The best books that make new motherhood easier

Why am I passionate about this?

I thought being a new mom would be easy. Ha! I was shocked at how hard it was. My little baby—who mostly cried and came with no instructions—was a mystery. Determined to figure him out, I interviewed any mom who would talk to me—family members, girlfriends, moms at the YMCA, moms at parks, strangers on planes—any mom who would give me insight. They offered advice on burping, rocking, and sleep schedules and then morphed into advice on my relationship and warnings to hold on to my own dreams. The honesty and humor helped so much that I wrote a book on the subject to help other moms.


I wrote...

It Gets Easier! . . . And Other Lies We Tell New Mothers

By Claudine Wolk,

Book cover of It Gets Easier! . . . And Other Lies We Tell New Mothers

What is my book about?

It Gets Easier and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers is a fun, practical guide for new moms. A little bit of honesty and humor goes a long way. There are things new moms can try to make motherhood a bit easier. The first half of the book shares some tips for those first weeks and months—baby and sleep schedules, what things may feel like in the early days, breastfeeding information, etc. The second half of the book is all about the new mom journey. How to navigate going back to work or staying at home, navigating relationships and the change in the balance of power, and finally, how to balance personal needs with the new mom role.   

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay: And Other Things I Had to Learn as a New Mom

Claudine Wolk Why did I love this book?

Any "New Mom" book that is written with humor and honesty is OK is my book! Ms. Wilder's book is refreshing, honest, and funny on many topics "new mom" related. She discusses many issues a "new mom" will encounter. She starts with the issue of "instant bonding"—what a relief to know that I was not only one to take a few weeks to fall in love. From there she discusses other biggie "new mom" topics - the realities of breastfeeding, bottle feeding, baby-blues, feeding solid foods, babysitters, venturing out with your newborn, other new mothers, handling friends without children, sex after baby, A-type mommies, and different parenting styles, and much more. This is a book you can read in one sitting or one topic at a time. The author's honest, witty style is engaging and entertaining, and I suspect will give many "New Moms" a peaceful night's sleep.

By Stefanie Wilder-Taylor,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The moment the second line on the pee stick turns pink, women discover they've entered a world of parenting experts.

Friends, family, colleagues, the UPS delivery guy -- suddenly everybody is a trove of advice, much of it contradictory and confusing. With dire warnings of what will happen if baby is fed on demand and even direr warnings of what will happen if he isn't, not to mention hordes of militant "lactivists," cosleeping advocates, and books on what to worry about next, modern parenthood can seem like a minefield.

In busy Mom-friendly short essays, Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay…


Book cover of I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids: Reinventing Modern Motherhood

Claudine Wolk Why did I love this book?

Finally, the truth about motherhood in an easy-to-read, entertaining style. I picked this gem up before I went down to the shore and my girlfriend and I read it to each other in front of our spouses on the beach. My favorite part of the book is the honest, hilarious quotes from the women who were interviewed. Their insights were thought-provoking! (Especially the gal who stated quite clearly what is not foreplay!) 

By Trisha Ashworth, Amy Nobile,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Scratch the surface of the Super Mom and you may find someone who isn't even sure she can get through the day, let alone "do it all." Or at least that's what Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile felt. Curious, they began asking other mothers and found that after twenty minutes of touting the joys of motherhood, moms would inevitably admit that they were stressed out, exhausted, and depressed that their child's first word was "Shrek." After conducting over 100 interviews, Trisha and Amy discovered trends too similar and too widespread to be ignored. Whether the mom was in the office…


Book cover of Baby Laughs: The Naked Truth About the First Year of Mommyhood

Claudine Wolk Why did I love this book?

If you're looking for a good laugh and naked honesty about pregnancy, this book is for you. Jenny lets it all hang out, sometimes off the side of her bed. It is refreshing to get a "behind the scenes" glimpse at how another woman experiences the "not often talked about" issues of pregnancy and how she handles those issues. Famous or no, pregnancy does not discriminate among women. Jenny's message resonates. The decision of how to handle your issues is up to you, but exposure to Jenny's experiences will make your journey that much easier. Belly Laughs is a great gift for any pregnant girlfriend or for yourself. My favorite parts of the book are when Jenny visits the proctologist (the people at the community pool were staring at me as I laughed out loud) and her tips for husbands, they are truly inspired.

By Jenny McCarthy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Baby Laughs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

New mothers and fathers will find much-needed relief and insight in this perceptive and outrageously funny account of what it truly means when you bring home your very own bundle of joy...

Jenny McCarthy’s hilarious, no-holds-barred personality has made her an instantly recognizable TV personality and a bestselling author. In Baby Laughs she examines the full range of challenges that new mothers anf fathers face, including:

• The humiliations of postnatal “numbing spray,” Tucks medicated pads, and adult diapers; jelly belly, balding, and gum disease; and becoming a “five-foot puke rag” for the baby
•…


Book cover of The Girlfriends' Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood

Claudine Wolk Why did I love this book?

New motherhood comes with it many pressures. The pressure to take care of a newborn and yourself, for starters.  There is also a societal pressure, it seems, as we strive to be the perfect mother. We feel everyone is questioning our every "mother-move." Vicki Iovine's book is a help in this regard. Written with honesty and humor, it gives new mothers a glimpse "behind closed doors" to the "real" world of new motherhood. Knowing that you are not alone is always a help! My favorite part is the author’s honesty. It is refreshing to hear an opinion, agree or not.

By Vicki Iovine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Girlfriends' Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When it comes to your new baby, everyone from Dr. Spock to Dr. Brazleton has an armful of advice. But no one's delivering any tips on how you can care for yourself. Now, four-time delivery room veteran Vicki Iovine answers your questions, calms your fears, and cracks you up as only a girlfriend can, with straight advice and hilarious observations on...

"Baby euphoria": Is it a mind-altering drug?

"Husband? What Husband?": Taking care of the big baby, as well as the little baby

"I Want My Old Body Back!": What you can fix and what you can't

"The Droning Phenomenon":…


Book cover of The Second Nine Months: One Woman Tells the Real Truth about Becoming a Mom. Finally.

Claudine Wolk Why did I love this book?

I loved this book. The second nine months is the true story of Vicki Glembocki's journey into those first few months after childbirth. Although the story is a memoir, Glembocki writes it so well that it reads like a novel—a novel you won't put down until you are finished. From beginning to end, Glembocki bravely bares her soul for the new mom's benefit and cleverly manages to hit all the "new mom" topics through her personal experience. From breastfeeding, to newborn crying, to changes in relationships, to new mom bonding, to finding other new mom friends, to back to work issues, Glembocki manages to cover them all with wit and candor. I found her new mom tale "spot on accurate." It is so exciting that truth is finally coming out. Take advantage of the gift this author has created, New Moms, and read about her experience. Moms will find that they are not alone and that success as both a mother and an individual is possible!

By Vicki Glembocki,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Second Nine Months as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When her daughter Blair was born, Vicki Glembocki experienced the first blast of maternal bliss that she assumed would carry her through the next nine months of sleepless nights and all the challenges that come with a new baby. So why was the transition into motherhood so hard? Because no one told her the real deal about what lay ahead. Finally, one mother gives the unvarnished truth about those first months, from the worry over whether you're bonding, to the suspicion that you're the only woman on earth who lacks the maternal gene." Funny and brutally honest, Glembocki lets new…


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Kanazawa

By David Joiner,

Book cover of Kanazawa

David Joiner Author Of Kanazawa

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

My book recommendations reflect an abiding passion for Japanese literature, which has unquestionably influenced my own writing. My latest literary interest involves Japanese poetry—I’ve recently started a project that combines haiku and prose narration to describe my experiences as a part-time resident in a 1300-year-old Japanese hot spring town that Bashō helped make famous in The Narrow Road to the Deep North. But as a writer, my main focus remains novels. In late 2023 the second in a planned series of novels set in Ishikawa prefecture will be published. I currently live in Kanazawa, but have also been lucky to call Sapporo, Akita, Tokyo, and Fukui home at different times.

David's book list on Japanese settings not named Tokyo or Kyoto

What is my book about?

Emmitt’s plans collapse when his wife, Mirai, suddenly backs out of purchasing their dream home. Disappointed, he’s surprised to discover her subtle pursuit of a life and career in Tokyo.

In his search for a meaningful life in Japan, and after quitting his job, he finds himself helping his mother-in-law translate Kanazawa’s most famous author, Izumi Kyoka, into English. He becomes drawn into the mysterious death of a friend of Mirai’s parents, leading him and his father-in-law to climb the mountain where the man died. There, he learns the somber truth and discovers what the future holds for him and his wife.

Packed with subtle literary allusion and closely observed nuance, Kanazawa reflects the mood of Japanese fiction in a fresh, modern incarnation.

Kanazawa

By David Joiner,

What is this book about?

In Kanazawa, the first literary novel in English to be set in this storied Japanese city, Emmitt's future plans collapse when his wife, Mirai, suddenly backs out of negotiations to purchase their dream home. Disappointed, he's surprised to discover Mirai's subtle pursuit of a life and career in Tokyo, a city he dislikes.

Harmony is further disrupted when Emmitt's search for a more meaningful life in Japan leads him to quit an unsatisfying job at a local university. In the fallout, he finds himself helping his mother-in-law translate Kanazawa's most famous author, Izumi Kyoka, into English.

While continually resisting Mirai's…


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