The Longest Shortest Time

Gift Guide: Non-Cheesy Reads for New Parents

Hey everybody, good news. Prospects are looking promising to get the podcast settled in a new home soon. In the meantime, many of you have been asking how you can support The Longest Shortest Time. The number one thing you can do is simple and free: subscribe in iTunes or another podcatcher, and rate and review the show. That’ll keep us high in the charts while on hiatus.

Another thing you can do is buy something from this handy gift guide! We’ll get a kickback from Amazon. Plus! All the books in this list are by beloved LST podcast guests, so you’ll be supporting them as well. If you have a new or soon-to-be parent in your life, and you want to get them something to make them feel like you really *get* them, you can’t go wrong with something on this list.

P.S. Related episodes posted below the reccos.

P.P.S. If you’re looking for a more substantial gift, pair any of these titles with a batch of brownies and an Us Weekly subscription. Trust me.

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For the Mom Freaked Out by Pregnancy and Childbirth (Past or Future)
At first glance, I have little in common with A.K. Summers, author of the autobiographical comic Pregnant Butch. But this book has, hands down, been my favorite book on pregnancy and childbirth. A great pick for anyone (LGBTQ or not) wrestling with what it means to have a person grow inside you, come out of you, and change your shape forever.


For the Mom Who Wants to Get It On
When you become a parent, the stuff that used to turn you on might not anymore. Maybe you’re in pain; maybe you’re tired. (If you’re in pain, get yourself some help.) The good news is, with a willing partner, you get to figure out what works for the new you. The wonderfully saucy OB-GYN Dr. Hilda Hutcherson has some great tips on accomplishing this in her books What Your Mother Never Told You About Sex and Pleasure: A Woman’s Guide to Getting the Sex You Want, Need, and Deserve.


For the Parent Who’s Not Sure This Whole Baby Thing Was a Great Idea
Not all parents feel an instant bond with their babies, and that can be a hard thing to admit. Photographer Phillip Toledano comes clean about his ambivalence over early fatherhood in his beautifully raw book The Reluctant Father. A coffee-table-worthy gift for moms and dads alike. And, at the very least, motivation for getting your kid’s face printed on a plate while they still look like an alien.


For the Parent Afraid of Becoming Boring
Okay, this one’s not a book. But not all new parents have the time to read, so I’m throwing in some music. Parenthood is full of existential crises, and I’ve found this to be especially true of creative types. We’re constantly faced with the question of how to support our families while staying true to our pre-kid selves. Punk rocker Bry Webb packed his guitar away and started working construction when he found out he was going to be a dad. And then, to his great surprise, he found himself singing a lullaby to his son Asa. His album Provider captures the universal hopes and heartaches of becoming a parent. And is just a damn good record in general, for when you need to chill.


For the Parent Desperately in Need of a Laugh
There are loads of books in the parenting humor genre, but most of them just make me groan. For an actual laugh, check out Sara Given’s book Parenting Is Easy: You’re Probably Just Doing It Wrong. This compilation of ridiculously idyllic stock photos, paired with Sarah’s witty captions, was born out of a hilarious thread in our Facebook group for mamas—the go-to place for non-judgy discussions about parenthood. This book is best enjoyed while eating a salad on a white couch in an extraordinary amount of sunlight.

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What are YOUR favorite non-cheesy books for new parents?
Add ’em below.