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Recommended books to gift Mom this Mother’s Day.

It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday 12 May, and a great way to spoil Mom is by giving her some me-time to read. This year, we’ve rounded up a selection of books that celebrate women – their joys, fears, experiences, bravery, compassion, self-realisation … the list goes on. And we’ve added a super cookbook to help moms keep that Mother’s Day laidback feeling all year round by making cooking easier. Plus, some super children’s books for moms to read with their loved ones as they kick back and enjoy Mother’s Day.

Find some other previously recommended reads here.


Love and Fury, Margie Orford

(Jonathan Ball Publishers, R300)

Big, bold, brave and brimming with emotion. This memoir from the South African crime writer documents her life, her political awakening, a slowly disintegrating marriage, the battle between the desire to be a good mother and a burning passion to write and, through her writing, gain an understanding of the dominant male psyche and the gender-based violence it enacts. Her explorations bring long-buried memories to the fore, and she unpacks the hurt and harm these have caused. But, like all good novels (and this memoir reads like one), hope springs eternal – Orford’s memoir reflects the power of self-belief and self-reflection to restore the soul. This book is a powerful read that resonated with me and has left a lasting impact.



American MotherAmerican Mother, Colum McCann and Diane Foley

(Jonathan Ball Publishers, R450)

A mother’s account of the life and death of James Foley, the journalist publicly beheaded in Syria by ISIS in 2014. Renowned author Column McCann lent his writing prowess to assist Diane Foley to tell the story of her son’s kidnapping, incarceration, torture and violent death. This is a harrowing and hard read. It shook me to the core, it made me cry,  it baffled and angered me, but it raised my spirits in so many ways. Diane channels her maternal outrage at the injustices, not only by ISIS, but also by a government that refused to negotiate for the hostages’ release, into energy as she tirelessly campaigns on behalf of hostages and journalists, raising money and advocating reform. The book begins with a meeting between Diane and one of the convicted conspirators of James’ murder, Alexanda Kotey. Her heartbreak, despair and anger are palpable as she battles to understand her son’s senseless death. The book closes with Diane’s conciliatory gesture to Kovey, wishing the man who never gave her the answers she so desperately sought peace.


Private EquityPrivate Equity, Carrie Sun

(Jonathan Ball Publishers, R450)

Chasing her dream, highly educated and hard-working Carrie Sun is thrilled when she gets a position as an assistant to the founder of a prestigious hedge fund. The corporate financial industry is ruthless and cut-throat, the bosses are super demanding and have no respect for the private lives, time or emotions of their employees. The constant demands placed on Carrie begin to take their toll: she loses her self-identity, her physical and mental health deteriorates, and she becomes miserable. Instead of the fulfillment and thrill she thought the position would bring, despite the considerable financial incentives and benefits she received, Carrie finally (and for an intelligent person, it took her a surprisingly long time) realises that the job is robbing her of everything. She ultimately chooses personal happiness and peace and quits. This memoir provides insight into the challenges of balancing life and work, of the gaping divide between wealth and status and self-worth and fulfilment, and what it takes to break free.  


LondonThe London Bookshop Affair, Louise Fenn

(Jonathan Ball Publishers, R360 )

Set against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis, this novel is an intriguing story of espionage, secrets, betrayal, injustice, courage and love. The story unfolds across two timelines (1962-1942) and from the point of view of the two main characters – Celia, who works in a London bookshop (1960s), and Anya, sent to aid the resistance in occupied France in 1942. Celia discovers she’s connected to Anya and, as she unravels more of the story, seeking the truth about what happened to Anya 20 years ago, she learns that her parents and the state have gone to great lengths to hide the truth. Celia must now draw on her courage and risk everything to ensure justice. Rich in history with underlying messages of the power of the human spirit, this book is a gem.


The Healthy Slow Cooker, Ross Dobson

(Jonathan Ball Publishers, R490)

This cookbook is filled with healthy, wholesome family meals to be made in the slow cooker. Best of all, it makes mom’s life so much easier; after some basic prep, it’s simply set and forget as the slow cooker prepares the meal, filling the house with fragrant, mouthwatering aromas. From soups and stews to curries and pastas, there’s a recipe for all tastes and occasions. 


Children’s books Mom will love

Bluey, My Mom is the Best

(Penguin Random House, R185)

Bluey and Bingo tell us just why they love their mom, Chilli, so much. And, of course, the love is mutual as Chilli demonstrates through her special mothering skills. A touching book about the power of maternal love.





Bluey, I Love My Family

(Penguin Random House, R185)

A delightful board book in which Bluey and Bingo share the reasons why they love their family! From croc-catching to horsey rides, Bluey and Bingo discover that the Heeler household is filled with laughter, playing, dancing and, most importantly, love.





ABCs of Love for Mom, Patricia Hegarty

(Penguin Random House, R145)

An adorable cast of animal characters help children learn their ABCs (A is for adoring, B is for beauty, C is for cheerleader …) while celebrating mom and sharing precious moments of joy and love. This beautifully illustrated rhyming book is the perfect gift for Mother’s Day.





Read about ChildMag staffers’ all-time favourite childhood books.


Thanks to Penguin Random House and Jonathan Ball Publishers for the review copies.