Tag Archives: letters

Review: A Letter To My Mom

Recap: From those who brought you A Letter To My Cat and A Letter To My Dog now comes A Letter To My Mom. I have not read Cat or Dog, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the latest in the series, A Letter To My Mom, is probably the best. Just in time for Mother’s Day, the book is a compilation of letters written by men and women — both young and old, famous and not — to their mothers.

Some letters are funny, like the one penned by singer Josh Groban. Some are sentimental, particularly the few letters written to deceased mothers, in which the children say all the things they never got to say when their mothers were still alive. Others tell stories, and a few just give thanks. But they are all full of feels. This compilation made me want to do nothing more than a write a letter to my own mother, thanking her for being so wonderful and telling her how much I respect and appreciate her, even when it seems like I don’t. There were several letters like that, too — ones that were more apologies than anything else.

Some of the letters told hard-to-believe stories of courage — like the mother who saved her children from her abusive husband by moving out in the middle of the night or the mother who threw herself in front of a car to save her children’s life, and wound up paralyzing herself. There are some sweet stories too, like the story of the mother who started a cupcake shop with her daughter. All of them great, all of them meaningful, all of them interesting to read.

Analysis: You don’t always think about the impact your mother has had on your life. On birthdays and Mother’s Day, yes, but other than that, it doesn’t come up much. Reading this book had me thinking about my mother constantly, all that she’s done for me, how much she cares, how strong she is. A good book forces you to reflect on your own life and think about its deeper meanings. This book does exactly that.

And I loved that the letters came from all people of all different walks of life. In the back were short biographies of each letter’s writer, a who’s who of talented celebrities and non-celebrities. Many of them were excellent writers, which surprised me until I realized most of them are writers, bloggers, or freelancers for a living. At first, I thought it was biased to select mostly writers’ letters in this book. But I then decided it was wise. It takes a good writer to put what their feeling into words and a great writer to go as deeply personal as one must do when writing about mothers. This is the perfect gift for any mother, and a must-read for everyone else.

Get A Letter to My Mom in hardcover for $16.19.

Or on your Kindle for $9.99.

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Authors Save the Postal Service By Writing Letters

With the U.S. Postal Service in a dire financial situation, a number of well-known authors have made it their mission to bring back the letter-writing of yesteryear.

According to this article by The New York Times, readers of the web site The Rumpus can pay $5 a month to receive at least one new letter every week from a notable author, including Dave Eggers, Jonathan Ames, Aimee Bender, and Stephen Elliott. The letters aren’t necessarily personalized, but they are hand-written and show the authors’ creative side.

This is just one of many different letter-writing campaigns started to boost snail mail, according to the article. The Rumpus‘s project has already encouraged 18,000 people to sign up. And much like authors use social media to connect with their readers, they’re also starting to realize letter-writing is another way to connect, as John Williams explains.

“Authors are really into this because it’s such a creative form,” Mr. Elliott said. “And it’s such a powerful direct link between authors and readers. Also, most authors include a return address and people write them back, a lot, which is incredibly gratifying.”

Just imagine getting a letter from one of your favorite authors in the mail — one that tells you a personal anecdote of theirs. That’s pretty amazing, and the fact that it’s helping a federal organization on the fritz and inspiring people to write and read more is even better.

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