Highly Recommended / Nonfiction (Misc)

On Not Having Children: Reviews of Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed

selfishI’m thrilled to see Meghan Daum’s book, Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed, getting so much great press and such good reviews. Why? Because no one really talks about not having children. Sure, declining population rates are a story sometimes, and Time ran a cover story once on the subject.

But despite the increasing choice of educated women and men not to have children, no one’s really talking about it. Except, well, for those of us who have made that choice.

People with kids don’t read about people who choose not to have kids. Why would they? And yet sometimes, I just wish that the people in my life who have children could understand.

I didn’t think many people would read this book. But maybe I’m wrong. And maybe this is that rare book about not having children that people WITH children will actually read.

Here are some great reviews of this book. They describe this book as “searing” “confrontational” “satisfying” and “profound”. This book is a fascinating read about the personal lives of sixteen authors, whether you have children or not. Each of these writers bring a different perspective to the issue.

The New York Times

The Atlantic

The Washington Post

The Huffington Post

And fellow blogger Books Speak Volumes

Are we selfish if we don’t have children? This book starts there but goes so much deeper. Give these reviews a read and see what you think.

Interested in reading more about not having children?  Two good reads are The Baby Matrix by Laura Carroll and Two is Enough by Laura Scott.

7 thoughts on “On Not Having Children: Reviews of Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed

  1. I haven’t read the book yet, it sounds like a good concept. I always hope when I read such books that it isn’t an exercise in tiptoeing around the issues. What’s wrong with simply saying you do not want/are not interested in having kids? So many seem to become far too apologetic about being childfree. I don’t understand why. It’s a choice like any other. Yes, it tends to create anger and words such as selfish, shallow and self-absorbed come out of people’s mouths so easily when one dares say they don’t want children. I like that she incorporated that into her title.

  2. Yeah I’m curious about this book. I think women who dont have children for whatever reason are wrongly stigmatized in negative ways. The cult of motherhood is everywhere and if you’re not one — well then you’re nothing. I can only hope in future generations there will be more acceptance of childless couples. Maybe this book is a start.

    • Thanks for the comment! I’m amazed at how rarely people who don’t want children are represented in media. It drives me crazy every time someone in a book or on TV says they don’t want children, and then of course they have them and are blissfully happy.

      • I think my husband didn’t like the ending of the movie While We’re Young for just this reason. The ending might drive you crazy.

  3. I have to read this book. I just saw another review about this, and it sounds like it has some great stories from many voices.

    I think it’s great that there is more dialogue and literature out there about being childfree. I believe that we should be free to have or not have kids. Neither choice is better than the other. I myself don’t want kids, and I believe that I should feel free to ignore the societal pressure and live the way I want to.

    • Thanks for the comment! I find it hard NOT to feel like there’s something wrong with me because I don’t want children. Books like this are very affirming for me, even though I shouldn’t need it!

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