“You may think that grown-ups create children. The reality is that children create grown-ups. They become their own person, and so do you. Children give so much more than they take.” (Brain Rules for Baby by John Medina)
Most nonfiction books published in the U.S. could do with shedding a good 150-200 pages. Think of it like a literary diet. By removing the extra verbal baggage, we could have healthier, more efficient informational books. Instead, we’ve ended up laden with nice, thick looking 300-400 page books so overwritten that their main point is lost in all of the extras. Brain Rules for Baby is no exception to this modern trend. John Medina splashes metaphors, anecdotes, and general fatherly good humor around every sentence in an attempt to make the research more palatable. Personally, I’d rather save a few hours of reading time by taking the research and resulting practical tips on their own, without any of this wordy hand holding.
In spite of his gregariousness, Medina does end up imparting a few important-sounding lessons to parents. Many of the main points seem a bit common sense (explain rules and punishments, model behavior, etc), but a few other points involving emotional intelligence are more rare. He conveys wisdom on how parents can work on themselves, and their relationships, as well as addressing the needs of their children.
Buy – Borrow Now – Borrow Sometime – Avoid
Length: 294 pages
Ending: summary of the practical tips in the book
Incidental Learning: Relationships, emotional intelligence
Further Reading: I’ve only read two informational books whose page length precisely matches the subject matter: information doesn’t want to be free and the life-changing magic of tidying up.