4 May 2018

2018 MOTHERS' DAY SPECIAL: Books our Moms Love

We pretty much always have a book on the go and it's been that way since we were kids. For as long as we can remember our parents have also always been reading, whether it be while we were away on a family vacation or at home after eating dinner. I think we definitely started reading because we saw our parents doing it and they always encouraged us by buying pretty much any book we wanted at the Scholastic Book Fair.

Left: Meagan's sister Courtney, Meagan, Meagan's mom Sandra
Right: Meghan's mom Lynn, Meghan, Meghan's sister Julie

We thought we would use May and June to let you know what books they love. And if you haven't gotten your mom a gift for Mother's Day yet, well you're welcome! Here are some of our moms' favourite books and authors, there's definitely something here for your mom too

Thinking it was either 1985 or 1986 that I read this book.  That summer in my teens was when everyone I knew worked different hours at different jobs and I needed some way to kill the time.  My neighbour Mrs. Chisholm used to sit outside and read and gave me this book to see if I liked it. It was my first Danielle Steele novel and I loved it.   Although I don’t remember all the details of the novel as it was 30+ years ago, I do know that the story about Samantha and the emotional and physical struggles she goes through after her husband leaves her had me hooked.  I love romance and anything sappy and this introduction to Danielle Steele had me reading dozens more over the years. This memory will also always stay with me as such a wonderful way to spend time with one of the best women in my life.

How do I decide on which novel to talk about? They are all great! Lisa Genova graduated from Bates College with a degree in biopsychology and has a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard. Genova is a gifted writer who takes her knowledge and and understanding of neurological disorders, autism, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and recently ALS, and combines them to create heartwarming stories. She creates stories that take the reader through the journey of such illnesses from the point of view of the recipient of the illness to their family members and coworkers. I think my favourite book of hers has to be Love Anthony. I work with autistic children on a daily basis and this book helped to put things in perspective for me. Her books add the personal stories behind the disease and make you think twice when you hear of someone being diagnosed. 

I was excited to hear that she had published a new book entitled Every Note Played. I am just reading it now. It is about a famous pianist that has discovered he has ALS. The diagnosis is new to him and it will be interesting to see how he handles the news as well as his family. 

This seems like an unlikely favorite for me but somehow studying this novel in school made this novel stand out for me.  Not sure if this goes on in schools anymore, but this novel was read aloud in English class and I remember looking forward to that class each day.  This story is a true love story where 2 men (Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton) switch places so that happiness is found for the one woman (Lucie Manette) they both love.  Charles and Lucie marry but it is Sydney Carton who gives his life for her in the end. The book is set during the French Revolution and I am sure it was full of history but it was again the love story that had me hooked. Some of the other characters like Madame Dafarge who was always knitting also had me wanting to read more. When I was younger and still lived at home this popped up in our TV guide – the old paper kind – showing at 2am. I remember pulling out our sofabed couch and watching this movie in the wee hours with my Mom.  I am thinking I may have to read this book again.

I love to read all Nicholas Sparks books. I have to admit that they sometimes make me pull out the tissue box. They are an easy read and serve the purpose of relaxing and tend to take my mind off day-to-day worries. I don't like to watch the movies because if I cried reading the book then I will surely cry at the movie. And no one wants to see a grown woman cry at the theatre. Right Meghan and Julie? You can read more about his repertoire in the Nicholas Sparks author spotlight

I am guessing that someone must have owned this novel and given it to me to read as I don’t think I would have ever bought this or taken it out from a library. I cannot remember how old I was when I read it but I do know that I was married with children and often read it at night when the girls were asleep which just added to the spookiness of it.

This book is about a blind girl named Amanda who walks with her cane on her familiar path near the tops of the cliffs each day.  One day the other children come and tease her and play tricks on her and Amanda falls off the cliffs and dies in the sea. This is how the book begins and then flashes 100 years ahead when a new family the Pendletons are moving into Paradise Point on these cliffs.  Their daughter finds a doll in the old house and calls it Amanda and of course she connects with dead Amanda and becomes friends. She has a fall off the same cliffs and injures herself and ends up also walking with a cane. Soon the kids begin to tease her and those that do end up dying mysteriously.  Not really sure why this book has stuck with me all these years but when someone is looking for a good spooky book it is one of my first suggestions.

I first read this book over ten years ago. Powning is a local author from New Brunswick where the story takes place. This book is about a woman named Kate who lost her husband and how she deals with the unexpected loss. It may sound depressing but it isn't. While cleaning out her attic she finds a box of letters from her grandmother which help Kate through the season of grief. Powning effectively uses nature to describe the emotions that Kate feels during this time. I think it's time that I dust this off and re-read it myself.

I think I have read every Judy Blume book written and some of my past favorites are Are you there God, it’s me Margaret, Blubber and of course Forever – the one we read in grade school and hid under our pillow when our mother walked in.  When Summer Sisters came out in 1998 I was very excited to read it. I know that Meagan has just done a review on this novel so not sure I can even begin to write anything remotely close to what she already has, nor do I want to try.  This novel is about friendship, love and being a parent. I think I have read it 3 times and when I get it back I would like to read it at least 3 more times. **note from the editor: you will not be getting this book back.

Well I hate to admit this but I like to read her books. After spending so much time reading stuff for school it is nice to sit down and not have to concentrate on what I read. At the end of her books I can't even tell you the name of the characters. Her books are purely for relaxation and only take a few days to read.

This was a novel I purchased in the airport convenience store before boarding a plane and picked it up because it was on the bestseller table.  I realized only after reading it that this was her debut novel and it was fantastic. This book is all about 4 siblings (Leo, Jack, Bea and Melody) in the Plumb family and how their lives unfold when their father dies.  They immediately start fighting over the inheritance and it takes us into the lives of each family member. I could relate to this novel being 1 of 4 siblings and found myself thinking about what would happen in our case down the road.  It was wonderfully written and I didn’t want to put it down. This book confirmed what I have always known, that it’s always family first above everything else including money.

The story of a little girl in China named Lily who is introduced to Snow Flower. Together they go through the foot binding process. The story follows their life through marriage, child birth, and everyday life in 1823. It is like a coming of age story. The two write secret messages in a secret language that no one else understands. They talk about their fears, their lives, and their hopes and dreams. The author depicts the differences in society and class in a heartwarming way. I have never read a story with such interesting details regarding the Chinese culture. The author has written other stories, however this is my favourite. 

1 comment:

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