New to Seattle but a long-time Washingtonian, Marii is doing the college thing these days while working at Third Place. As a Sociology major and English minor, she usually reads from the sociology, fiction or science genres, but she shelves for Health, Psychology, Personal Growth and New Age. When she's not in class or at work, she's probably writing letters to people (in typical Pisces fashion), making new lavender-flavored foods and drinks, or trying to be at the beach.
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.
A timeless piece of writing, with reflections on battling cancer, lesbian motherhood, Black American womanhood, community organizing, and love. An important voice to familiarize yourself with now, as Audre Lord's wisdom and vision carry lessons that could help us traverse our most persisting social issues if only we would listen.
If you are interested in the concept of material things having spirit, read this book! Tiya Miles does a gorgeous job of describing how a mother's love was passed down through generations of enslaved women via a fabric sack. This book also addresses the archival erasure which prevents us from ever truly knowing some families' stories. Miles uses her expertise as a historian and an empath to speculate on the ways in which the inherited sack might have carried a mother's hopes of giving her daughter a chance at survival and resistance during a period of American history where, for Black women, such things were against the odds.
The author, having recently lost her son to suicide, transcends all the ordinary rules of grieving and constructs a timeless world in which she can speak with her son again. Their imagined conversations are so honest, yearning and specific that you feel as if they are in fact sitting in a room together once more. This is a gorgeous meditation on loss and the funny things it does to a person, reminding us that there is no "ordinary" way to grieve after all.
Okay so Michael Pollan told you what to eat, Michael Greger told you where not to eat, and maybe you've dipped your toe in some other books about food (maybe even by people not named Michael). But I promise you, you're missing out if you don't read The Secret Life of Groceries. This book will not settle any debates about what diets we should or should not be on, but it does something even better--it takes us through the world events and societal shifts which led to the relationship we now have with the grocery store. He describes this relationship as one in which we roam the grocery aisles looking not just for food but for confirmation of who we believe ourselves to be. As Lorr reminds us, food is the business of eating but grocery is the business of desire. Along the way, he takes a look at some of the hidden players in the grocery industry--from transport to meat packing to the grocery floor and finally to YOU and your very own role in the industry. In this book, you will see things you will never be able to unsee (in an important way!) and at the very least, you will get some good laughs.
Don't be fooled by the sparseness of text in this one. Taking place in the rocky coasts of Scotland in the mid-twentieth century, this is a story with many moving parts. There are themes of solitude, as you might expect from a story about lighthousekeeping, but also of togetherness and the familial bonds that are forged in the absence of "real" family. This book is as luminary as its subject matter.