100 books like The Big Letdown

By Kimberly Seals Allers,

Here are 100 books that The Big Letdown fans have personally recommended if you like The Big Letdown. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Politics of Breastfeeding: When Breasts are Bad for Business

Gill Rapley Author Of Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide

From my list on western society’s obstacles to breastfeeding.

Who am I?

I got hooked on breastfeeding when, during my health visitor training, our class had a lecture from Drs. Penny and Andrew Stanway, who wrote the original Breast is Best. I breastfed my own children, became a breastfeeding counsellor and lactation consultant (IBCLC), and championed breastfeeding as a health visitor and midwife. I then worked for 14 years with the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, teaching and supporting healthcare staff to improve standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and babies. Throughout, I gained a huge respect for babies’ abilities in relation to breastfeeding. This directly influenced my belief in their capacity to continue feeding themselves when they start solid food, which is my current focus.

Gill's book list on western society’s obstacles to breastfeeding

Gill Rapley Why did Gill love this book?

This was the book that really opened my eyes to the power of marketing, and the impact this can have on the way babies are fed – in all countries of the world. It’s an absolute classic – a seminal work. It showed me how the infant formula industry (and increasingly the baby food industry in general) uses any tactics it can to influence and distort the dialogue around infant feeding. I was especially horrified to learn how, as a health visitor and midwife, I could unwittingly be used to promote products and practices that had the power to undermine breastfeeding, even while I thought I was supporting mothers and babies to do it.

By Gabrielle Palmer,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Politics of Breastfeeding as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As revealing as "Freakonomics", shocking as "Fast Food Nation" and thought provoking as "No Logo", "The Politics of Breastfeeding" exposes infant feeding as one of the most important public health issues of our time. Every thirty seconds a baby dies from infections due to a lack of breastfeeding and the use of bottles, artificial milks and other risky products. In her powerful book Gabrielle Palmer describes how big business uses subtle techniques to pressure parents to use alternatives to breastmilk. The infant feeding product companies' thirst for profit systematically undermines mothers' confidence in their ability to breastfeed their babies. An…


Book cover of Breastfeeding Uncovered: Who Really Decides How We Feed Our Babies?

Gill Rapley Author Of Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide

From my list on western society’s obstacles to breastfeeding.

Who am I?

I got hooked on breastfeeding when, during my health visitor training, our class had a lecture from Drs. Penny and Andrew Stanway, who wrote the original Breast is Best. I breastfed my own children, became a breastfeeding counsellor and lactation consultant (IBCLC), and championed breastfeeding as a health visitor and midwife. I then worked for 14 years with the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, teaching and supporting healthcare staff to improve standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and babies. Throughout, I gained a huge respect for babies’ abilities in relation to breastfeeding. This directly influenced my belief in their capacity to continue feeding themselves when they start solid food, which is my current focus.

Gill's book list on western society’s obstacles to breastfeeding

Gill Rapley Why did Gill love this book?

Amy nails the many aspects of today’s UK society that make breastfeeding so difficult for mothers and their babies. She looks at the myriad subtle – and not-so-subtle – ways in which breastfeeding is discussed and presented, so that it comes across as something laudable in theory but unrealistic and undesirable in practice: great if you can do it, but keep it to yourself and don’t frighten the horses. She also explores the many, seemingly unrelated, notions we have about how babies should be cared for, such as where and for how long they should sleep, which are quite simply incompatible with what babies really need, and with helping breastfeeding to work. Never mind pressurising women to breastfeed – how about we just support them to do it!

By Amy Brown,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Breastfeeding Uncovered as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Across the world mothers are urged to breastfeed, but in Western society many find this a difficult task. Those who stop can feel demoralised and unsure as to why such a desired, encouraged and biologically normal behaviour can appear so challenging in reality. Breastfeeding Uncovered examines why this continues to happen, revealing how complex social and cultural messages work against new mothers, damaging the normal physiology of breastfeeding and making it seem unmanageable. Dr Brown removes the focus from the mother and instead urges society to rethink its attitude towards breastfeeding and mothering and instead to support, encourage and protect…


Book cover of Breastfeeding and Medication

Gill Rapley Author Of Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide

From my list on western society’s obstacles to breastfeeding.

Who am I?

I got hooked on breastfeeding when, during my health visitor training, our class had a lecture from Drs. Penny and Andrew Stanway, who wrote the original Breast is Best. I breastfed my own children, became a breastfeeding counsellor and lactation consultant (IBCLC), and championed breastfeeding as a health visitor and midwife. I then worked for 14 years with the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, teaching and supporting healthcare staff to improve standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and babies. Throughout, I gained a huge respect for babies’ abilities in relation to breastfeeding. This directly influenced my belief in their capacity to continue feeding themselves when they start solid food, which is my current focus.

Gill's book list on western society’s obstacles to breastfeeding

Gill Rapley Why did Gill love this book?

Sadly, one of the many obstacles to breastfeeding lies within the healthcare system. For too long, education about how breastfeeding works has been severely lacking in the training of doctors, pharmacists, and a host of other disciplines. The result is that time and again, women who seek help – often for conditions unrelated to lactation – are given advice or care that fails to take into account their feeding choices, Many are told that they must stop breastfeeding in order for either them or their baby to receive treatment. As a pharmacist and breastfeeding counsellor, who, for years, ran the UK’s Drugs in Breastmilk helpline virtually single-handed, Wendy’s knowledge in this area is second to none. In the hands of health professionals, this book has the power to bring about huge change.

By Wendy Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Breastfeeding and Medication as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sadly, women often feel they have no alternative but to give up breastfeeding, having been prescribed or purchased medication. In many cases, however, this is unnecessary. This book outlines the evidence base for the use of medication during breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding and Medication presents a comprehensive A to Z guide to the most frequently prescribed drugs and their safety for breastfeeding mothers. Evaluating the evidence for interventions and using a simple format for quickly identifying medications that are safe or unsafe to use, it also highlights those drugs where there is inconclusive evidence. Additional contextual information makes this the most complete…


Book cover of The Breast Book: A puberty guide with a difference - it's the when, why and how of breasts

Gill Rapley Author Of Baby-Led Weaning: The Essential Guide

From my list on western society’s obstacles to breastfeeding.

Who am I?

I got hooked on breastfeeding when, during my health visitor training, our class had a lecture from Drs. Penny and Andrew Stanway, who wrote the original Breast is Best. I breastfed my own children, became a breastfeeding counsellor and lactation consultant (IBCLC), and championed breastfeeding as a health visitor and midwife. I then worked for 14 years with the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, teaching and supporting healthcare staff to improve standards of care for breastfeeding mothers and babies. Throughout, I gained a huge respect for babies’ abilities in relation to breastfeeding. This directly influenced my belief in their capacity to continue feeding themselves when they start solid food, which is my current focus.

Gill's book list on western society’s obstacles to breastfeeding

Gill Rapley Why did Gill love this book?

Whoever said ignorance is bliss was lying! Ignorance about one’s body is a massive obstacle to breastfeeding. As a newly qualified breastfeeding counsellor I remember being amazed at how many women become mothers without really knowing anything about how their breasts work. But why would they? In formal lessons about ‘growing up’, breasts are hardly mentioned (beyond the fact that they will appear at some point) – almost nothing about how they function, and even less about what they’re for. And, of course, most children in the UK never get to see breastfeeding in action. Emma’s book is the antidote to all that ignorance. It’s the book I wish I – and my daughter – had had, aged ten. I’m so glad it’s there for my granddaughter.

By Emma Pickett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When breasts first start to grow, no one talks about it. There aren't any greetings cards that say, 'Woo Hoo! Your breasts are developing!' but you get a birthday card when you are ten and that's just about planet Earth going around the Sun ten times.
Why don't we say, "Woo Hoo!"? Because we live in a society where we often get uncomfortable and look at the floor when it comes to talking about breasts. They seem to be important in lots of ways but then there are these confusing rules that say when we're allowed to notice them and…


Book cover of Breastfeeding…Naturally

Koa Lou Whittingham Author Of Becoming Mum

From my list on for new and expectant mothers.

Who am I?

I’m a clinical and developmental psychologist, a parenting researcher at the University of Queensland, and a mother. My research is focused on applying and commitment therapy (ACT) to parenting including the parenting of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. I wrote Becoming Mum while becoming a mother for the first time. In fact, much of the book was written while I cuddled my new baby, my laptop propped up on my knees so I could write! I am also the first author of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy the Clinician’s Guide to Supporting Parents. It is the first clinical manual on using ACT with parents.

Koa's book list on for new and expectant mothers

Koa Lou Whittingham Why did Koa love this book?

If you are intending to breastfeed, then it is important to pick up a book on breastfeeding. Don’t make the mistake of being so focused on pregnancy and birth that you forget about lactation. There are several good options for breastfeeding books. As an Australian mother, I turned to the Australian Breastfeeding Association and I made sure I read Breastfeeding…Naturally. It gave me the knowledge I needed to know.

Book cover of Your Baby's First Year

Sherry Ellis Author Of That Mama Is a Grouch

From my list on for new parents in that crazy first year.

Who am I?

When I was a young mom, I had questions:  Why won’t my baby sleep? Are all these hiccups normal? Am I doing the best I can for my child? I wanted answers. So, I read lots of books and learned as much as I could. While no book can give you all the answers for your unique child, reading some good ones can take some of the mystery out of parenting.

Sherry's book list on for new parents in that crazy first year

Sherry Ellis Why did Sherry love this book?

This book is the encyclopedia of baby care. It has it all, from guidelines for newborn care, to safety checks, to tips for choosing childcare programs. The first half covers stages of development, and the second is organized by topic. It’s super-easy to check the index for what you want and then flip to the page. Sure, you can consult Dr. Google about these things, but it’s so handy to just pull the book off the shelf and start reading. I consider it a comprehensive, up-to-date, indispensable guide for new parents. 

By American Academy of Pediatrics,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Your Baby's First Year as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The guide to every aspect of infant care that’s most recommended by pediatricians and trusted by parents, with over four million copies sold—now in a completely revised and updated fifth edition!

From the American Academy of Pediatrics, the nation’s most authoritativename in childcare, comes the definitive all-in-one resource Your Baby’s First Year. Featuring new and expanded content, including the latest reports on cutting-edge research into early brain development, the fully illustrated fifth edition of Your Baby’s First Year includes 

• Guidelines for prenatal and newborn care, with spotlights on maternal nutrition, exercise, and screening tests during pregnancy
• Milestones for…


Book cover of I Don't Know How She Does It: A Comedy about Failure, a Tragedy about Success

Kendra Smith Author Of Everything Has Changed

From my list on family drama and romance.

Who am I?

I have been writing about motherhood, family, love, loss, and finding yourself for over fifteen years. I have been a journalist, wife, mother-of-three-boys (yes, that’s one word), aerobics teacher, puppy wrestler, and novelist. Being a novelist is by far the hardest job but it’s the most rewarding. (OK, boys, no – motherhood is really.) I enjoy reading stories about family, love, and relationships in all their guises, good, bad, and messy, just like life – and I’m keen to write stories that readers will remember too. My latest book is about two sisters who, after a car crash, are affected differently, yet both are on a journey for the truth. 

Kendra's book list on family drama and romance

Kendra Smith Why did Kendra love this book?

If there was ever a book that inspired me to write, it’s this!

Pearson captures the push-pull of motherhood and trying to have a career and the fragile relationship with Kate Reddy and her husband so well.

This book ‘talked’ to me as a mother and journalist and was one of the most ‘real’ books I’d ever read about family dynamics and having young children.

Kate Reddy is a fund manager and a mother of two who is trying to survive in a man’s world. Only she’s a woman! Loved it.

By Allison Pearson,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked I Don't Know How She Does It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

The prequel to How Hard Can It Be?

Meet Kate Reddy, fund manager and mother of two. Always time-poor, Kate counts seconds like other women count calories. Factor in a manipulative nanny, an Australian boss who looks at Kate's breasts as if they're on special offer, a long-suffering husband, her quietly aghast in-laws, two needy children and an email lover, and you have a woman juggling so many balls that some day something's going to hit the ground.

In an uproariously funny and achingly sad novel, Allison Pearson brilliantly dramatises the dilemma of working motherhood at the…


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

Claudine Wolk Author Of It Gets Easier! . . . And Other Lies We Tell New Mothers

From my list on making new motherhood easier.

Who am I?

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.

Claudine's book list on making new motherhood easier

Claudine Wolk Why did Claudine 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…

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…


Book cover of The Science of Mom: A Research-Based Guide to Your Baby's First Year

Anya Dunham Author Of Baby Ecology: Using Science and Intuition to Create the Best Feeding, Sleep, and Play Environment for Your Unique Baby

From my list on raising a baby.

Who am I?

When I first became a mom, I searched for an evidence-based, practical, whole-picture, supportive book to guide us through our baby’s first year – and couldn’t find it. I have a doctorate degree in biology and specialize in ecology, a discipline that studies how living things relate to one another and interact with their environment. Most of my research focuses on what young animals need to thrive. So I decided to write the book I had been searching for by applying my research training, my perspective as an ecologist, and my experience as a parent of three children.

Anya's book list on raising a baby

Anya Dunham Why did Anya love this book?

The Science of Mom explores the research behind nine important – and controversial – parenting topics, like vaccine safety, breastfeeding, and sleep training. I liked that Dr. Callahan covered each question very thoroughly, helped the readers understand the advantages and limitations of science, and kept her writing personal and warm. You will appreciate this book if you’re looking for an in-depth understanding of the latest research (the 2nd edition was released in November 2021) and would like the tools for interpreting future scientific studies on these topics.

By Alice Callahan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Now updated! The new edition of this best-selling guide uses science to tackle some of the most important decisions facing new parents-from sleep training and vaccinations to breastfeeding and baby food.

Is cosleeping safe? How important is breastfeeding? Are food allergies preventable? Should we be worried about the aluminum in vaccines? Searching for answers to these tough parenting questions can yield a deluge of conflicting advice. In this revised and expanded edition of The Science of Mom, Alice Callahan, a science writer whose work appears in the New York Times and the Washington Post, recognizes that families must make their…


Book cover of Future Superhuman: Our Transhuman Lives in a Make-Or-Break Century

Rob Brooks Author Of Artificial Intimacy: Virtual Friends, Digital Lovers, and Algorithmic Matchmakers

From my list on big-picture takes on human behaviour.

Who am I?

I’m a scientist who studies the evolutionary tussle between cooperation and conflict that makes sex so infernally complicated. I started out by studying small animals, but the last decade or so have seen an increasing focus on humans. At the same time I’ve been intent on sharing what I learn with curious audiences on television, radio, and in print. I lead a program at my university that introduced me to some amazing technology researchers, from engineers in AI and robotics to lawyers who work on privacy. That’s when I realized the value of evolutionary knowledge in understating the fast-paced technological revolution we are currently living through.

Rob's book list on big-picture takes on human behaviour

Rob Brooks Why did Rob love this book?

This one is brand new! My publisher also published Elise Bohan’s debut, so I got to read it ahead of publication. I was blown away. Future Superhuman is an intelligent, funny, and engaging take on technology, and the likely transhuman future in which humans are enhanced by tech. This is an area full of speculation, and no small amount of made-up nonsense, but Future Superhuman is anchored in exceptional research from a dozen or more fields, setting it apart.

Elise is an author to watch. Not only does she have an endless supply of smart things to say, but her writing is funny, her expression original, and her style appealing to a very wide audience. Reading this book reminded me how much fun good non-fiction can be.

By Elise Bohan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Future Superhuman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's humanity's make-or-break-century.

In breathtakingly original prose, Elise Bohan argues that we're hurtling towards a superhuman future - or, if we blunder, extinction. The only way out of our existential crises, from global warming to the risks posed by nuclear weapons, novel and bioengineered pathogens and unaligned AI, is up. We'll need more technology to safeguard our future - and we're going to invent (and perhaps even merge with) some of that technology.

What does that mean for our 20th century life-scripts? Are the robots coming for our jobs? How will human relationships change when AI knows us inside out?…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in breastfeeding, food industry, and feminism?

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