The Rough Guide to Pregnancy and Birth - Kaz Cooke

So, about six months after reading 'The Bloke's Guide to Pregnancy', I've now finished reading another lovely wedding present! Despite not being a 'for blokes' book, it is very readable. I'm not sure whether there really should be a 'for blokes' book market here, since this is fantastically readable for anyone with the ability to replace 'you' with 'your wife'. Perhaps 'the bloke's' book softened me up, or maybe this book is particularly good?

I think you can get a fair impression of this book by the fact it is it the anglicised version of 'Up the Duff', an Australian pregnancy book. As such, it is wonderfully straightforward and plain-speaking. (I can cope much better with plain-speaking when I know how much I don't have to go through!). It's well-organised, based around the timeline of the pregnancy, with a semi-fictional pregnancy narrative woven into it to give it structure and interest. For each week of the pregnancy it has a little blurb, although these blurbs are often subtly forward-looking, so when you're n weeks pregnant, you read week n of the book, and get told about the important things from later weeks, giving you a bit of warning! (And sometimes it really does sound like you wouldn't want to come across some of this stuff as a surprise!).

Generally the presentation is pretty good. Nice cartoons to lighten the mood (think Dummies guide), and it's all nice and friendly and reassuring. Oh, except for in a couple of places it just stops mid-

Posted 2009-03-29.