Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood” as Want to Read:
Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mothers Who Think: Tales of Real-Life Parenthood

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  412 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
From the editors of the online magazine, Salon, come honest, provocative essays that reveal both the gritty realities and supreme satisfactions of being a mother.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 6th 1999 by Villard (first published 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mothers Who Think, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mothers Who Think

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 29, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
This collection made me feel I was not alone in my sometimes ambiguous feelings about motherhood.
All of my role models (mom, aunts, cousins) seemed to love being a mother all of the time. There was (and remains) a chunk of resentment in me that I was unable to express, let alone learn to live with. This book was a life saver.
Jan 31, 2008 Brandis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finally finished a book! This is a good one for busy moms since it's a collection of short stories and you can just pick at it here and there, but also good for anyone who is interested in a broad range of reflections on being a parent, being a child and being a woman. Not every story was a winner in my book, but I especially liked how all of them had a raw honesty to them and many had a great sense of humor. Some favorites: I Love You Both Unequally and A Mother's Body by Kate Moses, and Boy ...more
David W.
Jul 09, 2014 David W. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-the-heart
(Review to come.)
Jun 11, 2008 jess rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: intellect dulled by the internet age & has at least a marginal interest in motherhood
Shelves: ladyish, 2008
you're shocked, i bet, that i'm reading another parenting anthology. i am almost done with this genre, i swear. everything i always say about anthologies applies here - not edited selectively enough, widely varying quality of work, and a number of pieces that make you question your faith in humanity.

there are some redeeming moments, but a greater number of frustrating personalities. a lot of the essays are contrived and the sentiment falls short of sincerity. this book is the "best of" of one p
I'm not quite sure why I started to peruse this book as I knew it wasn't my type of thing. Even a friend warned me off.

Problem is once I have started a book I have this guilt compulsion to finish. This was even worse as with a collection of essays and short stories there is always the hope that the next one maybe worth your time.

The first few stories were, as expected, naval gazing introspective pieces on the wonder and pain of motherhood and frequently the writing style was a self-indulgent str
Feb 14, 2012 Rita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
1999 collections of essays by a whole bunch of professional writers who are also mothers.

Picked this up at a rummage sale assuming it would be boring. It's NOT.
Because they are good writers, the writing is good and the storytelling is good. And, since writers do tend to observe well and reflect more, they probably are able to be more open and searching than your average mom.
They each write about a different angle of parenting, a lot have refreshing views and honestly report parenting experiences
Jan 12, 2017 Susie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend described this as "a wonderful collection of essays with a dreadful title." She was right. I typically don't read every essay in a collection, but these just rolled one after another in the most engaging way. Only one or two seemed forced into the mold (somewhat surprisingly, one by the always-entertaining Susie Bright seemed only tenuously about motherhood and not extremely interesting). A wide range of well-written pieces on many facets about parenting--funny, heart-rending, surprisin ...more
May 22, 2013 Lena rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not sure what thinking has to do with it, but this turned out to be more or less a collection of complaints about motherhood. Some of them from mothers in genuinely horrible circumstances, which were mostly just depressing. Others from mothers complaining about things that sounded fairly banal to my way of thinking. Many of the essays seem to be of the category of flowery writing where the writing gets in the way of the story. On the whole, not worth finishing once I found something else to read ...more
Jul 30, 2008 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was initially drawn to this collection of essays because they include work by a favorite author of mine, Anne Lamott. I was thrilled to find myself deeply enjoying each and every essay on it’s own merits. Some were so sharp and funny they made me bark with laughter. Others were graceful invitations into tough subjects that pulled my heart and mind in different directions. Overall, this is one of the most enjoyable reading experiences I’ve had recently, and my copy is available if any of my “Me ...more
Dec 29, 2009 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this. Even though it was compiled 12 years ago, nearly all the stories still felt relevant to today. Boys, girls, adoption, marriage, divorce, death, money, etc. - nearly every story rang true, if only just a little bit. I laughed, and I cried. There were some beautiful passages, too, that I marked to read again.


An old one on my shelf. I need to try to meet my goal of 25 books (three more to go!) and maybe some essays on motherhood will help for some fast reading. (Already cried
Sep 13, 2010 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
I first read this when I was pregnant with Henry, and while it's ostensibly more relevant now, a lot of it seemed kind of dated, somehow. Or maybe also it's just that I'm tired of reading mothering rants that end up casting men as insensitive jerks. The quality of the essays seemed fairly uneven. That said, it's worth the price of admission for the Anne Lamott essay, which I went back and read again after I'd finished everything, and somehow it had gotten even better.
Whole And
Interesting stories of motherhood that will draw out core values and beliefs, clearly define the struggles and tribulations mothers, and fathers, endure and demonstrates the convictions mothers are wired with.

I'm not so sure about the 'real-life parenthood' part as these stories are eye opening nontheless but not your typical everyday stories.

A worthy read.

Jan 04, 2008 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
Of the 37 brief essays in this book, there were maybe half a dozen that didn't particularly speak to me. All the rest were one or more of the following: fascinating, funny, horrifying, insightful, moving... &c.
Jan 02, 2008 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mothers who think
Shelves: women-motherhood
This collection of essays is written by thinkers for thinkers. A great diversity of topics and voices provides the opportunity to reflect on our own choices, dreams, questions, and fears.

You won't get answers or advice. You will get ideas and questions to ponder.
Jun 22, 2008 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any mom
A collection of essays all dealing with motherhood. These woman are honest, brave and great story tellers. Most of their stories are amazing and will make you want to cry or laugh! Highly recommend it for any mom!
Oct 23, 2009 Christina rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Some interesting essays, but mostly these were prattles of women who think they're intellectual. Some of the hedonism and perspectives were a bit shocking to me, such as when one mom talked about taking a bath with her seven-year-old son! Not much that was really worth reading.
Jul 18, 2012 Lory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very witty, lots of great writing by moms. And the topics they tackle within parenting are all over the place, so it's likely you'll find something to relate to as you're reading. Good book for the subway since you can quickly read a chapter or two at a time.
Mar 15, 2008 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great collection of essays written by mothers from many different backgrounds and perspectives. Very entertaining--lots of laughs and some tears. It's just so helpful to know sometimes that someone, somewhere has gone through similar experiences--and has come out from the other side!
Jan 02, 2008 Rachel rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: moms (who think...duh)
I picked this up at a consignment sale for a buck and it was totally worth it. There are some really good, really heartwarming, and well-written essays in here. "I Love You Both Unequally" made me cry (hormones again, probably, but still...)
Aug 05, 2011 Gretchen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The essay "Mother Anger" makes me feel so human; I could read it over and over again (and I do)...
Hate the title. Don't all mothers think? At least all good enough mothers do! But still loved the essays. Especially the ones about the less than perfect days.
Dec 17, 2007 Jody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great collection of short stories. I read this during the crazy adjustment to my first baby. It truly validated the place I was in at that time.
Jul 15, 2010 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Book! These are essays on motherhood that every mother can relate too. Easy and fast read.
Jill Robinson
Aug 19, 2012 Jill Robinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book.some stories more than others. Couldn't put it down.
Jun 01, 2010 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terrible title, but loved most of it.
Hafsas Mom
May 21, 2012 Hafsas Mom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great collection of essays.
I read this SECOND right after the birth of my first child!!
Oct 19, 2012 Lata rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Uplifting, heart-wrenching, and ultimately very relatable, even after 14 years.
Jan 03, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book back when I was a young mother. I loved reading all of the details of other mother's thoughts and feelings - it made me feel human.
May 23, 2009 Dana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was left unimpressed by these lukewarm, unmemorable essays -- I thought the stories in "A Bitch in the House" were so much more thought-provoking.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Because I Said So: 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race, and Themselves
  • The Mask of Motherhood: How Becoming a Mother Changes Our Lives and Why We Never Talk About It
  • Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families
  • Breeder: Real-Life Stories from the New Generation of Mothers
  • The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World is Still the Least Valued
  • It's So You: 35 Women Write About Personal Expression Through Fashion and Style
  • The Secret Currency of Love: The Unabashed Truth About Women, Money, and Relationships
  • The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth About Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood, and Marriage
  • Adventures in Gentle Discipline: A Parent-to-Parent Guide (La Leche League International Book)
  • It's a Boy: Women Writers on Raising Sons
  • Raising Children Who Think for Themselves
  • Becoming the Parent You Want To Be
  • Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times
  • Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids: 7 Keys to Turn Family Conflict into Cooperation
  • The Bastard on the Couch: 27 Men Try Really Hard to Explain Their Feelings About Love, Loss, Fatherhood, and Freedom
  • Living Simply with Children: A Voluntary Simplicity Guide for Moms, Dads, and Kids Who Want to Reclaim the Bliss of Childhood and the Joy of Parenting
  • The Mother Dance: How Children Change Your Life
  • It's a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments

Share This Book