method of lizzy

preservations… for posterity

Parenting Library

I’ve been thinking of putting together a book list for awhile. I’m finally getting around to it after reading through the great list on phdinparenting. Some of the books listed there are favorites, others I’ve been meaning to read, and then there are a few brand-new ones that I’ll have to add to my list.

As you’ll see from all of the books on my “to-read” list at the bottom, I am a bit obsessive when it comes to parenting books. I like to research everything. I want to know all that I can know. Do I need these books to be a good parent? No, I don’t think so – I have plenty of mothering instincts already and when I listen to them, they serve me well. If anything, I need the information in these books to help shield me from the modern world of parenting. These books help me to get back to the basics.


Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin – Hands down, it’s the most inspiring and empowering childbirth book. Can anyone read this book and NOT want to experience a natural childbirth? Truly, it’s that good. After reading this I was ready to pack up and move to The Farm in Tennessee. See my review.

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer – This book is pretty dry compared to Ina May, but it is chock full of good information, particularly if you are giving birth in a hospital. I recommend every pregnant woman read this – even if you are planning a homebirth, you want to know your options in case you are suddenly faced with a birth plan B.


The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding – I read several breastfeeding books and I thought that this was the best by far. I read it a few weeks before my son was born, and then I re-read it the week following his birth. Truth be told though, you can read about breastfeeding all day long and you won’t really have a clue until you actually do it.


Misconceptions by Naomi Wolf. I can’t even remember when it was that I read this book, but I remember being taken aback by Wolf’s candor. It’s a moving book and I would like to re-read it soon.

Mitten Strings for God by Katrina Kenison. This is a really lovely book, one that requires regular re-reading. I wrote a review here.

Let the Baby Drive by Lu Hanessian. I read this memoir towards the end of my pregnancy. It’s sweet, poignant, intense… kinda like motherhood is.


The Baby Book by William & Martha Sears. This was a favorite around our house. Dr. Sears coined the term “attachment parenting” and I love him for it. He reviews what attachment parenting is and isn’t. This is also a basic baby care manual that deals with everything from fevers to developmental milestones.

Our Babies, Ourselves by Meredith Small. This book is definitely a favorite as it offers biological and cultural evidence in support of attachment parenting. The author explores the differences between the ways that various cultures raise their babies. “Modern” cultures just receive an overview, but traditional cultures (such as the always-fascinating !Kung) receive most of the attention. The reader will learn about how babies in traditional cultures cry less, in large part because they are breastfed almost continuously, are always in someone’s arms or in a sling, and sleep with their parents.

Parenting Philosophy

Attachment Parenting by Katie Allison Granju. It’s been awhile since I read this book so unfortunately my mini-review won’t do it justice. Like Our Babies, Ourselves this book offers scientific and anthropological evidence in support of an AP style. Another benefit of this book is that it gives additional resources for the reader who wants to learn more. If you value natural family living, this book should be on your must-read list.

Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. The author takes what you think you know to be true and he turns it on its head. Kohn presents many fascinating studies on the effects of different discipline methods. This is also an excellent book to read if you are at all concerned with your child’s education – it gave me serious pause as to how I will educate my child. My review.

What’s next on my list?

In no particular order, here are some of the books on my to-read list. These have been accumulated from a variety of places:
Emotional Life of the Toddler by Alicia F. Lieberman
Making the “Terrible” Twos Terrific by John Rosemond
Becoming the Parent You Want To Be: A Sourcebook of Strategies for the First Five Years by Laura Davis
Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers by Gordon Neufeld
Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline: The 7 Basic Skills for Turning Conflict into Cooperation by Becky A. Bailey
Your One-Year-Old: The Fun-Loving, Fussy 12-To 24-Month-Old by Louise Bates Ames
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv
The Science of Parenting by Margot Sunderland
The Successful Child: What Parents Can Do to Help Kids Turn out Well by William & Martha Sears
Natural Family Living by Peggy O’Mara
How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen
Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin
Mothering your Nursing Toddler by Norma Jane Bumgarner

August 29, 2009 - Posted by | all things baby, books, childbirth, crunchy, motherhood, parenting, women's health

1 Comment

  1. Sounds like you have got quite a bit of reading ahead of you! I always have a nice big pile next to my desk of books I want to read and always get distracted by blogs and twitter.

    Comment by Annie @ PhD in Parenting | August 29, 2009

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