I once belonged to this wonderful book club where all the members submitted the book they received as a Christmas present and we circulated those books amongst the group throughout the year. So what do you choose for your mother and all her friends to read?
They'll love anything you give because it shows they're loved enough to get something you actually picked with them in mind. As most kids live a distance from their mothers, it is very important to the community's peace of mind to know their friend has a mother/child connection.
The older I get, the less I like the tragic tales Oprah has a fondness for. The reason it's rugged when parents' die is because now one is free to honestly look at his/her life without concern of betraying or hurting anyone. It takes about 3 years of angst and soul searching to find peace and accept that we are all broken-winged birds who are frightened and try to lash out if anyone gets too close. So you finally say, we all did the best we could given our brokenness and become better people for having gone through the process.
I don't want to read sad stories of tragic lives because frankly once you are passed 55, you've seen enough real life tragedy to last a lifetime. In my childhood family pictures, only my brother and myself are still alive. Don't tell me a sad tale. I get enough of that talking on the phone.
Pick something that inspires or entertains or celebrates or something you really enjoyed that helps us know you better. In fact, what would be really great is if you pulled a book off your shelf with stuff underlined with little notes in the margin because the book we most want to read is you. People are continually evolving - nothing gives a mother greater pleasurer than knowing her child, whatever the age, is unique and a marvel.