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on March 10, 2011
I am a mother of two growing young men, and that has caused me to be crotchety toward the things that young people do. One thing that I am especially given to crotchets about is the use of the acronym LOL. I don't hate laughing, mind, and I certainly don't expect anyone to laugh silently. Laughing out loud is great! I just don't love LOL.

And yet, I have found myself LOLing every time I open this book. And everyone in my family is LOLing every time they open this book, including my 11-year-old and 8-year-old sons. Everyone where I work LOL'd when they stole it off my desk to read when they were supposed to be working and you should ask before you put your dirty paws all over someone else's brand new book, Megan!* My point is that, despite how much I hate LOL, I wouldn't be able to describe how much laughing out loud this book has been providing everyone around me without using that very shorthand. So, there you go.

Here's why I love it. A hundred years ago when I first saw that little blue line on that urine-soaked stick (which I then jumped around, waving in the air. Gross!) I ran right out and bought a certain book about what a woman should expect when she is expecting a certain thing. The certain thing is a baby. Well, I sat right down and devoured that book, and when I was through...I was afraid to move. Or eat. Or think too much. When I finally got over the trauma, I told my husband that vaunted tome should really be called, "1,000 Things to Be Paranoid About Over the Next Nine Months. HA HA, You Should See How Crazy Your Eyes Look Right Now!" I picked it up with a pair of tongs and tossed it in a box never to be seen again. Clearly, these two women understand the way I felt back then. They get me. They get you too. And this book is the answer to any pregnancy and parenthood guide out there that will try to convince you that you might have toxoplasmosis from a partial granule of cat litter that your husband tracked near you on the bottom of his shoe and which somehow got into your eye.

If you are looking to have a baby or you're looking to install a baby in someone, if you've recently had a baby or watched while the special lady in your life did all the work, this book is for you. I wish I'd had this before I got pregnant. I'm glad I have it now. And if you're currently pregnant, don't worry, this book will not cause you to laugh your fetus right out of you, because that's not scientifically possible. But you will probably tinkle your maternity pants. Which you're going to do anyway, so might as well have fun doing it!

*Her real name. And to be fair to Megan, she immediately ordered two copies of the book - one for herself and one for a shower gift - as soon as I pried her grubby mitts off of mine.
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on March 5, 2011
As a new father of a 2-month old, I can definitely say that having "Let's Panic About Babies" lying around the house this past week has brought unbelievable joy to both me and my wife. The book is shockingly funny -- goofy, silly, and just completely ridiculous. It's certainly engaging enough to sit down and plow through, but more often than not, I like to pick it up when I'm up in the middle of the night with our son & need a good and quick laugh.

Seriously, we've both had tears streaming down our faces, we were laughing so hard at some of the stuff in here.

This book is a fun read for everyone, new baby or no -- but it truly is a perfect gift to get someone for a shower, particularly if they're fans of, for example, laughing.

Just get it. It is great.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon February 10, 2011
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm a fan of Alice Bradley's mommy blog, finslippy, and "Lets Panic About Babies," is comfortably within her wheelhouse of parenting stories told with great humor and occasionally touching emotional depth. I wasn't previously familiar with Bradley's co-author's work, but the two seem to work well together.

This is not a mothering guide, but a humor book--a SPOOF on parenting books if the baby's laser eyes didn't tip you off--with lots of mothering anecdotes, in essay chapter form, that just about anyone who has ever given birth, or is about to, can relate to. As mom to an "active" three-year-old, some of the stories had me laughing out loud and I was frequently shaking my head saying, 'Yep, I can relate to that.'

The authors' sense of humor trends towards the acerbic and sarcastic, which suit me fine, but may not be everyone's style.
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on November 19, 2011
I've never written an online review of anything, but this book is so outrageously hilarious and fills such a valuable role in the literature of pregnancy, I was moved to say something -- to let other women know that reading Let's Panic About Babies! will not only make you weep with laughter but may also even, in a small but significant way, if it catches you at the right moment, change your life.

For some women, pregnancy is a beautiful, sacred, magical thing. For others, it's a little more complicated than that -- words such as alarming, bizarre, terrifying, mystifying, dread-inspiring, really freaking weird, grotesque, and horror show (ok, that's a phrase) come to mind. When I first stumbled on this book, I was about two months pregnant and, for a variety of reasons, feeling distressed to the point of in denial about the whole thing. I could barely bring myself to tell my mother the good news, let alone crack any of those standard volumes that whisper in breathy tones about the fecund female bliss you're supposed to be experiencing. (Keep in mind, I wasn't, like, 17 and single; I was, and am, 39 and engaged and doing this by choice.) I felt lost, unmoored, unable or afraid to articulate my true, socially unacceptable thoughts and emotions about having a muffin in the oven.

Then one night, perusing the Staff Picks rack at Powell's, I saw Let's Panic About Babies! and started flipping through it. Suddenly--maybe it was the photo of the seahorse, depicting "your baby!" at one month, that did it--I found myself helplessly cracking up. This was wrong. One was not supposed to crack up about pregnancy. Pregnancy is serious and sacred and too shameful to be written about except on pages of books with pink covers and titles with words like "Within" and "Pregnancy". But I was cracking up, and it felt so good.

I read for a few more minutes, choking down tears, then placed the book back on the shelf to hunt for what I came for, a novel. But on the way to the Literature section, I found myself giggling out loud. Embarrassingly loud. On the way back toward the cash register, I think I actually stumbled from a sudden fit of mirth and had to catch myself against a table. I detoured to the Staff Picks rack, grabbed the book, took it home (I mean, I bought it first), and read it while literally sobbing with laughter, sure my roommate was thinking I'd gone insane, until I went to sleep.

I think reading this book was the first step toward, sorry to put it bluntly, accepting the reality of what I'd gotten myself into, starting to feel okay about it and, just as important, starting to feel okay about my ambivalent feelings. Now I'm almost through my second trimester, and not at all afraid to go out in public with my weird, distended, alien-colonized belly. Not that I've finished reading the book. I got ahead of schedule--read all the way through the chapters covering the fifth month--then forced myself to put it down. I just picked it back up again, and immediately dissolved back into hysterics--maybe it was the suggestion to wear a clown suit to accentuate one's ridiculous appearance. This time I was laughing a little more wheezily--I've slowed down a lot--and, as noted in the review title, with bursts of urine intermittently leaking onto my long johns. Now I'm living with my fiance, and he came upstairs to ask if I was ok.

I doubt this book is for everyone, but for some of us, it's essential. I hope it becomes the best-selling classic it deserves to be. Kudos (and thanks) to Alice Bradley and Eden M. Kennedy.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon July 27, 2011
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I guess I expected a wittier, and at least marginally more informative, book. You know, satire akin to the Daily Show or Colbert Report. Instead this book relies on sophomoric humor, less-than-clever word puns, and often senseless prose. I can't really recommend it for a personal read, and certainly not for a gift. For the latter, try Crouching Father, Hidden Toddler,The Three-Martini Playdate, or Pacify Me.
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on March 1, 2011
Yesterday I had an itchy spot on my leg and I'm pretty sure it was leprosy but then this book arrived and now the spot is totally less itchy. Conclusion: This book cures leprosy. Also, it's a very enjoyable book to read. Bonus.
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VINE VOICEon March 10, 2011
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
As a soon to be parent of my first child, with a wife who has fallen in love with baby books, this is exactly what I needed. A baby book for someone who just isn't that worried - my parents raised me without books, their parents raised them...back hundreds of generations (except those cuneiform tablets on raising babies, but who could afford those?).

This book is completely hilarious. My wife has punched me a few times as we read in bed, trying to get me to shut up and stop laughing. I still can't manage it. From the baby with laser eyes on the cover to pictures of the baby as it develops inside mommy - the biting wit, not-so-subtle jabs at parenting books, and more, this is a great, funny book. At such a reasonable price, why not check it out? But you don't have to take my word for it...
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VINE VOICEon February 26, 2011
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been a long time reader of Alice Bradley's and Eden Kennedy's blogs. I had already looked at their "let's panic" website. I knew both of these women were very funny. I don't have "babies" anymore. My kids are four and five years old now, and we're not going to have anymore, so pregnancy is also behind me. But when this came up as a book to review in the Vine program, I snatched it up right away.

So look, if you want to treasure each moment of this amazing time in your life, whether you are pregnant or have a new baby, this isn't the book for you. If, on the other hand, you're looking bitterly at your swollen ankles and shaking your fist at the sky because you have to pee every five minutes - and you're willing to laugh at your predicament - this is the book for you. It's definitely been an enjoyable walk down memory lane for me.

One of my favorite chapters in the book is a chapter called, "This One's for Your Husband (and/or Partner, We're Not Judging)" in the "Birthing and Beyond" section. So baby's already out, and the husband/partner might be wondering "Why she's yelling at you." A helpful table proceeds. Here is but a sample.

What you said: "How come I don't have any clean socks?"
Quick, backpedal!: " what I keep asking myself, because after all maintaining my wardrobe is MY RESPONSIBILITY. God, I love you."
What you should have said: "Laundry time! Do you want me to hand-wash your intimates?"
Damage control strategy: Do the laundry and never say the word "socks" again in the house.

As others have mentioned, there is *absolutely no sentimentalizing* this experience. It doesn't end with a nice big hug of, "But now you have your precious bundle of joy, and it's all worth it." In fact, the "Final Note" of the book tells you not to have a large family. They carry the book's attitude right to the bitter (and I mean bitterly hysterical) end.

I will definitely be gifting this to pregnant friends in the future.
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on February 21, 2011
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is hilarious. Look at the cover: it's a baby shooting lasers out of its eyes.

If you enjoy AdultSwim or The Onion or any form of entertainment that makes you laugh and say "What?" at the same time *AND* you're a new or expecting mom, this is a great book. This would be a horrible gift to give your stuck-up, overly serious friends/colleagues...then again, maybe it is the perfect gift. The majority of the book is in the form of lists, either defining things you might be learning about as a new/soon-to-be parent or things you're actually considering (Lamaze class, the Bradley method, embryo yoga, etc). There are a number of self-quizzes and few "If X happens, do Y" sections thrown in.

With section headings like: "Keeping Your Job: How to hide the face that you've got baby on the brain" and "How to be More Touchable to Strangers," you can't really go wrong.

The only caveat is that the book should mention that it's geared towards expecting moms, but as a dad, I did find a great deal of humor in almost all of the sections.
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VINE VOICEon February 8, 2011
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I like books about motherhood; I like books that make me laugh. A book that makes me laugh about motherhood is, then, a kind of good match for me.

This one is evidently either culled from or in the style of the authors' motherhood blog at let's-panic dot com. It's a satirical, sometimes mildly amusing and occasionally laugh-out-loud riff on pregnancy, motherhood and raisin' babies. Authors Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy are witty and irreverent; there are some fresh insights here (for me, at least) though the humor is less about pointing out new absurdities than poking at familiar ones. There's still good fun to be found in that.

The book benefits by some very well-placed illustrations, both free license photographs and original drawings. I am particularly found of the front illustration for chapter 11, which pretty much embodies the exhausted and frazzled glow of a new mom. Kudos to Oslo Davis, who i think may be at his best when at his loosest. He says volumes.

Conservative moms will probably not be drawn to this anyway, but caveat just in case: the language and humor may not always appeal to you. And for those drawn by the work's subtitle: "How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy You Life, Liquefy Your Brain, and Finally Turn You into a Worthwhile Human Being"...please don't lose sight of the fact that this is satire. It implictly provides a sound answer to that question (hang on to your sense of humor), but doesn't have (or aspire to have) much by way of usable advice.

Still, if you're an expectant mom, a new mom, an old mom with a good memory or just somebody who is related to a mom (or thinks you might be), you could find something to amuse you here. If you aren't sure, glancing at the Let's Panic website could help you decide.
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