Thursday, September 28, 2006

Tales of Motherhood

As a mother of a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, I have taken great comfort (both pre and post Lily's birth) in certain motherhood books. When my mama friends recently recommended their current favorite Mother Shock to me, I fondly recalled all the books that helped me along my road to becoming a mom. I haven't gotten to this one yet, but here is my list of books on motherhood that one shouldn't miss.

Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood- From Salon editors, Camille Peri and Kate Moses (I also adored Kate's book Wintering about an imagined period in Sylvia Plath's life), these are thoughtful stories from women in the thick of their lives as mothers.

Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race, and Themselves- In their follow-up collection of personal essays, the contributors tackle weightier issues. I was quite taken and deeply moved by Mariane Pearl and Kate Moses's stories.

Spiritual Midwifery- Written by Ina May Gaskin of The Farm in Summertown, TN, this is an instructional manual any pregnant woman would do well to add to her library. I especially loved the photos and personal stories by the families who Ina May helped to deliver their babies on the commune.

Increase- This is a lyrical journal by poet Lia Purpura during her pregnancy. A luminating and deeply reverent book.

Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year- Annie Lamott always writes at her best and most amusingly when she writes of her own personal journey as she does in Bird by Bird. With her deadpan, self-deprecating voice, you feel as if you're reading the experience of an old friend whom you wish you still knew. This book is a hilarious and heartfelt exploration of all the feelings and adjustments one must go through as a first-time mother.


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