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Mother's Day has snuck up once again, but before you panic purchase a random tchotchke that will end up either collecting dust or getting totally, unintentionally misplaced, give our latest list of Mother's Day book recommendations a scroll. Something could end up as the perfect gift for the mother figure in your life.

What type of book would your mom love? Jump to the section by clicking one of the links below:

 

 

For Self-Care and TBR Researchers:

The Astrology of You and Me: How to Understand and Improve Every Relationship in Your Life by Gary Goldschneider

Steer your life by the stars and make all your interpersonal relationships shine. This beautifully designed, horoscope-driven handbook will teach you to bring energy to your relationships and divine the true nature of personalities using the power of astrology. Do you know how to live peacefully with a Taurus? Discuss money issues with a Cancer? Improve your sex life with a Scorpio? With chapters arranged by astrological sign, The Astrology of You and Me will give you help and guidance for every imaginable star-crossed situation, and the beautiful design features astrology-inspired illustrations throughout.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

 

Crystal Clear: Reflections on Extraordinary Talismans for Everyday Life by Jaya Saxena

Highly prized for their beauty, crystals can take the shape of jewelry, household objects, and an array of self-care products. But it’s the ideas they stand for that draw people to their raw forms. Like astrology, tarot, and modern witchcraft, crystals help practitioners understand themselves and the wider world around them.
 
In this collection of sharply observed essays, Jaya Saxena reflects on—and challenges—the ideas associated with eleven popular stones, including unconditional love (rose quartz), happiness and success (citrine), balance (amethyst), self-care (black tourmaline), purity (pearl), imposter syndrome (pyrite), toxic positivity (carnelian), change (opals), traditional concepts of marriage (diamonds), presentation versus identity (obsidian), and death (amber).
  
The result is a deeply personal book with universal appeal, exploring how we assign meaning and power to crystals in order to give meaning and power to our lives.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

 

Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of '80s and '90s Teen Fiction by Gabrielle Moss

Those pink covers. That flimsy paper. The nonstop series installments that hooked readers throughout their entire adolescence. These were not the serious-issue novels of the 1970s, nor the blockbuster YA trilogies that arrived in the 2000s. Nestled in between were the girl-centric teen books of the ’80s and ’90s—short, cheap, and utterly adored. 

In Paperback Crush, author Gabrielle Moss explores the history of this genre with affection and humor, highlighting the best-known series along with their many diverse knockoffs. From friendship clubs and school newspapers to pesky siblings and glamorous beauty queens, these stories feature girl protagonists in all their glory. Journey back to your younger days, a time of girl power nourished by sustained silent reading. Let Paperback Crush lead you on a visual tour of nostalgia-inducing book covers from the library stacks of the past.

Buy the book:

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Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror & Speculative Fiction by by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson

Frankenstein was just the beginning: horror stories and other weird fiction wouldn’t exist without the women who created it. From Gothic ghost stories to psychological horror to science fiction, women have been primary architects of speculative literature of all sorts. And their own life stories are as intriguing as their fiction. Everyone knows about Mary Shelley, creator of Frankenstein, who was rumored to keep her late husband’s heart in her desk drawer. But have you heard of Margaret “Mad Madge” Cavendish, who wrote a science-fiction epic 150 years earlier (and liked to wear topless gowns to the theater)? If you know the astounding work of Shirley Jackson, whose novel The Haunting of Hill House was reinvented as a Netflix series, then try the psychological hauntings of Violet Paget, who was openly involved in long-term romantic relationships with women in the Victorian era. You’ll meet celebrated icons (Ann Radcliffe, V. C. Andrews), forgotten wordsmiths (Eli Colter, Ruby Jean Jensen), and today’s vanguard (Helen Oyeyemi). Curated reading lists point you to their most spine-chilling tales.

Part biography, part reader’s guide, the engaging write-ups and detailed reading lists will introduce you to more than a hundred authors and over two hundred of their mysterious and spooky novels, novellas, and stories.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

 

For Foodie Fiends:

Stuff Every Coffee Lover Should Know by Candace Rose Rardon

This pocket-sized handbook is the perfect gift for coffee connoisseurs, those looking to grind and brew their own beans, and anyone who appreciates a cup of coffee with or without caffeine. Get ready to read about the world’s best coffee-growing regions, learn how to host a coffee cupping like a pro, get tips for buying ethically sourced beans, and much, much more.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

 

Stuff Every Tea Lover Should Know by Candace Rose Rardon

This pocket-sized handbook to all things tea is the perfect gift for tea connoisseurs, tea newbies, and anyone who appreciates a good cuppa. Plus an illustrated guide to tea accessories, terms every tea lover should know, highlights from tea history, a tea tasting guide, tips for throwing tea parties, and much more.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

 

Stuff Every Wine Snob Should Know by Melissa Monosoff

Full of tips, trivia, and useful how-tos, this pocket-sized handbook is the perfect gift for wine lovers. Covers everything from how wine is made and how to pair wine with food to the truth about sulfites and how to bring the perfect wine for any occasion.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

 

Stuff Every Cheese Lover Should Know by Alexandra Jones

This pocket-sized handbook to all things cheese is the perfect gift for artisan cheese lovers, home cheesemakers, and anyone who appreciates a good wedge of cheddar. Includes an illustrated guide to cheese gadgets, terms every cheese lover should know, how to host a cheese tasting, how to make the ultimate grilled cheese, and much more.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

 

For Light Read and YA Escapees:

Siri, Who Am I? by Sam Tschida

Mia might look like a Millennial but she was born yesterday. Emerging from a coma with short-term amnesia after an accident, Mia can’t remember her own name until the Siri assistant on her iPhone provides it. Based on her cool hairstyle (undercut with glamorous waves), dress (Prada), and signature lipstick (Chanel), she senses she’s wealthy, but the only way to know for sure is to retrace her steps once she leaves the hospital. Using Instagram and Uber, she arrives at the pink duplex she calls home in her posts but finds Max, a cute, off-duty postdoc supplementing his income with a house-sitting gig. He tells her the house belongs to JP, a billionaire with a chocolate empire. A few texts later, JP confirms her wildest dreams: they’re in love, Mia is living the good life, and he’ll be back that weekend.

But as Mia and Max work backward through her Instagram and across Los Angeles to learn more about her, they discover an ugly truth behind her perfect Instagram feed, and evidence that her head wound was no accident. Did Mia have it coming? And if so, is it too late for her to rewrite her story?

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

 

Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O'Neal

Priya worked hard to pursue her premed dreams at Stanford, but a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease during her sophomore year sends her back to her loving but overbearing family in New Jersey—and leaves her wondering if she’ll ever be able to return to the way things were.

Thankfully she has her online pen pal, Brigid, and the rest of the members of “oof ouch my bones,” a virtual support group that meets on Discord to crack jokes and vent about their own chronic illnesses.

When Brigid suddenly goes offline, Priya does something out of character: she steals the family car and drives to Pennsylvania to check on Brigid. Priya isn’t sure what to expect, but it isn’t the horrifying creature that's shut in the basement.

With Brigid nowhere to be found, Priya begins to puzzle together an impossible but obvious truth: the creature might be a werewolf—and the werewolf might be Brigid. As Brigid's unique condition worsens, their friendship will be deepened and challenged in unexpected ways, forcing them to reckon with their own ideas of what it means to be normal.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

 

This Is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey

The year is 1998: Titanic just won 6 Oscars, boy bands are dominating MTV’s airwaves, and like any other teenager Jess Flynn is just trying to survive high school. Between a crush on her childhood best friend, overprotective parents, and her sister’s worsening health, the only constant is her hometown of Swickley, which feels smaller by the day. Jess is resigned to her small-town life, until the day she discovers a mysterious device with an apple logo, causing her to question everything and everyone she’s ever known. As more cracks appear in Jess’s world, she faces a choice: can she live the rest of her life knowing it’s a lie or should she risk everything for the truth?
 
A fast-paced, mind-bending YA thriller packed with ‘90s pop culture references and perfect for fans of Black MirrorThis Is Not the Jess Show will keep readers guessing until the very end.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

 

For Horror Queens:

Whisper Down the Lane by Clay McLeod Chapman

Richard doesn’t have a past. For him, there is only the present: a new marriage to Tamara, a first chance at fatherhood to her son Elijah, and a quiet but pleasant life as an art teacher at Elijah’s elementary school in Danvers, Virginia. Then the body of a rabbit, ritualistically murdered, appears on the school grounds with a birthday card for Richard tucked beneath it. Richard doesn’t have a birthday—but Sean does . . .

Sean is a five-year-old boy who has just moved to Greenfield, Virginia, with his mother. Like most mothers of the 1980s, she’s worried about bills, childcare, putting food on the table . . . and an encroaching threat to American life that can take the face of anyone: a politician, a friendly neighbor, or even a teacher. When Sean’s school sends a letter to the parents revealing that Sean’s favorite teacher is under investigation, a white lie from Sean lights a fire that engulfs the entire nation—and Sean and his mother are left holding the match.

Now, thirty years later, someone is here to remind Richard that they remember what Sean did. And though Sean doesn’t exist anymore, someone needs to pay the price for his lies.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

 

The Ultimate Evil: The Search for the Sons of Sam by Maury Lerry; introduction by Joshua Zeman

On August 10, 1977, the NYPD arrested David Berkowitz for the Son of Sam murders that had terrorized New York City for over a year. Berkowitz confessed to shooting sixteen people and killing six with a .44 caliber Bulldog revolver, and the case was officially closed.
 
Journalist Maury Terry was suspicious of Berkowitz’s confession. Spurred by conflicting witness descriptions of the killer and clues overlooked in the investigation, Terry was convinced Berkowitz didn’t act alone. Meticulously gathering evidence for a decade, he released his findings in the first edition of The Ultimate Evil. Based upon the evidence he had uncovered, Terry theorized that the Son of Sam attacks were masterminded by a Yonkers-based cult that was responsible for other ritual murders across the country. After Terry’s death in 2015, documentary filmmaker Josh Zeman (CropseyThe Killing Season, Murder Mountain) was given access to Terry’s files, which form the basis of his docuseries with Netflix and a companion podcast. Taken together with The Ultimate Evil, which includes a new introduction by Zeman, these works reveal the stunning intersections of power, wealth, privilege, and evil in America—from the Summer of Sam until today.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Books A Million | Bookshop

 

 

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her husband is a workaholic, her teenage kids have their own lives, her senile mother-in-law needs constant care, and she’s always a step behind on her endless to-do list. The only thing keeping her sane is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime. At these meetings they’re as likely to talk about the Manson family as they are about their own families.

One evening after book club, Patricia is viciously attacked by an elderly neighbor, bringing the neighbor's handsome nephew, James Harris, into her life. James is well traveled and well read, and he makes Patricia feel things she hasn’t felt in years. But when children on the other side of town go missing, their deaths written off by local police, Patricia has reason to believe James Harris is more of a Bundy than a Brad Pitt. The real problem? James is a monster of a different kind—and Patricia has already invited him in. 
 
Little by little, James will insinuate himself into Patricia’s life and try to take everything she took for granted—including the book club—but she won’t surrender without a fight in this blood-soaked tale of neighborly kindness gone wrong.

Buy the book:

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