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TheReadingRoom Great Picks for Mothers Day

Mothers Day blogMother’s Day is the perfect time to give your mom a book. It’s a gift that requires thought and will provide hours of pleasure and entertainment.  Having shaken off those winter blues, and revelled in the delights of Spring, it’s a great time to reflect of why we read and how books can change your life. Apart from offering a great escape, they also offer a peak into other people’s lives that enriches your own. A good book make you cry, fill you with joy and make you laugh,   sometimes all at the same time.

The Girl Who Saved the KingIf you missed Jonas Jonasson’s bestselling debut novel, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, here is another opportunity to laugh out loud with his latest novel. The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden is another picaresque tale of how one person’s actions can have far-reaching – even global – consequences though not quite the romp through history of his first novel.  And once again Jonasson introduces us to a whole cast of eccentrics: a nerve-damaged American Vietnam deserter, twin brothers who are officially only one person, three careless Chinese girls, an angry young woman, a potato-growing Baroness, as well as the Swedish King and Prime Minister. Quirky and utterly unique, it’s bound to make mom laugh. Frog Music by Emma Donoghue is another Mom pleaser. If she loves a bit of mystery mixed with history and romance then this is a book she won’t want to put down. Also keep your eye out for Nora Robert’s fast pace The Collector as well. Astonish MeMaggie Shipstead, author of the widely acclaimed debut novel Seating Arrangements and winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize,  gives us a  compelling glimpse into the passionate, political world of professional ballet and its magnetic hold over two generations in Astonish Me which is every bit as good. A spellbinding new novel of contraband masterpieces, tragic love, and the unexpected legacies of forgotten crimes, Ayelet Waldman’s Love and Treasure weaves a tale around the fascinating, true history of the Hungarian Gold Train in the Second World War. In 1945 on the outskirts of Salzburg, victorious American soldiers capture a train filled with unspeakable riches. Jack Wiseman is a tough, smart New York Jew, and the lieutenant charged with guarding this treasure—a responsibility that grows more complicated when he meets Ilona, a fierce, beautiful Hungarian who has lost everything in the ravages of the Holocaust.  A story of brilliantly drawn characters—a suave and shady art historian, a delusive and infatuated Freudian, a family of singing circus dwarfs fallen into the clutches of Josef Mengele, and desperate lovers facing choices that will tear them apart—Love and Treasure is a sad, funny, richly detailed work that poses hard questions about the value of precious things in a time when life itself has no value, and about the slenderest of chains that can bind us to the grief’s and passions of the past.

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The GoldfinchThe Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is a must read. For young Theo Decker, the loss of his mother catapults him into a world where the boundaries of both love and loss are blurred, where the underbelly of human existence is exposed with all its vulnerabilities, obsessions and illusions. For Theo all that is constant is the love of his mother and the The Goldfinch painted by Carel Fabritius, so entrenched in his life with his mother. Like Fabritius she was killed in an explosion. It would be impossible here to outline the odyssey on which Theo embarks after her death. Suffice to say it is the reason we read, to explore, to understand and to learn from other’s lives the things we may not have time to know or experience. This book is so beautifully written, that the words fall off the page and into your heart, galloping at such a pace that it’s hard to believe it can be 700 pages. Lost LakeFrom of New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells comes Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen, a beautiful, haunting story of old loves and new, and the power of the connections. The first time Eby Pim saw Lost Lake, it was on a picture postcard. Just an old photo and a few words on a small square of heavy stock. That was half a life ago. Now Lost Lake is about to slip into Eby’s past. Her husband George is long passed. Most of her demanding extended family are gone. All that’s left is a once-charming collection of lakeside cabins succumbing to the Southern Georgia heat and damp, and an assortment of faithful misfits drawn back to Lost Lake year after year by their own unspoken dreams and desires. It’s a lot, but not enough to keep Eby from relinquishing Lost Lake to a developer with cash in hand, and calling this her final summer at the lake. Until one last chance at family knocks on her door. under the wide and starryFrom Nancy Horan, New York Times bestselling author of Loving Frank, comes her much-anticipated second novel Under the Wide and Starry Sky, which tells the improbable love story of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny. At the age of thirty-five, Fanny van de Grift Osbourne has left her philandering husband in San Francisco to set sail for Belgium—with her three children and nanny in tow—to study art. It is a chance for this adventurous woman to start over, to make a better life for all of them, and to pursue her own desires. Not long after her arrival, however, tragedy strikes, and Fanny and her children repair to a quiet artists’ colony in France where she can recuperate. Emerging from a deep sorrow, she meets a lively Scot, Robert Louis Stevenson, ten years her junior, who falls instantly in love with the earthy, independent, and opinionated “belle Americaine.” The shared life of these two strong-willed individuals unfolds into an adventure as impassioned and unpredictable as any of Stevenson’s own unforgettable tales. Still LifeStill Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen is another deeply moving and passionate love story from a New York Times Bestselling author. It begins with an imagined gunshot and ends with a new tin roof. Between the two is a portrait of Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose work made her an unlikely heroine for many women. Her career is now descendent, her bank balance shaky, and she has fled the city for the middle of nowhere. There she discovers, in a tree stand with a roofer named Jim Bates, that what she sees through a camera lens is not all there is to life.   We would love to hear about the books you’re gifting this Mother’s Day.