Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Totally Read Tuesday

If anyone was unaware, I am a high school librarian. This of course means not only am I pretty awesome and that I read an awful lot. This also means I read mostly books aimed at a young adult audience. I love YA books, YA authors, and the idea of books being about the teenage experience (whether realistic or not). All this being said, I am also a lover of non-fiction titles not aimed at teenagers. I usually try to have a non-fiction audio book mixed in with my normal YA titles. I came across one late this fall that I absolutely fell in love with, so much so that I told my sister that she had to read it as well (and she did an loved it to). The book is called All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox on Modern Parenting by Jennifer Senior.

This book is not a traditional parenting book, Senior does not spend her time telling you all the best ways to raise intelligent, respectful, well-adjusted kids. Instead she examines the stress, agony, and sometimes feelings of hopelessness parents go through trying to raise smart, respectful, well-adjusted kids. She breaks down all the stages of parenting from newborns to an almost empty nest and uses research and anecdotal stories to explain why we can feel so stressed about being parents in the modern age. Parenthood is hard, and modern society's expectations can make it seem like you are always failing no matter what you do. It's almost as if during the book you can feel a hand on your shoulder and a voice saying "See, you're not alone. Other people feel this way too." 

I talked about this book with my husband as I was listening and we had some really great discussions including a very lively one about divisions of labor in marriage i.e. why I get so frustrated that he doesn't multitask like I do. More than once while listening to this book I thought, "Man, I think she is writing about me, this is exactly how I feel." As my husband can attest, I rarely rate books 5 stars on Goodreads but this was a solid 5 stars for me. I enjoyed it immensely, it was probably my favorite non-fiction read of 2014. If you have kids, are planning on having kids, or want to understand your friends who have kids, this is a great read. Also the audio-book is well done and is narrated by the author which I enjoyed, so if you are an audio-book person this is a well done title.

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