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best books of all time

Whether we like it or not, the coronavirus has us quarantining indoors for a while. If you're anything like us, you've binged your favorite shows, movies and probably started a popular new series. But when that form of entertainment has run its course, we're finding happiness in picking up a good book while sitting under a tree this summer—even if it transports us to another life for only an hour. Seriously, there's never been a better time to buy books.

Research shows we're not alone in our thinking. According to Pew Research Center, approximately 72 % of Americans have read a book in the past 12 months in any format, and with many places back under lock down, we're sure that number will steadily increase.

Here are the best books to read in your lifetime, broken down by genre:


Science fiction

1984 by George Orwell
  1. The Giver Novel by Lois Lowry
  2. 1984 by George Orwell
  3. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  4. Jurassic Park by Michael Chrichton
  5. The Martian by Andy Weir
  6. Dune by Frank Herbert
  7. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
  8. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  9. Hyperion by Dan Simmons
  10. Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

Thriller

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson
  1. House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski
  2. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
  3. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
  4. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
  5. The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson
  6. The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
  7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  8. The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Fantasy

The hunger games
  1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  3. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  4. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
  5. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  6. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  7. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  8. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Mystery

The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan
  1. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
  2. The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen
  3. The Wolf Wants In by Laura McHugh
  4. The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo
  5. The Second Sleep by Robert Harris
  6. Knife by Jo Nesbo
  7. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
  8. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  9. The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan
  10. In Cold Blood by Truman capote

Romance

The Proposal by jasmine Guillory
  1. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
  2. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  3. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
  4. The Proposal by jasmine Guillory
  5. Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught
  6. Nobody's Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  8. Vision In White by Nora Roberts
  9. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
  10. Delta of Venus Mariner by Anais Nin
  11. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  12. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  13. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

History

The Guns of August By Barbara Tuchman
  1. The Guns of August By Barbara Tuchman
  2. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
  3. The Crusades by Thomas Asbridge
  4. Orientalism By Edward W. Said
  5. Over the Edge of the World by Laurence Bergreen
  6. 1776 by David McCullough
  7. American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World by David E. Stannard
  8. Plagues and Peoples by William H. McNeill
  9. A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
  10. The Contours of American History by William Appleman Williams

Biography + autobiographies

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  1. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
  2. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
  3. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
  4. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  5. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  6. Edison: A Biography by Matthew Josephson
  7. The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi
  8. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
  9. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
  10. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

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Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

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Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


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