Mother’s Day is not a day I enjoy; in fact, it’s my least favorite day of the year. Thus, writing a joyful post on this day is hard. Very hard.

But as I fished my mind for how to spin this day into a more sunny one, I lit upon my mother’s books. The way they are still tucked into the corners of this house, and the way she shared them with me so often. If my mother loved one thing almost as much as God, people, and cats, it was books.

The woman knew how to read. In fact, she could finish a good mystery novel in a couple of nights, tucked into her bed with her stack of cellophane-wrapped library titles next to her. My dad still marvels as how fast she could read a page – maybe three pages to his every one. She knew a good time when she found one, and often her good times were amongst the words of writers.

So today, as I remember her without being able to hug her, I take joy in the books she loved. Here, for your pleasure and for the love of my mom, is a list of her favorite authors.

Roberta Bondi
C.S. Lewis
Rita Mae Brown
Iain Pears
Oscar Hijuelos
Anne Lamott
Henri Nouwen
Brennan Manning
Kathleen Norris
Susan Howatch
Morris West
Alexander McCall Smith
Elizabeth Peters
Frederick Buechner
and her all-time favorite writer Flannery O’Connor

What were/are your mom’s favorite books, if you had the opportunity to know that? How did her choices in reading affect yours? How did you come to read the books you read today? Who influenced your reading?