Below are some Mother’s Day gift ideas with book choices recommended through a Facebook poll I recently ran. If you order them now (titles are linked to Amazon for convenience), maybe they’ll arrive in time for the special woman in your life – mother, mother-in-law, sister, daughter, daughter-in-law, niece or friend – anyone who should be celebrated for their role as a mother.
My Recommendation: 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.
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.
- Gifts from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. A beautiful collection of mediations, it was a thoughful gift I received from a dear friend upon the birth of my first son.
- 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.
- The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni. I have not read this coming-of-age story of a mother’s devout faith, but it was suggested a few times by other readers.
- What book list is complete without a few classics? Like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.
- And, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, driven by the ever-present comforting Marmee? And, who can ever picture Marmee without an ever-present shawl for those cold New England days.
- 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.
- Mothers come at all ages, too. Where the Heart is by Billie Letts – another wonderful example of a mother’s love and devotion.
- Another choice with a single mother as a primary character is the best-seller, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Pair the book with a Hulu subscription, or these adorable little “fires”.
- 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.
- Another one I’m not familiar with but was mentioned several times: Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss.
- 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. Maybe consider an Amazon gift card for the special Mom in your life to choose her own:
- 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
- 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
Finally, I’m treating myself to a few choices by taking advantage of a great offer available on Amazon through May 3rd – 100 e-books under $5 each. I’ve already picked out Elton John’s biography, Me, and Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. Someone can tell my boys to load a gift card onto our Amazon account to cover them. They’re getting off the hook easy this year!
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