It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday and a time to celebrate women. Let’s take a look at some of the most interesting, controversial, beautiful and engaging books on motherhood. To mothers everywhere… you are amazing. Never forget that.
Hurrah for Gin: A Book for Perfectly Imperfect Parents – Katie Kirby
This book is not a how-to-guide. It won’t tell you how to get your baby to sleep, how to deal with toddler tantrums, how to be a good parent, a cool parent or even a renegade parent. It is a book about parenting that contains absolutely no useful advice whatsoever.
Instead it shares beautifully honest anecdotes and illustrations from the parenting frontline that demonstrate it is perfectly possible to love your children with the whole of your heart whilst finding them incredibly irritating at the same time.
From pregnancy to starting school, Hurrah For Gin takes you through the exciting, frustrating, infuriating and wonderful whirlwind of parenthood, offering solidarity and a friendly hug after a tough day. Best served with gin.
Beloved: A Novel – Toni Morrison
It is the mid-1800s and as slavery looks to be coming to an end, Sethe is haunted by the violent trauma it wrought on her former enslaved life at Sweet Home, Kentucky. Her dead baby daughter, whose tombstone bears the single word, Beloved, returns as a spectre to punish her mother, but also to elicit her love. Told with heart-stopping clarity, melding horror and beauty, Beloved is Toni Morrison’s enduring masterpiece. This is one of my favourite all-time books. So much so that I wrote my Master’s thesis on it. It’s so powerful.
Good Mother Bad Mother – Gina Ford
Pressurised by the media, scrutinised by their peers, frowned upon even by those closest to them, mothers today face relentless criticism and pressure. Breast or bottle? Work or stay at home? Routine or feeding-on-demand? The choices are infinite and at the heart of each question is the more controversial and divisive debate of what makes a good mother. Good Mother, Bad Mother is an illuminating, moving and thought-provoking study of this enigmatic question. Never before has the subject of motherhood been tackled with such unflinching honesty.
From Mother to Daughter: The Things I’d Tell My Child – Katie Piper
Whether you’re only just becoming a mum for the first time or you have children who are growing up faster than you could have ever imagined, motherhood can feel like the most joyful and yet the most daunting of times. But you’re not alone.
From Mother to Daughter is about motherhood, about what you learn as a mother and the things you would tell your daughter and most of all it’s Katie and Diane’ Piper’s celebration of the incredible power of mother-daughter relationships.
The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined Women – Susan Douglas and Meredith Michaels
The Mommy Myth takes a provocative tour through the past thirty years of media images about mothers: the superficial achievements of the celebrity mom, the news media’s sensational coverage of dangerous day care, the staging of the “mommy wars” between working mothers and stay-at-home moms, and the onslaught of values-based marketing that raises mothering standards to impossible levels, just to name a few. In concert with this messaging, the authors contend, is a conservative backwater of talking heads propagating the myth of the modern mom.
Mom and Me and Mom – Maya Angelou
‘In the first decade of the twentieth century, it was not a good time to be born black, or woman, in America.’
So begins this stunning portrait of Vivian Baxter Johnson: the first black woman officer in the Merchant Marines, purveyor of a gambling business and rooming house, and mother to one of our most cherished literary treasures.
Anyone who’s read the classic, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, knows Maya Angelou was raised by her paternal grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. In Mom & Me & Mom, Angelou details what brought her mother to send her away and unearths the well of emotions Angelou experienced long afterward as a result. While Angelou’s six autobiographies tell of her out in the world, influencing and learning from statesmen and cultural icons, Mom & Me & Mom shares the intimate, emotional story about her own family.
The Good Mother – Sinead Moriarty
Kate has been through the fire with her three children …
Having been left devastated and homeless after her husband’s affair and the break-up of their family, somehow she has pulled through. Though times are still tough, she’s beginning to see the start of a new life.
But when twelve-year-old Jesssica is diagnosed with cancer, Kate’s resilience is put to the ultimate test. She has an eighteen-year-old son consumed with hatred of his father, a seven-year-old who is bewildered and acting up and an ex-husband who won’t face up to his responsibilities. And in the middle of it a beloved child who is trying to be brave but is getting sicker by the day.
Kate knows she must put to one side her own fear and heartbreak and do right by her children, particularly Jessica. But maybe doing the right thing means doing the unthinkable?
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother – Amy Chua
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is a story about a mother, two daughters, and two dogs. It was supposed to be a story of how Chinese parents are better at raising kids than Western ones. But instead, it’s about a bitter clash of cultures, a fleeting taste of glory, and how you can be humbled by a thirteen-year-old.
Witty, entertaining and provocative, this is a unique and important book that will transform your perspective of parenting forever.
Black Milk: On Motherhood and Writing – Elif Shafak
Black Milk is the affecting and beautifully written memoir on motherhood and writing by Turkey’s bestselling female writer Elif Shafak, author of Honour, The Gaze and The Bastard of Istanbul which was long-listed for the Orange prize.
Postpartum depression affects millions of new mothers every year, and- like most of its victims- Elif Shafak never expected to be one of them.
But after the birth of her first child in 2006, the internationally bestselling Turkish author remembers how “for the first time my adult life . . . words wouldn’t speak to me”.
As her despair finally eased, Shafak sought to resuscitate her writing life by chronicling her own experiences.
In her intimate memoir, she reveals how she struggled to overcome her depression and how literature provided the salvation she so desperately needed.
These are just some of the amazing pieces of writing on motherhood out there, take a look around and see what else you find, and do please share any that you think we might enjoy. If you want any further recommendations, be it for Books on Motherhood or any other types of books please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help.
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