Friday, May 04, 2001

Amazon's parenting top 10

Since I became a parent, I seem to be unable to shop for myself. When I look in clothing stores, I gravitate to the children's section. When I cruise the mall, I'm drawn to the toy stores. When I buy videos, they're always from the kiddie section. And at the bookstore, if I'm not looking at children's books, I'm browsing the parenting shelves.

Checking the latest in parenting expertise is something I try to do regularly, if only to smile at how clueless people are or marvel at the ever-increasing numbers of ADHD guides. I haven't made it to the bookstore in a while, so this morning I decided to do the next best thing: surf over to Amazon and see what's selling. In case you're curious, too, here's Amazon's Top 10 for today, with their comments and ours.

1. Aging With Grace : What the Nun Study Teaches Us About Leading Longer, Healthier, and More Meaningful Lives by DavidSnowdon.
About the author: Snowdon is a noted Alzheimer's researcher.
What Amazon says: "Both cutting-edge science and a personal prescription for hope. Aging With Grace shows how old age doesn't have to mean an inevitable slide into illness and disability; rather, it can be a time of promise and productivity, intellectual and spiritual vigor, and continuing freedom from disease."
What we say: May be interesting as all get-out, but one wonders what a book about nuns is doing at the top of the parenting list. To let us know that the way to reduce stress is by not having kids and men in your life?

2. I Only Say This Because I Love You : How the Way We Talk Can Make or Break Family Relationships Throughout Our Lives by Deborah Tannen.
About the author: Tannen previously authored "You Just Don't Understand," about male-female communications.
What Amazon says: "You won't find quick, easy answers for improving communication in your family, but you will discover another dimension of understanding what's really going on."
What we say: Hey, I'm short on time here. If you're not offering quick, easy answers, I'm not interested.

3. The Girlfriends' Guide to Getting Your Groove Back : Loving Your Family Without Losing Your Mind by Vicki Iovine.
About the author: Iovine has written many hip "Girlfriend's Guides" to various parenting stages, including pregnancy, infancy and toddlerhood.
What USA Today said: "With great humor and frankness, Iovine addresses the topics most women talk about only with their best friends."
What we say: Oops, we lost our minds already. Too late for us, Vicki, too late for us.

4. Little Bits of Wisdom : A Collection of Tips and Advice from Real Parents compiled by Josie Bissett.
About the author: Bissett played Jane Mancini on Melrose Place ... and she's giving advice?
What Amazon says: "Out of the mouths of real parents and grandparents come priceless tips for thriving and surviving the everyday adventures of raising your children."
What we say: Real parents, maybe, but ... oh my goodness, haven't we all had enough know-it-all tips from grandparents to last us a lifetime?

5. The Rules for Marriage : Time-Tested Secrets for Making Your Marriage Work by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider.
About the authors: They wrote The Rules for dating, too.
What Amazon says: "Ellen and Sherrie show you how to make that sometimes bumpy journey known as marriage as smooth as possible."
What we say: One secret I've found for making my marriage work is to not sit around reading self-help books all the time.

6. Baby Bargains 4 Ed: Secrets to Saving 20% to 50% on Baby Furniture, Equipment, Clothes, Toys, Maternity Wear, and Much, Much More! by Denise and Alan Fields.
About the authors: They've moved up from their first book, "Bridal Bargains."
What Amazon says: "Well researched and written in a witty and comfortable tone, Baby Bargains should be required reading for every safety- and money-conscious parent-to-be."
What we say: But at $12.26, can you really afford it?

7. Don't Make Me Stop This Car : Adventures in Fatherhood by Al Roker.
About the author: He's the Today show's weatherman.
What Amazon says: "Light and involving, 'Don't Make Me Stop This Car' talks frankly about fertility problems, parenting, divorce, adoption, and... 'toons. "
What we say: If we're going to read a humorous book about fertility problems, parenting and adoption, we'll write it ourselves.

8. The Pregnancy Journal; A Day-To-Day Guide to a Healthy and Happy Pregnancy by A. Christine Harris, Ph.D.
About the author: Harris has also written a book on child development, but it costs $73 and probably isn't as cute as this one.
What Amazon says: "Whether this is pregnancy number 1 or number 10, nothing makes it easier to connect with a growing baby than knowing exactly what magical development is happening every day."
What we say: If this is pregnancy number 10, what are the odds that you'll ever get a chance to sit down and read?

9. Real Boys Workbook by William S. Pollock, Ph.D.
About the author: Pollock has created a small cottage industry writing about real boys.
What Amazon says: "Designed to stand on its own, "Real Boys Workbook" revisits material covered in Pollack's other books: spot-on anecdotes about boys and their parents, boys suppressing emotions, boys and sports, plus a humbling dose of smart suggestions for using empathy, shared activities, and respect to nurture their loving qualities."
What we say: Would a real boy really stand for all this rigamarole?

10. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.
About the authors: They also wrote "Siblings Without Rivalry" together.
What Amazon says: "... a step-by-step approach to improving relationships in your house."
What we say: The problem in our house is not getting kids to talk. It's getting them to stop.

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