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Tara Hardy gives you her life’s thesis when she writes, “…my/blood does not make a pity trip.” Indeed, what grips about the poems in Bring Down The Chandeliers (Write Bloody Publishing) is not that she speaks so directly about incest, chronicling the sexual abuse from her father. (In fact, nowhere is the word “abuse” even used in these poems.) Hardy’s gift is her ability to take bravery where it’s never gone before. Like with the admission that thinking of her father “Hardened my nipples with shame. 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. 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. 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 lifestyle relatable. 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 cheap, trendy clothes at “fast fashion” stores like H&M and Forever 21. Read More