"She Looks So Much Like You," by Amie K. Miller, and "The Fossil Hunter," by Shelley Emling
The subtitle of St. Paul writer Amie K. Miller's book -- "A Memoir of (Nonbiological Lesbian) Motherhood" -- might not be lyrical, but it's clear and straightforward, just like the book itself. When Miller and her partner, Jane, decided to have a child, it was Miller who was supposed to get pregnant. But things didn't work out, and so it was Jane who gave birth to their daughter instead. Miller's funny, loving and painful book (a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award) is a very honest look at motherhood: how a child changes a relationship; how difficult it is to stay home with a baby; how nervous and paranoid young parents can be about everything from diapers to diseases. But Miller's story has the added complication of trying to figure out her role in all of this. She's a mother, but she did not give birth; her partner was pregnant, but Miller is not a father. She's a stay-at-home mom, but she's missing her career. Miller walks a fine line beautifully in this book, writing about her own strong self-doubt and confusion, but writing about her family with tenderness and love. Don't let the subtitle throw you; this is a book for any parent.
LAURIE HERTZEL, BOOKS EDITOR
In 1811, 12-year-old Mary Anning began her trailblazing work of collecting dinosaur bones. London-based journalist Shelley Emling brilliantly tells the tale of how this pioneering young paleontologist emerged from poverty in England to influence 19th-century scientists like Charles Darwin. Emling offers readers historical biography at its entertaining, stylish and eye-opening best. Lovers of science and history will find this an invaluable discovery.
CHUCK LEDDY, FREELANCE WRITER