For her birthday this year, I gave her a Barnes and Noble e-giftcard with express instructions to use it to buy a couple of novels to read on her Nook. I chose A Fierce Radiance by Lauren Belfer and Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks for her.
She loves historical fiction. Caleb's Crossing is set on Martha's Vineyard and tells the story of the first Native American to graduate from Harvard. It's told from the perspective of the daughter of the man who takes the protagonist under his wing (of course she can't got to Harvard since she's a woman). A Fierce Radiance is about the development of penicillin. It's a perfect book for my mom as it's medical historical fiction.
For Mother's Day, I got her this lovely orchid:
While wandering aimlessly around the fancy garden store trying to pick out a plant for her, I found myself drawn to this particular plant. Most of what I know about orchids I learned from reading Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief (see post). Luckily my parents have the Time-Life Encyclopedia of Gardening and one of the volumes has a section on the care and handling of orchids as houseplants.