Bastard out of Carolina - Dorothy Allison

“The South” summons a plethora of dualities: sweet tea and segregation; warm weather and weary hands; pleasant people and abject, unapologetic poverty. Contained in the pages of Bastard Out of Carolina are these distinctly though not uniquely southern conflicts and more, rendered strikingly brilliant through the author’s keen yet soft prose. Bone, the narrator of this tale, is a little girl grown up too fast. It is through her intuitive eyes that we watch her mom and step-fathers, aunts, uncles and cousins fight for their lives day in and day out in a world where, to everyone else in their town, they are “trash.” Bone emerges as brave, resourceful, and willing to battle demons both concrete and intangible to establish her integrity.

Straight Man - Richard Russo

The goose on the cover was all I needed to pick this book up. Meet Lucky Hank, aka William Henry Devereaux III. Son of two successful academics, he finds himself at age fifty exactly where he promised himself he would never be: like his father, only less prolific; be-tweeded and teaching college English. One day I hope to be half as clever, politically uncompromising, and good at teaching and narrating my own day-to-day misadventures as Lucky Hank. For now, however, I shall settle for this sidesplitting narrative of academic skullduggery, campus protests, ill-fated housing developments and love. Anyone who says fiction can't have substance and be funny at the same time would be well advised to crack open this book.

Straight Man: A Novel (Vintage Contemporaries) By Richard Russo Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375701900
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Vintage - June 9th, 1998

The Culinary Institute of America Cookbook: A Collection of Our Favorite Recipes for the Home Chef

I always grimace when asked what my favorite book is in a specific genre, but I’ll say it here: of all of the cookbooks on these shelves, Culinary Institute of America Cookbook is it. With over 375 recipes for breakfast, dinner, drinks & sides from all corners of the culinary map, as well as periodic tips that can apply to all food preparation, it’s easy to be intimidated before even opening this book. Yet upon reading through a few recipes (thumb through the sections of photographs for inspiration) you’ll find, as I did, a plethora of recipes that will help you produce uniformly mouthwatering dishes for yourself and guests. A few notes that struck me: Prep times are reasonable, ingredients are easy to find, and the “charts & tables” section of the back of the book provides suggestions that can help expand your culinary repertoire.