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Book Club: Our picks from 2015

Whether you’re seeking an inspiring memoir, practical advice or a side-splitting parenting guide … we’ve got you covered! Check out some of our favorites and find the perfect book to peruse during your (very limited) downtime.  At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles: Mostly-True Tales of an Impending Miracle Like it or not, there are aspects of pregnancy that are weird, embarrassing...

Whether you’re seeking an inspiring memoir, practical advice or a side-splitting parenting guide … we’ve got you covered! Check out some of our favorites and find the perfect book to peruse during your (very limited) downtime. 
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At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles: Mostly-True Tales of an Impending Miracle
Like it or not, there are aspects of pregnancy that are weird, embarrassing and most of all inevitable. While many of us may keep quiet about them, author Paige Kellerman recounts them unabashedly in her only occasionally exaggerated telling of the story of her twin pregnancy. It’s a funny, candid confirmation that the bizarre occurrences plaguing every mom-to-be are indeed perfectly normal. Split Level Press, $9
 
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Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer: A Practical Guide for Finding and Achieving the Gold Standard of Care for Your Child
Whether you already employ a nanny or are currently on the hunt for the perfect au pair, Tammy Gold, LCSW, a licensed therapist and certified parent coach in New York, delivers golden advice to ensure your baby receives the best of care. When it comes to interviewing the ideal candidate or practicing strong communication strategies, you’ll return to this guide time and again as you, baby and caregiver discover the unique harmony it takes to raise a child together. Perigee, $16
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Parentology: Everything You Wanted to Know about the Science of Raising Children but Were Too Exhausted to Ask
Nothing is off the table as social scientist Dalton Conley explores the patterns and peculiarities of parenting. From baby-naming to co-sleeping to vasectomy-undergoing, he turns to respected research and a series of (harmless) unorthodox experiments to prove that child-rearing is not so much a step-by-step formula but rather a series of hypotheses that we test every day. Simon & Schuster, $16
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Gummi Bears Should Not Be Organic: And Other Opinions I Can’t Back Up With Facts
Mommy blogger and author of Sippy Cups Are Not for Chardonnay Stefanie Wilder-Taylor is back with another hilarious book on motherhood. Sick of parenting fads and labels, she decides to tune out Google (and all its experts and research findings) in favor of figuring out this mom gig on her own. Tag along as she learns through trial-and-error what works for her family—and what definitely doesn’t—with plenty of wit, wisdom and laugh-out-loud tales to go around. Gallery Books, $15
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Eat, Play, sleep: The Essential Guide to Your Baby’s First Three Months
Sporting a bump makes you a magnet for parenting advice (wanted or not) from family, friends, experts—even total strangers. Instead of adding to the noise, Luiza DeSouza reminds moms to take their time and trust their maternal instincts. There’s more than one way to mother, and this reassuring guide can help you be the best mama you can be—whatever path you choose. Atria Books, $25
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8 Keys to Old School Parenting for Modern-Day Families
You probably have different views on parenting than your mom and pop, but not everything from their past is outdated and irrelevant. Michael Mascolo, PhD, a psychology professor and expert in the world of childrearing, uses his scientific background to give contemporary moms and dads old-school advice rooted in solid research findings. It might be more academic than your usual evening read, but you’re sure to learn something new along the way. W.W. Norton, $20
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Inspired Baby Names from Around the World: 6,000 International Names and the Meaning Behind Them
Chock-full of multicultural names that are used today in the U.S., this in-depth resource includes the meanings, origins and pronunciations of every moniker, as well as a “spiritual affirmation” for each one. An added bonus: More than 100 nicknames for grandparents are included, too. New World Library, $22
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Calm the F*ck Down
Before you get too wrapped up in worrying about what your child ate (or didn’t) or whether your baby napped (or wouldn’t), do yourself a favor and calm the … er, pick up a copy of this parenting book. Packed with hilarity, consolation and down-to-earth advice, David Vienna’s refreshing guide contains exactly what every new parent needs to hear. Knock Knock, $14
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Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain
When Professor Dana Suskind, MD, learned of a 1995 study that found some children hear 30 million fewer words by their 4th birthdays than others—and that those who hear more words tend to be higher achieving—she knew it was a topic worth talking about. In addition to launching a research project and initiative to help bridge the gap, she’s written a book that gives parents the tools they need to maximize their children’s potential, one word at a time. Dutton, $28
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Parenting is Easy: You’re Probably Just Doing It Wrong
You mean your tot doesn’t sit quietly while you spoon-feed her, bib-less, on a crisp white couch? Sara Given’s new book, inspired by her popular Tumblr blog, puts a satirical spin on the picturesque parents you see (and roll your eyes at) in cheesy stock photos. Her hilarious captions are an amusing reminder to cut yourself some slack—because in the real world parenting is messy, and that’s OK. Workman Publishing Co., $11
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One Good Life
After suffering from postpartum anxiety, alcohol addiction and marital troubles, Jill Nystul decided to start a blog as a way to focus on the positive parts of her life. By writing about a single good thing each day, she turned her outlook around and became a happier, healthier mother. Get the inspiring full story—with plenty of good things (think recipes and household tricks) sprinkled throughout—in this feel-good read that packs a practical punch. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, $26
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Work. Pump. Repeat.
Breastfeeding isn’t easy, but if you’re heading back to work with a pump in tow, Jessica Shortall’s survival guide makes it a little more manageable. Filled with problem-solving hacks, moral support and plenty of humor, this relatable read aims to help you navigate the sometimes awkward, always rewarding job of being a working mom who breastfeeds. As Shortall’s applause-worthy manifesto declares, “Your worth as a mother is not measured in ounces.” We couldn’t agree more. Abrams, $20

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