While memoirs by mothers occupy an ever growing bookshelf and have a cute name—“momoir”—there’s no easy way to say “a memoir about being my mother’s daughter.” Because our culture is reflexively protective of motherhood (What’d you say about my mama?), these books can be uncomfortable to read, particularly if they take a warts-and-all approach. Inevitably the reader begins to fret: Is the mother alive? Has she read this? In creating Oh My Mother!: A Memoir in Nine Adventures (Penguin Random House Audio, 5 hours and 3 minutes), fashion journalist Connie Wang cut this problem off at the pass. As she announces in her introduction, her mother, Qing, was the first person to read each chapter as it was written, with full editing rights. Concerns that this process could take all the juice out of the story prove unfounded, and the drama of the more difficult revelations and scenes of conflict—meltdown in DisneyWorld, lockdown in China—is intensified by Wang’s plainspoken narration. Qing Wang is a deeply stubborn, pragmatic, sometimes angry woman, often mystified by the culture of a country she never meant to immigrate to in the first place—and her American-born daughter is generally prouder than she is frustrated by her.

A daring approach to the long war of mother-daughter relations is taken by Honey, Baby, Mine: A Mother and Daughter Talk Life, Death, Love (and Banana Pudding) (Hachette Audio, 7 hours and 40 minutes), in which actors Laura Dern and Diane Ladd literally act out and relive their past skirmishes. Back in 2014, when Ladd was diagnosed with a severe lung condition, Dern persuaded her to accept the doctor’s recommendation of long walks by promising to record their ambulatory conversations for posterity. Those exchanges were edited for publication, and now the two are playing themselves in the audio version. Though you don’t get all the beautiful photographs in this format, the spine-tingling sense of eavesdropping on real life counterbalances that. Ladd’s age and frailty are sometimes brutally evident, as she coughs and wheezes and begs again and again in her honeyed drawl to take a break from walking. When they relive a 14-year-old fight they had when Ladd told Dern’s son he looked like a girl and took him for a haircut, the raised voices and interruptions make it clear this ax was never truly buried. “I nevah, nevah, nevah, nevah said that!” shouts Ladd. “Nevah!” “You’re totally full of it!” retorts Dern. Within minutes, they’re back to lovey-dovey reassurances. Sound familiar?

“Well, I can’t decide if the happiest day of my life was the day I lost interest in sex or the day my second dog died and I was finally free of dogs,” Alexandra Auder quotes her mother as saying—to a family at a Quaker Meeting House parents’ event. Her mother, the Warhol “superstar” Viva, is a monstrous diva and proud of it. Daughter Alex does not hesitate to throw her under the bus in Don’t Call Me Home (Penguin Random House Audio, 8 hours and 5 minutes), but she climbs right under there with her, describing her recurrent matricidal urges in graphic detail. There’s plenty of love to go along with the hate, though; as our critic put it in a starred review, “Auder makes the most of her magnificent mess of material, celebrating her bohemian upbringing and her crazy mother in style.” The author’s reading makes the many funny parts even funnier as she imitates her fazzair’s Frensh accent and her mother’s whiny, melodramatic pronouncements. “I’ll wind up penniless and homeless. You’ll abandon me and send me to a nursing home. I know it!” Viva says more than once. But for all the trash talk between these two, it’s perfectly clear: ain’t gonna happen.

Marion Winik is the host of the NPR podcast The Weekly Reader.