Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Weekly News – #Reviews -#Memoir Pete Springer, #FamilySaga M.L Holton, #Family Lisette Brodey

Welcome to the Cafe and Bookstore weekly news with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author today is retired teacher Pete Springer with his memoir They Call Me Mom

About the book

Who Will You Inspire Today? Teachers face this challenge and responsibility each day, but in the process, the author discovers that his students can also have a profound influence on him. Pete Springer takes you on his memorable thirty-one-year journey in education as an elementary school teacher and offers the many valuable life and teaching lessons he learned along the way. Get ready to laugh out loud at some of the humorous and memorable experiences that all teachers face, feel inspired by the inherent goodness of children, and appreciate the importance of developing a sense of teamwork among the staff.

Learn valuable tips for working with children, parents, fellow staff members, and administrators. This book is ideal for young teachers, but also a reminder to all educators of the importance and responsibility of being a role model. This book is a must-read for all new teachers and those teachers that need a reminder they are human! Mr. Springer educates others in his easy-to-read, story-like, first-hand manuscript. You will laugh, cry, and get motivated to be the best educator you can. After reading this, I have a better outlook on relationships with my colleagues and am reminded to savor every moment. -Tami Beall (Principal, Pine Hill School)

One of the recent reviews for the book

Jacqui Murray VINE VOICE 5.0 out of 5 stars Teachers are friend, advisor, mentor, mom, and so much more  Reviewed in the United States on April 26, 2021

Pete Springer’s memoir about his first years teaching is a delightful story for new teachers and will have experienced educators nodding along with him. His early experiences remind all of us of the joy inherent in teaching:

“This job required about as much brainpower as my tree planting experience.”
“This is the story of how I fell in love with teaching and the joys and challenges that this noble profession provided to me over the course of thirty-one years.”

He breaks the book into chapters every teacher will understand:

How did i get here
Setting up your classroom
Working with students
Working with colleagues
Working with your boss

…and more. Aside from grading, parents, lunch duty, conferences, and yard duty, these are the biggest issues we teachers face. I’m a veteran teacher of thirty years and still I couldn’t wait to read Pete’s take on these timeless issues.

“Instead of saying, “Do everything my way, and you can become a successful teacher,” she was giving me her permission to find my way.”
“…storytelling was one of the most successful methods to get my students to pay attention.”
“…when we lose our calm, we are teaching them that it is okay to behave in this manner when something is not going right.”

Every new teacher will benefit from Pete’s daily experiences of what in the end results in a journey well traveled with more importance than most of us would car eto admit. Educational philosophies change. Favorite tools like iPads and Chromebooks change. What never changes is the fundamentals that Pete covers in this book:

“…tell the kids when I made similar mistakes growing up.”
“I do think that it is possible for parents or schools to provide too many rewards for kids.”

Overall an excellent book. If you’re a new teacher, I’d call this an essential read prior to your first day.  

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US – and:Amazon UK – Read more reviews:Goodreads – Website: Pete Springer WordPressTwitter: @OfficerWoof

The next author is Margaret Lindsay Holton with a recent review for her sweeping family saga Trillium

About the book

Insightful, compelling, engrossing and enlightening, TRILLIUM intimately portrays the intertwining evolution of three very distinct families in the wine-making region known as Niagara in the Golden Horseshoe region, Ontario, Canada. …It all starts when 19-year-old Tom Hartford crosses over the mighty Niagara River in the 1750s … Readers will meet Maaka, an ingenious indigenous trapper; Franco, a dirt poor Sicilian labourer; Paddy O’Sullivan, a sweet-talking Irish con-artist and sweet Cate, the Hamilton port prostitute. And that’s just the beginning!

All unfolds with a pair of motherless red-headed twin brothers, a diabolical hate-filled drunkard, two devoted raven-haired sisters, an obsessed land developer, hard-working Mexicans, a blind man, a handsome Italian-Canadian wine-maker, a blessed treasure trove of attentive mothers, one demented vineyard-wandering wife – and a startlingly beautiful, simpleton savant, Anna. A 250 year-old story about three families: the good, bad … and ugly.

One of the recent reviews for the book

Reviewed in the United States on February 7, 2021

Trillium is the story of European settlers in Canada over a 250-year period from the 1700s through the early 21st century.

The sweeping saga follows three families in the wine-making region of Ontario. Those unfamiliar with Canadian history and culture might find it interesting that the trillium is the official flower of Ontario, and is considered a symbol of beauty, purity and recovery.

Holton’s historical novel has elements of romance, family drama and mystery. Her vivid descriptions of Canadian life, and the compelling characters she has created, make her epic tale even more fascinating.

Readers interested in Canadian history, or those interested in an exploration of wine-making, will find this an appealing read.  

Books by Margaret Holton

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Margaret:Goodreads Twitter: @TrillLINDSAY

The final review today is for LIsette Brodey..and The Sum of our Sorrows.

About the book

In an idyllic suburb in Northern California, tragedy strikes the Sheppard family when Abby, the mother of three daughters and wife to Dalton, is killed in a car accident. Charlotte, the middle daughter, is in the car with her mother and survives without physical injury but remains deeply scarred on the inside.

Dalton tells Lily, his eldest daughter, that she must sacrifice long-awaited college plans and put her life on hold to take care of her sisters. Lily is torn between her devotion to family and an increasing need to find her place in the world — but how can she leave, knowing her family may crumble? Will her presence eventually cause more problems than it resolves?

The Sum of our Sorrows reveals how the aftermath of a family tragedy can precipitate sorrows never imagined. It is a tale of grief, hope, healing, coming-of-age, friendship, and survival. It is also a love story of two broken souls living through pain in search of better days and the renewal of one’s spirit.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I write characters as I hear them speak to me. Some of these stories contain non-gratuitous expletives and sexual references. This book also contains some situations that may be triggering to some readers. If this is not to your liking, please don’t read this book. Thank you.

A recent review for the book

In the blink of an eye, the Sheppard family is torn asunder. Abby, devoted wife and mother, is killed in a car accident. Her daughter, Charlotte, survives the accident without physical harm but what lies beneath the surface? Lily, the eldest daughter, must stay at home and help raise her two sisters. She’s torn between family love and making her own way in the world. What would her mother want her to do? As each member of the family deals with grief, pain, loss, memories, moving on, they must come to grips with life after Abby or their sorrows will drown their souls.

The Sum of Our Sorrows is a heart-wrenching piece of fiction with roots in real life. From the beginning, my soul ached for this family. As someone who has survived the sudden death of a parent, the emotional trauma each character deals with is authentic and realistic. Lisette Brodey is a gifted writer and her ability to connect with readers is impressive. There were times where I was so engrossed in the story, I forgot what I was doing. The plot moves at a good pace, not too rushed, with characters and dialogue I couldn’t stop reading. When I finished reading, I cried. An emotional story, The Sum of Our Sorrows brings into focus the magnitude of the human spirit. For some readers, it will be a life-changing read. For others, it will give renewed hope. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading more from Lisette Brodey. Fans of family dramas and intelligent women’s fiction will love The Sum of Our Sorrows. Highly recommend! 

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US- And: Amazon UK

A small selection of books by Lisette Brodey

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Lisette: Goodreads – Website/blog: Lisette Brodey – Twitter: @LisetteBrodey – Facebook: Lisette.Brodey


Thanks for visiting today and I hope you will be leaving with some books.. thanks Sally..