May 09, 2007

Thinking Mama

So ya'll, it's almost mother's day. In light of the day, I am thinking of treating myself to a new interesting book about motherhood. Does anyone have anything good they'd recommend? I am less interested in the Jenny McCarthy-fun-to-read-on-a-plane variet of book, though I like that genre,* and more interested, just now, in something a little more thinky. Because I think motherhood is interesting, and I would like to think more about it.

There are lots of new (and newish) books out, by people like Rebecca Walker, and then there was that famous Linda Hirshman book last year...and I've been too busy to read them. Any thoughts out there?

In case anyone else is interested in new reading material this mother's day, here are some things I would pass on. Obviously, there is Anne Lammot's most excellent book, which Brandon and I quote to each other weekly. "Roots roots roots!" we say. Jenny M. "lent" me her copy of Catherine Newman's book a very long time ago, and she is not getting it back, though I would probably say that I like her (Catherine's) column in Wondertime as well or better.

The most thoughtful book I read while pregnant was Great with Child by Debra Rienstra, not to be confused with the also-good Great with Child by Beth Ann Fennelly. Rienstra writes particularly from an intellectual and theological position--her book is not one I would have probably come across on my own, but my old friend Sarah lent me her copy and truly I think it is a really valuable meditation on motherhood--on how it is hard, and why it is meaningful. Her answers are more religious than mine would be, but her way of posing questions, and of mixing memoir with argument, is very compelling.

All this begs the question of whether, as mothers, we actually have time to read. Which is a good one. But if Linda Hirshman argues (again, I haven't read her book yet) that as mothers we deserve to remain independent as workers, I would argue that as mothers we also deserve to be independent as thinkers and readers. We have to like ourselves (still be ourselves)at the end of all of this, after all.


sarah said...

I forgot to annotate my asterick. So:

*Jenny McCarthy is famous around here for describing sex after childbirth as "throwing a hotdog down a hallway." Who wouldn't love a book like that?

Roxanne said...

I agree that Opertaing Instructions.... is fab- it made me all at once cry and laugh and at least know other women shared the same wild emotions I did. Although, I did read it 2 weeks post-partum which could explain the crying rants :)

Alesia said...

I couldn't agree more about continuing to be yourself during the journey through motherhood, even as your ideas about who you are change. I loved Anne Lamott's book and Catherine Newman's as well (I was a Bringing Up Ben fan at babycenter so found a lot of the book was a rehash of those columns -- but i liked it anyway). I haven't read the following, but it's on my list: It's a Boy: Women Writers on Raising Sons by Andrea J. Buchanan (Editor).

Sheree said...

As independent worker mothers, are we entitled to Union Representation?

TH said...

OK, so my reading selection is late for Mother's Day, and it is sort of off topic too. Parenthood is a theme, but not the topic. "A Dirty Job" by christopher Moore is about being Death, and a parent. It is funny and captures some of those classic parenting moments. It kind of reflect some of my current redefinition of motherhood since I am no longer the primary care giver.

I found that it was much easier to listen to books on CD while nursing, because both of the kids reached the age where anything I held while nursing was too much of a distraction.