Novels, History and Biographies

title border 1st October 2018

We stock a range of novels, history books and biographies that are about pregnancy, birth and midwifery or women’s issues more broadly. These make wonderful gifts for midwives and walk that line of being work-related but interesting and inspiring reads.

Biographies and Autobiographies

Call the Midwife is a delightful read for those who enjoy books about midwifery and nursing history and has led to the popular TV series shown in Australia on ABC. We also sell the follow-ups by Jennifer Worth, Shadows of the WorkhouseFarewell to the East End and In the Midst of Life.

A Passion for Birth, is a fascinating insight into Sheila Kitzinger’s world of babies, birth, women, social justice and challenging powerful institutions, a lifetime of dedication to positive social change.

The Hospital by the River and Catherine’s Gift tells the story of Catherine Hamlin (and her late husband Reg) and the hospital (and midwifery school) they established in Ethiopia to care for women with obstetric fistula.

Australian midwife Mavis Gaff-Smith has written a number of books about midwifery history in Australia and about her volunteer work around the world.  Midwife on a Mission is a fascinating account of her travels in Mexico, Jamaica, Nepal, Thailand, Zambia, Kolkata and the Pacific Islands.


The Red Tent  comes highly recommended by our customers, who often grab it and insist friends buy it when we have it on display at our events. It expands the story of Dinah from the bible, drawing out fascinating stories of womanhood and the Red Tent. It is a bestseller and book club favourite.

The Birth House is another popular novel, and is the story of community midwives before their role was challenged as doctors took control of childbirth.

In The Midwife of Hope River, Patricia Harmon (author of the memoirs Blue Cotton Gown and Arms Wide Open) transports us to poverty stricken Appalachia during the Great Depression years of the 1930s and introduces us to a truly unforgettable heroine.

History and Social/Political Analysis

Rediscovering Birth explores the universal experience of pregnancy and childbirth and looks closely at feelings and behaviour in pregnancy, the physical and spiritual experience of giving birth, the role of the midwife, the bonds that are traditionally formed between mother and midwife and ideas about birth in many different cultures.

The Roar Behind the Silence provides information, inspiration and practical suggestions to support maternity care workers, policy makers, and maternity care funders across the world in their quest to deliver sensitive, compassionate and high quality maternity services. The book highlights examples of good practice, and practical tools for making change happen, using evidence and stories where appropriate.

Michel Odent has presented at CAPERS events many times, most recently in 2015. His presentations and books are thought-provoking challenges to the status quo. His most recent book is Do We Need Midwives? which asks what is the future of the human capacity to give birth in the context of increasing interventions and disregard for the natural process.




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