Welcome to the 2020 Mother’s Day Gift Guide Book Supplement! You can find the full 2020 Mother’s Day Gift Guide here.
With mums across the country stuck inside this Mother’s Day, there has never been a better time to give the gift of a book (or eBook, if mum has a Kobo eReader)! Check out some of the excellent choices:
Disclosure: Gifts in this guide were provided to Blog of Dad free of charge.
The Whole-Brain Child – Daniel J Siegel, M.D and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.
I probably don’t need to tell you this, but parenting can be challenging. At times, it can even be very challenging. Fortunately, us parents are not in this alone and there are experts out there who devote their lives to understanding the science behind a child’s developing brain.
Meltdowns and tantrums often seem mystifying to us parents, but when the science of how a child’s brain is wired is explained by Siegel (a neuropsychiatrist) and Bryson (a parenting expert), things begin to make a little more sense. Better yet, they provide parents with 12 key strategies to help parents raise calmer, happier children. Essential reading for all mums (and dads) with young children this Mother’s Day. Hot tip – don’t just give it to your wife, read it too and become a joint powerhouse of understanding. You’ll both be better off for it.
The Power of Showing Up – Daniel J Siegel, M.D and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.
The perfect follow up to The Whole-Brain Child. Now that you and your partner understand how your young person’s brain works, its time to turn your attention to the impact that you, as parents, have on the success of your children. As Siegel and Bryson explain, it is all about showing up. The Good news? It doesn’t take a lot of time, energy or money.
The Power of Showing Up is another worthwhile read for all parents.
Gut: the inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ – Giulia Enders
A book with an entire section dedicated to poo (and another to constipation) may not immediately strike you as the perfect gift to give your wife or mother, but stay with me here. The gut is important! And understanding the role that it plays in an overall healthy lifestyle is important.
Giulia Enders comes from a medical background, but her writing is down-to-earth and she has a wonderful ability to boil down complex body systems into language that is easy to understand. Her amazement at the wonders of the human body is infectious and immediately engaging, and a gentle underlying humour kept me reading. Throughout the book, the message is simple – look after your gut and it will look after you!
Gut is a great gift of any mother with an interest in health and wellbeing.
You can find Gut: the inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ on the Scribe website or in the Rakuten Kobo eBook store.
The Happiness Curve – Jonathan Raunch
Emma and I aren’t quite in our 40s yet, but the time will come before we know it. As they say, forewarned is forearmed and The Happiness Curve is the kind of text that is well worth reading in advance.
For many people, happiness is harder to find in their 40s. It isn’t depression and it’s not because they haven’t been successful. This can be confronting and it can be worrying, but what people often don’t realise is it is normal. In fact, evidence suggests that it is hardwired into us through thousands of years of biological and cultural evolution.
Okay, I know that I have just made The Happiness Curve sound like a massive downer of a book, but there is plenty of good news as well, and plenty of incentive to give it a read. Firstly, the research shows that the happiness curve is U-shaped, which means that by your early fifties, things start looking up. Secondly, while you can’t repeal the happiness curve, you can mitigate its effects.
The Happiness Curve is an engaging, insightful and reassuring book for any mum who is approaching (or living with someone who is approaching) the middle stage of their life.
Utopia for Realists – Rutger Bregman
Utopia for Realists was first published in 2018, but in the context of 2020 it is probably even more relevant. Bregman begins by showing how far we have come as a civilisation, and educating his readers on the historical notion of the Utopia idea. From the beginning it is eye-opening, especially when he demonstrates how citizens of even the poorest and most war-torn nations on earth today still have a greater life expectancy than those living in the wealthiest countries in 1800.
From the starting point of we have it pretty good, Rutger Bregman then drills down into utopian concepts such as free money for everyone, the end of poverty and the fifteen-hour workweek (amongst many others).
While some of the ideas presented in Utopia for Realists at times feel a little out there, perhaps now is the time to give them greater contemplation. Utopia for Realists would make a great present for any thinking mum.
My Lucky Stroke – Sarah Brooker
Sarah was a 20 year old neuroscience student when she had a devastating car accident. In actual fact, she’d had an aneurysm in her brain burst at the same time the car accident occurred. It was aberrantly fortunate that these two events, the car accident and the aneurysm, occurred together. When the aneurysm burst and bleed, blood filled her skull, squashing her brain. If she had been home alone when this happened she would have died. But she wasn’t at home, she was driving a car, and as that car catastrophically collided with a telegraph pole, she cracked her skull and released the pressure.
If the accident had not occurred, the aneurysm would have killed her. Sarah did not die. She had an immense brain injury – the hole the size of a golf ball in her brain. My Lucky Stroke is Sarah’s fascinating first hand account of her recovery and life, and it is remarkable. It speaks to the fragility of life but also human strength and determination to not only survive but ultimately thrive. Sarah’s gripping recount is told with great warmth, insight and humour.
My Lucky Stroke is a fascinating story for mums who like memoirs with grit and depth.
The Millionaire Castaway – David Glasheen with Neil Bramwell
David Glasheen’s life began spiralling out of control after he l0st his family’s vast fortune in the stock market crash of 1987. After a series of catastrophes, he opted out of the rat race and went off-grid to a tiny deserted island off the north-east tip of Australia to retire himself.
Treading the fine line between hitting quite close to home (Can anyone in corona virus induced isolife relate to the uncertainty surrounding loss of income? Or how getting by on a rare supermarket shopping trip and home made everything?) and the escapism of living on a deserted island! One for the isolife mum!
Bitch Doctrine – Laurie Penny
I’m not going to do Laurie Penny the disservice of trying to explain what Bitch Doctrine is all about in my own words, when an extract from her own Preface sums it up so well:
This book is a dispatch from Generation snowflake. It is a book that is unashamed of what people call ‘political correctness’, although I prefer to think of it as ‘manners’…this is not a book that sets out specifically to upset conservatives of any flavour – it just doesn’t particularly care if it does. I’ve never considered obsessive attention to the fragile feelings of mean old white guys any sort of benchmark for honest journalism. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Bitch Doctrine is a great gift for feminist mums, but it is also a worthwhile read for anyone seeking to broaden understandings and gain exposure to perspectives that may be new or differ from their own.
75 Must-See Places to Take the Kids (before they don’t want to go) – Robin Esrock
This might seem like a strange suggestion for a Mother’s Day gift when the whole of Australia is in lockdown and travel between many states is effectively banned. However, the brilliance of this present is that it gives mum something to look forward to and to plan for once life returns to (relative) normality.
Robin Esrock begins by pointing out that no parent of sound body and mind should consider, under any circumstances, travelling with young kids. It is a valid point, but like Robin, we all do it anyway! So why not take the kids on the domestic travel adventure of a lifetime one we are all allowed out of the house again? Perfect for the mum who dreams of Australian adventures!
You can find 75 Must-see Places to Take the Kids (before they don’t want to go) on the Affirm Press website.