I like Henci Goer's book . . . A thinking woman's guide to childbirth, I think it is called. I like that it goes in detail about all possible interventions and the pro's and con's. I need to read it again, as I know what I do and do not want, but it really helps to have the logic behind the various interventions (and why I don't want them) when I refuse them, or at least question them. While it is firmly on the side of low intervention, I think it also treats each thing as even handedly as possible.
I read the VBAC companion . . . it was good. nothing that really stuck with me or sticks out at me after reading it though.
Ina May is always a good one.
I agree re: the pain statement. I never would want to think that labor isn't painful, i think it likely brings an expectation of no pain and you would think that your program - hypnobirthing or whatever - failed if you experienced any pain. For me, yeah I guess it was painful, but it was far more intense than painful. I still wouldn't call contractions "rushes" though. That is not what they felt like to me. Waves of intensity is more like it.