Books

In her new memoir, The Big Hurt, author and actress Erika Schickel re-examines her “bad girl” self-image and offers an intimate look into her long process of healing from emotional and sexual trauma.  “Life isn’t linear,” Schickel says in the book. “Eventually we will double back on ourselves, and hopefully we will have grown wiser, maybe we will have learned something.” It is through this lens of past and present intertwined that Schickel approaches her own story, interweaving tales of her reckless adolescence with glimpses into...
I had been living in New York City for six months and working at school for students with Autism and related disorders when I heard about Allison Moorer. More accurately, I heard her twangy Alabama drawl as she chatted with her son’s teacher during afternoon pickup. It was a fall afternoon in the midst of after school dismissal and Moorer’s voice rang disparate compared to the usual city cadences that echoed throughout our school building.   As a Virginia transplant her voice reminded me of my mom’s...
As we step into fall, we can't think of anything better than cosy up at home with a good book with a cup of hot chocolate. Need some recommendations on what to read? Check out our reviews below on books by Maggie Nelson and Nichole Perkins. On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint By Maggie Nelson (Graywolf Press) There are few cultural critics with as much name recognition as MacArthur “genius” grant recipient Maggie Nelson, author of nine books, including 2015’s New York Times bestseller, The Argonauts. Her latest, On Freedom:...
Rosa Brooks was tear-gassed in utero. As the 1960s became the ’70s, her mother, left-wing activist and journalist Barbara Ehrenreich, was pregnant and protesting against the Vietnam War when she was gassed by police. Ehrenreich passed her rebellious streak down to Brooks, now 51, who grew to ask herself: How do I rebel against a rebel? Decades later, Brooks was working as a tenured law professor at Georgetown and driving her kids around the Virginia suburbs. But a sense of subversion infiltrated her days. So, in the polarized period between the election...
After the success of her HBO TV series I May Destroy You, which explored issues of sexual assault, consent, and their intersection with race, British actress and screenwriter Michaela Coel is continuing her work on these very important topics. This past September 7th she released her first book, Misfits: A Personal Manifesto. From her experience with racism at a very young age to the traumas of sexual assault, Misfits is a touching look at Michaela Coel’s life and work as a “misfist”.  Shiny purple and orange...
Happy Hour: A Novel By Marlowe Granados (Verso Fiction) Happy Hour, the debut novel by Marlowe Granados, follows Isa and Gala, two best friends in their early 20s, as they survive a sweltering summer in N.Y.C. through their feminine wiles and too many hot dogs. Isa is hot off a stint in London and has found herself in the Big Apple running a clothing stall with Gala. Like The Last Days of Disco for the millennial age, both girls have definitive (and occasionally misguided) opinions about the way...
Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark By Cassandra Peterson  (Hachette Books) Elvira is one of those celebs who seems to have sprung from the ground fully formed—sky-high wig, wild eye makeup, and full vampire queen regalia. But in Yours Cruelly, Elvira, the woman behind the boobs, Cassandra Peterson, reveals how she became the Mistress of the Dark, and her tale is far more complex than one might expect. Her memoir covers everything from her difficult Kansas childhood to her days as a...
  Julie Murphy’s adult romance debut—the first in her new series of fairy tale retellings—is billed as an all-grown-up take on Cinderella. But even though this novel has glamour, secrets, and shoes, If The Shoe Fits is really its own story, with a goal-oriented heroine, stepsisters who aren’t actually evil, and a reality TV twist. Cindy is fresh out of college and eager to enter the world of fashion when she learns that her stepmother, a producer, needs contestants for a Bachelor-style dating show. Cindy signs...
Warhol Superstar Nico has always been an enigmatic figure in Pop culture. Now there is a new biography about her, You Are Beautiful and You Are Alone. The Biography of Nico, (Hachette Publishing) written by Dr. Jennifer Otter Bickerdike which chronicles in great detail her fascinating life. Nico’s (who’s birth name was Christa Paffgen) childhood was spent in war torn, Nazi Germany. By the time she was a teen she grew into a great beauty which proved to be Christa’s ticket out. In the mid 1950s,...
A story of possession and consumption, of loneliness and rootlessness, of anger and revenge. In her debut novel, Build Your House Around My Body, Violet Kupersmith manages to do so much and to do it all so well.  Winnie is a young American woman, aimless and living abroad, when she suddenly disappears without a trace in Vietnam. As the reader uncovers what’s happened to Winnie, they’re taken on a whirlwind, hair-raising adventure through time and place. A large cast of characters that includes angry women, vengeful...