Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mother's Day Book Recommendations

If you're shopping for books for *Mom, check these out:

For a single mom: Something Like Beautiful: One Single Mother's Story by Asha Bandele. From the book: "Something Like Beautiful is not only Asha's story, but the story of thousands of women who struggle daily with little help and much against them, and who believe they have no right to acknowledge their pain. Ultimately, drawing inspiration from her daughter, Asha takes account of her life and envisions for herself what she believes is possible for all mothers who thought there was no way out--and then discovered there was."
For a mom who enjoys murder mysteries: Blackbird Farewell by Robert Greer. A Denver Nuggets basketball player has been murdered, and his family and friends (including some Mob guys and private investigators) try to unravel who did it.

For a mom who want stories about how hard it can be to be a mom: Jump at the Sun by Kim McLarin. This stay-at-home mother is overwhelmed and unhappy. Will she abandon her kids or will she stay with them? It's a complex story done very well.

For gay moms, moms of mixed-race kids or children of a different race from them, activist moms and others: Who's Your Mama? The Unsung Voices of Women and Mothers a collection edited by Yvonne Bynoe

For a spiritual mom: Meeting Faith by Faith Adiele. "In Meeting Faith, Adiele recounts her transformation from cultural anthropologist to spiritual novice, from over-achieving multi-tasker to quiet contemplator....She ells difficult stories bravely, with both dignity and humor...." - Pam Houston, O Magazine

For a nerdy mom: Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead. It's on sale today and I'm picking up my copy! (Go here for more, including book trailer.)

For your sister: Sisters and Lovers by Connie Briscoe (Get her caught up in time for the sequel coming in June, Sisters & Husbands!)-a fun, satisfying novel that readers of Terry McMillan or Jennifer Weiner will enjoy.

For a grandmom or auntie: Life is Short but Wide by J. California Cooper. 91-year-old Hattie Brown tells her story of living in Wideland, Oklahoma.

For a mom interested in different cultures: Unburnable: A Novel by Marie-elena John, a suspenseful 1st novel about 3 generations of Carribean women.

For a mom who devours the tabloids: The Vow by Denene Millner, Angela Burt-Murray & Mitzi Miller. Publisher's Weekly called it "an emotionally charged portrait of contemporary Hollywood with a cast of unforgettable characters."

For a mom who believes in wishes or who's ever wondered what it would be like to go back in time or who's young or who likes YA fiction:
A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliott. A synopsis from the author: "Almost every day 15-year-old Genna visits the garden and tosses coins into the fountain, wishing for a different life, a different home, and a different body. Little does she know that her wish will soon be granted: when Genna flees into the garden late one night, she makes a fateful wish and finds herself instantly transported back in time to Civil War-era Brooklyn."

For a mom who's been laid off: What Doesn't Kill You by DeBerry and Grant. (I've included this one on other lists.)

For moms who read fantasy: The New Moon's Arms by Nalo Hopkinson. From The Washington Post's review: "Unusual things happen to Calamity Lambkin. A cashew orchard sprouts in her backyard overnight. Toys she played with as a child drop from the sky. A half-drowned toddler washes up, tangled in seaweed, on her stretch of beach. Is it magical realism Caribbean-style, or is it menopause?"

Speaking of menopause, for moms of a certain age try: Age Ain't Nothing but a Number edited by Carleen Brice. It's a collection of fiction, poetry and essays about midlife.

For foster moms: The Women Who Raised Me by Victoria Rowell. A memoir of being a foster child by the actress.

For a mom with addiction issues in the family: The Warmest December by Bernice McFadden. From Publisher's Weekly review:"Seamless transitions between Kenzie's past and her present life anchored by AA sessions imbue this difficult tale with dramatic suspense. While McFadden's decision to tie up loose ends into a neatly contrived ending may seem facile, its cathartic message of forgiveness and recovery will elicit tears."

For moms who like "dark fantasy": Bad Blood by L.A. Banks. The author of "the vampire huntress" series takes on werewolves. Heck, these mass market paperbacks are cheap! Get mom all 3 books in the "Crimson Moon" series.

For moms with mentally ill family members: 72-Hour Hold by Bebe Moore Campbell. (Also recommended this one during Women's History Month--FYI, all the books on that list would make great Mom's Day gifts.)

For moms who love films: Third Girl from the Left by Martha Southgate. From the Booklist review: "Spanning three generations and the continental U.S.--Tulsa, L.A., and New York--this novel tells of the struggles of three black women entranced by the power of movies to represent the longings of ordinary people and to fulfill the desire for self--expression." 

*And yes, I think my other books would make great Mother's Day gifts. No need to add them to the list.


susan said...

Okay, Carleen I could do it, but I want folks to come by. Please come leave a link to this for Little Lov'n Monday

Connie Briscoe said...

Wow, quite a list, Carleen. Thanks for including me and my work.

Summer said...

Cool suggestions. I've read 72 Hour Hold and it's really good.

Bernice L. McFadden said...

You are wonderful and this is a wonderful list (thanks for including TWD)

LT said...


This is an awesome list. Since I'm a mother, is it okay if I buy myself some of these books?

And I'm sorry, but Orange Mint & Honey has got to be on there for any mother with a child. I know you can't tell us how great it is, but I will. It's great and now that I think about it, might send it to my mom for mother's day!

Carleen Brice said...

Hey I'm not even a mom and I picked up 2 of these books myself! Word verification word: spent. How appropriate!

Zetta Elliott said...

thanks for the shout-out, Carleen! Your book is my mother's gift this year...

Frederick Smith said...

Great list. I need to get shopping soon... can't believe Mother's Day is next weekend!

I'm reading J. California Cooper's new one and I'm loving it. Perfect for the gift list!

Liz said...

What a great list! I love books (well, we all do or we wouldn't be here, now, would we?) and love getting new ideas. I have another Moms Day suggestion, because so many moms try to do so much for others at the expense of themselves and could use some ways to balance what others need with what they need. It's "Honor Yourself," by Patricia Spadaro. She offers a unique take on this issue that's refreshing. You can even read excerpts to see if the moms on your gift list would enjoy it. (I'm going to go our library's web site and put "Blackbird Farewell" on hold now...)