Self-love and friendship from mother-daughter authors
Two books from one family
Daughter and mother Renee Ho and Michelle Minero will share their newly published books at Readers’ Books.
Listen to this mother and daughter team talk about the uplifting books they’ve just brought to the world and you’ll find yourself feeling pleased, perky and ready to be passionate about being positive. Their vivacious “can-do” attitudes are infectious, enticing you to open the covers of the paperbacks each has written to find out if you, too, can embrace life with such enthusiasm.
Mom Michelle Minero recently released “Self-Love Diet: the Only Diet that Works,” a guide to overcoming eating disorders by loving yourself first. Daughter Renee Ho just published, “The Friendship Effect: Why Friendships are Lifesaving and World Changing,” which teaches two premises – first, how to live life based on what makes you happy and therefore make more friends and, second, how to sustain those friendships and, in the process, make the world a better place.
Minero has been a licensed marriage and family therapist for almost 20 years, with a specialization in eating disorders. Her dream is to see a world filled with people who love themselves and their bodies. She describes her book, which includes action plans at the end of each chapter, as “a guided practice on being more loving to yourself.”
Ho is the mother of an almost-two-year old daughter and is expecting her second child. She is a special education teacher who is currently a stay-at-home mom. Raised in Petaluma, she’s lived and worked in Wyoming, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Georgia and Hawaii and makes and maintains friendships everywhere she goes. Her husband is a native Hawaiian, and it was while they were living on Maui seven years ago that she decided to begin writing her book.
It was a challenging time in her career, a time she most realized how important her friends are to her, and how supportive and sustaining friendship can be. Ho started doing research and learned that, since 1985, friendships have been in decline. She says she knew then that friendship was her passion, and that she wanted to encourage more people to realize its value.
“Sometimes people need tools to make friends. There are simple answers to how to find and keep friends, but they are often overlooked,” Ho said. So she decided to do more research, tap into her own life experience, and write a book about friendship. Her mother had started researching and writing her book shortly before, and Ho decided to follow her example.
Minero has been married for 35 years and has four adult children. “As a mom,” she explains, “I’ve always modeled going for your dream, and that anything is possible. Not just to have dreams, but to take action on them.” Her husband Al, the manager of Sonoma and Glen Ellen Market, is also upbeat and goal oriented. His philosophy is, “You can never give a smile away. You’ll always get it back.”
“My Dad taught us to never give up on family. That everyone is equal and that it is important to look out for people,” Ho said. She realizes that it was growing up in such a loving environment that taught her to be a kind person and a good friend.
“I believe in energetic resonance,” Minero explained. “If I’m in a good mood, I pass that joy on to you. We can use this energy to help the world, to spread the healing. Kind gestures can change the world if we believe it’s possible. If we don’t believe, then we won’t try.” She points out that in this way her book and her daughter’s are completely simpatico.
Minero’s daughter, Emelina, who edited her mother’s book and has a career in social media, shares the family belief in the value of friendship. She thinks it is possible that social media is leading to a decline in personal friendships, but that it also provides a place where people sometimes feel it is easier to be themselves. She said online friendships are “like training wheels on a bike,” and lead to meaningful in-person relationships.
Minero and Ho have the same goal for their books – to get the word out. They insist they have absolutely no desire for financial gain from their writing, but rather hope their words may help others enjoy life more, and maybe change the world because they feel the love. Book sales are just beginning but already they are donating their proceeds to nonprofits. They will be presenting their books at Readers’ Books, 130 E. Napa St., on Thursday, Feb 28, from 7 to 9 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley.