Here at temporary Yenta HQ there is always much discussion about how life could get much more complicated and annoying by attempting to write a book. Sh*t, when you’re a blogger and a full-time mother, what’s a little more unpaid work?
There’s certainly a market for Jewish mother writers out there. Meredith L. Jacobs of ModernJewishMom has promised me a review copy of her soon-to-be published Modern Jewish Mom’s Guide to Shabbat and I have no doubt that it will be as terrific as her site, which is earnest without being preachy and humorous without having to resort to the dirty or corny.
The book promises to pull errant Jewish mothers back into the Shabbos fold with table-setting suggestions, recipes and Talmudic wisdom, and I look forward to MJM’s conservadox perspective. Being a somewhat retarded Jew (I light candles religiously, but have been known to ecstatically shoe shop on an occasional Saturday) who has a great weakness for the dirty and especially (!) the corny, I have much admiration for Jewish mothers who knows a good Old Country joke in Yiddish and don’t have to Google a decent kugel recipe.
That’s not saying every how-to book by a Jewish woman is worth the trees that died for it: SomethingJewishUK‘s Leslie Bunder has written a scathing review of “The Jewish Princess Cookbook,” a self-proclaimed combination of “cooking, culture and comedy.” I’d never review a book I haven’t read, but our old buddy Bunder writes that this one “fails terribly on its humour” and “just is very cringing reading.” The book’s accompanying site is as glossy and pink and a trustfunder’s bedroom and painfully uses the ol’ “What does a Jewish princess make for dinner? Reservations!” joke like it’s an original creation. As a writer who has hard drive of idiotic ideas for book proposals (“Pedicures for Dummies,” “101 Casseroles Made With Mustard and Cheese,” “The Stoner’s Guide to Natural Childbirth”) I find it peturbing that people actually receive publishing deals based on overplayed, stereotype-driven claptrap.
So maybe once I finish folding this pile of laundry, figure out what’s for dinner and post a couple more dirty/corny/Jewish things, I’ll dust off a book proposal outline. Although “The Jewish Mother’s Guide to Dealing With Southern Baptist Gynecologists” and “Your Mother-In-Law, Dementia And You” don’t exactly smell like bestsellers, one never knows.