First of all, Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there!
I wanted to do a special Mother’s Day post; a list of books for moms, that moms loved, about moms… Something along those lines. But all I could find was gift lists. Or lists full of self help books and let’s face it, giving Mom a self help book for Mother’s Day is right up there with giving her a vacuum. So, I figured I’d just go to the source, my mama.
I attribute my love for books and reading to her influence. She took us to the bookstore all the time as kids, and while she wouldn’t always say yes when we asked her to buy us a toy, she very rarely ever said no when I asked for a book. So, I asked her for her top five favorite books to share here, most of which I’ve read based on her recommendation. This is the list she gave me, including her top five faves and two alternates. Happy Reading Moms!
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
“Sixty years after REBECCA was first published, Daphne du Maurier’s unsurpassed masterpiece continues to enthrall readers with romance and suspense, as the second Mrs. de Winter narrates the haunting events surrounding her marriage to Maxim de Winter and her growing obsession with his first wife, the beautiful, now dead Rebecca. Includes excerpts from the author’s personal notes and essays, exclusive to this edition.”
Paperback, 410 pages, Published November 1st 1997 by Harper Paperbacks (first published 1938), ISBN13: 9780380730407
Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
“Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski’s ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell.”
Paperback, 331 pages, Published April 9th 2006 by Algonquin Books, ISBN13: 9781565125605, Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Adult Fiction (2007), ALA Alex Award (2007), Quill Award Nominee for General Fiction (2006)
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
“Sometimes only remembered for the epic motion picture and “Frankly … I don’t give a damn,” Gone with the Wind was initially a compelling and entertaining novel. It was the sweeping story of tangled passions and the rare courage of a group of people in Atlanta during the time of Civil War that brought those cinematic scenes to life. The reason the movie became so popular was the strength of its characters–Scarlett O’Hara, Rhett Butler, and Ashley Wilkes–all created here by the deft hand of Margaret Mitchell, in this, her first novel. A monumental classic considered by many to be not only the greatest love story ever written, but also the greatest Civil War saga.”
Paperback, 1011 pages, Published September 20th 1991 by Pan (first published September 1st 1936), ISBN13: 9780330323499, Pulitzer Prize for Novel (1937)
The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
“That The Illustrated Man has remained in print since being published in 1951 is fair testimony to the universal appeal of Ray Bradbury’s work. Only his second collection (the first was Dark Carnival, later reworked into The October Country), it is a marvelous, if mostly dark, quilt of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. In an ingenious framework to open and close the book, Bradbury presents himself as a nameless narrator who meets the Illustrated Man–a wanderer whose entire body is a living canvas of exotic tattoos. The tattooed man moves, and in the arcane designs scrawled upon his skin swirled tales beyond imagining: tales of love and laughter darkness and death, of mankind’s glowing, golden past and its dim, haunted future. Here are eighteen incomparable stories that blend magic and truth in a kaleidoscope tapestry of wonder–woven by the matchless imagination of Ray Bradbury.”
Paperback, 186 pages, Published June 1967 by Bantam Books (first published 1951), Pulitzer Prize Special Citation: (2007)
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
“Flowers for Algernon is a science fiction short story and subsequent novel written by Daniel Keyes. The short story, written in 1958 and first published in the April 1959 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1960. The novel was published in 1966 and was joint winner of that year’s Nebula Award for Best Novel (with Babel-17). The titular Algernon is a laboratory mouse who has undergone surgery to increase his intelligence by artificial means. The story is told as a series of progress reports written by Charlie, the first human test subject for the surgery, and touches upon many different ethical and moral themes such as the treatment of the mentally disabled. Although the book has often been challenged for removal from libraries in the US and Canada, sometimes successfully, it is regularly taught in schools around the world and has been adapted numerous times for television, theatre, radio and as the Academy Award-winning film Charly.”
Paperback, 224 pages, Published December 31st 1984 by Bantam (first published 1959), ISBN13: 9780553274509, Hugo Award for Short Fiction (1960), Nebula Award for Best Novel (1966)
Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck
“Travels with Charley: In Search of America is a travelogue written by American author John Steinbeck. It recounts tales of a 1960 road trip with his French standard poodle, Charley, around the United States. He wrote that he was moved by a desire to see his country on a personal level, since he made his living writing about it. He wrote of having many questions going into his journey, the main one being, “What are Americans like today?” However, he found that the “new America” did not live up to his expectations.
Steinbeck tells of travelling throughout the United States in a specially-made camper he named Rocinante, after the horse of Don Quixote. His travels start in Long Island, New York, and roughly follow the outer border of the United States, from Maine to the Pacific Northwest, down into his native Salinas Valley in California, across to Texas, up through the Deep South, and then back to New York. Such a trip encompasses nearly 10,000 miles.”
Paperback, 214 pages, Published February 5th 2002 by Penguin (first published 1962), ISBN13: 9780142000700
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
“Following its initial appearance in serial form, Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage was published as a complete work in 1895 and quickly became the benchmark for modern anti-war literature. Although the exact battle is never identified, Crane based this story of a soldier’s experiences during the American Civil War on the 1863 Battle of Chancellorsville. Many veterans, both Union and Confederate, praised the book’s accurate representation of war, and critics consider its stylistic strength the mark of a literary classic.”
Paperback, 152 pages, Published September 2004 by Prestwick House Inc. (first published 1895), ISBN13: 9781580495868