Friday, May 11, 2012

What Book to Buy Mom?

Found these babies at the Bellevue Farmers Market
The day is nearly upon us. I vowed I would buy and send Mother's Day cards this year, only to fail myself and the mothers in my life once again.

If you're actually going to see Mom on the all-important day, you can still treat her to a book, however. And don't forget that University Book Store provides free gift-wrapping!

Moms come in all shapes, sizes and reading tastes, so I've come up with a selection of choices for you (some snarky, to be given at your own risk):

    For the mom who spends too much money: Martin Lindstrom's Brandwashed. Why we buy what we buy and how advertisers exploit the workings of our minds for nefarious purposes. Fascinating and delightful.


    For the mom who worries she didn't raise you kids right and wonders what will happen when she's gone: Kaui Hart Hemmings' The Descendants. Half train-wreck, half poignant story of figuring life out and cobbling it back together, this was a wonderful book. Several things had to be cut for the also-very-fine George Clooney movie, so even if you saw the movie it's more than worth the read. And--bonus--if she hates the book, she can watch George Clooney and tell you she liked it.

    For the romance-reading, time-travel-loving mom: Susanna Kearsley's The Winter Sea. Scottish men? Check. Long, flowing hair on cover? Check. Plucky heroine with sense of humor? Check. Kinda predictable ending (have you ever read a romance without one)? Check. If your mom liked Diana Gabaldon's Outlander, but you're too embarrassed to get her a book with so much sex, this might work.

    For the mom who watches the news too much and therefore worries something horrible will happen to you kids: Midnight in Peking by Paul French. A true-crime book set in the waning days of Peking before the Japanese invasion, this story has everything: a motherless young woman's horrific murder, a grieving father's checkered past and search for justice, an international cover-up, seamy back alleys and brothels--heck! even nudist excursions. She'll lap the book up, but don't expect her to let you go meet friends at the ice rink anymore or bike the Burke-Gilman Trail.

    For the mom who subscribes to People magazine and knows what's going on with Lindsay Lohan way before you do: Catherine McKenzie's Spin. This fictional confection features an alcoholic would-be journalist going undercover at a posh rehab resort to get the scoop on another inmate, a star referred to as TGND (The Girl Next Door). Like The Descendants, this book is half train-wreck, half froth, and wholly fun (yes, I know the fractions don't add up).

     And finally, the book I dedicated to my own mother this year, The Beresfords. Not because my mom was a drug-addict like Frannie's and I had to be taken in by rich stepcousins, but because it's a book about love and family and finding your way, with a lot of redemption thrown in.

    Happy Mother's Day to you all out there, and happy reading!


    1. "Outlander" is next in my to-read pile (I'm almost done with The Beresfords), but thanks for the warning. Maybe I'll just put it in my off-to-Half-Price-Books pile.

    2. Oh, no! Lots of people love that series. I just meant, if you gave it to Mom, it might cause some squirming, like watching GAME OF THRONES or THE TUDORS together. Har har.