Tales from the crib

Monday, August 14, 2006 at 3:01 PM

I'm one of those people who turns to books in times of stress. When my first child was born, I read a dozen books on every possible parenting challenge -- teething, crying, sleeping, diaper rash, etc., etc., etc. By the time my husband and I decided we were ready to have a second, I felt like I not only knew what to expect, but had become a full-fledged baby expert. I was ready for anything.

Then, of course, I found out I was having twins. Back to the books!

This time, I tried searching on Google Book Search, and I found some great new books with practical advice for raising twins. But I also found some fascinating older books, like this one from 1905, which examines the nature versus nurture issue before the official discovery of genes (the word "gene" wasn't coined until 1909). This more modern title from the American Philosophical Society explores the IQ and personality similarities among identical and fraternal twins raised in different families. But my favorite find is this book, in which Charles Darwin, writing a letter to his half-cousin Francis Galton in 1875, gives his two cents on the twin phenomenon:
Nothing seems to me more curious than the similarity and dissimilarity of twins.
I must say I'm kind of curious about that myself.

If you're looking for books on a particular subject, give Book Search a whirl. Since we're always adding new books from every era, you might find all kinds of fascinating stuff you don't expect...even if you're not expecting.


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