Lunch-Box Chronicles: Notes from the Parenting Underground [NOOK Book]


Child Magazine Best Book of the Year

"For me, parenting is like dieting.  Every day, I wake up filled with resolve and good intentions, perfection in view, and every day I somehow stray from the path.  The difference is with dieting, I usually make it to lunch. . . ."

   With the candor and often ...
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Lunch-Box Chronicles: Notes from the Parenting Underground

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Child Magazine Best Book of the Year

"For me, parenting is like dieting.  Every day, I wake up filled with resolve and good intentions, perfection in view, and every day I somehow stray from the path.  The difference is with dieting, I usually make it to lunch. . . ."

   With the candor and often hilarious outlook that have made her a beloved commentator on NPR, Marion Winik takes the reader on an unforgettable journey through modern parenthood, with all of its attendant anxieties and joys.
        A single mother with two small boys, Winik knows exactly what she's talking about, from battles over breakfast and bedtime to the virtues of pre-packaged food and weightier issues like sex education and sibling rivalry. Part memoir and part survival guide, The Lunch-Box Chronicles is an engaging philosophy of parenting from a staunch realist, who knows that kids and their parents both will inevitably fall far short of perfection, and that a "good enough mom" really is, in fact, good enough.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

Andrea Cooper
Take Erma Bombeck, add the obsessions of a single mother with two boys under the age of 10, lace with a mild streak of wildness, and you have Marion Winik, as companionable a writer as a crazed parent ever found. -- Andrea Cooper, The New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
Dispatches from the parenting front line—pungent and funny and spot-on—from Winik. When her husband died from AIDS three years back (a story she related in First Comes Love, 1996), Winik found herself a dumbstruck single mother of two young boys: "My life stretched before me like a hard labor sentence." Every tuck-in, wake-up, drop-off, and drive home, every mess to be cleaned and each tear to be wiped away was hers alone. Here she tells of her efforts to do her best by her kids, and that she does: She tells of scrabbling to make a living while still making sure to volunteer at school (her mental bumper sticker for her kids' school is "Bryker Woods Elementary—Where Parental Involvement Is a Sickness"), along the way offering such advice as "deliver the store-bought muffins to the bake sale with your chin held high." She paws over the strange and confusing terrain of nudity around the home, reading the same miserable (and once dearly loved) book a million times, finding pleasure in the heretofore abhorred world of sports ("a soccer mom, a Cowboys fan, and a frigging golfer"), of her role as stepmother to her boyfriend's two girls, of contending honestly with the questions of sex and drugs (she herself having long, involved histories therein of defiance and risk-taking, and being anarchically bent still), and—a wicked, indelible moment—a slap she administers to her younger son. She delineates a life of quicksilver emotions, from bathetic to eulogistic in the blink of an eye, and avoids sentimentality at all costs: "Girls are bitches, boys are assholes," she notes, though not without affection. Winik fires from the hip, and if her observations arenever blazingly original, they are always heartfelt. She's a mother, a loving mother, a good mother.
From the Publisher

"Take Erma Bombeck, add the obsession of a single mother with two boys... and you have Marion Winik, as companionable writer as a crazed parent ever found."- The New York Times Book Review

"Marion Winik proves as able a bard for her generation as Erma Bombeck was for hers... Funny, warmhearted, and chock-full of moments of instant recognition."- Newsday

"[H]ilarious and wrenching, it's about being a parent, but it's also about so much more: love, survival, transcendence—and macaroni and cheese."- Anne Lamott, author of Operating Instructions

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307557643
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/9/2009
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Marion Winik has been a regular commentator on Nation Public Radio's All things Considered since 1991. Her writing appears regularly in magazines, newspapers and online.  She is the author of both Telling and First Comes Love (both available from Vintage Books).

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 5, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I adore Marion Winik!!

    Anything and everything she has to say I am listening and laughing, crying and empathizing. A gem of a memoir! It was a Marion Winik summer at my house reading Telling, First Comes Love and Highs in the Low Fifties, as well. All wonderful reads, Marion lets us off the hook with our own mistakes and mishaps. No worries Marion has been there done that and bonding emotionally with her readers as no other author can!!!

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