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Book recommendations for Mom – Mother’s Day Gifts

 

Woman enjoying reading a good book.
Woman enjoying a good book.

There’s nothing like relaxing on your own with a good book that you can sink your teeth into. We have compiled some book recommendations for mom for Mother’s Day, for you, or for anyone that you think will enjoy a good book. These books are either written by a female author, or the main protagonist is a woman. Take a look at the list below and see which book you think might do the trick. We have listed them by category, with a brief description, for your convenience. There are fiction an non-fiction books, including crime fiction, mystery thrillers, historical fiction and biographies. I enjoy reading a good mystery thriller and historical fiction, but if the book is well written and interesting, it really doesn’t matter about the category.

Woman reading book on sofa

Short Story Collection

You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld

This book by New York Times bestselling author Curtis Sittenfeld is sensitive and funny. It is a collection of short fiction with memorable characters. Ten stories illustrate what goes on beneath the surfaces of people with comfortable lives.

In the ten stories your assumptions about relationships, class and gender roles is turned upside down. With insight and uncanny precision, the author is a master story teller who questions decisions, missed connections, and coincidences that happen in life.

Throughout these stories Sittenfeld’s perspective is compassionate, but not sentimental and hopeful without being naïve.

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Mystery/Thrillers

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

This is a beautifully written novel, with a great plot. It is a mesmerizing tale of love, loss and madness. It is also an intelligent story and a psychological thriller.

The main character, Anna Fox, who is 38, lives alone in an expensive house in Manhattan. She is agoraphobic and has not left her home in almost a year. One thing she does enjoy is spying on her neighbors. Anna also enjoys drinks a lot of wine and watching many movie classics, such as “Strangers on a Train” and “Spellbound”.

Anna’s husband has left her and taken their 8-year-old daughter with him. She talks to them by phone and begs him to return. She’s a child psychologist and still advises a few patients by email, but mostly she is alone with her wine, her movies and her cat. Living in the basement is a handsome tenant. His presence injects a little love interest in the story. Anna is for the  most part content to spy on her neighbors.

The author has not only sympathetically captured the interior life of a depressed person, but also succeeded in writing a thriller that will keep you guessing and turning the page to the very end.

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The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER

Lisbeth Salander is back with a vengeance in this thriller Millenium Series novel.

The series that began with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo continues as brilliant hacker Lisbeth Salander teams up with journalist Mikael Blomkvist to uncover the secrets of her childhood and to take revenge.

Lisbeth Salander—obstinate outsider, volatile seeker of justice for herself and others—seizes on a chance to unearth her mysterious past once and for all. And she will let nothing stop her—not the Islamists she enrages by rescuing a young woman from their brutality; not the prison gang leader who passes a death sentence on her; not the deadly reach of her long-lost twin sister, Camilla; and not the people who will do anything to keep buried knowledge of a sinister pseudoscientific experiment known only as The Registry. Once again, Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist are the fierce heart of a thrilling full-tilt novel that takes on some of the world’s most insidious problems.

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Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Jane Harper, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry, asks: How well do you really know the people you work with?

Five women go on a hike, but only four return.

When five colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the wilderness, they reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking down the muddy path. The problem is one of the women doesn’t come out of the woods. and each of her companions tells a slightly different story about what happened.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker. In an investigation that takes him deep into isolated forest, Falk discovers secrets lurking in the mountains, and a tangled web of personal and professional friendship, suspicion, and betrayal among the hikers. But did that lead to murder?

Force of Nature bristles with wit; it crackles with suspense; it radiates atmosphere. An astonishing book from an astonishing writer.
―A.J. Finn, author of The Woman in the Window

A breathless page-turner … Ms. Harper has made her own major mark.
―The New York Times

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The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER
USA TODAY BESTSELLER
A NATIONAL INDIEBOUND BESTSELLER

An entire life can change in one night: A flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man – and no idea what happened.

Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She’s a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. She lives with them, and the accompanying self-loathing. When she awakes in a Dubai hotel room, she tries to piece the previous night back together, counting the minutes until she has to catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She quietly slides out of bed, careful not to aggravate her already pounding head, and looks at the man she spent the night with. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And blood, a slick, still wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police – she’s a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home – Cassie begins to lie. She lies as she joins the other flight attendants and pilots in the van. She lies on the way to Paris as she works the first class cabin. She lies to the FBI agents in New York who meet her at the gate. Soon it’s too late to come clean-or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai. Could she have killed him? If not, who did? 

The Flight Attendant unveils a spellbinding story of memory, of the giddy pleasures of alcohol and the devastating consequences of addiction, and of murder far from home.

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Tangerine by Christine Mangan

“As if Donna Tartt, Gillian Flynn, and Patricia Highsmith had collaborated on a screenplay to be filmed by Hitchcock—suspenseful and atmospheric.”
—Joyce Carol Oates, author of The Book of American Martyrs

The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the accident at Bennington, the two friends—once inseparable roommates—haven’t spoken in over a year. But there Lucy was, trying to make things right and return to their old rhythms. Perhaps Alice should be happy. She has not adjusted to life in Morocco, too afraid to venture out into the bustling medinas and oppressive heat. Lucy—always fearless and independent—helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country.

But soon a familiar feeling starts to overtake Alice—she feels controlled and stifled by Lucy at every turn. Then Alice’s husband, John, goes missing, and Alice starts to question everything around her: her relationship with her enigmatic friend, her decision to ever come to Tangier, and her very own state of mind.

Tangerine is a sharp dagger of a book—a debut so tightly wound, so replete with exotic imagery and charm, so full of precise details and extraordinary craftsmanship, it will leave you absolutely breathless.

This book has been optioned for film by George Clooney’s Smokehouse Pictures, with Scarlett Johansson to star

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Historical Fiction

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon

Russia, July 17, 1918 Under direct orders from Vladimir Lenin, Bolshevik secret police force Anastasia Romanov, along with the entire imperial family, into a damp basement in Siberia where they face a merciless firing squad. None survive. At least that is what the executioners have always claimed.

Germany, February 17, 1920 A young woman bearing an uncanny resemblance to Anastasia Romanov is pulled shivering and senseless from a canal in Berlin. Refusing to explain her presence in the freezing water, she is taken to the hospital where an examination reveals that her body is riddled with countless, horrific scars. When she finally does speak, this frightened, mysterious woman claims to be the Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia.

Her detractors, convinced that the young woman is only after the immense Romanov fortune, insist on calling her by a different name: Anna Anderson.

As rumors begin to circulate through European society that the youngest Romanov daughter has survived the massacre, old enemies and new threats are awakened.

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Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn—a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century.

It’s 1937 and 28 year old Martha Gellhorn travels alone to Madrid to report on the Spanish Civil War. Once there she becomes drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in the conflict. This is her opportunity to prove herself a worthy journalist in a field dominated by men. However, she is falling in love with Hemingway, a man on his journey to becoming a legend.

Set in Madrid and Cuba, during turbulent times, Martha and Ernest’s relationship and careers ignite. After Ernest publishes the biggest literary success of his career, Martha must choose whether to become a famous man’s wife, or make her own career path as a writer. It is a dilemma that could break both their hearts.

Paula McLain has been called the new start of historical fiction. She not only brings Gellhorn’s story to life, but she captures her as a heroine.

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Non-Fiction

This non-fiction section is for readers who prefer non-fiction because they like the real thing. We have a great selection of books and authors from touching stories of mothers and sons in The Rainbow Comes and Goes, to an author’s memoir in Amy Tan’s Where the Past Begins, to the fascinating life of rock and roller Stevie Nicks in Gold Dust Woman, to the thrilling tales of Africa by Tina Dreffin in Bluewater Walkabout: Into Africa.

The Rainbow Comes and Goes by Anderson Cooper & Globia Vanderbilt

This book is written by journalist Anderson Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. The book is a touching and intimate correspondence between mother and son. It offers inspiration and a thoughtful reflection on life.

Though Anderson Cooper has always considered himself close to his mother, his intensely busy career as a journalist for CNN and CBS affords him little time to spend with her. After she suffers a brief but serious illness at the age of ninety-one, they resolve to change their relationship by beginning a year-long conversation unlike any they had ever had before. The result is a correspondence of surprising honesty and depth in which they discuss their lives, the things that matter to them, and what they still want to learn about each other.

Both a son’s love letter to his mother and an unconventional mom’s life lessons for her grown son, The Rainbow Comes and Goes offers a rare window into their close relationship and fascinating life stories, including their tragedies and triumphs. In these often humorous and moving exchanges, they share their most private thoughts and the hard-earned truths they’ve learned along the way. In their words their distinctive personalities shine through—Anderson’s journalistic outlook on the world is a sharp contrast to his mother’s idealism and unwavering optimism.

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The Gold Dust Woman – The Biography of Stevie Nicks

All you ever wanted to know about Fleetwood Mac’s mesmerizing frontwoman. – People Magazine

Davis is astute and respectful…adept in his literary analysis. – The New York Times Book Review

This book is a fascinating look into the life and times of female rock legend Stevie Nicks.

Gold Dust Woman gives “the gold standard of rock biographers” (The Boston Globe) his ideal topic: Nicks’ work and life are equally sexy and interesting, and Davis delves deeply into each, unearthing fresh details from new, intimate interviews and interpreting them to present a rich new portrait of the star. Just as Nicks (and Lindsey Buckingham) gave Fleetwood Mac the “shot of adrenaline” they needed to become real rock stars―according to Christine McVie―Gold Dust Woman is vibrant with stories and with a life lived large and hard:
―How Nicks and Buckingham were asked to join Fleetwood Mac and how they turned the band into stars
―The affairs that informed Nicks’ greatest songs
―Her relationships with the Eagles’ Don Henley and Joe Walsh, and with Fleetwood himself
―Why Nicks married her best friend’s widower
―Her dependency on cocaine, drinking and pot, but how it was a decade-long addiction to Klonopin that almost killed her
― Nicks’ successful solo career that has her still performing in venues like Madison Square Garden
―The cult of Nicks and its extension to chart-toppers like Taylor Swift and the Dixie Chicks

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Where the Past Begins by Amy Tan

New York Times bestselling author Amy Tan, writes a memoir on her life as a writer, her childhood, and the symbiotic relationship between fiction and emotional memory

In Where the Past Begins, bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and The Valley of Amazement Amy Tan takes readers inside her thoughts, revealing the truths and inspirations that underlie her extraordinary fiction. By delving into vivid memories of her childhood, confessions of self-doubt in her journals, and heartbreaking letters to and from her mother, she shows how near-forgotten memories formed the origins of her novels and imagination.

Tan takes readers into the idiosyncratic workings of her writer’s mind. This is a journey that explores memory, imagination, and truth, with fiction serving as both her divining rod and link to meaning.

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