Susan Mallery’s ‘California Girls’ Take Us On A Life-Affirming Journey Toward Recovery [REVIEW]

Three girls sharing lunch

Three sisters get dumped in the same week in Susan Mallery’s California Girls. (Photo by Thomas Hawk, Flickr)

Three sisters. Three men who dump them in rather atrocious ways. Will these siblings be able to regain their footing or will pain cripple them for life? Find out in Susan Mallery’s insightful new novel, California Girls.  Read more of this post

‘Going Into Town’ Celebrates Everything We Love (and Love to Hate) About New York City [REVIEW]

New York City waterbug

In Roz Chast’s love letter to New York, Going Into Town, she reminisces about everything we love and loathe about the Big Apple, including its wildlife. (Illustration by Roz Chast)

From the very first time I stepped foot in New York City as a teenager, I’m one of those people who is simply crazy about the place. I love everything about it: from the sidewalk food vendors to the mom-and-pop coffee shops, from Little Italy and Chinatown to Wall Street and Battery Park. There’s a palpable energy there that throbs with life, like an irresistible rhythm that simply invades my soul, and I feel it every time I arrive. Now author and cartoonist Roz Chast captures every nuance of that experience in her love letter to Manhattan, Going Into Town.  Read more of this post

‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’ Dares to Enlighten [REVIEW]

Race, Feminism and Activism

Chaired by Hannah Pool, Pragna Patel (Director of Southhall Black Sisters), Emma Dabril (Visual Sociologist and Blogger), Reni Eddo-Lodge (Writer and Campaigner) and Shilpa Shah (Co-Founder of the Akashi Project) participate in a panel discussion on Race, Feminism and Activism (Photo by Barrow Cadbury Trust, Flickr)

I have always been keenly aware of racial discrimination, which might seem strange coming from a white man. But growing up in Southern California among a swelling Latino and Asian population, and then in the South where most of my friends had darker skin than I do, I thought I understood the divide. But after reading Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, I now realize why this conversation is still vital, especially now. Read more of this post

Women Actors Now and Then [GUEST POST]

Meryl Streep at the 89th Oscars

“Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there.” —Meryl Streep (Photo by ABC/Adam Rose, Flickr)

We have always loved the theatre. In fact, for our very first date we went to go see the deliciously dark Jekyll & Hyde, and its score has entranced us ever since. We relish opportunities to watch amazing actors perform live in shows like The Beauty Queen of LeenaneCabaretChicago, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and Gypsy. But what would any production be without the awesome talents of actresses who were bold enough to make a career on stage and screen? In today’s guest post, author Susana Aikin examines why it still takes a certain kind of woman to live life in the limelight. —J&H Read more of this post

Love Sees Past Race in Sarah Creviston Lee’s ‘The War Between Us’ [EXCERPT]

Sarah Creviston Lee's THE WAR BETWEEN US blog tour bannerIt never fails to surprise me. No matter how many novels I read set against the backdrop of World War II, no two stories are ever identical. Because so many nations were involved in the conflict, the war tore everyone apart. But even in the midst of great turmoil and grief, stories of survival and courage and undeniable love continue to emerge. That’s why I love Sarah Creviston Lee’s book, The War Between Us. In it, she captures the dramatic, captivating and bittersweet romance between two people who should never have fallen in love. All these years after WWII, it is a story that is simultaneously touching, heartfelt, and relevant to today’s turbulent social climate. I think you’ll see what I mean when you read the excerpt below. Enjoy! —Jathan Read more of this post