My thoughts: I tend to shy away from straight advice books about parenting, as I did when we planned our wedding, started trying to get pregnant, got pregnant, and now are approaching parenthood. Advice-filled parenting books will likely find a place in my reading life once I know my child and his particular issues, but until then, I increasingly find myself drawn to humor, essays, and fiction about parenting. How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane is a delightfully humorous essay collection about Johanna Stein's adventures in parenting.
I frequently laughed out loud as I read this book, which made Mr. Nomadreader comment how nice it is to hear me reading a funny book. Apparently my typical reading tastes cause me to gasp and cry rather than laugh. Stein's humor doesn't completely mesh with my own. At times I also found myself critiquing her jokes as trying to hard or being hollow, but it's rare to find someone whose humor completely aligns with my own, and hers does a lot of the time.
Favorite passage: "Some people like to save this knowledge to be revealed as a surprise the moment the baby is born. Personally, I can't stand the idea of someone possessing information about me to which I am not privy. Thought it does give me the opportunity to use the word privy, it generally feels to me like the first step of a blackmail plot."
The verdict: If you're searching for a funny book, especially if you have kids or know people who have kids (so most people?), How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane is a good one. In the tradition of Tina Fey's Bossypants (my review), Stein infuses wisdom into her humor to elevate this book beyond just a funny parenting book.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Length: 256 pages
Publication date: April 29, 2014
Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy How Not to Calm a Child on a Plane from an independent bookstore, the Book Depository or Amazon (Kindle edition.)
Want more? Visit Johanna Stein's website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.
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