Caroline Herschel’s prospects as a plain, poor and pox-scarred woman in 19th-century Germany are not good. Living in a cramped home surrounded by siblings and an affectionless mother, her only saviors are her brilliant older brother William—who moved to England—and her loving but sickly father, who after attending the wedding of a neighbor’s daughter wails to Caroline, “Oh, my dear. You are neither handsome nor rich. What is to be done?”
On a recent flight, I was deep into social psychologist and Harvard professor Amy Cuddy’s fascinating new book, Presence, when the woman next to me leaned over and said, “Is that the TED talk lady?”
Kristina McMorris evokes such a strong sense of place that to open her books feels less like reading and more like traveling.
“Food is our common ground, a universal experience,” said James Beard, and these two delicious new books are cases in point.
Home Is Burning is perhaps the funniest book about dying I’ve ever read. Dan Marshall deftly chronicles the months he and his four younger siblings dealt with the terminal illness of not one but both of their parents. His beloved father, Bob, has held the family together for more than a decade while his mom, Debi, fights non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. So when Bob is diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), it’s a punch in the gut for a family already dealing with bad news.
Joseph Fink claims he’s calling from a New Jersey beach. I prefer to imagine that his spotty cell reception is actually because he’s calling from a dark bunker in an undisclosed location. That somehow seems more appropriate for a co-author of Welcome to Night Vale, the new novel based on the wildly popular podcast of the same name.
“Gorgeous hair is the best revenge,” said Ivana Trump, she of the platinum blonde, sky-high hair. Hair as tool of revenge, as obsession, as embarrassment, as source of pride: Why does a long string of protein absorb so much of our attention?
Call it the male answer to Eat, Pray, Love.
Weiner delivers yet another fresh, funny winner in Who Do You Love, the story of Rachel Blum, who grows up with a heart defect, and Andy Landis, the biracial son of a single mom.
The era of helicopter parenting is officially over, if this new crop of parenting books is any indication. Gone are the days of tracking your child’s every move and fighting her every battle.The focus now is on preparing children for the real world by letting them venture out and even—gasp!—make mistakes.