I'm working on a post, but I'm not getting it right. It's about pregnancy weight gain, and I keep getting so pissed as I'm writing, I am beginning to think that what I'm actually writing is a rant. Nothing wrong with rants, I like rants, but I was hoping for a different effect, something more...detached. The post is also way, way too long, the kind of length not even a very interested reader would tackle, but I can't cut out a single word--and in fact, when I try, I end up adding words. This is another indicator that what I have on my hands is a rant. I think I'd better back away slowly and come back to it later.
Instead I will write about my new baby name book, which is a disappointment but not the kind of disappointment that provokes a too-long, too-angry post. This is more a situation where the book is pretty good, but not as good as I'd hoped.
The book is The Baby Name Bible by Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz, and they get off on the wrong foot with me right away by claiming to have started the WHOLE IDEA of choosing baby names: before they came along with their first baby-name book about 20 years ago, everyone just picked names out of thin air without giving it a moment's thought.
They go on to bother me by saying that my goal should be to "fall in love with" a baby name. This makes me feel pressured and tense. I've only "fallen in love with" one of the four names we've used so far, and I still do feel all crushy about it. The other three, I liked well enough, and then they grew on me even more. I'm just trying to find a name I like well enough to use, and when they tell me I have to be in love, I feel overwhelmed and discouraged.
Many of the name entries seem to be there only to plump the total number of names high enough that they can say "50,000+ baby names!" on the cover. The authors seem to think so, too, because the descriptions for these names are things like "Don't even think about it" and "Only for girls." Other descriptions seem to go for the easy joke rather than actually giving an opinion of the name.
I'm not sorry I bought the book. For one thing, I like to buy a new baby name book with each pregnancy, as a sort of Happy Pregnancy present. But if I were buying a baby name book for someone else, I would definitely, definitely go with The Baby Name Wizard by Laura Wattenberg instead. It's my top favorite so far. I love the entries enough to read them straight through one after another, even for names I'm not at all interested in using. I love the sibling name suggestions, which not only give actual good suggestions, they're also intended to give you an idea of the kind of category other people will put your child's name into.
Oh, I will give you a sample entry. This is what it says for the name Oliver, which we are not going to use because we have a cat named Oliver, but otherwise I think it's almost for sure we'd be using it for this baby:
Style: Antique Charm, English, Saints, Shakespearean
Sisters: Helena, Cecilia, Lucy, Sophie, Violet
Brothers: Julius, Leo, Edgar, Felix, Solomon
Oliver seemed a little eccentric a generation ago, but fashion has come around to its charms. The name's offbeat style now sounds handsome and rakish. Oliver is already in full fashion flower in the U.K., where they've always appreciated unconventional heartthrobs.
There are longer descriptions later in the book of all the style categories, and other examples of names within those categories. There is also a little graph next to each name, showing how its popularity has risen or fallen over the years, and where it peaked. I lurrrrrrrrrrrrrve it. I want to marrrrrrrrrrrrrrry it. It's no wonder other books fall short.
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