Tag » book review
  In this paperless e-world of ours, it's fun, retro, and just plain courteous to send an actual thank-you note, emblazoned with a stamp and everything. (And no, a text that reads "kthanxbai" does not count as a thank-you note.) According to Nancy Sharon Collins' book, The Complete Engraver: Monograms, Crests, Ciphers, Seals, and the Etiquette of Social Stationery, it's a practice that we should keep up. "A thank-you note is always appropriate. Any act of ... Read More
  Louise Fili makes awesome shit and you can see a lot of that awesome shit in her new book, Elegantissima: The Design and Typography of Louise Fili. A much-respected figure in the field of graphic design, Fili is known for her fancy lettering and raised the bar on book-cover design in the 1980s, creating nearly 2,000 book covers as art director for Pantheon Books. Elegantissima is a monograph of Fili's work over the past four ... Read More
  It sure isn’t easy being a girl, but Caitlin Moran’s got some pointers in her book, How To Be A Woman. In this part-memoir, part-rant, the TV critic and columnist for The Times in London takes us on a journey from puberty to motherhood. With each chapter title, she exclaims like a little kid, “I start to bleed!” “I get furry!” But don’t be fooled, this book is about more than periods and pubic hair. Yes, Moran does her fair share of ... Read More
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
  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
  Girl Walks into a Bar is a memoir by former Saturday Night Live cast member Rachel Dratch, perhaps best known for her character Debbie Downer. Here, Dratch recounts her career experiences (before, during, and after SNL), her attempts at dating, and her unexpected yet welcomed pregnancy at age 43. As you might expect, “Girl” is laugh-out-loud funny, with humorous tangents aplenty. Dratch describes her long, persistent journey (often being passed ... Read More
  Reviewed by Erica Wetter Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life By Natalie Dykstra (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) You’ve probably never heard of Clover Adams, but as English Professor Natalie Dykstra illuminates in this detailed biography of the 19th-century Washington socialite, she rubbed elbows with many of the nation’s elite. “A perfect Voltaire in petticoats,” friend Henry James commented. “Certainly not handsome” her husband-to-be ... Read More
  Reviewed by Melynda Fuller Barnheart: The Incurable Longing for a Farm of One’s Own By Jenna Woginrich (Storey) At some point, every city-dweller utters the words, “I wish I could just move to the country and start a farm.” In her new memoir, writer Jenna Woginrich lays out that idyllic landscape found so often in the deep sighs of those who feel trapped by urban life. After a short stint as a homesteader in Idaho, Woginrich takes a job in rural ... Read More
  Reviewed by Maria Elena Buszek Madonna & Me: Women Writers on the Queen of Pop Edited by Laura Barcella (Soft Skull)   If the way the Interwebz blew up the minute she hit the stage at the 2012 Super Bowl is any indication, Madonna has not lost her ability to provoke and fascinate—even as she approaches the end of her third decade as a pop icon. This fact is on abundant display in the new anthology Madonna and Me, edited by journalist (and BUST ... Read More
One of the ways my mom lets me know she loves me is by making soup and canning it so I can preserve it until that fateful day when a cold hits me and all I want is a bowl of mom’s magical brew. When I don’t know what to give someone for the holidays, I rely on my homemade orange marmalade presented in cute jars—it’s a gift everyone appreciates since it’s such a sweet labor of love. And when I get carried away at the farmers’ ... Read More
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