Book dates to take your mum on

Yeah, we know you’re getting bombarded with Mother’s Day gift ideas, but stick with us, because we’ve got something that will knock your mum’s socks off. Forgo the flowers and ignore the alcohol, and instead combine a gift that keeps on giving (a book, of course) with a memorable Mother’s Day date experience.

Western Australia has a plethora of parks, beaches, coffee spots and incredible sights, so check out our guide below to combine the perfect reading gift with some quality mum-time.

A grand day out in Fremantle

Give her … Kathleen O’Connor of Paris by Amanda Curtin

Kathleen had a strong connection to Fremantle, having lived there briefly when she was a girl and in her later life, with many of her works having been exhibited at Fremantle Arts Centre. So why not gift Amanda Curtin’s wonderful book, Kathleen O’Connor of Paris, about the life and art of this most bohemian of women, then immerse yourselves in the arty, creative vibe of Freo. Start with a cuppa and some cake at Canvas Café at FAC, and if you’re feeling extra arty, take along some pencils and paper and have a just-for-fun sketching session. Then take a stroll down the Cappuccino Strip and soak up the creative culture in the town. Go on your own journey, as Curtin does in this book, and see how closely your life intertwines with art.

Life’s a good chinwag over a cocktail

Give her … Afternoons with Harvey Beam by Carrie Cox

Carrie Cox’s coming-of-middle-age drama is the perfect companion to a day of sunny-side-up brekkies, Swan River strolling and cocktail sipping. A poignant, engaging and darkly comic story, Afternoons with Harvey Beam is a story of one man’s journey into the depths of his past and the impending joys of his future. Grab a hat, pack a picnic lunch and hit Matilda Bay for a Mother’s Day brekkie by the water. Then get stuck in to a good book (hint hint) before taking a stroll along the lush green banks of the Swan River, before grabbing a sunset cocktail and watching the water turn gold.

Action woman

Give her … River of Salt by Dave Warner

Hitman Blake Saunders has escaped the Mob and left Philadelphia for good, but when his new life in Australia is threatened by the murder of a young woman, Blake has to use all his skills as a killer to find the culprit and protect his friends. Dave Warner’s latest crime novel is the perfect partner for an active adventure day by the sea. Head down to Margaret River for a day of swimming, surfing or sailing before nipping into the White Elephant Café for a bite to eat and a coffee. Ideal for the mum that can’t stay still. Just don’t forget the zinc …

Art chic

Give her … Nora Heysen: A Portrait by Anne-Louise Willoughby

Nora Heysen was the first female painter to win the Archibald Prize for Portraiture and Australia’s first woman war artist. In this lively, fierce biography, Anne-Louise Willoughby captures Nora’s life and work in incredible detail. Start the morning with a coffee and croissant in the PICA cafe before exploring as many of Perth’s galleries as you can fit in a day. Finish up with a glass of wine at Elizabeth Quay and enjoy the view of the stunning Swan River.

As far as the eye can see

Give her … Driving into the Sun by Marcella Polain

Perth plays a central part in this novel set in the 1960s, told from the viewpoint of 11-year-old Orla. When her father dies tragically, Orla and her mother and little sister must navigate the trials of being a family without a male figure at the helm in a society dominated by men. Head to the hills, where Orla lives with her family, and browse through Kalamunda Farmers Market for fresh fruit and picnic supplies. Then take a gentle hike along the Bibbulmun Track to find the perfect spot for a quiet Sunday picnic.

Out bush

Give her … The Valley by Steve Hawke

An epic ode to the Kimberley and a sweeping family saga that follows four generations of one Indigenous family as they live hidden in a secluded valley. But when Broome teenager Dancer heads out bush to escape an angry bikie gang, he and his estranged family set off to discover the secret of his missing mother Milly Rider. If you’re up north, head to Karijini National Park for a weekend of gorge trails, wildlife and beautiful scenery. For city-dwellers, escape into the stunning surrounds of the Swan Valley for walks and wineries.

All of these books and more are available on the Fremantle Press website.

(PS, don’t forget that if you’re ordering in Australia, it’s free postage if you buy two or more books.)

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