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Great Reads for Mom: Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

Cindy Burnett
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Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and if you are still looking for a gift, I have some great book suggestions for that special person on your list. I selected a variety of genres for different types of readers from contemporary fiction to nonfiction to fast-paced thrillers. 

For the mom who likes historical fiction:

Go As a River

Go As a River by Shelley Read is a stunning and unforgettable debut set in rural Colorado that tells the story of one woman’s hardscrabble existence and how she learns to make her way in a man’s world.

Go As a River by Shelley Read Go As a River is a stunning and unforgettable debut set in rural Colorado that tells the story of one woman’s hardscrabble existence and how she learns to make her way in a man’s world without her mother around to help her. Read’s incredibly strong sense of place and ability to bring the natural world to life is the backbone of the story, but the characters, particularly Torie, and their tales stole my heart. 

For the mom who enjoys thrills:

 All the Dangerous Things

Looking for a book you can't put down? Try All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham. 

All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham – This is an easy read with lots of clever twists and turns, and follows a mom who is trying to find her missing child by delving into the true crime world. I loved Willingham's commentary on our culture's obsession with true crime as well as the effects of insomnia. Both aspects of the book are very thought-provoking, and it is a page turner.

For the mom who wants some humor with her mystery:

Killers of a Certain Age

Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn is about four women who have been employed by an elite network of assassins for many decades when they find themselves being targeted by someone within their company. The book effectively combines humor, reflections on aging, and a clever mystery.

Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn – This delightful and funny mystery stars four women, Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie, who have been employed by the Museum, an elite network of assassins, for four decades. When the Museum sends them on a fabulous vacation to celebrate their retirement, the women quickly determine that their trip is a ruse to bring about their demise. Combining humor, reflections on what it means to age, and a clever mystery, Killers of a Certain Age is engaging from page one.

For the mom who loves feel-good, compelling stories:

The Matchmaker’s Gift

The Matchmaker’s Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman is a delightful, feel-good book. 

The Matchmaker’s Gift by Lynda Cohen Loigman - Written in a dual-timeline format, The Matchmaker’s Gift follows Sara Glikman, a Jewish matchmaker ahead of her time in the early 20th century who begins her matchmaking when she is 10 and finds her sister a husband. When she dies, she leaves her journals to her granddaughter Abby who is a lonely divorce attorney who discovers that she may not be pursuing the right career. This delightful, feel-good book drew me right in, and I did not want it to end. 

For the mom who loves history:

There Will Be Fire: Margaret Thatcher, the IRA, and Two Minutes That Changed History by Rory Carroll - In the midst of The Troubles, the IRA launched a daring plan to assassinate Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet members on the last day of the 1984 Conservative Party Conference at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England. While the attempt failed, the near-miss ordeal shaped how Thatcher viewed and addressed The Troubles going forward. So much of what Carroll depicts weaves into current events such as Brexit as well as raising the question of what would have happened if the IRA succeeded.

For the mom who likes to armchair travel:

The Storyteller’s Death by Ann Davila Cardinal - The Storyteller's Death is set in Puerto Rico and follows Isla Larsen Sanchez as she comes to terms with a strange family gift she inherits after her grandmother, a great storyteller, dies. This gift makes her family’s stories come to life and play out in front of her over and over again until she resolves the issue at the heart of each story. This book is so compelling, unique, and lyrically written, and I felt like I visited Puerto Rico while I read.

For more book recommendations and bookish thoughts, see Cindy’s monthly Buzz Reads column, her Thoughts from a Page Podcast or follow @ThoughtsFromaPage on Instagram. Find upcoming Conversations from a Page events here.

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