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Head Case: My Father, Alzheimer's & Other Brainstorms

Head Case: My Father, Alzheimer's & Other Brainstorms

Orgera, Alexis

North Carolina writer and publisher Alexis Orgera's new memoir, HEAD CASE: MY FATHER, ALZHEIMER'S & OTHER BRAINSTORMS, is a lyric experiment written in the immediacy of grief during the end stages of her father's early Alzheimer's diagnosis at age 52--a disease that is a national epidemic. The book chronicles the visceral and painful experience of a daughter watching her beloved, formerly high functioning father disappear, and explores the stories that unfurl, daily, all around us. After moving from Los Angeles to Florida to be near her parents as they navigated her father's deteriorating condition, Orgera spent the days with her father painting, listening to music, taking walks, reading poems, sitting on the porch and later in the courtyard of his memory facility and furiously recording the moments while examining her own memories. To begin to understand the emotional impact of a human unraveling by memory loss, Orgera tells the story through a kaleidoscopic lens of mythology and religion, visual art, migraines, ghosts, poetry, and science. Both a deep lament for a well-loved man and an exploration of what it means to live a good life, HEAD CASE invites you to better understand yourself more deeply as well as the human condition.

Literary Nonfiction. Women's Studies. Memoir.

No Judgment: Essays

No Judgment: Essays

Oyler, Lauren

"The essay collection everyone's talking about."--New York

A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2024: Elle, The Millions, LitHub, Nylon, BookPage, PureWow, and more

From the national bestselling novelist and essayist, a groundbreaking collection of brand-new pieces about the role of cultural criticism in our ever-changing world.

In her writing for Harper's, the London Review of Books, The New Yorker, and elsewhere, Lauren Oyler has emerged as one of the most trenchant and influential critics of her generation, a talent whose judgments on works of literature--whether celebratory or scarily harsh--have become notorious. But what is the significance of being a critic and consumer of media in today's fraught environment? How do we understand ourselves, and each other, as space between the individual and the world seems to get smaller and smaller, and our opinions on books and movies seem to represent something essential about our souls? And to put it bluntly, why should you care what she--or anyone--thinks?

In this, her first collection of essays, Oyler writes with about topics like the role of gossip in our exponentially communicative society, the rise and proliferation of autofiction, why we're all so "vulnerable" these days, and her own anxiety. In her singular prose--sharp yet addictive, expansive yet personal--she encapsulates the world we live and think in with precision and care, delivering a work of cultural criticism as only she can.

Bringing to mind the works of such iconic writers as Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, and Terry Castle, No Judgment is a testament to Lauren Oyler's inimitable wit and her quest to understand how we shape the world through culture. It is a sparkling nonfiction debut from one of today's most inventive thinkers.

Roxanne says: You know a book of essays is written with panache when it can appeal to both 30 year olds (my son) and 60 year olds (me). I especially enjoyed the "My Anxiety" essay as I felt a kinship with Lauren Oyler's unique issues. Her sardonic view of self-help gurus in "The Power of Vulnerability" was also humorously delicious. 

Please Don't Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes

Please Don't Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes

Robinson, Phoebe
"[A]nother hilarious essay collection from Phoebe Robinson."
--The New York Times Book Review

"Strikes the perfect balance of brutally honest and laugh out loud funny. I didn't want it to end."
--Mindy Kaling, New York Times bestselling author of Why Not Me?

With sharp, timely insight, pitch-perfect pop culture references, and her always unforgettable voice, New York Times bestselling author, comedian, actress, and producer Phoebe Robinson is back with her most must-read book yet.

In her brand-new collection, Phoebe shares stories that will make you laugh, but also plenty that will hit you in the heart, inspire a little bit of rage, and maybe a lot of action. That means sharing her perspective on performative allyship, white guilt, and what happens when white people take up space in cultural movements; exploring what it's like to be a woman who doesn't want kids living in a society where motherhood is the crowning achievement of a straight, cis woman's life; and how the dire state of mental health in America means that taking care of one's mental health--aka "self-care"--usually requires disposable money.

She also shares stories about her mom slow-poking before a visit with Mrs. Obama, the stupidly fake reassurances of zip-line attendants, her favorite things about dating a white person from the UK, and how the lack of Black women in leadership positions fueled her to become the Black lady boss of her dreams. By turns perceptive, laugh-out-loud funny, and heartfelt, Please Don't Sit on My Bed in Your Outside Clothes is not only a brilliant look at our current cultural moment, it's also a collection that will stay with readers for years to come.

If This Isn't Nice, What Is? (Even More) Expanded Third Edition: The Graduation Speeches and Other Words to Live by

If This Isn't Nice, What Is? (Even More) Expanded Third Edition: The Graduation Speeches and Other Words to Live by

Vonnegut, Kurt
A collection of 15 graduation speeches and treasured wisdom from the New York Times-bestselling literary icon and author of Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle, and Breakfast of Champions

"Like [that of] his literary ancestor Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut's crankiness is good-humored and sharp-witted."--A.O. Scott, The New York Times Book Review

Master storyteller and satirist Kurt Vonnegut was one of the most in-demand commencement speakers of his time. His words were unfailingly insightful and witty, and they stayed with audience members long after graduation. Chosen and introduced by fellow novelist and friend Dan Wakefield, a selection of speeches and essays in this expanded 3rd edition include:

- "What to Do When You Have the Power; In the Meantime, Remember to Skylark!"
- "Why Social Justice Does More Than Art to Nourish the American Dream"
- "How to Make Money and Find Love!"
- "Somebody Should've Told Me Not to Join a Fraternity"
- "How to Have Something Most Billionaires Don't"

Hilarious, razor-sharp, freewheeling, and at times deeply serious, these reflections are ideal not just for graduates but for anyone undergoing what Vonnegut would call their "long-delayed puberty ceremony"--marking the long and challenging passage to full-time adulthood.

Bryn says: Give this to anybody who is graduating. Better yet, give this to anybody who could use a good talking-to. Let Vonnegut pass on the wisest of words with zero pretense, leaving readers feeling joyful and hopeful (two things everyone could use a little more of).

White Magic

White Magic

Washuta, Elissa

Throughout her life, Elissa Washuta has been surrounded by cheap facsimiles of Native spiritual tools and occult trends, "starter witch kits" of sage, rose quartz, and tarot cards packaged together in paper and plastic. Following a decade of abuse, addiction, PTSD, and heavy-duty drug treatment for a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder, she felt drawn to the real spirits and powers her dispossessed and discarded ancestors knew, while she undertook necessary work to find love and meaning.

In this collection of intertwined essays, she writes about land, heartbreak, and colonization, about life without the escape hatch of intoxication, and about how she became a powerful witch. She interlaces stories from her forebears with cultural artifacts from her own life--Twin Peaks, the Oregon Trail II video game, a Claymation Satan, a YouTube video of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham--to explore questions of cultural inheritance and the particular danger, as a Native woman, of relaxing into romantic love under colonial rule.