What real grandmas read (and think, and feel)

I recently received a press release for a new book on being a grandma. The book is titled "Eye of My Heart: 27 Writers Reveal the Hidden Pleasures and Perils of Being a Grandmother."

Believe it or not -- and those of you who know me and my book obsession well won't believe it -- but I have very few books about being a grandma. In fact, I have only one: "Long-Distance Grandma" by Janet Teitsort, and it's a holdover from my editing days when packages of books for review came across my desk.

I think the main reason I don't have any is because books about grandmas always look like they've been written for, by and about grandmas the age of MY grandma, not grandmas who look and act like me.

But because I'm a grandma AND a writer, the press release for "Eye of My Heart" piqued my interest and I went to the publisher's website to learn more. An abridged (by me) version of the book description from Harper Collins says:

In Eye of My Heart, twenty-seven smart, gutsy writers explode myths and stereotypes and tell the whole crazy, complicated truth about being a grandmother in today's world. Among the contributors:

Anne Roiphe learns—the hard way—to keep her mouth shut and her opinions to herself.

Elizabeth Berg marvels at witnessing her child give birth to her child.

Beverly Donofrio makes amends for her shortcomings as a teenage mother.

Jill Nelson grapples with mother-daughter tensions triggered by the birth of her grandson.

Judith Guest confesses her failed attempt to emulate her own saintly grandmother.

Sallie Tisdale pays a high price—financially and emotionally—for her fast-growing brood of grandkids.

Susan Shreve finally accepts that she's the grandmother, not the mother.

Abigail Thomas plots her escape when she can't bear to bake one more cake.

Mary Pipher explores the primal role of grandmothers in a fast-changing world.

In this groundbreaking collection, you will encounter the real stories that usually go untold. Free of platitudes and clichés, the essays in Eye of My Heart are linked by a common thread: a love for grandchildren that knows no bounds, despite inescapable obstacles and limitations.

These are my kind of grandmas, my kind of essays. Keywords that made this a must-have book for me: "real stories that usually go untold," "free of platitudes and cliches." Seems that everything related to being a grandmother, whether it's books or coffee mug sayings or silly T-shirts are cliched and platitude-ridden -- and rather nauseating, in my opinion. I want REAL stories by REAL grandmas who aren't afraid to say what it's REALLY like when your child has children. It can't all be sweet and rosy and chicken soup for the soul. No relationships are, and being honest about that makes the bond between loved ones stronger than those built on mushy-gushy superficial sweetness.

So I headed to Amazon.com, purchased the book, then perused the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought" suggestions ... and it only confirmed my lament that few candid books on grandparenting exist. A sampling of the cliches and platitudes (title and author not revealed because I'm sure they're very nice women with good intentions):

"Words of advice to 'accidentally' leave on a daughter-in-law's kitchen table."

"Read and re-read -- then joyfully live out -- a devoted grandma rabbit's fun-filled, love-inspired book of promises."

"It will make you laugh, it will make you cry...it will make you want to run out and buy something nice for your grandchild!"

Gag me! And get me my copy of "Eye of My Heart" quick!