The List: Summer Reading for Mom

Our Book Picks
The List: Summer Reading for Mom

Reading for moms is not just a form of escapism or entertainment, it’s a measure of how much time we have to allow ourselves to kick back and do something we enjoy. But since that precious time is so limited, we make sure that if we start a book, it better be a good one.

Here are our top nine recos for some good summer reads—because we know every page matters.

We owe Jane Austen a debt of gratitude. Not just for lovely little girls named Emma or Elizabeth but for inspiring novelists like Cathleen Schine, one of the few authors who have managed to honour Austen’s style in our modern times. Schine has translated the premise and structure of Austen’s themes of class struggle and changing social, marital and financial status in her entertaining novel, The Three Weissmann’s of Westport. By turns funny and wrenching it is an easy, well-written and captivating read. ($17.24, where to find)

Before I GoTo Sleep
There are days we’d all like to wake up somewhere else (a Four Seasons suite anyone?), but imagine waking every morning next to a total stranger in your bed, not knowing where you are, who you are, or even whose face is looking back at you in the mirror. This is the compelling and thrilling premise to S.J. Watson’s Before I Go To Sleep, a truly suspenseful novel that keeps you guessing and changing your mind as to whom Chrissy, the amnesiac we’re rooting for, should trust. ($21.99, where to find)

The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar CuisineIf spending parts of your vacation with a mother or mother-in-law is dampening your enthusiasm for a summer getaway, you’ll likely end up feeling all warm and fuzzy for them by the end of The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine. Aliana Bronsky’s eccentric and darkly acerbic novel about Rosa Achmetowna, the Soviet mother-from-hell who, after failing to conjur up a remedy to rid her 17-year-old daughter of a pregnancy, falls instantly in love with her new granddaughter. Hilarious, shrewd and tragic, the dysfunction in the Achmetowna family may help you escape, or appreciate your own (slightly crazy) family this summer. ($18.50, where to find)

Beasts of New YorkJon Evans’ children’s book for adults (his words, not ours), Beasts of New York centers around the imagined survival of urban wildlife in New York City. Based on the adventures of its furry squirrel protagonist, Beasts of New York may seem like a novel read for kids, but the captivating story line and themes of survival, friendship, danger, betrayal, redemption and loss make it definitely adult fare. You’ll likely never look at Central Park (or any park) the same again. ($21, where to buy)

Want to see the rest of our summer reading list? Check it out here. Tested by Alison R., Toronto

Tagged under kids, summer, travel, books
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First published 2011.06.14

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