It is nice to have a special day in the calendar to acknowledge the love and hard work of mothers – even though I would like to think that every day should be Mother’s Day. Well, a wonderful book – beautiful to look at, hers to keep forever, with captivating stories that can be revisited again and again – can stretch out that Mother’s Day feeling a little longer. Here is a selection of wonderful recent titles by mothers, for mothers and about mothers:
Room by Emma Donoghue
Jack is a cheerful 5-year-old who lives with his Ma in a small room. His days are fun and filled with activities with Ma. Gradually, we realise that Jack and Ma never leave their Room because they are held captive – and that Jack is the result of Ma’s repeated rape by their captor. Echoing several real-life cases, Room is remarkable for its tender mother-child relationship, and for having Jack as the narrator. These elements turn an otherwise horrifying story into something luminous. Room is a gripping novel that has become a much-praised film – with Brie Larson’s sensitive portrayal of Ma winning her the Best Actress Oscar.
How I Met Your Father by Aminah Hart
Aminah Hart’s autobiography has so resonated with readers that this new release is already a bestseller. Aminah has experienced the agony of losing two infant sons to a congenital disorder. Desperate to be a mother, Aminah managed to remain resilient, and eventually conceived a healthy baby girl through IVF. When she tracked down her daughter’s donor father, she found Scott Andersen – and their connection developed into attraction and love. This joyous “back to front” love story is a true triumph over tragedy.
Spark Joy by Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a huge hit in over 40 countries. Her message that we should only retain items that “spark joy” speaks to us about more than tidying – to many fans, the decluttering expresses a philosophy about not becoming slaves to possessions. Spark Joy is the follow-up, and it acts as a masterclass for the KonMari method – with illustrations explaining various folding techniques, and explanations on points that readers of the first book wish to clarify.
Mother’s Day can be tough for those whose mothers are no longer with them. In Letters from Motherless Daughters, many different women share their experiences of losing their mothers. These letters were sent to author Hope Edelman in response to her bestselling self-help book, Motherless Daughters. These brave, honest letters give insight into how their writers have been changed by, and dealt with, their mothers’ deaths. Let these letters comfort and guide you in accepting and growing from this very personal loss.
A Mother’s Story by Rosie Batty, with Bryce Corbett
Rosie Batty is an ordinary mother whose life was irrevocably changed when her ex-partner murdered their son in public. Amazingly, even in the immediate aftermath, she has managed to channel her grief into incredibly positive actions – by highlighting that domestic violence can happen to anyone. Her resilience and humanity is widely admired, and has made her an influential campaigner against domestic violence. In A Mother’s Story, Rosie Batty shares her heartbreaking story, showing how her experience and her work has changed cultural perceptions around domestic violence. Her dignity and grace is truly inspirational.
Mother, Can you NOT? by Kate Siegel
There is a special (over-)familiarity in mother-daughter relationships that lends itself to hilarity and/or embarrassment – just ask Kate Siegel. The outrageous and cringeworthy text exchanges between Kate Siegel and her mother, known as @CrazyJewishMom, have become an Instagram sensation. Mother, can you NOT? is a loving tribute that shows how the combination of boundless love and lack of personal boundaries lead mothers (and not just Jewish ones!) to do awkward but extremely funny things to their children.
If you have fond memories of cooking with your grandmother – or just wish you do – then you will enjoy Nonna’s House. Enoteca Maria is a very special restaurant on New York’s Staten Island, whose star chefs are ten Italian nonnas (grandmothers). The Nonnas’ families come from all over Italy, and each of them cook authentic regional dishes that have been passed down through the generations. Packed with delicious recipes, Nonna’s House is also a celebration of family, traditions and culture.
If you’re after more Mother’s Day ideas, take a look at our Pinterest board.