BARBARA’S BOOK

Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith" book cover with photo of author Barbara Falconer Newhall

"Any seeker of any faith will be blessed to read the words of this fine author and observer."

Click to learn more about "Wrestling with God"

“Listen to Your Mother” — Moms Across the Country Get the Mic for Mother’s Day

Nancy Davis Kho read from her story published in "Listen to Your Mother" (Putnam)  book reading at A Great Good Place for Books bookstore in Oakland, CA, April 24, 2015. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Nancy Davis Kho read “In Praise of Other Mothers” at  A Great Good Place for Books.  Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

It was a fun night at A Great Good Place for Books in the Montclair district of Oakland. Some very funny ladies gathered to celebrate the publication of Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now, an Erma Bombeck style collection of personal essays for, by, about, and at the expense of mothers and motherhood.

Oakland writer Risa Nye read from her story published in "Listen to Your Mother" (Putnam) at a book reading held at A Great Good Place for Books bookstore in Oakland, CA, April 24, 2015. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Oakland writer Risa Nye read her”A Letter to My Grown Up Daughter and Her Baby Who Will Not Sleep.” Photo by Barbara Newhall

You can buy the book and have some laughs, or you can get your mother, daughter, best friend — or maybe even that guy in your life — to celebrate Mother’s Day with you at the annual “Listen to Your Mother” show nearest you.

Originally inspired by blogging mothers, the “Listen to Your Mother” shows feature local writers reading from their sometimes humorous, often touching, stories of motherhood and mothers. Subjects have ranged from “Waiting for My Kids to Wish Me Happy Mother’s Day” to “Prepare to Be Judged, and Possibly Stabbed” to “The Children Ate My Gratitude.”

The project began as a single show produced by blogger and “stay-at-home humorist” Ann Imig at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison, Wisconsin. Since its beginnings in 2010, “Listen to Your Mother” has grown into a national live storytelling movement with thirty-nine local productions across the US.

Timed to coincide with the run-up to Mother’s Day, the shows are directed, produced, and performed by local people in communities from Bangor to Oklahoma City, to San Francisco.

The dozens of folks, mostly women, who showed up last night for the author readings at A Great Good Place for Books were treated to Nancy Davis Kho’s “in Praise of the Other Mother,” Michelle Cruz Gonzales’ “Does Your Mom Play Drums?” and Risa Nye’s “A Letter to My Grown-Up Daughter and Her Baby Who Will Not Sleep.”

“Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now,” Ann Imig, ed, Putnam, 2015, $25.95, hardcover.

A Great Good Place for Books, my favorite bookstore, will be hosting an author event for my own book, Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, 6120 La Salle Ave, Oakland, Calif. There will be wine, cheese and maybe even some funny stories.

Michelle Cruz Gonzales read her story published in "Listen to Your Mother" (Putnam) at a book reading held at A Great Good Place for Books bookstore in Oakland, CA, April 24, 2015. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Michelle Cruz Gonzales read her story, “Does Your Mom Play Drums?” which was published in Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We’re Saying Now. Photo by Barbara Newhall

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  1. Thanks for this, Barbara. Michelle Cruz Gonzales is a Mills alum! Her piece is wonderful! And my good friend, Sheri Hoffmann of Benicia, will be reading HER piece at the LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER event in SF on May 9th at the Brava Theater. Here’s the link for tickets: http://listentoyourmothershow.com/sanfrancisco/2015/03/17/auditions-are-over-we-have-a-cast-and-tickets-are-on-sale/

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