Category: Books for Adults

Your Baby in Pictures

I was fortunate to have an amazing photographer friend when my first baby was born–otherwise I’m pretty sure all I’d have of her was a bunch of blurry photos. Let’s face it, little ones are tough to photograph. Too bad I didn’t have this amazing book from photog guru Me Ra Koh. This new-to-me book Your Baby in Pictures: The New Parents’ Guide to Photographing Your Baby’s First Year offers up step-by-step instructions, ideas, and inspiration for photographing your baby’s first year. In a word: Brilliant. Aside from the gorgeous photos, you’ll appreciate Me Ra Koh’s simple, smart advice...

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Is that a Picasso on your fridge?

Dan Consiglio is the amazingly talented and funny author of the blog What My Kids’ Art Says. It’s a great site because Dan isn’t afraid to call it like it is. He looks at children’s artwork with the lens of an erudite art critic, not a “my child is amazing and therefore everything associated with her must be” parent. The results are absolutely hysterical, and now they are now in a clever paperback that will have you in stitches. Is That a Picasso on Your Fridge? is like taking an art history class on a roller coaster. You know...

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No more tears

My first two children were so easy to feed, I assumed it was due to my superior parenting (and cooking) skills that they would gobble down whatever I put in front of them without too much nose wrinkling. And then I had my son who humbled me and turned me into one of those crazy parents who beg their child to eat anything. So when I heard that Elizabeth Pantley, the author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution, was coming out with a book to help us parents with picky eaters, I had only one question: Will this work with...

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Shel Silverstein rises again

I have no idea how missed the huge fact that a new book from Shel Silverstein was released a few weeks ago, especially considering he’s my favorite modern children’s author of all time. But my mother knew. And when I opened the mysterious Amazon package that arrived from her this week, and saw the telltale Shel Silverstein line-drawing on the cover, I gasped with the excitement of a kid discovering a puppy under the tree at Christmas. Every Thing On It is a collection of unpublished poems and illustrations very much in the spirit of Where The Sidewalk Ends,...

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Happy Chaos – parenting words to live by.

As a child of the 80’s, Soliel Moon Frye and I go way back. I have a glorious memory of dressing up as Punky Brewster for Halloween one year, which involved mainly pig tails and lots of bandanas. Her character was so bold and confident and I loved everything about her. Now, 25 years later (has it been that long?) I’m falling in love with her again as the author of a brand new parenting book, Happy Chaos Soleil, if you weren’t aware, happens to be one busy mama. She’s got her own organic kids’ clothing shop in LA,...

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Mothers of Intention: Using our outside voices

My interest in politics has ebbed and flowed over the years, but since I’ve become a mother, public policy has taken on a whole new personal relevance for me. I’ve got three kiddos whose futures will be affected by the decisions of political leaders, from our local school board all the way up to the federal government. That’s a pretty sobering realization. But it’s an exciting one too, and that’s what prominent political blogger and mom Joanne Bamberger showcases in her new book, Mothers of Intention. Featuring an array of powerful essays by bloggers — including our own Kristen...

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The economics of a better marriage

I’ll just say it: I’m not a self-help book kind of person. Spousonomics arrived in the mail and languished on my desk for months; because, really, a book about using economics to master love and marriage? Ooooookay. But then one day I started reading it, and I couldn’t put it down. Authors Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson not only use economic theory in Spousonomics to explain why a 50/50 split in housework won’t work for most couples, they manage to make the explanation interesting. And it’s funny–like, laugh-out-loud funny–even as it explains that, hey, this is all about finding ways...

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It’s a toddler’s world after all

I’ve read enough expert-y books about how to deal with toddlers to know that the only way to really remain sane through those challenging years is to laugh it off.  And that’s exactly what this new hilarious book had me doing. The World According to Toddlers is the new release from CMP fave duo Shannon Payette Seip and Adrienne Hedger, whose funny books If These Boobs Could Talk and Momnesia had us shooting lukewarm coffee out of our noses. This one however,  is the funniest one of the trio, because what better comedic material is there than toddlers, right?...

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Poems for new parents that even the sleep-deprived can enjoy.

I say we all need more poetry in our lives, but poetry so often seems to be one of those tricky things, like an exotic fruit. You enjoy it when you come across it, but it’s not part of your regular consumption, especially when you are a harried mom. Which is a shame, because that’s possibly when we need it most. I’ve just discovered a lovingly put-together, eclectic collection of poems that any literary parent will want to take a look at. Morning Song focuses on celebrating new life. In fact, Poems For New Parents is the subtitle, but really, the poems, songs and...

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Cinderella Ate My Daughter – so what are we going to do about it?

If you have daughters, if you know daughters, if you have ever bought a single Disney Princess gift for someone else’s daughters, you simply must read Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture. (Quick! Before you bypass the art supplies and mindlessly reach for a Tinkerbell hand mirror at the toy store.) Be assured this is not some dogmatic, finger-wagging tome about how Ariel and Barbie are ruining our world. Using her own experiences as a feminist mother trying to come to terms with a tiara-happy daughter (I can relate!), Orenstein’s book...

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Moleskine at Target. Be still this journal addict’s heart.

I’m a self-professed journal addict, which means I often feel as though there will be a sudden shortage and I must buy all of them just in case. (You fellow journal addicts know what I mean.) But I only have an eye for cool journals that won’t completely bust my budget, which is why the new Moleskine line for Target fits the bill. Yes, Moleskine line for Target. Crazy, right? If you don’t quite understand the infatuation with the uber popular Moleskine journals, let this connoisseur enlighten you. Their sleek design, crisp quality paper, and leather portfolio make them...

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Field notes from a journey of unexpected grace

Kyran Pittman’s subtitle for her memoir Planting Dandelions is “Field Notes from a Semi-Domesticated Life.” I hope she’ll forgive me for repurposing it here to tell you why this is the mothering memoir you would be foolish to skip because you think they’re all the same. If you read Kyran’s blog, Notes To Self, or if you’ve caught her work in Good Housekeeping, you already know that she excels at weaving words into imagery and painting every detail of a scene until you feel like you’re standing right there with her, or maybe right inside her head. Even having...

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One Year to an Organized Life with Baby

Even if I had known about One Year to an Organized Life with Baby when I was first pregnant, I probably would have been too disorganized to read it. We had recently moved to a new house and to say we were unprepared is an understatement. We were fools. No, we were crazy fools. This book would have rocked my world. One Year to an Organized Life with Baby, by best-selling author Regina Leeds with Meagan Francis (one our favorite bloggers) is a week-to-week guide that helps parents prioritize what they need to know and what they can do...

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A parenting book you might be surprised to love

My dad died when I was 22 — long before I met my husband, or had my son — and my mom is very much alive. So you wouldn’t necessarily think that the book Parentless Parents, by my friend Allison Gilbert, would resonate with someone like me. And yet it is one of the most inspiring parenting books I’ve ever read. [don’t miss a giveaway after the jump – extended thru 2/16] Lots of moms rely on Grandma or Grandpa to watch their kids when they desperately need a night out, to get parenting advice, or to remember how...

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Warning: Reading this book during pregnancy will make you pee yourself. Even more.

We have eagerly been awaiting the Let’s Panic About Babies book every since we first became pregnant with our own babies. And that’s saying something. Because back then, we didn’t even know anything about authors Alice Bradley and Eden M. Kennedy, how funny they are, or that they were even considering writing a book together. That’s just how awesome this book is: It transcends the impossible! If you’ve ever seen the Let’s Panic About Babies Website, you might have an inkling of what to expect–new babies referred to as “recently freed fetal captives,” and the suggestion that your first...

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Consider It Done. No, really.

On any given day, I might have to drop off a neighbor’s kid at his piano teacher’s house although he doesn’t know her last name or the name of the street on which she lives, clip a finch’s toenails, and negotiate with an international credit agency for an elderly relative — I know you know what I’m talking about. We moms are usually expected to just figure out how to do some wacky stuff all on our own. And then I was handed Consider it Done: Accomplish 228 of Life’s Trickiest Tasks. Written by Julie Subotky, a lifestyle manager and CEO of...

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Spit That Out!

I’m not the Most Neurotic Mom in the World, but some days I feel I’d make it to First Runner Up, ready to step in, should she be unable to fulfill her duties. I work hard to give my children a healthy, positive, eco-friendly environment, and that means worrying — a lot — about  my choices.  Spit That Out!: The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt by Paige Wolf, is a helpful book for worrier mommas like me — and you perhaps? — and all of our sisters in worry. Wolf has...

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I heart I LEGO NY

After many months of buzz, hoopla, and general fanfare, I finally got around to checking out Christoph Niemann’s I LEGO N.Y., and as a native New Yawka, I know can’t imagine what I had been waiting for. This board book is everything I love in a book–it’s artful, it’s super clever, and it works on levels that will make it a favorite of toddlers, big kids, and even their parents. Every page features a series of simple LEGO constructions–we’re talking a few pieces, max–designed to recreate Manhattan buildings, places, and tongue-in-cheek concepts. While it helps to know New York...

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Giving the gift of reading. Really, really good reading.

It’s awfully daunting, standing in the hustle and bustle of a huge bookstore during the holidays and trying to find one book among millions for the bibliophile or budding reader in your life. Luckily, there’s a fabulous new service to help you choose  just the right book–not surprisingly, it’s called Just the Right Book. This amazing service is the brainchild of the fine folks at Connecticut’s award-winning R.J. Julia Bookstores. You select the age of your lucky recipient, then answer some basic questions, even if all you know is that your niece loves Twilight or your toddler nephew loves trains....

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The Beauty of Different – both different and beautiful

As a longtime reader of Karen Walrond’s blog Chookooloonks, I expected her first book, The Beauty of Different: Observations of a Confident Misfit, to be gorgeous. I’m familiar enough with her pictures to expect the photography to be stunning; I’m familiar enough with her probing writing style to know that her narrative would touch me. I knew these things, because I know Karen. What I didn’t know was how substantial this book would be, and I mean that in every sense of the word. The physical book itself is coffee-table-worthy in its heft and glossiness, and the stories captured within...

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Everything is better with a gorilla

Having small children underfoot can make even the simplest task complicated and/or maddening. But did you ever think that having a gorilla around could help bring much-needed balance and tranquility to your life? Okay. Fair enough. Me neither– until now. Everything Is Better With a Gorilla is a fun book that explores just a few of the millions of activities that can be improved by the addition of a gorilla. From spelunking to grilling to conducting a surveillance operation, gorillas bring strength, patience, and ninja-like sandwich making skills to any endeavor. Wait. You think I’m kidding, don’t you? Nope....

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Because a good night’s sleep makes everything better

I don’t know about your family, but around here, there is no faster path to a terrible day than not everyone getting adequate shut-eye the night before. And if just one of us is cranky, everyone ends up cranky. Bad news. Of course, a great night’s sleep is a complicated thing; you have to have the right prep before bed, the right stuff in bed, and–for so many kids–the right bedtime story. The Goodnight Book for Moms and Little Ones is a little cornucopia of Everything Optimal For Bedtime. For kids, yes, there’s an array of suitable bedtime stories...

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Stitch by Stitch – Proving that everyone can indeed sew

I’ve often joked that I’m devoid of the crafty gene, but that’s not completely true. I actually do enjoy crafting; it’s just that I don’t often have the time or the individual instruction I need to get me over those challenging humps. Well, thanks to Atlanta-based mom of four Deborah Moebes’ new book Stitch by Stitch: Learning to Sew, One Project at a Time, it’s like I’ve got my own private sewing instructor right in my very home. [don’t miss the giveaway after the jump!] Known for her friendly, easy to follow instructional style, Deborah has translated that into...

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Good news! You don’t have to alphabetize your spices anymore!

If there was such a thing as Martha Anonymous, TV Host Lisa Quinn’s introduction would go something like this, Hi, My name’s Lisa and it’s been 5 years since my last cranberry wreath.” Sick of trying to live up to the standards of being the perfect wife, mother, and homemaker, Lisa wrote Life’s Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets: Your Ultimate Guide to Domestic Liberation. Speaking as a slacker house frau who doesn’t want to sacrifice style myself, I have officially found my new housekeeping bible. For instance, did you know that there are 10 simple tips that will...

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The Paranoid Parents Guide – Perfect beach reading for those of us afraid of shark attacks

I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a paranoid parent. But after reading The Paranoid Parents Guide, by clever Denver mom Christie Barnes, I realized how much time I waste worrying. And more importantly, worrying about the wrong things. Does this sound like it might be you too? Christie interviewed moms throughout the country and heard time and time again the same top ten fears parents had for their children, and they don’t always sync up with the realities of what you should be worrying about. Turns out, for example, that more children are injured by shopping carts than...

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It’s not junk if you display it with love

When I look around my house I find strange groupings of stuff everywhere. A bin of outgrown Crocs. A shoebox packed with old family pictures. Some coffee table books that never quite made it to the coffee table. Little did I know that these were all just charming, whimsical and revealing design elements in the making. Something I learned from the book Living With What You Love, by Monica Rich Kosann. It is a gorgeous interior design book filled with inspirational and attainable ideas on how dust off family heirlooms and show them in a whole new light. My...

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How to parent smarter, with a little help from an expert

Betsy Brown Braun’s You’re Not the Boss of Me promises to brat-proof your 4- to 12-year old, and so my natural aversion to parenting manuals was overcome by curiosity as to whether such a thing was actually possible. I quickly fell deeply, shamelessly in love with Braun’s no-nonsense, straightforward approach to parenting productively. “Don’t bother with ‘good job,'” she says. “What does that even mean, anyway?” A simple change to our automatic inclination to offer praise — mention how responsible your child was for making that particular choice, for example — and now you’re fostering good choices rather than...

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“You Cannot Be Serious” is a seriously great parenting book

When it comes to raising children without completely losing your mind Elizabeth Lyons wrote the book, literally. It’s called You Cannot Be Serious and 32 Other Rules That Sustain A (Mostly) Balanced Mom. [great giveaway after the jump!] Elizabeth is not a therapist, but certainly is an expert with five children under 10, including 8-year old twin boys and a daughter she adopted. So when she gives advice I’m inclined to listen. Especially when it happens to be as funny as it is wise. I found myself feeling much better when I read rules like Repeat after me, I’m...

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Awkward Family Photos proves we are all total goofballs

Having lived through the hippie styles of the 70’s, the new-wave neon of the 80’s, and the regrettable grunge fashions of the 90’s, I have enough embarrassing family family photos to fill a book. A very cringe-worthy, hilarious book. Which is just the idea behind the Awkward Family Photos website that has had us laughing since it launched last year. And now the Awkward Family Photos book gathers their favorite snaps as well as some new ones into one neat paperback that has me doing that snort-laugh thing. Awkward Family Photos is page-turning hilarity: From the strange poses (just...

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The book for him that’s really for you

I’m not a dad, I’m not expecting, and I usually find pregnancy humor about as funny as postpartum hemorrhoids. But I’m happy to admit that Dad’s Pregnant, Too! by advice columnist and author Harlan Cohen was a pleasant surprise. Why? He tells men things that pregnant women are too hormonally and physically exhausted to communicate, such as Don’t touch the pregnant boobs unless specifically invited and Never follow “I’m tired” with “Me too,” unless you want to be an AA–his term for Accidental A$$hole, something the new dad will definitely learn a lot about. The book’s focus is on...

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