Book Reviews

Beyond the Gender Binary

Beyond the Gender Binary

Book Review: Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon Even the smallest book can carry big ideas. Pocket Change Collective was designed to do just that, with a goal to incite change and inclusivity among readers. A series of pocket-sized books published by Penguin Workshop, these titles share short manifestos on topical issues, written by activists and artists and targeted toward teen or young adult audiences.  We recently read one of the Pocket Change books, Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon, a celebrated writer, performance artist and public speaker. Compact and potent, this volume offers an expressive and thoughtful...

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The Comfort Food Diaries

The Comfort Food Diaries

Book review: “The Comfort Food Diaries” by Emily Nunn Like so many of my favorite meals, “The Comfort Food Diaries” was a bit of a mixed dish. Rich and warming, bitter and sweet, the narrative satisfied on many levels, especially at a time when we could all use a solid serving of comfort. In the “Diaries,” author Emily Nunn embarks on a self-described Comfort Food Tour, cooking and visiting with family and friends across the country on a meandering quest to reassemble the pieces of her shattered life. Reeling from her brother’s death and a devastating breakup, Nunn sifts through...

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the sun and her flowers

the sun and her flowers

this is the recipe of life said my mother as she held me in her arms as i wept  think of those flowers you plant in the garden each year  they will teach you that people too must wilt fall root rise in order to bloom   -- Rupi Kaur In her second collection of poetry, “the sun and her flowers,” Indian-born Canadian poet Rupi Kaur takes the reader along on a powerful journey of healing, delving into her ancestral roots to weave vibrant, emotional vignettes about sorrow, relationships, and the immigrant experience.  An artist, author, and performer, Kaur illustrates...

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Art Matters

Art Matters

Book review: Art Matters by Neil Gaiman Often the best books are the ones recommended by a friend -- That’s how Art Matters landed in our lap. This quick read was both a breath of fresh air and a rousing call to action. With pithy observations, author Neil Gaiman’s stirring manifesto champions the choice to be bold and make art in the face of adversity.  Gaiman’s essays in Art Matters, charmingly illustrated by artist Chris Riddell, resonate with a message about the power of daydreaming, the value of physical books, and the right to debate.  “The world always seems brighter when...

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All About Love

All About Love

Book Review: all about love by bell hooks   “The word ‘love’ is most often defined as a noun, yet … we would all love better if we used it as a verb,” writes cultural critic and feminist bell hooks in her important 2000 treatise, All About Love, a book that examines society’s understanding of the definition and actions of love in 13 provocative chapters. As an American scholar, hooks (born Gloria Jean Watkins) draws on a wealth of material to describe and decode modern depictions of love in art, history, and mass media. Her direct and personal words ignite the...

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