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About My Mother: True Stores of a Horse-Crazy Daughter and Her Baseball-Obsessed Mother: A Memoir

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A Message from Mike Rowe, the Dirty Jobs Guy: Just to be clear, About My Mother is a book about my grandmother, written by my mother. That’s not to say it’s not about my mother—it is. In fact, About My Mother is as much about my mother as it is about my grandmother. In that sense, it’s really a book about “mothers.” …It is not, however, a book written by me. True, I did wri A Message from Mike Rowe, the Dirty Jobs Guy: Just to be clear, About My Mother is a book about my grandmother, written by my mother. That’s not to say it’s not about my mother—it is. In fact, About My Mother is as much about my mother as it is about my grandmother. In that sense, it’s really a book about “mothers.” …It is not, however, a book written by me. True, I did write the foreword. But it doesn’t mean I’ve written a book about my mother. I haven’t. Nor does it mean my mother’s book is about her son. It isn’t. It’s about my grandmother. And my mother. Just to be clear.—Mike  A love letter to mothers everywhere, About My Mother will make you laugh and cry—and see yourself in its reflection. Peggy Rowe’s story of growing up as the daughter of Thelma Knobel is filled with warmth and humor. But Thelma could be your mother—there’s a Thelma in everyone’s life. Shes the person taking charge—the one who knows instinctively how things should be. Today Thelma would be described as an alpha personality, but while growing up, her daughter Peggy saw her as a dictator—albeit a benevolent, loving one. They clashed from the beginning—Peggy, the horse-crazy tomboy, and Thelma, the genteel-yet-still-controlling mother, committed to raising two refined, ladylike daughters. Good luck. When major league baseball came to town in the early 1950s and turned sophisticated Thelma into a crazed Baltimore Orioles groupie, nobody was more surprised and embarrassed than Peggy. Life became a series of compromises—Thelma tolerating a daughter who pitched manure and galloped the countryside, while Peggy learned to tolerate the whacky Orioles fan who threw her underwear at the television, shouted insults at umpires, and lived by the orange-and-black schedule taped to the refrigerator door.  Sometimes, we’re more alike than we know.  And in case you’re wondering, Peggy knows a thing or two about dirty jobs herself…


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A Message from Mike Rowe, the Dirty Jobs Guy: Just to be clear, About My Mother is a book about my grandmother, written by my mother. That’s not to say it’s not about my mother—it is. In fact, About My Mother is as much about my mother as it is about my grandmother. In that sense, it’s really a book about “mothers.” …It is not, however, a book written by me. True, I did wri A Message from Mike Rowe, the Dirty Jobs Guy: Just to be clear, About My Mother is a book about my grandmother, written by my mother. That’s not to say it’s not about my mother—it is. In fact, About My Mother is as much about my mother as it is about my grandmother. In that sense, it’s really a book about “mothers.” …It is not, however, a book written by me. True, I did write the foreword. But it doesn’t mean I’ve written a book about my mother. I haven’t. Nor does it mean my mother’s book is about her son. It isn’t. It’s about my grandmother. And my mother. Just to be clear.—Mike  A love letter to mothers everywhere, About My Mother will make you laugh and cry—and see yourself in its reflection. Peggy Rowe’s story of growing up as the daughter of Thelma Knobel is filled with warmth and humor. But Thelma could be your mother—there’s a Thelma in everyone’s life. Shes the person taking charge—the one who knows instinctively how things should be. Today Thelma would be described as an alpha personality, but while growing up, her daughter Peggy saw her as a dictator—albeit a benevolent, loving one. They clashed from the beginning—Peggy, the horse-crazy tomboy, and Thelma, the genteel-yet-still-controlling mother, committed to raising two refined, ladylike daughters. Good luck. When major league baseball came to town in the early 1950s and turned sophisticated Thelma into a crazed Baltimore Orioles groupie, nobody was more surprised and embarrassed than Peggy. Life became a series of compromises—Thelma tolerating a daughter who pitched manure and galloped the countryside, while Peggy learned to tolerate the whacky Orioles fan who threw her underwear at the television, shouted insults at umpires, and lived by the orange-and-black schedule taped to the refrigerator door.  Sometimes, we’re more alike than we know.  And in case you’re wondering, Peggy knows a thing or two about dirty jobs herself…

30 review for About My Mother: True Stores of a Horse-Crazy Daughter and Her Baseball-Obsessed Mother: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    Humorous and entertaining. By books end I had fallen heavily for both Peggy and her mother. Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs was an entertaining but somewhat cringworthy program about the less than ideal jobs some people work. In fact, he provides, not one but two forewar tod to this book written by his mother. Episodes of a life, a mother and daughter that couldn't be further apart in expectations. Her mom, prim and proper, house immaculate, dinners wonderfully prepared, dressed to the T. Until she becom Humorous and entertaining. By books end I had fallen heavily for both Peggy and her mother. Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs was an entertaining but somewhat cringworthy program about the less than ideal jobs some people work. In fact, he provides, not one but two forewar tod to this book written by his mother. Episodes of a life, a mother and daughter that couldn't be further apart in expectations. Her mom, prim and proper, house immaculate, dinners wonderfully prepared, dressed to the T. Until she becomes an Orioles fan, baseball now her main focus during the season, shouting at television umpires, radio on during usually quiet meals,. The Orioles turn on s switch that will last the rest of her life. Peggy, horse crazy, smelling often of hay snd manure, not an ideal daughter. Yet, somehow these two disparate personalities come together and learn to embrace each other's passion. Short portraits, stories of their lives through the years, but does give the reader a good inside look at their personslities, and lives together. Just what I needed right now, a book that I enjoyed immensely.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    This came in the mail this afternoon and I've already finished it. I thoroughly enjoyed the warm and laugh out loud stories of a tight knit family, much like my own. Give this a read, I bet you'll love it. This came in the mail this afternoon and I've already finished it. I thoroughly enjoyed the warm and laugh out loud stories of a tight knit family, much like my own. Give this a read, I bet you'll love it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Now I know where Mike Rowe gets his talent... Straight from Mama Rowe!!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    Charming, but not as funny as the story about the blue purse lost at WalMart.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christina DeVane

    3.5 🌟 This was a fun, light read (listen) that made me laugh out loud at different parts. Short stories sharing her life with an opinionated mother who kept things in order and laughable. She was probably one of those people who didn’t realize how funny she was. A few words here and there just FYI.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    Peggy Rowe is an engaging story teller who draws you in from page 1. Reading about her mother and her family life in Baltimore was a joy.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    This book was my Mother’s Day gift, and it was quite appropriate! This memoir is a charming, amusing tribute to Thelma Knobel, written lovingly and a bit sarcastically by her daughter, Peggy Rowe. Mrs Rowe has become quite famous in her own right, and not just as the mom of celebrity Mike Rowe. Her sense of humor is right up my alley! I found the book to be about much more than the typical clash between a mother and daughter. Mrs. Rowe tells it like it was, and shares the love that held their fa This book was my Mother’s Day gift, and it was quite appropriate! This memoir is a charming, amusing tribute to Thelma Knobel, written lovingly and a bit sarcastically by her daughter, Peggy Rowe. Mrs Rowe has become quite famous in her own right, and not just as the mom of celebrity Mike Rowe. Her sense of humor is right up my alley! I found the book to be about much more than the typical clash between a mother and daughter. Mrs. Rowe tells it like it was, and shares the love that held their family together, despite the polar differences in their personalities! This book also reminds us of times that are lost in this modern age—when the generations lived close and were so involved in each other’s daily moments. It is funny and nostalgic, and a perfect read for those of us who grew up with The Greatest Generation and the Baby Boomers. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Such a lovely collection of sweet, entertaining stories! I genuinely enjoyed them! Mrs. Rowe has a true gift as her writing comes across as though it were done effortlessly. I look forward to reading more by her in the future.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    I wish I had a more extensive vocabulary that I could dazzle you with words indicating love and humor. This is my book pick of the year, a non-fiction (which I rarely read) collection of short stories that I adored. Peggy Rowe has a blog on Facebook called About My Mother that is about her life and stories of her children growing up. This book is about Peggy telling us stories about her life as a child and her wonderful loving mother. I never have laughed so often or so hard reading a book. I'm I wish I had a more extensive vocabulary that I could dazzle you with words indicating love and humor. This is my book pick of the year, a non-fiction (which I rarely read) collection of short stories that I adored. Peggy Rowe has a blog on Facebook called About My Mother that is about her life and stories of her children growing up. This book is about Peggy telling us stories about her life as a child and her wonderful loving mother. I never have laughed so often or so hard reading a book. I'm not sure if it's because I grew up in the same decades or if this book seemed so normal to me. Kids today would never get some of the humor. Pretending the grape arbor is a horse or Peggy and her mother driving across country without a man. (oh my). If you buy books for Christmas gifts, and you can find a copy, give this to everyone you know. Also if you're on Facebook, look up About my Mother for your daily morning laugh. I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tami

    I loved this collection of family memories about Peggy and her mother, Thelma. The chronological essays are hilarious, moving, and insightful. Peggy, a retired teacher, has packaged a book full of love. I connected with these stories on so many levels - lover of horses (but I was never given the opportunity to have one), having a mother who was passionate about what a neat and tidy home should look like, Mom's pot roast with brown gravy, and a Mom that sometimes embarrassed! (That story takes pl I loved this collection of family memories about Peggy and her mother, Thelma. The chronological essays are hilarious, moving, and insightful. Peggy, a retired teacher, has packaged a book full of love. I connected with these stories on so many levels - lover of horses (but I was never given the opportunity to have one), having a mother who was passionate about what a neat and tidy home should look like, Mom's pot roast with brown gravy, and a Mom that sometimes embarrassed! (That story takes place at a Fireman's Picnic in Mammoth Lakes, California one July 4th and involves my Mother, (approximatly 44 at the time) a couple of beers (she wasn't a drinker), a pie eating contest, a climb the greased pole contest, a three legged race and a very surprised greased pig.) Thank you, Peggy, for the walk down your memory lane, and mine.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fen

    I've been following Mike Rowe for ages on Facebook and have always enjoyed the letters and emails he reads from his mother... so of course I had to order this book when I had the chance. It's just as charming, funny and touching as her notes to Mike have always been and I'm really hoping she decides to pull together another book, soon! I've been following Mike Rowe for ages on Facebook and have always enjoyed the letters and emails he reads from his mother... so of course I had to order this book when I had the chance. It's just as charming, funny and touching as her notes to Mike have always been and I'm really hoping she decides to pull together another book, soon!

  12. 5 out of 5

    De Vonna Stephens

    Super cute, funny and well written

  13. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    Endearing and funny. A sweet read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    SusanS

    Book Court - Where I'm the Judge and Jury CHARGE (What is the author trying to say?): To comfort every daughter “who ever thought her mother was from another planet.” FACTS: Mike Rowe, the television host and narrator, published his mother’s memories of her mother, Thelma Knobel. They were “two completely divergent personalities who interacted every single day for the better part of seventy years.” The book provides cute G-rated vignettes of life in a simpler time. For those of us of a similar age Book Court - Where I'm the Judge and Jury CHARGE (What is the author trying to say?): To comfort every daughter “who ever thought her mother was from another planet.” FACTS: Mike Rowe, the television host and narrator, published his mother’s memories of her mother, Thelma Knobel. They were “two completely divergent personalities who interacted every single day for the better part of seventy years.” The book provides cute G-rated vignettes of life in a simpler time. For those of us of a similar age, the stories evoke similar memories of growing up in a kinder, simpler world. The book is full of love and humor. “…Cousin Jimmy laid his hand to the side of his nose, tilted his head, and honked like a barnyard goose during mating season.” We all have memories like this. It was a pleasure to recall them again. This book is very comfortable. Reading it is like an old pair of shoes, a cozy sweater, or a hug from your Mom. These are sweet memories that are pleasingly satisfying. VERDICT (Was e author successful?): Guilty, as charged. This is a feel-good read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Wonderful stories I enjoyed every story in this book. I had much the same childhood except for the baseball. Saturday’s were for cleaning - dusting, mopping, washing clothes, drying them on the line and then ironing. Books, not horses, were my obsession but love was expressed in actions rather than words. Thanks for sharing your stories with us.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    Peggy Rowe, the mother of Dirty Jobs Mike Rowe has written a wonderful, humorous, and at times very emotional memoir of her growing up with a baseball obsessed mother. I loved it and can’t recommend it high enough. She will hopefully write more books. #Aboutmymother. #PeggyRowe

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Peggy Rowe’s long-awaited book is everything I hoped it would be, and more. She is a wonderful storyteller, and these stories about her family, focusing primarily on her relationship with her firecracker mom Thelma, are endearing, funny, and relatable. Every woman who grew up with her mom in her life understands that we have our ups and downs with each other, and Peggy and Thelma’s relationship is no different. Where Thelma ran a tight ship where laundry was washed every Monday, Peggy sought mor Peggy Rowe’s long-awaited book is everything I hoped it would be, and more. She is a wonderful storyteller, and these stories about her family, focusing primarily on her relationship with her firecracker mom Thelma, are endearing, funny, and relatable. Every woman who grew up with her mom in her life understands that we have our ups and downs with each other, and Peggy and Thelma’s relationship is no different. Where Thelma ran a tight ship where laundry was washed every Monday, Peggy sought more leisure and preferred the company of horses and the aroma of hay and saddle leather. While Thelma made sure her family was polished and dressed properly for church every Sunday, Peggy snuck out of the church’s back door during a sleepy service and treated herself to a chocolate bar from the dime store around the corner. These stories reminded me of my own mom and our many squabbles and laughs, especially when I was an angsty Goth teenager, and also of the stories my grandma has told me about my two aunts on my dad’s side. I absolutely adored this book from start to finish, and I encourage everyone to read it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    What a delightful collection of stories about family, when life was so very different than today. Love.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Peggy Rowe's stories about her relationship with her mother are funny and heartwarming. I really enjoyed the book. I found myself laughing out loud and sometimes shedding a tear or two. It's a great read! Peggy Rowe's stories about her relationship with her mother are funny and heartwarming. I really enjoyed the book. I found myself laughing out loud and sometimes shedding a tear or two. It's a great read!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Gwen Shapiro

    I enjoyed the laugh out loud humor from Mrs. Rowe Mrs. Rowe has written a book with the same dry humor as her post on Mike Rowe’s FB page about the Old Blue purse. Her memories of life with her mom have an evocative look into life growing up in the 50’s and 60’s if you have a loving, stable home with a strong parent figure. Many times I laughed out loud at the author’s memory of Mom #1 and Mom #2. I am pretty sure I know where Mike Rowe got his sense of humor. All together, sweet and feel good fu I enjoyed the laugh out loud humor from Mrs. Rowe Mrs. Rowe has written a book with the same dry humor as her post on Mike Rowe’s FB page about the Old Blue purse. Her memories of life with her mom have an evocative look into life growing up in the 50’s and 60’s if you have a loving, stable home with a strong parent figure. Many times I laughed out loud at the author’s memory of Mom #1 and Mom #2. I am pretty sure I know where Mike Rowe got his sense of humor. All together, sweet and feel good funny, with a happy ending.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andrea L Smith

    Wonderful! I have always found Mike Rowe to be interesting and intelligent. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. These are delightful stories about embracing your children for who they are. Loved it!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This is hands down the funniest book I've read. I bought it for my mom for Christmas and read it before her. I had to stifle my laughter so she would not ask me what was so funny! I'd recommend this memoir to anyone. Reading this you realize who Mike can thank for his sense of wit. This is hands down the funniest book I've read. I bought it for my mom for Christmas and read it before her. I had to stifle my laughter so she would not ask me what was so funny! I'd recommend this memoir to anyone. Reading this you realize who Mike can thank for his sense of wit.

  23. 4 out of 5

    JeanMarieT

    Loved It! Peggy Rowe told the story of her mother as seen though a daughter’s eye. In the telling, not only do we learn of her mother, but also of Peggy herself. This is an enjoyable, sweet read!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gina Wells

    I didn't want it to end. So well written and so heart-warming. In a world where there is so much pain and division, this book reminded me that there is comfort in the day to day. Peggy's writing is so lovely. And now I am going to call my mom :). I didn't want it to end. So well written and so heart-warming. In a world where there is so much pain and division, this book reminded me that there is comfort in the day to day. Peggy's writing is so lovely. And now I am going to call my mom :).

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rita McDowell

    Heartwarming! Basically read this wonderful book in one sitting! Way to good to put down for very long! Wonderful and heartwarming story that reminded me of great memories of my Great Grandmother (who scared me as a little girl) who was no nonsense, my Grandmother who was extremely laid back and easy going and very quick to cause an uproar at times. and my mother who was a combination of them depending on the situation! Thank you for a wonderful and entertaining read and a great trip down memory Heartwarming! Basically read this wonderful book in one sitting! Way to good to put down for very long! Wonderful and heartwarming story that reminded me of great memories of my Great Grandmother (who scared me as a little girl) who was no nonsense, my Grandmother who was extremely laid back and easy going and very quick to cause an uproar at times. and my mother who was a combination of them depending on the situation! Thank you for a wonderful and entertaining read and a great trip down memory lane! God Bless! Please.keep writing!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Fryer

    A great read! A beautifully written, humorous look at our personal histories and how we grow from our experiences. Thanks for a great read!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gloria Walker

    Took Peggy's book with me to read on the flight to Cabos San Lucas. I laughed out loud when her father finally realized it was time to get her a horse! I can certainly relate! As my mom can see me going down the same path. She knew it was time to give in when I sat her down and said, It's either boys or a horse. Without missing a beat, mom asked, "What color horse would you like?" She knew I was going to be either boy crazy or horse crazy! So from the age of 13 to 34, horses were my life! I tho Took Peggy's book with me to read on the flight to Cabos San Lucas. I laughed out loud when her father finally realized it was time to get her a horse! I can certainly relate! As my mom can see me going down the same path. She knew it was time to give in when I sat her down and said, It's either boys or a horse. Without missing a beat, mom asked, "What color horse would you like?" She knew I was going to be either boy crazy or horse crazy! So from the age of 13 to 34, horses were my life! I thoroughly enjoyed Peggy's stories about her life. This book is well crafted and one story blended to the next. I like how she included dialog between her and Mike. When she was quoting Mike, I couldn't help but to re-read it with Mike's booming voice in mind. I highly recommend this book to all. It's a great read. I am proud to be one of Mike's "Little Facebook Fans".

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nae

    An absolutely wonderful, laugh out loud, story of Mike Rowe's mother's relationship with he mother. In the forward to the book he writes the if he had to describe the book it would be as a "comforting" read ... I found it to be so much more on so many levels. If you ever read Erma Bombeck and miss her writings, this one will fill the void quite nicely. I have always loved Mike's way with spoken and written words, once you read this book it will be easy to see where his gift of "really telling" a An absolutely wonderful, laugh out loud, story of Mike Rowe's mother's relationship with he mother. In the forward to the book he writes the if he had to describe the book it would be as a "comforting" read ... I found it to be so much more on so many levels. If you ever read Erma Bombeck and miss her writings, this one will fill the void quite nicely. I have always loved Mike's way with spoken and written words, once you read this book it will be easy to see where his gift of "really telling" a story came from.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Paul Black

    Growing up as a tomboy near Baltimore with a very neat and proper (except with regard to Orioles baseball) mother has got to lead to a lot of kooky stories. And it does! From wearing leather fringe jackets and cowboy boots to church to being the catalyst for Mom throwing the opening pitch at an Orioles game, Peggy Rowe tells the stories with a cheerful and flowing style. Maybe Mike Rowe's mother isn't the next Irma Bombeck, but I'm glad I bought the book. Growing up as a tomboy near Baltimore with a very neat and proper (except with regard to Orioles baseball) mother has got to lead to a lot of kooky stories. And it does! From wearing leather fringe jackets and cowboy boots to church to being the catalyst for Mom throwing the opening pitch at an Orioles game, Peggy Rowe tells the stories with a cheerful and flowing style. Maybe Mike Rowe's mother isn't the next Irma Bombeck, but I'm glad I bought the book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kim Padan

    Absolutely delightful collection of stories! I have been a fan of Mike Rowe for years, and have enjoyed "meeting" his mother through Facebook. Now, in this book, his mom shares memories of a very proper and loving grandmother. Story telling must be in the genes. Absolutely delightful collection of stories! I have been a fan of Mike Rowe for years, and have enjoyed "meeting" his mother through Facebook. Now, in this book, his mom shares memories of a very proper and loving grandmother. Story telling must be in the genes.

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