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Literary Gifts for Every Type of Mom

Literary Gifts for Every Type of Mom

Have you been on the lookout for the perfect Mother’s Day gifts? We’ve got you covered. While it is our opinion that people should show their appreciation for hardworking moms every day of the year, we also recognize the power of a really thoughtful token of appreciation.

With the holiday fast approaching, we thought you might need a little help choosing, so keep reading to find a list of terrific literary gifts for every type of mom.


IntheUnlikelyEventIn the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

“Makes us feel the pure shock and wonder of living…. Judy Blume isn’t just revered, she’s revolutionary.” —The New York Times Book Review

In this brilliant new novel—her first for adults since Summer Sisters—Judy Blume takes us back to the 1950s and introduces us to the town of Elizabeth, New Jersey, where she herself grew up. Here she imagines and weaves together a vivid portrait of three generations of families, friends, and strangers, whose lives are profoundly changed during one winter. At the center of an extraordinary cast of characters are fifteen-year-old Miri Ammerman and her spirited single mother, Rusty. Their warm and resonant stories are set against the backdrop of a real-life tragedy that struck the town when a series of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving the community reeling.

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KnockoffThe Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

The Devil Wears Prada meets All About Eve…. A fun, often funny take on life in the sharp-elbowed world of fashion magazines.” —People

As editor in chief of Glossy magazine, Imogen Tate is queen of the fashion world…until Eve, her conniving twenty-something former assistant, returns from business school with plans to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and relaunch Glossy as an app. Suddenly, the Louboutin is on the other foot; Imogen may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she doesn’t know Facebook from Foursquare and once got her phone stuck in Japanese language mode for three days. But Imogen will do anything to reclaim her kingdom—even if it means channeling her inner millennial and going head to head with a social-media monster.

Read an excerpt | Get the reader’s guide | Buy the book


FoldedClockThe Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits

“Scathingly funny…. An engaging portrait of a woman’s sense of identity, which continually shape-shifts with time.” —Los Angeles Times

Rereading her childhood diaries, Heidi Julavits hoped to find incontrovertible proof that she was always destined to be a writer. Instead, they “revealed me to possess the mind of a paranoid tax auditor.” Thus was born a desire to try again, to chronicle her daily life—now as a forty-something woman, wife, mother, and writer. The Folded Clock is a meditation on time and self, youth and aging, friendship and romance, faith and fate, and art and ambition.

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NightSisterThe Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

“Chilling…. A powerful story of childhood friendship and sisterhood…. Dark and compelling.” —BookPage

Once the thriving attraction of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of three women—Amy, Piper, and Piper’s kid sister, Margot. The three played there as girls, until the day their games uncovered something dark and twisted that ruined their friendship forever. Now Amy stands accused of committing a horrific crime, and the only hint to her motives is a hasty message that forces Piper and Margot to revisit the motel’s past, and the fate of two sisters who lived there in its heyday. Sylvie Slater had dreams of running off to Hollywood and becoming Alfred Hitchcock’s leading lady, while her little sister, Rose, was content with their simple life. Each believed the other to be something truly monstrous, but only one knows the secret that will haunt the generations to come.

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CasebookCasebook by Mona Simpson

“Lovely…. Hit[s] just the right notes of charm, humor, satire, sincerity…. Casebook is about a mother’s legacy to her son—important life lessons, well learned.” —San Francisco Chronicle

Nine-year-old Miles Adler-Hart’s mother, “the Mims,” is “pretty for a mathematician.” Miles and his best friend Hector are in thrall to her. When her marriage starts to unravel, the boys begin spying on her to find out why. They rifle through her dresser drawers, bug her telephone lines, and strip-mine her computer. Ultimately, what they find will affect the family’s prosperity—and sanity.

Burdened with such powerful information, the boys struggle to deal with the existence of evil, and proceed to concoct hilarious modes of revenge on their villains. Casebook brilliantly reveals an American family coming apart at the seams and, simultaneously, reconstituting itself to sustain its members through their ultimate trial.

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HalfaLifelongRomanceHalf a Lifelong Romance by Eileen Chang

“An enveloping, haunting and insightful read, rich in Chang’s trademark passionate prose.” —The Wall Street Journal

Shanghai, 1930s. Shen Shijun, a young engineer, has fallen in love with his colleague, the beautiful Gu Manzhen. But dark circumstances force the two young lovers apart. As Manzhen and Shijun go on their separate paths, they lose track of one another, and their lives become filled with missed connections and tragic misunderstandings. At every turn, societal expectations seem to thwart their prospects for happiness. Still, Manzhen and Shijun dare to hold out hope—however slim—that they might one day meet again.

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MichelleObamaMichelle Obama by Peter Slevin

“A standout…. Michelle Obama’s story is an American classic.” —USA Today

This is the inspiring story of a modern American icon, the first comprehensive account of the life and times of Michelle Obama. Peter Slevin follows Michelle to the White House from her working-class childhood on Chicago’s largely segregated South Side. He illuminates her tribulations at Princeton University and Harvard Law School during the racially charged 1980s and the dilemmas she faced in Chicago while building a high-powered career, raising a family, and helping a young community organizer named Barack Obama become president of the United States. From the lessons she learned in Chicago to the messages she shares as one of the most recognizable women in the world, the story of this First Lady is the story of America.

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SomeLuckSome Luck by Jane Smiley

“A monumental portrait of an American family and an American century…. Smiley’s plot is a marvel of intricacy that’s full of surprises.” —Los Angeles Times

Each chapter in this extraordinary novel covers a single year in the life of the Langdon family, encompassing the sweep of history as they abide by time-honored values and pass them on to their children. With the country on the cusp of enormous social and economic change through the early 1950s, we watch as the personal and the historical merge seamlessly: one moment electricity is just beginning to power the farm, and the next a son is volunteering to fight the Nazis. Later still, a girl we’d seen growing up now has a little girl of her own.

The first volume of an epic trilogy from a beloved writer at the height of her powers, Some Luck starts us on a literary adventure through cycles of birth and death, passion and betrayal that will span a century in America.

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HowToBeAHeroineHow to Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis

“A fantastically inspirational memoir that makes you want to reread far too many books.” —The Observer

While debating literature’s greatest heroines with her best friend, thirty-something playwright Samantha Ellis has a revelation—her whole life, she’s been trying to be Cathy Earnshaw of Wuthering Heights when she should have been trying to be Jane Eyre. With this discovery, she embarks on a retrospective look at the literary ladies whom she has loved since childhood. From early obsessions with the March sisters to her later idolization of Sylvia Plath, Ellis evaluates how her heroines stack up today. She also shares a frank, often humorous account of her own life growing up in a tight-knit Iraqi Jewish community in London. Here a life-long reader explores how heroines shape all our lives.

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