by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian
As we approach Mother’s Day, I thought I’d highlight some of our newer books that have to do with mothers and motherhood, as well as tell you about a new display in our library that has been set up by a mother and daughter.
We have a beautiful new display cabinet at the library that has been given in memory of Rosann Lorenz. It’s a lovely item in itself, and because it’s a locked glass cabinet we can again feature collections and displays in a secure fashion like we did in the original library. We are so grateful for this gift.
Our first display has been loaned by Esther Hegg. She has amazing collections of antique buttons that she has shown competitively. She and her daughter set up the museum-like display in our new cabinet. I hope you’ll stop in to take a look at it during the month of May.
Now, onto books for mothers and books about motherhood: An American journalist moved to Paris and wrote the book Bringing up bebe: One American mother discovers the wisdom of French parenting. Pamela Druckerman didn’t expect to admire French parenting like she did the food or the fashion, but she found interesting differences between the way we raise our children and the way they do. She says that babies in France tend to sleep through the night earlier, the children eat a wider variety of foods, and the parents exert a relaxed authority over their children, and that we could learn a trick or two from them.
Anne Lamott is known for her humor and raw honesty in her memoirs and novels, including Operating instructions, about being a single mother during her son’s first year, and Bird by bird: Some instructions on writing and life, one of my favorite books. Her latest nonfiction work is Some assembly required: A journal of my son’s first son. Lamott’s son unexpectedly became a father at 19, and the book covers their changing roles and relationships during the first year of her grandson’s life. Lamott’s son Sam co-wrote this book.
Message from an unknown Chinese mother: Stories of loss and love, by Xinran, ties in a bit with the recent news story of Chen Guangcheng, the Chinese dissident who has worked on issues of abuses of family planning policy. The nonfiction book by Xinran tells stories of women in China who have lost their newborn daughters through adoption, abandonment, and murder. The mothers’ stories are heartbreaking, but parents who have adopted babies from China say that it’s worthwhile to read it and understand the circumstances that may have brought their daughters to them.
Lisa Hendey, the creator of CatholicMom.com, has written The handbook for Catholic moms: Nurturing your heart, mind, body, and soul. It’s a short book with practical ideas for helping mothers enhance all the areas of their lives, given with a Catholic perspective.
Another mothering book with a Christian perspective is Raising a daughter after God’s own heart, by Elizabeth George. George draws on her child-rearing experiences to give advice to mothers who want to teach life lessons to their girls and help them develop their spiritual lives.
Whether you are a mother or you have one to honor or remember, I wish you a happy Mother’s Day.