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Your mom is the best, yes? Well, so are these eight books, which is why you should consider gifting them to your number one gal for Mother’s Day this year. They’ll make her laugh, cry and remember why she loves you (and maybe, sorta, all those times she wanted to kill you too).

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mothers jacqueline rose
Cover: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Background: Twenty20

Mothers: An Essay on Love and Cruelty by Jacqueline Rose

The premise of Rose’s (Women in Dark Times) book is that mothers are the glue that holds everything together. Despite this critically important role, Rose is convinced that mothers carry too onerous a responsibility in ensuring the health of their children, their families and, ultimately, society. Tracing the progression of the roles of women throughout history, Rose’s insightful essays are a fascinating lesson in feminist theory as it relates to parenting.

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back talk danielle lazarin
Cover: Penguin Books; Background: Twenty20

Back Talk by Danielle Lazarin

A debut short-story collection, Back Talk speaks to the ways women and girls define themselves and delineate their paths. The protagonists of these stories are daughters, mothers, siblings, girlfriends and wives, all figuring out their strengths and soft spots (same), as they defiantly push the boundaries between selfishness and self-possession. 

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you think it ill say it curtis sittenfeld 2
Cover: Random House; Background: Twenty20

You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld

Curtis Sittenfeld’s (American Wife) first short-story collection is a ten-story compendium that starts and ends with stories about the election of Donald Trump, but it’s at its best when focusing on the crazy-relatable daily triumphs and upsets of women in their 30s. Yes, that includes social-media envy, imposter syndrome and the very mixed emotions of leaving a screaming newborn who won’t take a bottle in order to secure an exciting work project. See? Relatable.

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the joy of doing nothing rachel jonat
Cover: Adams Media; Background: Twenty20

The Joy of Doing Nothing by Rachel Jonat

The author of a less-is-more-themed mommy blog, Jonat evangelizes the power of “no.” She encourages us all to say no to social obligations, no to extra chores, no to missing our own lives due to constant busyness. Basically, she teaches you how to re-frame “doing nothing” as a form of self-care (necessary for everyone, but especially busy moms).

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heart talk cleo wade
Cover: Atria; Background: Twenty20

Heart Talk by Cleo Wade

Wade is a popular artist and poet who’s been called “the millennial Oprah.” Her debut book features more than 120 original poems, mantras and affirmations, all of which amount to a kind of daily pep talk.

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stray city chelsey johnson
Cover: Custom House; Background: Twenty20

Stray City by Chelsey Johnson

A young woman escapes her Midwestern Catholic childhood to create a home and life for herself in the insular lesbian underground of Portland, Oregon. But one drunken night, she hooks up with a man and soon discovers she’s pregnant. Despite the concerns of her shocked community of gay friends, she decides to have the baby. What follows is a sweet, funny and quirky anti-romantic comedy, about the families we’re born into and the families we choose.

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look alive out there sloane crosley 1
Cover: MCD; Background: Twenty20

Look Alive Out There by Sloane Crosley

Filled to the brim with Crosley’s (I Was Told There'd Be Cake) trademark wit, this new collection of essays covers a handful of the weird shenanigans she gets into, from scaling active volcanoes and playing herself on Gossip Girl to befriending swingers and debating the merits of motherhood.

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and now we have everything meaghan oconnell
Cover: TK; Background: Twenty20

And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meaghan O’Connell

Writer O’Connell was in her early 20s when she got accidentally pregnant and decided to have the baby. The book she needed then—a brutally honest reckoning with the emotional and existential impact of motherhood—wasn’t on Amazon, so she wrote it. She tackles everything from the fantasies of a "natural" birth to postpartum body and sex issues with humor, wit and realness.

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