Friday, August 12, 2011


Book Review : Familyhood
Author : Paul Reiser
My Rating : 4 out of 5

We all know Paul Reiser for producing and acting in the famous sitcom "Mad About You". Apparently he writes books as well. And he is pretty good at it. His first 2 books "Couplehood" and "Babyhood" were both New York Times Bestsellers. "Familyhood" is his third book.

I haven't read his previous books. I picked this one up because I liked what I read on the back-cover. An admission of how inadequate he feels his parenting skills are. I felt an immediate connection !

The book is just a collection of short essays. Mostly about his handling of family affairs. And some about seemingly unrelated topics such as a GPS and a chair ! In all, he is the stereotypical dad - goofy, insecure, well-intentioned - just a regular guy. With an emphasis on being a "guy". It's a father's view. And as such, all mothers must read it :-)

You won't find any advice here on being a better parent. The book has the feel of a stand-up comedy act. Every good comedian needs to have great observational skills. They use those to point out our own absurdities, idiosyncrasies, and make us feel that they are reading our mind. That's what makes it fun. Paul Reiser will make you chuckle, smile and laugh. And he will not bore you.

It's not just all comedy. It's about being a family, so there is that special warmth too. But nothing melodramatic. He has his tough times, but he is not trying to win your pity. You will be surprised at how he maintains a positive tone even while discussing the sorrowful parts of his story.

It's been a while since I read a humorous book. I am glad I read it. It's a short book and I definitely recommend it. In fact, even though I haven't read them, I can still recommend his previous books (Couplehood, Babyhood) - depending on which phase of life you are in.

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