A Bookspired Birthday

Today is my mom’s 70th birthday. My mom reads all the time, all different books: mysteries, classics, contemporary literature, and more. On her special day, I’m sharing just a few of the books that remind me of her.

cheers mom
Happy Hour in Ireland


Coming Home by Rosamund Pilcher – My mom introduced me to this book, one of my all-time favorites. Both of us have read it several times. It has the ugliest book cover on the planet, but you know how the saying goes.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child – When I was little I loved to watch Julia Child’s cooking shows on PBS with my mom. More recently we visited Julia’s kitchen at the National Museum of American History.

The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner: My mom bought me the first book in the series from the Scholastic book fair in an effort to get me to expand my horizons beyond The Baby-sitters Club. The plan worked, although of course I didn’t abandon Kristy, Mary Anne, Stacey, Claudia, and Dawn altogether. (My mom also bought me many BSC books through the years.)

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl by Ree Drummond –  I remember when my mom showed me this great cookbook she’d checked out of the library, ages before the Food Network was hip to Ree’s down-to-earth recipes and fascinating life on the Oklahoma ranch. Since then, my Mom has bought me every cookbook Ree has written. Sometimes these two redheads even hang out.



Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien: Recently I ran into one of my mom’s former fifth-grade students, who told me that when her friends from elementary school get together, they reminisce about my mom reading aloud to the class from The Rats of NIMH.

The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder – I’ve mentioned before that my mom bought me the Little House box set illustrated by Garth Williams. This is, without a doubt, my favorite book series.

The Mitford books by Jan Karon – This is a favorite for my mom. I think she’s read them as many times as I’ve read the Little House books. Although I’ve only read At Home in Mitford, I plan to go through the whole series at some point. Father Tim and his dog, Barnabas – who only behaves when commanded by scripture – are great characters.

Earlene Fowler books – My mom is a talented quilter and enjoys books that incorporate quilting into the story. I’ve never read an Earlene Fowler book, but I think of my mom every time I see one at a library or bookstore.

With the “Alphabet for Annie” quilt she made for her second granddaughter.

The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas – This is a quilt-world-inspired book that I did read and love. Queenie Bean’s narration is delightful. I’d like to read it again sometime, and I know who will let me borrow it.

Brooklyn: A Novel by Colm Toibin. This was one that my mom recommended (handed) to me. As a grandchild of Irish immigrants, I enjoyed this novel and look forward to seeing the movie, which is supposed to be excellent.

Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy – My mom introduced me to Maeve Binchy’s stories when I was a teenager, and I’ve read the majority of her books. Although Circle of Friends is Binchy’s most famous book due to the film starring Minnie Driver and Chris O’Donnell, Scarlet Feather is my favorite.

nora mom
Nana and Nora, Day 1

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – When I was in fifth grade, my mom offered me the incentive of a new pair of earrings from Marshall’s if I finished Little Women. She’s always encouraged my pursuit of good literature and great fashion.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Quilt Cake by Jacques Pastries in Suncook, NH



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