You say Maria, I say Mariah. Or, nah. Let’s stick with Maria.

Beyond Ava and Aiden baby name bookLinda Rosenkranz and Pamela Redmond Satran raised baby naming to an art form with their original 1988 baby-naming book, Beyond Jennifer & Jason – names that practically seem pedestrian with today’s Talullahs and Artemises.  Now the authors are back with Beyond Ava & Aiden: The Enlightened Guide to Naming Your Baby and I admit there are quite a few people I know who I wish had had this book when they were pregnant.

I’ve seen a lot of baby name books, but this one takes the cake for style, originality and lip synch. Some of my surprise favorites included Venturi, Eames, Kwame, Lucia, Nero and Maja. But don’t worry, there are plenty that are less adventurous, all organized by style, image, sex, tradition and sibling names to help you with #2 and beyond.

There’s even an entire chapter devoted to single-syllable middle names. Presumably to help out the parents of the world that just can’t let go of those five-syllable first names.  -Rita

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Rita Arens is the blogger of Surrender Dorothy, Deputy Editor for Blogher.com, the force behind the parenting anthology "Sleep is for the Weak," and a former Cool Mom Picks contributor.

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