Mother's Day: The Willoughby Team Select Books for their Mums

Mother's Day: The Willoughby Team Select Books for their Mums - The Willoughby Book Club

As it's Mother's Day this weekend, we thought we'd do what we love most, which is choosing books. This time, however, we've decided to select titles for our own mums!

It's a real privilege to be trusted to select books for our subscribers. As readers we love having books suggested to us, so to be able to do that for others is a real treat. We aim to surprise and delight our subscribers with every book that arrives, so let's see how we get on doing the same with our biggest supporters- our mums!



My mum is a lifelong reader, and worked for years in her local library, so she has a broad knowledge of books and really doesn't need anyone to suggest books to her. One of the nice things about working in libraries and bookshops is the conversations that take place about books and reading, and I know she's very open to hearing different opinions and reading outside her comfort zone. Regardless of how keen a reader one is, it's always nice to delegate the choosing bit sometimes.

Queen of Dirt Island

I think an author like Dervla Murphy might be a good fit for her adventurous spirit, but I know she also likes books in more domestic settings, focusing on relationships. I have already suggested Claire Keegan and Benjamin Myers to her, so this time the title I have selected is The Queen of Dirt Island by Donal Ryan.

I think she'll love this story of four generations of women in the same family, their loves and lives, and their coalescing around the inheritance of a strip of land named Dirt Island. Donal Ryan's writing is so beautiful, compassionate and moving, and if she likes it, he's written a good lot more!




I love choosing books for my mum. She doesn’t read regularly, so when she asks, I get very excited to help her find her next book! My mum’s very much into books that revolve around people and their relationships, or a true story, or even fantasy, with some of her favourites being His Dark Materials and The Wheel of Time series. We also have two cats which really made her enjoy She And Her Cat so much more.


However, lately she’s been leaning towards stories about families and the relationships they have with one another and the rest of the world, with books like Girl, Woman, Other, Queenie, People Person, and The God of Small Things being some favourites.

With all this in mind, I think my mum would love Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow. I think it’s a great book, and something that would suit her perfectly. Memphis follows three generations of women as they navigate the world around them from the 1930s to the early 2000s. It’s a celebration of the bond between women and how resilient they can be in the face of adversity. She'll really enjoy it.



My Mum a.k.a. the 'mothership', is an avid reader, often having two books on the go, one on the Kindle and then a lovely, new hardback. She enjoys a wide variety of things, ranging from intriguing family dramas, to multiple-perspective historical novels, to crime or even a cosy romance. The main thread that runs throughout

The List of Suspicious Things

her reading, however, is the need for thoughtful, relatable characters, as well as a page-turning plot. She has recently loved The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn  and The Silk House by Kayte Nunn.

For this reason, I've selected The List of Suspicious Things by Jennie Godfrey for my Mum's next book. Set in Yorkshire, in 1979, it follows two young girls, as they take it upon themselves to investigate a slew of murders in the area. Told with wit and warmth, Godfrey's beautifully-crafted debut handles some rather heavy themes with a lightness of touch. 




I have to say, my mum is the person I am most confident in picking books for. It may be down to the fact that I simply have years of experience in it, or that we actually have similar tastes! I pride myself on those occasions that I have picked out unlikely books she wouldn't pick up herself that have since become her favourites, such as Room by Emma Donoghue. She was a very busy mum of six and didn't always have the time to sit down and get sucked into a good book, but as we grew up, it became something we could all bond over and she is really back into reading now.

Four Winds

My brothers are also keen readers, some of whom have worked in bookshops over the years, so we all enjoy picking out and gifting Mum new books. I remember as a teen starting to swap books with her and really learning what both of us enjoy, where we differ, and how we connect over them. She read my Jacqueline Wilson books and I read her Maeve Binchy and Cecilia Ahern titles. We both absolutely adore The Little House on the Prairie books, too! When I think of Mum's preferences, I know it needs great, well-written characters, an engaging plot and, preferably, a good twist. Horror and gore are a no-go.

With all that in mind, I going to suggest Four Winds by Kristin Hannah.  It's a powerful story about a woman named Elsa Martinelli,  who is abandoned by her husband and left to raise their children in drought-ridden 1930s Texas. She is faced with the choice of staying and attempting to survive, or to leave, in search of a better life. It's a beautiful story from Kristen Hannah, the bestselling author of Nightingale, and I think my mum will love it.




Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published