Seems anthologies have been hot ever since the Chicken Soup for the Soul franchise took the publishing world by storm. Readers want snippets of stories that pack heartwarming or giggle-inducing tidbits into a small space, tales that take minimal time to read yet resonate to the max.
Enter two new anthologies sure to make you smile, wipe a tear or two, or blush in admission that you, too, were equally...well...stupid.
Let me start first with the first in the Not Your Mother's Book (NYAMB) series. It's called Not Your Mother's Book...On Being a Woman. Subtitled, "A Collection of Stories from People Like You," this "New Anthology for a New Century" was created by Dahlynn McKowen and Ken McKowen. The collection of stories from women from one end of the age spectrum to the other (plus one brave male!) offers an equally vast array of anecdotal tales on what it really means to be female. The real life stories of the real-life women are broken into eight chapters that anyone who's ever worn a bra, dealt with menstruation, or checked out their own butt in the mirror will certainly relate to:
- Keeping Up Appearances
- Worth Our Weight in Gold
- They're Called Boobs!
- Hear Me Roar
- Just Saying
- Stand Up!
- Never Again!
- Sense and Sensibility
From such chapter titles, it's not too difficult to get an idea of what the stories in each are about.
It's also not difficult at all to figure out the angle of the stories in Not Your Mother's Book...On Being a Stupid Kid (created by Dahlynn McKowen, Ken McKowen and Laurel McHargue). These are tales of derring do and double-dog dares contributed by adults willing to fess up about their youthful idiocy. Some of the stories make the reader marvel that the writer lived to see adulthood. Most of the stories will make you so glad they did...and that they shared their stories of youthful adventures.
Chapters in the Stupid book include:
- Double-Dog Dare
- Smart Kids—Stupid Stuff
- They'll Never Know
- ABCs and 123s
- Sibling Shenanigans
- Hodge Podge
- You Did WHAT?
- More Smart Kids—Stupid Stuff
Both books were a delightful—and quick—read, but the one story that most touched my heart was one in the "Stupid" collection, contributed by Ireta Black. Ms. Black, who turns 90 years old this month, shares the story of her desire to wear ankle socks—like all the cool girls did in 1933—against her mother's wishes. The story, titled Scandalous, reveals the scandal and shame that followed when 10-year-old Ireta goes against her mother's wishes and reveals just how far our society has come (or gone downhill) in relation to acceptable behavior. Though the book cover says there are "no sad, sappy or death and dying stories" in the collection, this one did indeed seem sad to me as I considered little Ireta Black feeling guilty about her harmless flouting of Mother's rules.
The Not Your Mother's Books ($16.95 softcover) are published by Publishing Syndicate LLC and available wherever books are sold. Several additional collections are in the works, including titles on teachers, on dogs, on parenting, on grandparenting, and more.
Disclosure: I received a copy of each book for review. All opinions are my own.