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In Battleborn, a collection of short stories, Claire Vaye Watkins recreates the rich and complicated history of the desert regions of California and Nevada. The title is derived from one of Nevada’s nicknames, The Battle Born State, which it earned by becoming a state during the Civil War. Similarly, the ghosts of past battles are never far away from the characters’ minds as they struggle through life. Watkins succeeds at using regional details to ... Read More
  Oksana Marafioti’s memoir brings to light a minority culture that most people have very little knowledge of beyond TLC’s My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. Yes, Marafioti does write about one of those extravagant affairs, in which she donned a mango-colored taffeta gown and teased her hair to the heavens, but the strength of her book lies in the way it makes her Romani family, who moved to California in the early ’90s, and their over-the-top ... Read More
In Overdressed, New York-based writer Elizabeth Cline explores the extreme decline in the cost of fashion, and the political, economic, and social implications of this change. Cline begins with a personal yet familiar anecdote: she once bought seven pairs of $7 shoes in a single haul, only to eventually throw half of them out without having worn them once. Most of us who grew up in the ’90s practice Cline’s former shopping ritual: consistently buying ... Read More
You run up the stairs before you go to bed instead of walking. You hear a creaking noise and you hold your breath. You spin around far too quickly when you're raiding the cabinets for a snack because you sense someone behind you. There's no one there. Why do you feel so creeped out in your own house? I don't know if you have ever felt this weird sense of fear in your own home, but I know that I have. I know that it's inexplicable, that there's no real reason to be ... Read More
 Reviewed by Molly Labell Lizz Winstead is responsible for creating The Daily Show and for setting the progressive tone of the now defunct Air America, platforms that—bless her!—brought both Jon Stewart and Rachel Maddow into the national spotlight. With her new book of personal essays, Winstead will undoubtedly be responsible for inspiring sc-ores of creative and opinionated young women. Her first collection chronicles the events and ... Read More
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