction.
Now here’s the thing about used bookstores: They are great for adding books to my TBR shelf, guilt free. I may read them, I may not. They may be the greatest books ever and they may be terrible. This is where I take chances on what I buy. This is where I think to myself, “Well…I’ve never heard of this person, but it sounds interesting.” Or “This looks like it will present me with completely different point of view and I might want to smack the author or its intended audience, but what they hell! It’s a dollar!”
The memoir section in a used bookstore is my favorite place to browse. Who knows who you will find there?! There are memoirs and autobiographies of people I would never think would have written one, people I don’t even know exist, and famous people I can’t stand. And then there are all those people that aren’t famous at all but have some story to tell that you and I might relate to or learn from.
Reading memoir is like living several lives at once.
Cokie Roberts’ book was tucked away on the memoir shelves, but it says its genre is “women’s studies.” It does have stories of her own life, but it’s more of series of stories about other women, their lives and choices. I picked it up because it seems to be written by a woman completely opposite of myself in a number of ways. Note: I did not know who she was other than the description on the back of the book. She’s a political commentator, news analyst, her mother was in congress, her sister a mayor, and an east coaster. That is a life I cannot imagine living.
Another reason I was drawn to the book is that I love books about women’s relationships with other women; mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. It’s something I struggle with, and I read in the hopes of understanding. Sitting here trying to put into words the way I feel is causing a bit of stress, so I’ll make a note to explore that idea in future post. For now, I’ll say I’m usually far more comfortable around men than most women and I’m not sure why.
I started “We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters” this morning and I’m 36 pages in. Yes, I read the introduction. In memoir and autobiography, I think it’s an imperative. I’ve already teared up twice reading her stories about her mother and her sister. I have lots of little “!!” and “??” in the margins at places where I just don’t understand the point of view. I’m hoping this doesn’t end up as a rant on how women are so much better than men and how we all need to be independent of them as much as possible. I’m more of an equal partnership kind of feminist.
So, I’m jumping into “We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters.” In the past, I’ve tried to write something longer each day, based on a quote from my morning read, but I’ll be doing things a little different this time in the interest of lessening the load over the holidays. I’ll be sharing quotes for each hour I read on Instagram (so be sure to follow me there) and as a “story” here. I’m not sure what that means, to be honest. I’m using the “story” button on the WordPress app on my phone, and it seems that all it does is make another blog post, but it looks like people enjoy them, so I’ll keep doing it.
One more thing before I go. I’m glad to be back here and writing again. For a few weeks, I really started to think maybe I should quit. That’s another long story I could post in the future. But something inside me won’t let me stop. What’s the point of reading all this stuff and keeping it all to myself? Seems like stingy Grinch thing to do.
Read more at
We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters #1
We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters #2
We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters #3
We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters #4
We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters #5
We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters: Final Thoughts