Categories
True Story

It’s Pride Month!

We’re in our first heatwave of summer here in the eastern US. My spouse and I took the Corgis to the dog park in the morning, thinking that we would beat the heat. Apparently, we didn’t go early enough, because we ended up melting into puddles of goo. At least the Corgis played in the water and had a great time. This week, we’re featuring some queer Riot Recommendations. But first, let’s jump into some bookish goods!

Learn something new, sharpen your skills, and expand your horizons with our Better Living Through Books newsletter. Better Living Through Books is your resource for reading material that helps you live the life you want. From self-help to cookbooks to parenting to personal finance, relationships, and more, Better Living Through Books has got you covered. If it’s part of life, it can be part of your reading life. Sign up for your free subscription to Better Living Through Books today, or become an All Access member starting at $6 per month or $60 per year and get unlimited access to members-only content in 20+ newsletters, community features, and the warm fuzzies knowing you are supporting independent media.

Bookish Goods

a photo of an iPhone in a leather case. the leather case is designed to look like a book.

Leather iPhone Wallet by willowist

For over a decade, I’ve had some version of an iPhone case designed to look like a book. I love it! This is a really nice leather version that comes in all different sizes. $42

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of Night Flyer

Night Flyer: Harriet Tubman and the Faith Dreams of a Free People by Tiya Miles

Tiya Miles presents a new look at Harriet Tubman, the woman who led enslaved Black people to freedom time and time again. Miles focuses on the context of Tubman’s life and her spiritual connections to the other women around her.

a graphic of the cover of Rooted: The American Legacy of Land Theft and the Modern Movement for Black Land Ownership by Brea Baker

Rooted: The American Legacy of Land Theft and the Modern Movement for Black Land Ownership by Brea Baker

Author Brea Braker examines the question, why is only 1% of rural land owned by Black people? To find her answer, she looks back at the history of Black and Indigenous land ownership and follows it through to the present day.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

a graphic of the cover of Dinner on Monster Island by Tania De Rozario

Dinner on Monster Island: Essays by Tania De Rozario

In her short collection of essays, queer Singaporean author Tania De Rozario shares her experience growing up as a fat, biracial girl during a time when Singapore required children with a “high” BMI to participate in food restriction and extra exercise. Much of the novel follows De Rozario as she begins her journey of self-acceptance, embracing her body and sexuality as they are, not as what society tells her they should be.

a graphic of the cover of Sissy

Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story by Jacob Tobia

In their memoir, Sissy, Jacob Tobia shares the story of their growing-up years as they navigated the difficulties of being genderqueer in a society that only sees the gender binary of man and woman. In their witty narrative voice, Tobia shares the insights and life lessons they have learned along the way, delivering inspirational quotes along with their hilarious anecdotes. Tobia’s audiobook narration is spectacular, making the whole experience feel like a performance.

a photo of Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sitting on a multi-colored rug. Behind her sits several books strewn out across the floor.

You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave, over on Instagram @kdwinchester, on TikTok @kendrawinchester, or on my podcast Read Appalachia. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE bookish content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy reading, Friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
True Story

Perfect Summer Reads!

I recently discovered a new-to-me local coffee shop, and I’ve been loving spending hot Southern afternoons in the chilly air conditioning. They make the most perfect London Fogs that I’ve ever had in my entire life. The whole experience is perfect for reading, writing, or just sitting alone with your thoughts while sipping the world’s most perfect beverage. Today, we’re going to be looking at two of my nonfiction favorites, but first, it’s time for bookish goods!

Learn something new, sharpen your skills, and expand your horizons with our Better Living Through Books newsletter. Better Living Through Books is your resource for reading material that helps you live the life you want. From self-help to cookbooks to parenting to personal finance, relationships, and more, Better Living Through Books has got you covered. If it’s part of life, it can be part of your reading life. Sign up for your free subscription to Better Living Through Books today, or become an All Access member starting at $6 per month or $60 per year and get unlimited access to members-only content in 20+ newsletters, community features, and the warm fuzzies knowing you are supporting independent media.

Bookish Goods

a photo of a group of bookmark illustrated with scenes from beach reading

Beach House Summer Bookmark Set by EmilyCromwellDesigns

It’s that time of year! Beach reading is upon us, and I thought these bookmarks set the mood perfectly. $3+

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of Going Fast and Fixing Things: True Stories from the World’s Most Popular DIY Repair Expert and Car Aficionado by Rich Benoit

Going Fast and Fixing Things: True Stories from the World’s Most Popular DIY Repair Expert and Car Aficionado by Rich Benoit

YouTube sensation Rich Benoit shares stories from his experiences working on upgrading and repairing cars. Benoit loves everything about cars, and that joy fills this book to the brim with fun facts and nerdy car details.

a graphic of the cover of 
I'm Mostly Here to Enjoy Myself: One Woman's Pursuit of Pleasure in Paris by Glynnis MacNicol

I’m Mostly Here to Enjoy Myself: One Woman’s Pursuit of Pleasure in Paris by Glynnis MacNicol

After spending 16 months alone in her Manhattan apartment during the height of the pandemic, Glynnis MacNicol sublets a friend’s apartment in Paris. There, she spends her days living life to the fullest, making the most of a Paris that is mostly empty of tourists.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

a graphic of the cover of Pandora's Jar by Natalie Haynes

Pandora’s Jar by Natalie Haynes

As my first book of 2024, I picked up Divine Might by Natalie Haynes, which I originally thought was a short story collection. But instead of short stories, I found it to be a brilliant essay collection about Greek goddesses and the stories society has told about them. Six months later, I felt it was time to pick up Haynes’ first essay collection, Pandora’s Jar, which looks at some of the most prominent mortal women featured in Greek myths. She discusses figures like Jocasta, Helen, and Medusa, detailing the different versions of their stories and how these women have been featured in popular culture. With each woman, Haynes has this masterful way of highlighting how much of these women’s stories have been constructed through a sexist patriarchal lens. Haynes challenges those ideas and encourages readers to think outside of these constraints. Plus, her prose is engrossing and incredibly funny. In particular, the audiobook, which she reads herself, showcases her wit and charming sense of humor.

a graphic of the cover of In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri, Translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein

In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri, Translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein

Jhumpa Lahiri is one of my favorite authors, so when I heard she was learning to write in Italian, I felt incredibly sad that I couldn’t read it. But I shouldn’t have worried. Elena Ferrante’s translator, Ann Goldstein, translated In Other Words into English. If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering why Lahiri didn’t translate the text herself, but Lahiri has stated that she wants readers to get a more accurate perception of her skills in Italian. This book is cleverly formatted to include the English translation on one side and the original Italian on the other. The topics of the essays mostly focus on Lahiri’s relationship with the Italian language and her motivation for learning it. This book is perfect for any language nerd.

a photo of Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, and Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sitting in the library

That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave, over on Instagram @kdwinchester, on TikTok @kendrawinchester, or on my podcast Read Appalachia. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE bookish content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy reading, Friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
True Story

Summer Reading Recommendations

We are in the full-fledged summer reading season. My sunroom is piled high with books that have made it onto my (overly ambitious) summer TBR. Just to name a few, I would love to read Pandora’s Jar by Natalie Haynes, This Is Major by Shayla Lawson, and High on the Hog by Jessica B. Harris. So I’ll keep reading and report back. But what are you reading this summer? As always, this newsletter will be full of recommendations for you. But first, let’s accessorize with bookish goods!

Learn something new, sharpen your skills, and expand your horizons with our Better Living Through Books newsletter. Better Living Through Books is your resource for reading material that helps you live the life you want. From self-help to cookbooks to parenting to personal finance, relationships, and more, Better Living Through Books has got you covered. If it’s part of life, it can be part of your reading life. Sign up for your free subscription to Better Living Through Books today, or become an All Access member starting at $6 per month or $60 per year and get unlimited access to members-only content in 20+ newsletters, community features, and the warm fuzzies knowing you are supporting independent media.

Bookish Goods

a photo of a linen bookmark featuring an illustration of a stack of books. you can customize the spines to say the titles of your favorite books

Personalised Favourite Bookstack Linen Bookmark by TheWildflowerinBloom

I adore a custom bookmark, and this one has that cute aesthetic that’s all the rage. $5

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of Shadow Men: The Tangled Story of Murder, Media, and Privilege That Scandalized Jazz Age America by James Polchin

Shadow Men: The Tangled Story of Murder, Media, and Privilege That Scandalized Jazz Age America by James Polchin

Over 100 years ago, Clarence Peters, a working-class man, was found dead. Later, Walter Ward confessed to the murder as an act of self-defense against a group of men that was blackmailing him. The court case swept through the country, drawing the attention of the masses as everyone seemed to be weighing in on the case.

a graphic of the cover of Out of the Sierra: A Story of Rarámuri Resistance by Victoria Blanco

Out of the Sierra: A Story of Rarámuri Resistance by Victoria Blanco

Through decades of interviews and research, Victoria Blanco details the history of the Rarámuri people’s resistance to colonization and their efforts to preserve their language and culture. One of the largest Indigenous nations in North America, the Rarámuri people in Chihuahua, Mexico, have endured immeasurable loss as they have refused to leave their sacred land.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

a graphic of the cover of Divine Might by Natalie Haynes

Divine Might by Natalie Haynes

We are now in a golden age of myth retellings. Everyone and their mother’s brother has been trying their hands at these myth-inspired tales, but few authors are as good as Natalie Haynes. While Haynes is known more for her fiction, Divine Might is brilliant nonfiction, with each chapter examining different goddesses and their stories. Haynes’ holistic way of viewing these goddesses invites readers to reexamine their own assumptions about these divine figures.

a graphic of the cover of The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama

The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama is back with The Light We Carry, a collection of essays that each expand on her ideas about standing her ground and going high when they go low. She also shares about her family’s experience weathering the pandemic. Her essays are kind, supportive, and encouraging, while firmly making her points. I highly recommend listening to the audiobook, which Obama reads herself. Listening to the audiobook feels like you’re sitting down with her for a cup of coffee while she shares encouraging anecdotes from her own life.

That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave, over on Instagram @kdwinchester, on TikTok @kendrawinchester, or on my podcast Read Appalachia. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE bookish content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy reading, Friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
True Story

Summer Cooking Season Is Here!

We’re in full-fledged summer food season here in the American South. We’ve broken out the watermelon and hamburgers. There’s lemon basil chicken and lentils with friends. We have glasses of raspberry iced tea for days. I cannot get enough of all of this great food. So for my fellow foodies, we’re going to jump into a couple of my favorite cookbooks for summer. But first, let’s head into bookish goods!

Learn something new, sharpen your skills, and expand your horizons with our Better Living Through Books newsletter. Better Living Through Books is your resource for reading material that helps you live the life you want. From self-help to cookbooks to parenting to personal finance, relationships, and more, Better Living Through Books has got you covered. If it’s part of life, it can be part of your reading life. Sign up for your free subscription to Better Living Through Books today, or become an All Access member starting at $6 per month or $60 per year and get unlimited access to members-only content in 20+ newsletters, community features, and the warm fuzzies knowing you are supporting independent media.

Bookish Goods

a photo of a gorgeous cookbook holder made out of stained wood

Cookbook Stand by 267FurnishingCo

If you’re a huge cookbook fan like I am, this cookbook holder will be perfect for you. Look at that gorgeous stained wood. $66

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of The Explorers: A New History of America in Ten Expeditions by Amanda Bellows

The Explorers: A New History of America in Ten Expeditions by Amanda Bellows

When we imagine early American explorers, we often imagine rugged white men like Daniel Boone. But Amanda Bellows wants to change the narrative. In The Explorers, Bellows presents the diverse group of people who explored North America, creating maps and recording the natural world.

a graphic of the cover of We Refuse: A Forceful History of Black Resistance by Kellie Carter Jackson

We Refuse: A Forceful History of Black Resistance by Kellie Carter Jackson

Kellie Carter Jackson recounts the history of forceful Black resistance, giving examples like the American and Haitian Revolutions. She also contextualizes violence as one tool among many, describing the many ways that Black people have fought for liberation.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

a graphic of the cover of Simply Julia: 110 Easy Recipes for Healthy Comfort Food by Julia Turshen

Simply Julia: 110 Easy Recipes for Healthy Comfort Food by Julia Turshen

I love Julia Turshen. She has such a warm way of describing her love of food. Turshen has written several cookbooks, but Simply Julia is my favorite. This cookbook includes intervals that are like essays in between sections of the cookbook. There, Turshen describes her inspirations for various recipes and her cooking style. She explains that her wife had to go on a strict medical diet, so to be supportive, Turshen began reworking her recipes so her wife could eat them. The food we cook is often an act of love for the people in our lives, and you feel that truth on every page of Simply Julia. Plus, the recipes are incredible.

a graphic of the cover of Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie

Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie 

Rodney Scott took over his parents’ barbecue place and wanted to take it to the next level. Scott began trying new things with barbecue, working through the logistics of cooking a ridiculous amount of BBQ. Eventually, Scott received a James Beard Award for his mastery of BBQ, establishing himself as a legend of South Carolina BBQ traditions. His cookbook delves into his story and shares some of Scott’s favorite BBQ recipes.

That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave, over on Instagram @kdwinchester, on TikTok @kendrawinchester, or on my podcast Read Appalachia. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE bookish content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy reading, Friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
True Story

Write with #1000WordsOfSummer!

Every summer, I look forward to quality time with my notebooks and/or computer, writing my heart out for Jami Attenberg’s #1000WordsOfSummer initiative. Every day for two weeks, participants write 1,000 words a day, and folks subscribed to Attenberg’s newsletter receive a daily little note of encouragement. For writerly nerdy types, it’s a great time. I love setting myself up in a coffee shop or my library chair for some quality writing time. So today I’ll be talking about books about writing! But first, it’s time for bookish goods.

Bookish Goods

a photo of a Hobonichi Techo A5 cover created in a pattern that feature's characters from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Hobonichi Type Cover A5/A6 Size for 2024 Plan by Natsumehandmade 

Bookish journal girlies rejoice! Etsy has so many incredible Hobonichi Techo covers! I love this one that features a favorite of mine, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. $24

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of Everything and Nothing at Once: A Black Man's Reimagined Soundtrack for the Future by Joél Leon

Everything and Nothing at Once: A Black Man’s Reimagined Soundtrack for the Future by Joél Leon

As a kid in the Bronx, Joél Leon learned that you had to be tough and ignore your gentler emotions to survive. Now, Leon has unlearned those traits of toxic masculinity and is encouraging other Black men to do the same. Everything and Nothing at Once encourages a new form of Black masculinity that uplifts men and their communities.

a graphic of the cover of Invisible Labor: The Untold Story of the Cesarean Section by Rachel Somerstein

Invisible Labor: The Untold Story of the Cesarean Section by Rachel Somerstein

After her own C-section went terribly wrong, Rachel Somerstein was left traumatized both physically and emotionally. To better understand her own experience, Somerstein sets out to learn the history of America’s most common invasive surgery, where it originated, and how it’s used today.

Riot Recommendations

a graphic of the cover of 1,000 Words: A Writer's Guide to Staying Creative, Focused, and Productive All Year Round by Jamie Attenberg

1,000 Words: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Creative, Focused, and Productive All Year Round by Jamie Attenberg

Every summer, author Jamie Attenberg runs #1000WordsOfSummer, an initiative that encourages participants to write 1,000 words a day for two weeks. Everyday, Attenberg sends out a newsletter cheering everyone on as they strive to reach their word counts. Jamie’s newsletters often include guest authors who share their own advice and encouraging words. Earlier this year, Attenberg put out a companion book, 1,000 Words: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Creative, Focused, and Productive All Year Round. It’s filled to the brim with encouragement and advice from Attenberg and many of her past guest authors. 1,000 Words is the perfect pick me up for anyone struggling with a writing project. Attenberg is here cheering you on, helping you to meet your goals.

a graphic of the cover of Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping by Matthew Salesses

Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping by Matthew Salesses

Craft in the Real World re-examines the traditional writing workshop, giving writers, teachers, and students different ways that fiction workshops can be reimagined. Salesses details how the traditional workshop typically consists of a student sitting silently as their peers give feedback on their work. He describes how this process was developed by western white men for other western white men. But that’s not what today’s classrooms look like anymore, so Salesses gives readers several ideas for how a fiction workshop can function best for its students. All writers aren’t the same, so why should their workshops be? Craft in the Real World is a must-read resource for any teacher or student participating in fiction workshops.

You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave, over on Instagram @KDWinchester, on TikTok @KendraWinchester, or on my podcast Read Appalachia. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE bookish content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy reading, Friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
True Story

Two Must-Read Memoirs for Your TBR

If you were to ask me what my favorite activity is (besides reading) it would have to be hiking with the Corgis. I love taking them on grand adventures through the woods and seeing all of the wildlife that call the upstate home. Corgis were developed to herd cattle up and down the Welsh countryside, so while they are small, they are quite hardy. Dylan and Gwen never seem to run out of energy (I definitely do). But as soon as we get home, they konk out and sleep for hours. We’re still recovering from our grand adventure this past weekend. And I’m sure they can’t wait to do it again. This week, we’re talking about two memoirs where the rural countryside plays an important part in the authors’ experiences. But first, bookish goods!

Make this your most bookish summer yet with personalized reading recommendations from Tailored Book Recommendations! Our bibliologists (aka professional book nerds) are standing by to help you find your next favorite read. Get your recommendations via email, or opt to receive hardcovers or paperbacks delivered right to your door. And with quarterly or annual plans available, TBR has something for every budget. Get started today from just $18!

Bookish Goods

a photo of a picture Fram of the original cover of A Room of One's Own. a little circle features words that say, "printable download."

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf, 1st Edition wall art for study decor printable by DigitalArtsLiving

As a Virginia Woolf fan, I LOVE the original cover art of her books. So when I saw this digital printable, I knew it had to be mine. $4

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of Accordion Eulogies

Accordion Eulogies: A Memoir of Music, Migration, and Mexico by Noé Álvarez

In his new memoir, Noé Álvarez describes how he started his quest to find the grandfather he never knew. He takes up the accordion, his grandfather’s favorite instrument, and travels across the U.S. to learn more about his family’s origins.

a graphic of the cover of A Place of Our Own

A Place of Our Own: Six Spaces That Shaped Queer Women’s Culture by June Thomas

Queer women have been creating safe spaces for them to gather for hundreds of years. June Thomas writes about six spaces—like a softball field, a bookstore, and a commune—that have had an important role in queer women’s culture.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

cover of Grief Is for People by Sloane Crosley; peach with purple font

Grief Is for People by Sloane Crosley

When Sloane Crosley’s best friend dies by suicide, she finds herself adrift, lost, and confused. Like many of Russell’s friends and family, Crosley had no idea that Russell was experiencing a mental health crisis. Over the course of Grief Is for People, Crosley goes over her relationship with Russell again and again, combing through old memories and looking for any signs of suicidal ideation or instability. But time and time again, all of Crosley’s memories of her friend seem normal, mundane even. She organizes the book by the stages of grief, slowly revealing her friendship with Russell piece by piece. Crosley met Russell when he hired her to work at Vintage, Knopf’s paperback imprint. I loved all of the gossipy, insider info that Crosley teases us with, giving us a respite from the much heavier, larger topic.

a graphic of the cover of Two Trees Make a Forest

Two Trees Make a Forest: Travels Among Taiwan’s Mountains and Coasts In Search of My Family’s Past by Jessica J. Lee

And for a backlist nature writing title, we’re exploring the landscape of Taiwan. Jessica J. Lee’s mother immigrated from Taiwan to Canada, but Jessica J. Lee grew up knowing little about her mother’s family or their past. In her memoir, Lee travels back to Taiwan to learn more about how her mother’s family fled mainland China for Taiwan. Lee blends nature writing about the island along with her investigation into Taiwan’s history. She described the unique animals and plant species that call the island their home. By researching her grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ lives, she learns more about her own origin story, better understanding herself along the way.

a photo of Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, covered in mud. He's lying down on a pile of stick and leaves while chewing a stick. You can see the river in the background.
Dylan chewing a stick on our weekend trip to the river.

That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave, over on Instagram @kdwinchester, on TikTok @kendrawinchester, or on my podcast Read Appalachia. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE bookish content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy reading, Friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
True Story

Unforgettable Memoirs

Over the holiday weekend, my spouse and I took the Corgis on a hike. Naturally, their favorite part of the hike was playing in the river. Gwen especially ADORES swimming in the river, snatching sticks out of the water and chasing her brother around the sand bar. Dylan prefers to dig in the wet sand and grows frustrated at how the water keeps refilling all of the holes that he’s painstakingly made. Bless their little furry hearts.

Make this your most bookish summer yet with personalized reading recommendations from Tailored Book Recommendations! Our bibliologists (aka professional book nerds) are standing by to help you find your next favorite read. Get your recommendations via email, or opt to receive hardcovers or paperbacks delivered right to your door. And with quarterly or annual plans available, TBR has something for every budget. Get started today from just $18!

At any rate, this week, I have another incredible selection of true stories to tell you about. But first, let’s jump into bookish goods!

Bookish Goods

a photo of a copper book mark with the words "to be continued" engraved on the side.

Copper Personalized Bookmark by BestEngravings

I love this copper bookmark. You can personalize the color, the engraving and the ribbon color! $25+

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of The Heart That Fed: A Father, a Son, and the Long Shadow of War by Carl Sciacchitano

The Heart That Fed: A Father, a Son, and the Long Shadow of War by Carl Sciacchitano

In his new graphic memoir, Carl Sciacchitano writes about his experience growing up with a father who experienced PTSD after serving in Vietnam. While Sciacchitano’s father seemed “fine” on the surface, he experienced ongoing mental illness that impacted him and his family for decades.

a graphic of the cover of Pretty: A Memoir by KB Brookins

Pretty: A Memoir by KB Brookins

In this new memoir from queer Black trans writer KB Brookins, they share their experience moving through the world appearing as one gender, while having an ID that says another. Pretty is a call for change and acceptance of Black trans bodies in the face of ongoing prejudice and violence.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

a graphic of the cover of I’m Glad My Mom Died by ​​Jeanette McCurdy

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

Former Nickelodeon star Jennette McCurdy writes about her life as a child star, a job she never really wanted, but one her mother insisted she did. What’s more, McCurdy shares how her mother was incredibly abusive, forcing McCurdy to submit to intimate inspections of her body, even into her teen years, and restricting McCurdy’s diet to keep her looking younger longer. McCurdy’s reflection on her mother can be very clinical and removed from the emotions of the event, which reflects how she kept herself from thinking too deeply about her and her mother’s relationship. But after her mother dies from cancer, McCurdy must confront the trauma from her childhood if she is ever to truly move on.

a graphic of the cover of Good Talk by Mira Jacob

Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations by Mira Jacob

In Good Talk, Mira Jacob describes how her son asked her why his Jewish paternal grandparents would vote for Trump, a man who hated immigrants, like Mira and her parents. This question launches her into even more questions that she’s not quite sure how to answer. She works through these conversations in Good Talk, illustrating them on the page and giving readers a fuller picture. I read this graphic memoir while waiting for a delayed flight at the airport. I felt consumed, and barely even noticed spending the extra four hours surrounded by disgruntled passengers.

a photo of the book Bite by Bite laying on a multi-colored carpet. Dylan, a red and white Pembroke Welsh Corgi, is laying next to the book, but all you can see are his little arms and toe beans.

You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave, over on Instagram @kdwinchester, on TikTok @kendrawinchester, or on my podcast Read Appalachia. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE bookish content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy reading, Friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
True Story

More Book Recs for AANHPI Heritage Month!

Spring is always a busy time. The semester and the regular school year are ending, we have a slew of family birthdays, and there are a host of delightful author events filling up my calendar. But ever the introvert, I’m always excited to take a quiet moment to sit in a corner and listen to a great audiobook. There’s just something peaceful about sitting with the sounds of nature while taking in a great story through my headphones. Today, I’ll be featuring a few of those stories, but first, bookish goods!

Make this your most bookish summer yet with personalized reading recommendations from Tailored Book Recommendations! Our bibliologists (aka professional book nerds) are standing by to help you find your next favorite read. Get your recommendations via email, or opt to receive hardcovers or paperbacks delivered right to your door. And with quarterly or annual plans available, TBR has something for every budget. Get started today from just $18!

Bookish Goods

a photo of a bookmark featuring a UFO beaming up a reading cow that is surrounded by books

Library UFO Alien Abduction Bookmark by TurtlesSoup

Summer reading is starting for my gaggle of nieces and nephews, and this adorable bookmark seems exactly like something they need. $4

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of Pack Light: A Journey to Find Myself by Shilletha Curtis

Pack Light: A Journey to Find Myself by Shilletha Curtis

Shilletha Curtis traverses the Appalachian trail, traveling from Georgia all the way up into Maine. In eight months, she travels through fourteen states. She uses her journey to work through depression, anxiety, ADHD, and PTSD.

a graphic of the cover of Sobremesa: Easy Mexican Recipes for Every Day by Susana Villasuso

Sobremesa: Easy Mexican Recipes for Every Day by Susana Villasuso

As the book description says, “sobremesa means ‘relaxing at the table after a heavy meal,’  usually after getting together with family and friends.” Susana Villasuso provides simple, everyday recipes that give readers the perfect meal for any day of the week.

Looking for more new releases? Check out our New Books newsletter!

Riot Recommendations

a graphic of the cover of Southbound: Essays on Identity, Inheritance, and Social Change by Anjali Enjeti

Southbound: Essays on Identity, Inheritance, and Social Change by Anjali Enjeti

Enjeti and her family moved to the South when she was small. Since then, she’s called the South her home. But as a mixed-race Brown girl, many people there didn’t necessarily make her feel welcome. Now an adult, Enjeti writes about her experience with racism as well as her complicity in systemic racism. These essays feature her thoughts on feminism, the new South, gun violence, voter suppression, and so much more.

a graphic of the cover of Disability Visibility edited by Alice Wong

Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century, edited by Alice Wong

Disability activist Alice Wong has gathered together some of the best disabled writers of the last few decades. This collection features authors from a wide range of backgrounds, each with their own unique experience of disability. Each essay gives a different perspective on what it’s like to live as a disabled person in the U.S. Plus, there are even more disability media resources in the back of the book.

a photo of Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sleeping upside down on a multi-colored carpet. Behind her is a row of bookshelves.

That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave, over on Instagram @kdwinchester, on TikTok @kendrawinchester, or on my podcast Read Appalachia. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE bookish content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy reading, Friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
True Story

Book Recs for AANHPI Heritage Month!

From my spot on the couch, I can see my TBR wall. It spans across the sunroom, creating a nook that’s the perfect place for the Corgis to stash their toys. I deeply respect folks aspiring for a “zero TBR” as we call it in the bookish world. But for me, I know I will also have a host of volumes clamoring to be read. And I’m okay with that. It’s the middle of May and new releases keep coming! History, nature writing, cookbooks, and unconventional memoirs — this week has it all! How does one even start?

Make this your most bookish summer yet with personalized reading recommendations from Tailored Book Recommendations! Our bibliologists (aka professional book nerds) are standing by to help you find your next favorite read. Get your recommendations via email, or opt to receive hardcovers or paperbacks delivered right to your door. And with quarterly or annual plans available, TBR has something for every budget. Get started today from just $18!

Bookish Goods

a photo of a dark green sweatshirt with white embroidery that says "I closed my book to be here."

Embroidered I Closed My Book To Be Here Sweatshirt by Candacenegro 

This might be the most delightful embroidered sweatshirt that I have seen yet! $20+

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of The Story Game by Shze-Hui Tjoa

The Story Game by Shze-Hui Tjoa

The Story Game is an imaginative personal narrative that starts with Hui telling stories to a little girl. Hui goes into detail about her marriage, her life as the child of immigrants, and her mental health. However, Hui struggles to remember certain events from her life. What is it that she can’t remember, and why is Hui telling this girl her story in the first place?

a graphic of the cover of Heart of American Darkness: Bewilderment and Horror on the Early Frontier by Robert G. Parkinson

Heart of American Darkness: Bewilderment and Horror on the Early Frontier by Robert G. Parkinson

With a nod to Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness, author Robert G. Parkinson describes the imperialism that led to the settling of North America. Parkinson tosses out the rose-colored glasses and notes that the colonization of America was violent, ill-planned, and extremely destructive. Parkinson’s new book destroys the myth of the founding of the United States and reveals its dark history.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

This week for Riot Recs, we’re celebrating AANHPI Heritage Month!

a graphic of the cover of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden

Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden

In one of my favorite memoirs of all time, T Kira Madden shares her experience growing up as a multiracial girl in Boca Raton, Florida. While she comes from a wealthy family, her parents experience addiction, causing a lot of emotional instability in her childhood. In college, she begins to realize that she’s queer, family secrets come to light, and she starts to understand herself in whole new ways. The prose is incredible, and each essay-like chapter is all-engrossing from the first few paragraphs.

a graphic of the cover of Another Appalachia

Another Appalachia by Neema Avashia

As an Appalachian, I’m always looking for more stories from the region. One of my favorite Appalachian books this year is Neema Avashia’s Another Appalachia. In her memoir, Avashia shares the experience growing up as a queer South Asian woman in West Virginia. While Avashia loves her home state, being West Virginian is complicated. The same people she grew up with, who she considers as close as family, now declare how much they dislike immigrants. When she points out that she and her family are immigrants, these same people reply, “You and your family don’t count.” Avashia’s essays are a beautiful testament to the complex realities of being from Appalachia.

a photo of Gwen, a black and white Cardigan Welsh Corgi, sleeping on a multi-colored rug. She’s surrounded by her dinosaur toys, benebones, and her brother’s giggle ball. Behind her, you can see rows of bookshelves.

That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave, over on Instagram @kdwinchester, on TikTok @kendrawinchester, or on my podcast Read Appalachia. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE bookish content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy reading, Friends!

~ Kendra

Categories
True Story

Fall in Love with Cuisine

As many of you already know, when I’m not wandering around my library or walking the Corgis, I’m probably going to be cooking. Besides the fact that cooking is the perfect activity to get in some audiobook listening time, it’s also a great way to express creativity, spend time with the people you love, or explore the world through new-to-you cuisine.

Make this your most bookish summer yet with personalized reading recommendations from Tailored Book Recommendations! Our bibliologists (aka professional book nerds) are standing by to help you find your next favorite read. Get your recommendations via email, or opt to receive hardcovers or paperbacks delivered right to your door. And with quarterly or annual plans available, TBR has something for every budget. Get started today from just $18!

Today, I’m sharing two of my favorite cookbooks, both of which include beautiful photography and mouth-watering recipes. But first, bookish goods!

Bookish Goods

a photo of a purple sweatshirt embroidered with the words "happiest when reading"

Happiest When Reading Embroidered Sweatshirt by embroideredking 

I’ve been very into embroidered sweatshirts at the moment. This one has perfected the beautiful simplicity of design. $67

New Releases

a graphic of the cover of Magical/Realism: Essays on Music, Memory, Fantasy, and Borders by Vanessa Angélica Villarreal

Magical/Realism: Essays on Music, Memory, Fantasy, and Borders by Vanessa Angélica Villarreal

When Vanessa Angélica Villarreal becomes a mother, she decides to return to Mexico to learn more about her grandmother and her family. But when Villarreal returns, she finds that her entire life — her marriage, her family, her reality — has fallen apart. With Magical/Realism, Villarreal puts her life back together using everything from pop culture references to video games.

a graphic of the cover of The Infernal Machine: A True Story of Dynamite, Terror, and the Rise of the Modern Detective by Steven Johnson

The Infernal Machine: A True Story of Dynamite, Terror, and the Rise of the Modern Detective by Steven Johnson

The author of The Ghost Map returns to tell the story of the evolution of the NYPD. Set against the backdrop of 1914 New York City, Steven Johnson tells the story of the anarchy movement that led to the birth of the modern detective, when the NYPD stopped responding to crime and started solving it.

For a more comprehensive list of new releases, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

a graphic of the cover of I Am a Filipino: And This Is How We Cook by Miguel Trinidad and Nicole Ponseca

I Am a Filipino: And This Is How We Cook by Miguel Trinidad and Nicole Ponseca

This incredible cookbook is a 2019 James Beard Award Finalist. Plus, it was named a Best Cookbook of the Year by The New Yorker, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times Book Review, Houston Chronicle, Food52, PopSugar, and more. This phenomenal cookbook invites readers into the diverse range of Filipino cuisine with all of its many influences, including Chinese, Arab, Mexican, and Spanish cooking techniques. The authors invite readers to learn more about the origins of their recipes, creating a cookbook that is such a wonderful celebration of Filipino cooking.

a graphic of the covers of In Bibi's Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean by Hawa Hassan

In Bibi’s Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean by Hawa Hassan (with Julia Turshen) 

My favorite cookbooks are those that have at least some little snippet of storytelling in them. I want to know more about where the recipe came from. Where did the cookbook author first discover their love of food? In Bibi’s Kitchen does that and more. Somali chef Hawa Hassan talks to bibis (grandmothers) from South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, and Eritrea. They share their recipes and wisdom around their love of food. This cookbook feels like travel writing, a memoir, and a cookbook all rolled into one!

That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave, over on Instagram @kdwinchester, on TikTok @kendrawinchester, or on my podcast Read Appalachia. As always, feel free to drop me a line at kendra.d.winchester@gmail.com. For even MORE bookish content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy reading, Friends!

~ Kendra