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  A nice-guy husband, a nice job, a nice apartment: for many women, this sounds like the ideal way to end their 20s; for an almost-30 Jessica Dorfman Jones, it felt like the end to her life. Looking to shake things up just a bit, she signs up for guitar lessons and winds up quickly entering the world of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. (“It’s not a list,” she insists, “It’s a lifestyle.”) First there’s the ... Read More
  If you’re a crafter who’s dreaming of quitting your day job, this book will provide you with the necessary know-how. Hello Craft is a non-profit trade association dedicated to crafters and the handmade movement, and their insider knowledge of the industry makes them a natural (and adorable) guide to its nuances. Handmade to Sell walks you through the ins and outs of business -launching, covering topics such as registering with the federal ... 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
  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
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