Books to give every type of mother this Mother's Day

Al Woodworth on May 04, 2020
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 Books to give every type of mother this Mother's Day

For Mother's Day this Sunday, we've rounded up a collection of 11 book recommendations, for every type of mother...or at least, the types that we are most familiar with!

So if you're in need of a book or two to celebrate your mother or the mothers around you, here some suggestions:


Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner

For the mother enamored with British Royalty and The Crown.

As Queen Elizabeth’s Maid of Honor at her coronation and Princess Margaret’s Lady in Waiting, Lady Glenconner travelled the world with the royals—from vacations in Mustique with Mick Jagger and David Bowie, to visiting the US and dining with presidents, and bearing first-hand witness to the eight-year affair between her best friend, Princess Margaret, and Roddy Llewellyn. Full of juicy gossip, Lady Glenconner also shares with candor, wit, and warmth her own family drama, tragedy, and resilience.


Oona Out of Order: A Novel by Margarita Montimore

For the mother who doesn’t carry a date book and doesn’t care.

Oona wakes up after New Year’s Eve feeling like her 19-year-old self, but somehow she’s time traveled into her life years in the future. It doesn’t end there as Oona pops in and out of her own life at various times, never quite knowing what will happen next. A novel about time and love that is thoughtful, funny, and heartwarming.


Red at the Bone: A Novel by Jacqueline Woodson

For the mother who loves a life-affirming generational story.

Jacqueline Woodson's melodic prose waxes in and out of generations so seamlessly that, in Red at the Bone, you’ve just been told the life story of a daughter, her parents, her grandparents, a teenage pregnancy, and a white dress that belonged to each of them. Her writing is tender, but strong, eloquently guiding the reader through the lineage of how hopes are born and sometimes dashed, how neighborhoods gentrify, how mistakes are made and lives are created.


A Woman Is No Man: A Novel by Etaf Rum

For the mother who quietly fights the patriarchy.

Newlywed Isra thought life would be different when she immigrated to America from Palestine, but her dreams were quickly dashed. Etaf Rum's penetrating debut novel, follows Isra’s journey, and that of her daughter Deya. The clash between dual cultures creates much of the drama, as Deya tries to do what her mother ultimately couldn’t—break free from their family’s violent, misogynistic past and forge her own path in life.


The Mother-in-Law: A Novel by Sally Hepworth

For the mother with a ‘complex’ relationship with her MIL.

Proving that there really are two sides to every story, The Mother-in-Law swings between two narrators, Diana, and her daughter-in-law, Lucy, who don’t enjoy a very close bond. When we meet Lucy for the first time, she’s being informed of her MIL’s suicide. But the autopsy indicates all is not as it seems. All-too-relatable family dynamics provide motives and keep the mystery humming in this page-turner.


The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel

For the mother who’d rather live in the 15th century and has a thing for Thomas Cromwell.

The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel is one of the most anticipated—if not the most anticipated—novel of 2020. Since the publication of Wolf Hall in 2009, the first in what was to become a trilogy, readers came under the spell of Thomas Cromwell—the schemer, dreamer, henchman, and political mastermind/pawn of Henry VIII. The last book of the series opens with the decapitation of Anne Boleyn as Henry VIII settles in with his new bride, Jane Seymour, but rebellion lurks in the shadows both home and abroad. Mantel brilliantly and deviously unfurls the vision that spurs Cromwell to assert his power and the eventual ruin that it brings him.


Nothing to See Here: A Novel by Kevin Wilson

For the mother who puts out fires and loves a good laugh.

Nothing to See Here is a lot of fun to read—and despite its improbable premise (children who spontaneously burst into flames) it is an incredibly moving and surprisingly authentic portrait of parenthood. There is a lightness and joy that permeates every page, even as Kevin Wilson tackles moments that are sure to tug at your heartstrings, if not your tear ducts.


The City We Became: A Novel by N.K. Jemisin

For the mother in search of of magic and myth in the Big Apple.

Multi-award-winner N. K. Jemisin brings her rip-roaring storytelling skills to her backyard of New York City in this propulsive series starter that is very much a love letter to her home, though not in the way you might expect. Five very different people in New York City discover that they, somehow, have become the living avatars of each of the five boroughs of the city, which is now newly sentient. With that responsibility also comes paranormal powers—as well as an enemy who wishes to destroy the newborn city...


This Is Chance! The Shaking of an All-American City, a Voice That Held It Together by Jon Mooallem

For the mother who wants to read about an everyday hero that saved a community in the face of disaster.

This Is Chance! is the riveting story of the 1964 Anchorage earthquake (the second largest ever) and how Genie Chance, a part time radio anchor, broadcast the news on air for three days straight and in so doing became the de facto voice of the disaster—ferrying messages of safety, directing first responders, and providing a calm and steady voice to ward off the further chaos of a broken city. With Mooallem's portrait of Chance comes an unputdownable story of natural disaster, resilience, determination, and community.


What We Carry: A Memoir by Maya Shanbhag Lang

For the mother who values a secret and has daughters of her own.

A moving, heart-strings pulling memoir of Maya Shanbhag Lang's relationship with her mother—her guardian angel, best friend, and inspiration. But when Lang becomes a mother herself, her mother becomes increasingly distant. As Lang struggles to reconnect with her, she learns her mother's past was not quite what it seemed.


Wine Girl: The Obstacles, Humiliations, and Triumphs of America’s Youngest Sommelier by Victoria James

For the mother who loves a good pinot noir.

Victoria James' memoir Wine Girl takes the reader on a journey of discovery and perseverance, from a truck stop diner to vineyards in France, and wine cellars worth seven figures. An insider account of a glamorous industry riddled with abuses, Wine Girl is eye-opening, inspiring, and incredibly entertaining.


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