Operating Instructions by Ann Lamott. It's not a how-to, it's a very honest journal about the first year of her son's life. It was wonderful before I even thought about having kids, and even better once I had my colicky ds. That's for parenting itself. For a broader scope, I'd recommend The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins. I think once you've got nursing down, everything else works itself out during babyhood.
_The Baby Book_ by Sears. Does anyone see a pattern emerging here? I think he does such a great job of supporting new moms in a pretty comprehensive overview of attachment parenting. There are a lot of good books you can check out from the library, but this is one that I would always have on hand for those times when you just need to be reminded that you are doing just fine.
The Sears book was my fave when my guys were babies, but my oldest is now 11 and my youngest is 5. The best book for the stage I find myself in now is "Our Last Best Shot - Guiding our children through early adolescence" by Laura Sessions Stepp. The early adolescent years are critical and how you nurture your children during this time takes a lot of work and thought. This is a great book!