All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood
by Jennifer Senior
HarperCollins, 2014. 308 pgs. Nonfiction
I am not a parent, but am filled anew with admiration for those who are, after reading Jennifer Senior's warm and insightful book about the hazards, hardships, and joys of parenting in the modern world. Senior traces the history of families from the days when children were largely viewed as an economic necessity to now when they are valueless (moneywise), but revered by every other measure. Combining candid personal interviews with a judicious mix of research, quotations, and common sense, Senior has written a book that should have parents nodding in thankful or exhausted recognition and non-parents flabbergasted afresh by what goes in to the hardest, best job in the world.