two new books I love: one for parents, one for kids (and a giveaway)

I’ve found a new kindred spirit in the parenting world.

And he’s a dad.

Dan Zevin’s Dan Gets a Minivan hit bookstores this week, and its publishers would like me to tell you it’s the perfect Fathers Day gift. It is. But read it yourself first, because really, this book is for YOU, lover of funny and thought-provoking writing.

Here are a few things Dan Zevin and I have in common:

  • we both love our minivans. No really. If you really think you’re too cool to drive a car with satellite TV, six zones of air conditioning, and trunk space big enough for an armchair, then Dan Zevin and I laugh at you.
  • we have both put in our time at the Criminal Court Building in New York City, “located in a neighborhood of Manhattan that has never known the light of the sun.”
  • we both stink at tennis.
  • we have both enjoyed raising our kids in New York City. And have both the-opposite-of-enjoyed that. Zevin’s since moved his family to the suburbs, and is very happy about that. Food for thought.
Oh sure, there’s a few small differences. Woody Allen was the oft-quoted sage in his house growing up. In my house, it was Erma Bombeck. But I get the feeling that if Zevin and I were pushing adjacent swings at the playground, we’d be fast friends– and that is probably the reason I enjoyed his book so very much.

What’s that you say? Is there another book that I am not the specific target audience for and yet laughed my tuchis off while reading?

Why, yes!

My No, No, No Day by Rebecca Patterson tells the tale of young Bella’s very bad day. Ballet is too itchy! Toothpaste is too minty! It’s like Alexander’s horrible day of yore, only funnier, mostly due to Patterson’s priceless illustrations of what being four and very angry looks like. All three of my kids adored this book, and when my daughter brought it to preschool, the two teachers stopped what they were doing immediately to laugh at a story they know all too well. This book is one you’ll love as much as your child.

And now the giveaway! I have a free copy of Dan Gets a Minivan for one lucky reader. All you have to do to enter is comment below with the name of the last book you read that you really loved. Winner will be chosen on Tuesday, May 29, 2012. Happy reading!

I received complimentary copies of Dan Gets a Minivan and My No, No, No Day from the publishers for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own. 

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara L Steward May 24, 2012 at 2:21 pm

When did I get like This? was probably the last book I read that I actually enjoyed.


mrsoz May 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I’m on book 5 of the Harry Potter series.  (I read the first three books YEARS ago before any more had been finished.)  So now I’m re-reading the series.  I can’t pick just one – I’ve enjoyed all of them so far.  But technically I can say the last book I finished that I loved was #4 – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  🙂


AnnaB May 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm

The Pioneer Woman – Balck Heels to Tractor Wheels.


Heather Smith May 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm

The best book of those I most recently read was Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund. I loved it!! “From the opening line–“Captain Ahab was neither my first husband nor my
last”–you will know that you are in the hands of a masterful
storyteller and in the company of a fascinating woman hero. Inspired by a
brief passage in Melville’s Moby-Dick, where Captain Ahab speaks
passionately of his young wife on Nantucket, Una Spenser’s moving tale
“is very much Naslund’s own and can be enjoyed independently of its
source.” (Newsday)”


Tammy May 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Mainly children’s books these days – and the last one I thought was so clever is Scrambled States of America Talent Show. My son asked “what’s that?” and I got to say, “That’s Delaware on a pogo stick.”


Amanda Peterson May 24, 2012 at 6:51 pm

The Hunger Games trilogy. My house went to shambles and my kids lived on PB&J for a week and a half.


Monica May 24, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Ok, I’m not going to be ashamed!  I just finished Book 2 of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.


Jessica Strong May 24, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Not to suck up or anything, but I loved your book, so I bet I’d like Dan’s too. The last book(s) I read was the Hunger Games series.


Colleen May 25, 2012 at 12:00 am

I would love this book. I just read his essay in Real Simple and was thinking that I’d enjoy his new book. I read Hector and the Pursuit of Happiness.


Taryn @ Moreskeesplease May 25, 2012 at 12:29 am

Just finished up Bloom by Kelle Hampton and I loved it. Trying to talk my husband into getting a minivan now that baby #3 is coming in August. Perhaps this will convince him!


Vee May 25, 2012 at 12:40 am

Just finished a book of short stories by different authors called “Dirt” …about housecleaning. Exciting stuff. 😉


Leigh Ann May 25, 2012 at 4:01 am

The last book I REALLY loved was the Hunger Games, book one. The other 2 were great too, but nothing compared to the first one.


Heather Harrison May 25, 2012 at 5:08 am

I am in the middle of reading “Lucky.”


Jaime H. May 25, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Both of those books sound great!

The last book I read that I loved was The Man with the Baltic Stare by
James Church.  It’s his latest Inspector O mystery (and I’m not a big
fan of mysteries).


BabyKMama May 25, 2012 at 4:09 pm

The last book I finished a week or two ago was yours, actually!  Now I’m a few chapters in to “Some Girls: My Life in a Harem” by Jillian Lauren… it’s great so far!


Heidi M May 25, 2012 at 7:20 pm

I’m on book 2 of the Tales of Fire and Ice.  I really enjoyed the Game of Thrones. 


Kate May 26, 2012 at 12:53 am

I’m in the middle of cooking my way through “The Pioneer Woman Cooks” (simple & amazing recipes!)  and recently finished “Handle With Care” by Jodi Picoult.  I highly recommend them both!


ErinO May 27, 2012 at 3:48 am

The last book I read was the Hunger Games Book 2 (on to book 3!), but the last book I read that I loved was Laura Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken.” 


Ashley Storey May 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm

The last book I read that I really loved…. was probably The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or The Cases That Haunt us by John Douglas. 🙂


Bilie Jean May 27, 2012 at 9:03 pm

The last book I read that I really enjoyed was called Sick Girl, by Amy Silverstein, I suppose it does not sound very exciting, however it is a in depth look of a young woman who needed a heart transplant and the truth of her story. The good and the bad. Why did I read this and why was it so helpful. My daughter of 19 received a heart transplant in Feb, 2012. As we traveled the road of the wait list. I wanted to prepare myself for what my child may experience before during and post transplant. Sick Girl is a true story and Amy Silverstein does such a wonderful job in writing the facts… not just candy coating the joys of transplant…. Yet in the end… Amy does go on to live a full and happy life, with children….. I rate this book thumbs up… Although my favorite book of all time… Breaker boys, written by Jan Kubicki.


Heather S May 27, 2012 at 9:39 pm

The last book I read was “The Scent of Rain and Lightning” by Nancy Pickard and it was AMAZING!


Elizabeth May 28, 2012 at 5:37 am

I used to love my minivan that I swore I was never going to own, Ha! Baby #5 pushed us up in car size to a Suburban, also a vehicle I was never going to own. Now I love it. 

Last book I read….Children’s book ~ Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey (probably my favorite children’s author) I also just finished (for the second time) Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider. I am trying once again to simplify and be organized. Eventually it will happen. =)


Amy Long May 28, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Love, love, love my minivan.  Sweetest ride ever.  And my four year old often looks (although a male version) just like the cover of that book. Thanks for the tips, Amy!


Amy Long May 28, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Oops…didn’t read the instructions very well. The last book I read that I loved was “What Alice Forgot” by Liane Moriarty.  Awesome book about a 39 year old woman with 3 children who falls and hits her head while at the gym. When she wakes up, she thinks she’s 29 and pregnant with her first child.  She doesn’t know what possessed her to go to the gym, doesn’t know her own kids, and doesn’t realize she’s in the middle of a divorce.    Awesome read.


Gren76 May 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Unbroken.  didn’t think I would like it but I loved it. 


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