February Book Club: The Matheny Manifesto

The Matheny Manifesto by Mike Matheny


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A new month means a new book club selection! Our first book for February is The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager’s Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life (Crown Archetype) by Mike Matheny.

When neighborhood friends begged him to coach their kids’ baseball team, pro-catcher Matheny made the parents promise to not get involved in the game. What started as his statement of rules for the new team turned into a manifesto once it became viral. Matheny shares his philosophy for coaching children in team sports than can be easily translated into other aspects of their (our) lives. More about the book:

   Mike Matheny was just forty-one, without professional managerial experience and looking for a next step after a successful career as a Major League catcher, when he succeeded the legendary Tony La Russa as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012. While Matheny has enjoyed immediate success, leading the Cards to the postseason three times in his first three years, people have noticed something else about his life, something not measured in day-to-day results. Instead, it’s based on a frankly worded letter he wrote to the parents of a Little League team he coached, a cry for change that became an Internet sensation and eventually a “manifesto.”

The tough-love philosophy Matheny expressed in the letter contained his throwback beliefs that authority should be respected, discipline and hard work rewarded, spiritual faith cultivated, family made a priority, and humility considered a virtue. In The Matheny Manifesto, he builds on his original letter by first diagnosing the problem at the heart of youth sports−hint: it starts with parents and coaches−and then by offering a hopeful path forward. Along the way, he uses stories from his small-town childhood as well as his career as a player, coach, and manager to explore eight keys to success: leadership, confidence, teamwork, faith, class, character, toughness, and humility.

The Matheny Manifesto by Mike Matheny

Join From Left to Write book club members next week, February 12th as we discuss The Matheny ManifestoThe book releases tomorrow, so you can pre-order your copy today and join us next week!

You follow Mike Matheny via his website, Facebook and Twitter too!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide: 6 Books To Keep Mom Laughing

Mothers Day Gift Guide Books to Keep Mom Laughing-From Left to Write

 Mothers Day Gift Guide Books to Keep Mom Laughing-From Left to Write

Have you gotten a gift for mom yet. (Me neither.) I’m a mom and I love receiving books. Parenting is not an easy job and sometimes those moments are so rough, you just have to laugh so you don’t cry.

The books on our mother’s day gift guide also share a humorous (and, oh, so true) view on parenting. At least when she starts crying, you know it’s because she was laughing too hard from reading these books.

Reasons Mommy Drinks Book

Let me make the point that our kids don’t drive us to drink. However, a little cocktail does make things run more smoothly on rough days. Reasons Mommy Drinks by Lyranda Martin-Evans and Fiona Stevenson offers creative mocktail and cocktail recipes with names such as Explosive Poo and Working From Home. A laugh out loud anecdote accompanies each recipe.

Lost in Suburbia by Tracy Beckerman

 Full disclosure: Tracy Beckerman is just as hilarious in person as she is in her “momoir”  Lost in SuburbiaWe met last year at Blogalicious when we spoke on the same panel about book publishing for authors. I think most moms will empathize (and laugh) with Tracy’s move from hip New Yorker to a suburban New Jersey mother.

Ketchup Is a Vegetable by Robin O'Bryant

I also met Robin O’Bryant at the same conference and these two women had me cracking up. You can hear Robin’s southern accent as you read her adventures parenting three young kids in Ketchup Is a Vegetable: And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves. Don’t miss the story of how one child hid her birth control pills.

Mommy Man by Jerry Mahoney

What happens when Jerry Mahoney and his longterm boyfriend try for their own 2.5 kids and white picket fence home? In Mommy Man: How I Went from Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad, he reveals his journey from start (meeting his boyfriend) to finding a surrogate mother for their child.

I Just Want to Pee Alone

Peeing alone is a huge luxury when you have little children. I Just Want to Pee Alone is an anthology of essays from mom bloggers that captures the embarrassing, but entertaining, moments of motherhood.

Reasons My Kid Is Crying by Greg Pembroke

In  Reasons My Kid Is Crying Greg Pembroke captures our children’s worse moments. Which, thankfully, are not really our fault.  Father and blogger Greg Pembroke began documenting these moments on his humorous blog Reasons My Son Is Crying. Soon his readers joined in on the fun and submitted their own photos. Even better, check out From Left to Write members’ photos and stories inspired by Reasons My Kid Is Crying.

It’s definitely not too late to order these books for your mom. Sign up for a free 30-day Amazon Prime trial for free 2 Day shipping (among other perks). They’ll even gift wrap them for you (for a fee).

This post contains affiliate links.

Book Club Discussion: Dad Is Fat

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Parenting is not easy, especially when you have five kids, as documented by Jim Gaffigan in his book,  Dad Is Fat (Three Rivers Press). During the challenging parenting moments, it’s better to laugh. Our latest book club selection does make it easier to laugh at those crazy parenting situations.

Take a look at From Left to Write members’ personal stories as inspired by Dad Is Fat: 

Now that you’ve laughed with us, grab your copy of   Dad Is Fat (Three Rivers Press) and laugh along with Jim Gaffigan like our book club did!

Keep up with Jim Gaffigan via his websiteFacebook or Twitter.

Book Club Feature: Dad Is Fat

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Dad Is Fat From Left to Write Banner

Our next book club feature for April is the entertaining and laugh-out-loud Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan. I’m not sure how he, his wife and FIVE (yes, 5) kids manage not to kill each other in their two-bedroom Manhattan apartment. His family’s tight quarters mean more laughs for us:

In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan, who’s best known for his legendary riffs on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees, and McDonald’s, expresses all the joys and horrors of life with five young children—everything from cousins (“celebrities for little kids”) to toddlers’ communication skills (“they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news”), to the eating habits of four year olds (“there is no difference between a four year old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor”). Reminiscent of Bill Cosby’sFatherhoodDad is Fat is sharply observed, explosively funny, and a cry for help from a man who has realized he and his wife are outnumbered in their own home.

Just a warning if you read this book in public: people will shoot you crazy looks when your chuckles turn into full out laughs.

Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

From Left to Write book club members will discuss Dad Is Fat (Three Rivers Press) on April 22 in celebration of the book’s paperback release. If you can’t wait until Tuesday, order the hardcover or ebook (for instant gratification), and come chime in our discussion.

Keep up with Jim Gaffigan via his website, Facebook or Twitter.

Book Club Discussion: Reasons My Kid Is Crying

Reasons My Kid Is Crying From Left to Write Book Club Discussion

Today we’re veering a little bit from our usual book club discussion format. Usually From Left to Write book club member share a personal story that’s inspired by our book club selection. We’re getting even more personal. Greg Pembroke had us laughing in his new book Reasons My Kid Is Crying.

Inspired by the photos of crying children and the true reason for their sadness, From Left to Write bloggers shared their photos and personal stories too. Ready to come laugh with us?

Grab your copy of Reasons My Kid Is Crying and laugh along with us! You can follow Greg Pembroke at his websiteFacebook, and Twitter.

Book Club Feature: Reasons My Kid Is Crying

Reasons My Kid Is Crying From Left to Write Book Club Banner

Reasons My Kid Is Crying From Left to Write Book Club Banner

Our next From Left to Write book club selection is Reasons My Kid Is Crying
by Greg Pembroke. Anyone who has taken care of young children will love this book.

As a parent, I never want my kids to cry. Sometimes, they cry for reasons that only make sense to them. Father and blogger Greg Pembroke began documenting these parenting moments on his humorous blog Reasons My Son Is Crying. I’m not sure what is funnier, the photos or the captions. Soon other parents began sending him their own photos of their children crying.

Reasons My Kid Is Crying by Greg Pembroke

Greg gathered curated his favorite of those submissions in his new book Reasons My Kid Is Crying. Filled with color photographs of crying kids, his book will help us laugh when those parenting moments make us want to pull their hair out.

Grab your copy of Reasons My Kid Is Crying and join us next week on Tuesday, April 15 as our book club members share their Reasons My Kid Is Crying stories and more!

You can follow Greg Pembroke at his website, Facebook, and Twitter.