Some Book Ideas for Mother's Day
Books... They're thoughtful, relatively inexpensive, and easy to wrap. With Mother's Day fast approaching, I've gotten a few requests for Mother's Day book recommendations. Since then I've been compiling a Mother's Day book list in my head.
It's by no means an exhaustive list, but here are my suggestions. Hopefully, one of two will stand out to you. If not, maybe the list will spark ideas of your own. I've tried to break the books down into categories for easy reference. Feel free to write suggestions on Facebook or in the comments section below.
A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize a couple years ago, your mother is sure to thank you for being so thoughtful.
Runner up: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. A South American country, a glamorous group of partiers, a kidnapping. This book made Ann Patchett a household name.
For the romantic reader-
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Yes, it's a science fiction book about time travel. But it's also one of the most romantic books that you (or your mother) will read in a lifetime.
Runner up: One Day by David Nicholls. Like The Time Traveler's Wife, this book was made into a well-publicized movie. Like The Time Traveler's Wife, the book is much better than the film.
If your mother loves a good mystery--
Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson. A woman with a rare form of amnesia wakes up every morning and can't remember who she is. Her husband tells her the same story every day, retelling the facts surrounding her life. Then one day she wakes up to find a note from herself: It is a warning not to trust her husband.
Runner up: Sister by Rosamund Lupton. An older sister is dead. The police think it's suicide, but her younger sister cannot believe it's true and returns to the scene of the crime to uncover the hidden story.
If your mother is fascinated by the lives of others--
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. This book follows the life of Ernest Hemingway's first wife while as he was building his career in the early Paris days. Readers loved it.
Runner up: Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. The "Frank" in question is architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and the subject of this novel is his secret lover, Mamah Borthwick Cheney.
For the mother who likes to laugh--
Bossypants by Tina Fey. Maybe you've heard of her. Hopefully, your mother has. She will make you both laugh.
Runner up: I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron. Nora Ephron is growing older, but she sees no reason not to laugh about it.
For the mother who's a hipster/hippie--
Just Kids by Patti Smith. Maybe your mother didn't grow up exactly like Patti Smith did. But if she's cool, she might want to read about it.
Runner up: A Natural Woman by Carol King. If Patti Smith running around New York with Robert Mapplethorpe and Co. is too much, she might have a soft place in her heart for Carol King.
For the foodie--
Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton. The mind behind the hot New York restaurant Prune took some sharp turns and dangerous corners before it turned into one of the best chef-writers ever to produce a book. This nonfiction account is the stuff of fiction.
Runner up: Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl. What's it like to be one of the preeminent food critics around? Not easy. Often funny. Constantly interesting.
For the searcher--
Wild by Cheryl Strayed. The subtitle of this book is "from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail," and it's certainly a wild, entertaining story of redemption. This is a great book that's very popular right now.
Runner up: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Maybe you've heard of this one. The question is, Will your mother like it? Could be. If not, order Wild for her. Each is the antidote for the other.
If your mother is an animal lover--
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. A vet student, a circus star, and an elephant compose the triangle that has lifted the hearts of millions of Water for Elephants fans. Could it be the right gift for your mother?
Runner up: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Ever wonder what your dog is thinking? Did you know it could make you laugh and cry? Read the book and learn why.
If your mom is a history buff--
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Yes, she's got a new book coming out this week that furthers her exploration of Thomas Cromwell in Henry VIII England. But if your mom hasn't read the book that started it all (and won a lot of awards), now's her chance.
Runner up: Catherine the Great by Robert Massie. This biography was a huge favorite of readers at the end of last year. If your mother likes to read about famous characters, it could easily become one of her favorites as well.
If your mom likes southern literature from the 50s and 60s--
The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I wasn't sure how to define this type of literature. While my description might be accurate, it's not necessarily elegant. The point is that there is a type of literature out there like this that appeals to millions of readers. There's a good chance your mother is one of them.
Runner up: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. If your mother loved The Help, she's probably going to love this novel, too.
For the fantasist--
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Gabaldon has built legions of fans with her Outlander series. Part romance, part historical fiction, part fantasy, the books evoke the Scottish countryside of the 18th and 20th Centuries, following Claire Randall, who has a husband in one century and a lover in the other. If this sounds like a fantasy your mother might enjoy, by all means, buy it. Just don't tell your father.
Runner up: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. This Napolean-era novel is more a comedy of manners than a straight fantasy, although it has been described as "Harry Potter for grownups." If that sounds like something your mother would love, why not give her a little magic this Mother's Day?
For the mother who loves Regency novels--
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Darcy. Darcy. Darcy. Some people can't get enough. When's the last time your mother read this classic?
Runner up: Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James. If your mother is already well-versed in Austen, P.D. James (who is also well-versed) has written a murder-mystery around her mannered world.
Finally, for the mother who will only read classics--
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. If all else fails, how about a classic she loved as a child?
Runner up: A Room with a View by E.M. Forster. If To Kill a Mockingbird doesn't fit the bill, how about a classic she'll love as an adult.
Happy Mother's Day, and happy reading.