, , , , , , , ,

[Image credit: tenor]

Apparently I should apologize to readers for potential damage to nearby reading areas. Only… I’m absolutely thrilled to hear it!  Thanks so much for these 5-star reviews for Life Begins When The Kids Leave Home And The Dog Dies:

5.0 out of 5 starsAnecdotes that beg to be read  —CathyR for Between The Lines Book Reviews

“You could read it in one go (has anyone ever actually died laughing?) or keep dipping in and out. It lends itself to either. But whichever you choose, eating and/or drinking while reading is not advised, as several people have found to their (and their appliances’) costs.”

5.0 out of 5 stars Top Stuff!  —Terry Tyler, Author of Project Renova series

This is a collection of articles, all with a family theme, from Barb’s own childhood, about her parents and siblings, and about her own children and family life. Later, she touches upon death, and writing….they are all really, really funny. I read a lot of PJ O’Rourke, and Barb Taub’s style reminds me of his lighter, more domestically-orientated pieces. The off-the-wall snark’s all there.

5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to be entertained! —Georgia Rose, Author of The Grayson Trilogy

“With her quick-witted sparky humour I’ve learned that when one of Barb’s posts arrive in my inbox I have to put all else aside (including any liquids, I’ll say no more!) and buckle up for what I’m about to read. Get this book and prepare to be entertained, you can thank me later.”

5.0 out of 5 starsThis book needs to come with a humor warning!  —Kassandra Lamb, Author of Kate Huntingdon Mysteries

“This book needs to come with a warning: ‘Caution: Do Not Eat Or Drink While Reading This Book! You will spew food or liquid everywhere when you laugh out loud.” Barb Taub is the new Erma Bombeck in my opinion. I’ve followed her blog for a long time and she never ceases to make me smile. This book is a collection of her columns for publications and blog posts from over the years. Every chapter will have you laughing at Barb’s unique take on life.”

5.0 out of 5 stars Snorting good fun . . .  —Author P E Read

There are a very few books I have read that have the ability to force me to snort my tea whilst (noticed I used whilst) enjoying my morning cuppa. I should sue for cleaning but I was having too much fun. This rollicking escapade had me in stitches one minute and pondering the next. I could see my own childhood through their eyes and I was touched. As soon as I finished the book I wanted to read it again. I am sure this will become a well thumbed volume. Figuratively speaking. Thanks Barb, great read!


Chapter 1. A California girl named Barb met her prince of a guy. He was tall, dark, and handsome. (Actually, he was a Republican. But he was definitely tall.) They fell in love, and got married.

Chapter 2. He brought her to his castle in England and they lived happily ever after. THE END**

**Luckily, 35+ years of living happened between Chapters 1 and 2, giving Barb plenty of material for this collection (in no particular chronological order) from her newspaper columns, articles, blog posts, and that time she killed Mom. 

And that’s before Chapter 3 even starts.

I have learned to put down the coffee and place breakable objects at a safe distance when a post from Barb Taub comes up. It is very hard to drink coffee and laugh at the same time without redecorating the desk…—author Sue Vincent

Excerpt (for those of you old enough to remember these):

Chapter 12: Hairy Scary

I came in one day to find the kitchen phone amputated from its cord. Although I tried emergency phone first-aid, it was too late: our family phone had gone to that big exchange in the sky where all receivers are gently cradled and all calls are from lovers, mothers, and the Publishers’ Clearinghouse Sweepstakes.

In reconstructing the crime, I eliminated the Hub as a suspect. Although I find it efficient to pin all disasters on him, even I had to admit the only phone calls he or I get are from life insurance salespersons congratulating us on the birth of our latest child and asking if we have reformulated our estate planning needs to reflect our new responsibilities. We usually tell them our estate plan is to spend every penny faster than we make it and then retire to live off our kids. (If that doesn’t work, we hand the phone to the baby and tell her the nice man wants to hear the song of her people.)

I also eliminated the eight-year-old. Not only is he the only one who knows how to use the memory dial, but if he had been behind the phone’s untimely demise, I’m sure he would have performed an autopsy as well.

Of course, those of you with daughters are saying to yourselves, “I’ll bet there’s a long-haired teenage girl involved.” And you’d be right. Engrossed in imparting to her friend the details of all that had befallen since they’d parted at school 23 minutes earlier, my daughter failed to notice when her hair mated with the coils of the phone cord, which then required emergency separation surgery (the phone cord, not her hair).

Personally, I don’t like hair. The way I see it, if God meant us to have long hair, She wouldn’t have given us scissors or Vidal Sassoon. But when I hint to my daughter that she consider trimming her hair before it gets stepped on, she acts like I’m suggesting shortening her legs or cropping her ears so she’ll win Best of Show.

So I decided to do what any normal, hair-averse mother would do. I tried to scare her into getting a haircut. “Did I ever tell you about your aunt and the cookies?”

She looked apprehensive and started edging toward the door, so I spoke quickly:

Once upon a time before they invented cholesterol, your aunt decided to make cookies. Now, Grandmother’s mixer was not for the faint-hearted cook. She had one of those industrial-strength, 1950s cast-iron MixMasters with removable implements which could juice a turkey or sausage large farm animals in moments.

Mother forbid us to even look in its direction when she wasn’t home, implying that it would have liked nothing better than to remove a few of our fingers just for practice. Nevertheless, one day while Mother was out, chocolate chip cookies started calling my sister’s name. (In my family, there is an inherited genetic defect which causes many of us to be born imprinted with the racial memory of chocolate chip cookie and brownie recipes. When they call us, we are helpless to resist.)

Soon she had mixed all the cookie ingredients and was just adding the chocolate chips when one of her long braids strayed over the bowl and the mixer went on the offensive. The next thing she knew, her hair had been whipped into the beaters and it took all her strength to keep her ear from being juiced. She screamed for assistance, but it took the siblings who came running a few minutes to recover from the sight of their sister with her entire head in a bowl of cookie dough.

Finally, the mixer was unplugged and the braid extricated from the dough. But there was one more problem. If our mother discovered that not only had the mixer had been used, but also that all the dough wasted, we would probably not get a cookie fix again that century. So by the time Mother got home, my sister’s hair had been washed, and the remaining batter had been baked into cookies.

My father was pleased and touched that, for once, we saved the entire batch of cookies just for him.

So,” I concluded. “Does this story make you want to get your hair cut?”

Not really,” answered my daughter. “But now I really want a cookie. At least now I know why I instinctively know the exact Toll House recipe.”

When threats fail, it is time to remind myself that I’m the grownup here. Luckily, over a decade of parenting experience has prepared me to play the one card that never fails. “Cut your hair and I’ll take you to Disneyland.”


**If you could help me spread the word about this book by sharing on social media, or if you’d like to schedule a blog post (guest post, interview, or…?) I’d be eternally grateful. (Well, I’d be grateful at least until next week, which is about as far ahead as I can plan these days.)