Best "Non-Required" Reading for Moms
- Next1 of 9Glo
- Previous Next2 of 9Random House
- Previous Next3 of 9Green Writers Press
- Previous Next4 of 9Vintage
- Previous Next5 of 9HighBridge Company
- Previous Next6 of 9Demeter Press
- Previous Next7 of 9Grove Press
- Previous Next8 of 9Vintage
- Previous Next9 of 9Back Bay Books
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By the Book1 of 9
By Katherine Berg
From What to Expect When You're Expecting to Parenting Your Adult Child, a mother could spend a lifetime reading instructions on raising children. But the books we've compiled here pick up where the how-to books leave off. You won't find a lick of advice in them, but you will find reflections on motherhood brimming with hilarity, beauty, hysteria, honesty, despair, unimaginable triumph, and bottomless love. You know, kind of like the real thing.
Family Ties2 of 9
When Maya Angelou was only 3 and her parents' marriage was falling apart, her mother sent her and her brother from their home in California to live with their grandmother in Arkansas. This early abandonment haunted Angelou for years. But in Mom & Me & Mom, Angelou finally tells the story of her reconciliation with her mother and the deep mutual respect that grew between these two larger-than-life women. Mom & Me & Mom is a powerful testament to the complexity and endless possibility of unconditional love.
Keeping It Real3 of 9
Photographer Jade Beall launched A Beautiful Body Project online to push back against unrealistic, Photoshopped images of the female body. Most recently she's turned her camera's gaze on the figures of women who have recently given birth. The Bodies of Mothers is an inspiring and affirming collection of these gentle, black-and-white images. The mothers she reveals to us are sometimes tattooed, sometimes scarred, sometimes a little flabby—bodies that have lived and given life. Through Beall's lens, we recognize them all as beautiful.
Perfectly Imperfect4 of 9
Mona Simpson is a master of capturing highly imperfect mothers whose love ultimately matters more than exemplary child-rearing skills. Anywhere But Here is the story of Adele, a wild dreamer who is also wildly irresponsible, and her daughter, Ann. For anyone who has an imperfect mother (so, all of us), this novel offers the sweet relief that at least we weren't raised by Adele. But seeing her through her daughter's eyes, we also come to forgive this flawed mother—and even love her a little, too.
On the Road5 of 9
The audio collection, NPR Driveway Moments Moms: Stories That Won't Let You Go, is a compilation of brief personal essays about motherhood. With titles like "Solving the Mystery of Mother-Daughter Speak" to "Mementos Honor Sons Lost to War," the stories range from laugh-til-you-cry funny to heartbreakingly moving. For the mother who spends far more time in the car than cuddled up on the couch, these stories offer a riveting break from the radio.
Waxing Poetic6 of 9
Chock full of poems by some of the most celebrated poets of this century—Adrienne Rich, Allen Ginsburg, Anne Sexton—White Ink: Poems on Mothers and Motherhood is vast in scope and vision. It's not a flowery, thank-you card to Mom. It's a grand, soaring vision of the role of mothers at the very heart of all life on earth. Edgy, funny, longing, unflinching, melancholy, and devastatingly beautiful, the poems that fill White Ink's pages are as richly varied as the experience of motherhood itself.
Bringing Up Baby7 of 9
Pregnancy today comes with enough manuals to fill a minivan. And yet, no how-to book quite captures the particular absurdity of giving your body and your life over to a tiny being with a sorcerer's power to upend everything. Hilarious, poignant, and relentlessly honest, The Zygote Chronicles is a tale of the beautiful, goofy, and inevitable surrender of pregnancy. Through a series of fictional journal entries, this book gives us a breather from all that well-meaning guidance.
A Call to Action8 of 9
Half the Sky is more than a book. Since its publication, it has given rise to a powerful social movement, changing the lives of women, mothers, and families around the world. But it all began with stories, like the one about a mother of five from Zimbabwe who receives help to return to school, earns her doctorate, and becomes an AIDS expert. Half the Sky brought global attention to the well-documented research that investing in the economic advancement of women everywhere is the single most effective means of alleviating poverty.
Maternal Instincts9 of 9
In Room, Emma Donoghue conjures a fictional captivity story of a mother and child. Told through the eyes of 5-year-old Jack, Room manages to be both a page-turner and a profoundly moving portrait of the fierce bonds of motherhood. As Jack gently guides us through his tiny world—a single room where he lives alone with "Ma"—we fill in the blanks of how they came to be there and the monster who prevents them from leaving. But, most of all, Room is a celebration of a mother's commitment to carving out a world, however small, where love and imagination can triumph over evil.