J.P. Brammer writes from a very specific background as a gay Mexican-American man raised in rural Oklahoma, but these are identities you don't need to personally claim in order to both love and benefit from this book. His writing style makes you forget you are reading and instead feel as if you're having a conversation with someone who is deeply invested in helping you seize the best from life. And he's hilarious, so that's a plus.
In less than 100 pages, Smith continues her exploration of her childhood, grief, Rimbaud, art, and love seen in her other books, now partially through the lens of late 2020. It's lyrical and beautiful, as Smith's words always are. And it fits in your pocket!
This book will make you re-examine the wellness culture we see today while also helping you rethink how you care for yourself and others. Smart and eye opening.
As "LA's Renowned Lesbian Dominatrix", Chris Belcher could pay off her student loans while working towards her doctorate, and keep from slipping into the cycle of poverty she had escaped from once she left West Virginia. She was also able to examine gender dynamics behind the dungeon door, and the way masculinity presents itself when she has her boot pushing into someone's back. Complicated questions of sexuality, queerness, identity, and power arise with every essay in this memoir, as well as the way society harms those that deviate from the norm.
In this memoir, Ingrid Rojas Contreras examines the violence that has impacted her family since the Spanish invasion of pre-colonial Colombia, and the perseverance of her indigenous heritage in the magical practices that have been carried through the (male) generations. Meditations on memory, trauma, beliefs, and history are both lyrical and thought-provoking, especially when Rojas Contreras laser focuses on her relationship with her mercurial mother and their mirror-image experiences with amnesia and supernatural experiences.
The latest book in my "quit lit" have-reads, McKowen's memoir gives us an up-close view of her dark experiences under addiction. She then showcases the joys and hardships of sobriety, which those of us who suffered with alcoholism (or any other addiction), can attest to. A raw and emotional, yet beautiful, memoir, We Are the Luckiest is sure to impact you!
I LOVED this story of Dick Conant, who spent the last years of his life living at the river’s edge making epic journeys via canoe. Ben McGrath is a writer for The New Yorker who met Conant once, and after his disappearance, read his idiosyncratic journals to meet the people Conant knew in order to understand the mythic presence Conant created around himself. Moving.
As children, it is so difficult to understand the decisions our parents make, or how they love us. Koh’s rediscovery and subsequent translation of her mother’s letters is the rediscovery of a mother’s love. The interspersed memories provide a hard-hitting perspective, but it is balanced by such lyrical delivery.
In this breathtaking memoir, Foo uses her skill as a journalist to put her most painful memories under the microscope. She lives with complex PTSD, a condition that occurs when a traumatic incident happens not just once, but repeatedly over years. The first quarter of the book is the hardest to read, for this is where she poignantly relays the abuses her parents committed, but careful readers will be rewarded by one of the most honest and intimate narratives about healing that I have ever read. What My Bones Know fills an essential gap in the genre of trauma literature by portraying the challenges of navigating mental illness, seeking therapy solutions, and confronting family secrets that are unique to the female, Asian-American experience. You will put this book down feeling armed with hope.
Is this book about Nina Simone's gum? Of course it is, and the story behind that piece of music history is worth reading alone. But it's also about the multi-instrumentalist and beautiful weirdo Warren Ellis and the magic in his collected talismans over the years as a member of the Bad Seeds and Dirty Three.