September 14, 2006

Childfree Book Reviews

As a recap of our first year, I thought I would do a compilation post on the fiction and non-fiction books in the childfree realm that have been reviewed on this site. (Click through to read a review!)

Baby Proof (2006)
Emily Giffin
Popular chic lit novelist takes on "outside the norm" again, this time with a childfree married couple. The story unfolds when the husband changes his mind...

Baby Not On Board (2005)
Jennifer L. Shawne
Humour book with great illustrations. Great topical blog associated with this book (see sidebar). Would appeal to parents and non-parents alike.

The Baby Trap
Ellen Peck
Includes frank discussions about cultural brainwashing, contraception and the controversies of being childfree. Offers tip on how to "turn up the heat" in your childfree marriage as well as steps to take for a more equitable co-existance in society.

Childfree and Lovin' It! (2005)
Nicki Defago
A British journalist describes why she is childfree and grateful every day. Interestingly, this book reveals interviews with parents who experience feelings of regret

The Childless Revolution: What it Means to be Childless Today (2002)
Madelyn Cain
A first-time mom and journalist looks over the fence at a path not taken. Easy to read, first-person, factually-based and well-researched.

Chosen Lives of Childfree Men
Patricia Lunneborg
Intimate interviews with 30 men from the U.K. and the U.S. It's one of the few books out there that addresses this topic from a man's perspective.

Families of Two
Laura Carroll
Essays with couples who have decided for various reasons to be childfree. Nice photos by Krista Bartz accompany each story.

I'm Okay, You're a Brat (2001)
Susan Jeffers, PhD

I Hate Other People's Kids (2006)
Adrianne Frost
Written by a comedienne, guaranteed to make you squirm and laugh. A bit heavy on the sarcasm, but a classic tirade in the childfree vs. parent saga.

Maybe Baby (2006)
Edited by Lori Leibovich
A collection of essays from those who have chosen not to have children.

No Kidding
Wendy Tokunaga
A fun, fictional account of a Silicon Valley gal who comes out to her family and co-workers as a Purple Woman.

Reconceiving Women: Separating Motherhood from Female Identity (1993)
Mardy S. Ireland, PhD
She neatly divides childfree women into three categories: transformational (always knew they didn't want kids), transitional (delay or ambivalence decided for them), and traditional (wanted kids but for some reason couldn't have them). A very balanced, mindful look at Purple Women in society...

"…summoning the legendary first woman Lilith to represent the nonmaternal creative energies that exist in every woman and by which childless women can define themselves and their experience."
- Beverly Miller, Boise State Univ. Lib., Id.
Smilla's Sense of Snow (1992)
Peter Høeg
An international best seller and now a movie featuring Smilla, a very quotable Purple Woman. If you like action and solving mysteries, this book will appeal.

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2004)
Lionel Shriver
This fictional account of a wayward teenager will scare any fence-sitters right over to the purple side.

If you've read a good book (even if it's not good) about Puple WomenTM and we've not covered it, I invite you to do a guest post for us. Let Teri know if you would like to contribute a book review. The list above is alphabetical, but it is interesting to note that most of the books we've reviewed have been published within the last 10 years. Talk about conscious-raising!

Currently reading:

Baby Boon: How a Family-Friendly America Cheats the Childless (2000)
Elinor Burkett
Review coming...!

Read, but forgot to review:

Barren in the Promised Land: Childless Americans and the Pursuit of Happiness (1997)
Elaine T. May
Review coming...!

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Anonymous said...

"The Baby Boon" rocked! It most definitely highlighted the inequities in the workplace faced by those without kids, and how those "time off benefits" favor the more well-to-parents, and exclude working-class parents.

A very provacative, political read. It's in my CF library and I refer to it often. It dispenses with parent-pleasing and politial correctness, and gets to the core of workplace inequities.

Stasha said...

Childfree and Loving It! changed my feelings (mostly my guilt) about not wanting children and made me so proud to have made this decision with my husband. He read it as well and it's been great for us, making coming out to family a lot more comfortable an idea, whereas before there was a great deal of shame involved. We're still working on it, but it's a much more pleasant (or, at the very least, less terrifying) proposition.

I look forward to reading more on the subject. :)

Anonymous said...

AlphaGirl - I am taking forever to read Baby Boon. Partly because I am currently on the road and partly because I am about to move again, but in truth this book is so ground-breaking, counter culture and radical (and very well documented) it takes me forever to read just one page!

Tiara Lynn - I cannot wait to read Childfree and Loving it! Would you be willing to review it for us as a Guest Contributor?