biography, memoir, non-fiction

About My Mother by Peggy Rowe

Genre: Nonfiction, memoir
Hardcover, 171 pages
Published July 2018
Find it on Goodreads here

About My Mother is written by Peggy Rowe, mother of TV’s Dirty Jobs Mike Rowe. This is Peggy’s first publication but you may have read her previously as she contributes to Mike’s Facebook page. In this fun and upbeat memoir, Peggy describes what life was like growing up with a one-of-a-kind mother.

Peggy’s mom, Thelma Knobel, is a hardcore Baltimore Orioles fan who gives direction and takes no direction from others. She is a woman ahead of her time. While other moms were either just learning how to drive, or didn’t drive at all, Thelma was the woman who adventured further by going on a girls-only road trip across the country!

“I kept my eyes peeled for cowboys and wild horses as we crept westward through dozens of small towns that all looked the same.”

Peggy could care less about baseball and would rather be outside riding horses. In fact, she along with the rest of the family would avoid watching games with Thelma. Simple precaution. There were times when Thelma would watch the game while doing laundry and an ump’s bad call would cause her to throw a pair of underwear at the TV in protest.

The two don’t see eye-to-eye on each other’s interest but get along for the most part. Peggy includes photos from when she was a girl as well as photos of her grown up with a family of her own. It’s great to see the woman responsible for Peggy’s upbringing and to put a face to all the stories Peggy writes about.

My Thoughts


I have to be impartial to this book because I LOVE Mike Rowe. I think he is a genuine person and his Facebook page, Returning The Favor, gets me in tears every single time. If you have no clue what I am talking about, visit his page. The premise is that people submit letters to him about good people changing their communities on a tight budget. He swoops in and builds them a new building, or donates a butt-load amount of money to their charity or cause.

And back to the book…

The first few pages of this book had me in tears. Not the type of tears Mike gets me in, but of laughter. Oh my God, the way Peggy describes her mother’s enthusiasm for baseball both as a young mother and again a woman in her 90’s excited to see a jersey in Macy’s was hysterical! Thelma has a personality that shines through in Peggy’s writing.

Overall I enjoyed the book. Peggy describes things in detail which I feel can be tough to do when writing nonfiction. Keep this book in the back of your mind for Mother’s Day. It describes a mother-daughter relationship that many can relate to. Not getting what you want and putting up a fight about it is one I can identify with!

The Book Smuggler signature (1)

***Hey! Have you signed up for the Book Smuggler’s Den newsletter yet? Sign up today to get information on where to find books for free or at a discount. As an added bonus to all you authors out there, this is another way to be featured here in the Den and reach readers all over. We’re all about promoting one another’s work and this is a great opportunity to do so.

Check out what all the fuss is about in our latest issue here. AND if you’re interested in other ways of being featured here (interviews, reviews, social media, etc) let me know by sending me an email to I’d be happy to have you here.***

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.