In the Mail

–> Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do by Wednesday Martin

Library Journal

Martin has written an eye-opening book about the world of stepfamilies, with a focus on the stepmother. Her well-researched work delves into the animal world, fairy tales, psychology, and sociobiology as she examines from every angle the myth that a well-blended, happy stepfamily is easy to achieve. Sometimes offering differing points of view, she describes examples from animal and bird families, demonstrating the great diversity throughout the animal kingdom and the behavior of many creatures in nonnuclear families. Many animals are not leading the life portrayed in The Brady Bunch any more than the people with whom Martin talked. While the author admits that there are some families who manage to work well, she was reassured in her own role as stepmother that the frustrations she has experienced are not at all uncommon. Stepmothers, no matter how hard they try, are battling odds that appear to be stacked against them. Martin’s questions about the normality of her experience will help validate those who find themselves in a similar situation.

–> The Michael Jackson Tapes by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

From the Publisher

In 2000–2001, Michael Jackson sat down with his close friend and spiritual guide, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, to record what turned out to be the most intimate and revealing conversations of his life. It was Michael’s wish to bare his soul and unburden himself to a public that he knew was deeply suspicious of him. The resulting thirty hours are the basis of The Michael Jackson Tapes. There has never been, and never will be, anything like them.

In these searingly honest conversations, Michael exposes his emotional pain and profound loneliness, his longing to be loved, and the emptiness of his fame. You discover why he was suspicious of women and how only children provided the innocence for which he so desperately longed.

In his own words, he takes us into the jarring moments of his childhood and speaks of the measures he took to try and heal. He divulges how he came to be alienated from his strong religious anchor and describes his views on the nature of faith. Michael brings us into his tortured yet loving relationship with his siblings. He opens up about his father and his yearning for a time when they might finally reconcile. He talks about his most personal friendships and shares with us his terror of growing old.

Despite his unprecedented fame and recent death, there remain unanswered questions about his life. The answers, presented here in The Michael Jackson Tapes, will both intrigue and move you. You will be surprised, riveted, and troubled as you peer into the soul of a tragic icon whose life is an American morality tale and whose flame was extinguished much too early.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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