My Favorite Mom-Centric Books of 2019

As a mom, foster mom, writer, and librarian, I do a lot of reading — both kids’ books, and adult books. In 2019, I read a bunch, and thought I’d share my favorites with you all, seeing as how you’re all mamas who, by virtue of reading this blog post, probably also like reading words!

1.The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison

This book is definitely not for the faint of heart! Imagine a cross between Cormac McCarthy’s THE ROAD with Margaret Atwood’s THE HANDMAID’S TALE, and you’ve got THE BOOK OF THE UNNAMED MIDWIFE by Meg Elison. I should warn you, it’s not pretty (is any dystopia ever pretty?) but the story won’t let you go.

2. Kid Gloves: Nine Months of Careful Chaos by Lucy Knisley

Knisley’s experience with pregnancy and childbirth are harrowing as heck in this graphic novel. This book will definitely resonate with anyone who’s had the experience of a doctor who didn’t listen to their concerns, and the scary things that can happen during childbirth. Luckily it all turns out all right, for those looking for a happy ending!

3. Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear by Kim Brooks 

When Kim Brooks leaves her young son in the car in the Target parking lot to run in real quick for something while he plays with his tablet, a stranger reports her for child neglect. What follows is a dive into what it means to worry, what worries are founded, and how parents interact with a world that wants to worry for them.

4. The Still Point of the Turning World by Emily Rapp

I hesitate to add this, not because it isn’t beautiful (it’s the best book I read of 2019) but because this book will break your heart.  It is a beautifully philosophical, lyrical, heartbreaking work of staggering horror as her son is diagnosed with Tay-Sachs at the age of 9 months. Rapp dissects the human act of dying not as a person dying but the parent bearing witness, while asking questions like, what is a life, what is that experience when you are a baby? When that baby is your baby? The experience undoes her, but also re-does her, too. As it would, anyone. I read it over two days.

5. Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs: Big Questions from Tiny Mortals about Death by Caitlin Doughty

A little more lighthearted fare to end this list: Caitlin Doughty’s newest book is a compilation of questions asked of her during her public talks and online death professional Q&A’s about, well, death — but were specifically asked by children. If you, too, find yourself raising tiny mortals, this is the best book out there to help answer those pesky questions about the big forever-after.

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