Don’t worry! You haven’t missed Mother’s Day…it will be celebrated in the US and 84 other countries on Sunday, May 12th (so you still have time to get a gift or send a card!). Almost every country in the world celebrates Mother’s Day; however, not all on the same day.
Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908 by West Virginian Anna Jarvis, in memory of her mother, who had died a year earlier. Although Jarvis pushed for a national holiday, it was until 1914 that US President Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
However, Jarvis would come to resent the holiday…in particular, the commercialization of it. She organized boycotts of companies like Hallmark, who made cards for the occasion, and threatened lawsuits against candy companies and more for not honoring the spirit of the holiday, which was to write heart-felt notes or letters of appreciation to mom.
What I find so interesting is that in 1912, Jarvis trademarked the phrase “second Sunday in May” as well as “Mother’s Day” (note the singular possessive). For someone who wasn’t that interested in making the holiday a commercial one, she sure set herself up to reap the benefits from it.
In any case, I thought it would be fitting to pull together some lists of books and other reads that are great to give to or share with mom, be she biological, step-, in-law, or simply the amazing female figure in your life.
- A curated list of books for mom by Barnes and Noble
- Eight stellar book picks from USA Today
- RealSimple’s list of gifts for book-loving moms
- This list from Good Housekeeping
- Storybooks about moms to read with your kids from Working Mother
- The best “Mom” blogs of 2019
- Goodreads’ list of “Mom Fiction”
- Inspirational books on Motherhood
- Funny parenting books courtesy of Parents Magazine
- Goodreads’ list of humorous parenting books (truly, some of these I’ve read — they’re hilarious)
- Cosmo’s list of steamy books any mom would want to read
And lastly, if you want to get mom MORE than a book this Mother’s Day, check out this list from Popsugar.
To all the moms out there, I hope you have a happy, relaxing, and enjoyable Mother’s Day.
(Now to send my husband my wish list!)
I just looked at a couple of the lists, and many of the books look terrific. So many books, so little time. Thanks for rounding these up for us, Justine!
I should forward the link for this to my daughter!
I thought moms got a short shrift in fiction, but I guess I’m wrong! Bujold had a character mention that moms seem to exist in most books in order to die early and leave their kids at the mercy of the wicked world. Then again, Bujold also wrote one of the most interesting moms I’ve ever read — Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan. Over the course of the Vorkosigan series, we get to see her from all sorts of POVs, so she’s very well developed as a character.
I think in some of my mom’s family sagas, we got to see the heroines again as mothers in the chapters/books of the children.
I wonder if there’s a whole motherhood genre out there that I haven’t discovered yet. Maybe mothers don’t want to be reminded of their lives, lol! You’d think it’d be popular, though. Lots of conflicts, and many mothers would do anything for their kids . . . murder anyone who threatened to harm them, protect them, bribe college administrators for them. I think a lot of fantasies have those kinds of moms as side characters, but not often as the main character.
Of course, Mom Fiction (or Exaggerated Reality) has been a thing for a long time. I enjoyed Jean Kerr (Please Don’t Eat the Daisies) when I was a kid, and the amazing Erma Bombeck. I re-read some Erma Bombeck after I became a mom, and it was extremely interesting to see how much was an artifact of her time, and how much was simply timeless (or at least, she and I were still living in the same era of Mom Struggles).
My mom prefers time to gifts, so she’ll get lunch next week (and I’ll bring my daughter, too, which will make mom extra happy!). But I might just snag some of these books for myself. Thanks for sharing the lists!
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