December 8, 2023
December 8, 2023

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Giving Book Recommendations to My Mom

Friday, my day to veg out, relax, recover from my strenuous week as a teenager living in Englewood. At 3 p.m. I’m buried in my blankets, clad in Superman pajamas and sipping peppermint tea. In walks mom, searching for laundry in my room, or “the war zone” as she calls it. A glance at my bookshelf is the clear indicator that my mother didn’t have enough time in her busy work schedule to make a quick trip to Riverside Square Mall’s Barnes and Noble to pick up her decaf mocha and some reading material for the weekend.

I anticipate her next question: “Got any good books to read?”

Knowing she might not be pleased with my selection, I’ll respond: “Check my bookshelf to see if you like anything.”

I am proud of my personal library I have collected over the years. Three shelves filled with literary masterpieces, coming-of-age novels, mysteries, thrillers, and my favorite— biographies. Unfortunately for my mother, the genre my collection lacks, romance, is her favorite.

Instead of finding Nora Roberts’s latest tale of faulty relationships, she will find The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom, or The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. She stays away from my Stephen King books, even though I’ve pushed her to read The Shining, and its sequel, Doctor Sleep.

My mom has read my favorite book, The Alchemist, by Paulo Cohelo, I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, the entire Harry Potter series, and many more. Yet I have stayed far away from her romance novels.

Am I a book snob? Probably. Do I cherish my extensive collection of fine literature? Absolutely. Will I ever read one of my mom’s gooey romance novels? Probably not…

It’s unfortunate that I am unable to provide adequate reading materials for my mother when she craves glorious pieces of literature. This week I’ve decided to prepare, just in case she is unable to get to the bookstore.

I anticipate her question: “Got any good books to read?”

Maybe this week I’ll respond with: “I’ve got The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, The Bride by Julie Garwood and Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.”

Amanda Leifer is a rising freshman at Rutgers University (New Brunswick) this fall. For non-romance book recommendations, email her at

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