5 Minutes for Books — Piece of Work

by Jennifer Donovan

I made a new friend this week. Her name is Julia Einstein, or depending on how literal you want to get, author Laura Zigman who created her. Laura Zigman herself claims that she writes “thinly veiled autobiographical fiction,” so I think it’s a fairly safe bet that if I enjoyed the character, I would relate to the author.

Julia Einstein is forced to go back to work as a celebrity publicist when her husband loses his job. She has to quit the job she’s come to love–that of full-time mom to her three and a half year old son (just like mine–similarity #1 to my own life). After first resenting the idea that she must go back to work, she begins to remember what she enjopiece-of-work.jpgyed about life beyond the scope of playground politics and Thomas and all of his friends (similarity #2–she even mentions Mavis and others by name). What’s more, her husband seems to enjoy his work at home, and actually seems to excel in some of the areas where she has fallen short as a homemaker (similarity #3??). At the risk of sounding odd, I won’t mention that my heart sort of skipped a beat when she mentioned the delicious (and inexpensive) rotisserie chickens from Costco (#4).

I read Piece of Work in a few short sittings. It was clever, light, and real. I enjoyed getting to know and like this character. It’s not often that I come across characters who are real and likeable. It was a pleasure to read about a good marriage–not a perfect one, but one in which mutual love and respect flourishes. This real mom admits that she likes the flexibility of being a stay-at-home mom, but when needed, she also demonstrates that she still has what it takes to be a success in the workplace.

There is a reading group guide available which provides some thoughtful questions about the role of a mom, some great get-to-know-you questions about past work experiences, and some fun questions about celebrities. For more information about the author, check out her website and blog at LauraZigman.com.

We have three copies to give away (to U.S. or Canadian addresses), so please leave a comment if you are interested in winning. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s column. The winners of last week’s book How Strong Women Pray were announced in the New Habits for the New Year giveaway post.



Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer Donovan

Jennifer Donovan has been a part of the 5 Minutes for Mom team since 2007. She writes product reviews, covers events, and manages the 5 Minutes for Books weekly column and website. She lives in Houston and blogs at Snapshot about life with her family.

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{ 156 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Noreen January 14, 2008 at 12:59 am

I would love a chance to read this book

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2 Bebemiqui January 14, 2008 at 1:04 am

Count me in!

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3 Shannon January 14, 2008 at 1:09 am

Count me in!

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4 Laura January 14, 2008 at 1:26 am

Sounds fun!

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5 Natalie January 14, 2008 at 2:49 am

I could use a new book, count me in!

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6 Heather January 14, 2008 at 3:18 am

I love to read and this sounds like a great book!

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7 Michelle January 14, 2008 at 4:07 am

I would like to be entered. Thanks!

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8 Beth Kuligowski January 14, 2008 at 5:53 am

Sounds like a fun read. Thanks for the chance to win!

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9 Patricia S January 14, 2008 at 7:33 am

sounds like a very interesting read..

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10 melissa January 14, 2008 at 8:20 am

I like the idea of reading it and then having a group discussion. That gives us a good excuse to break out the coffee and chocolate!

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11 emily January 14, 2008 at 8:34 am

This sounds like a great read.

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12 jennifer January 14, 2008 at 8:41 am

I am always looking for a good book. That sounds great, count me in.

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13 stephanie January 14, 2008 at 8:52 am

Enter me please!

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14 Sharon Humphries January 14, 2008 at 9:02 am

I’m looking for a good new book!

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15 Tammy in MN January 14, 2008 at 9:12 am

Sounds like a book I would like to read!

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16 Mamacheryl January 14, 2008 at 9:19 am

Sounds wonderful to me. Definitely something a busy mom could fit into a busy day.

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17 Liz January 14, 2008 at 9:34 am

I’d love this for my bookclub.

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18 Laura H. January 14, 2008 at 9:50 am

Im definitely interested in winning!

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19 Mama Zen January 14, 2008 at 9:51 am

This sounds excellent!

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20 Michelle January 14, 2008 at 9:54 am

Sounds like a good one. Count me in! Thanks!

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21 amydeanne January 14, 2008 at 9:56 am

add me in too!

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22 Meg January 14, 2008 at 10:08 am

Count me in, please! Sounds like a fun read!

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23 Nancy January 14, 2008 at 10:15 am

I would love to win this book. I already relate to the title since I’ve been told I’m a “real piece of work.”

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24 Your Books Reviews January 14, 2008 at 10:28 am

Books are indeed important.

=Your Books Reviews=

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25 Sarah at In the Trenches of Mommyhoodt January 14, 2008 at 10:38 am

I’d love to read this!

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26 Amy R. January 14, 2008 at 10:47 am

This sounds like a good book!

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27 Connie January 14, 2008 at 10:48 am

Sounds like a fun read!!

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28 Holly January 14, 2008 at 11:08 am

Sounds like it would be interesting. I’m always looking for new authors.

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29 Racheal January 14, 2008 at 11:21 am

Sounds nice to me wanna win thanks for the contest.

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30 Tara Robertson January 14, 2008 at 11:26 am

yes please!

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31 Ming January 14, 2008 at 11:27 am

Count me in!

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32 Sara January 14, 2008 at 11:38 am

I’m in need of a new good book, count me in!

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33 Michelle January 14, 2008 at 11:51 am

This book sounds great! I love reading more realistic books. I need to know that I am not the only one who is going through all that stay at home moms and working moms go through!

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34 Jenny M January 14, 2008 at 11:54 am

Sounds like my life as well=). There is no right universal answer to the work/ stay at home dilemna! Id love to read this book.

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35 Tina January 14, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Sounds great!

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36 Gaby January 14, 2008 at 12:15 pm

I would like to read this book!!!

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37 Brenda Prentice January 14, 2008 at 12:26 pm

sounds wonderful

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38 Stephanie January 14, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Looks like a good read! I’d love to win!

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39 Danielle S January 14, 2008 at 12:57 pm

I need a new book to read!
dansan826 at yahoo

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40 Brooke January 14, 2008 at 1:17 pm

Please randomly select me!

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41 Jeanne Diffley January 14, 2008 at 1:24 pm

moms sharing thoughts with other moms, is there anything better???

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42 Linda Pinto January 14, 2008 at 1:37 pm

I would like this book.

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43 Cindi Hoppes January 14, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Hi, I like a light reading book. Please enter me in your giveaway. Thanks,Cindi

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44 Carey January 14, 2008 at 1:49 pm

Count me in.

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45 danandmarsh January 14, 2008 at 2:01 pm

I would love to win and read this book!

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46 Julie M January 14, 2008 at 2:12 pm

I love her books! Count me in please!

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47 Taryn January 14, 2008 at 2:35 pm

ooooh another great book!

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48 Dodo O January 14, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Sounds great. Count me in :)

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49 Beth January 14, 2008 at 2:50 pm

sounds like an awesome book! count me in!!

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50 Colleen Palat January 14, 2008 at 2:54 pm

Sounds like a great book. Count me in!

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51 Tammy and Parker January 14, 2008 at 2:58 pm

I would LOVE to win. I could use a great read right about now!

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52 Patti January 14, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Looks like a great read! Thanks!

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53 Karin January 14, 2008 at 3:41 pm

I would love to win this book. Sounds like it would be a good read.

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54 TheAngelForever
Twitter:
January 14, 2008 at 3:45 pm

This book looks like a great read.

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55 Kathy Conley January 14, 2008 at 3:57 pm

What a fun read!

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56 Shelly January 14, 2008 at 3:57 pm

I’ve loved some of Laura Zigman’s earlier books and this one sounds great. Thanks!

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57 Kelly January 14, 2008 at 4:01 pm

I would love a good mommy to mommy read!! Sounds good, count me in!!

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58 Becca January 14, 2008 at 4:10 pm

I’m interested. Sounds like a book I’d enjoy. Thanks for the giveaway.

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59 Bree January 14, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Looks like a great read!

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60 Jennifer (Saving $$$ !) January 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm

This sounds great.

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61 Edward Durbin January 14, 2008 at 4:42 pm

I wish all a wonderful New Year…

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62 TracyD January 14, 2008 at 5:18 pm

I would love to read this book… it sounds like something I would really enjoy.

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63 Nakisha January 14, 2008 at 5:45 pm

This sounds like a great book, would love to read it. Happy New year everyone.

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64 Christi January 14, 2008 at 6:02 pm

sounds like a good read! Thanks for sharing!

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65 Michele January 14, 2008 at 6:17 pm

Please enter me…it sounds like a great read!

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66 risanjax January 14, 2008 at 6:42 pm

Count us in.

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67 Jill January 14, 2008 at 6:48 pm

This sounds like the perfect book for my book club!

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68 Susanne January 14, 2008 at 7:22 pm

I would love to read a new book! Thanks!

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69 Shaun Wallner January 14, 2008 at 8:30 pm

Great contest!

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70 Jill H. January 14, 2008 at 8:41 pm

I’d love a chance to read this, and suggest it to my local moms book group…

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71 Anita Yancey January 14, 2008 at 9:13 pm

Nice book! Enter me.

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72 debbie tyler January 14, 2008 at 9:43 pm

my daughter is a stay athome mom and I would just love to be able to give this book to her.

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73 Wendy January 14, 2008 at 10:32 pm

cool! Count me in:)

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74 Renae January 14, 2008 at 10:39 pm

Sounds good! Thanks!

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75 AmandaA January 14, 2008 at 10:54 pm

please enter me thanks

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76 Brandy January 14, 2008 at 11:23 pm

Please enter me. Thanks!

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77 tanyetta January 15, 2008 at 5:35 am

please! count me in. thank you. :)

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78 Shannon January 15, 2008 at 9:18 am

Enter me please for this book.
Thanks

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79 Kira January 15, 2008 at 10:13 am

sounds good!

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80 Karen Matlock January 15, 2008 at 10:30 am

please enter me!

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81 Amanda January 15, 2008 at 10:48 am

I’m always looking to add a new author to my list of ones that I look for – count me in!

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82 Lana January 15, 2008 at 11:52 am

Nice and useful reading! I’m in

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83 laura January 15, 2008 at 11:54 am

looks great! fingers crossed!

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84 Alexia January 15, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Sounds like a good book – please enter me!

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85 Tina January 15, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Yes, sounds good. Funny cover.

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86 Shannon B. January 15, 2008 at 2:39 pm

This sounds like a great book! I’d love to win!

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87 Leeanthro January 15, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Looks like a good read!

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88 Dana January 15, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Wow! Sounds like a really fun book to read with others and to chat about! I’d love to win! :)

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89 Kristie Noguera January 15, 2008 at 3:59 pm

This book sounds a lot like me too.

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90 Shari January 15, 2008 at 5:29 pm

this sounds like a really nice light read. And although I am vegetarian my husband devours costco rotisserie chicken! Sign me up! :)

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91 Jen January 15, 2008 at 5:39 pm

I would love to read this book!

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92 megan January 15, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Sounds like a fun read!

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93 Jane Squires January 15, 2008 at 6:14 pm

Sound interesting. I’m an empty nest Mom with surgery preventing to go to work so trying to figure out what I can do. Would love to win this.

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94 denise January 15, 2008 at 10:07 pm

I love to read…I’d love to win this cool new book!

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95 Pat January 16, 2008 at 12:37 am

Sounds like just the right gift for my depressed friend.

Thank you kindly!

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96 Tara Robertson January 16, 2008 at 12:53 am

I just wanted to let you know that I received the prize I won- “My Mommy’s Tote” in the mail and it is SO cool! I posted a picture of it on my blog. Thanks again for the contests!

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97 Caryn Bailey January 16, 2008 at 1:27 am

Count me in please!

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98 John MacDonald January 16, 2008 at 6:42 pm

count me in please.

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99 Jane January 16, 2008 at 8:10 pm

Count me in too!
:)

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100 Leanne Cobbledick January 17, 2008 at 4:59 am

me please!

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101 Cindy S January 17, 2008 at 9:46 am

Pick me. Thanks

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102 Gail January 17, 2008 at 12:00 pm

This sounds like a cool book, especially as it seems to mirror my experiences. I can’t wait to read it!

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103 Colleen Estep January 17, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Sounds like a good read

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104 Amy January 17, 2008 at 12:58 pm

After 15 years in the workforce, in Aug ’07 I decided to stay home full-time. I am working very hard to build a website and internet business so that I can stay home and raise my almost teenage son and my joyful 1st grade son. I LOVE the flexibility, like today having a sick kid at home, and the freedom to be in charge of my schedule, workload, and the atmosphere in which I work. I am still concerned about finances, but am praying the Lord will honor my decision to put my family first!

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105 Kirsten January 17, 2008 at 1:12 pm

I’m getting ready to have my second child, a boy and me and my husband are discussing the option of me heading back to work so he can get his master’s degree. This looks like a great book to read to prepare me for everything that lies ahead. Great contest! Thanks!

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106 Denise January 17, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Count me in! :)

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107 Rhonda T January 17, 2008 at 2:10 pm

Pick me please!

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108 Crystal Gleason January 17, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Looks great!

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109 Christine Saulter January 17, 2008 at 5:50 pm

This sounds like a lot of fun, and fun for a book club, too!

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110 Susan Crammond January 17, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Has the author been in MY house, too? I’d love to read this one. Please put my name in the draw!

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111 Stacy Berg January 17, 2008 at 7:34 pm

THis would be awesome – i neeeeeeeed 5 minutes!!!

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112 debra lander January 17, 2008 at 8:04 pm

would love to read

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113 DARIJA January 17, 2008 at 8:21 pm

I’d love to read this one

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114 Majida January 17, 2008 at 9:05 pm

I’d like to get my hands on this one.

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115 Tammy Lucier January 17, 2008 at 9:50 pm

What a great book! I’d love to have this in my collection.

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116 Eva January 17, 2008 at 10:30 pm

good idea

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117 Jocelyn G. January 18, 2008 at 12:13 am

Sign me up, sounds like a great read.

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118 Diana January 18, 2008 at 1:14 am

Please enter me!

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119 Carrie Taylor January 18, 2008 at 1:17 am

ENTER ME PLEASE

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120 Christy January 18, 2008 at 3:49 am

sounds like a good read!

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121 Carla C January 18, 2008 at 8:29 am

count me in please

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122 Dave R January 18, 2008 at 10:11 am

Mee Too!

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123 Renee Trotier January 18, 2008 at 10:11 am

Sounds good, I’d love to win this!

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124 Lisa O January 18, 2008 at 11:03 am

Sounds fun!

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125 DoubleHappiness January 18, 2008 at 11:31 am

A mother of two, I need all the help I can get!

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126 A. Jones January 18, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Sounds like a great read.

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127 Sandy January 18, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Looks like a good read!

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128 Elaine Miller January 18, 2008 at 4:39 pm

i would like this, yes i would

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129 Pamela White January 18, 2008 at 10:17 pm

cute and funny what I like

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130 John Mah January 18, 2008 at 11:47 pm

Sounds like a interesting book to read ! im interested !

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131 Samantha Pruitt January 19, 2008 at 5:02 am

sounds interesting

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132 Sylvia Porter January 19, 2008 at 6:28 am

this sounds like a good read!

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133 AnneMarie DeRemer January 19, 2008 at 9:09 am

I would love to read this. I am a working mother of two teenagers and I know tons about juggling.

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134 Rachel January 19, 2008 at 1:11 pm

this looks like a great book! i’d love to read it – count me in!

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135 richard randazzo January 19, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Enter me please,my wife would love this book.Thanks

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136 Elaine January 19, 2008 at 4:38 pm

You have a great site!

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137 Angela Thompson January 19, 2008 at 5:09 pm

Books, can’t get enough of them

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138 Debbie January 19, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Sounds like a good read!

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139 Audrey b January 19, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Sounds like a great read, please include me.

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140 Jennifer Barr January 19, 2008 at 11:25 pm

would love to win :)

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141 cindi swindle January 20, 2008 at 2:10 am

would love to win, i love to read

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142 Jeffrey G January 20, 2008 at 3:44 am

Thank you for having such a great giveaway!

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143 Heather C January 20, 2008 at 10:33 am

My husband salivates at the thought of me going to work while he stays at home. It can’t be because he thinks he’ll get more time at the golf range, right? :-) Thanks for offering up such a fab book. I’m excited about it.

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144 kathy pease January 20, 2008 at 12:03 pm

have a great day :)

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145 C. Russell January 20, 2008 at 12:09 pm

This book looks amazing I look forward to reading it.

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146 Nina January 20, 2008 at 2:31 pm

I’d love to win this…. thanks!

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147 Kara Poulios January 20, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Enter me please!

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148 Rachel January 20, 2008 at 4:09 pm

Sounds wonderful! I am always looking for new GOOD books to read! I’m a voracious reader and I’m going through our library too quickly!
This sounds great! Enter me Please!!!

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149 Nicole Price January 20, 2008 at 6:33 pm

Enter me too please.

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150 emily January 20, 2008 at 7:08 pm

I am so interested in winning. Sign me up, I would love it!

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151 bryon shaffer January 20, 2008 at 8:49 pm

hope i win.

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152 John Mah January 21, 2008 at 1:10 am

HOPE i win ! =)

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153 Pily January 21, 2008 at 7:48 am

Please count me in

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154 Kristina January 22, 2008 at 7:38 pm

This book sounds amazing! Wish me luck!

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155 tracy holcomb January 23, 2008 at 10:55 pm

sounds great.

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156 jennie gnojek February 5, 2008 at 10:07 pm

Hi I found your site looking for great books for my 10 year old daughter. I recently went back to work and could relate to this book ! I would love to read it !

Jennie Gnojek

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