At Motherwell, we LOVE to read; both of us always have at least one book on the go and we are always discussing them. This is why we created The Well Book Club, we wanted to forge a space where we could collect our best reading recommendations for parents: a list that includes everything from the most relevant how-to guides to the most compelling memoirs. Each month we jointly pick our favorite book and share why we loved it so damn much. For even more suggestions, check out our weekly newsletter—and we’d be happy to hear what’s on your bedside table. Randi and Lauren
Announcing our August pick:
A gripping, genre-bending account of female desire and the trauma that can often intersect with it, Three Women is one of the summer’s hottest reads for a reason. The book chronicles the real lives of Maggie, Lina, and Sloane as they grapple with their identities as sexual beings against the backdrop of the current American cultural landscape. Why we love it: it’s non-fiction that’s just as gripping as a novel.
One woman’s experience both as a therapist and as somebody in therapy. It may not seem like a parenting book at first glance. But as psychologist, author, and mother, Lori Gottlieb acknowledges: “so much of who we are has to do with how we think about our own parents, and our own childhood, and then how we bring that to our own parenting and our own self-conception as parents.” Why we love it: Who doesn’t want an insider look into the world of psychology?
A stunning, and often-times harrowing, read about the unimaginable: the loss of a child. The story traces Greene’s experience of watching his two-year-old daughter die from a freak accident to ultimately finding the strength again to bring another baby into the world. Why we love it: it pushes the boundaries of what’s comfortable to think about.
The perfect read for anybody worried about the myriad of decisions that surround raising young kids. Oster, an economics professor whose work focuses on health, analyzes the data on issues such as breastfeeding, sleep training, allergies, and daycare to bust myths and, ultimately, dispel the guilt many new parents are prone to feeling. Why we love it: it offers the reassurance to parent in a way that suits *you* (and not the mom next door).
An honest, insightful, and ultimately uplifting exploration of the effects of the hormonal sea-changes that surround peri-menopause and menopause itself. Weaving personal experience with scientific information, Steinke’s book shines a light on the realities of this woefully under-discussed topic; it does a service for all women. Why we love it: because people don’t talk about menopause enough.
A rich and nuanced account of life as a financially struggling single parent and a recent Barack Obama summer selection. Why we love it: single motherhood is bloody hard, we need honest accounts of what it’s like, especially what it’s like without resources.
FEBRUARY, 2019: Educated, by Tara Westover
Westover grew up amongst Mormon fundamentalists, in a family who didn’t believe in state school or medicine, who didn’t even register her birth. Her memoir is the story of a quest to re-invent herself through education, an account of having to sever ties from the people she was closest to in order to experience a truer, fuller life. Why we love it: reading about what it means to live off the grid is as engrossing as it is shocking.