MOM’S REQUIRED READING

Who wrote the book of motherhood?

For Mother’s Day this year, consider holding the candy and flowers, and giving some maternally oriented reading matter instead.

To make Mom feel better about your own 1ittle eccentricities. Mother, I Have Something to Tell You, by Jo Brans, with research by Margaret Smith (Doubleday, $17.95), is required reading. The brilliantly titled book examines some wrenching crises-including abortion, anorexia, alcoholism, drug abuse, homosexuality, and teenage pregnancy. The focus is the effect on mothers, and how they can come to terms with letting go and becoming independent of their children.

To counsel Mom on how to deal with her mom, consider the tenth-anniversary edition of Nancy Friday’s classic My Mother, My Self (Delacorte Press, $19.95). Finally, there is Starring Mothers by Jill Barber and Barbara Walz (Doubleday, $12.95), a charming photo album of celebrity mothers and their children.

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