In past years, all I wanted for Mother’s Day was breakfast in bed. Now, I just want to get out of the house. After more than a year at home with my kids, I’m ready to be anywhere else – a restaurant, an inn, even in an endless amusement park line. I just need to get out already.
For those who want to escape through reading, here’s a list of 11 books that can do the trick (they also make excellent last-minute gifts). Some whisk you away – to Julia Turshen’s kitchen, to wartime Britain – while others offer great advice on how to feel great right where you are.
“Simply Julia: 110 Easy Recipes for Healthy Comfort Food,” by Julia Turshen – Part cookbook, part memoir, this delicious, visually enticing ode to the warmth of the kitchen and the love of those inside it will delight the most discerning mother while providing easy (enough) meals to make.
“The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano: A Novel,” by Donna Freitas – For anyone who stays up late at night worrying, this is the book for you. Every motherhood alternative is spelled out in different chapters, including the decision not to have kids at all. This “Sliding Doors” novel is an ode to possibility.
“Your Time to Thrive: End Burnout, Increase Well-Being and Unlock Your Full Potential With the New Science of Microsteps,” by Arianna Huffington and Marina Khidekel – For anyone who has ever thought about how to manage time, this book is for you. Microsteps and time hacks abound in this inspiring compilation of advice, commiseration and quotes from experts designed to help you maximize your time and sanity.
“Great Sex Starts at 50: How to Age-Proof Your Libido,” by Tracey Cox – Sex expert Tracey Cox has written the bible for women of a certain age. Though it might feel awkward to give this to your mom, girlfriends must give this to each other. What better Mother’s Day treat than giving some, um, enjoyment to the ones you love most?
“Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting,” by Anna Quindlen – Anna Quindlen has already led us all through the early days of parenthood. In her latest book, she shares grandparenting wisdom through her delightful personal experiences in Nanaville. One of many great tips: Before giving advice, think, “Did they ask?”
“The Kitchen Front: A Novel,” by Jennifer Ryan – A historical novel involving a cooking contest, women’s rivalry, war and love, this beautifully written tale of perseverance has a dash of humor thrown in, making it the perfect Mother’s Day read.
“Your Fully Charged Life: A Radically Simple Approach to Having Endless Energy and Filling Every Day with Yay,” by Meaghan B. Murphy – Want to recharge? Plug back in with tips from the Woman’s Day editor in chief on living a more inspired life. It will make you want to wake up and say “yay!” Or, at least, not want to kill someone else who says it first.
“Own the Arena: Getting Ahead, Making a Difference and Succeeding as the Only One,” by Katrina M. Adams – An inspiring memoir from a tennis icon and WTA leader, “Own the Arena” will inspire any woman out there – even if you don’t play tennis.
“Squats and Margaritas,” by Erin Washington – What mom couldn’t use this combination?! For any mom trying to feel better in her body (aren’t we all?), Washington’s book will help you feel less alone and give you concrete suggestions for living life to the fullest while feeling your best.
“Dial A for Aunties,” by Jesse Q. Sutanto – This absolutely hilarious novel is like “Weekend at Bernie’s” meets “Crazy Rich Asians.” When a wedding photographer accidentally kills her blind date, she enlists the help of her four Asian aunts to cover it up. Antics ensue. Enjoyment guaranteed.
“Ruby Falls,” by Deborah Royce Goodrich – When you aren’t sure what’s reality and what’s just in your head, this is the read for you. For moms who enjoy captivating thrillers, wrap this up and send it along, perhaps with a guide to antique dressers and some cat food. Just saying.
Zibby Owens is host of the podcast “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books” and editor of the book “Moms Don’t Have Time To: A Quarantine Anthology.”
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