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Adult Book Lists: Mom Fiction

[Printable book list]

Alison Bechdel / B BECHDEL
Are You My Mother?
This graphic novel examines the complicated relationship between the author and her mother.


George Hodgman / 306.874 HODGMAN
Bettyville: a Memoir
This is a witty, tender memoir of a son's journey home to care for his irascible mother--a tale of secrets, silences, and enduring love. When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself, an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook, in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will, who has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over.

Carol Burnett / B HAMILTON
Carrie and Me: a Mother-Daughter Love Story
In this beautiful and poignant tribute to her late daughter, award-winning actress and New York Times bestselling author Carol Burnett presents a funny and moving memoir about mothering an extraordinary young woman through the struggles and triumphs of her life.

Wendy Lawless / 791.43028093 LAWLESS
Chanel Bonfire: a Memoir
Wendy Lawless, actor and author, has written a stun-ning memoir of resilience in her neglected upbringing by her mentally ill, alcoholic, and suicidal mother.

Richard Russo / B RUSSO
Elsewhere (Also available in audiobook)
This work is the author's memoir of his life, his parents, and the upstate New York town of Gloversville that they all struggled variously to escape. Gloversville was famous for its leather products, but by the time Russo was a child, prosperity was inexorably being replaced by poverty and illness, often tannery-related.

Susan Sonnenberg / 362.29092 SONNENBE
Her Last Death: a Memoir
Sonnenberg is freelance writer who grew up determined not to become her mother, who was glamorous, charismatic, and a compulsive liar. Her mother seduced everyone who entered her orbit, and with outrageous behavior and judgement tinged by drug use, she taught her child the art of sex and the benefits of lying.

Nadja Speigelman / B SPEIGLEM
I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This
The balance between Speigelman and her mother shifted as she got older and her mother opened up to her about her turbulent childhood. She traveled to France, deter-mined to get to know her grandmother, the women from whom her mother had fled. Nadja emerged with a deeper understanding of how each generation reshapes the past in order to forge ahead, their narratives both weapon and defense, eternally in conflict.

Elaine Lui / 306.8743092 LUI
Listen to the Squawking Chicken: When Mother Knows Best, What's a Daughter to Do?
Elaine Lui is a television personality and reporter in Canada, whose specialty is celebrity gossip. Neither traditionally Eastern nor conventionally Western, the Squawking Chicken raised her daughter on ten guiding principles —drawing on Chinese fortune-telling, feng shui, black-mail, good old-fashioned ghost stories, and shame and embarrassment in equal measure. Elaine tells the story of her mother’s life, in which she overcame tremendous hardship to parent with tough love, humor, and devotion to her daughter.

Maya Angelou / B ANGELOU
Mom & Me & Mom (Also available in large print, audiobook, and ebook)
Maya Angelou is an American poet and civil rights activist who has published seven autobiographies. In this autobi-ography, Angelou details what brought her mother to send her away to live with her grandmother when she was three years old, and unearths the well of emotions she experienced long afterward as a result.

Christina Crawford / 791.43028092 CRAWFORD
Mommie Dearest (Also available on DVD)
For Joan Crawford, having a family of her own was an important measure of success. Christina was adopted and presented to the world as the perfect child of the famous film star, but she grew up with the reality of child abuse, alcoholism, and sometimes a nightmare of sheer terror. This is the story of the relationship between a child trying to stay alive and a ruthless, cunning, lonely woman who knew every trick of survival.

Zach Wahls / 306.874086 WAHLS
My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family a Family
Zach Wahls is known for addressing the Iowa House Judiciary Committee on January 31, 2011, in a public forum regarding full marriage equality. An advocate and son of same-gender parents, he describes his positive experiences of growing up in an alternative family in spite of prejudice.

Mark Slouka / B SLOUKA
Nobody's Son
From World War I to the present, Slouka pieces together a remarkable story of refugees and war, displacement and denial, admitting into evidence memories, dreams, stories, the lies we inherit and the lies we tell -- in an attempt to reach his mother, the figure at the center of the labyrinth.

Robert Goddard / FIC GODDARD
Rebel Mother
Goddard tells of his childhood as a boy on the run with his mother, a housewife turned radical who kidnapped her son from his father, and set off for South America in search of the revolution. They were constantly running, moving, and hiding. Between the ages of five and eleven, Robert attended more than a dozen schools and lived in more than a dozen homes, moving from the comfortably bland suburbs of Detroit to a hippie commune in Berkeley to a socialist collective farm in pre-military coup Chile to highland villages and coastal shantytowns in Peru.

Melissa Rivers / 792.7602 RIVERS
The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation  (Also available in ebook)
Joan Rivers was known all over the world -- from the Pal-ace Theater to Buckingham Palace, from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the footlights of Broadway, from the days of talkies to hosting talk shows. But there was only one person who knew Joan intimately, one person who the authorities would call when she got a little out of hand. Her daughter and best friend, Melissa. Melissa Rivers relates funny, poignant and irreverent observations, thoughts, and tales about the woman who raised her.

James McBride / B MCBRIDE
The Color of Water: a Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother (Also available on audiobook and ebook)
As a boy in Brooklyn’s Red Hook projects, McBride knew his mother was different. As an adult, he finally persuaded his mother to tell her story: the story of a rabbi’s daughter, born in Poland and raised in the South, who fled to Harlem, married a black man, founded a Baptist church, and put twelve children through college.

Will Schwalbe / 616.9940092 SCHWALBE
The End of Your Life Book Club (Also available in large print, audiobook, and ebook)
This is the inspiring story of a son and his dying mother, who form a "book club" that brings them together as her life comes to a close. As Mary Anne battles cancer, they carry on conversations that are both wide-ranging and deeply personal, prompted by an eclectic array of books and a shared passion for reading.

Jeannette Walls / 362.82092 WALLS
The Glass Castle: a Memoir (Also available on DVD)
Jeannette Walls’ father, when sober, was a charismatic, brilliant man. Her mother, who painted and wrote and couldn’t stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an “excitement junkie”. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Walls and her siblings had to fend for themselves, supporting each other as they weathered their parents’ betrayals, and finally found the resources and will to leave home.

Jasmin Darznik / 305.48 DARKZNIK
The Good Daughter: a Memoir of My Mother's Hidden Life
Darznik came to America from Iran when she was three years old and she grew up knowing very little about her family’s history. One day she found a wedding picture of her mother with a man she had never seen before. At first her mother refused to speak about the photograph, but later she shared the story of her family’s origins in Iran: her marriage at the age of thirteen, her history of abuse and neglect, and the daughter she was forced to abandon in order to escape that life. This is a story of secrets, betrayal, and the unbreakable mother-daughter bond.

Cathie Borrie / 362.196831 BORRIE
The Long Hello
In 2010 Borrie gave the keynote performance at a World Alzheimer's Day event in New York City. The Long Hello distills the seven years the author spent caring for her mother into a page-turning memoir that offers insight into the "altering world of the dementia mind." During that time, Borrie recorded brief conversations she had with her mother that revealed the transformations within.

Anderson Cooper / 070.92 COOPER
The Rainbow Comes and Goes (Also available on audiobook and ebook)
This book contains a charming, intimate and fascinating collection of correspondence between Anderson Cooper, broadcaster and #1 New York Times bestselling author, and his mother, the celebrated Gloria Vanderbilt.

Scott Simon / 070.92 SIMON
Unforgettable: a Son, a Mother, and the Lessons of a Lifetime (Also available in large print)
Unforgettable is a son's spirited, affecting, and inspiring tribute to his remarkable mother and the love between parent and child. NPR's Scott Simon began tweeting from his mother's hospital room in July 2013. Over the course of a few days, Simon chronicled his mother's death and reminisced about her life, revealing her humor and strength, and celebrating familial love. This book expands on those famous tweets to create a memoir that is rich, deeply affecting, heart-wrenching, and exhilarating.

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