Summer is the perfect time to lay back and indulge in some of the newest books out. Whether you're a busy mom, or an overworked dad, this couple of pleasant finds makes for a great literary escape.

By Brigid Ransome
June 11, 2015
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Man of the House: Reflections on Life with Dogs, Divas and a Bunch of Little Dudes Who Keep Calling Me DadBy Chris Erskine

This syndicated LA Times columnist may be an advocate for newspapers and Scotch tape as diaper alternatives, and whiskey and religion as acceptable forms of birth control, but he's also a loving family man who lets you into his whirlwind world. This book is Erskine's take on the American Dream and the hilarious spin-off from his weekly column that appears in 600 newspapers worldwide. He shares his first-hand experiences of post-marital sex, advice on coping when you're mistaken for Ronald McDonald and how to be a human ATM. But with all of the hills and valleys that come with parenting four kids aged 3 to 22, Erskine proudly admits "I have never won the lottery or even the gift basket at the school fair. But with them, I hit the jackpot every single day. A lucky man; I." (Rodale Books, $23.95)

The Kid Turned Out Fine: Moms Fess up about Cartoons, Candy, and What It Really Takes to be a Good ParentEdited by Paula Ford-Martin

"A desperate mommy can be a dangerous thing," writes graphic designer Cheryl Martin of trying to secure the diapers of her free-spirited two-year-old. This collection of group- therapy memos from women who are anything but the ideal of the perfect mom will reassure you that the whole parenting deal should be taken with a grain of salt, and a few inches of duct tape--as in Martin's case. Whether you have a child who is a self proclaimed pre-school dropout, an advocate for the rights of Barbie or a tooth-fairy stalker, the thirty- plus women who contribute to The Kid Turned Out Fine offers a pleasant reminder that even in the midst of your most frightful faux pas, your little one will shine like a star. (Adams Media, $14.95)

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