Born and raised in San Francisco, Richael grew up reading classics like Little Women and The Secret Garden. In high school, Sylvia Plath and Thomas Pynchon converted her to poetry and postmodernism, respectively. A lifelong dancer and sporadic musician, Richael is currently learning west coast swing, ukulele, and drums. When Richael was little, she wanted to grow up to be a pterodactyl. She's still holding out hope.
An arresting, poignant memoir from the daughter of a Colombian mother and a Cuban father growing up in New York while wrestling with heritage, language, and a growing career at the New York Times. This is also an important book about race, gender, and sexuality in America.
From a landmark interview about R Kelly to an insightful piece about the lack of women in the emo scene, Jessica Hopper's influential criticism is powerful, moving, and important. And amusing, when featuring Miley Cyrus.
OMG you have to read this. You'll weep at the exquisitely-rendered, awful ambiguities of a life of decisions, successes, regrets, contentment, loss. A New York Times critic called this a perfect novel when it was first published 50 years ago--he may have been right. Spellbinding.
Set in West Virginia at the end of the Depression, this novel is as engrossing as the humid summer heat of its setting. A sassy spinster aunt, a curious 12-year-old, and a debutate who's smarter than she lets on spill family secrets and find acceptance in unexpected places.
A woman immune to disease in a post-pandemic world makes ends meet by selling her genetic material. Soon she's left to raise her own clone as a daughter. The Only Ones exposes the compelling voice of an isolated, tenacious mother surrounded by a paranoid society. Think Brave New World vs. The Road.
In Speedboat, fragments and moments of seeming insignificance suddenly explain fundamental truths you'd never considered. Great if you like to read in fits and starts--any and every page might take your breath away.
Set in England about a century ago, Smoke is populated by a citizenry whose members emit smoke from their pores whenever they sin—lying, impure thoughts, and misdeeds included. The aristocracy grows up in restrictive schools designed to teach moral behavior and minimize smoke, resulting in a stark and highly visible class divide. But the ruling class may be hiding something, and when two students get wind of the deception, they risk their lives to discover the truth. Detailed, expansive, and unpredictable, Smoke is a thrilling read, featuring varied characters with fascinating (and sometimes terrifying) faults, rich literary description, and twists and turns as wild as London's streets.
The Girls demonstrates an intense understanding of how the young person's quest for belonging and admiration can have disastrous consequences. When Evie becomes entranced by a mesmerizing older girl, she wanders away from her sheltered suburban life and into a bizarre cult among the hills of Northern California. The story is suffused with a titillating dread of the unspeakable events the reader knows are coming, while conveying the silent, subtle violence of power dynamics in relationships—between young women, between parents and children, between lovers. Emma Cline’s descriptions are startling and gorgeous, like she sees the world in hyper clarity and was somehow insulated from all cliché.
It’s 2020, and the world is preparing for the worst winter on record. Deep in the snow in the Scottish Highlands, twelve-year-old Stella and her mother, Constance, stockpile food and outfit their caravan for survival. When Dylan moves into the caravan next door, fleeing north instead of south from London and bearing his mother’s and grandmother’s ashes, he is captivated by the small tenacious family. Jenni Fagan, author of The Panopticon, outdoes herself again with vivid characters you can’t help but root for as the weather worsens, the cold deepens, and family secrets start to emerge.
A synesthetic art critic rises to prominence by capturing paintings’ je-ne-sais-quoi in terms of sound, aura, and taste. A young painter escapes war in his native Argentina to bring his unusual portraits to New York. A wide-eyed farm girl leaves home for the gritty promise of urban life, destined to become a muse. The web between these characters slowly tangles as 1980 progresses in all its dark glamour. Molly Prentiss captures raw ambition, startled joy, and aching tragedy equally well, producing a thought-provoking, originally textured novel that transports and awes. Tuesday Nights in 1980 is lovely—and unlovely—enough to be a painting. I couldn't tear my eyes away.
More than half of adult women today live singly. Fifty years ago, this would have been inconceivable. Rebecca Traister examines the expanding social, economic, and sexual freedoms of women in the twenty-first century by uncovering the work of enterprising women who, for centuries, have paved the way for contemporary singlehood that is both common and celebrated. There's rich history here, and All The Single Ladies is thorough and engrossing, containing fascinating research and first-hand accounts from today’s women. For fans of Broad City, anyone who’s ever put fries before guys, and those who believe a woman’s place is in the House and in the Senate.
Not much happens on Grimloch Lane, a rather glum street in a rather glum town. That is, until the town's residents wake one morning to find a tree whose branches have been clipped into the shape of a large owl. As the lively topiary proliferates night after night, the landscape—and the mood—of the town changes. One boy, an orphan named William, is more curious than most about the animals in the shrubbery. After he discovers the Night Gardener and learns his trade, William does his part to contribute to the joy and success of Grimloch Lane. Beautifully and quietly illustrated, this story is enchanting.
Rad Women Worldwide is an inspiring primer on global women throughout history, reaching as far back as Hatshepsut and extending through today. Activists, explorers, artists, scientists, athletes, rulers, and many others who have made an impact on history are represented here alongside dramatic cut-paper portraits. These are women whose names we should know and whose stories are presented in a dynamic, approachable way. Give this to your best friend, your niece, your brother, your grandmother, that weird uncle, and keep a copy on your own bedside table for assurance that real change is possible, excellence is everywhere, and persistence is powerful.
Cora, a young slave determined to flee brutal plantation life, discovers an actual system of tracks and engines and boxcars deep underground, whose stations are managed by the few-and-far-between people willing to risk their lives to transport even one black person a little farther north. Cora reflects sagely on the condition of slavery even as she runs from savage slave catchers and braces herself for unending horrors. Whitehead's novel is more vivid and political than many depicting the pre-Civil War South, and feels modern in its pacing and its lucid examination of the history of black oppression in this country. A gripping and moving read from one of our most skillful writers.
A practical guide to manners in the modern age, Table Manners is complete with charming illustrations of things like where to put the utensils on a table and frank advice about staying classy at social events—whether host or guest. Advice ranges from the everyday to the upscale, covering such things as whether it's permissible to pick up the phone (yes, if you're expecting an important call and have notified your host in advance), how to convey to guests that you're ready for bed, and even to how to deal with finger bowls. The "why" behind the rules is refreshingly explained here, and the reader is encouraged to be playful and forgiving in their own etiquette journey.