Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Picks for Parents

Sometimes the best thing for a child can be having a parent who has taken some quality time for themselves. Need a good read, good laugh or good cry about parenting? Escape into these books written by and for parents...if you can find the time!

Alternadad by Neal Pollack (Pantheon Books, 2007)

Mixing ironic skepticism with an appreciation for the absurdities of everyday life, Pollack offers a hilarious true story of two people trying to raise a child without growing up themselves. "Alternadad" is a portrait of a new version of the American family: responsible if unorthodox parents raising kids who know the difference between the Ramones and the Sex Pistols.

Baby Laughs: the naked truth about the first year of mommyhood by Jenny McCarthy (Dutton, 2005)

Jenny McCarthy, the best-selling author of Belly Laughs, tells everything about the first year of mommyhood that your polite girlfriends won't, in this hilarious account of what it means to have a newborn and the challenges that new mothers endure.

Crouching Father, Hidden Toddler: a zen guide for new dads by C. W. Nevius (Chronicle Books, 2006)

Humor for the new father. Short essays explore fatherhood and the art of mastering that Buddha-like patience needed to raise a child.

Growing Girls: the mother of all adventures by Jeanne Marie Laskas (Bantam Books, 2006)

Beloved columnist Laskas explores the often-weird, always-wondrous landscape of motherhood in this soulful, witty, extraordinarily wise collection of essays.

It's a Boy: women writers on raising sons edited by Andrea J. Buchanan (Seal Press, 2005)

The most popular question any pregnant woman is asked -- aside from "When are you due?" -- has got to be "Are you having a girl or a boy?" When author Andrea Buchanan, already a mom to a little girl, was pregnant with her second child, she marveled at the response of friends and total strangers alike: "Boys are wonderful," "Boys are so much better than girls," "Boys love their mothers differently than girls." This constant refrain led her to explore the issue herself, with help from her fellow writers and moms, many of whom had had the same experience. The result is "It's A Boy, a wide-ranging, often-humorous, and honest collection of essays about the experience of mothering boys.

I Wear the Maternity Pants in This Family by Susan Konig (
Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2007)

Acclaimed humorist Konig follows her successful debut, "Why Animals Sleep So Close to the Road," with this hilarious and realistic account of the joys and struggles of being a mother, writer, wife, and carpooler.

Literary Mama: reading for the maternally inclined edited by Andrea J. Buchanan and Amy Hudock (Seal Press, 2006)

For Mothers Who Write or Aspire to, who find meaning and humor in the demanding but wondrous daily experience of raising children, and who value the sharing of these varied experiences, comes a wonderfully rich compendium by mothers who write the lively, refined, honest, and witty Literary Mama.

Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay: and other things I had to learn as a new mom by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor (Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2006)

For moms who like their reading a little on the irreverent, crass side of humor, comedian Sylvie Wilder-Taylor's reflection on new motherhood should bring laughter, nods of understanding, and reassurance.

Toddler: real-life stories of those fickle, irrational, urgent, tiny people we love edited by Jennifer Margulis (Seal Press, 2003)

These clever, succinct, and poignant tales capture all the hilarity, magic, and chaos of raising the complex little people we call toddlers. Poised between the baby's and the child's world, toddlers teach us to take joy in the texture of a small yellow ball, in the comfort of a warm blanket, in the beauty of a spider web. They exasperate us, defy us, and devastate us, yet they fill us with a profound sense of wonder. From a blind mother's struggle to keep track of her very mobile two-year-old to the humorous resignation of a father who comes to realize that even his bathroom time is now a family event, these essays reflect the delight, as well as the frustration and heartbreak, that define this vital time in a child and parent's life. (Book jacket.)

*Book summaries courtesy of Syndetics Solutions.

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