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Baby Not on Board: A Celebration of Life without Kids Paperback – July 7, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (July 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811847977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811847971
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #929,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...Shawne glorifies the life of what she terms 'unparents.'" -- The Washington Post

"...a fast and devilishly funny read." -- The Plain Dealer

"...a fun and witty guide to breaking the news to your grandchildren-eager parents..." -- Dayton Daily News

"[Shawne's] book uses humor to [suggest ways of] making the most of your tot-free days." -- Houston Chronicle

"[the book] welcomes like-minded readers into a lively, if sometimes a bit crass, world of what Shawne calls 'unparenting.'" -- Chicago Sun-Times

About the Author

Jennifer L. Shawne is the author of Instant Weddings (0-8118-3687-8). She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two feline child substitutes, Mim and Gita.

Anoushka Matus's illustrations appear regularly in numerous international magazines. She currently lives with her husband and son in Zurich, Switzerland.

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Customer Reviews

Makes a great gift too.
Saficious
I love children but the older the get the more I realize that one has to be very selfless if they are to become a parent.
Katherine Alexandra, the Christian
Not even in the slightest.
N. Velickovic

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Sam on March 26, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
That is the question. For some, the answer is "Yes! Yes! Who wouldn't want to have a baby!" For others the answer is clear - "NO BREEDING. NO BABIES." Whichever one is your choice (and it is a choice), you'll find this book a fun read.

The authors approach the sometimes taboo topic of deciding not to have children with humor and concrete considerations one should think about if pondering the addition of tiny footsteps to their life. Do you want to give up all your Saturday mornings from now until forever? Have kids and it will be cereal and cartoons at 7 am instead of sleeping until 10 and having a leisurely read of the paper while sipping a latte.

The book pokes fun at parenthood and highlights the not so endearing qualities that babies, toddlers, kids and teenagers possess. It is not a book that says being a parent is a bad thing. Those who decide to remain childless are not cold or without compassion. Not all of them hate children, a lot of them LOVE kids, but know that being a parent is not for them. The book also highlights the great opportunity of being an auntie or uncle, compared to a mommy or daddy.

It's a funny book, a quick read, and can be enjoyed by breeders and non-breeders alike. (But I wouldn't recommend giving it as a gift at a baby shower.)
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Animal Lover on August 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
For someone who's on the fence about having kids, this book is terrific! It's not mean-spirited at all; instead it makes you feel better about questioning whether child rearing is right for you. And in this celebrity-obsessed culture, I could care less if Gwyneth or Britney are breeding...But with all the print they seem to get about their spawn it sure puts unconscious pressure on us gals to get a bun in the oven. Anyway, this book made me feel better about my uncertainty, and cracked me up in the process! Thank you, Jennifer L. Shawne!
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87 of 95 people found the following review helpful By BaldGuy on August 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
As one of the "selfish" and "barren" adults for whom "Baby Not On Board" (BNOB) is intended, I found Shawne's book the perfect antidote to the daunting cultural imperatives my wife and I have felt to BREED BREED BREED. Spiced with witty illustrations and dripping with interesting comparison tables, resources, and cheeky "advice," the book (finally!) says out loud what many of us have been thinking quietly for a long time: that on this already-overpopulated planet, those of us who have chosen to live our lives for *ourselves and not our offspring have every right to be loud and proud about it.

Philosophy aside, BNOB is a brutally funny, dead-on counterpunch to the world of having babies, balancing honesty with cheeky humor, and toeing a careful line between saying what's necessary and provoking the poor breeders. I loved its candid assessments like "carrying a back-breaking watermelon" or long list of celebrities who elected to forego having children. Comparisons like "A Saturday With/Without Kids" clearly contextualizes the difference between two life-changing decisions in a simple, understandable way. There are dozens of examples like this, most of them hilarious -- "Lost in Translation," which explains how to swear in the presence of innocent little ears, made me laugh so hard I blew expensive champagne out my nose.

Child-burdened folks may find themselves offended or defensive, occasionally, since Shawne pokes prose pins in many of their rationalizations. But they have to understand: we've been silent for a long time, putting up with their offsprings' interruptions of our movies and plane flights, even getting their parents out of work now and then. (What's OUR excuse? Our cat is sick?) Frankly, we were tired of the inequity.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By B. Misso on July 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
Baby Not on Board is a witty, insightful, and thoroughly enjoyable read. It's high time someone wrote an antidote to all those planning-for-baby books in order to give the perspective of people who feel there's more to life than producing more lives. This book's the perfect gift for anyone who's decided to leave the task of overpopulating our planet to others. But it's lighthearted enough that even those poor parents out there should get a kick out of it. Baby Not on Board may be the most effective contraception on the market right now!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mike on February 1, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a serious discussion of the childfree lifestyle. It's not supposed to be. It is, however, a really enjoyable jaunt into the humorous side of the baby debate. You can read a few pages and put it down and come back to it and not feel lost. There's a new topic or viewpoint on almost every page. It's all over the place on all of the issues involved with having kids. I recommend this for a good laugh. For a more serious book on the subject check out Childfree and Loving it! by Nicki Defago.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K. Fi on June 12, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not only did i laugh out loud while reading this book, but it was the FIRST one that handled the subject of 'life without kids' HONESTLY. So many of those i've read came off as apologetic & always feel the need to clarify a love of children. 'Baby Not on Board' was a guilt-free approach for those of us who may NOT love all children. Illustrations are hilarious, too.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Rasmussen on December 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
I breezed through this book in two sessions--it is spectacular. It is witty, clever, fun, insightful, and reaffirming. The childfree are so often given the hairy eyeball and quizzed disapprovingly about their choice, it's fantastic to read a book that not only shares your point of view, but snarkily joins you in your frustration with obnoxious people who are ever so convinced you'll "change your mind someday." From breaking down what luxuries you'll be able to afford and environmental benefits to ideas for unbaby showers (I love the idea of asking your guests to guess the circumference of your unstretched waistline) and babysitting methods that will ensure you'll NEVER be asked to do so again, it's got a lot of fun stuff for nearly any class of childfree person.

To people like Sergiy Konovalov who think the book is too negative about children and those who choose to have them, perhaps you should read, let's see, the FRONT COVER: "A Celebration Of Life Without Kids." Obviously this book is meant as entertainment and intended for the individual who has already decided that children are not in their future; those on the fence are not the target market, nor are parents, so their personal offense to the content really can't classify it as a bad book.

Makes a spectacular gift for the childfree friend in your life--I bought it as a Christmas present for my girlfriend, but I had to read it through before sending it off!
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