40 Books Your Mom Will Love This Mother's Day
If you're looking for the perfect Mother's Day gift for your mom or the moms in your life, we've got some books they're sure to love. Whether she's looking for something lighthearted and funny or an emotional memoir, these page-turners take on the issues mothers and mothers-to-be can relate to. And many of these are great for daughters, too, so if you really want to make Mom happy, you can have your own mother-daughter book club and read some together. Check out the best books that will make great Mother's Day gifts now!
— Additional reporting by Lauren Harano
Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou
Legendary author Maya Angelou has shared the private parts of her life before, but Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou dives deep into her relationship with her mother. Being the daughter of Vivian Baxter wasn't easy, and this book tells all.
And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready
And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meagan O'Connell is a raw and honest account of what it's like to be a mother. When Meaghan accidentally got pregnant and decided to keep the baby, she was in search of a book that taught her everything to do, only to find out it didn't exist. So, she decided to write it herself.
Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year by Anne Lamott
At 35 and on her own, Anne Lamott had a baby. Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year by Anne Lamott is funny, raw, charming, and powerful.
Motherhood: A Novel by Sheila Heti
Motherhood: A Novel by Sheila Heti discusses whether or not one should have a child. The author asks what's gained and lost when a woman becomes a mother, and how those have an effect on people for the rest of their lives.
The Magic of Motherhood: The Good Stuff, the Hard Stuff, and Everything in Between
If she's over reading books with so-called "advice," The Magic of Motherhood: The Good Stuff, the Hard Stuff, and Everything in Between by Ashlee Gadd is just what she needs. It features a curated collection of honest stories about the feelings of being a mother, from isolation to pure joy.
A Life's Work: On Becoming a Mother
An honest memoir that captures the wonders of being a mother, A Life's Work: On Becoming a Mother by Rachel Cusk portrays the trials and tribulations of caring for a child. From the good, bad, and bizarre, this book tells it how it is.
Dear Daughter: The Best of the Dear Leta Letters
Dooce mommy blogger and author of It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita, Heather Armstrong, compiled the monthly letters she wrote to her daughter, Leta, for her first five years of life in Dear Daughter: The Best of the Dear Leta Letters. The love-filled notes chronicle the ups and downs of first-time motherhood with honesty and humor.
My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family
In his book My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family, Zach Wahls opens up about what it was like growing up with same-sex parents. He caught the world's attention when he spoke out in support of marriage equality in front of the Iowa House Judiciary Committee, saying, "The sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character."
Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son
After writing about her own adventures of being a single mom in her memoir Operating Instructions, author Anne Lamott now tackles what it was like to become a grandmother when her 19-year-old son had a baby in Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son. In this brutally honest, touching, and laugh-out-loud funny book, Anne chronicles the struggles she faced helping her son and the baby's mother raise this child.
Confessions of a Scary Mommy: An Honest and Irreverent Look at Motherhood
Jill Smokler tackles parenting with a sense of humor in her book Confessions of a Scary Mommy: An Honest and Irreverent Look at Motherhood: The Good, The Bad, and the Scary. Jill started an online baby book to journal her life as a stay-at-home mom that evolved into a community of parents and now a book. Her followup is Motherhood Comes Naturally (and Other Vicious Lies), a collection of essays about the lies parents are told.
Love, Mom: Poignant, Goofy, Brilliant Messages from Home
Doree Shafrir and Jessica Grose, the editors of Postcards From Yo Momma, pulled together a collection of the funniest mom emails from their site in the book Love, Mom: Poignant, Goofy, Brilliant Messages from Home. Our moms may not be the most tech-savvy people out there, but we love them anyway!
The New Yorker Magazine Book of Mom Cartoons
All kinds of moms are sure to enjoy The New Yorker Magazine Book of Mom Cartoons, a collection of 100 witty cartoons about mothers from The New Yorker.
After receiving praise for her poem "B," a love letter about the relationship between moms and daughters, author Sarah Kay transformed her poem into an illustrated book, B. This whimsical ode to mothers and daughters is sure to bring a smile to any mom's face.
Actress Diane Keaton shares intimate and emotional stories about her life and her relationship with her mother in her memoir Then Again. Along with personal stories, Diane incorporates bits and pieces from her mother's extensive journals to paint a portrait of herself and her family's history spanning generations.
Are You My Mother?
Alison Bechdel, the bestselling author of Fun Home, shares an intimate look at the heartbreaking, complicated relationship she shares with her mother. Are You My Mother? is a graphic memoir that gives readers a portrait of Bechdel's mother through stunning visuals and moving imagery.
Mom: A Celebration of Mothers From StoryCorps
Mom: A Celebration of Mothers From StoryCorps shares emotional conversations and stories between parents and children, spouses, siblings, and more to explore what motherhood means in America.
This I Believe: On Motherhood
This I Believe: On Motherhood is a compilation of essays on motherhood. This fascinating collection features pieces that show the joys and struggles of raising children, something all moms and moms-to-be will relate to.
Laurel Saville's Unraveling Anne explores the glamorous turned tragic life of her mother, Anne Ford, a beauty queen-turned-model and fashion designer in '50s LA. In her memoir, Laurel tries to piece together how her beautiful and talented mother became the angry alcoholic she knew growing up and asks herself if there's forgiveness and healing for the relationship even after her death.
Prime Time: Love, Health, Sex, Fitness, Friendship, Spirit — Making the Most of All of Your Life
Workout pioneer Jane Fonda's self-help book Prime Time: Love, Health, Sex, Fitness, Friendship, Spirit — Making the Most of All of Your Life offers advice for living a successful and mature life.
A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother
A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother tells the story of President Obama's nontraditional mom, Stanley Ann Dunham. Reporter Janny Scott interviewed Dunham's loved ones and went through letters and photo albums to give us a peek inside the woman who raised our commander-in-chief.
Another Piece of My Heart
Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green follows the story of a woman dealing with the complications of marrying a divorcé with daughters who don't want anything to do with her.
The Long Goodbye
Slate journalist and poet Meghan O'Rourke tells the heartbreaking story of her final months with her dying mother and sorrowful aftermath in her memoir The Long Goodbye: A Memoir.
Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture
Peggy Orenstein finds out how sexualized girlhood impacts young women today in Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture. She wants to know how the girl power of the 1990s got replaced with today's pursuit of physical perfection.
A Year and Six Seconds
In her sentimental and lighthearted memoir, A Year and Six Seconds: A Love Story, Law and Order actress Isabel Gillies shares the story of her life as a single mother of two struggling to deal after her husband leaves her for another woman.
Joan Crawford was the original inspiration for Mommie Dearest. Her daughter penned the memoir in 1978, describing the famous actress as an abusive alcoholic with militant love for order. But long before that, she was loved by the spotlight — and her older children. It's believed she had a breakdown at some point, but Joan Crawford: The Enduring Star puts her late-life reputation aside to examine her lesser-known, better-liked side.
No Cheating, No Dying: I Had a Good Marriage. Then I Tried To Make It Better
Elizabeth Weil gets real about relationships in her book No Cheating, No Dying: I Had a Good Marriage. Then I Tried To Make It Better by telling the story of how she and her husband took measures to improve their pretty good marriage. This funny and honest book covers sex, money, in-laws, children, and more in relation to the wild journey of marriage, and may give you a new perspective on your own life partner.
A Letter to My Mom
Lisa Erspamer's A Letter to My Mom is a beautiful, touching collection of photos and letters from celebrities to their mothers, including Melissa Rivers, Shania Twain, Will.i.am, Christy Turlington, and Kristin Chenoweth.
My Foot Is Too Big for the Glass Slipper
In her memoir My Foot Is Too Big for the Glass Slipper: A Guide to the Less Than Perfect Life, Gabrielle Reece's roller-coaster life and relationships will make yours seem normal.
Carrie and Me
Carol Burnett shows humor and love in her touching tribute to her late daughter, Carrie, in Carrie and Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story. The memoir follows the relationship ups and downs between this famous mother-daughter duo.
Jennifer Gilmore's The Mothers: A Novel is a touching look at the struggles of a couple trying to have a child, including the process of adoption.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding's Nia Vardalos shares her hilarious personal story of adopting a preschooler with only 14 hours' notice Instant Mom.
Moms Who Drink and Swear
Based on her popular Facebook page, Nicole Knepper's Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind takes a hard and hilarious look at motherhood.
Girl Walks into a Bar . . . Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle
Saturday Night Live alum Rachel Dratch gets real and really funny in Girl Walks into a Bar . . . Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle. In her memoir, Rachel hilariously recounts her dating experiences and how she unexpectedly became a mother at 44.
What My Mother Gave Me
Elizabeth Benedict's What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-One Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most is filled with contributions from novelists and writers about the most sentimental gifts their mothers gave them and how it related to their relationship.
Reasons Mommy Drinks
Lyranda Martin-Evans and Fiona Stevenson's Reasons Mommy Drinks is a hilarious collection of stories about the frustrations of parenthood — with cocktail recipes for each one! Motherhood goes down easy in this book that'd make a great gift for a new mom.
Like My Mother Always Said . . .
Erin McHugh has compiled touching, humorous, and unique words of advice and anecdotes from moms in her book Like My Mother Always Said . . . : Wise Words, Witty Warnings, and Odd Advice We Never Forget. These stories and quotes are found in chapters with titles such as Questionable Wisdom, Unconditional Love, Good Manners & Bad Behavior, and Wise Words. The perfect gift for moms and daughters alike.
The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion
Fannie Flagg's The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion is a touching, funny, and mysterious novel about mothers and daughters, family secrets, and the real-life history of the WASPs of World War II.
I Heart My Little A-Holes
I Heart My Little A-Holes: A Bunch of Holy-Crap Moments No One Ever Told You About Parenting by Karen Alpert of the Baby Sideburns blog is a collection of funny, sweet, and "charmingly profane" stories of parenthood alongside illustrations and photos.
Listen to the Squawking Chicken
Listen to the Squawking Chicken: When Mother Knows Best, What's a Daughter to Do? A Memoir (Sort Of) is Canadian TV personality and blog gossip writer Elaine Lui's cringe-worthy, hilarious, and brutally honest love letter to her no-holds-barred Chinese mother, aka The Squawking Chicken. Elaine shares stories from her childhood to adulthood about her complicated relationship with a mom who has told her "You look like dried monkey flakes" and "You'll never be Miss Hong Kong." It's sure to make you and your mom laugh.
The Dinner Party
Sylvia Gold is hosting the holidays this year, and she's downright giddy about the fact that her youngest daughter is bringing her appropriate beau, who hails from a fabulously famous family. Less than happy about this whole thing is Sarah, Sylvia's eldest daughter, who has a significant other who Sylvia does not approve of, whose family has never before been invited over for a holiday meal. Brenda Janowitz's The Dinner Party is a story about family and mothers and daughters.