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The Books That Got Me Through the First Two Years

Posted on 9th March 2018 by Sasha James

As we celebrate Mother's Day, bookseller Sasha James recommends the books that got her through the first two years as a new mum. A perfect combination of practical advice, timely reassurance and the ideal read to remind you that, however bad it gets, it could be much, much worse...

First-Time Parent by Lucy Atkins

Oh, how I laughed in the face of parenting books when I was pregnant. I was of the mind that didn’t need a book to tell me how to raise my child! But you know what, you might not need a book but Lucy Atkins reminded me that I was only human and I was trying my best. It was also the book that reassured me that all babies make that weird noise and it has great advice for single-parenting and special needs babies.

£14.99 £9.99
Paperback
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Forget unrealistic childcare manuals - this is the book you really need to help you cope brilliantly with those first chaotic days and months ahead. Anticipating the questions and concerns of all new mothers the book provides practical advice and level-headed reassurance. It addresses the needs of the baby and, very importantly, those of the parent during the first year of their baby's life.
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The Unmumsy Mum 

No sugarcoating, no nonsense, just the honesty of day-to-day parenting. The Unmumsy Mum kept me sane, I had followed her blog from the moment I found out I was with spawn. The book has taken on the form of a bible in my household.

£12.99
Hardback
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This is not a parenting manual, this is real life. The lessons The Unmumsy Mum learnt while grappling with two small boys - from birth to teething, 3am night feeds to toddler tantrums, soft play to toilet training - will have you roaring with laughter and taking great comfort in the fact that it's definitely not just you!
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The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

Parenting can be really lonely sometimes and during my maternity leave The Bone Clocks became one of my best friends. Watching Holly Sykes mature over the six decades portrayed in The Bone Clocks was beautiful, buzzing and magical.

£8.99 £6.99
Paperback
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This dazzling novel from the author of Cloud Atlas, is at once the kaleidoscopic story of an unusual woman's life, a metaphysical thriller and a profound meditation on mortality and survival. Over six decades, the consequences of a moment's impulse unfold, drawing an ordinary woman into a world far beyond her imagining.
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Making Babies by Anne Enright

Told through a series of essays, Anne Enright’s experiences through motherhood provide a raw read that I needed and now treasure with all my heart. I finished this book in the reassurance that when it comes to the struggles of motherhood, I wasn’t the only one.

£8.99
Paperback
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Anne Enright, one of Ireland's most remarkable writers, and mother of two, has written the perfect antidote to the high-minded, polemical 'How-to' baby manuals, Making Babies is an intimate, engaging, and very funny record of the journey from early pregnancy to age two.
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What To Expect the 1st Year by Heidi E Murkoff

What to expect? The Worst. How to deal with it? With this book. Babies are really weird, there’s no logic, no reasoning and you just have to do your best. Murkoff’s my go-to when it comes to infant care. She has held my hand through sleepless nights, tummy time and weaning. 

£16.99 £13.49
Paperback
Not available
Covering the most up-to-date knowledge, both medical and developmental, What to Expect: the 1st Year is, above all, down-to-earth and reassuring - and an invaluable aid for all parents of new babies. This comprehensive and practical month-by-month guide clearly explains everything parents need to know - or might be worrying about - in the first year with a new baby.

This product is only available to collect in store.

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Why Mummy Drinks by Gill Sims

We all know why. Gill Sims’ novel will be handed out a antenatal classes in years to come. This is a book that will have you half cackling away to yourself and half-cringing like there’s no tomorrow. 

£12.99
Hardback
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It is Mummy's 39th birthday. She is staring down the barrel of a future of people asking if she wants to come to their advanced yoga classes, and polite book clubs. But Mummy does not want to go quietly into that good night of women who `live for their children'. Instead, she clutches a large glass of wine, muttering 'FML' over and over. Until she remembers the gem of an idea she's had.
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Carrie by Stephen King

In short, don’t do anything Carrie White’s mother does. Carrie is one of my go-to comfort reads. Whenever there’s day that I find myself staring into the abyss of motherhood while my child is screaming and taking her clothes off in the middle of a shop I remind myself that at least I’m not Carrie’s mum.

£8.99 £6.99
Paperback
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Carrie White is no ordinary girl. Carrie White has the gift of telekinesis. To be invited to prom night by Tommy Ross is a dream come true - the firststep towards social acceptance by her high school colleagues. But events will take a decidedly macabre turn on that horrifying and endless night as she is forced to exercise her terrible gift on the town that mocks and loathes her.
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