Mom’s Summer Reading List

Is your mom’s birthday coming up, or are you browsing for a just because gift? Or is your mom just bored out of her mind this summer and needs to take her mind off this horrid heatwave? Then this list that I’ve so lovingly compiled is your best bet to find literature that will catch mummy dearest’s fancy! Who knows, maybe even you might find something that catches your eye.

For all you moms out there you deserve to grab a stack of books and sit poolside this summer. I hope you like the list of options we’ve pulled together.

An American Marriage

by Tayari Jones

This book’s storyline makes me think of the Bollywood romance Veer Zaara where two star-crossed lovers from across the Indo-Pak border find themselves fighting for their right to be together in a tale of destiny, longing, and scheming outside forces. Just the former, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, follows a married couple who are separated after the husband is incarcerated and only reunited after it is unexpectedly overturned. This novel made it to both Oprah’s book club and Obama’s reading list.

Heartland

by Sarah Smarsh

Sarah Smarsh, a fifth-generation Kansas grown journalist, writes about her experiences growing up in a working-class family in the 80s and 90s when the economic policies were changing every now and then and her struggling for equality in the States via various personal experiences.

All the Light We Cannot See

by Anthony Doerr

If you enjoyed watching the camaraderie between the young Jewish girl and the young boy who aspired to be a Nazi in Taika Waititi’s acclaimed JoJo Rabbit. In that case, then this one is right up your alley, as it focuses on a German orphan and a blind French girl striking up a moving friendship in the midst of World War II.

The Best of Me

by Nicholas Sparks

Recently adapted to the screen in a movie adaptation starring James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan, this super cheesy tale features two former lovers who reunite to re-evaluate their choices after years of remaining distant but realizing there might still be a spark between them both.

Outlander

by Diana Gabaldan

An eight-book series, this book was also recently adapted into a series that made everyone and their moms (and dads) hot for Sam Heughan (as expected), and it follows a twentieth-century British nurse, Claire Randall, time-traveling and falling for a strapping Highland Warrior named Jamie Fraser. A truly drooling read with romance as well as adventure galore!

Everything Under

by Daisy Johnson

This novel’s storyline is loosely based on the Oedipus myth, and it revolves around teen Gretel who has just discovered that her mom, who vanished from her life years ago, might still be alive via a phone call. What follows is young Gretel’s quest to be reunited with the mom, whom she thought was long gone.

The Friend

by Sigrid Nunez

What would you do if your best friend passed away tragically and suddenly, with no way for you to get closure with their death? This is exactly what this novel addresses through its protagonist(s), a grieving young woman and a Great Dane whom she’s forced to adopt post her best friend and mentor’s untimely death. Her bond with the dog, as well as her processing her friend’s death, run parallel to each other and might even intertwine.

The Witching Hour

by Anne Rice

Rowan Mayfair is a successful modern woman who is tasked with unraveling the layers of her mother’s family’s dark past and many secrets. On this journey, she’s guided by some seductive spirits and the Mayfair witches who help on this quest. Over 900 pages long but worth a read as it is packed with intrigue.

Soulless

by Gail Cariger

If you or your mom go gaga for the steampunk genre, then this erotic adventure from the Parasol Protectors series is worth a read. It features a plethora of supernatural characters ranging from werewolves to vampires, is set in the captivating Victorian era, and has both dark, witty humor as well as a murder mystery.

All You Can Ever Know

by Nicole Chung

A memoir by Nicole Chung documents what it’s like to be a parent, a child, and part of a family. Chung was adopted by a white family from Oregon after being put to for adoption by Korean parents, and here she sets out on a quest to reunite with them as well as dig into her family history. The novel not only features her own experience as an adoptee but the stories of other transracial adoptees like her.

Red, White and Royal Blue

by Casey McQuiston

An LGBTQIA+ romance by non-binary bisexual author Casey McQuiston, this work is celebrated for its feel-good vibes and has received glowing reviews for putting LGBTQIA+ couples on the map with its ‘different kind of romance’ between the President’s son and the Prince of England.

The Nightingale

by Kristin Hannah

Set during the Second World War, this novel takes a detour from focusing on the soldiers and instead takes a look at the lives of the wives of the soldiers fighting in the war, as they keep the home running in their husband’s absence, undertake difficult often heartbreaking and life-changing decisions and their inner struggles to keep going in the midst of a tumultuous period in history.

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

by Balli Kaur Jaswal

I first heard of this book through its audiobook version, which is read out by my favorite comedian, Meera Syal, and is also worth a listen if you can spare some time. This novel is a fun, spicy, and thought-provoking look at how East meets West and at tales of women spanning all age groups. This was also one of actress Reese Witherspoon’s book club picks.

Water for Elephants

by Sara Gruen

Speaking of Reese Witherspoon, this novel was also adapted to the big screen starring Witherspoon and Robert Pattison in the key roles as a ringmaster’s wife and a former veterinary student who is orphaned and penniless who begins to work at a traveling circus respectively and find themselves drawn to each other… In an, ahem, steamy fashion.

The Woman in the Window

by A.J. Finn

Last but not least, and I wish I’d put this one at the top of the list, is this mystery thriller that was described as Stephen King as ‘unputdownable’ and has not only won accolades such as a New York Times bestseller but has been translated in 36 languages and even is in the process of being adapted to the big screen. It centers around the agoraphobic and reclusive Anna Fox, who sees something in the house across the street from hers that will turn her life upside down and make her question everything in her life.

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