Mother’s Day Gift Recommendations
By: Em Perper
Happy (almost) Mother’s Day! ’Tis the season to stress out about brunch reservations, wrangle logistics, and, of course, find the perfect gift. Don’t stress! Curious Iguana has you covered. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite reads for your (favorite) mom.
A disclaimer, from me, Em, to you, dear reader: Mother’s Day isn’t always easy. Some folks have fraught relationships with their moms. I know several people who lost their moms in the past year, and they’re dreading their first Mother’s Day without them. Mother’s Day may be a day to celebrate your dad, or your grandparents, or another beloved caregiver who raised you and loved you. No matter what you need, we’re here for you. If the gifts below don’t jive for the person you’d like to celebrate, stop by the store or send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we’ll help you out as best we can. Now, for the recommendations!
The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
When your mom visits New York City, people ask her for directions. She doesn’t engage in Facebook debates but isn’t afraid to put your racist uncle in his place at Thanksgiving. She’ll love The Female Persuasion, which People called “equal parts cotton candy and red meat, in the best way.” At the beginning of the book, Greer is a shy college freshman. When she has the opportunity to meet her idol, Faith, a pillar of the feminist movement, the two strike up an unlikely correspondence. Under Faith’s influence, Greer is imbued with ambition and her dreams for herself begin to shift and change. (Riverhead Books/PRH, $28. Limited signed copies available.)
The Mindful Day by Laurie J. Cameron
Your mom is busy and shows no sign of slowing down. She likes the occasional bubble bath and a glass of wine with dinner. You wish she’d treat herself more often. She needs The Mindful Day, a book that strikes the perfect chord between practical and philosophical. Each chapter ends with real-world advice for achieving moments of mindfulness in the midst of chaos. Author Cameron has practiced meditation for over 20 years, studied under Thich Nhat Hahn, and founded PurposeBlue, where she consults with major companies about integrating mindfulness into their leadership. She’s the real deal! (National Geographic Society/PRH, $21.99. Limited signed copies available.)
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Your mom may not be in a book club, but she reads like she is! Thought-provoking novels are her favorite, and her friends and family turn to her for recommendations on the latest big-name books. An American Marriage fits the bill; it’s Oprah’s 2018 book club pick. Celestial and Roy are newlyweds looking forward to all life has to offer. When Roy is wrongly accused of a heinous crime and imprisoned, he and Celestial struggle to uphold their vows. The emotional and mental toll of incarceration affects them both. After several years, Roy is released and ready to resume his relationship with Celestial—but does she feel the same? (Algonquin Books, $26.95)
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Your mom loves a good suburban drama, but only on the page! She wants a book she can’t put down and can lend to others when she’s done. She read Big Little Lies before she watched the HBO miniseries, and she loved both. Celeste Ng’s book takes us to Shaker Heights, OH and opens with a fire. Before we learn why a house is up in flames we have to go back to the beginning, when artsy single mama Mia Warren and her daughter, Pearl, moved to town. Mia’s eccentricities and firmly held ideals throw their placid paradise for a loop—particularly affecting their landlords, the picture-perfect Richardson family. (Penguin Press/PRH, $27. Limited signed copies available.)
Tough Mothers by Jason Porath
Your mom loves storytelling almost as much as she loves you. She may rehash embarrassing anecdotes about your youth, but she does so with flair, verve, and a new detail every time. She’ll revel in these stories about real women who faced the odds.
Some names may be familiar, like Sojourner Truth, Madame C.J. Walker, and the Mirabel Sisters. Conversely, women like Sutematsu Oyama, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, and Cut Nyak Dhien don’t make it into mainstream history books, and their stories deserve to be heard, too. Eye-catching illustrations accompany each chapter. (Dey Street Books/HarperCollins, $24.99)
The Woman’s Hour by Elaine Weiss
Your mom doesn’t just vote, she Votes, and she makes sure everyone else in her life does, too. Maybe she marches! Maybe she tweets! However she participates in the political process, she respects it. It’s time for The Woman’s Hour, a no-holds-barred deep-dive into the pivotal summer in Tennessee where suffragists rallied and lobbied in favor of the Nineteenth Amendment, while their opponents fought back just as fiercely. Ms. described it as “a genteel but bare-knuckled political thriller.” Within the first chapter, I laughed and gasped aloud. Knowing how the story ends doesn’t make it any less exciting. (Viking/PRH, $28. Limited signed copies available.)
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