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Parenthood served up three ways

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Three new books focus on parenthood in three vastly different ways.

"All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood" (Ecco, $26.99), by Jennifer Senior, is not a book of advice about how to raise children. The book focuses on the impact of children on parents.

To be a parent today is very different than being a parent in previous generations, she says. She cites history, economics, sociology and anthropology to prove her point.

The impact of being a parent is high and changes at each stage of parenthood, Senior writes. Marriages, jobs, habits, hobbies and sense of self all change during the phases of parenthood.

However, the joys far outweigh the difficulty of the experiences, she contends. She quotes philosophers and psychologists to redefine what love means and she proves that both parents and children grow up together in this new relationship.

"You Can Date Boys When You're Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About" (Putnam, $26.95) is the latest offering from the well-known humorist.

65-year-old Barry has a teenage daughter. No longer his daughter's authority figure, Barry's remaining role now, as he sees it, is to protect her from men. He still tries to be a sympathetic father, describing his ordeal when he takes her to a Justin Bieber concert. He does Death Math, calculating he will be 74 when she graduates from college, and in keeping with the book's title, 93 when she starts dating with his permission.

His observations on this alone would make the book worth reading, but this is a collection of essays from a comic writer who is not aging quietly. He talks about Generation Wuss and manliness, writes a parody of "Fifty Shades of Grey" and discusses why women talk more than men.

Dave Barry. On parenting. Dave Barry. On anything. Guaranteed laughter.

"Momstrology" (It Books, $24.95), by Ophira Edut and Tali Edut, explains how astrological charts are a key factor in how mothers and children relate to each other.

The authors, twins who are professional astrologers, claim by following their directions a mother can understand herself, her parenting strengths and weaknesses, her child's personality, how to bond with her child and how to work out differences. This is a tall order and built entirely on total faith in astrology.

Psychology, humor, astrology -- three lenses for viewing parenthood. In this case, there's a little something for every mindset.

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