Peanut Butter and Naan
written by Jennifer Hillman-Magnuson
published by She Writes Press 2014
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Did I enjoy this book: Peanut Butter and Naan is a fast, easy read that’s just the right mix of poignancy and humor. Hillman-Magnuson’s writing is clear and honest, and her willingness to schlep five kids across the globe is downright humbling. I’m impressed.
“I feel like pounding my chest. I have successfully squatted in a roadside toilet! I am an adventuress! Hear me roar!”
Would I recommend it: Absolutely.
About the book: Fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants mom Jennifer Magnuson knew her spoiled suburban brood needed a wake-up call—she just couldn’t find the time to fit one in. But when her husband was offered a position in India, she saw it for what it was: the perfect opportunity for her family to unplug from their over-scheduled and pampered lives in Nashville and gain some much-needed perspective. What she didn’t realize was how much their time in India would transform her as well. A combination of Eat, Pray, Love and Modern Family, with a dash of Chelsea Handler thrown in for good measure, Peanut Butter and Naan is Magnuson’s hilarious look at the chaos of parenting against a backdrop of malaria, extreme poverty, and no conveniences of any kind—and her story of rediscovering herself and revitalizing her connection with those she loves the most. Hers is a story about motherhood that will not only make you laugh and nod with recognition—it will inspire you to fall in love with your own family all over again.
About the author: Magnuson won the Oregon Journalism Education Association’s Pica Stick Award for Outstanding Journalism in 1988 while taking summer seminars at Southern Oregon State, but she didn’t pursue writing professionally until 2005. Her work has appeared in Brain, Child and Bitch magazine, along with various websites including Mamazine, The Imperfect Parent, Sanity Central, Top Blog Magazine (now Blog Nosh), and, of course, her own blog, Get in the Car. Get in the Car was nominated for best humor blog in the 2007 Blogger’s Choice Awards. In 2008, Jennifer was approached by Nickelodeon to help launch their parenting website, Parents Connect. Jennifer has been a member of the Junior League of America, a Girl Scout troupe leader, Vice President of the PTA and delegate to the 2008 PTA National Convention, a Red Cross coordinator, a Key Spouse for the United States Air Force, a Department of Defense school board member, a former Spouse of the Year for Robins Air Force Base, a 2006 graduate of the Flagstaff Leadership Program and, of course, a room mom for countless elementary school teachers. She blogged about her experience in India at peanutbutterandnaan.net. Jennifer recently returned from Abu Dhabi and now lives in Oregon with her husband and five children, ages 18, 16, 11, 7, and 4.