Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gift Book Idea for Mom: The Smartest Woman I Know

The Smartest Woman I Know
by Ilene Beckerman
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
112 pages
Available September 27, 2011

A sweet little memoir wrought with pithy wittiness and poignant charm, The Smartest Woman I Know poetically sings the praises of Beckerman's Jewish grandmother Ettie Goldberg who settled in New York City and was wise beyond her third grade education. The author captures Etta's voice and mannerisms and the reader is transported to a tiny store on Madison Avenue brimming with colorful characters.

The Goldbergs opened a stationery store that sold office supplies, stationery, magazines, newspapers, and assorted sundries and they knew every customer and every customer's quirks. There was Mr. Arnold who always wore a straw boater hat, carried a cane, and was always in the company of a much younger man he called "darling." Ettie always made the pair feel welcome in her store saying that it wasn't her business to know what people do at home ( this was New York City circa 1930 or so).

A little book that bursts with humor, wise life lessons, quirky vignettes, and Jewish proverbs--as told by Etta. Its eloquent appeal makes me wish I had my own Jewish grandmother.

A great gift idea for anyone who knows a smart woman and anyone who has a Jewish mother or grandmother. For mavens, machers, and meshuggerners everywhere.

Recommended for gift giving and holidays.

Adult humor and wisdom. High school and up.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

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