Been There, Done That: Family Wisdom for Modern Times

Al Roker and Deborah Roberts, with Laura Morton. NAL, $26.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-451-46636-5
In this joint memoir and parenting guide, weatherman Roker and journalist Roberts, who have been married for 20 years, share their experiences balancing a harmonious family life with highly demanding careers. Roberts recalls growing up in the segregated South in the 1960s with parents who embodied “the notion of resilience” and preached small acts of kindness. Roker recalls a father with a deep capacity for friendship who supported young Al’s interest in film animation over athletics. These early years lay the foundation for handling their own children’s struggles, from daughter Leila’s difficulty fitting in at middle school to son Nicky’s learning difficulties. Roberts also discusses the “mom guilt” she experiences when career and family obligations collide, and the heartbreak of her mother’s battle with dementia. Humorous stories include Roker’s Guinness World Record–breaking 34-hour weather broadcast and his willingness to endure a Drake concert for the sake of his daughter. On the success of their 20-year marriage, the couple stresses the importance of communication and “effort, love, patience, forgiveness, [and] compassion.” Despite Roker’s tendency toward hackneyed “dad jokes” and sometimes trite observations (e.g., technology can get in the way of genuine interactions), this is an entertaining, encouraging read and a sweet testament to the couple’s devotion to their marriage and family. Agent: Mel Berger, WME. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/07/2015
Release date: 01/05/2016
Compact Disc - 978-1-61176-475-8
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-451-46637-2
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