Thursday, May 9, 2013

What Not to Give Your Mom on Mother's Day

ISBN-10: 147781647X ISBN-13: 9781477816479 Pages: 22 Language: English
I considered writing a post on possible Mother's Day gifts, but the internet has been inundated with enough of these lists recently that I thought I might take a cue from this delightful picture book and tell you what not to buy them. For one, the book makes a few crucial points: under no circumstances should you give her, say, a rotting log or a bunch of flies. I'm told human mothers find that strange.

On a more serious note, don't pigeonhole your mother. Not everything has to be Oprah-approved (though Elizabeth Strout might not be a bad pick). Family drama is a fine subject for a novel, but not every novel. She might appreciate a change of pace with a whip-smart thriller like Gone Girl or Turn of Mind. History and social science are not as dry as you might think: let her give Cleopatra: A Life or Quiet a try. Don't give her "guilty pleasure" books-- it's condescending to a woman who is almost certainly older than you and probably wiser! 

In the same vein, don't think you're so 'cool with the moms, dig,' as the young people say, that you can buy her erotica. In an article filled with some great recommendations, a writer on Bookriot suggests you do just that, to which I present my eloquent counterargument: Ew. Besides, since when does romance have to be cheap and tawdry? Where my Jane Austen fans at? How 'bout my Anna Kareninites? Just because they're classics doesn't mean your mom has gotten around to reading them. She's been busy birthing you and keeping you alive! Plus there are plenty of fancy-schmancy editions conducive to gift-giving.

If you want to be more conservative, that's fine. Just don't ever waste a chance to give someone something good to read. Even in the stereotypical mom wheelhouse of cross-generational drama there are plenty of very interesting writers out there putting out quality product. Whatever you give her, take the lessons of What Not to Give Your Mom on Mother's Day to heart: something that was recently alive is probably not a good present.

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