Show your mom that you really care this Mother's Day by getting her something really expensive. But if you're looking for a gift that won't break the bank, go with the perfectly chosen book. Luckily, Amazon Books editors will be helping making tailored gift recommendations up until Mother's Day. Tell us about your mom, what she likes to read, and a little bit about her personality, and we'll find some books to match! Leave your reader profiles in the comments, or on our Facebook page.
Let's get started! Today we have a fan of epic fantasies, and one of nonfiction
Julia asked: My mom loves reading fantasy from authors like J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Philip Pullman. Pretty much anything in the fantasy category. She also loves sentimental reads with happy endings, but dislikes books with war as a central theme. She also likes cookbooks.
Seira said: Julia's mom might like The Emerald Atlas, which is reminiscent of the works of all three authors (Rowling, Tolkien, Pullman), and brings together magic, fierce family bonds, a battle of good versus evil, and even dwarves(!). Like the best fantasy classics, this one has a story that appeals to readers of all ages.
As for a cookbook, Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan hits the mark on multiple levels"”it's beautiful to look at and has the personal feel of well-worn favorite recipes passed along by a beloved relative.
Darryl: The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss have all the durable conventions of the fantasy genre (demons, dragons, magic, swordplay, and traveling bards) but with a main character who's actually a lot more complex than most fantasy heroes and anti-heroes. Besides that, Patrick Rothfuss is one of the few writers who can write about music (and write about it he must--the main character is a former traveling musician) without it being hokey or contrived. Sweet without being sentimental, thrilling without being ultra-gory, and complex without being exasperating, this is the fantasy series that I, as someone who can be pretty impatient with the stalwarts of the series, have been waiting for a long time to read.
And for cookbooks, that depends on what she likes to cook. I'd recommend: Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen et al. for anything you've ever wanted to know about gyoza, pot stickers, samosas, egg rolls, and a ton of other things. Plus, a lot of these principles carry over to cooking East Asian food in general. Saveur: The New Comfort Food is amazing all-around. From lasagna and stir-fry to chicken tikka and milkshakes, this book is all about comfort food from around the world. A lot of it is pretty easy, some of it is a little fussy, but all of it is worth it "“ as long as you don't mind eating salad for your next few meals. Macarons by Berengere Abraham, which is a fairly self-explanatory and easy guide to what can seem like impossibly dainty cookies.
From Jessica: As a cookbook reader, Julia's mom might be interested in As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto or Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle an interesting account of her family's move from AZ to W. VA, where they fulfilled their quest to farm and live off their own land for a year. At the end of each chapter there are some interesting recipes based on what's "in season" then.
Lillian said: My best friend is coming home from working overseas. She is taking the summer off and needs a ton of books. She mostly reads interesting no fiction such as The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat [by Oliver Sacks], Packing for Mars [by Mary Roach], Musicophila [also by Oliver Sacks], Tipping Point [by Malcolm Gladwell], Omnivore's Dilemma [by Michael Pollan] and The Gift of Fear [by Gavin de Becker]. She will surprize me occasionally by enjoying fiction such as The Art of Racing in the Rain [by Garth Stein] and Cutting for Stone [by Abraham Verghese]. She is in the medical profession and is a bit of an artist.
From Lynette: For Lillian's mom, I heartily recommend anything by Bill Bryson, my favorite nonfiction writer. His latest, At Home, is a fascinating walk through the history of domestic life, but he's probably best known for his hilarious (and I mean tears streaming down your face, choking on your coffee hilarious) travelogues, like A Walk in the Woods and Notes from a Small Island. Like Oliver Sacks, he reveals the fascinating backstory of many people and places that go beyond the notice of most of us.
I'd also recommend David Grann's The Lost City of Z, or The Devil and Sherlock Holmes, a collection of his stellar New Yorker essays. Here's a great article on why there's such a cult of Grann fans there (thanks to Mr. Tom Nissley for passing along).
Seira: For something a little "out there" but really interesting and arguably artistic, there's Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy.
Jessica: Lillian's mom might like Oliver Sacks' new book, The Mind's Eye, which includes a number of fascinating case studies and includes one about himself, since he is afflicted with what is known as "face blindness" where he can't recognize people, even those closest to him.
Got more recommendations for today's moms? Got a mother of your own who needs the perfect book this May 8? Let us know in the comments!