By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Updated April 08, 2009 at 04:00 AM EDT


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Nine out of ten doctors recommend face-to-face conversation and psycho-therapy to clear communication roadblocks when a mother and adult daughter are stuck in a troubled relationship.

To this advice, Tori Spelling and ? her mother, Candy, say hah! Who but a commoner lives life in private when there’s money to be made from public drama? The younger Ms. S, of course, has already mastered the art of confession as a capitalist opportunity with the success of her last memoir, sTORI Telling, and her various self-starring reality TV shows. The older Ms. S has a $150 million Hollywood mansion she’s trying to unload. And so the pair have taken their Dynasty-style spectacle to the mall bookstore with ?competing memoirs that find time to slag one another.

Tori’s book, Mommywood (co-written with Hilary Liftin, the same gifted conjurer-of-a-Tori-literary-style who shaped the first book), is more self-aware, but there’s a lot of dithery naïveté about what motherhood entails for women who don’t live with camera crews. Candy’s book, Stories From Candyland (with only one credited byline), ?is ditzier, but there is some priceless information about her collections of Beanie Babies, miniature fans, and glass figurines (”I have a family of three Steuben beavers”).

Tori explains that ”my mother and I have a difficult ?(at times publicly so) relationship — when we have a ?relationship at all.” Candy declares that ”it’s fine if [Tori] wants her own reality show or wants to write books. I just wish she’d leave me out of it.” Tori shares a few stories about throwing a Versailles-opulent birthday party for her year-old son. Candy shares a recipe for cheese pie.

Anyone made queasy by the cheesy exhibitionism of the double Spelling literary act is encouraged to visit ? their own mother?and to keep the conversation private. Mommywood: B Candyland: C?


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