A good book serves readers like a mini-vacation, which most of us could use right about now given spring's long-drawn-out and soggy start. If you give one to your mother, be sure to throw in some nice chocolate too while you're at it. She'll need provisions on vacation, after all.
To come up with some book suggestions, I consulted with Irene at the Lynnfield Library. Irene's a reader and a list-keeper too. Despite some apologies for not having a list of Mother's Day suggestion, she still rattled off over a dozen suggestions in less than five minutes. You gotta love librarians.
"A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson and The Bone Setters Daughter by Amy Tan are both pretty popular," she said. Tan's is the older of the two books and was a New York Times Notable book in 2001.
Jackson's novel follows the lives of three generations of women, the first two hoping to protect the youngest from the early struggles of their lives. In Tan's book, a Chinese mother and daughter come to terms with each other.
"I'm about to read Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton, said Irene. "I love historical fiction." She also recommends Shanghai Girls and the sequel Dreams of Joy by Lisa See. "The books are about girls who come to America. This is their story."
In the non-fiction category: Irene's pick is Bloom: A Memoir by Kelle Hampton. The author describes the first year after her daughter was born with Downs Syndrome and how that experience transformed their family. She writes, "There is us. Our Family. We will embrace this beauty and make something of it. We will hold our precious gift and know that we are lucky."
I just finished The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan. The subtitle tells it all: How My Mother Raised 10 Kids on 25 Words or Less. Ryan describes her family story, which is really her mother's story of surviving and thriving despite her alcoholic husband and their poverty. The Ryan children were raised with joy and hope in something better, all thanks to their loving, devoted and remarkable mother.
One of my all-time favorite books about moms is Bailey White's book, Mama Makes Up Her Mind. Truly funny vignettes of the author's idiosyncratic mother make the book an easy and quick read.
If a book won't cut it with your mom, then you can always give her what she really wants. Spend some time with her. I'm taking my mother in to visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum so that we can see the new wing, and I reserved library passes to do get in. ($5 each) I figure I can spend the savings on her.
Try the Harvard Museum of Natural History, if she's a fan of those glass flowers. The library pass admits four people at $4 each. Check out the full list and program details at the library web site. http://www.noblenet.org/lynnfield/museum-pass-program
Make sure you give her a hug. And don't forget the chocolate.