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Mother’s Day Books

Recommendations for all kinds of moms

Cindy Burnett
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BOOKS FOR MOM Looking for a unique Mother's Day gift? Cindy Burnett provides a wide range of selections, like this book about Audrey Hepburn’s connections to Paris, for the mom in your life. (Photo: Cindy Burnett)

Finding a Mother’s Day gift can be tricky and sometimes downright difficult. Books make great gifts because they cover so many different subjects and genres – there is something for everyone. Here are a few ideas. 

For the mom who enjoys thrills:

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister – As the book opens, Jen witnesses her 18-year-old son Todd murdering a complete stranger in the middle of the night right in front of their house. The following morning, Jen wakes up and finds herself not on the morning after the crime, but the morning before it happened. Wrong Place Wrong Time is an intelligent and compulsive read that kept me turning the pages through all sorts of twists and turns as well as thoughts and reflections on motherhood.

For the mom who likes to learn about other places and time periods:

The White Girl by Tony BirchThe White Girl is set in the 1960s fictional Australian town of Deane and focuses on Odette Brown and her fair-skinned granddaughter Sissy. Birch vividly describes what it was like to live as an Aboriginal person then and the countless hardships they endured while also weaving in a tale of family and the lengths people will go in order to protect each other. 

For the mom who likes memoirs:

A Season with Mom: Love, Loss, and the Ultimate Baseball Adventure by Katie Russell Newland – Newland and her mom loved cheering the Cubs on from their New Orleans home and dreamed of visiting all of the Major League Baseball ballparks one day. When Katie’s mom passes away before they can fulfill this dream, Newland sets out to visit all 30 ballparks in one season to both honor her mother and to reflect on their relationship along the way. 

For the mom who likes books about older protagonists:

The Spy Coast by Tess Gerritsen - Purity, a small seaside village in Maine, is home to a group of retired CIA agents including Maggie Bird, who has been enjoying a quiet life with her chickens following a long career that ended with a mission gone wrong. She, as well as several other former agents, are thrust back into an old operation when a dead body turns up on Maggie’s driveway. The maturity of the well-developed characters as well as the spy aspects of the tale combine to make The Spy Coast a standout.

For the grandmothers:

Nobody Will Tell You This But Me: A True (as Told to Me) Story by Bess Kalb - Bess and her grandmother Bobby shared a special bond, and when Bobby died at age 90, Bess was devastated. To commemorate Bobby, she wrote a memoir from Bobby’s perspective utilizing the many voicemails, texts, and emails Bess had saved. Channeling Bobby, Bess relays the advice she received (sometimes hilarious, sometimes critical but always heartfelt) and tales from Bobby’s childhood. 

For the mom who likes to travel:

Audrey Hepburn in Paris by Meghan Friedlander and Luca Dotti – Meghan Friedlander, curator of the fan site Rare Audrey Hepburn, and Audrey’s son Luca Dotti worked together to craft this beautiful book about Hepburn and her personal connection to Paris. Each chapter focuses on a different characteristic of Paris that made it appeal so much to Audrey, from haute couture to some of her famous films to the quiet times she spent there just enjoying the city. The book is chock full of never-before-seen photographs and little-known stories about Hepburn and her connection to the City of Lights.

For the mom who likes compelling stories:

The House of Eve by Sadeqa JohnsonThe House of Eve follows Ruby Pearsall, a 15-year-old who plans to be the first in her family to head to college, regardless of the lack of familial support. But when she gets drawn into a forbidden relationship, she threatens to destroy her future before it even starts. Meanwhile, Eleanor Quarles moves to Washington, D.C., where she meets and falls in love with William Pride. Eager to be accepted by the Pride family, Eleanor decides having a baby is necessary. When the two women’s lives unexpectedly collide, they must contend with choices that will impact them both for years to come. 

For the mom who likes to read essays:

Bomb Shelter: A Memoir in Essays by Mary Laura Philpott – Mary Laura Philpott’s essay collection is outstanding; her humor, hope and insightfulness will resonate with anyone who has struggled to understand life, death, and the last few years. Centered around her response to her son’s epilepsy diagnosis, Bomb Shelter tackles serious topics but laces them with funny anecdotes about the turtle who lives in her yard and knocks on her back door, college tours, and her inability to keep pet frogs alive. Philpott’s can-do attitude and positive outlook are so refreshing.

For the mom who likes historical fiction:

Marmee by Sarah Miller – Told in diary form, Marmee revisits the characters in Little Women through Marmee’s eyes as she navigates the girls’ various personalities and encourages their individual strengths, helping them become the women everyone knows and loves. Marmee is a strong and confident woman, emboldened by a healthy dose of anger at what is happening in the world around her as she strives to help the less fortunate in her community. Those who love Little Women will enjoy spending time with these characters again, this time through Marmee’s eyes.

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