As a blogger, I’m constantly meeting really talented, ambitious writers. People who make me think in new ways, and inspire me to follow my dreams. So when I saw that my friend (from high school and now the blogosphere), Lizz of AmIAFunnyGirl.com, was highlighting all of her author friends, I thought it was brilliant. Because while I haven’t read all of these, I would absolutely love to. And I think you might too. So, meet my friends and their books that you—or someone you love—will definitely want to open this holiday season. (Note: Many of these include affiliate links that allow me to make a few cents if you purchase through my links, so thanks for the cup of coffee in advance!)
The Parents’ Phrase Book
Whit, a whip-smart guy I met on my trip to Club Penguin headquarters, gets top billing because he replied to my note about this post while in the hospital recovering from surgery. (That’s dedication to your craft.) Also, a conversation with him inspired me to shift my thinking about the book I’m going to write…some day.
Fun fact: The Parents’ Phrase Book is a story-filled guide to empathy and self-improvement discovered by author Whit Honea via trial, error, and a few moments of golden bliss. No childhoods were damaged in the writing of the book.
The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing
You may have already heard of my favorite book of the year because it’s getting mentions on book lists in all kinds of esteemed publications. It happened to be written by the first editor I worked with as a blogger. Not only did she crown me a Shine Parenting Guru, she wrote a novel that’s so raw and honest (touching on a difficult subject that I know far too much about), that I couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks.
Fun facts: I had been working on this book for 10 years from 11pm – 1am when I was laid off out of the blue. I finished the last quarter in a month, sure I was losing my mind. It will be out in 13 countries by the end of next year.
On My Way to Bed
Pink’s favorite book of the year was written by a women I was bound to be friends with since our paths kept crossing at not one, but two BlogHer conferences. Her humor is so insightful, and her children’s books are really magical—for kids and adults alike.
(Also wrote two others in the series On My Way to the Bath and On My Way to School, as well as a humor book, Got Milf? The Modern Mom’s Guide to Feeling Fabulous, Looking Great and Rocking a Minivan)
Fun facts: My son, Ben, Livi’s twin brother, was gracious enough to allow me to portray him as a baby in the On My Way books. And the mountain goat in the On My Way to Bed book is named Marge…after my mom.
The Night Before Baseball at the Park by the Bay
Big was thrilled to discover that his buddy, the star of this children’s book, was on his baseball team last year for the second year in a row, and our whole family ended up feeling the same way. We’ve enjoyed all kinds of fun with this author and his lovely family, and when he told us about his book, I knew it would be a hit in our house. The boys love it and it’s Little’s favorite—he even had me read it to his class in honor of his birthday a couple weeks ago.
Fun Fact: This is David’s debut work as an author. He was inspired to write it by his young son’s love of all things baseball. He self-published the book and donates all proceeds to the SF Giants and their charities. The Giants initially ordered 2000 books for their stores and expected that supply to last a year, but the book sold out in 10 days after its launch. The Giants are on their 3rd reprinting now after 18 months, and have ordered about 20,000 books!
Beth Blecherman of TechMamas.com
My Parent Plan: How to Create a Family Project Plan to Organize Your Life and Kids
Not only does Forbes think this woman is spectacular (they placed her blog on their 2013 list of Top Websites for Women), I do too. While I’ve always admired her as a blogger, I’ve enjoyed getting the chance to know her as a mom since it turns out our kids overlapped at the same elementary school (until this year), and we’ve had the chance to attend some blogger events together as well.
Fun fact: I needed help creating a new plan for a growth-related injury that has my super athletic son in a wheelchair for an extended period of time. When I start getting emotionally overwhelmed with worry about my son’s recovery, I just repeat one sentence in my book: “The act of creating a new plan can also help you to refocus during a time of emotional stress.” I’m keeping focused and sticking to the “new plan”.
101 Disneyland Tips: An insider guide to full of time-saving advice and lesser-known, can’t-miss experiences.
Since this was the year of Disneyland for our family, it sure was nice to get to know Cam, a fellow Bay Area blogger in time for our trip in April. Her blog and book are full of great tips that have helped make our stays more fun.
Genre: Specialty Travel
Fun fact: This book has brought out the Disney fans amongst our close friends. It’s fun to see how many adults love Disneyland as much as we do and keep sharing the book with so many people. I love getting messages from friends of friends who just used my book for their latest trip.
TinkerLab: A Hands-on Guide for Little Inventors
This friend of mine has a knack, not only for building little artists’ minds, but for building community. As a fellow Bruin and peninsula dweller, she kindly introduced herself to me and invited me to join a blogger group about a year ago. I’ve learned all kinds of things from her this past year, ranging from how to organize an art table to how to do better Facebook page posts.
Genre: Parenting/Crafting with Kids
Fun facts: TinkerLab, the book, launched 6 months ago, and is already in its third printing. It’s also being translated into Mandarin! When she’s not writing or blogging, Rachelle can be found crafting up a storm in her art studio or splashing around in tide pools with her kids.
Heather Gibbs Flett and Whitney Moss
Stuff Every Mom Should Know
The talented ladies behind this book have been a part of my life since Big was born. Their blog was my first parenting love (besides the baby, of course), and I’ve been so lucky to get to know them and spend time with them the past few years. They have a wealth of knowledge and are moms everybody I know would want to hang out with.
(Also wrote The Rookie Mom’s Handbook, 250 Activities to Do with (and Without!) Your Baby)
Fun fact: This book started as a series of Post-It notes on Whitney’s wall. Each age group from baby to teen was represented by a different color of paper.
Totally Desperate Mom: Keeping’ it Real in the Motherhood
This friend has dance moves that lit up our high school stage and the UCLA football field, as well as a sense of humor (like sending a picture of her dog with the book…) that will have you laughing until you cry. Her honesty and ability to highlight—and even celebrate—imperfection are totally endearing. Not to mention totally relatable.
SPECIAL DEAL: If you purchase through this link and mention “Amy made me do it” in the comments/note section she will throw in a free book. So 2 books for $12 and free shipping!
Genre: Christian Parenting/Humor
Fun fact: I did not plan on writing a book or becoming a public speaker. I was speaking at a MOPS group at my church and used the term “Totally Desperate Mom” and a woman was there who had written several books and speaks all over the country came up to me afterwards and said, “You need to write a book about all this stuff. And call it Totally Desperate Mom.” So I did.
Best Hikes with Kids: San Francisco Bay Area
As one of the lovely ladies who joined me at the top of the Circle of Moms list way back when, I’ve had the chance to get to know and admire Laure through the years. She recently moved to London where she’s enjoying new, fascinating adventures.
Genre: Guidebook, Health/Recreation, Travel
Fun fact: It took me more than a year to walk all the hikes in the book, most more than once to see the trails in different seasons, and I hiked 20% more hikes than the final selection to pick the best. My girls were so happy when it was all over, as I stopped taking frantic notes and photos as I hiked to start enjoying the moment with them!
Good Cop, Bad Daughter: Memoirs of an Unlikely Police Officer
Remember the post I wrote that didn’t win the writing contest? Well, this friend—who I met thanks to the contest—did. She wrote a beautiful piece about deciding to adopt her daughter. While I haven’t had a chance to read this book yet, I am definitely looking forward to it—especially given current events.
Fun fact: I was looking out the window of Vesuvio’s Cafe, drinking an Irish coffee, when I saw myself driving a police car up Columbus Avenue. Though I later met the woman cop who was driving the car, and resembled me, at that moment I believed the universe was showing me my destiny. Nothing like good Irish whiskey!
While I haven’t seen this friend since high school, I’ve loved connecting on Facebook. She’s a writing machine, and while I’m waaaay too much of a wimp to read anything in the horror genre, I’m in awe of her dedication to writing.
Genre – Dystopian, science-fiction, horror, mystery (a mutt of a novel)
(Also wrote two more books in the series: Z-Topia and Z-End)
Fun fact: Even though my books fall into the horror category, they all have elements of environmental or social commentary. Plus, I’d much rather write humor. I love to make people laugh, especially at my own expense.
Aloha Also Means Goodbye
I enjoyed this book beachside about a year ago and thought the characters and story were wonderful. Bonus that the author is a friend that I met back when I was running the Yahoo! Mother Board and who I always love to connect with as a fellow Bay Area blogger and mom.
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Fun fact: It’s a super fun beach read… perfect for feeling like you’re on the sand, even when you’re actually standing knee deep in snow!
Susan (Suz) Sachs Lipman
Fed Up with Frenzy
It turns out I have more than Bruin pride in common with this smart lady. We got the chance to talk tech and family life at a small roundtable awhile back and I really related to all she had to say. Now to read her book…
Genre: Parenting and Family Activities
Fun fact: I once went to a dance club in a dress that I had completely covered with layers of play money. This was pre- “slow family” but definitely aligned with its spirit.
Drops of Awesome
One of the greatest things about my trip to Cola-Cola Headquarters a couple years ago was making some outrageously smart, but humble friends. This one always writes from the heart, and when she first shared her post that led to this book, I knew it was going to take off. This is a must-buy for everyone you know if you ask me. (Or just me…I happily accept gifts.)
Genre: Non-fiction/Guided Journal/Self-Help
Fun fact: This book is an expanded form of a viral blog post I wrote. I’ve been trying for years to have my fiction published, only to have a publisher contact me about writing this non-fiction book.
Wendy Thorpe Copley
Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches to Go
While I can barely get a non-organic granola bar in my kids’ backpacks in the morning, this outrageously funny and creative mom is turning her son’s sandwich into a robot with a Santa hat. Not only do I admire her creative brain, I appreciate how honestly horrified she was by the fact that Rev Run’s people kicked us out of our photo opp at BlogHer14 so he could snap a ’gram.
Fun fact: I assumed that the people who would use my book the most would be parents looking for packed lunch ideas, but I’ve been surprised to learn that many children have taken over their parent’s copies and use them to pack their own lunches.
Reverie (Hollow Hearts Book One)
This woman’s quiet confidence struck me at the Yahoo! Mother Board Summit, and her southern generosity and grace has made a huge impact on me the past few years. Since I last saw her, she not only launched her brainchild, Project: Underblog—with the sole purpose of connecting and supporting small bloggers—she made her dream come true by publishing a beautiful, un-put-down-able novel (ok, two).
Genre: Historical/Inspirational Romance
(Also wrote another book in the series, Reliance (Hollow Hearts Book Two), and is currently writing book three.)
Fun Fact: Christina went back to school and earned her PhD on a dare.
Happy shopping and reading! I can’t wait to hear what you think about these books…
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I love this post! What awesome photos. I haven’t read Mira Jacobs’ book yet but it’s definitely on my list and I am super intrigued by the book for (and about) little makers … I have one! xox
Amy, Using Our Words says
Thanks, Lindsey. Aren’t the pictures fun! I so appreciated that everyone played along. Happy reading!
Jessica @ Absurd, She Wrote says
These are fantastic suggestions. I’m always looking for new reading material, and what inspiring examples of women writing about motherhood!
Amy, Using Our Words says
I couldn’t agree more. Thanks, Jessica!