Category Archives: Wired Momma Book Club

The Next Installment of the World Famous Wired Momma Book Club

At long last, it is time for the next WM book club announcement & scheduling of our next gathering. I regret we didn’t have one before the holidays but it just didn’t seem logistically possible.

But before we can move on to the next one, let’s first take this time to enjoy a peek at the last meeting….if you’ve wondered, Should I go to book club? What if I don’t know anyone? Are they freaks? Will I have fun? Fret not, kittens, here’s a great insight into what happens at WM Book Club (after we discuss the book, of course)


And now, you realize, not only do you NOT have lip gloss that glows but you’ve absolutely been missing out. Right?


So, let’s look ahead to the new year, when we will be honoring our resolutions by not making any because we are already awesome – oh wait – scratch that – we will make a new years resolution to spend more time OUT with a spouse, a partner or girlfriends – to give ourselves a break. And what better way to fulfill this resolution than by joining moi in January for book club?

What book will we be discussing, you ask?

Drumroll…..The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman.

Why this book, you ask?

Because I read it and I can’t stop thinking about it…..and I would love to actually sit down and discuss it. That’s why.
Did I love the book?

(Do you like how I am interviewing myself, because I do).

I didn’t love it like I loved The Glass Castle or The Red Tent. In fact, I was able to put it down and walk away and not even feel tempted to pick it up for a few days. But then I got through the middle part and inched closer to learning what was going to happen to this baby that drifted onto an island and was raised by the people who found her….and I couldn’t put it down. And I can’t say much more than that. My point – if you find it slow in the middle, if you skim over some parts because you want to get closer to the end – know that I was right there with you – but it’s all worth it. I am eager to talk with others and hear what they would do…and if they understand why they kept the baby….or not.

So when should we get together? How about Tuesday January 22nd, 2013 at 7:30pm….at our regular location which is the hotel bar in the Ritz at Tysons Corner – it’s easy for everyone to get too, parking is easy, and the seats are comfy and we can hear ourselves talk. If you object to this date suggestion, please comment here or on the WM Facebook page and I will suggest another date. I’ll keep all other book club talk on the WM FB page, so join us there or email me at if you aren’t on FB but want to keep up with details, conversations, etc of our next meeting.

Final question – will you be the STAR of the next WM Book Club Movie?

Possibly. Quite possibly. A special thank you to my sister, Emily, of Born Lucky Studios, for making that video pretty hilarious.




WM Working Mom Hero Awards…..At Long Last

I am months delayed in the first recipient of today’s highly sought after Wired Momma Working Mom Hero Awards series but better late than never, right? First, some context. Earlier this summer, pretty much all of us read and talked about Anne-Marie Slaughter’s piece in the Atlantic Monthly on “Having It All.” Some agreed, some disagreed, some of us were pleased she used her platform to raise the importance of the struggle we all face to manage work and family life – even if we found Slaughter herself self-righteous and annoying (cough, cough).

Whatever the case may be, I struggled to put my finger on exactly what bothered me about Slaughter’s essay, no matter that there were parts of it I enjoyed and agreed with. Something was still gnawing at me.  Until I read a piece in the New York Times way back in June honoring Nora Ephron. You guessed it – she is today’s first award recipient, posthumously of course, of the Wired Momma Working Mom Hero Awards. The reasons to honor Ms. Ephron are, of course, endless. Do you have all day?

Meg Ryan in the iconic scene

I mean – the scene with Meg Ryan mimicking an orgasm during “When Harry Met Sally” and Ms Ephron placing her own mother-in-law in that scene to be the woman asking to order whatever Meg’s having – isn’t that right there reason enough to love her and honor her?

But it’s her wit, wisdom and common sense that appeals most to moi. In  Alessandra Stanley’s New York Times piece I mentioned above, Stanley mentions Slaughter’s piece and references a commencement speech Ephron gave to Wellesley graduates in 1996 where she said the following: “Maybe young women don’t wonder whether they can have it all any longer, but in case any of you are wondering, of course you can have it all. What are you going to do? Everything, is my guess. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. It will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don’t be frightened: you can always change your mind. I know: I’ve had four careers and three husbands.”

Right there. She says it all. She is exactly right and in those few sentences, she also addresses the very thing about Slaughter’s piece I couldn’t put my finger on – quick taking yourself so god damn seriously. It’s annoying. And self-righteous. And unrealistic. That is exactly what bugged me this entire time.

Instead, Ephron nails it with her common sense advice to embrace the mess, embrace the complications, to be realistic about life and her own self-deprecating humor in noting she’s had four careers and three husbands. For anyone following along, one of the qualities I admire most in WM Working Mom Hero Award recipients is they tend to discuss their mistakes, their failures and move on. I admire this in a person because, again, it is real. It isn’t about perfection at all, quite the opposite, it’s about realistic approaches to life.

Following Ephron in today’s Awards ceremony (isn’t it a fancy ceremony) would be intimidating for pretty much anyone – except probably today’s other winner – and this particular woman is long over due for the award. Like Ephron, she is also, personally, one of my favorite and most beloved public figure moms; successful professional and overall star – she is none other than Michelle Obama. Now, you might not agree with her or her husband politically, but I challenge you to not find some thing useful in some of her recent parenting rules. I also challenge you to not absolutely adore many of her great outfits and her steadfast effort to fight childhood obesity and promote healthy, active living. But that aside, let’s focus today on specifically what she’s done to earn today’s award. It’s really what she said and frankly, I believe she meant it.

Mrs. Obama with her girls. Photo Credit:

First – partly what inspired my reaction to her words was something I witnessed on Friday morning. I left the gym around 7:02AM and on the corner by the gym were four teenage girls. They were standing there waiting for the school bus. Wanna know what they were doing? Every last one of them? They were TEXTING.

It had everything in me not to knock the phones out of their hands and tell them to get over themselves and TALK TO EACH OTHER. They weren’t even standing close to each other. Each one was strategically positioned a substantial distance from the other, totally engrossed in their cell phone. Who were they texting at 7am? Some girl at a bus stop three blocks away? What the hell? Now, don’t get me wrong. Rewind the clock back to 1991 and give me a cell phone and crazy rabid dogs would have had to rip that thing out of my hand. I would have had




No matter the time of day.

#Shocking,I Know

That being said, I also pretty regularly got in trouble for talking in class (and passing notes to my friend Sara Teater), so I feel confident that I would have had plenty to say IRL (that’s In Real Life for anyone hoping to never learn teen acronyms. I secretly love acronyms but I hate emoticons. Teen moi would have over-used emoticons, however.) In fact, as a teen, my freshman college roommate, Keeley, deliberately avoided me in some lectures because she knew I would talk to her the entire time and she actually wanted to listen.




Back to Mrs. Obama. I absolutely couldn’t stop thinking about these obnoxious teens texting at 7am when there were live teen girls standing next to them that they could have been gossiping with. I was struck by the reality of it. I was consumed with what I needed to do to make sure my girls don’t end up like this. Sure, they can text, but I so badly want them to want to talk to a human being when there is one standing next to them. Especially one their own age. Look, I’ve been to conferences on raising good cyber citizens, sat through lectures on raising kids with technology and already plan to implement the whole “cell phones charged in mom’s bedroom every night by 8pm” regimen that so many others employ. But in case you missed this from Mrs. Obama, here’s the parenting rules recently covered by Jodi Kantor in the New York Times:

  • “When the girls go on trips, they write reports on what they have seen, even if their school does not require it.”
  • “Technology is for weekends. Malia may use her cellphone only then, and she and her sister cannot watch television or use a computer for anything but homework during the week.”
  • “Malia and Sasha had to take up two sports: one they chose and one selected by their mother. “I want them to understand what it feels like to do something you don’t like and to improve,” the first lady has said.
  • “Malia must learn to do laundry before she leaves for college.”
  • “The girls have to eat their vegetables, and if they say that they are not hungry, they cannot ask for cookies or chips later. “If you’re full, you’re full,” Mrs. Obama said in an interview with Ladies’ Home Journal. “I don’t want to see you in the kitchen after that.”

Okay – something tells me she lives by those rules and doesn’t bend. This isn’t to say that I’ll be quite as strict. On some level, if I’m going to preach no technology but for weekends – should I also live by that one a little? So I’ll figure some variation on that one but I am quite intrigued by her decision to choose an activity for the girls and make them understand what it feels like to do something they don’t like and still improve. I respect that about her and think too often, our kids are overly coddled and catered too. Just the other day I let my first grader pick her two after school activities. She chose art and science. I really wanted one of her two activities to be either French or Spanish but she objected and I conceded because I felt art and science were perfectly solid choices.

Would Mrs. Obama have wavered? I know that learning a language at a young age is the ideal time to do so. And why am I letting the 6-year-old pick – she isn’t paying for it? No one ever said it was a democracy chez moi. So why did I cave and not push the foreign language as one of two activities?

Maybe next session, I pull a Mrs. Obama. Her logic is solid, in my opinion.

So, while there are myriad reasons Mrs. Obama earned the WM Working Mom Hero Award today, I’ll stick with her recent list of parenting rules. I am certain she actually does lives by them.  It’s refreshing to have a first lady in office with younger kids and hear her speak so openly about how she’s raising them. Say what you will about parenting today, and by no means am I generalizing enough to say that American parents are alone guilty of this, but we coddle our kids. So many of us do. And to what end? Until my kid is texting her way through a foreign language class she never wanted to take to begin with?

Not under my watch.

Famous last words?

I hope not.

To keep up with more fun, frolic and WM Working Mom Hero Awards….or to suggest a winner…..”Like” Wired Momma on Facebook. Also – the next Wired Momma book club is tomorrow night in Tysons Corner…you’ll have to log onto the Facebook page to learn the details.


WM Book Club: Summer 2012 Pick

A few weeks ago, I met up with nine other women at the bar in the Ritz Carlton in Tysons Corner for the first ever Wired Momma book club. We all read the much-discussed, often dubbed “mommy porn” book Fifty Shades of Grey and we came ready to discuss it. Sidebar: did anyone else catch this piece in the NYT over the weekend about the Facebook wedding? The mention that Zuckerberg’s now-wife Priscilla, back when she got back together with him in 2007, drew up terms of their relationship and included scheduling in 100 minutes of free time with him a week. Sound Christian Greyish to anyone else? Fascinating. Also interesting to me from that piece was the insight that the other wives of Silicon Valley moguls, like Jobs’ wife or Brin from Google’s wife, each have powerful careers of their own. I enjoyed learning it because it flies in the face of the “Real Housewives” imagery stoked in everyone’s mind of the wives of powerful businessmen.

Back to book club, in the end, we spent three hours together having really great, honest conversation, given the fact that we were mainly strangers when we all met that evening. I found it to be rejuvenating and remarkable that I could connect with a group of strangers and we could all have such easy, fun, open conversation – leaving us all wanting to do it again – and soon. One woman posted on the WM FB page (where all this was arranged and discussed, in case you’re wondering if you missed a post or two) – asking if she was going to the be only one who wouldn’t know anyone and how would she know who to look for. Both were good questions – and the truth was – it turned out it didn’t matter.

Photo Credit:

Isn’t the internet and the ways we can connect through it – truly a remarkable thing? Next book club, we should toast Al Gore for inventing it.

And so, without further delay, I am officially ready to announce the next Wired Momma Book Club Book. I know it’s been a few weeks and I’ve actually put a bit of thought into this next selection. I weighed making it a democracy and letting the group – which means anyone who wants to participate (not just those who came last time, though that is an idea going forward) – vote.  In the end, I’ve decided against that approach this time. I’m not power hungry…c’est vrai.

I just am being realistic with regards to my time and right now – I don’t have time to track votes and post more about it….seems easier to just rule with an iron fist like the Machiavellian despot that I am. It’s what I do best at home, anyhow.

As I started evaluating all of our options out there, I worried – how would I find something as racy as Fifty Shades? How would I find something as shocking or that would compel interesting conversation?

In the end, I don’t think it matters because I think we just enjoyed coming together, having a drink and gossiping with one another. Summer time will probably make scheduling a date for the book club near impossible so I’m already putting out there that we should look at a random Wednesday towards mid-late July. And I probably will keep it mainly on Facebook, so please feel free to join the totally fun WM FB community if you haven’t already done so.

And so…this time I mean it….without further delay…….the second selection in the super famous, sought after WM Book Club is: The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger. It is a fairly new book, it’s received great reviews and I guessed that most people who are interested in book club, probably haven’t read it – or at least not all of it – because it is so new.

Here’s the book description from Amazon if you’re not in the mood to click the link:

“A powerful, funny, richly observed tour de force by one of America’s most acclaimed young writers: a story of love and marriage, secrets and betrayals, that takes us from the backyards of America to the back alleys and villages of Bangladesh.
In The Newlyweds, we follow the story of Amina Mazid, who at age twenty-four moves from Bangladesh to Rochester, New York, for love. A hundred years ago, Amina would have been called a mail-order bride. But this is an arranged marriage for the twenty-first century: Amina is wooed by—and woos—George Stillman online.
For Amina, George offers a chance for a new life and a different kind of happiness than she might find back home. For George, Amina is a woman who doesn’t play games. But each of them is hiding something: someone from the past they thought they could leave behind. It is only when they put an ocean between them—and Amina returns to Bangladesh—that she and George find out if their secrets will tear them apart, or if they can build a future together.
The Newlyweds is a surprising, suspenseful story about the exhilarations—and real-life complications—of getting, and staying, married. It stretches across continents, generations, and plains of emotion. What has always set Nell Freudenberger apart is the sly, gimlet eye she turns on collisions of all kinds—sexual, cultural, familial. With The Newlyweds, she has found her perfect subject for that vision, and characters to match. She reveals Amina’s heart and mind, capturing both her new American reality and the home she cannot forget, with seamless authenticity, empathy, and grace. At once revelatory and affecting, The Newlyweds is a stunning achievement.”

In case you’re wondering if I’ve read it…I just started it over the weekend and am about 75 pages in. So far, so good. I am quite pleased with it.

I’m eager to discuss it more in July….I am excited to hopefully see many of the same fabulous women who came a few weeks ago and maybe this time, some more will come as well! Because so many last time came from suburbs of VA, I am leaning again towards a location around Tysons (just not the Ritz because we won’t need to be fancy for Christian Grey this time.) I’ll post more on FB to lock in that date soon and gauge opinions on time/location…so I’m not that evil of a ruler….

Happy reading!!!! Eager to hear what you think of the book!! “Like” WM on FB to keep up with the discussion…or to schedule 100 minutes of free time with me.