Getting into conversation mode with some family members is almost instant. With others, not so much; there are uncountable silent moments and chats that don’t really go anywhere. Jennifer Worick, the author of other popular books like Simple Gifts: 50 Little Luxuries to Craft, Sew, Cook & Knit, is here to help with those sticky, awkward situations. Her book Beyond the Family Tree does not only look attractive, but it gets the getting-to-know-your-family job done.

The book is broken down into four chapters. The first chapter, “Nuts and Bolts,” talks about getting acquainted with technology such as a laptop, camcorder and camera. Chapter two, “Interviewing 101,” is a crash course on how to get your hands on a smooth Q&A. Chapter three, “The Questions,” is the meatiest chunk of the book; it covers the “fun stuff.” Worick provides interesting, funny and serious questions for the interviewer, which makes it easy to probe into the family’s best, unheard-of stories and memories. The final chapter, “Now What?,” informs the reader about social media and how it could be used in order to build a closer, more conversational relationship with relatives. Beyond the Family Tree helps you build stronger family roots, improve your interviewing skills and even get you to dip your toe in some of the latest social networks and online tools available.

Grade: A

Beyond the Family Tree is currently available.