Top Center: My Mom. Top Left: My paternal grandmother. Top Right: My maternal grandmother. Bottom Left: My paternal step-grandmother. Bottom Right: My paternal great-grandmother.

First Gift Idea

A gift for you, a gift for your mom: family legacy. Learn about the women in your family. Mom, I Want to Hear Your Story is a guided workbook for your Mother with prompts and questions, making it easy for her to share the stories of her childhood, teens, and adult years. This will be her life, her victories, her challenges, and her lessons. 

Other iDEAS

Below are some Mother’s Day gift ideas with book choices recommended through a Facebook poll for the special women in your life: mother, mother-in-law, grandmothers, sisters, daughters, daughters-in-law, nieces or adoptive/foster/guardian mothers, or friends – anyone who should be celebrated for their role as a mother.

My Recommendations

Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See paired with a sampler of Pu’re tea, and a delicate English tea cup and saucer (available from any second-hand or antique store as attics get emptied of Grandma’s favorites). As usual, Lisa See delivers a powerful story of mothers and daughters, this time set among the Akha people of the mountain area of southwest China combined with the economics of growing tea. Below: China pattern inspiration for appearance in Eliza’s story.

china

Call Your Daughter Home by Deb Spera. Retta, Gertrude, Annie, and I walked miles in November as they faced truths, longings, and failings as mothers to daughters. A rich story of family relationships, race, and societal expectations comes to life in South Carolina circa 1924 as the three women’s lives intersect to support and uplift each other. I could have walked miles more listening to this powerful story.

Other Top Suggestions
  • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Is this a trend? Asian-American women writing about mother-daughter relationships? Maybe. Doesn’t matter – another great suggestion. Pair it with you own Mah Jongg set for an extra special gift to spend time together.
  • Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah. My first and still favorite novel by Hannah. A heart-wrenching historical fiction of a mother’s love, kept and given, set against the backdrop of the siege of Leningrad during WWII. How about a cute set of Russian nesting dolls to go with the book – generations of mothers.
  • Mothers come in all forms, shapes, sizes, and colors. Sue Monk Kidd’s debut novel, Secret Life of Bees, evokes the idea a mother’s love can come from those beyond the ones that gave us life. Add a delicious jar of honey to accompany this tender story.
  • Another Hulu adaption which hit the best-seller lists and explores a whole other, dystopian idea of motherhood is Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid Tale. Along a similar vein, if not quite as radical, is The Farm by Joanne Ramos. Both choices would fuel provocative discussions with any mother. Well, maybe not any mother. I’m not sure I could have discussed surrogacy with my Mom. Loved her and miss her, but she was definitely a woman from past generations. Janis Mom Spring 1967 A

  • The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe – everyone needs a beach book to read, especially one which extolls how true love involves sacrifice, family is forever and the mistakes of the past can be forgiven. Of course, beach reads means the perfect tote to carry them off to sandy stretches by the shore.

Plenty of others as well which I didn’t have time to fully research. Or, let Mom pick out her own favorite with an Amazon gift card or a gift card to your local independent store or send them to Bookshop.org which supports local independent bookstores. Check out their special offer to save 20% off Jenna’s Mother’s Day Picks by using the code MOTHERSDAY20 at check-out.

  • A Mother’s Goodbye – Kate Hewitt
  • Charms for the Easy Life – Kaye Gibbons
  • Mama’s Bank Account – Kathryn Forbes
  • Amy and Isabelle – Elizabeth Strout
  • First Mothers – Bonnie Angelo
  • This is How It Always Is – Laurie Franke
  • The Red Tent – Anita Diamant
  • Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood
  • Shell Seekers
  • When I Married My Mother
  • Mama’s Boy – Dustin Lance Black
  • Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Bowers
  • The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende
  • The Mermaid Chair – Sue Monk Kidd
  • Mom & Me & Mom – Maya Angelou
  • Pachinko – Min Jin Lee
  • Beloved – Toni Morrison
  • Terms of Endearment
  • The Wednesday Sisters
  • The Mother Daughter Book Club
  • A Very Distinctly Outrageous Mother
  • The Habit
  • Joanna Brady series – JA Jance
  • Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  • Motherest
  • Dream Daughter
  • A Grown Up Kind of Pretty
  • The Mummy Bloggers
  • Karen Kingsbury’s Baxter Family series
  • Janette Oke’s Love Comes Softly series
  • The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinback
  • The Last Anniversary – Liane Moriarity
  • The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven – Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Almost Sisters
  • The Family Upstairs
  • Ginny Moon
  • Lots of Candles, Lots of Cake – Anna Quindlen
  • Caroline – biography of Caroline Ingalls
  • One True Thing – Anna Quindlen
  • Dream Daughter – Diane Chamberlain

For my Mother’s Day, I expect it will be a quiet day, a good time to settle in with a good book. I do, however, enjoy book discussions with my sons. Peirce (left) prefers financial and business books which make for interesting discussions around work and careers. Brendan (right) and I have similar interests in many fiction choices, including Ken Follett’s most recent, The Evening and the Morning.

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5 thoughts on “Mother’s Day Bookish Gifts

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