The best surprisingly honest books for dads and dads-to-be

Shoshana S. Bennett Ph.D. Author Of Postpartum Depression for Dummies
By Shoshana S. Bennett Ph.D.

Who am I?

After life-threatening postpartum depression in the 1980s, I became a pioneer of maternal mental health in the U.S. I’ve helped moms and moms-to-be finally receive the support they deserve. Between masters’ degrees, Ph.D., teaching credentials, and becoming licensed as a clinical psychologist, I wrote four books and enjoy interviews on radio and TV. Training health professionals and my clients to develop a wellness strategy for motherhood has been my life’s passion. A few years ago I realized that during this movement, dads’ experiences had been disregarded and minimized, and my mission then shifted to parental mental health. Dad’s worries and needs are important too.


I wrote...

Postpartum Depression for Dummies

By Shoshana S. Bennett Ph.D.,

Book cover of Postpartum Depression for Dummies

What is my book about?

It's a great blessing when a new mom with postpartum depression (PPD) is fortunate enough to be diagnosed early by a knowledgeable medical practitioner or therapist. But without guidance, it isn't always clear where the boundary between normal baby blues and PPD lies. As with any other illness, the quicker that PPD is identified and treated, the faster the woman will recover.
Postpartum Depression For Dummies can help you begin the process of determining what’s going on with you and give you a better idea of where you fall so that you can get yourself into proper treatment right away. The book covers all aspects of PPD, from its history and its origins to its effects on women and their families to the wide variety of treatments available.

The books I picked & why

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The Secret Life of Fathers

By The Father-Daughter Project, James I. Bond,

Book cover of The Secret Life of Fathers

Why this book?

Enjoy this practical training manual compiled from interviews with over a hundred real dads of daughters. No matter if you’re becoming a father of a daughter, a new dad, or experienced dad of a daughter, you will find this book both useful and most definitely validating. One of my favorite things is that it’s written in small chunks which are easy to digest. You don’t need to read the book cover to cover, but rather pick out the sections in which you’re most interested. You can scan these little gems not mentioned in other parenting books. These are helpful (and often humorful) tips that only real fathers would know.  


Becoming a Dad: How Fatherhood Changes Men

By Bruce Linton Ph.D.,

Book cover of Becoming a Dad: How Fatherhood Changes Men

Why this book?

The dads I work with are always worried that to become the fathers they really want to be is greatly challenging since it competes with work and other obligations. The author, who is the Founder of Fathers' Forum shares his experiences and insights from the numerous mens’ groups he’s led throughout the years. I found this book to be personal, truthful, and inspirational. It is an important call-to-action for every man to decide how he wants and doesn’t want to change as he becomes a father.


The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-To-Be

By Armin A. Brott, Jennifer Ash Rudick,

Book cover of The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-To-Be

Why this book?

I highly recommended The Expectant Father because it’s packed with month-to-month essential emotional and even physical changes that fathers-to-be may experience. One of the most outstanding features of this book is that it incorporates the knowledge of expert OBs, parent educators, and researchers in the field. This wonderful book also covers all issues regarding infertility and various birthing methods.


Dad's Playbook: Wisdom for Fathers from the Greatest Coaches of All Time

By Tom Limbert,

Book cover of Dad's Playbook: Wisdom for Fathers from the Greatest Coaches of All Time

Why this book?

I found this book enlightening. After all, great dads are leaders and coaches – they use motivation, direction, care, mentoring, and discipline. This parenting expert author gathers together and incorporates the wisdom and knowledge of some of the most famous sports coaches of all time and artfully applies it directly to fatherhood. 


Parental Mental Health: Factoring in Fathers

By Jane I. Honikman, Daniel B. Singley,

Book cover of Parental Mental Health: Factoring in Fathers

Why this book?

This is an honest and very direct look at how our society should include men in the discussion of becoming new parents and illustrates many examples of how men have been left out until now. Dads’ mental health is considered carefully which is very important to my mission. This small yet excellent book offers a gender-equitable, whole family viewpoint of parental mental health and increases awareness about best practices in the care of fathers and fathers-to-be.  


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dads, pregnancy, and parenting?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about dads, pregnancy, and parenting.

Dads Explore 42 books about dads
Pregnancy Explore 43 books about pregnancy
Parenting Explore 116 books about parenting

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Life of Dad, DAD, and Sad Dad if you like this list.