Here in the US, Mother's Day is Sunday 12 May! Did you get a gift?
If you're having an attack of the OH NOES, fear not – we're here to help. I put the call out this morning on social media for book recommendations for mom, after author Kate Eden tweeted that books make an excellent gift for mom (to “make up for being a pain in the ass”), heh.
This is an excellent idea – books make a terrific gift, especially when you know they'll be enjoyed. And clearly, these are not just meant for mothers, but for anyone who helped shape you into who you are today. We shoud be thankful – book gift thankful – for all those people, right?
First, the major gifts, should have you and a few other people have some cash to combine: ereaders! There are a few deals being offered by Amazon and BN:
(I have one of these, and
Nook Simple Touch
Get $50 off NOOK HD Tablets
Offer Expires 5/12
Nook HD: 25% off $149
Kobo Glo w/ free cover
Plus, if you're book shopping (when are we not book shopping) there's a May Kobo coupon: Save 40% with Code: MaySave40.
Author Laura Kinsale also had a wonderful idea: an Audible membership! (She also recommends Nick Boulton who reads her books: “He's memorable.”)
But suppose you want to buy your mom some books because she already has an ereader, a bookstore giftcard, a library stocked and waiting? We are SO here for you.
I asked for recommendations on Twitter and Facebook, and I know you'll have suggestions. If you use Prime shipping from Amazon, or can take a trip to your local bookstore, there's still time. I wanted to highlight a selection of the recommended books – some romances, some not. I've organized these recommendations by types, and I hope this list is useful for you!
Recommended by several readers, including one who is buying this for her own mom: “In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the “coolest girl in the world” moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all—beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer’s end they’ve become TullyandKate. Inseparable. So begins Kristin Hannah’s magnificent new novel. Spanning more than three decades and playing out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women and the friendship that becomes the bulkhead of their lives. “
Recommended by Natalie R: “The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it’s been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust, and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings.”
It's the first of a series, and the latest, Riveted, was RT's book of the year. If your mom likes science fiction and romance, this has steampunk, emotional complexity, and a whole other world: “After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power-and fear-of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.”
Recommended by several readers – including another who is buying this as her gift:
“After Andi Gordon is jilted at the altar, she makes the most impetuous decision of her life – buying one of the famed Three Sisters Queen Anne houses on Blackberry Island. Now the proud-ish owner of the ugly duckling of the trio, she plans to open her own pediatric office on the first floor, just as soon as her hunky contractor completes the work. Andi's new future may be coming together, but the truth is she's just as badly in need of a major renovation as her house. “
Recommended by PBReader on Twitter: “Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true.”
I recommended this book to Hubby, who loved it. It's a quick read but very entertaining: “Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last twenty-five years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.”
James you probably recognize from her historical romances; this is her memoir of a year in Paris with her family. I heard part of it read at Lady Jane's Salon, and it's charming: “In 2009, Eloisa James took a leap that many people dream about: she sold her house, took a sabbatical from her job as a Shakespeare professor, and moved her family to Paris.
Paris in Love: A Memoir chronicles her joyful year in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. With no classes to teach, no committee meetings to attend, no lawn to mow or cars to park, Eloisa revels in the ordinary pleasures of life—discovering corner museums that tourists overlook, chronicling Frenchwomen’s sartorial triumphs, walking from one end of Paris to another.”
Recommended by Tamela Buhrke: “Amelia Peabody, that indomitable product of the Victorian age, embarks on her debut Egyptian adventure armed with unshakable self-confidence, a journal to record her thoughts, and, of course, a sturdy umbrella.On her way to Cairo, Amelia rescues young Evelyn Barton-Forbes, who has been abandoned by her scoundrel lover.” The first book in a long, wonderful series.
Recommended by Sigrid Ellis, this is the first book in a much loved Australian mystery series: “The London season is in full fling at the end of the 1920s, but the Honorable Phryne Fisher–she of the green-grey eyes, diamant garters and outfits that should not be sprung suddenly on those of nervous dispositions–is rapidly tiring of the tedium of arranging flowers, making polite conversations with retired colonels, and dancing with weak-chinned men. Instead, Phryne decides it might be rather amusing to try her hand at being a lady detective in Melbourne, Australia.”
I have recommended this series so many times, I've lost count: “Clare Fergusson, St. Alban's new priest, fits like a square peg in the conservative Episcopal parish at Millers Kill, New York. She is not just a “lady,” she's a tough ex-Army chopper pilot, and nobody's fool. Then a newborn infant left at the church door brings her together with the town's police chief, Russ Van Alstyne, who's also ex-Army and a cynical good shepherd for the stray sheep of his hometown. Their search for the baby's mother quickly leads them into the secrets that shadow Millers Kill like the ever-present Adirondacks.”
Not Romance, But Lovely
Recommended by Amanda Byrne, this is historical fiction with suspense: “Orphaned at birth, Eliza Sommers is raised in the British colony of Valparaíso, Chile, by the well-intentioned Victorian spinster Miss Rose and her more rigid brother Jeremy. Just as she meets and falls in love with the wildly inappropriate Joaquín Andieta, a lowly clerk who works for Jeremy, gold is discovered in the hills of northern California. By 1849, Chileans of every stripe have fallen prey to feverish dreams of wealth. Joaquín takes off for San Francisco to seek his fortune, and Eliza, pregnant with his child, decides to follow him.”
Recommended by Jaye Wells, this is historical fiction, not straight romance: “Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.”
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
“In the luminous and unforgettable voice of Congregationalist minister John Ames, Gilead reveals the human condition and the often unbearable beauty of an ordinary life.”
I loved this book when I read it in college. It's a touching and powerful story of three generations of women: “A family without men, the Birches live gloriously offbeat lives in the lush, green backwoods of North Carolina. Radiant, headstrong Sophia and her shy, brilliant daughter, Margaret, possess powerful charms to ward off loneliness, despair, and the human misery that often beats a path to their door. And they are protected by the eccentric wisdom and muscular love of the remarkable matriarch Charlie Kate, a solid, uncompromising, self-taught healer who treats everything from boils to broken bones to broken hearts.”
You Don't Expect to See Your Mom For Awhile
Suppose your mom is headed out on a long trip, or you want to give her a series that is so addictive, she won't come up for air for at least a month? We can help you with that!
Pamela Donovan recs:
Outlander series, Diana Gabaldon.
There's a 7-book Kindle
bundle for $50, too.
( A | BN | K | ARe | iB )
Slave to Sensation, Nalini Singh.
14 books now, a new one in June!
( A | BN | K | S | iB )
Naked in Death, JD Robb.
35+ in the series.
( A | BN | K | S | ARe | iB )
The Duke and I, Julia Quinn
Eight books, lotsa siblings.
( A | BN | K | S | ARe | iB )
Virgin River,Robyn Carr
Books 1-4 are bundled
& coupon eligible
( A | BN | K | S | ARe | iB )
And finally: if your mom insists on No Gifts, or if your mom is no longer with you (I'm sorry), a donation to your local library or favorite literacy charity in her name is always appreciated. Many women helped pass along the love of reading, and the love of romance, and whether they are our mothers through biology or the mothers of our hearts (or both!), it's always lovely to celebrate them with excellent words.
Happy Mother's Day, yall!