In just a few more turns of the page it will be here: Sunday, May 12th, 2013, Mother’s Day. This occasion offers an opportunity to honor your own mom and the other special maternal influences in your life. It is a day for breakfast in bed, a family walk through the springtime landscape, presents, dinner out at the local inn – and if a mother is really, really lucky, some time to curl up quietly with a good book.
For some the stress of finding just the right gift is too much. For others the pressure of creating the perfect experience for mom brings out cold sweat.
So, may we suggest a hand-made card tucked into one of these special titles, and a the gift of an hour of uninterrupted reading time. And if you are a mother, consider picking out one out of these for yourself – you deserve it. (Don’t worry Dads – your turn will come in June, and we promise good books for you too.)
Our 2013 Mother’s Day selection includes:
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer (2013) – This engrossing, entertaining story follows a group of friends from the moment they meet at summer camp. It then chronicles their lives as they go to separate colleges, get married – sometimes to each other, try to live on entry-level salaries, find and lose success, become parents, face an assortment of crisis points and well, just live their lives. Told from the perspective of Jules Jacobson, a girl from the suburbs who infiltrates a group of sophisticated young Manhattanites when sent to their camp on a scholarship, this novel is populated by complex, and well “interesting” characters who come together and apart as their lives and their interpretations of New York City change. In fact, “the City” itself is a character changing as mayors come and go, crime increases/decreases, AIDS epidemic enters, finances collapse and twin towers fall. The Interestings explores friendship, how to make a life, and what to do with your talents and dreams. Perfect for moms who attended summer camps, lived in the 70s or 80s or 90s, ever had a life-long group of friends, and for anyone – mom or not – looking for a page-turning saga. ~ Lisa Christie
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (2012). I was immediately drawn into to this stark, beautiful novel, a tale set in Alaska in the 1920’s. Older homesteaders Jack and Mabel have left behind their life in the eastern United States to carve out a farm on the frontier, an existence which has proven starker and more difficult than they had imagined, leaving their finances strained and their spirits dwindling. One night, during the first snowfall of the winter, they build a snow girl together and by the next morning a real little girl has taken its place – filling Jack and Mabel’s life full of wonder, hope, and uncertainty. This book introduces the reader to strong characters, weaves in traditional fable and fairy tale, creates a sense of magical realism, all while drawing a portrait of a very real and particular time and place in America’s history. It seems an apt choice for a mother’s day post as it tells the story of a couple who have long wished for a family and then parenthood – along with its challenges, love, and learnings – finds them when they least expect it. Recently named as a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize. ~Lisa Cadow
Trains and Lovers by Alexander McCall Smith (2013) – The power of stories, the power of trains to make strangers friends, and the power of love come together in this brief gem of a book. Four strangers sit next to each other on a train from Edinburgh to London: a female and three males. Two are young (20s), two older (let’s say past 40). One man opens up with a story of why they are on the train – a new job, but tied to a girl. The others follow with their own stories (of their parents’ lives in the Australian Outback, of forbidden love of their youth, of the importance of trust in a relationship). By the time they part in London, you know something about each from their stories and their reactions to the stories of the others. You also know a bit more about yourself. A must-read for any mom in your life who ever traveled by train. This book will help them remember all the people they opened up to for a few hours in a railroad car and may lead to a few new stories, you never know. ~ Lisa Christie (Oops – we just realized that this is not available until June 11th, but we think Moms will like it so much we kept it in this post. This way you can pre-order it today, and extend Mom’s Day into June.)