10 Gorgeous Books for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is coming up fast, and there’s something about giving a beautiful book to someone that I just love. It feels more like sharing than gifting.

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In no particular order, these are some of my favorite gorgeous books for gift giving–all of which I’ve gifted or own myself. And yes, one of them is what I’m giving my mom for Mother’s Day this year…I won’t say which on the off chance she reads this!

Bitten by Witch Fever: Wallpaper & Arsenic in the Nineteenth-Century Home by Lucinda Hawksley

List price: $45.00 // Amazon.com $29.18

Ugh. I love this so much I’m not sure where to even start. First, just look at that cover and try to tell me you wouldn’t want to pick it up for closer inspection. It’s hard to tell but the apothecary bottle shape is actually lightly embossed and the title information on the spine and cover is embossed in a pretty copper metallic. Inside, you’ll find reproductions 275 vintage wallpaper patterns interspersed with chapters on the surprisingly weird history of wallpaper. If your mom is interested in Victorian-era anything or even interior design, this is a winner.

The New York Times Magazine Photographs

List price $75.00 // Amazon.com $45.40

This mammoth coffee table book showcases photographs and notes from 140+ photographers printed in the New York Times magazine’s 30-something year run.

The Beekeeper’s Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses by Richard Jones and Sharon Sweeney-Lynch

List price: $35.00 // Amazon.com $23.49

This one is a lot of information about bees, which are pretty amazing. I think any mom who gardens would find The Beekeeper’s Bible interesting. There are recipes, different household uses, some history of beekeeping, and of course, how-to info for moms on the lookout for an interesting new hobby.

Dalí: Les Dîners de Gala

List price: $59.00 // Amazon.com $39.92

In 1973 Dalí published this surreal and extravagant cookbook based on the elaborate dinners he hosted with his wife, Gala. Last year it was reprinted, complete with a luxe gold jacket. Yes, it’s a cookbook, but not like anything else your mom will have on her shelf. It’s humorous, weird, and wonderful.


Summer Cocktails: Margaritas, Mint Juleps, Punches, Party Snacks, and More by Maria del Mar Sacasa

List price: $22.95 // Amazon.com $13.29


Winter Cocktails: Mulled Ciders, Hot Toddies, Punches, Pitchers, and Cocktail Party Snacksby Maria del Mar Sacasa

List price: $22.95 // Amazon.com $10.24

These books are, in a word, charming. This recipe book feels fresh and hip, and the recipes are fancy without being too fussy. The author is a food stylist, and it shows in the gorgeous photos. Judging by the recipes, she’s probably a smashing hostess, too. Summer Cocktails is more seasonal, but I’d say buy both hardcovers on Amazon and it’ll look like you spent a lot more than you did. (Bonus points: spoil your mama! Make a cocktail from the book and gift while you serve).

Every Day Is Election Day: A Woman’s Guide to Winning Any Office, from the PTA to the White House by Rebecca Sive

List price: $17.95 // Amazon.com $14.29

I actually think this is a great gift for any awesome lady in your life, because gifting this book is like saying “you’ve got my vote, but you’re so amazing I think everyone else should vote for you, too!” 

Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself by Walt Whitman and Allen Crawford

List price: $28.95 // Amazon.com: $19.68

This one is for any mom with a poetic bent. Walt Whitman’s classic Song of Myself is illustrated by Allen Crawford in a rambling, exuberant hardcover volume. It’s a treat to read cover to cover, or to pick up and flip through a few random pages at a time.

Desert Air by George Steinmetz

List price: $65.00 // Amazon.com: $48.66

An incredible collection of mind-blowing desert landscapes from the driest places around the world. If your mom is a wanderer, armchair or otherwise, she’ll be wowed by the sheer scale of this book and the photos it contains. Perhaps your mother isn’t so excited by deserts? Try New York Air: The View from Above by the same author.


Air Plants: The Curious World of Tillandsias by Zenaida Sengo and Caitlin Atkinson

List price: $19.95 // Amazon.com: $15.03

12 Pcs Tillandsia Air Plant Kit: $21.95

I’m cheating a little bit because I haven’t gifted or owned this book, but I have checked it out a few times from the library. Air plants are very cool little things, not least because it’s hard to kill them. I even kept some alive for months, and I kill everything. Plus even when they’re dead they kind of look the same anyway. This stylish little book is a great primer on the different types of Tillandsias out there and full of ideas for how to display them. (Bonus points: buy with an air plant multi-pack and craft something lovely together.)

So, what do you say? Any favorites I should add to my list?


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