This post was originally published in 2020 and has been updated.
Sometimes book clubs are just two people: you and your mom. Whether it started back when you were a kid with The Boxcar Children series and Judy Blume, or you kicked it off later in life with some historical fiction that made you and Mom cry — there’s nothing like a fam group chat that’s all about good books. So in honor of our favorite reading partners, we rounded up some reads both you and Mom will love. Good convos and wild hot takes guaranteed. Wine and cheese sold separately.
But have you ever shared a crush? This book follows a 39-year-old sophisticated, divorced mother who starts a hot-and-heavy relationship with a boy band member half her age. He’s essentially a not-so-thinly veiled Harry Styles. And naturally, things get complicated and super steamy — don’t say we didn’t warn you. It’s the ultimate smart take on a romance novel and will have you staying up all night to finish. (Amazon, Bookshop)
We’re not crying, you are. Zauner’s memoir is the expanded version of her popular New Yorker essay where she writes about losing her mother and grappling with her identity. Zauner, who you might know as indie pop artist Japanese Breakfast, writes movingly about grief, and using food to connect with her Korean background and her family. It’ll make you appreciate your relationship with any mom figure in your life. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Hip, hip, cheerio, off to the UK we go. This one follows a 50-something woman who accompanies her daughter on a work trip to England. While her daughter is busy styling the royal family, she falls for a private British secretary. The catch? She’s leaving on New Year’s Day and they only have limited time with each other. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Say ‘hi’ to this modern version of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” It centers on a 30-something magazine writer and her yoga-teaching sister living in NYC. After their father’s health scare, they go home to Ohio and their two other sisters, and see that things are all falling apart. Cue the entrance of a handsome doctor, a worrying mom, and a trashy TV show storyline that mirrors “The Bachelor.” And yes, the modern Mr. Darcy lives up to our (high) expectations. (Amazon, Bookshop)
This one’s something grandma, mom, and you will all appreciate. It’s all about love, loss, and family ties and follows two sisters who are forced to reconnect with their estranged mother after the death of their father. We won’t spoil the secret that holds them together — or tore them apart — but know this: there’s a World War II twist and you’ll probably cry your heart out. It’s perfect for fans of Hannah’s other book, “The Nightingale.” (Amazon, Bookshop)
You’ve read “Gone Girl” and “The Girl on the Train.” Now try this. It’s focused on a group of Brooklyn moms after a wild night out. Cut to the next morning...and one of their kids is missing. There’s a media circus and secrets, plus some poignant commentary about the expectations of mothers. Kerry Washington’s reportedly set to star in the movie version so there’s your cherry on top if you weren’t sold already. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Then you’ll both devour Jane Fonda’s 2005 bestseller. It’s got everything you want from a celebrity memoir: behind-the-scenes Hollywood moments, insight into her childhood, and some juicy stories that deserve to be shared in the group chat. But it has more than just some dishy anecdotes. Fonda gets candid about her entry into political activism and feminism, and her longtime struggle with bulimia and body image. Book club approved. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Relatable. This 2013 novel follows six teens from their time at an artsy summer camp to their wildly divergent adult lives in NYC years later. It’s a book that nails what it’s like to have long-term relationships and what happens when tragedy, success, money, and life get in the way. It’s the type of book that once you finish reading you’ll want to dig through your own photos and take a trip down memory lane. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Read this memoir, then have your convo. It follows Chung’s adoption story — from childhood to adulthood — as she navigates some hidden truths about her birth family. It’s all about the complicated nature of race, identity, and belonging. And is one you’ll want to talk about and share with others after reading. (Amazon, Bookshop)
PS: These are editorially selected, but if you purchase it, theSkimm may get something in return. Thanks.
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