5 Paperback original picks

May 10, 2012 at 12:15 p.m. ET

Hardcover books are great, beautiful on the shelf, but sadly they can be expensive. But did you know that there are books that are released straight into paperback? They're called "paperback originals," and we have five wonderful picks for you that aren't only easy on the wallet, they're a perfect choice for Mother's Day!

The Ice Cream GirlsIce Cream Girls cover
Dorothy Koomson

When Poppy and Serena were just teenagers, they fell victim to a man who preyed on teenage girls, a man who just happened to be their high school teacher. As they fell under his spell, both were convinced they were in love with this twisted man, even as he abused them physically, emotionally and sexually. They were trapped in this damaging and violent relationship until one fateful night when everything changed — their teacher was found murdered, and Poppy and Serena were arrested. Twenty years later, Poppy is a free woman, released on parole after being in prison for a murder she didn't commit, while Serena, who wasn't convicted, has built a life with a husband and children. Poppy is determined to confront Serena and force her to confess so Poppy can finally have the life she's been missing.

Somebody to LoveSomebody to Love cover
Kristan Higgins

Parker Welles is a single mother and a children's book author, and she loves her life. After all, as a member of a obscenely wealthy family, she has never wanted for any material good. But Parker's in for a real shock — she learns that her father has lost all their money and may be facing jail time. All Parker has left is a shack in Maine, and she's determined to fix it up so she can sell it and have some money to live on. But she doesn't expect James Cahill, her father's lawyer and right-hand man, to accompany her, nor does she realize that her attraction to him will make her already complex life even more crazy.

Life Without Parole: A Kate Conway MysteryLife Without Parole cover
Clare O'Donohue

Freelance television producer Kate Conway is still reeling from the murder of her ex-husband, Frank, but things have settled down in her personal life. Professionally, she's still at the top of her game — she's received an offer to do a reality show on the opening of a new restaurant — not her usual scene, but they're paying her extremely well for it. But Kate is also working on a documentary about prison inmates with life sentences, and when the two assignments come together in a disturbing and startling way, Kate doesn't know what to think or who she can trust.

Come, Tell Me How You Live: An Archaeological MemoirCome Tell Me How You Live cover
Agatha Christie Mallowan

Most of us are familiar with Agatha Christie's novels — after all, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot are childhood favorites for many avid readers. But many don't know that Christie was also fascinated with archaeology. Her husband was a famous archaeologist, and in the 1930s she traveled with him around Syria and Iraq digging into the dirt of lost civilizations. Come, Tell Me How You Live is Christie's memoir of this amazing period in her life as she reflected on her adventures in the cradle of civilization and penned her thoughts for all the world to read.

The Garden of Happy EndingsThe Garden of Happy Endings cover
Barbara O'Neal

Reverend Elsa Montgomery loves ministering to her small community in Seattle, but lately, she seems to have lost her faith. The brutal kidnapping and murder of a young girl in her town sent shock waves through Elsa, and she is unable to understand why God would allow such a tragedy to occur. She decides to visit her hometown of Pueblo, Colorado, where her sister, Tamsin, is dealing with problems of her own. Tamsin's wealthy husband seems to have disappeared, and Tamsin has no idea where he is or why he isn't returning her calls. Together, these two sisters help one another rebuild their shattered lives and remind each other what is most important in life.

More reading

SheKnows book review: Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner
Hot celebrity memoirs
Mother's Day must-reads

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