Books to read while nursing

by Jessie K on October 16, 2013

490cb9dab2267_83535nI’m trying to think of what books to stack up on in preparation for the new baby. I’m not talking about parenting books or baby books (zzzz) but riveting page turners that will keep me alert and awake during those painful late night feedings. When June was an infant, I plowed through the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series and felt kind of….empty?…when they ended (though that might have been sheer exhaustion).  So for this go around, I’m thinking more mysteries are in order, gruesome, suspenseful mysteries. More blood and gore, baby!

I heard mega bestselling mystery author Sue Grafton on NPR the other day and she came across as so wise and down to earth, I think I might give her super popular “alphabet series” a try, beginning with the 1982 bestseller A is for Alibi. (She’s now up to W is for Wasted). The cover alone — pills, vodka, playing cards, a rotary dial phone — calls out to me.  And the best part? I’ll have practically the whole alphabet to get through which should keep me occupied until at least the six month mark, when the wee one is — *is there a heaven?* — sleeping through the night.

What books got you through those first few months of a newborn’s life?

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Wendy October 16, 2013 at 12:09 pm


I don’t have kids…..I’ll stick to cats thankyouverymuch but I’ve read all the Sue Grafton books and LOVE them. Love Kinsey Millhone! I highly recommend the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich. They are laugh out loud funny. I also recommend the Jack Daniels series by J.D. Konrath. I also love the Sarah Booth Delany series by Carolyn Haines. I actually named my two newest chickens after that one! :)

Margaret Halford October 16, 2013 at 12:56 pm


If you want graphic try Patricia Cornwell. She’s an amazing writer..

Niki October 17, 2013 at 10:15 am


I second this!

Celeste October 16, 2013 at 12:59 pm


A friend brought me her Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich. Recommend! If you haven’t spoiled it by watching the HBO series TrueBlood, try the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. I could never handle much gory stuff, but if you can there is that series about a coroner, Kay Scarpetta. I totally forget the author’s name.

Margaret Halford October 17, 2013 at 10:43 am


That’s Patricia Cornwell…very graphic but oh so good…

Lindsey October 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm


omg! I haven’t read that book in forever!
I think I gave up around G. My mom has the whole series, she devours murder mysteries. they are pretty entertaining and interesting.

Charlotte October 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm


Denise Mina is wonderful — a Scottish writer, really good writer, feminist sensibility and terrific on class issues. Also, riveting page turners. There’s a relatively recent writer out of Ireland — Tana French. She’s got three terrific novels each of which picks up a character from the previous novel. I’ve been liking Louise Penny — a writer from Canada. They’re not gruesome but they are a good read. Sophie Hannah is good — more psychological than thriller.

Lindsey October 16, 2013 at 1:22 pm


Along those lines but more fluffy are books by Christopher Moore. I should also probably consider stocking up on some books for late night feeds. Computer screens might be a bit bright and distracting and I don’t have TV service. Thanks for the reminder!

Jen d October 16, 2013 at 6:14 pm


The Stephanie plum books are great. Another fantastic series is the Kelley Armstrong ‘Woman of the Underworld’ series; the first book is ‘Bitten’. I never thought I would like the supernatural books, but these are great. The whole series is written from the point of view of different lead female characters. The characters are strong, the writing is good, and the senerios are not totally outlandish. I have recommended them to many people and so far no one has been disappointed. If you are like me and read by author, there are 13 of them, more than enough to carry you through for a while.

Jen d October 16, 2013 at 6:17 pm


I meant to also say, I read all the Sue Grafton books and they will not let you down. Kinsey is a strong lead character…and she really kicks butt…good action and a strong plot.

Brad K. October 18, 2013 at 8:20 am


Armstrong is a big favorite of mine. Also Patricia Brigg’s “Mercedes Thompsen” books, starting with “Moon called”. Delicious!

If you don’t mind SF, maybe Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s Liaden Universe books. I am thinking of “Scout’s Progress” or “Conflict of Honors” as starting points; the “Fledgling”, “Saltation”, “Dragon Ship” sequence, also, although these spring from and tie back into the main LU story line.

Then there are the YA quad-book sequences from Tamora Pierce, from the Lioness books to the Protector of the Small (Go Kel!), to the older-set Immortals books and Trickster’s Choice and Trickster’s Queen.

Blessed be!

Karen S. October 16, 2013 at 8:09 pm


I listened to Elizabeth Kostova’s ‘The Historian’ on audio book while nursing my oldest. It’s a huge book, so it got me through many a sedentary hour of nursing and napping. I later read another of her books, ‘The Swan Theives’ and enjoyed both, though not really the gory, page turner type books.
I’ve lately gotten into this great trilogy of books by relatively new author Hugh Howey. The books are Wool, Shift, and Dust. They’re very inexpensive for Kindle on Amazon. It’s sort of sci-fi, but the story is a page turner. I have yet to read Dust. I sort of don’t want to see the conclusion yet.

SMum October 16, 2013 at 11:56 pm


I must have been desperate, but I read a 560-page book about Canada during the Great Depression (by Pierre Berton). I’m not even really interested in history. I guess I balanced it out by going through every back issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine and pulling out all the recipes.

Brad K. October 18, 2013 at 8:24 am


I have been using a aged Nook I bought off eBay, and it works really nicely. I even got an LED “book” light to go with it.

I use Calibre on my PC to organize my books and manage my book readers — And FireFox with the DownItAll add on to find some of the free books out there.

Mary Mihaha October 18, 2013 at 10:43 am


Have you read anything by Gillian Flynn? She’s got the mega bestseller Gone Girl but her other two books that came out before that title are also really good.

Alex Slaydon October 19, 2013 at 9:31 am


I read the Hunger Games trilogy with number 2 baby. I needed bubble gum for the brain. I also like the matched trilogy. My mother in law works at the library and I have always asked her what all the teenagers are reading when I need to zone out! I will even admit to reading the Twilight books when pregnant with my first. I also strongly agree with reader above that suggested Stephanie Plum by Janet Evonovich. They are hilarious! And there are 19 of them. First is one for the money.

Deby October 20, 2013 at 10:28 pm


I really like Lisa Gardner. Good writing, interesting characters, the plots move along. And good sense of humor, too. Also I like how she takes minor characters from one book and gives them their own storyline in another.

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