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The Lunch-Box Chronicles: Notes From the Parenting Underground

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There’s nothing like the thrill of realizing there’s another parent out there who may be screwing up even worse than you. And NPR commentator Winik, whose wryly honest autobiographical essays in The Lunch-Box Chronicles: Notes From the Parenting Underground qualify her as a sort of Erma Bombeck for the neurotic ’90s, is the queen of parental misadventures. Winik — whose husband died of AIDS in 1995, leaving her with two boys to raise — subscribes to the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants school of single momhood. Hers is a life of unexpectedly gross medical travails (oh, the horror, the horror of head lice!), misplaced family pets, and strange new passions (golf? the Dallas Cowboys?). As she points out, parenting is not for the fainthearted — but she sure makes it sound fun. B+

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