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Mother's Day: What are new moms reading?

May 11, 2012 |  7:00 am

With Mother's Day coming up this Sunday, Jacket Copy wanted to find out what new moms and moms-to-be are reading. Maybe because every mother we asked is a writer herself, the reading list is wide, varied and very interesting: Turns out it's not just Dr. Spock and "What to Expect When You're Expecting."

Janelle Brown, author of the novels "This Is Where We Live" and  "All We Ever Wanted Was Everything" and the mother of Theo, age 5 days, and Auden, age 2 years: "I'm reading 'Mirror, Mirror' by Gregory Maguire. A friend gave it to me when I asked her for hospital-friendly reading material for the sleep deprived. Haven't had a whole lot of opportunities to read, though. It's a dark and twisted adult version of the Snow White fairy tale, from the author of 'Wicked.'"

Dana Goodyear, staff writer at the New Yorker and author of the poetry collection "Honey and Junk," is expecting her second child soon: "I'm reading 'Beyond the Beautiful Forevers' by Katherine Boo and, in the middle of the night, the Huffington Post on my phone.

Journalist Claire Zulkey, expecting her first child Sept. 4: "Right now I am reading Susan Orlean's "Rin Tin Tin" book and also listening to Michael Ian Black's book 'You're Not Doing It Right' (which is actually semi-about parenting)."

Edan Lepucki, author of the novella "If You're Not Yet Like Me" and mother of Dixon Bean Brown, 10 months old: "I'm reading a lot these days. I'm currently re-reading 'Stone Arabia' by Dana Spiotta, one of my favorite books of last year. I'm doing a lecture on it next Friday for a private arts and reading group in Pasadena called Inside the Story, so the reading is partly for work...but mostly for pleasure since it's such a lovely and beguiling read. I just finished the bestselling thriller 'Before I Go to Sleep' by S.J. Watson; I chose to read this because we were headed to Palm Springs for a family vacation and I wanted something deliciously readable to suck down along with my pool-side margarita. I wasn't taken with the style or the first-person narration but lord I could not put that sucker down!  Next on my shelf: Jonathan Lethem's 33 1/3 book on the Talking Heads album 'Fear of Music.'"

Grace Krilanovich, selected as one the National Book Award's 5 under 35 authors for her novel "The Orange Eats Creeps" is the mother of Ondine, 5 months: "I just got the new Brian Evenson novel, "Immobility," so I'm  looking forward to starting that in a day or so, after I finish reading the manuscript of Tom Hansen's new novel, 'This Is What We Do,' which will be out in August/September."

Claire Bidwell Smith, author of the memoir "The Rules of Inheritance," whose child is due June 12: "I just finished 'The Fault in Our Stars' by John Green, which I found to be kind of perfect. I'm now going back and forth between 'Bringing Up Bebe,' which I think illuminates the many flaws in the American parenting model in a really important way, and Diane Keaton's memoir 'Then Again,' which is such an incredible book about mother-daughter relationships."

If you're thinking of getting your mom a book, keep these mothers' reading lists in mind.


Mom's bookshelf, in the Kellogg house

Mom's bathroom reading, in the Owchar house

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Reading, with baby. Credit: Lynn Friedman via Flickr