The TL;DR version of this: read Bedtiming and Headed Home with your Newborn if you only have time for two books and you are not a crazy crazy research obsessed librarian.
Books About Pregnancy
What to Expect When You're Expecting - I actually BOUGHT this book. I don't buy that many books; I check them out from the library. I bought it and barely looked at it. But it seemed like the thing to do, this was the classic one, so I got it. I also got it as an app on my phone. That I read every week. And shared with my husband. The app has kept going with updates about development. I still like it. Mostly used the book as a photo prop for announcement photo.
Pregnancy and Birth: Your Questions Answered - I skimmed and read bits and pieces of this one. It was okay.
Mostly I did most of my pregnancy reading online as symptoms came up. I understood pregnancy more or less. Plus I kept it a secret at work for the first trimester so I didn't want to check out too many books.
Books About Babies
The Sh*t No One Tells You: A Guide To Your Baby's First Year - I loved this one. A really good mix
Your Baby's First Year: Third Edition (American Association of Pediatrics) - I bought this one on the recommendation of my doctor. It is what he uses with his kids. What's great about it is that if there isn't the research to back something up, they just tell you the research is fuzzy in this area. This is unlike the internet which is full of blogs claiming to be experts. They also have a great website healthychildren.org
Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads -
The Baby Owner's Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips & Advice on First Year Maintenance - Again I purchased this for my husband for Christmas. Surprisingly helpful. Fairly humorous. Really is owner's manual style.
Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality - I also really liked this one. Practical and
HappyBaby: The Organic Guide to Baby's First Months - I skimmed this one. And I didn't realize it until I just looked it up for this post that it was co-written by a "team" at a baby food company. Oh well. I really like that baby food company. There have been a couple brands of foods we have purchased for Annabelle, mostly I make her food, but HappyBaby is one. Also this is by Dr. Sears and I'm not totally on board as an attachment parent, but I'm pretty crunchy (though I vaccinate). So I read his stuff with a grain of salt.
Baby Led Weaning - I'll probably do a feeding baby post on my personal blog. This book was great. We are mostly doing baby led weaning and it is awesome. I also did a lot of research online for this. Again I rather skimmed this book, but I got the general idea.
Start Fresh: Your Child's Jump Start to Lifelong Healthy Eating - This book was a gift from a friend.
Baby-Gami: Baby Wrapping for Beginners - Another gift from a
Our Babies, Ourselves - Another recommendation from a friend (who also recommended Bedtiming). This is really good look at different philosophies across different cultures about how we raise babies. It doesn't have as much practical advice, but if you're a nerd and you like big picture/psychological/anthropological/sociology stuff, you will like it.
I also did a lot of reading online. So much online reading and I took everything with a grain of salt. It is either the best or worst thing to be able to google stuff at 2am.
Books About Sleep
When I went back to work, sleep became a big issue. That also deserves its own post. Short version: she had been sleeping and then wasn't and I didn't know how to fix it. Everyday at lunch I would go to the parenting section of the library, choose a different sleep book, go to my office, hook up my breast pump, read the sleep book, try not to cry in exhaustion. I got REAL SERIOUS about sleep books. I took notes. I used post it flags to mark sections for my husband to read. I read over half that section and won't talk about all of it. (A personal blog entry at some point, maybe.)
Bedtiming: The Parent's Guide to Getting Your Child To Sleep At Just The Right Age - There is one
book that I recommend time and time again. I've recommended it to a couple of friends expecting a baby, I've lent out my copy (because I purchased my own). My copy was covered in notes and stickies. And when parents ask at the library for books on sleep training, I give them this one. It focuses mostly on WHEN not how to sleep train your baby. Some ages work better than others based on developmental things happening with your baby. And at the end it also overviews the different sleep training techniques. This book is solid gold. Read it.