15 New Books To Give Your Mom This Mother's Day

by Kerri Jarema

Did you get your love of reading from your grandmother, mother, aunt or some other awesome woman in your life? Are you struggling to figure out the perfect Mother's Day gift for one or all of the above? Are you feeling kind of silly know that you see where I'm going with this? Obviously there is nothing more a book-lover could possibly want for a gift than a stack of some fresh new reads, and there have been tons of great releases perfect for every woman on your Mother's Day list. Whether you're looking for a thriller, some witty memoir or some dense literary fiction (or maybe one of each if you've got a serious bookaholic on your hands) there is something here that you definitely need to run to your local bookstore for.

Maybe even grab a copy of the same book for yourself and all the ladies on your list while you're there, and start an impromptu mother-daughter book club. Reading together will only bring you closer, and if its one of the 15 books below will probably make you think, make you laugh and lead you to ask questions of each other you might not have ever thought of. What could be a better way to spend time celebrating the amazing women in your life?


'Into The Water' by Paula Hawkins

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged. Left behind is a lonely 15-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she'd never return.

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'Commonwealth' by Ann Patchett

One Sunday afternoon, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with author Leon Posen, their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book... forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and their deeply loyal connection.

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'You Don't Look Your Age...and Other Fairy Tales' by Sheila Nevins

Sheila Nevins has seen it all. A famed documentary producer (many credit her with creating the modern documentary) Nevins has always been behind the scenes. But now it s time for her to take center stage. Nevins was stopped at every path as a girlfriend, during motherhood, and with her career. You Don't Look Your Age is Nevins chance to tell how things really were, and are, for countless women, tackling topics including frenemies, infidelity, plastic surgery, dieting, Viagra, the heartbreak of young first love, the discomforts of growing old, and a celebration in the long run of what life has to offer.

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'Swimming Lessons' by Claire Fuller

Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, and hides them in the thousands of books he has collected over the years. When Ingrid has written her final letter she disappears from a Dorset beach, leaving behind her husband, and their two daughters, Flora and Nan. Twelve years later, Gil thinks he sees Ingrid from a bookshop window. Flora, who has never believed her mother drowned, returns home to care for her father and to try to finally discover what happened to Ingrid. But what Flora doesn’t realize is that the answers to her questions are hidden in the books that surround her.

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'The Book of Summer' by Michelle Gable

Bess Codman has returned to her family's Nantucket compound, Cliff House, for the first time in four years. The once-grand century-old home is eroding, and will soon fall into the sea. Though she has avoided the island, Bess must now pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave. The Book of Summer unravels the secrets of Cliff House through the voices of Ruby Packard, a bright-eyed and idealistic newlywed on the eve of WWII, the home's definitive guestbook, and Bess herself. Bess's grandmother always said it was a house of women, and Bess will come to understand the truth of her grandmother s words in ways she never contemplated.

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'Jackie's Girl: My Life with the Kennedy Family' by Kathy McKeon

In 1964, Kathy McKeon was just 20 years old and newly arrived from Ireland when she was hired as former first lady Jackie Kennedy’s personal assistant. The next 13 years of her life were spent in her service, during which she not only played a crucial role in raising young Caroline and John, Jr. but also had a front-row seat to some of the twentieth century’s most significant events. A rare and engrossing look at the private life of one of the most famous women of the 20th century, Jackie’s Girl is also a moving personal story of a young woman finding her identity and footing in a new country, along with the help of the most elegant woman in America.

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'By Any Name' by Cynthia Voigt

Rida is an orphan out of California who dances for the troops in the USO. Spencer is a naval officer with roots deep in New England's upper crust. They meet during World War II at an Officer's Club dance, and Spencer might have been dissuaded if he saw just one engagement ring on her finger, but instead, he sees four. The courtship is easy but Rida is a wild card, and Spencer's family can't accept her unconventional approach to marriage, motherhood, and life. Even Rida's four daughters struggle to understand her, but for them it becomes a quest; to untangle the mystery of their stubborn, off-beat, clear-sighted, loving, and above all mesmerizing mother.

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'Saints For All Occasions' by J. Courtney Sullivan

Nora and Theresa Flynn are 21 and 17 when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan—a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand. 50 years later, Nora is the matriarch of a big Catholic family with four grown children. Estranged from her sister and cut off from the world, Theresa is a cloistered nun, living in an abbey in rural Vermont. Until, after decades of silence, a sudden death forces Nora and Theresa to confront the choices they made so long ago.

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'Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine' by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. That, combined with her unusual appearance (scarred cheek, tendency to wear the same clothes), means that Eleanor has become a creature of habit and a bit of a loner. But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kind of friends who rescue each other from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

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'Homegoing' by Yaa Gyasi

Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in 18th century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana; the other follows Esi and her children into America. Generation after generation, Homegoing sets the fate of the individual against the obliterating movements of time, delivering unforgettable characters whose lives were shaped by historical forces beyond their control.

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'Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead' by Brené Brown

Living a brave life is not always easy: We are, inevitably, going to stumble and fall. It is the rise from falling that Brown takes as her subject in Rising Strong. As a grounded theory researcher, Brown has listened as a range of people—from leaders in Fortune 500 companies and the military to artists, couples in long-term relationships, teachers, and parents—shared their stories of being brave, falling, and getting back up. Rising Strong tells us what it takes to get back up, and how owning our stories of disappointment, failure, and heartbreak gives us the power to write a daring new ending.

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'Hot Milk' by Deborah Levy

Sofia has spent much of her life trying to solve the mystery of her mother's unexplainable illness. She and her mother travel to Spain to see a famous consultant—their very last chance—in the hope that he might cure her unpredictable limb paralysis. But Dr. Gomez has strange methods that seem to have little to do with physical medicine, and as the treatment progresses, Rose's illness becomes increasingly baffling. Sofia's role as detective—tracking her mother's symptoms in an attempt to find the secret motivation for her pain—deepens as she discovers her own desires in this transient desert community.

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'Anything Is Possible' by Elizabeth Strout

Anything Is Possible explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others. Here are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother’s happiness in a foreign country. Reverberating with the deep bonds of family, and the hope that comes with reconciliation.

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'The Meaning of Michelle: 16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own' by Veronica Chambers

Michelle Obama is unlike any other First Lady in American History. From her first moments on the public stage, she has challenged traditional American notions about what it means to be beautiful, to be strong, to be fashion-conscious, to be healthy, to be First Mom, to be a caretaker and hostess, and to be partner to the most powerful man in the world. While many books have looked at Michelle Obama from a fashion perspective, no book has fully explored what she means to our culture. The Meaning of Michelle does just that, through essays by contributors including Ava DuVernay, Phillipa Soo and Roxane Gay.

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'What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky' by Lesley Nneka Arimah

This debut collection explores the ties that bind parents and children, husbands and wives, lovers and friends to one another and to the places they call home. In "Who Will Greet You at Home", a woman desperate for a child weaves one out of hair, with unsettling results. In "Wild", a disastrous night out shifts a teenager and her Nigerian cousin onto uneasy common ground. In "The Future Looks Good," three generations of women are haunted by the ghosts of war, while in "Light," a father struggles to protect and empower the daughter he loves. Each story weaves magical realism with incredibly human stories for a collection that is as evocative as it is relatable.

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