Memoirs, Cookbooks, and Coffee Table Books to Get Your Mom For Mother's Day

Gideon Grudo, Daniel Modlin
·6 min read
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Scouted/Amazon
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Scouted/Amazon

We know Daily Beast readers love reading and that many of you might be planning a literary sort of gift this coming Mother’s Day. We’ve already told you about books that could help make you productive, books that’ll improve your writing, and books by your favorite Daily Beast journalists. Now we’re giving you some inspiration for the best books to get the moms in your life — your wife, your sister-in-law, your actual mom — so she knows you care about what she’s interested in and not just about the unconditional love she provides. From women authors to travel tomes, here are some great options for your great mom.

Best-Selling Books by Female Authors

I certainly agree with my colleague, Scouted editor Jillian Lucas, about the importance of reading more from female authors. She wrote, “the best-seller list was chock full of fantastic female storytellers that broke boundaries and explored unknown territory.” Here are a few highlights from the 10 Best-Selling Books By Female Authors That You Should Read Right Now.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

<div class="inline-image__credit">Amazon</div>
Amazon

“As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments.”

Buy Becoming by Michelle Obama at Amazon, $12

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

<div class="inline-image__credit">Amazon</div>
Amazon

“Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University.”

Buy Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover at Amazon, $15

Pachinko

<div class="inline-image__credit">Amazon</div>
Amazon

One of my favorite books, Pachinko is a wonderfully told, compelling multi-generational saga. If your mom is looking for a page turner to get lost in, this is it for sure.

Buy Pachinko at Amazon, $19

Essential Coffee Table Books

You know your mother’s coffee table better than most, and are certainly uniquely positioned to determine the best addition to its coffee table book library. Whether it’s Star Wars or New York Magazine anthologies she wants to impress on her guests, a solid and smart coffee table book can be a great gift this Mother’s Day. Here are a few highlights from our picks of the essential coffee table books.

Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005-2016 by Annie Leibovitz

<div class="inline-image__credit">Amazon</div>
Amazon

“In this new collection, Leibovitz has captured the most influential and compelling figures of the last decade in the style that has made her one of the most beloved talents of our time. Each of the photographs documents contemporary culture with an artist's eye, wit, and an uncanny ability to personalize even the most recognizable and distinguished figures.”

Buy Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005-2016 by Annie Leibovitz at Amazon, $58

The Birds of America by John James Audubon

<div class="inline-image__credit">Amazon</div>
Amazon

“Bound in cloth with a full cloth slipcase, this beautifully produced book is the first complete reproduction of Bien chromolithographs and will become the centerpiece of any bird lover’s library."

Buy The Birds of America by John James Audubon at Amazon, $264

Top Travel Coffee Table Books For The Homebody Explorer

For the Daily Beast’s Just Booked series, our travel writers feature some of their top picks for the best and most beautiful coffee table books. And whether your mom isn’t taking to the skies often or is a frequent traveler, this IRL experience-from-afar could be a perfect gift. Here are a few highlights from the Best Travel Coffee Table Books That Let You Explore The World Without Leaving Your Home.

The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries

<div class="inline-image__credit">Amazon</div>
Amazon

“He focuses mostly on Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical European libraries and a handful of their descendants in the Americas. (Given how breathtaking Listri’s work is, one hopes there will be a follow-up volume on modern libraries around the globe.) From out-of-the-way phantasmagorical wonders like the libraries of Metten and Ulm to the dramatic Real Gabinete Português de Leitura in Rio de Janeiro, Listri captures these man-made wonders in all their splendor.” Learn more about the book from our travel experts.

Buy The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries at Amazon, $139

Theater of the World by Thomas Reinertsen Berg

<div class="inline-image__credit">Amazon</div>
Amazon

“The book gets its name from Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius's atlas Theatrum orbis terrarum (Theater of the World). Like Ortelius, Berg has built upon generations of work and woven it into a digestible dive into everything from cartography to illustration and mapmaking. While not as hefty as some of our past selections, this mid-size book may be the most likely to cause you to lose a guest in its pages.” Learn more about the book from our travel experts.

Buy Theater of the World by Thomas Reinertsen Berg at Amazon, $35

Living in the Mountains

<div class="inline-image__credit">Amazon</div>
Amazon

Maybe your mom loves to travel, or maybe being trapped inside for a whole year has her running for the hills. Either way, indulge her fantasy with Living in the Mountains, a beautiful collection of contemporary homes that aren’t hers (but maybe someday, will be).

Buy Living in the Mountains at Amazon, $30

Essential Cookbooks and Recipe Books For Her Kitchen

These are really essential for anyone and if you want to hit a meaningful nerve this Mother’s Day, invest in a gift that shows you appreciate all the meals you’ve had and all the gatherings ahead with a solid cookbook pick.

Salt Acid Fat Heat

<div class="inline-image__credit">Amazon</div>
Amazon

Samin Nosrat is simply joyous when she’s in the kitchen. Through discussing the four essential ingredients to any meal — salt, acid, fat, and heat — she’ll help you understand cooking from a foundational level, giving you the confidence to improvise and create your own masterpieces in the kitchen.

Buy Salt Acid Fat Heat at Amazon, $20

Joy of Cooking Updated

<div class="inline-image__credit">Amazon</div>
Amazon

A lot of my friends have held off on buying this one for themselves, saying their mother has a really cool edition. If they don’t, now’s the time to give her one she’ll love. Apparently, shopping for a book like this can be an obsessive sport, but I think this edition is fantastic. And plus, once your mother has imbued it with her love, it’ll only be that much more valuable (to you).

Buy Joy of Cooking Updated at Amazon, $20

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