After a long illness, my mother died when I was twenty. When your mother dies when you are young, every day is Mother’s Day. When someone hurts your feelings, you think of how she’d comfort you, if she were here. You fall in love, you fall out of love, you marry, you have children, you get a promotion, you are laid off, and you think of her. Unless you can’t forgive her for leaving too soon, you will idealize her love and kindness for all time to come.
It’s hard to look away from stories that teeter on the edge and then finally devolve into complete obsession. As readers we must learn to never underestimate the power of a character determined beyond reason. Cut-throat and wildly unpredictable, these literary stars are sure to hook you deep into the throes of their delusional escapades.
On my shelf is a tattered, well-loved movie tie-in edition of Stephen King’s The Green Mile. I don’t remember when I got this copy, and I don’t remember my first time reading this stunning novel. Instead, this haunting story of a Depression-era death row where good and evil mix and miracles happen seems to be an ever-present fixture in my life, requiring regular rereading, as it continues to stand as one of my favorite books.
In anticipation of Mother’s Day, we’ve collected fifteen powerful memoirs by, for, and about moms. This collection of books celebrates the diversity of mothers and all of the heartwarming, challenging, and character-building lessons they teach.
Get Book Recommendations
Love Medicine, Louise Erdrich’s wonderful novel-in-stories, which won her the National Book Critics Circle Award, is possibly my favorite among all her work. My copy of Love Medicine is underlined and dog-eared because of the many times I’ve reread it. I recommend this book often to friends and students because there is much here to enjoy as a reader and learn from as a writer. It was a great influence on me as I wrote my own novel-in-stories, Before We Visit the Goddess.
It’s a rare gift to be able to accessibly present real science to the public. It’s even rarer to find someone who does so with the enthusiasm and humor that Mary Roach brings to the table. We all know that humans have evolved to survive the environment on Earth. In Packing for Mars, Mary Roach asks: What happens when we go into space—a place without air, food, water, or anything else we need? This thought fascinated Roach so much that she spent two years finding out, traveling and interviewing and researching all possible aspects of it.
For Mother’s Day, we’ve collected these beautiful and moving stories of mothers—their delights and their struggles. With memorable and colorful characters, they explore the unique journeys of female characters through life as parents and professionals, lovers and leaders.
John Williams’s Stoner was originally published in 1965 with limited success. It went out of print a year later, but, fortunately, it was republished in 2003, and now this classic treasure of a novel can speak to another generation of readers.
As a lifelong Anglophile, I have worshipped at the altar of Austen, Brontë, and Dickens ever since I received my first copy of Pride and Prejudice in the fourth grade. But British literature goes far beyond the country manors and moody moors of the nineteenth century. Here are twelve fantastic novels from some of the most exciting contemporary novelists across the pond that every self-respecting Anglophile should read.
“My wound is geography. It is also my anchorage, my port of call.”
These words made me swoon when I was in my thirties and first read Pat Conroy’s novel The Prince of Tides. My love for his writing grew with each book of his that I read. I caressed the pages, pouring over his words.