Book Buddies or Book Bumps? Navigating Literary Tastes with Mom!

Embarking on a literary road trip with Mom is like navigating a treasure map of tastes, where each book unveils a new chapter in our shared adventure.

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Bookshelves background with a drawing of a stack of books in the left-down corner. The words "Book Club" in the middle of the image and the right upper corner look like a torn piece of book page.

Embarking on a literary journey with your mom can be both a delightful adventure and a potential minefield. While some books might spark shared laughter and lively discussions, others might lead to awkward silences or raised eyebrows. Exploring the realm of literature together can deepen your bond or reveal surprising differences in taste. So, let’s dive into the world of “What Books Would You and Wouldn’t Read with Your Mom?” As we polled our team, we uncovered a treasure trove of stories that had us nodding in agreement, chuckling at shared experiences, and even discovering new titles to add to our must-read lists.

A Book Club with My Girls? Yes, Please!

Would Love to Read: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins book cover
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Now that my girls are all in their teens, I’d love to read this series with them so that we can talk about it relevancy and the nuances of the subtext that many overlook. I’ve always read books to them, but they’re all at the stage where they want to read more deeply and understand intent and talk about the things they took away from it, so this would be a perfect series to start doing that with them.

No Way: Den of Vipers by K.A Knight

Den of Vipers by K.A Knight book cover
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This is a book I’ve read several times, very NSFW, very little plot, but SUPER smutty with scenes I do not want to discuss with my daughters. They’re starting to dive into the romance scene, and have brought this up as other high schools have/are reading this and discussing it and they’ve seen it on my bookshelf. They’re going to have to be 30 before we talk about it! LOL

  • Kristi Eskew, Editorial

Would Love to Read: Dumplin’ By Julie Murphy

Dumplin’ By Julie Murphy book cover
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This is a book I would 100% read with my Mom. My Mom is someone that always wanted me to embrace who I am and not allow others to make me feel a certain way about it, which is a big theme of the book. Also, my Mom ADORES anything Dolly Parton. Like anything. And the main character of this story idolizes and references Dolly in every aspect of life, so I know my Mom would eat it up.

  • Krysten Winkler, Editorial

Would Love to Read: Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton

Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton book cover
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Bethany Hamilton is so inspirational. She lost her arm in a horrific freaky shark attack. The aftermath would have completely destroyed most people emotionally and physically. However, Bethany took what happened to her and found her way back to surfing. She became a professional surfer. I love how she uses her experience to help others who have limb differences.

No Way: The Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy by E.L.James and A Stallion to Die For by Judith Stanton

The Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy by E.L.James and A Stallion to Die For by Judith Stanton book covers
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Fifty Shades is so smutty. I’m sure my mom would start laughing at some of the situations described in the book. Also, she would probably start complaining about what’s unrealistic about certain things. Then she would most likely start a sex talk lecture when I’m like: “I’m just trying to read here.” A Stallion to Die For is even darker than Fifty Shades. There is plot twist after plot twist. (TW) The book has multiple attempted murders, barn fires, illegal drugs, sabotage, human and animal endangerment, and attempted sexual assault. This book completely torpedoes Fifty Shades. (cough: Thorpedo Anna. Couldn’t help it. Had to throw in a horse thing that horse people would understand)Don’t ask me where I found the book.

  • Christina, Graphics

Would Love to Read: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Book You would read with your mom: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman book covers
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This an easy-to-read dark-fantasy book is about a young boy who accidentally brings an evil entity from another reality into his world, and he ends up relying on the help of 3 mysterious women to try to get rid of the threat. The theme of that, with the 3 women, feels like a nice thread for a mother and daughter (or group of women) to read.

No Way: Laid Bare by Lauren Dane

Laid Bare by Lauren Dane book cover
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Todd and Erin, a good-guy police officer and a rocker chick next door, meet again after a smoking hot fling ten years ago. Struggling to make things work where they failed before, they bring Todd’s best friend Ben into their bed, hoping that with 3 of them the relationship will succeed. Besides imagining my mom reading a steamy book like this with the main character sharing MY name, I don’t think my mom would even have the emotional maturity to have conversations about the contents of this book together! Haha

  • Erin Dzielski, Editorial

Would Love to Read: Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt book cover
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I love this book because it is powerful and has strong themes and characters. The book focuses on the characters and their development. I love how each of the author’s books has the title in the book, which makes it more impactful. There is strong disability representation with dyslexia and the main character is relatable. I would read this book with my mom because of the family dynamics shown in the story and the complex characters.

No Way: Bringing Me Back by Beth Vrabel

Bringing Me Back by Beth Vrabel book cover
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I love this book, but there are hard themes and concepts that are shown throughout the story. I would rather read this book on my own because of the characters and content. This book shows the complexity of life and how characters choose to live it.

  • Molly Ireland, Outreach

No Way: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey book cover
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Featuring intense sexual themes, particularly leaning towards BDSM, while I may not Read this with her solely due to the explicit nature, the additional elements would be like the icing on a cake — tempting, yet not entirely palatable.

Would Love to Read: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden book cover
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The Secret Garden was one of my favorite books. It reminds me of being young and watching the movie before I ever knew it was an adaptation. After finding out, I got lost between the pages and my imagination, mixed with visuals provided in the movie to create an epic story. The first time I watched The Secret Garden was with my mother, and so to read the book with her would be amazing.

  • Hiba A., Graphics

Would Love to Read: The Perfect Marriage by Jeneva Rose

The Perfect Marriage by Jeneva Rose book cover
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The Perfect Marriage is a mystery bordering on psychological thriller, about a husband arrested for the murder of his mistress, and the wife’s investigation of the real culprit. My mom and I share a love of true crime and mystery, and this book fits that bill well.

No Way: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn book cover
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This book has a similar feel, with a mystery framing the novel and thriller-like themes However, this novel is much more dark and disturbing, with sexual themes and scenes. While an amazing read, not one that I would want to discuss with my mother.

  • Emma Patel, Outreach

Would Love to Read: Arthas: Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden

Arthas: Rise of the Lich King by Christie Golden  book cover
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A fantasy novel based on the video game World of Warcraft. Since we both play the game and like the in-game story she would love to read more about the lore.

  • Alyssa, Graphics

Would Love to Read: When the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

When the Coffee Gets Cold book cover
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I loved this book and the hidden meanings behind every story. This is a perfect quick read, and it is, to me, quite a comforting and heartwarming story. I believe my mom would love this book. It may take her a story or two to get into it, but that is what happened for me!

No Way: A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses Series book covers
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This book series is one of my favorites EVER. I want every person to read this series and obsess as much as me…except maybe my mom and any other older adult in my life. As much as I love this series, it might be a little too complicated for my mom to catch up on. The entire fantasy Realm Maas has written, though I love with all my heart, would have my mom feeling immediately lost. The whole faerie / human dynamic she would not understand, and the book is way too steamy for her eyes to see!

  • Erin Ewald, Editorial

Would Love to Read: The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

The Paris Liberary by Janet Skeslien Charles  book cover
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I’d love to read The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles with my mom because it combines everything we both enjoy in a story: rich historical settings, captivating characters, and themes of love, resilience, and friendship. I know we’d both be drawn into the vivid portrayal of Paris during World War II, cheering on Odile and her fellow librarians as they bravely fight to save their beloved library. Plus, the intergenerational aspect of the narrative promises to spark fascinating discussions and deepen our bond as we uncover the secrets and surprises hidden within its pages.

No Way: Haunting Adeline by H. D. Carlton

Haunting Aeline by H. D. Carlton  book cover
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I’d steer clear of sharing Hunting Adeline with my mom. As someone who dives headfirst into the depths of dark romance without hesitation, I relish every twisted turn and shadowy moment. But the thought of my mom delving into that world alongside me feels unsettling. I worry she might become concerned about my mental well-being or struggle to handle the darkness that captivates me. It’s not that I’m ashamed of my reading tastes; I just prefer to keep certain aspects of my literary adventures to myself. So, thanks, but no thanks—some things are better left unsaid between me and Mom!

  • Trish G, Editorial

In the end, whether you’re bonding over beloved classics or respectfully agreeing to disagree on contemporary thrillers, the journey of exploring books with your mom is always worth taking. It’s not just about the stories on the pages but also about the conversations, the connections, and the shared moments that these books inspire. So, grab a book, cozy up with your mom, and let the adventures begin!


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