All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.
– Oscar Wilde
Here’s hoping all you mothers out there have a day of reprieve! These are some recent non-fiction reads in our collection on mothers and their relationship with their sons and daughters to reflect on:
The Rainbow Comes and Goes: a mother and son on life, love, and loss by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt
“A charming, intimate and fascinating collection of correspondence between broadcaster and #1 New York Times bestselling author Anderson Cooper and his mother, the celebrated Gloria Vanderbilt.”
Undivided: A Muslim daughter, her Christian mother, their path to peace by Patricia Raybon and Alana Raybon
Although this is certainly a book for mothers and daughters struggling with interfaith tensions, it is equally meaningful for mothers and daughters who feel divided by tensions in general. An important work for parents whose adult children have left the family’s belief system, it will help those same children as they wrestle to better understand their parents.
* a designated AWESOME book recommended by a Methuen reader
I Want My Epidural Back: adventures in mediocre parenting by Karen Alpert
“If you are the kind of mom who shapes your kiddo’s organic quinoa into reproductions of the Mona Lisa, do not read this book … But if you are the kind of parent who accidentally goes ballistic on your rugrats every morning because they won’t put their shoes on and then you feel super guilty about it all day so you take them to McDonald’s for a special treat but really it’s because you opened up your freezer and panicked because you forgot to buy more frozen pizzas, then absolutely read this book.”
Unforgettable: a son, a mother and the lessons of a lifetime by Scott Simon.
“When NPR’s Scott Simon began tweeting from his mother’s hospital room in July 2013, he didn’t know that his missives would soon spread well beyond his 1.2 million Twitter followers. Squeezing the magnitude of his final days with her into 140-character updates, Simon’s … meditations spread virally. Over the course of a few days, Simon chronicled his mother’s death and reminisced about her life, revealing her humor and strength, and celebrating familial love … Spending their last days together in a hospital ICU, mother and son reflect on their lifetime’s worth of memories, recounting stories laced with humor and exemplifying resilience”
A Mother’s Reckoning: living in the aftermath of tragedy by Sue Klebold
“The mother of one of the two shooters at Columbine High School draws on personal recollections, journal entries and video recordings to piece together what led to her son’s unpredicted breakdown and share insights into how other families might recognize warning signs.”
The Book of Joan: tales of mirth, mischief and manipulation by Melissa Rivers
Joan Rivers was known all over the world–from the Palace Theater to Buckingham Palace, from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the footlights of Broadway, from the days of talkies to hosting talk shows. But there was only one person who knew Joan intimately, one person who the authorities would call when she got a little out of hand. Her daughter and best friend, Melissa.
Bettyville: a memoir by George Hodgman
“When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself–an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook–in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over…Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay. As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town-crumbling but still colorful-to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair. ”