Top Ten Books If I Taught “Child-Freedom 101”

Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

It’s been forever since my last Top Ten Tuesday entry (four months, to be exact), but I couldn’t help but contribute to this week’s topic. This meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish features the top ten books on our syllabus if we taught a literature course of our own choosing.

I’m betting that no other blogger will choose this subject matter, but I’ve covered it several times on Book Club Babe. As I become more comfortable discussing my choice to live a childfree life, I feel responsible to serve as a role model, to prove to others that you can be happy and fulfilled without having kids.

When making a major decision like this, a little confirmation bias never hurt. I appreciate reading books about child-freedom to validate my choice and reassure me that I’m doing what’s best for me.

If you have a feeling that you’re better off never reproducing, then here are my top ten books to bring you up to speed on child-freedom:


1. All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior: Out of 19 studied activities, child-rearing ranked 16th in pleasurability, after housework. I don’t like those odds!

2. Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed by Meghan Daum: 16 writers share their decision not to have children, so you’re in good company.

3. Why Have Kids? by Jessica Valenti: This renowned feminist is also a mother, but that doesn’t stop her from asking the important question of why have children in the first place.


4. Uganda Be Kidding Me by Chelsea Handler: Worried you’ll be bored without a mini-me? See how Chelsea spends her childfree time–drinking her way through an African safari!

5. I Can Barely Take Care of Myself by Jen Kirkman: This writer of Chelsea Handler’s also takes a hard pass on having kids. Like boss, like employee!

6. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh: A great comic book for your inner child–much more fun than actually having a child!


7. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie: Romance novels are chock-full of women fantasizing about finding their baby daddies, but this one explicitly stars a childfree couple. So refreshing!


8. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: When the government regulates your reproduction, this dystopia is what you get. Infuriatingly haunting and a total life-changer. Can’t wait to meet the author in October!

9. The Awakening by Kate Chopin: A heart-breaking tale about a woman in the late 19th century whose decisions to marry and have children were forced upon her by society. Despite its controversy, I have no qualms drawing a line in the sand: if you can’t sympathize with Edna’s demise, then you’re not a feminist.

10. Lord of the Flies by William Golding: And if you needed another example of how children aren’t always sweet and innocent, these boys succumb to sadistic evil when left to their own devices on a deserted island. Literary birth control if I ever saw it!

Are you never having kids? I’d love to hear your own book recommendations in support of child-freedom!

6 thoughts on “Top Ten Books If I Taught “Child-Freedom 101”

  1. Such an interesting topic! I love how open you are about being child-free. I think Chelsea Handler is hysterical, so I’ll definitely have to check it out. Great post!

  2. Interesting topic! Good for you for figuring out what you want — and finding books that fit. 🙂 I love the Allie Brosch book. Can’t believe child-rearing comes AFTER housework!

  3. Pingback: Book Review: When in Doubt, Add Butter | Book Club Babe

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