With Mother's Day coming up, these books take very different looks at motherhood.
The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women (Metropolitan) by Elisabeth Badinter is a European bestseller that argues contemporary notions of "perfect" parenting are part of a reactionary shift that limits women's choices.
Dear Daughter: The Best of the Dear Leta Letters (Gallery) by Heather Armstrong, "mommy blogger" at dooce.com, collects some of the letters she wrote each month to her daughter from birth to age 5, including those about Leta's first steps, first curse word and first attempt to ride the family dog like a pony.
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake (Random House) by Anna Quindlen is a wry, warm memoir by the novelist and Pulitzer-winning journalist as she approaches 60 and recalls her mother, her adventures in parenting and more.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor