The best infertility books

2 authors have picked their favorite books about infertility and why they recommend each book.

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Covet

By Rosanna Leo,

Book cover of Covet

In a genre where "happily ever after" so often means marriage and children, it is definitely unconventional to start a romance novel with themes of relationships ending and infertility. (I feel safely in non-spoiler territory, here, since these themes are introduced in the first two pages.) It's an intense start to a deeply emotional and richly layered contemporary romance set against the glitz and grit of the Las Vegas strip. This is my favorite kind of romance, in which two wonderful but wounded souls redeem and heal each other by courageously embracing the deep power of love. Add in Rosanna Leo's smooth, masterful writing and perfectly timed razor-sharp wit, and you have an incredible read ahead of you!


Who am I?

Maybe it's because I'm an Aquarius, or maybe it's because I ate crayons as a kid. But people who know me well can confirm that I'm an oddball who has never fit neatly into boxes or been easy to categorize. Perhaps that’s why I've always enjoyed reading books that defy rules, break barriers, and cross genres. As an author, while I love grounding my books in reality for maximum authenticity, my stories definitely color outside the lines (see earlier crayon reference). I love reading and writing about the unconventional and the unexpected. If you're looking for romances that will take you off the beaten path, this list is for you.


I wrote...

Dead Sound

By Anise Eden,

Book cover of Dead Sound

What is my book about?

Psychotherapist Neve Keane knew that returning to work after being stabbed by a patient would be difficult. But entering her unit only to be surrounded by a crowd of people claiming they need her help to stop the apocalypse—that’s more than she bargained for. 

When the crowd’s leader turns out to be a mutual patient of Neve and her best friend, streetwise Irish doctor Cornelius O’Brien, they are pulled into a deadly Byzantine plot. As they race to unravel the threads of a sinister conspiracy that leads from their hospital all the way to the White House, Neve and Cornelius realize they might be fighting to stop the end of the world, after all—provided they can survive the week with targets on their backs.

Don't Make Me Stop This Car!

By Ali Stroker,

Book cover of Don't Make Me Stop This Car!

No list of books for Dads would be complete without this one from my buddy, Al Roker. In Don’t Make Me Stop This Car, Al looks at the highs and lows of being a parent. Not only does it have his classic Roker charm and sense of humor, but he also writes about his experiences with infertility treatments and adoption. It’s become a favorite because he’s been a great friend and mentor to me. 


Who am I?

My name is Craig Melvin and I’m an anchor on NBC’s Today show. I’m also a father to my two young kids, Delano and Sybil. Being a dad is so important to me because when you’re a parent, you’re charged with shaping and molding a solid human being whose empathetic, compassionate, and responsible. I don’t take the responsibility lightly. Of the many jobs I have, it’s the most important.  


I wrote...

Pops: Learning to Be a Son and a Father

By Craig Melvin,

Book cover of Pops: Learning to Be a Son and a Father

What is my book about?

A deeply personal exploration of fatherhood, addiction, and resiliency from Craig Melvin, news anchor of NBC’s Today show. 

For Craig Melvin this book is more an investigation than a memoir. It's an opportunity to better understand his father; to interrogate his family's legacy of addiction and despair but also transformation and redemption; and to explore the challenges facing all dads—including Craig himself, a father of two young children. Pops is the story of all these men—and of the inspiring fathers Craig has met reporting his "Dads Got This Series" on the Today show. Pops is also the story of Craig and Lawrence Melvin's long journey to reconciliation and understanding, and of how all these experiences and encounters have informed Craig's understanding of his own role as a dad. 

Instant Mom

By Nia Vardalos,

Book cover of Instant Mom

First of all, Nia Vardalos is just hilarious. She could write an Ikea assembly brochure and it would probably be side-splitting. But in the book, she tells about being a rising star (a great story on its own) who had it all – except a baby. After a grueling battle with infertility, she eventually came around to the idea of adoption, and started to learn more about the fost-adopt process of taking an older child who is unlikely to reunite with their original family. With great heart, she tells the roller-coaster story of bringing a 3-year-old with attachment challenges into her life—and the inevitable universality of motherhood. “Nothing prepared me for the life I would feel for my child. Nothing prepared me for how quickly it happened for me. And here’s what I just figure out now: no one is ever prepared. In a way, we’re all instant moms.” She’s…


Who am I?

I don’t just write stories, I study them. I’ve noticed that nearly every major hero/ine’s journey and epic tale has an adoption component. From Bible stories and Greek myths (adoption worked out well for Moses, not so much for Oedipus) to Star Wars through This Is Us, we humans are obsessed with origin stories. And it’s no wonder: “Where do I come from?” and “Where do I belong?” are questions that confound and comfort us from the time we are tiny until we take our final breath. As an adoptive mother and advocate for continuing contact with birth families, I love stories about adoption, because no two are alike. They give us light and insight into how families are created and what it means to be a family—by blood, by love, and sometimes, the combination of the two.


I wrote...

Rock Needs River: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption

By Vanessa McGrady,

Book cover of Rock Needs River: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption

What is my book about?

Every family is complicated. None of us has a perfectly linear story. But if we are lucky, our stories are laced with love and compassion and humor. This was most surely the case in Vanessa McGrady’s life. In Rock Needs River: A Memoir About a Very Open Adoption, her deft and moving love letter to her daughter, Grace.

After two years of waiting to adopt—years spent slogging through paperwork and bouncing between hope and despair—a miracle finally happened for Vanessa McGrady. Her sweet baby, Grace, was a dream come true. Then she made a highly uncommon decision: when Grace’s biological parents became homeless, Vanessa invited them to stay. Without a blueprint for navigating the practical basics of an open adoption or any discussion of expectations or boundaries, the unusual living arrangement became a bottomless well of conflicting emotions and increasingly difficult decisions complicated by missed opportunities, regret, social chaos, and broken hearts.

Motherhood

By Ann Campanella,

Book cover of Motherhood: Lost and Found: A memoir

Ann Campanella’s memoir details her journey through caregiving for her mother with Alzheimer’s at the same time she was struggling to start her own family. I felt it all: the anxiety, the frustration, as well as the pain, as she watched her mother decline while coping with an inability to conceive. Ann’s book reminded me to appreciate life’s joys, no matter how small, whether riding a beloved horse, marveling at a sunset, smelling a beautiful flower, or offering a simple hug. 


Who am I?

I am a caregiver who became an author. Both my parents had dementia. I found few books written from a personal perspective to give me guidance, so the journal I kept ultimately became the book I wished I could have read during our dementia journey. The journey didn’t end for me with the death of my parents. It led me to form a non-profit with two other dementia authors. This passion project has become a global community of authors who have written about Alzheimer’s and dementia from personal experience. Now more than 300 strong, we provide quality resources for caregivers and others concerned about dementia. Learn more at AlzAuthors.com.


I wrote...

Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia

By Vicki Tapia,

Book cover of Somebody Stole My Iron: A Family Memoir of Dementia

What is my book about?

A few months after my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s-related dementia, Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and I became their family caregiver. My book grew out of the journal I kept as the three of us traveled the dementia journey together.

My memoir shares our story, laced with both humor and sadness, sprinkled with the ever-present "caregiver guilt." It weaves together my insights and the lessons I learned, offering the reassurance that you aren’t alone. Somebody Stole My Iron has been called "a must-read" for anyone experiencing the countless emotional ups and downs that accompany caregiving.

The Expectant Father

By Armin A. Brott, Jennifer Ash Rudick,

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

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.


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 Rainbabies

By Laura Krauss Melmed, Jim LaMarche (illustrator),

Book cover of The Rainbabies

This book is hands down one of my favorite children’s books of all time. Jim LaMarche’s gorgeous illustrations had me entranced as a kid (they still do!) and as an adult revisiting the book, I am blown away by how thoughtfully it tackles some heavy real-life issues. The story centers around an older couple struggling with infertility who, through a magical springtime rain, find themselves suddenly the caretakers of 12 fantastically tiny babies.

The story has the effortless flow of a classic fairytale and along the way weaves a moving and nuanced understanding of parenting and the overall concept of family. At the heart of the story lies the message that someone does not have to be biologically related to a child to be their parent- What makes a family is love.


Who am I?

I am a creator and lover of stories. I think storytelling is the most powerful force in the universe. Lately, the world has felt scary and divided and overwhelming for adults, I cannot fathom how confusing it must be for kids. Stories like these can help them process traumas, learn kindness and compassion, and see the world from new perspectives. 


I wrote...

Mama Mable's All-Gal Big Band Jazz Extravaganza!

By Annie Sieg,

Book cover of Mama Mable's All-Gal Big Band Jazz Extravaganza!

What is my book about?

Mama Mable was my first-ever children’s book, and it was also an important lesson in the challenges of telling complex stories. With so many men away at war, the 1940s saw a rise in all-female jazz ensembles (like the International Sweethearts of Rhythm or Babe Egan and the Hollywood Redheads) who for the first time were able to tour the country as professional musicians. These women broke barriers of race, class, and gender and yet many of their stories remain untold.

The band in my book is fictional, but each character is inspired by a real female musician of that era- in the hopes of bringing attention to the many women who contributed to this amazing time in music history.

The Quiet at the End of the World

By Lauren James,

Book cover of The Quiet at the End of the World

An interesting take on a dystopian world, whilst humanity is threatened in this book, the two main characters have pretty decent lives (aside from the fact that they’re destined to be the last humans ever). Loneliness is one of my biggest fears, and the concept of being one of the only two people left on earth is truly terrifying. This book was an intriguing take on the dystopian genre, focusing on what would happen if humans became unable to reproduce. It had some twists I honestly didn’t see coming and a really positive attitude towards diversity. Lowrie (the female narrator) is a compelling, realistic character who records the world around her with compassion. Definitely one for readers who prefer a more ‘positive’ dystopian outlook.


Who am I?

I’ve always been a reader. I love nothing more than to leap between the pages of a book and forget the rest of the world. The books I love take the world today and imagine it evolving into something slightly twisted and terrifying. Years of devouring this type of book led to me imagining my own dystopian worlds, and eventually, writing about them. As a woman who believes in equality, I’m naturally drawn to books which feature strong female characters or are written by women. The books on this list are among my favourites from the last four decades. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!


I wrote...

Flow

By Clare Littlemore,

Book cover of Flow

What is my book about?

In a world where sea levels have risen to unimaginable levels, an isolated society exists. Floodwaters constantly threaten existence, and rules must be followed to ensure survival. Sixteen-year-old Quin knows the Governor is hiding something.

When she receives a sudden promotion, she hopes the extra freedom will help her expose his lies. Her new role is not what she expected, though. And when she attracts the attention of the handsome, mysterious Cam, he warns her: asking questions could get her killed. But Quin can’t resist. She digs deeper and discovers that there's more to Cam than meets the eye. With her heart and her life on the line, how far is she willing to go to protect the people she loves?

New book lists related to infertility

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