Every time I’m approaching birth, I feel compelled to have a stack of books ready. My husband and I own a library of over 600 books (seriously). Neither of us own a Kindle or e-reader because we LOVE physical books. To us, there’s no replacement. Whenever we travel, we visit the local used bookstores and go treasure hunting. Curt has a wish list printed in 6-point font on a single sheet of paper that he carries in his wallet so he’s ready every time.
We’ve read a good portion, but not much over half. So, when I’m pregnant, I love going through our books and pulling ones I might like to read after the baby is born. When I’m in bed or in our rocker nursing, it’s the perfect time to catch up on the extensive reading list that’s only growing. Postpartum can be such a mellow time, if you play your cards right, and I’d hate to be on my phone the whole time. Also, reading books is peaceful instead of stimulating, so if I need sleep, it comes easily while reading a good book.
Don’t be mistaken: my postpartum book stack is not a goal. I don’t ever get through the books that I choose. It just becomes a mini-library I can pull from based on mood or ambition. I keep this stack right in my postpartum suite and pull a book from it once I’ve finished the previous one.
I always keep The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method handy for birth and postpartum. They’ve become my references when I have questions or just to affirm answers I already know.
Besides that, this is what I chose for my upcoming postpartum phase:
- Knit Two by Kate Jacobs: This is the sequel to The Friday Night Knitting Club, the story of a group of women who come together around an NYC yarn store. I found the first book charming and easy to read. This is my simple and not-too-heavy choice.
- Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People by Vanessa Van Edwards: I’ve watched a few of her talks, and they’re intriguing. This is my nonfiction choice if I’m feeling in an emotional and insightful mood.
- Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit: The Lives and Counsels of Contemporary Elders of Greece by Middleton and Mantzaridis: Our family is part of the Eastern Orthodox Church and any Christian can appreciate the teachings of the saints and elders of these modern saints.
- Faithful Place by Tana French: I hope to discover more contemporary authors and I’ve never read a novel by Tana French! I’ll read this one if I want to discover someone new.
- True Colors by Kristin Hannah: Another contemporary author. I’ve read one of her books – The Nightingale, about two French sisters during the 2nd world war – and thought it was incredible. It made me cry! I’d like to see if her other work is as moving.
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith: A classic I’ve never read!
- My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Frederik Backman: Yet another contemporary. I read his A Man Called Ove and ate it up. I like his themes and would love to see if he could be my favorite contemporary author! He’s in the running.
- The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver: I have intended to read this book forever, and maybe I’ll finally get to it this time. Something in me feels ready to get into her work.
- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway: I’ve read this classic before, but it’s been since high school. This one is short and easy to hold (important when you’re one-handed with a nursling!). I know I would enjoy reading it again.
- The Catcher and the Rye by J.D. Salinger: Another classic I’ve never read. Shame!
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: Another classic I must get to, though this heart-breaking tale might be too much in combination with postpartum hormones?
- Dracula by Bram Stoker: Simple out of my desire to read more classics!
- The Once and Future King by T.H. White: The author of The Sword in the Stone. I’ve always been intrigued by this King Arthur saga!
I love books and am always ready to buy more. What do you recommend I have at hand? Have you read any from this list? What do you think I should start with first?
How does Marabou support women?
We live in culture where “bouncing back” is more valued than proper rest. As admirable as it may be for a sports star to get back on the field, the same rules don’t apply to postpartum recovery. The traditional resting period has been stolen from women through pressure to get back to their job or simply through lack of presence.
Grandmas, sisters and best friends who otherwise would have been there to help a woman transition into motherhood often live too far away to be of any help. Household chores and caring for older children inevitably fall on the mom. But she just delivered a new life! She needs rest.
Marabou Services is a unique gift registry which provides services instead of stuff. Most mom’s get too many onesies, too many baby blankets and not enough helping hands. Break out of a destructive cultural norm and start a Marabou registry today.
With a Marabou registry you can sing up for any service which will benefit you or someone you know during the postpartum recovery period.
Postpartum doulas for a first time mom
House cleanings for moms of multiples
Childcare for moms with older children!
Once your registry is created, add it to any other registry or post it to your Facebook and ask friends and family contribute to your postpartum service, rather than buying you more stuff.