Category: Books for Adults

The perfect end of summer gift: Memories of summer

If you have had a fantastic summer weekend host, a memorable visit with relatives, or some other cause to send a little thank you gift to commemorate the experience, consider the new Summertime book by Joanne Dugan a terrific option. Edited by the same author/photographer who brought us favorite books like ABC NYC and 123 NYC for kids, along with countless images in magazines that you’d recognize, Joanne has put together the work of 46 terrific photographers. I cannot stop flipping through the clean, evocative images which, even in their diversity, are so well-curated that they hang together like a gallery show about summer. And as a parent,...

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The Big Book of Symptoms: How to figure out whether to panic about your kid’s rash, or go back to bed.

3 a.m. was scariest when I couldn’t tell if my child’s diarrhea or ear ache were serious or just things to wait and see about. And one of the hardest parts of being a new mom was calling the pediatrician and ending up feeling like I’d overreacted to a minor concern But we can rest a little easier now, because the new release, The Big Book of Symptoms outlines all the different kinds of issues kids can have and the right action to take, whether it’s a home remedy or the emergency room. You know how you can look up a symptom online and the results are...

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Recycled book journals are utterly cool, even if they’re older than Grandpa

I love when vintage books are given new life, and I found that very thing in these gorgeous handmade recycled book journals from Renovated Books on Etsy. They’re made by carefully pulling apart old and rare books and recombining them with 70 pages of fresh, smooth paper to create an utterly unique journal with a mysterious past. Each book is beautifully hand-bound with Irish linen thread to lay flat, and 28 pages of the original book are thoughtfully placed throughout like mile markers. The spine even becomes a bookmark. Isn’t that clever? I love the dashing, Clark Gable look of the more manly volumes for...

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The Maker Dad book: A Father’s Day gift for the DIY dad in your life

I love the idea of a father’s day gift that’s actually an experience rather than, you know, another tie (not that there aren’t some cool ties out there), and that’s exactly what you’ll get with Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects, a new book from Boing Boing co-founder Mark Frauenfelder. A big DIY-er himself, Mark scoured books for cool projects that he could create with his daughters, but couldn’t find just the right fit. (Maybe he hasn’t seen our Pinterest boards?) So he complied his own ideas in Maker Dad,...

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What to do about picky eaters: 4 parenting books to help you call a truce on mealtime battles

Wondering what to do about picky eaters and how to feed them can be one of the most exhausting parenting challenges. We’re responsible for feeding our kids at least three times every day (or so we’d hope), and three daily battles is three too many. When you’re ready to stop the madness, these 4 parenting books can be amazingly helpful, and hopefully one is right for you. My hope is that they help you get your child to eat what’s on the table–or at least end the power struggles when he won’t.  All are available through our affiliate Amazon, or local indie booksellers...

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Beyond Baby by Meagan Francis. Your BFF for the next stages of parenthood.

We’re longtime fans of Meagan Francis of The Happiest Home here at Cool Mom Picks. Beyond Baby, her latest guide and accompanying workbook, makes another wonderful resource for parents, offering productive and calming exercises to help them make the transition from all-consuming babyhood to the next ages and stages in parenting. The lessons in Beyond Baby are geared toward small, easily digested challenges, spread out over 40 weeks and organized into five sections. Each week tackles a scenario–from the state of your home to the state of your mind–and gives you a challenge to complete. Some are fairly straightforward, like...

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One Simple Change: a book of healthy living tips that actually work.

I’ve never been one for new year’s resolutions, but every spring you’ll find me looking to clean up in more ways than one. There’s something about the budding plants, fresh green veggies, and warming weather that inspires me to recommit to healthier living. And still riding the momentum of Earth Day this week, I’m turning to One Simple Change: Surprisingly Easy Ways to Transform Your Life, a new book of healthy living tips by naturopath Winnie Abramson, for inspiration. I’ve followed Winnie for years through her blog Healthy Green Kitchen where she shares fabulously healthy recipes, as well as...

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Getting the party started thanks to Soleil Moon Frye

If you’re looking to amp your your kids’ birthday parties this year with a little more DIY, I feel you. While I’m not a huge crafter by any means, there’s something really gratifying about putting together goodie bags yourself around some crazy theme your daughter insists on, or planning an activity that the kids still talk about at the next year’s party. Or maybe my bar is just low? If that sounds familiar, then you’ll want to check out Let’s Get This Party Started! : DIY Celebrations for You and Your Kids to Create Together from TV mainstay turned parenting app...

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Momma Love: A beautiful book on how the mother half lives

You may remember a few months ago when Princess Kate walked out of the hospital holding sweet baby George in her bespoke blue dotted dress looking absolutely gorgeous, and yet all the world could talk about was the post-baby bump. Perhaps we’re all a little too hard on ourselves, moms. We seem to expect perfection at every turn because that’s what think we see so often in the media, but it’s not real life. Still, the real life of mothers should be celebrated, and that’s what photographer Ali Smith has done in a beautiful new coffee table book specifically...

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Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects. Yep, dads are crafty too.

I like to think of myself as a closet crafter, someone who secretly loves DIY projects but can never find the time to do them. Well, now that my kids are almost out of school for the summer, I’m determined to roll up my sleeves with them, and I found just the book to help me do it.  [Don’t miss a great giveaway after the jump!] Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects is chock full of more than 2 dozen DIY projects for families to enjoy together, all inspired by author Mike Adamick’s time as a stay-at-home-dad with his daughter...

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Every mother’s path is different. Or is it?

As the Big Day approaches (and that’s Mother’s Day with a capital M), our thoughts turn to mothering: our own mothering, how we were mothered, and “holy mutha, did you see how expensive greeting cards are now?!” Of course, the internet and parenting bloggers give testament to just how important this job/calling/biological necessity is, and a new series of essays provides a sweet, multi-layered and often funny read for all you cool literary moms out there. Curated by Meagan Francis, blogger and author of The Happiest Mom, the series of essays entitled My Path to Motherhood showcase personal stories...

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Minimalist Parenting: The must-read parenting book of the year.

When we first heard that Asha Dornfest of Parent Hacks and Christine Koh of Boston Mamas, two of the women I love and respect most in the world, were putting their clever heads together to write a parenting book, well there was no doubt in my mind that it would be awesome. As it turns out, it’s more than awesome–Minimalist Parenting is easily the new must-read parenting book of the year. And hopefully, every year. Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More By Doing Less is the right book at the right time: an antidote to the pervasive uber...

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The best last minute gift for a mom, dad, grandparent, best friend, or just someone you really love.

I get it–you’re busy. We all are. Sometimes the people we love most in the world are the hardest to shop for so we put it off; or sometimes they just get relegated to the “last minute gift list” after all the earlier deadlines with teachers and coaches and sitters. If you’ve got a few moments this weekend, a truly special gift doesn’t have to require a ton of craftiness or even a ton of money. Rag & Bone Bindery, makers of some of my favorite ever journals, photo albums, and baby books, has taken care of both. I...

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A personalized gift guaranteed to make you happy

I can’t imagine that Gretchen Rubin offers a money-back guarantee on happiness after reading her best-selling book Happiness at Home, but based on Kristen’s review, I think we would be inclined to do it for her. To sweeten the deal, here’s something neat: Gretchen is willing to send you a personalized copy ready for gifting. Just order your copy by Monday, December 10, and Gretchen will include a free bookplate, personalized and signed over to the recipient of your choice. (It’s a cute bookplate too!) Just email Gretchen with the number of copies, the name, and include your mailing...

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Launch a successful home business with a little help from Mom, Inc.

As a mama, I have big dreams: making cute-yet-healthy snacks, being a role model, kissing boo-boos like a champ. As an employee, I have the same dreams (except maybe the boo-boos part). I want to do it all…but I’m not always sure where to start. You know how it goes. This new book might help us accomplish our lofty goals–well, at least a few of them. Mom, Inc., by Meg Mateo Ilasco and Cat Seto, is full of smart, accessible advice for busy mamas seeking to launch home businesses. And believe me, these women know their stuff: Ilasco is an...

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My Prudent Advice? This mother-daughter keepsake is a keeper

Looking for a shower gift for a baby girl? Something that is original, meaningful, and will never, ever go out of style? I’ve got just the thing. And I’m calling dibs on gifting it at every baby-girl shower I ever attend. Jaime Morrison Curtis has created a stunning keepsake journal to be passed down from mother to daughter. My Prudent Advice: Lessons for My Daughter is inspiring, thoughtful, and simply creative.  Jaime is the founding editor of Prudent Baby, a site that encourages even the least craftiest among us (read: me!) to go out and make some awesome happen.  Not surprisingly, her journal...

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Be Happier at Home…and wherever else this book goes with you

On my nightstand, there’s a gigantic pile of self-help books stacked underneath a coffee cup. Not exactly helping much, unless you count them as an overpriced coaster. What you might notice if you peeked at my self-help lit pile is that Gretchen Rubin’s newest book, Happier at Home, is nowhere to be found. And that’s because I’ve been carrying it around in my handbag ever since I got it in the mail a few weeks ago. It’s not surprising that I’m enjoying it as much as I did her first bestseller, The Happiness Project, but in a way that surprised...

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The Home by Novogratz book helps you make your home more yours

A few months back, I had the pleasure of meeting TV’s increasingly notorious design mavens, the Novogratz family, and drooling over their unbelievable Manhattan apartment firsthand. While I keep inviting them to break into my home and have their way with it when I’m away, they have yet to take me up on it. (Odd, right?) So for me–and the rest of us–it’s great to get a peek at their new design book. [Don’t miss the drool-worthy photos after the jump!] Home by Novogratz takes Courtney and Robert’s “there are no rules” style of eclectic decorating made famous on...

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6 of the best funny parenting books. Because what new moms really need is a new laugh.

Along with a housecleaner and a personal chef, what I really could’ve used when I was a new mom was a good laugh and a lot more funny parenting books. Because while I sat and rocked my newborn as she screamed, it was sometimes hard to not take it all so seriously. If your new-mom friend is not the type to devour the very serious “expert” books on parenting, instead get her one that’s guaranteed to put a smile on her face. Plus, tucked inside all the “funny” is plenty of sage advice that will give any new parent...

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The Sh*tty Mom book: you don’t even have to be sh*tty to love it

I admit, I’m a little over the “Yay, let’s celebrate moms who suck!” thing that seems to have grown in popularity over the last few years. However, the hilarious new book Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us may be one of the very excellent exceptions. Because…well, first of all, it’s extremely funny. And extremely well-written. Also, because if you read between the lines, it’s not quite a celebration of terrible parenting, despite the title. But I’ll get to that. From the very first section, entitled Your Children Want to Ruin You, (let alone the title of...

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Wondering how to get your baby to sleep? Dr. Harvey Karp has a few things to say about that.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever struggled with a baby and sleep. Okay, so 99% of you. (The rest of you…don’t rub it in.) Then, just when we think we have mastered techniques to help our babies sleep longer and more peacefully, new issues arise. In fact, it’s hard to get a handle on what to do as our infants turn into toddlers and beyond. Most baby sleep books are just that, for babies. Thankfully, Dr. Harvey Karp, a big Cool Mom Picks favorite, and author of The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the...

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If toddlers could write poetry, it would go something like this

Poems about children and parenting can be kind of, um, hit or miss. Whether it’s too saccharin or just too earnest, I’m not sure–all I know is that it often leaves me vaguely uncomfortable. (And I was a creative writing major!) Not the case with To What Miserable Wretches Have I Been Born? Revenge Poetry for Babies and Toddlers. Although you might have guessed that from the title. Written by Suzanne Weber–also known as Anita Liberty, the author of books such as How to Stay Bitter Through the Happiest Times of Your Life–it’s a book of poetry from your baby...

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Double Time: Raising twins with hilarity

I’m a big fan of Jane Roper, because I love any author who is willing to laugh at herself. Since 2007, Jane has been baring her soul for the world and now, she lets us into the nitty gritty details of raising twins with a fantastic new book that will speak to all mothers. Presenting Jane Roper’s new Double Time: How I survived–and mostly thrived through the first three years of mothering twins. No issue is off limits, and this is what makes it so endearing. It’s as if you are sharing a good laugh with an old friend–with a...

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I Never Promised You a Goodie Bag – bring tissues and optimism

I’ve known Jennifer Gilbert a long time. Long before she was an author. Long before she was a high-powered party planner to the stars. Long before she was a mom. And long before she was a Real Housewife of NYC–the “nice” one who wasn’t trainwreck-y enough to make it past one season. Even so, I never knew that all these years, she’s harbored a huge, horrible secret. [Don’t miss more about the book after the jump – plus the chance to win one of two really amazing giveaways. REALLY amazing.] As it turns out, Jennifer was the anonymous New...

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Rock and Roll baby names. Not to be confused with weird rock star baby names

Okay so who isn’t at least somewhat fascinated by celebrity baby names–especially those from the rock stars we know and love. Sometimes I wonder if they have any regrets. (True Story: a friend of mine named her baby a name she wasn’t completely sold on and changed it five weeks later.)  If you’re in that baby naming phase of life, we’ve got the book for you. In fact I wish that I had it  when I was pregnant. Rock and Roll Baby Names: Over 2000 Rock Inspired Baby Names from Alison to Ziggy is as cool as it sounds....

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A Mothers Day book for any kind of mother – always a perfect gift.

We think that books make the most perfect gifts any time of year, and Mother’s Day is no exception. So for those literary mamas in your life, here are are suggestions of a few terrific Mother’s Day gifts. Bonus: There’s less lead time on these than a personalized necklace. Especially if you walk down to your local bookshop to buy it. FOR THE WORKING MOM: Just Let Me Lie Down by Kristin Von Ogtrop Yes, of course we’re all working moms, but those who work out of the house can often use a little extra “I get what you’re...

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Let’s Pretend This Never Happened book review – We dare you not to laugh so hard you embarrass yourself in public

Anyone who’s familiar with the uber popular blog The Bloggess, by Jenny Lawson, won’t be surprised in the least that her new memoir Let’s Pretend this Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir) is spit-bourbon-out-your-nose funny. You won’t be surprised that this is not a book to read out loud to the nun sitting next to you on the bus. You also might not be surprised that it debuted #1 on the New York Times best-seller list this week. What might surprise you, however, is how poignant, moving, and absolutely captivating it is from cover to cover. From the first...

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Personalized journals at prices as irresistible as the designs

We’ve been fans of Minted going way back to when we first discovered their gorgeous stationery and support of the indie designers who create them. We can’t tell you the number of notes we get from readers (okay, a lot) thanking us for introducing them to Minted. So we’re excited to be partnering with them again to showcase their amazing new custom journals and notebooks. Also, we’re offering a gihugic giveaway. Consider it our early Mother’s Day gift to you. [After the jump, don’t miss our favorite new designs, plus details about our $500 giveaway!] If you’re looking for...

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From piggy banks to paychecks, one chapter at a time.

I’d prefer one dozen versions of the “where do babies come from” talk with my kids before I’d sign up for even one “and this is how money works” discussions. I can cheerfully rattle off twenty-seven slang terms for body parts, but ask me how something amortizes and I break out in hives. Piggy Banks to Paychecks: Helping Kids Understand the Value of a Dollar, written by accountant and financial consultant Angie Mohr, explains it all to help me explain it to my kids.      Each chapter focuses on an aspect of financial savvy, from learning how to explain earning,...

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A four thousand-foot high classroom

Trish Herr takes homeschooling to an entirely new level. Instead of white boards, we are talking white peaks. Her children carry backpacks with more than just pens and pencils–think emergency supplies, whistles, and trail mix. In this very unique memoir, Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure, Trish details the challenges of signing on to an extraordinary adventure with her young daughter. Parents walk a fine balance these days. Between Helicopter Parents, Tiger Moms and Free Range Kids, it’s hard to know where you stand. The good news is that you don’t have to subscribe to any one parenting manual....

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