Welcome to Is My Kid the Asshole?, a newsletter from science and parenting journalist Melinda Wenner Moyer, which you can read more about here. If you like it, please subscribe and/or share this post with someone else who would too.
Today my newsletter should technically be a #ParentExpertQ&A — a Q&A with an author of a new parenting book — but instead I’m going to tell you about four new or soon-to-be-published parenting books that either intrigue me or that I’ve already read and loved.
Usually, when I feature parenting books here, it’s because they provide solid research-based parenting advice — but, of course, plenty of amazing books aren’t rooted in advice or scientific research. Here are my recommendations for parenting books that don’t quite fit into my typical science-y rubric, but are absolutely worth a read.
You Look Tired: An Excruciatingly Honest Guide To New Parenthood, by Jenny True. Under the alias Jenny True, Jenny Pritchett writes the “Dear Jenny” column for Romper, and she’s hilarious. You Look Tired, which came out in May, is a superbly funny, frank and actually quite helpful guide for new mothers about what they should expect during pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood. It has quizzes, it has worksheets, it has flowcharts. If you’re not a new mother but you know one who doesn’t mind F-bombs, this would also make a winning baby shower book.
License To Parent: How My Career As a Spy Helped Me Raise Resourceful, Self-Sufficient Kids, by Christina Hillsberg with Ryan Hillsberg. I admit that I have not yet read this book — it came out on June 8 — but it certainly intrigues me. As you’ve probably already guessed from the title, the authors are spies who have been raising their children using tools from their CIA training. Publisher’s Weekly described License To Parent as a “one-of-a-kind guide on raising self-sufficient kids,” which at times “reads like a thriller.” Who doesn’t want a parenting book that reads like a thriller? This feels like a win-win.
I Had a Miscarriage: A Memoir, A Movement, by Jessica Zucker. A psychologist who specializes in reproductive and maternal mental health, Zucker wrote this powerful book, which came out on March 9, after miscarrying her daughter sixteen weeks into her pregnancy. Miscarriages are incredibly common — they afflict as many as one in four pregnancies — yet they are still unfairly shrouded in shame and stigma. In addition to sharing Zucker’s personal story, this book is a powerful manifesto on why and how we need to change our culture’s conceptualization of miscarriage and better support grieving families.
Babies Don’t Make Small Talk: (So Why Should I?): The Introvert's Guide to Surviving Parenthood, by Julie Vick. As soon as I read the title, I knew this book was for me. I’m huge introvert who is terrible at (and also absolutely despises) small talk. Although the book hasn’t come out yet — it will be published on August 10 — I have no doubt it will be hilarious, as Vick has written pieces for McSweeney’s and the New Yorker’s Daily Shouts that have made me laugh out loud. It also features advice for introvert parents about managing doctor’s visits, playdates, and childcare.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Book launch events!! My book How To Raise Kids Who Aren’t Assholes comes out in TWO WEEKS and I am very excited to announce two upcoming launch events.
Virtual event: On my launch night — July 20 at 8pm Eastern — I’ll be doing a virtual book launch event with Emily Oster with Anderson’s Bookshops. You can read more about the event and register here.
In-person event: If you aren’t far from New York’s Hudson Valley, come to my in-person, outdoor book launch event with Tracy A. Prout in Garrison, NY on July 18 at 4pm, hosted by Split Rock Books and Desmond-Fish Public Library. Yes, I’ll be signing books too! You can read more about that event and register here.