Emily's mom needs some new books. She says: "She's recently read and liked The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Madeline L'Engle's Crosswicks Journals, she liked the Jan Karon Mitford books a lot, and she also has a thing for mysteries in the Agatha Christie vein."

Books editor Paul Constant says:

Mother approved.
  • Mother approved.
I think almost every mom who has good taste in novels would like Allegra Goodman's Intuition. (The cover of the paperback version is atrocious, but bear with me.) It's a novel about two young scientists in love. The woman suspects her boyfriend of cheating the results on a study, and as he becomes more and more famous, her suspicions turn to jealousy. It's the kind of novel that I think Jane Austen would be writing today; it's about duty and responsibility and love, just like Austen's books, only it's set in a contemporary Cambridge laboratory.

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Lorrie Moore's A Gate at the Stairs, too is a heartfelt story of a young woman who becomes a nanny for a wealthy young couple. It's kind of like The Nanny Diaries, if The Nanny Diaries was exponentially better-written.

Do you have any suggestions of your own? See Paul's full answer and share your ideas in Questionland!