Thursday, May 2, 2013

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

We here at UT Press hope all of your mothers are book fans, because we have some fabulous selections to recommend as Mother’s Day gifts. (Mother’s Day, in case you haven’t noticed, is coming up soon on Sunday, May 12!). Our classic recommendations for Moms cover the domestic gamut – cookbooks and gardening guides – but we’ve also got a few titles that go a little bit deeper.


Oaxaca al Gusto by Diana Kennedy
Certainly not another collection of casserole recipes, Diana Kennedy’s magnum opus of Mexican cuisine truly delves into the cultural gastronomy of the diverse and remote state of Oaxaca. Organized by regions, these three hundred plus recipes will provide your Mother with an almost guru-like knowledge of the three pillars of Oaxacan cuisine —chocolate, corn, and chilies.

The Herb Garden Cookbook by Lucinda Hutson
Long before the urban farm and DIY foodie movement, Lucinda Hutson published this book, which provides both helpful gardening tips for growing ingredients for your kitchen, and plentiful recipes to test out your skills. Lucinda provides artful guidance for menu planning and creative recipes for exotic herbs, as well as practical advice for harvesting and storing them. 

Stirring It Up with Molly Ivins by Ellen Sweets
Everybody’s mother is capable of putting someone in his/her place, or should be. Molly Ivins was no exception. Although she had no children of her own, she played surrogate mom to her friends’ children. As the witty political reporter, her scathing Texas Observer pieces put untrustworthy politicians in their place. Longtime friend and fellow reporter Ellen Sweets shares Molly’s recipes (traditional Texan and fine French cuisine!), escapades, and inner strength.


Let the People In by Jan Reid
As one of the ultimate inspirational but real women, Ann Richards changed the face of her state as the first ardent feminist elected to high office in Texas. The Texas State Historical Association awarded author Jan Reid the Liz Carpenter Award for Research in the History of Women for this absorbing biography of a mother who balanced the pressures of government, overcame her personal demons, and raised four children while remaining a funny, unique, and beautiful public figure.

Welcome to Utopia
by Karen Valby
This book by Karen Valby, a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly, is a no-brainer in terms of gifts for Mom. Quintessential American stories of family and community are tenderly rendered as Valby saw them play out in the small Texas town of Utopia. The book’s real life protagonists and their stories are very moving, revealing just how much they affected Valby in light of her original assignment: to find an American town without popular culture.
If your mom has a green thumb, no matter where she may garden, Howard Garrett’s complete organic gardening guide is the end-all, be-all for conscientious gardening. Covering everything from trees, soils, design, shrubs, annuals and perennials, herbs, grasses, fruits, nuts, and vegetables to organic pest control and plant diseases, all fully illustrated with 833 full-color photos.

Additional recommendations:
Dear Dirt Doctor by Howard Garrett
100 Love Sonnets by Pablo Neruda
Don’t Make Me Go to Town by Rhonda Lashley Lopez

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