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A Spoonful of Sugar
by Brenda Ashford
from March 18th – April 12th


Book Details
Genre: Memoir
Published by: Doubleday
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-0385536417
Purchase Links:    


Brenda Ashford is the quintessential British nanny. Prim and proper, gentle and kind, she seems to have stepped straight out of Mary Poppins. For more than six decades Nanny Brenda swaddled, diapered, dressed, played with, sang to, cooked for, and looked after more than one hundred children. From the pampered sons and daughters of lords ensconced in their grand estates to the children of tough war evacuees in London’s East End, Brenda has taught countless little ones to be happy, healthy, and thoroughly well bred. In this delightful memoir, Brenda shares her endearing, amusing, and sometimes downright bizarre experiences turning generations of children into successful adults.

From the moment Brenda first held her baby brother David she was hooked. She became a second mother to him, changing his nappies, reading him stories, and giving him all the love her warm heart contained. Knowing a career caring for children was her calling in life, Brenda attended London’s prestigious Norland College, famous for producing top-notch nannies. It was a sign of privilege and good taste for the children of the well-to-do to be seen being pushed in their Silver Cross prams by Norland nannies, who were recognizable by their crisp, starched black uniforms with white bib collars, and their flowing black capes lined with red silk. And what skills were these trainees tested on daily? Lullaby singing, storytelling, pram shining, bed making, all forms of sewing, cooking simple meals, and dispensing first aid—including knowing the best way to help the medicine go down.

In A Spoonful of Sugar, Brenda recalls her years at Norland and her experiences during the war (after all, even if bombs are dropping, there’s no reason to let standards slip), and recounts in lovely detail a life devoted to the care of other people’s children.

Sprinkled throughout with pearls of wisdom (you can never give children too much love, and you should learn how to sew a button, for goodness’ sake), this delightful memoir from Britain’s oldest living nanny is practically perfect in every way.

Read an excerpt:

Pearls of Wisdom from Brenda Ashford

“I had puzzled many times over the ingredients for a perfect recipe for a happy home. Throw in some stability, a dash of routine and respect. Sprinkle some fun and imaginative games and stir well. But the most vital ingredient is the mother. The mother is truly the heart and soul of a family.”

“As for fussy eaters? I don’t stand for it. I have taken a hard line on this topic. This is a home, not a restaurant and you will jolly well try it before you turn your nose up at it.”

“If a child has sufficient breakfast, lunch and dinner they shouldn’t need a snack. I don’t really like it today when I see children being wheeling along in a pram stuffing things in their mouth. ”

“Children cannot get up to your level, so you have to get down to theirs; try and understand how the world looks through their eyes.”

“If we respect little people then they in turn will grow up to respect others.”

“Put a book in a child’s hands or plant them in an empty field or park, and suddenly the world opens up and becomes a fantastical place of make believe and adventure.”

“Never let a house define you. You can make a home anywhere from an air raid shelter to a shed, if you have to. Riches and wealth don’t matter a jot.”

“I was always honest with my charges. In fact in every area of my life I have been most careful to never tell a lie. Why can’t everyone be more careful to tell the truth? At least we would all know where we stand in life.”

“Little folk deserve a childhood that’s full of fun. It’s the single most valuable lesson in my eyes. I have always encouraged children to have a giggle wherever and whenever they can.”

PEARLS OF WISDOM FROM A Spoonful of Sugar: A Nanny’s Story by Brenda Ashford
*9780385536417* On Sale April 2, 2013
Strung Together During 60 Years of Devoted Service as a Nanny


Author Bio:

brenda ashford
Brenda Ashford is a graduate of Norland College, a world-famous institute for British nannies. For sixty-two years, she cared for more than one hundred children, making her Britain’s longest-serving nanny. She lives outside London.


Tour Host Participants:

To sign up for this tour, please email Gina at Gina@
Thank you for your interest in this tour!


by Carlin Flora
on Tour January 14th-31st



Book DetailsGenre: Non-Fiction
Published by: Doubleday
Publication Date: January 15, 2013
Number of Pages: 288
Purchase Links:    


Discover the unexpected ways friends influence our personalities, choices, emotions, and even physical health in this fun and compelling examination of friendship, based on the latest scientific research and ever-relatable anecdotes.Why is dinner with friends often more laughter filled and less fraught than a meal with family? Although some say it’s because we choose our friends, it’s also because we expect less of them than we do of relatives. While we’re busy scrutinizing our romantic relationships and family dramas, our friends are quietly but strongly influencing everything from the articles we read to our weight fluctuations, from our sex lives to our overall happiness levels.Evolutionary psychologists have long theorized that friendship has roots in our early dependence on others for survival. These days, we still cherish friends but tend to undervalue their role in our lives. However, the skills one needs to make good friends are among the very skills that lead to success in life, and scientific research has recently exploded with insights about the meaningful and enduring ways friendships influence us. With people marrying later—and often not at all—and more families having just one child, these relationships may be gaining in importance. The evidence even suggests that at times friends have a greater hand in our development and well-being than do our romantic partners and relatives.Friends see each other through the process of growing up, shape each other’s interests and outlooks, and, painful though it may be, expose each other’s rough edges. Childhood and adolescence, in particular, are marked by the need to create distance between oneself and one’s parents while forging a unique identity within a group of peers, but friends continue to influence us, in ways big and small, straight through old age.

Perpetually busy parents who turn to friends—for intellectual stimulation, emotional support, and a good dose of merriment—find a perfect outlet to relieve the pressures of raising children. In the office setting, talking to a friend for just a few minutes can temporarily boost one’s memory. While we romanticize the idea of the lone genius, friendship often spurs creativity in the arts and sciences. And in recent studies, having close friends was found to reduce a person’s risk of death from breast cancer and coronary disease, while having a spouse was not.

Friendfluence surveys online-only pals, friend breakups, the power of social networks, envy, peer pressure, the dark side of amicable ties, and many other varieties of friendship. Told with warmth, scientific rigor, and a dash of humor, Friendfluence not only illuminates and interprets the science but draws on clinical psychology and philosophy to help readers evaluate and navigate their own important friendships.


Author Bio:

Carlin Flora was on the staff of Psychology Today for eight years, most recently as features editor. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia University School of Journalism and has written for Discover, Glamour, Women’s Health, and Men’s Health, among others. She has also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, Fox News, and 20/20. She lives in Queens, New York.


Tour Host Participants:

Jan 14: Showcase ~ Cheryl @ CMash Reads
Jan 14: Review & Giveaway ~ Kristin @ Kritters Ramblings
Jan 15: Interview ~ Kristin @ Kritters Ramblings
Jan 15: Review & Giveaway ~ Gina @ Hott Books
Jan 16: Review & Giveaway~ Andrea @ Literary Getaway
Jan 17: Review & Giveaway~ Victor @ Vic’s Media Room
Jan 18: Review & Giveaway~ Sue @ BooksTheMagicalFruit
Jan 19: Review & Giveaway~ Ruth @ My Devotional Thoughts
Jan 21: Review, Interview & Giveaway ~ Kate @ Read 2 Review
Jan 21: Review & Giveaway ~ Sandie @ Booksie’s Blog
Jan 22: Review & Giveaway~ Jennifer @ The Well Read Fish
Jan 23: Review & Giveaway~ Susan @ My Cozie Corner
Jan 24: Review & Giveaway~ Debbie @ Debbie Jeans
Jan 24: Review & Giveaway~ Paula @ BookLover Stop
Jan 25: Review & Giveaway~ Melissa @ Keeping Up With The Rheinlanders
Jan 28: Review & Giveaway~ Tammy & Michelle @ The Nook Users Book Club
Jan 29: Review & Giveaway~ Fenny @ Hotchpotch
Jan 29: Review & Giveaway~ Teena @ Teena in Toronto
Jan 30: Review & Giveaway~ Dina @ Just Another New Blog
Jan 31: Review & Giveaway~ Hilary @ Feeling Beachie
Jan 31: Review & Giveaway~ Misty @ The Top Shelf

This Tour is Now Closed