Summer Reading List for Moms

Summer is the perfect time to laze around with a book in hand. The rising temperature won’t be a problem. Once wrapped up in a story, your mind will wander, taking you to places you’ve never seen and adventures you’ve never been to. Here, we asked Ines Bautista Yao, Gina Abuyuan, and Aurora Mangubat Suarez for titles moms would enjoy taking on their next vacay or on their next trip to the hammock. Ines is a writer, editor, bestselling book author, and mom of two. Gina is an award-winning journalist, managing director of Blended Learning Center, and mom of three while Aurora is a life coach, marketing consultant, and mom of one.



“Ever heard of a preschool that’s so hard to get in, you have to practically sell your soul for your kids to study there? This book is about a school like that, the parents whose kids study there, and their crazy relationships. If you’re a parent, even if you aren’t in the same boat, you’ll be able to relate on so many different levels! I know I could!”


“A teenage girl who is raised by her baker father is bound to gain weight from all the succulent, mouthwatering sweets he churns out day after day. But when Jessie decides to try out for the Hoofers, the school’s ultra popular hip-hop club, she realizes a thing or two about loving herself for who she really is. I love reading young adult fiction because of the growth the characters undergo and of course, the young love.”


“If you love Jane Austen like I do, you will adore this book. Sam is an orphan who would rather live in the world of the classics, but she’s forced to face reality when a mysterious benefactor offers to fund her tuition for journalism school. The only catch is she has to write him letters about her life and progress. I fell in love with Sam, with how different her character is, how deep her pain goes, and how she allows herself to face her past and find happiness. And I’m sure you will too!”


“This is an anthology by various authors and celebrities, published by Summit Books. I have to admit, I wrote one of the stories here and I edited this collection, but the bias ends there. The stories, poems, comics, and song lyrics in this book about turning 18 are so diverse, entertaining, and full of insight that you will be brought back to your teenage years. You will laugh, cry, gasp, and maybe even fall in love.”


“When all around jock and popular guy Hobbs meets Up, a boy who is running away from home, his entire world is thrown upside down. This book, a young adult novel by Dawn Malone, touched me deeply. It’s about breaking down barriers, changing perceptions, and caring — caring so much for other people that you forget about your own selfishness. Deeply moving.”



“I was intrigued when I read an article on the author and her very, very private life. It’s even debated if Elena Ferrante is indeed her real name. Her prose, however, is real through and through. My Brilliant Friend is the first of her novels about Elena’s friendship with Lila, with whom she has a curious relationship that borders on the addictive. Serious issues are brought up throughout the book—child abuse, sexual awakenings, poverty, class segregation—but they’re tackled so head-on and so poetically that you can’t help but swoon. If you’re a writer, in love with words, or need a new voice to admire, get this on your Kindle.”


“Combining social issues with magic realism, this novel might be your much-needed respite from all the mud-slinging on social media right now. F. Sionil’s storytelling skills and belief in the Filipino people’s higher qualities are a given, so much of the fun from this book is derived from trying to figure out who he might be pertaining to with his thinly-disguised characters. My bet: Juan Bacnang is this tenacious old senator whose initials rhyme with ABC.”


“Not the best prose, but encouraging to read for aspiring novelists. If she can do it, you can do it too. Some of the characters and situations are sometimes two-dimensional and simplistic, but the subject matter and setting (mail order brides, de Buena familias and their pre-occupation with image and shame) are obviously something we can understand and relate to (I wonder how international readers are taking to it, though). No matter—it’s riveting enough to read till the end. Kudos to Soliven’s efforts.”


“Shameless plug—I edited this anthology, which won a National Book Award last year. It’s a book about climate change without mentioning the words “climate change,” and contains works by 24 writers, artists, academics, scientists about the phenomena in their own style. There are super-short stories, poems, fictional personalized essays… If you need to find a way to bring an issue to light and closer to people’s hearts, do it through art. The book also contains stunning photographs by elusive photojournalist Jose Enrique Soriano. One hundred percent of the proceeds goes directly to the e-jeepneys and Re-Charge Facility in Tacloban, Leyte, a solar charging station, and the funding of “solar scholars”. Great read for a good cause.”


“Because, Eva Green. Just kidding. Primarily written for young adults, consider this a break from the heavy stuff on this list. And although it’s far from sweet and bubbly, it’s got all the lightness of youth. It’s swiftly-paced and packed with excitement. You’ll zip through it in one afternoon while sipping on an ice-cold sangria.”



Kalanithi was a medical student training to be a neurosurgeon when he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. As the student becomes a patient and a new father to boot, he faces questions about life and death in this stirring reflection of a book.


The author of Eat Pray Love inspires readers once again to get out of their comfort zones and dive into their innermost longings. She not only coaxes us to be more passionate and curious, she also shares the habits and attitudes that make for wildly creative lives.


In Wild, Strayed wrote notes to herself as she traversed the Pacific Crest Trail. In Brave Enough, she shares her most inspiring quotes and thoughts, one page for each quote, which, when strung together, works like a manual for the soul, guiding readers to a journey of forgiveness, compassion, and love.


The Nest refers to the joint trust fund that siblings Leo, Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb are bound to receive in a few months. When the four meet, sparks fly as old wounds are revisited and fresh ones come close to being inflicted.


Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Charles Duhigg draws on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics along with real-life experiences of generals, chief executive offiers, pilots, and songwriters to get into the heart of productivity.

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