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  • Jeff Somers 4:00 pm on 2019/03/11 Permalink
    Tags: an irish country doctor, anne enright, armchair travel, , , chestnut street, , , frank delaney, galway bay, , holidays, , , , , mary pat kelly, , , patricia falvey, patrick taylor, , smile roddy doyle, the daighters of ireland, the green road, , , , , unraveling oliver: a novel   

    A Literary Tour of Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day 

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    As with every cultural holiday, St. Patrick’s Day often gets diluted and boiled down to its trappings—the green beer, the folk songs, the parades. And while everyone loves a good green beer, there’s so much more to Ireland in terms of history, culture—and literature. Some of the greatest writers, living and otherwise, are Irish, so this year let’s make a pledge to prep for March 17th by taking a deep dive into books coming out of the Emerald Isle. We’ll kick things off with this list of 12 must-read books by Irish authors, running the gamut from literary fiction to thrillers with a few stops in-between.

    Chestnut Street, by Maeve Binchy
    Published after the author’s death in 2012, this collection of short stories collects work Binchy produced over the course of her career, and thus offers not just a ground-level glimpse of Irish life and culture but an overview of Binchy’s writing style itself. The stories focus on ordinary people dealing with the ordinary, epic problems that everyone has. Husbands leave their wives and discover they’re still not happy. People struggle with jealousy, with heartbreak, with professional and personal failure. These stories—set in a single Dublin neighborhood, by and large—offer a fascinating glimpse into the lives of its residents.

    Ireland, by Frank Delaney
    Delaney, a celebrated broadcaster and writer, offers up the history of Ireland framed as a series of fascinating stories told by a traveling Storyteller who visits nine-year old Ronan O’Mara in 1951. Trading stories for a bed and a meal, the Storyteller captivates Ronan—and the reader—with his tales of Irish Kings and warriors, until a story Ronan’s mother deems blasphemous sees him expelled from the house. Ronan goes in search of the Storyteller, and slowly evolves into a Storyteller himself, traveling Ireland and passing the stories on to a new generation. It’s a delightful book that acts as a stealth education on Ireland and its people.

    Smile, by Roddy Doyle
    Irish authors know how to spin a story like no one else. Booker Prize-winner Doyle returns with a fascinating character study that follows Victor Forde, a past-his-prime radio commentator who returns to his dingy hometown after separating from his celebrity chef wife. Abandoning his determination to make friends and do some writing, Forde drinks his sorrows away at Donnelly’s pub, spending time with the locals and then tottering off to work on a project he never quite gets started. One night at Donnelly’s, Forde encounters an old schoolmate, Fitzpatrick, a man he doesn’t remember from his violent years at St. Martin’s Christian Brothers School. Fitzpatrick forces Forde to revisit those dark childhood years, unraveling a decades-old mystery and memories of sexual abuse, and slowly becomes the man’s unlikely best friend, as Doyle builds to an ending both unexpected and inevitable.

    The Green Road, by Anne Enright
    Booker Prize-winning Enright was also the first Laureate for Irish Fiction, and this book tells the story of siblings dominated—and driven away—by their dramatic, excitable mother. Enright’s story is Irish, but she smartly sends the four Madigan children out into the world, where the language subtly loses its brogue and Enright can explore what it means to be Irish in the same larger context that people deal with in real life. The result is a marvelous story about family, about culture, and about those who choose to head out into the world and those who choose to stay close to home, and what those decisions cost each of them.

    The Yellow House, by Patricia Falvey
    Falvey, who was born in Northern Ireland but moved to America when she was twenty, left a high-powered job at PricewaterhouseCoopers to write her first novel—and you’ll be glad she did. The violence that plagued Northern Ireland throughout the 20th century is a vital part of Irish history, and Falvey frames it with a story about a determined young woman struggling to hold onto what’s hers in the midst of war both local and global, ultimately finding herself torn between two very different men. It’s as fiery and romantic as you want your Irish stories to be, and offers a perspective on the bloody sectarian violence that has defined much of recent history in the area, making this a moving and powerful read.

    The Irish Princess, by Karen Harper
    Harper offers up a gorgeous, lush story set in the 16th century. If you love historical narratives from outside perspectives, you will love the story of Elizabeth Fitzgerald, a girl born to Irish royalty…and a girl who knew the wrath of Henry VIII almost as much as his wives. The King imprisons her father, destroying her family, and she must seek allegiances and avoid enemies in the perilous English court of the aging king, seeing firsthand the fate of his wives and the intelligence and spirit of the young princesses, Mary and (future queen) Elizabeth.

    Galway Bay, by Mary Pat Kelly
    While the Great Irish Starvation might not seem like a particularly lush historical period for fiction, Kelly tells the story of her own family through that lens to spectacular effect. Beginning with Honora Keeley in 1839, who meets her future husband Michael Kelly swimming in Galway Bay, the story takes them through years of failed crops and bare survival before the momentous decision to take the trip to America to make a new life. Kelly’s chronicle of her own ancestors’ struggles and triumphs paints a masterful picture of a culture, a family, and an America in constant transition.

    The Daughters of Ireland, by Santa Montefiore
    A sequel to Montefiore’s The Girl in the Castle, this novel stands on its own and tells the story of Celia Deverill, who takes possession of the ruined Deverill Castle in 1925. She spends years lovingly refurbishing and repairing the place, only to see her family’s fortune destroyed in the crash of 1929—and her father and brother lost as well. Worse, she’s set upon by a blackmailer who tells her that her father’s fortune wasn’t exactly on the up-and-up, and Celia decides that she must clear her father’s name and rebuild her life using only her own energies. An ancient castle? A determined woman? This is the stuff of great stories, and Montefiore earns her bestselling status with a story of Ireland that will make you want a tour of the castles immediately.

    Unraveling Oliver: A Novel, by Liz Nugent
    Just in case you thought Ireland was all about gorgeous landscapes, romance, and the local pub, Nugent offers up this sprawling puzzle of a book. This is the story of Oliver Ryan, a successful children’s author in Dublin with a seemingly happy home life who one evening assaults his wife Alice, nearly killing her. But it’s also the story of everyone in Oliver’s life, past and present, who offer their stories about the man, weaving in and out of his own recollections. Bit by bit Oliver is exposed and the cause of his moment of violence is pieced together. Nugent brilliantly offers up stories that at first seem entertaining but unnecessary, then slowly links them more and more deeply until they click into place as essential clues. Dark and twisty, Nugent’s debut novel is urgent and violent and reminds us that we can walk away from our traumas, but we can never escape them.

    The Princes of Ireland, by Edward Rutherfurd
    An epic historical saga of the entirety of Irish history from Ireland in A.D. pre-Christian society through the founding of the Free Irish State, this novel follows fictional families through eras of Irish triumph and travails, starting with a romance in the 5th century that leads to tragedy and twisting and winding its way through time, stopping to note the arrival of Saint Patrick, the Viking attacks, the conquest by England, and the hanging of Silken Thomas in 1537. Threading history through the personal stories of people real and imagined, Rutherford paints a memorable picture of what Ireland was, is, and could be, making this an absolute joy to read, whether it’s St. Patrick’s Day or not.

    An Irish Country Doctor, by Patrick Taylor
    Taylor based this (and other books in his Irish Country series) on his own journals and notes from his youth, and the end result is a delight. Set in the 1960s in rural Ireland, freshly graduated Barry Laverty takes an apprenticeship with a small-town doctor (‛tiny’ is probably a better word than ‛small,’ actually) whose methods seem odd, but who slowly impresses Barry with his wisdom and dedication even as Barry gets sucked into the myriad local dramas and gossips that make small towns everywhere—but perhaps especially in Ireland—so interesting. This is the sort of book you sink into and get lost in, the sort of book that makes you want to book a trip to the Irish countryside immediately, and thus the ideal book to read in the month of March.

    Brooklyn, by Colm Tóibín
    Since the film adaptation of Brooklyn was nominated for an Oscar, more people than ever before know Tóibín’s name—and that is a very good thing. His status as a living link to Irish history is unparalleled: his grandfather was arrested during the 1916 Easter Rising, and his father was a member of the IRA. Tóibín’s work often explores Irish characters moving into unfamiliar cultures, which allows him to explore both with a deep intelligence and perceptive style that elevates his works above what are often fairly simple plots. He has commented that he grew up in a house with a “great deal of silence” and that his work “comes out of silence.” Ponder those statements while you’re reading some of the best writing of the modern age this St. Patrick’s Day.

    The post A Literary Tour of Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 4:00 pm on 2017/10/26 Permalink
    Tags: beauty and the beast, , , holidays, , spooky costumes   

    Your Bookish Halloween Survival Guide 

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    Gather ‘round the Cauldron, because Halloween is almost here! From costume inspiration and hosting tips to party-appropriate chit-chat, we’ve got your bookish Hocus Pocus survival guide right here.

    1. Playing Dress Up on a Dime

    The most intimidating thing about Halloween is by far the costumes. Some people go ALL OUT! But when inspiration fails, you can always turn to books (and your own closet) for the perfect part to play. Got black pants and a black polo shirt? Braid your hair to the side and buy a cheap Mockingbird pin…voila, you’re Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games! (Bonus: this same costume works for Tris from Divergent—just add some combat boots and a temporary tattoo!)

    Pair a long black coat, a bright colored scarf, some white gloves, and an umbrella for an easy turn as Mary Poppins! (Bonus points if you bring her magic overnight bag filled with goodies for the party, see below for suggestions.) Another classic book character just needs a white button down, black skirt, black flats and some knee high socks—tease your hair and top with a pink bow to dazzle the crowd as Eloise!

    Let’s not forget the guys, who, let’s face it, always have it easier. Got a nice black suit you never wear? The costume options are endless: splash some fake blood on your face for a look from American Psycho; buy some black-rimmed glasses for Clark Kent and hide a superman T shirt underneath; buy a deerstalker hat online and you’re Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes.

    1. Cast Spells…I Mean, Play Party Games

    Every party needs some quality games! Using books as inspiration, write down the names of famous book characters on index cards. (You can even keep it Halloween themed and stick to magical ones.) Then, have someone select a card and place it on their forehead facing out, so they can’t see who they are. Then, it’s a classic game of twenty questions to find out whether they are Severus Snape, Frankenstein, Jamie Fraser, or Wonder Woman! (You can also play this game as charades, because who doesn’t want to see their friend’s best Edgar Allen Poe impression?)

    Murder mystery parties are always popular, and there are kits online you can buy to get started! And last but certainly not least, once you have a few literary-themed libations inside you, telling ghost stories will be equally horrifying and hilarious.

    1. Let Them Eat Cake (or Chocolate Frogs)

    It’s impossible to survive Halloween without snacks. As they always say, you can’t go wrong with Harry Potter-inspired snacks: some chocolate frogs, golden snitch cake pops, and butterbeer ice cream will do the trick! Throw a tea party by way of Alice in Wonderland, with tea sandwiches and cookies decorated like playing cards, or go full Regency Jane Eyre style with seed cake, trifle, white soup, and poached salmon. Finally, you could always serve wedding cake with the Game of Thrones wines, but be careful there are no Lannister loyalists present.

    1. Be Our Guest (and always bring a gift)

    If you’re not hosting the party, but attending instead, it’s always polite to bring a gift. If the party is bookish-themed, why not bring your favorite tome? For witchy parties, Practical Magic is perfect. For horror bashes, some vintage Goosebumps books would be fun! If Disney is the theme of the day, the Beauty and the Beast DVD is a great choice.

    1. Staying In Can Still Be Spooky

    If Halloween parties aren’t your thing, but you still want to celebrate, go all out! Buy some classic horror movies like Phantom of the Opera, Dracula, and Hocus Pocus and go to town (and still get to bed before the moon is full.)

    Happy Halloween, bookworms!

    The post Your Bookish Halloween Survival Guide appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Melissa Albert 8:19 pm on 2017/04/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , holidays, ,   

    9 Cookbooks to Gift the Mom in Your Life this Mother’s Day 

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    Keying into your senses of taste and smell create an onslaught of nostalgic memories: Doing homework on a weekday afternoon while grandma gets dinner ready. Helping mom make your birthday cake, hoping she’ll let you lick the mixing bowl. Passing on the tradition of family recipes to the next generation of kids. Recipes are laced not just with delicious flavors, but with family histories that go back for generations. Here are 9 cookbooks to give this Mother’s Day that share recipes and recount family stories of meals from the past and for the future.

    Cooking with Nonna, by Rossella Rago
    The tender web series Cooking with Nonna stars Rossella Rago alongside a number of Italian grandmas (aka, Nonnas). Though Rago mainly features her own Nonna, Romana, Nonnas from various regions throughout Italy are given time to showcase their specialties. The web series spinoff cookbook celebrates not only sweets like Struffoli and Ricotta Cookies, but sweet moments of human connection.

    French Country Cooking, by Mimi Thorisson
    The dream of leaving your old life behind and taking your family to live in an old château in the French countryside is one many have entertained. Renowned French food blogger Mimi Thorisson did just that, along with her husband, seven children, and fourteen dogs. Moving into a once lively, now shuttered villa in the famed wine region of Médoc, Thorisson documented the family’s transition through stories and recipes, while her husband captured their bright days in vibrant photographs. Leafing through the book is like taking a sojourn of your own.

    Fix-It and Forget-It Favorite Slow Cooker Recipes for Mom, by Hope Comerford
    What parent doesn’t like a home-cooked meal they can make with very little time and attention? The slow cooker can be a magic wand that adds minutes to the clock. With tips and tricks galore, this Fix-It and Forget-It cookbook takes slow-cooker recipes to the next level. The 150 dishes include not just soups and stews, but risottos, casseroles, and other savory goodies.

    The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook, by Patricia Tanumihardja
    In many cultures, the grandmother plays a central role in the family. This cookbook by Patricia Tanumihardja is a love letter to Asian grandmothers. It recounts immigrant stories, homesickness for a land left behind, and how to find a sense of home through food. With 130 mouthwatering Asian dishes (Filipino Chicken Adobo, Shanghai Soup Dumplings, Thai Stuffed Omelet) paired with profiles of real grandmas, this book has readers young and old feeling like kids again in the warmth of their grandma’s kitchen.

    Food52 A New Way to Dinner, by Amanda Hesser, Merrill Stubbs
    From Food52 founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, authoritative voices in food, comes a book about how these two moms have busy full-time jobs writing about cooking while still managing to feed their own families (it all comes down to strategy and tactics). Building on the Sunday prep method, the book sets up meals for the week using similar bases, yet manages to create a diversity of flavors so no one can complain about a lack of variety. With tailored shopping lists included, this book helps busy parents juggle life.

    Soul Food Love, by Alice Randall, Caroline Randall Williams
    Written by mother/daughter duo Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams, an author and poet, respectively, this cookbook takes classic soul food recipes and updates them with a nutritious touch. With these two prolific scribes taking on the recipes, the words are as appetizing as the dishes they create. The book delves into the past, present, and future of African American cuisine, kneading history and health into every bite, and tracing the lineages of ingredients.  

    Lucky Peach All About Eggs, by Rachel Khong, the editors of Lucky Peach
    All praise the mother hen, who gives us her eggs to make some of our most delicious dishes: Shakshuka, Omelets, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Egg Curry, and so, so, so, many more. Author Rachel Khong, former editor of Lucky Peach, entices the reader with her inviting, humorous voice. Beyond the many recipes, the book is an ode to eggs, including essays from various Lucky Peach editors (the history of how the egg made its way to the plate, the different kinds of eggs we eat) and idiosyncratic graphics.

    My Mother’s Kitchen, by Peter Gethers
    When cookbook author and chef mentor Judy Gethers entered her golden years, her son, Peter, decided to re-create her favorite menu selections and write about it. Though Peter doesn’t exactly have his mother’s touch in the kitchen, his amateur status adds to the book’s heartfelt appreciation of cooking for those you love. Delving into Gethers family history with humor and melancholy, My Mother’s Kitchen is at once a cookbook, a collection of memories, and an elegy to an inimitable woman. Keep the tissues close for this one.

    Mix-and-Match Mama Kids in the Kitchen, by Shay Shull
    This book offers exactly what its title describes: tips for cooking with kids! Inviting kids into the kitchen can be scary, but this cookbook breaks down techniques by age group. With easy-to-follow recipes like Ham, Bacon, and Gruyère Pinwheels and Greek Yogurt Popsicles, kids can get their hands dirty for some finger-licking delicious treats.

    The post 9 Cookbooks to Gift the Mom in Your Life this Mother’s Day appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Heidi Fiedler 3:40 pm on 2017/04/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , , holidays,   

    33 Books to Read with Your Mother 

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    Whether your mom is just upstairs or thousands of miles away, reading a book together is a wonderful way to connect. You can introduce her to your favorite characters, learn something new, or just escape into a dreamy world of happy endings. The books on this list are sure to make you feel closer and more connected. Pick up two copies, one for you and one for her, and enjoy!

    My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante
    Reading this phenomenal series is a highbrow but thoroughly enjoyable way to celebrate friendship between women, whether those women are neighbors, sisters, or mothers. (You can also trade notes on what pen name you would use if you were to become an international bestselling author.)

    Bad Girls Throughout History, by Ann Shen
    What if mothers and daughters traded biographical tidbits about accomplished women the way sports fans trade stats? This collection of 100 profiles of revolutionary women includes pirates, scientists, spies, and other ladies who ditch ideas of “ladylike” and are sure to inspire you and your mother to live boldly and have some fabulously naughty conversations.

    Just Between Us, by Meredith and Sofie Jacobs
    Girl’s Life Magazine says this is the perfect gift for Mother’s Day, and we agree. The prompts in this shared journal will help you get to know everything from your mom’s guilty pleasure to her favorite thing about you. And if you don’t tear up writing about your favorite memory of your mom, you’re probably doing it wrong.

    Present Over Perfect, by Shauna Niequist
    When Brené Brown says read a book, you read the book. This collection of essays is all about slowing down, simplifying, stepping away from worry, and doing what matters—like spending time with your mom. If you’re craving a deeper relationship with your mother or simply looking to feel more present, this book will stay with you for years to come.

    The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah
    If you want to start your own private book club à deux, this World War II novel about two sisters is a lovely place to start. With strong themes of loyalty, courage, and family, this tearjerker will leave you wanting nothing more than to give your mom a big hug, open a bottle of wine, and talk about this story.

    Other Minds, by Peter Godfrey-Smith
    If your relationship with your mom is less a meeting of the minds and more a battle against misunderstanding, contemplating the vast differences between humans and animals may help put it all in perspective. Written by a philosopher, this book examines how cephalopods think. Discussing animals that are highly intelligent but as alien as can be here on Earth, this book shines a light on the consciousness we share with other creatures—including our own mothers.

    The House on Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros
    See life through the eyes of a young girl who’s figuring out what it means to be a Latina woman in America, and join the many readers who have fallen in love with this book, including Maxine Hong Kingston and Julia Alvarez. For maximum enjoyment, we recommend reading this classic coming of age story with your mama over some mango with a little chili powder, lemon, and salt.

    White Teeth, by Zadie Smith
    If you can’t travel around the world with your mom, people watching together and listening to her commentary, this novel is the next best thing. Set in London, it follows a Muslim family and a Jamaican family as their stories intersect with vibrantly detailed characters and the full force of history.

    Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born, by Tina Cassidy
    This book looks at the natural birth process from a cultural perspective and encourages readers to move away from false assumptions about how “it’s always been this way,” to how and why women give birth in so many different ways around the world and throughout history. This fascinating read is sure to inspire questions about your own birth, and moving answers.

    The Magnolia Story, by Chip and Joanna Gaines
    For those who love nothing more than to binge Fixer Upper with their moms, reading this memoir from the stars of the dreamy TV show is a total pleasure. Daydream about being friends with Joanna, learn how the Gaines’ couple got engaged, and laugh at Chip’s many schemes (that are actually pretty brilliant). Then debrief with your mom when you’re in between seasons of your favorite home reno show.

    Women in Science, by Rachel Ignotofsky
    Geek out over 50 women who have made the world a better place through science, technology, engineering, and math. Illustrated biographies and infographics are filled with fun facts you’ll want to swap with each other. Both you and mom are sure to finish this book feeling inspired. And bonus, you can send each other book reports via the matching postcards—or just say I love you from afar.

    Notorious RBG, by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
    Take a deep dive on Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with this biography that’s one part history book, one part annotated legal brief, and one part irreverent visual ode to this feminist pioneer. With interviews from friends, family, colleagues, and the Justice herself, this book will prompt your mom to tell stories about the way things used to be, and you’ll be in awe of all that has changed. The perfect book to read when you’re both worried about how much further we have to go.

    The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan
    This classic novel is told from the perspective of Chinese mothers and daughters. Readers experience the way their stories echo, overlap, and diverge through the generations. Filled with complex characters and poetic language, this is a book you’ll be talking about together for many years to come.

    Hidden Figures, by Margo Lee Shetterly
    Whether you watched the movie or not, you’ll want to share this book with your mom. It tells the true story of the African American women who worked at NASA in the ’50s and ’60s and played an integral role in making the space program successful. It’s a painful history to read, but sure to leave you feeling proud to be a woman.

    The Whole 30, by Melissa Hartwig
    Whether you’re trying to lose weight, investigating allergies, or just trying to have more energy, if you’re doing your first Whole 30, you’ll want to grab a buddy. Read the book with your mom, and soon you’ll be bonding over almond flour and grass-fed buffalo jerky. There’s nothing sweeter than finishing a Whole 30, having a cocktail, and toasting your accomplishment with your favorite person in the whole world.

    Yes, Please, by Amy Poehler
    Grab this book to prepare yourself, so you can swoop in if Tina Fey ever stops being Amy Poehler’s BFF—or just look for ways you can make your relationship with your mom funnier, sassier, and more positive. This collection of essays, poems, mantras, photographs, and lists tackles everything from plastic surgery to viewing your career as a nasty boyfriend. Smart advice from Amy Poehler? Yes, please!

    Caraval, by Stephanie Garber
    If you just want a flat-out juicy read, this novel about a fantastical performance that only happens once a year delivers. Love, betrayal, and magic all play a role in weaving a spell that leaves readers eager to share the experience with besties, book clubs, and moms who are ready to debate the meaning of the tagline “Remember, it’s only a game.”

    Rad American Women A-Z, by Kate Schatz
    Get inspired with this children’s book that includes short biographies and bright graphic illustrations. Patti Smith, Rachel Carson, first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation Willa Mankiller, and more are all introduced in A to Z fashion. Compare notes with your mom when you reach X “is for the women whose names we don’t know.” There’s sure to be a woman you want to add to this list.

    I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai
    Travel around the world, experience life under the Taliban, and learn what it means to live in a culture that believes girls shouldn’t go to school. Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai encourages readers to stand up in big and small ways for women everywhere, and her memoir is sure to leave you and your mother inspired to work together to help women around the world.

    Beloved, by Toni Morrison
    This classic historical novel is as much about the powerful bond between mothers and daughters as it is about slavery. An unforgettable read, this moving story will have you and your mom crying, hugging, and asking deep questions about what it means to truly be free.

    Talking as Fast as I Can, by Lauren Graham
    Until there’s a new Gilmore Girls season (maybe…hopefully…there’s gotta be!), you can share your love of all things Gilmore with Lauren Graham’s collection of essays. Written in the same smart, funny voice we love to watch on TV, Graham tells stories about living on a houseboat, dating in Hollywood, and developing the craft that has made so many mothers and daughters fall in love with her character.

    Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, by Maria Semple
    An idiosyncratic relationship between a precocious teenager and a childlike mother lies at the center of this hilarious and wise novel. Told through emails, letters, bills, FBI reports, and more, it will have readers examining their own relationships with tenderness and affection.

    Bringing Up Bébé, by Pamela Druckerman
    Debate whether the French have it all figured out, or if they know more about croissants than childcare, as you read this modern guide to parenting. Ask your mom when you started sleeping through the night, share a laugh over the curse words French children are allowed to say, and reassure your maman that you love her despite her provincial American parenting ways.

    Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
    Cheryl Strayed’s deep grief following her mother’s death is one of the tragedies that leads her to hike the grueling Pacific Crest Trail. But her mother’s love and wisdom also gives Strayed strength as she journeys away from addiction and a broken marriage, toward self-awareness and hope. This memoir is sure to leave you treasuring your own mother.

    Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
    Keep your mother-daughter book club going strong with this Oprah-endorsed bestseller. Elizabeth Gilbert is a joy to read, and this memoir about her time recovering from heartache and depression in Italy, India, and Indonesia transformed the lives of readers around the world. If you’re hoping to book a trip with your mom anytime soon, this is the perfect book to get you both inspired.

    Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child
    Start your own Julia and Julia project by working your way through over 500 recipes with your (hopefully patient) mom. Gasp as your soufflé falls, admire Julia’s clear instructions, and toast your own success whenever your results are edible. By the end of Volume II, you’ll surely have sharpened your knife skills, expanded your tastes, and enjoyed some good meals together.

    Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff
    Travel back in time with your mom to explore the life of one of history’s most famous women. Thoroughly researched and laced with sensuous details, this biography captures the queen’s mystique and celebrates her power. Just remember who the real royalty in your relationship is—mom!

    The Beauty and The Beast, by Gabrielle-Suzanna Barbot de Villenueve
    Indulge your bedtime fairytale fantasies with this 3D interactive book. With over 200 pages, there’s a foldout map of the Beast’s castle, a punch-out rose, and, of course, the beloved story. Relive tuck-ins with this magical tale that’s old as time.

    Becoming Wise, by Krista Tippett
    My mom wants to be friends with Krista Tippet, and I’m sure she’s not the only one. After interviewing so many deep thinkers, Tippet has put down her own wise words in a book that offers insights on how to live a meaningful life. Read it together, then talk about the big and small ways you can make the world, or simply the hours you spend together, a better place.

    The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion
    You can’t go wrong reading Joan Didion, and this title is one of her masterpieces. Written after her husband and daughter died in quick succession, in it Didion describes the brutal, crazy nature of grief in a way that will make you grateful to be alive and able to share this “one wild and precious life” with your mother.

    The House of Spirits, by Isabel Allende
    Discover the love, pain, and spirits that weave through the lives of three generations. A phenomenal example of magical realism, this literary classic will remind you of your own family, while at the same time transporting you to a world only a master storyteller like Allende could invent. The perfect book to read when you’ve been itching to ask your mom about your great-great-grandparents.

    The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo
    Head off an extensive clean-out session when your parents downsize with Marie Kondo’s approach to sorting, discarding, and organizing everything from books to clothes. Reading this together is a gift for your future self. And when your parents open the garage and find there’s plenty of room for their car, they’ll thank you, too.

    Hallelujah, Anyway, by Anne Lamott
    Whatever your relationship with your mother, forgiveness will go a long way in keeping it healthy. Wise writer Anne Lamott helps readers understand how to invite mercy into their relationships with family, friends and not friends, and even themselves. Read this with your mom, and you’ll soon experience more kindness and gentle grace during your time together. Hallelujah!

    The post 33 Books to Read with Your Mother appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jeff Somers 3:02 pm on 2017/04/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , , holidays,   

    This Mother’s Day, We Have a Book for Every Kind of Mom 

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    Every mother is different, and those of us with a good mom in our lives know how lucky we are to have her. While it can take an entire lifetime to truly appreciate your mom, Mother’s Day is a great reminder to show your love. Whether you’re celebrating your own mother, or another wonderful woman in your life, here are some suggestions for the perfect books to buy her. Because she deserves a gift that not only matches her personality, but demonstrates a deeper bond than any bath set or sweater can manage. Books, as usual, to the rescue.

    For the Book Devourer, try Into the Water, by Paula Hawkins
    Your mom has read everything. Ev-ery-thing. She’s a member of six book clubs and is known as the mom who shows up for every social occasion, school board meeting, and volunteer effort with at least one book in her voluminous tote bag. Finding a book for your mom isn’t a matter of nipping down to the local Barnes and Noble and picking something that looks good—you need to be cutting edge. Hawkins’ follow-up to the mega-smash The Girl on the Train hits shelves May 2, meaning you have decent odds of giving her a book she hasn’t read yet.

    For the Fun Mom, try Terms of Endearment, by Larry McMurty
    Your mom has always been a party-planning, sleepover-hosting, cookie-baking mistress of merriment. There’s never a dull moment with her, whether we’re talking one too many glasses of wine with her pals or movie night in the family room. For your effervescent mom, Terms of Endearment is not only a classic novel by one of the best living American writers, it’s also a character study of a mother and daughter who both suffer from a severe overabundance of personality.

    For the Den Mother, try Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
    Your mom is everyone’s mom. Your best friend called your mom first to tell her about the engagement, and your boss refers to her by her first name. She’s the sort who magically makes everything better by effortlessly caring for everyone in her line of sight. For her, the evergreen classic Little Women will resonate, with its story of Mrs. March and her devotion to her daughters, while also offering a subtle hint that you totally get how great she is.

    For the Master Planner, try Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple
    Your mom always has a plan. Every day has been organized, scheduled, and prepared for. As a kid your lunches were precise works of science. As an adult, you know exactly when your mom will call, and how long you’ll speak with her. Where’d You Go Bernadette might seem an unlikely choice at first, but its story of a mom who tries to control every aspect of her life until she simply can’t any more will work for the uber-organized as both catharsis and escape.

    For the Wanderlust Mom, try Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
    Your mom plans vacations years in advance, and every time you watch TV together she pays more attention to the location shoots than the story. Every country mentioned on the news, she wants to go to. Eat, Pray, Love is the perfect choice, both because it takes you on a journey to some of the loveliest places in the world, and because it totally gets the power and transformative magic of travel.

    For the Brainy Mom, try What If?, by Randall Munroe
    Your mom knocks out crossword puzzles in her spare time and has long-running online beefs with strangers over deep philosophical matters and string theory. What If? is the brainchild of ex-NASA scientist Munroe, who draws the brilliant online comic at xkcd.com. Readers often send him hypothetical “what if?” style questions, which he answers with rigorous scientific discipline and hilarity. These have been collected here, and your brainy mom will love it.

    For the Exhausted Career Mom, try The Chilbury Ladies Choir, by Jennifer Ryan
    For as long as you can remember, your mom was a harried blur pulling on heels as she exhorted you to get your school stuff, a woman who came home late with her laptop and a raft of files under one arm. What she needs is some escapist fare that isn’t dumb or fluffy—and The Chilbury Ladies Choir is ideal. Ostensibly a cozy story of women in a World War II–era town who are dismayed—then resistant—when informed that with all the men serving in the army the local choir should shut down, it’s really a charming, delightfully complex look at small-town life and the female friendships that drive it.

    For the Merry Retiree, try A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara
    Your mom did her work, raised her kids, and is enthusiastically romping through her golden years. Too often we assume that anyone over a certain age—especially women—just want to sit around and nap all day, but there’s plenty of living to be done. So forget books with an “appropriate” theme for a retiree—instead, think about a book like A Little Life, that was maybe too long for her to get around to when it was first released. Now she has the time and the attention for this absorbing, fascinating, brilliant character study.

    For the Marathon Yoga Mom, try Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty
    Your mom is always in yoga pants, and has a collection of marathon medals. She’s rocking a body all of her friends—and you—are jealous of. Don’t go too on the nose with some book about yoga, but dive headfirst into the zeitgeist with Moriarty’s fantastic thriller. The moms in this novel are your mom (minus the murder, we hope): they run every day, go to yoga, try to eat sensibly, and live well, with a side of some serious drama.

    For the Artistic Mom, try Love in a Cold Climate, by Nancy Mitford
    Your mom always has a paint-splattered apron on, or her hands are always slightly pink from clay. Mitford’s lovely writing is ideal for any mom—or any person who likes to read. But the dreamy, sharp humor of this novel will be ideal for your arty mom, as will the character of the Bolter, based on a real-life society woman who scandalized everyone at the time with her habit of fleeing her many marriages.

    The post This Mother’s Day, We Have a Book for Every Kind of Mom appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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