School's almost out for summer, and you won't have time to read because you've got a million activities planned for your children, right? Well, that will last about a week and then you'll be confining them to the yard or the living room while you try and veg out in a lawn chair. Take one of these books with you! There is some serious food for thought in the list below, as well as good humor to make you feel less alone.
1. Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines
This book, edited by Alexis Pauline Gumbs, China Martens, and Mai'a Williams and published by PM Press, goes into depth where other mothering anthologies fear to tread. The idea behind this anthology is to provide a collection of work that gives voice to marginalized mothers: mothers in poverty, mothers in war, mothers with a child in jail, and mothers striving for strong communities to raise their children.
"None of us are here unless we are mothered. This is a book and a conversation about how we can bring forth the lives, communities, and movements we deserve," says one of its editors. "In this anthology, we are exploring how we are informed by and participating with those mothers, especially radical women of color, who have sought for decades, if not centuries, to create relationships to each other, transformative relationships to feminism and a transnational anti-imperialist literary, cultural and everyday practice."
I attended a reading in Oakland, CA by a few of the writers and their works left me in tears. The stories run the gamut of describing motherhood in all its stages from infancy to outliving one's child.
2. Mama Said: A Collection of Short Stories about Motherhood
Mama Said is the first venture in publishing for northern Californian editors Tiffiney Lozano and Michelle Beaman. For them, the book is personal.
"It's a gorgeous and heartfelt tribute to the joys and frustrations of motherhood. Mama Said is a collection of personal narratives and artwork created by mothers, for mothers. It’s the book we wished we had when we first welcomed our babies into the world," said Lozano.
This book, with its soft focus in photography and pastel hues, is almost the perfect baby shower accompaniment. Though some of the writers tend to echo each other's sentiments, it provides a window into the minds of some typical and not so typical mothers, which new mom readers might find particularly comforting.
3. Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape
Girls & Sex, by Peggy Orenstein and published by Harper, takes you on an eye-opening journey into the parenting you don't want to have to think about. The tween/teen years of sexuality, your kid, and their world of social media. The interviews will be an eye-opener, to say the least. It's not like it was when we were in school.
4. BabyFat: Adventures in Motherhood, Muffin Tops, & Trying to Stay Sane
5. Listen to Your Mother: What She Said Then, What We're Saying Now
This book came out in 2015 as a companion to the national motherhood speaker show, Listen to Your Mother. This year, the national show held staged readings in 41 cities across the country. Each city hosts readers and their stories from that region, and no two shows are alike. The anthology published by G.P. Putnam is a great sampling of the shows and what audiences can expect — often demonstrating there are no single definitions of what it is to be a mother.
6. Motherhood May Cause Drowsiness: Funny Stories by Sleepy Moms
This is a hilarious anthology by Lisa Nolan on Monkey Star Press that captures the funnier moments of trying to function as an adult while one transitions from an intelligent person with potential into motherhood. She also has a couple of new anthologies due out soon. Check out Nolan's parenting group that goes along with the anthologies.
What's your favorite book on motherhood? Share with us!