Book Buzz: Recommended By Mom

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Book Buzz: Recommended By Mom

By: Lucie Smoker

She’s smart, beautiful and three moves ahead of you at all times. Don’t cross Mom. If you haven’t already booked tickets to Mallorca for Mother’s Day, better make some dinner reservations for May 11 and plan for her summer escape by book. Here are great reads recommended by moms.

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

If Mom loves Downton Abbey, then I suggest this book about the modern-day Post family as they take off for the crystalline beaches of Mallorca, Spain. Husband Jim gives wife Fran a 35th anniversary surprise: he loses his job. The reason threatens to destroy their life together and turns this vacation into one frothy cocktail of marriage shaken, with a twist.

Meanwhile daughter Sylvia considers Mallorca a perfect stage – for losing her virginity. She only just graduated high school. Her older brother brings along a “different” sort of girl to meet the family, and Fran’s best friend fills out the party by bringing his husband. Tapas anyone? (Preorder for May 29 release.)

Dr. Christy Clift of the Chickasha Friends of the Library and her mom Sara Clift recommend The Secret Lives of Dresses by Erin McKean: “My mom grew up working in my grandmother’s dress shop and made all our dresses till we left home. This book is about a granddaughter who goes to work in her grandmother’s vintage dress store when her grandmother takes ill. She finds a box that contains fictional histories for the dresses in the shop. It also has a love story. My mom and I both loved this book and passed it on to many friends.”

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

If your mother enjoys mystery and she hasn’t read The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, last year’s 700-page blockbuster bestseller, then consider it your duty to give it to her. Why? Because it’s a truly great book and no mom should have to live her life without being described as a vision:

“At the sight of her I was paralyzed with happiness; it was her, down to the most minute detail, the very pattern of her freckles, she was smiling at me, more beautiful and yet not older, black hair and funny upward quirk of her mouth, not a dream but a presence that filled the whole room: a force all her own, a living otherness.”

When an explosion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art killed Theo Decker’s mother, he grabbed up a painting that reminded him of her, a Dutch masterwork called The Goldfinch.

Now he holds onto that painting like he wants to hold onto his mom. While some of Tartt’s descriptions rival Dickens in length, the story is powerful enough to carry us from an Amsterdam hotel room to New York and Vegas with exhilarating prose.

Eileen Castle, a mom, grandma and Assistant Director of the Oklahoma Museum Network recommends Legend by Marie Lu where the former western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war–and two teens are about to find out the lengths to which the government will go to keep their secrets. Eileen said, “I loved the interplay between the two points of view. Its about … how much are you willing to sacrifice for family and friends?”

Oklahoma Laughter, Oklahoma Tears

When Mom needs a laugh, Crazy on Board from Edmond’s Buzz Books USA will deliver insane family travel humor from bestselling Oklahoma mom, Heather Davis. (Preorder for May 20 release.)

If she prefers comic pulp fiction, consider Airship 27’s new graphic novel, The Apocalypse Sucks by Okie mom, Peggy Chambers.

And for the mom who appreciates rare, beautiful tragedy, I challenge you to find Oklahoma poet, J.L. Jacob’s first book of poetry, The Leaves in Her Shoes.

Jacobs grew up underfoot to her great-grandmother who was a midwife on the Trail of Tears. Filled with snippets of conversation, music and dreadful pain, these poems will sneak up and take your breath away :

These are things not explicitly remembered:
the woman’s name, the exact location
of her grave.

It is a translation of her into landscape,
as blackbirds fixed in white branches.

(from River Geography at First Hand by J.L. Jacobs)

My own mother, Shirley Cashore, recommends My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult: Thirteen-year-old Anna has undergone hundreds of surgeries already. She was actually conceived as a bone marrow match for her sister Kate—a life and a role that she never challenged until now.

Shirley said, “The book talks about the problem of boutique children, where parents pick and choose. It’s an artificial approach to childbearing and this book highlights the problems.”

(Mom gets the last word.)

Bio: Lucie Smoker is an Oklahoma mom, arts writer and author of Kindle Top Ten murder mystery, Distortion.

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