Grove Press: Elements of Fiction by Walter Mosley

What to Read When You're Expecting

When I found out I was pregnant, I turned to books in search of answers to the roughly one million questions I had about what to expect. First up was Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy (Harper Wave, $24.95)--a book that's fast becoming my go-to "if you read just one book about pregnancy..." recommendation. Angela Garbes offers readers a candid exploration of pregnancy that is part memoir and part science, full of heartfelt stories and absolutely fascinating details about what the human body can do in preparation for a new little one. And Now We Have Everything (Back Bay, $16.99) was another candid (sometimes shockingly so) memoir of motherhood, speaking openly and honestly about tough subjects like 40-hour labor and postpartum depression. Some of these same topics--the ups and downs of the experience, and the many different forms it can take--feature heavily in the story collection Look How Happy I'm Making You (Doubleday, $24.95).

And looking for some science to back up all the new rules I found myself subject to, I dove right into Expecting Better (Penguin Books, $17), in which Emily Oster uses her background as an economist to unpack the statistics behind many, many studies that surround the common "rules" of pregnancy. Oster has also written Crib Sheet (Penguin Press, $28), a book on parenting using the same stats-based technique.

More recently, I picked up (and loved) What No One Tells You (Simon & Schuster, $17), a guide to the emotions of pregnancy. While many pregnancy books focus more on the physical aspect of growing a tiny human, there are a lot of feelings mixed up in the process, I've learned. --Kerry McHugh, blogger at Entomology of a Bookworm