Quickies: Butter & Lincoln in the Bardo

Butter: A Rich History by Elaine Khosrova Publisher/Year: Algonquin Books, 2016 Format: eBook Pages: 336 Source: Publisher What it is: Khosrova takes readers around the world to examine the cultural and religious significance of butter. She also looks at the history of butter making and its subsequent commercialization, then turns her focus to contemporary butter artisans. Only about half theContinue reading “Quickies: Butter & Lincoln in the Bardo”

Flirting with French: How a Language Charmed Me, Seduced Me, and Nearly Broke My Heart

I took French in high school. I took French in college, and my professor was actually French. I love French movies, I have a Paris-themed umbrella, I have a weakness for memoirs in which women drop everything and move to France — Je suis jaloux! — and I hope to be reincarnated as a classy, scarf-wearing ParisianContinue reading “Flirting with French: How a Language Charmed Me, Seduced Me, and Nearly Broke My Heart”

Notorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Woodhull, Uncensored

In 1870, with the help of Cornelius Vanderbilt, she and her sister were the first women to run a brokerage firm on Wall Street. In 1872, she was the first woman to run for president (with Frederick Douglass as her running mate). And at a time when respectable and well-connected suffragists were still strategizing waysContinue reading “Notorious Victoria: The Life of Victoria Woodhull, Uncensored”

The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue

After being blown away last year by Manuel Muñoz’s What You See in the Dark, I knew I’d be seeking him out again shortly. Then Tucson, AZ decided to shut down its Mexican American studies program and ban a bunch of books, and lo and behold, Muñoz’s first two books (both short story collections) were onContinue reading “The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue”

Silver Sparrow

It’s Atlanta in the 1980s, and Dana Lynn Yarboro and Bunny Chaurisse Witherspoon are two teens growing up not far from each other. They may run into each other because of school events or occasionally cross paths in public, but Chaurisse is completely unaware of Dana’s existence. “My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist,” DanaContinue reading “Silver Sparrow”