May is my birthday month and also Mother’s Day. My sons know that buying me a book is always a good idea. This year I’m hoping to receive The Jam Queens by Josephine Moon, The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary and Cathy Kelly’s Other Women.These new releases will make a perfect addition to the library, nestling next to other great stories from these favourite authors. If your Mum is a bookworm like me, here are some of my recent reads which would also be great gifts.
- For the modern foodie Mum – You can’t go past Grace Under Pressure by Tori Haschka. Tori is a Sydney based author, food writer and mum of two. This is her first novel. It tells the story of Grace who looks like she has it all, but add another baby on the way, an absent spouse and an endless to do list and cracks begin to appear. Grace and her friends decide to ditch the men in their lives, move in together and create a ‘ mummune ‘ – sharing chores, pick ups and drop offs, and the endless Life Admin. It seems like a dream… but is this utopian village all it’s cracked up to be? Filled with food, recipes, fun and an honest look at mothering in today’s social media filled world, I know your Mum will love this contemporary tale of friendship, family and community.
- For the Mum who loves words – Try the bestseller, The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams. Set in 1901 this lovely and very original book tells the story of Esme. Esme is a motherless and irrepressibly curious young girl who grows up in the Scriptorium, where her father is one of the lexicographers gathering words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. When she sees the word ‘ bondmaid ‘ float to the floor and lay unclaimed, she seizes the word and hides it away. Soon she begins collecting all the unwanted words, many relating to women’s experiences. They become her ‘ Dictionary of Lost Words’, words that help Esme make sense of the world. This story is set at the height of the women’s suffragette movement and as the Great War loomed, but it is ultimately a truly emotional story of one clever girl’s life, her loves and the power and beauty of the written word. Voted Best General Fiction Book in the recent ABIA awards.
- For the fashionista Mum – Look out for The Chanel Sisters by Judithe Little. Told from the perspective of Gabrielle ‘ Coco ‘ Chanel’s sister, Antoinette, this is the unforgettable story of the sisters who changed fashion forever. Abandoned in a convent the Chanel sisters dream of a glittering life. Through hardship they begin performing in bohemian cafes before the bright lights of Paris call, along with a small hat shop on Rue Cambon. From hats to groundbreaking fashion their business grows and reaches the fashionable French resort towns. But when war breaks out everything changes, and Gabrielle and Antoinette must navigate great loves and losses, fighting harder than ever to make their mark on the world. This is a beautiful work of historical fiction loosely based on fact. Mum will fall in love with Antoinette and be transported to Paris and the salons.
- For the Mum who loves thrillers – The modern story, The Paris Affair, by Pip Drysdale will be a winner. This fast paced crime fiction is set in the city of love where Arts and Culture Writer, Harper Brown dreams of becoming a hard- hitting news reporter. But be careful what you wish for. You may become part of the story. After meeting the attractive and enigmatic artist, Noah X, Harper finds herself on the hunt for a murderer. She is hot on the trail of a scoop of a lifetime. That’s if the killer doesn’t catch her first. This fast paced story twists and turns and will leave Mum guessing to the end.
- For the Mum who speaks from the heart- Try Susan Johnson’s From Where I Fell. It’s the heart wrenching story of Pamela Robinson, a Sydney mum of three sons who is recently divorced. When she sends an anguished email to husband Chris Woods, it accidentally ends up in the inbox of New York State Teacher, Chrisanthi Woods. The women begin to correspond, telling each other the stories and secrets of each other’s live. Pamela must reinvent home, whilst struggling to parent alone and Chrisanthi who is completely wrapped up in the lives of others, must find home by leaving it. Their emails share friendship, loss, joy, betrayal and love from two women’s unique perspectives and experiences. It’s funny, heartbreaking and honest.For a gritty read try the award winning novel , Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart or for one of the loveliest, warm and funny books I’ve read in 2021 search for The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman written by Julietta Henderson.
These are just a few of my favourite recent reads. A good book never goes out of style and ensures Mum can relax this Mother’s Day. They are easy to wrap and will always bring a smile to Mum’s face. Books bring joy, laughter, heartbreak and tears often all at the same time. Do you know what books are on your Mum’s wish list this year?
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).