Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year
Author Anne Lamott’s books are largely autobiographical, which couldn’t be truer when it comes to Operating Instructions, her recounting of her first year as a mother. Fans of Lamott’s will recognize—and love—her honesty and humor as she examines life as a new mom. Whether the special woman in your life is new to motherhood or has a few years under her belt, this book is sure to strike more than a few chords.
Mother, Can You Not?
If you aren’t already following @CrazyJewishMom on Instagram, then you will be after reading this hilarious essay collection based off the social media account. Examining the delicate, loving, and often-fraught mother-daughter relationship, Mother, Can You Not? will have you laughing out loud at the absurd texts Kate Siegel receives from her mother. From bra fittings to dating sites, Kate shares it all, tinged with the perfect combination of affection and humor. Moms and daughters alike will see themselves throughout this book—the perfect book to read together as you chuckle at the craziness of this special bond.
Pope Joan: A Novel
Donna Woolfolk Cross
A masterful work of historical fiction, Pope Joan tells the story of a woman who became the only female to sit on the throne of St. Peter by disguising herself as a man. As she rebels against the social structures set before her, she gets caught up in a swirl of love and politics. Pope Joan is a tale of a strong woman, willing to do whatever it takes to stand up for her beliefs—character traits that all women, mothers included, embody.
God Help the Child
Bride, the young woman at the heart of this novel, is rejected by her mother because her skin is too dark. In a desperate attempt to win her mother’s affections, Bride makes a terrible mistake, one that she spends much of her adult life atoning for. This is Toni Morrison’s first novel to be set in present day, a time in which issues of skin color and class are still omnipresent. This book, written by one of the greatest writers of our time, dives deep into how our childhoods shape us, and will touch the hearts of mothers everywhere.
Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat
A new mom herself, Chrissy Teigen loves food. In fact, her next meal is always on her mind. From pasta to fried chicken to soup (she even calls herself the soup master), these dishes are sure to please moms—and the picky palates of their household members. Before you know it, everyone in the family will be craving the food whipped up by Teigen (who once attended culinary school). This is the perfect present for the mom who constantly asks, “Can I get you anything to eat?”
Mom & Me & Mom
Maya Angelou is known for her bestselling autobiographies that detail various stages of her life. But this might be the most personal of all—the story of her relationship with her mother. In Mom & Me & Mom (the perfect book to read alongside your own mom), Maya Angelou details the struggles of being the daughter of Vivian Baxter, an eccentric woman who abandons her young children. A story of redemption and healing, Mom & Me & Mom is moving and raw and will leave you wanting to thank your mom for being the woman she is.
Barefoot Contessa: How Easy is That?
It’s pretty likely that many moms already have a Barefoot Contessa cookbook on their counter, and this is the ideal one to add to their collection. Ina Garten shows us all that it doesn’t have to be complicated to taste good. Incorporating simple techniques and timesaving tips, Ina will have things like Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs and Chocolate Pudding Cream Tarts coming out of your mom’s kitchen in no time. (Hint: the least you can do is offer to clean up.)
With Mother’s Day here again, we’ve compiled a list of books to give the mom in your life. Whether that’s your mother, a friend, a sister, a mentor, a stepmom, or a grandmother, they have a big job, and deserve celebration. From cookbooks to novels that will touch any mother’s heart, here are a few we think would have a good home on any mom’s bookshelf.
Featured Image: Evgeny Atamanenk/Shutterstock