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Books by the Blogger:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Holden, Wendy: The Wives of Bath | Main | Jager, Eric: The Last Duel »

Hauser, Melanie Lynne: Confessions of Super Mom

  

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Dutton © 2005, 320 pages [amazon]
4 stars

Every superhero has his (or her) dramatic genesis. Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spiderman, was bitten by a radioactive spider. Clark Kent--"Kal-El" at the time--crashed to Earth after his home planet exploded. And Lady Bird Lee, mild-mannered cashier in an Astro Park, Kansas supermarket, suffered a Horrible Swiffer Accident in her bathroom while attempting to clean an unruly Stain of Unusual Origin with a dangerous combination of household cleaners. Coming to some hours after the event, Birdie found herself a changed woman, a Super Mom equipped with ultra-sensitive hearing, a thunderous voice, and a Merciless Gaze with which she could bend children to her will. The new improved Birdie squirts potent cleaning fluids from her hand and can clean with the power of ten thousand Swiffers. In Confessions of Super Mom Birdie tells her story, from her superheroic origins to her first great crisis as a crime fighter.

Nor is it easy to fit crime-fighting into the life of the average mother: most superheroes, remember, are not encumbered with the twin burdens of childrearing and parent-teacher meetings.Once she realizes that her new powers and the mutation of her right hand into a scrubbing pad-like implement amount to superherodom, Birdie sets about cleaning up her town. After engaging a trusty sidekick--her thirteen-year-old, comic-book-loving son Stanley--and equipping herself with an Apron of Anticipation--its pockets filled with Band Aids and a generous supply of animal crackers--she drives around Astro Park sensing trouble and cleaning up messes, both figurative and literal. But being a superhero is not all gushing fans and photo ops. Birdie soon learns that with great power there comes, inevitably, an arch nemesis. Hers is--aren't they all?--one of the town's most illustrious scions, a major employer in the area and, besides, the husband of the president of the PTA. Nor is it easy to fit crime-fighting into the life of the average mother: most superheroes, remember, are not encumbered with the twin burdens of childrearing and parent-teacher meetings. While trying to balance her heroic and homely responsibilities, Birdie must also navigate the unfamiliar waters of a budding romance (her nerdy scientist love interest) and the too familiar moods of her obnoxious ex-husband.

The idea behind Confessions of Super Mom--a "superhero for the Swiffer generation," as the author puts it--is extremely appealing, and Melanie Lynn Hauser has done a great job with it in this first novel. The book appeals both because of its clever allusions to superhero legend and the Marvel and DC comic universes (Birdie's son/sidekick is named Stanley Lee; the National Enquirer photographer who stalks her is Jimmy Nelson [sic]), and because Hauser fits the extraordinary things that happen to Birdie into a framework so normal (housework, PTA meetings, truculent teenagers) that they are rendered entirely credible. (Or mostly credible: Birdie should never have used her own recognizable, traceable automobile for her superhero runs.) Super Mom's story will appeal to the suburban mother set, all of us who share with Birdie both the responsibilities of motherhood and its attendant sadness--the knowledge that our babies will grow up. You should probably buy your own mother a copy.

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Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.