Last minute Mother's Day gifts from the bookstore

New books to give Mom for Mother's Day. Photo: (RT) Mother's Day book suggestions

DOTHAN, AL, May 10, 2013 — It has been a hectic month, right? Work is a drag, the kids were sick, the car would not start, and the basement flooded during the last rain storm. All of a sudden you remember this Sunday is Mother’s Day and you have not done anything about it.

You quickly check online and discover that the cost of a last-minute floral arrangement rivals your monthly mortgage payment. You try to get a reservation at a nice restaurant and hear that they cannot fit you in until the Monday after Mother’s Day.

What to do? Go to the bookstore! How do you decide what to buy for Mom once you get there?

This selection of titles is based on a highly unscientific survey of real moms, most of whom work, do not need another cookbook, are sick of laundry and love to turn off the world while soaking in a hot tub with a good book. Well, the part about a “good book” was made up, but the moms surveyed did say they value their alone time and having a good read helps them relax. Some moms even like to laugh so there are a few humorous titles included as well.

If you think your mother is ready to put down that print book and pick up an e-reader instead, now is the time to buy either Kindle or Nook. Amazon is running a Mother’s Day promotion on the 7-inch Kindle Fire for $179 versus the usual $199, while Barnes & Noble has temporarily dropped the price on the 7-inch Nook tablet to $149. On Amazon use the coupon code FIRE4MOM.

Of course you can also just give your mom a gift certificate to a bookstore. Most moms we know still enjoy a quiet afternoon of browsing just as much as going out to dinner, especially since they do not have to get all dressed up. If you do choose books over flowers, let us know how it goes and what your mom liked best.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!


Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, Harper, 448pp.
On her way to a tryst with a younger man, a restless farm wife discovers a lake of fire that she regards as a miracle, but which also attracts journalists, scientists and religious leaders in a circus-like atmosphere.

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan, Nan A. Talese, 320pp.
It’s 1972 and Cambridge student Serena Frome is recruited by MI5 to infiltrate a literary circle as part of a government plan to manipulate popular writers, including one she grows to love.

Fly Away by Kristin Hannah, St. Martin’s Press, 416pp.
A woman promises her terminally ill best friend she will care for her children, but knows nothing of kids or family life. She finds an unlikely ally in her own mother, who had abandoned her years before.

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, Scribner, 352pp.
An Australian lightkeeper’s wife suffers two miscarriages and a still birth then one day finds an abandoned baby that she and her husband decide to keep and not report to the authorities.

The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro, Algonquin Books, 368pp.
A struggling young female artist gets involved in the search for 13 works of art, worth over $500 million today, that were stolen from a Boston museum in 1990.   

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, Reagan Arthur Books, 544pp.
Starting in 1910, Ursula Todd experiences death and rebirth over and over until she eventually grows up and finds herself with an opportunity to kill Adolph Hitler at the start of World War II.


Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris, Little, Brown & Co., 288pp.
Humorist David Sedaris is back with an all new collection of essays and stories about topics ranging from his first colonoscopy, the time he considered buying a Pygmy skeleton and his father’s attire at dinner.

I Could Pee on This (And Other Poems by Cats) by Francesco Marciuliano, Chronicle Books, 112pp.
This is a book of tongue-in-cheek poems that reveal the inner workings of the cat psyche and explain their seemingly odd behavior to ignorant humans.

Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou, Random House, 224pp.
Angelou reveals for the first time the details of her relationship with her mother, who abandoned her at age three, and their subsequent reunion and reconciliation a decade later.

Vader’s Little Princess by Jeffrey Brown, Chronicle Books
A funny look at Darth Vader’s parenting skills while raising his daughter Leia from sweet little girl to rebellious teenager who tried to get out of the house in just a metal bikini.

Carrie and Me, A Mother-Daughter Love Story by Carol Burnett, S&S, 224pp.
Carol Burnett’s loving tribute to her daughter Carrie, who died of cancer at age 38. Described as “only a story a mother could write,” Burnett chronicles her daughter’s personal life and artistic career.

Unsinkable by Debbie Reynolds, Wm. Morrow & Co., 320pp.
A tell-all memoir by the legendary actress and performer that offers a close, inside look at Hollywood from the glory days of MGM Studios to the present day.


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Rick Townley

Rick Townley was a bookseller before switching to electronic publishing with The New York Times, Reuters, Grolier and others. He is the author of a humor book, For Boomers Only – Exploring Life in the New Millennium, a supernatural novel, Stepping Out of Time, and numerous short stories. In addition to contributing to the Washington Times Communities, Rick is working on a fiction series called Stigma and resides in southern Alabama with his 7-year-old granddaughter, Chloe.


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