Moms, mums, and millennial masterminds
our reading list for May 2017
Quarter-life crises have rarely been so visceral or lyrical. In Baume’s new book, a twenty-five-year-old artist, mid-breakdown, abandons her Dublin bedsit in favour of her dead grandmother’s decaying bungalow in the countryside, and – as one does – picks up photography, finding solace in the natural world.
THIS IS MEMORIAL DEVICE by David Keenan
The perfect novel for your friend who spends their days searching for Jesus and Mary Chain bootlegs: David Keenan’s debut novel looks at a small town in west Scotland as its transformed by punk rock and their local, legendary (fictional) post-punk band, Memorial Device.
TOO MUCH AND NOT THE MOOD by Durga Chew-Bose
Forget Pepsi, millennial firebrand Durga Chew-Bose is the choice of a new generation. She follows a string of insightful pieces in The Guardian and Rolling Stone with a collection of personal essays about growing up and establishing herself as a brown girl in a white world.
THE SUNSHINE STATE by Sarah Gerard
If your knowledge of Florida is based entirely on the Florida Man and Florida Woman Twitter accounts and seven seasons of The Golden Girls, we recommend The Sunshine State, which looks at the distinct weirdness of America’s wang with nuance and complexity.
PRIESTDADDY by Patricia Lockwood
Need something to carry you through the long Catholic holiday dry spell between Easter and Assumption? The poet who entertained us with hilarious Twitter sexts and shattered us with “The Rape Joke” has released a memoir of growing up with a married (!) Catholic priest for a father, and it’s just as irreverent and sublime as you’d hope.
THE HANDMADE LIFE: A COMPANION TO MODERN CRAFTING by Ramona Barry and Rebecca Jobson
Whether you’re planning your own Etsy business, have been advised by a mental health professional to find a hobby, or are just tired of blowing money on store-bought watch straps, The Handmade Life is the exact book you need.
SIMPLE FARE: SPRING AND SUMMER by Karen Mordechai
Is it possible to cook in the summer without a barbecue? Karen Mordechai says yes! The creator of Brooklyn’s food community Sunday Suppers shares her home recipes for the sunny season, with variations featuring alternate ingredients with every one.
So far, May has been more showers than flowers, but that doesn’t mean it’s not time to roll up those sleeves and get dirty. Here are a couple books to sow you the way:
THE VIRAGO BOOK OF WOMEN GARDENERS by Deborah Kellaway
The author of The Making of an English Country Garden has collected excerpts from the 18th century to the present day to outline the contributions of women to the field of horticultural studies. (Dr. Ellie Sattler from Jurassic Park is curiously absent.)
THE HUMANE GARDENER by Nancy Lawson
Rather than bending nature to your will, learn how to cooperate with the outside world. One tip: the constantly wet-looking opossums are beneficial to a garden – they eat ticks! This book is a boon to gardeners whether their gardens be microscopic or the size of High Park.
NOT YOUR MOTHER'S MOTHER'S DAY
Don’t forget to pick up something nice for your mom, whether they be your birth mom, adoptive mom, mother-in-law, stepmom, mom-like authority figure, or drag mom. (Whomever you feel closest to!) Get something for yourself if you’re a mom – you deserve it! We’ve got jewel-toned and cactus snow globes, Not Your Mother's dinner party table topics, feminist temporary tattoos and patches, potted plant keychains, and many holiday-appropriate cards.
AND IN THE KIDS' ROOM:
BALLET CAT by Bob Shea
Bob Shea is always a little weird and a lot funny, and his bright Ballet Cat series is no exception. If you’re looking for something like Mo Willems’s Elephant and Piggy, might we suggest a cat who arabesques?
THE GOLD LEAF by Kirsten Hall and Matt Forsythe
Brooklyn publisher Enchanted Lion’s latest beaut has arrived. A pack of forest fauna inadvertently destroys a gold leaf, which comes apart on each page in real gold leafing (!). Montreal illustrator Forsythe (fresh from a stint on cult cartoon Adventure Time) creates a quiet, contemplative, and utterly lush landscape.
NEWSPRINTS by Ru Xu
If you want a manga- and steampunk-influenced graphic novel that combines the plot of Newsies with the plot of She’s the Man, holler at your girl, Ru Xu!