Sunday is Mother’s Day. In honour of this special day, we’ve compiled our personal recommendations of books that will make perfect gifts for your book-loving mama, grandma, auntie, sister, cousin, friend, or you can treat yourself. There’s no better gift than the perfect book. From must-read literary fiction to poetry, and creative nonfiction/memoir to literature in translation, we’ve got you covered this Mother’s Day.
Bonus: Save 25% off any title from our Mother’s Day Recommended Reading List until Monday, May 11.
For the Literary Loving Mom
The latest novel from CanLit legend Shani Mootoo, Polar Vortex is a story of secrets, deceptions, and revenge. The Globe and Mail calls it, “an unsettling novel about how secrets always come back to get us – especially the secrets we’ve managed to keep from ourselves.” What does it mean to say “I love you”? That’s the question bubbling beneath the surface of Marianne Apostolides’ scintillating new novel, I Can’t Get You Out of Mind. This complex tale of love, desire & technology, explores how AI encroaches on the most intimate parts of our lives. We All Need to Eat, is a collection of linked stories from award-winning author Alex Leslie, that Canadian Notes and Queries calls, “a work of precision.” These short stories revolve around Soma, a young Queer woman in Vancouver; they slipstream through Soma’s first three decades, surfacing at moments of knowing and intensity.
For the Mom Who Loves Poetry
Precious Energy by Shannon Bramer is a uniquely playful collection of vibrantly sad, peculiar, and often funny poems about domestic life, motherhood, and the baffled child that remains within us all even as we grow up and into whatever person we keep trying to become. Adrienne Gruber’s latest book, Q&A, is a poetic memoir detailing a first pregnancy, birth, and early postpartum period. Hope Matters by Lee Maracle and her daughters, Columpa Bobb and Tania Carter, focuses on the journey of Indigenous peoples from colonial beginnings to reconciliation. Written collaboratively, Hope Matters offers a blend of three distinct and exciting voices that come together in a shared song of hope and reconciliation. Charm, the second collection by poet Christine McNair, considers the craftwork of conception from a variety of viewpoints—from pregnancy and motherhood, to how an orchid is pollinated, to overcoming abusive relationships, to the manual artistry of carving a violin bow or marbling endpapers.
For the Nonfiction and Memoir Reader
Notes from a Feminist Killjoy by Erin Wunker explores the complicated practices of being a mother and a feminist, to building friendship amongst women as a community-building and community-sustaining project. In the award-winning memoir Dear Current Occupant, Chelene Knight reflects on her childhood through a series of letters addressed to all of the current occupants now living in the twenty different houses she moved in and out of with her mother and brother. Margaret Christakos’ Her Paraphernalia: On Motherlines, Sex, Blood, Loss and Selfies is a love song to her mother and daughter, that explores the beauty of the selfie, menopause, daughters, lust, solo travel, depression, the death of a parent, the writing life, and women’s transgenerational vitality.
For the Mom Interested in Literature in Translation
Fanny and the Mystery in the Grieving Forest by Norwegian author Rune Christiansen, translated by Kari Dickson, is a beautiful, poetic portrait of grief, friendship, independence, and transgression. Fanny, a 17-year-old high school senior, has lost both her parents in a car accident. As she grieves and attempts to come to terms with the sad circumstances of her life, a fairytale-like world full of new possibilities begins to emerge around her. Multiple award-winner The Faerie Devouring by Catherine Lalonde, translated by Oana Avasilichioaei, tells the story of the sprite, her absent mother (who dies in childbirth), and a brood of fatherless boys all raised by Gramma, a stalwart matriarch and wicked faerie godmother. Testament by the late Vickie Gendreau, translated by Aimee Wall, inverts the elegiac, “grief memoir” form, and plays with the notion of a last testament. In this autofictional novel, Gendreau imagines her death and at the same time, bequeaths to her friends and family both the fragmented story of her last year and the stories of the loved ones who keep her memory alive, in language as raw and flamboyant as she was.
For those who may want to leave the decision to Mom, we recommend the new digital Book*hug Press Gift Card. Available in $25, $50, $75, or $100 denominations, Mom can shop online for her next read, anytime she wants.