A fascinating and heart-breaking story of an American Muslim from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. While I'd like to say it's hard to believe thiA fascinating and heart-breaking story of an American Muslim from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. While I'd like to say it's hard to believe this couldn't happen here in America, the very real (and very ugly) truth is that it did, and unfortunately the events surrounding 9/11 are more than partly to blame for the way Zeitoun was treated in the aftermath of the storm. The loss of life during Katrina is staggering, and I teared up reading about the animals and people left behind who weren't rescued in time.
One of the best things about this book is the frank approach it takes to Islam and the eye-opening insight it provides to a religion most Americans would rather write off entirely than actually bother to research before decrying it. An eye-opening story for any reader. This should be on reading lists across the country for anyone high school age and up....more
Humorous, tongue-in-cheek look at funerals in the Deep South. Even though I'm not a Southerner by birth, I still found it quite funny. The recipes atHumorous, tongue-in-cheek look at funerals in the Deep South. Even though I'm not a Southerner by birth, I still found it quite funny. The recipes at the end of each chapter look good, too....more
Picked this up on a whim at Big Lots (I'll buy almost any book for $3), mostly because I love Neil Gaiman. This was a very well-told fairy tale set inPicked this up on a whim at Big Lots (I'll buy almost any book for $3), mostly because I love Neil Gaiman. This was a very well-told fairy tale set in Norway, so I appreciated the use of Norse gods in the story. A quick read, I enjoyed it a lot and will pass it onto my niece who may like it, as well....more
Many of the women who contributed recipes for this collection identify as queer. Unlike other cookbooks where contributors may be credited but littleMany of the women who contributed recipes for this collection identify as queer. Unlike other cookbooks where contributors may be credited but little else is known about them, this book devotes a full page to each woman who donated a recipe. The result is a snapshot into the lives of these creative women, relating not only their professional achievements but personalizing the cookbook by sharing stories behind each recipe.
My review for this book is long in coming because I wanted to try the dishes for myself. While I’m not a novice cook ~ I watch Food Network and Rachael Ray religiously ~ in no way do I qualify as Top Chef in any category. So I do know my way around the kitchen a little, and the recipes in this book fit in well with my comfort level. I particularly liked how many of the spices were “to taste,” since my own palate may require less salt or more pepper than others. This flexibility gave the recipes a homey, fluid feel that made me excited to try them out and taste the final result.
The book’s overall design and layout is aesthetically pleasing and very easy to read. I particularly liked the way the movies theme was carried throughout the book. Because the contributors are all women working in the film industry, the sections of the book are divided into industry-related categories. Main entrees are called The Feature Presentation. Sidedishes are The Supporting Cast. Desserts are listed in The Concession Stand, while appetizers, beverages, and dips are The Wrap Party. How ingenious!
Once I started looking at the contributors, I was surprised to see quite a few names whose work I recognized, such as Lori L. Lake (author) and Hudson Leick (Callisto on “Xena: Warrior Princess”). The biographies and commentary by each contributor really added a richness to the book, and I enjoyed reading about everyone as much as I enjoyed their recipes!
My favorite dishes were Albuquerque Chicken (Nina Knapp), Spinach Strawberry Feta Salad (Anne Stirling), Cinnamon Swirl Pound Cake (Ty Beh), and Warm Crab Dip (Adrienne Wilkinson). If you’re a die-hard foodie or just like to dabble in the kitchen, this is a great resource. Want to sample the book before you buy a copy? Check out the author’s site at reelrecipes.com for a featured free recipe to try!...more
This small book is more of a conversation starter than something you'd read cover-to-cover. Divided into sections that correspond with all aspects ofThis small book is more of a conversation starter than something you'd read cover-to-cover. Divided into sections that correspond with all aspects of life, it serves as a starting point to get people talking about homosexuality. It's a great concept, and the questions are great. Some of the questions are funny, some deep, some you'd answer in a heartbeat if asked by your best friend but would be too embarrassed to tackle in front of your parents.
What I liked best about this book is the author's approach to the reason why she wrote it in the first place. From the beginning, it's clear the author has no agenda or assumptions about people who may read this book. A lot of similar titles take the approach that straight people don't understand gay people, but I didn't get that feeling at all with "Queer Questions," which was refreshing. Instead, I felt more as if this were a way of starting a difficult discussion about an intimate subject many might not be comfortable talking about openly.
I also enjoyed the author's emphasis on open communication. The priority is always respect, and these questions allow readers to start a discourse that will bridge the gap created by society's perceived notions of "straight" and "gay." The author's humor is suffused in each chapter, lending a touch of whimsy to what could otherwise be a very heavy subject.
Who would this book most benefit? People ready to come out as homosexual, as well as loved ones who might not understand how to accept that a family member or friend has come out to them. This book is fresh, poignant, and pertinent to today's society, and I would heartily recommend it to anyone. Whether you have these same questions in mind but can't articulate them, or you're looking for a way to open yourself to entertaining such questions from your friends and family, this is a great starting point that will hopefully help straight and gay people realize that, despite their differences, they are alike more than they know....more
Very informative, not just of London and its dead but of the culture of death and how our attitudes have changed over the years in regards to death, iVery informative, not just of London and its dead but of the culture of death and how our attitudes have changed over the years in regards to death, its customs, and funerary practices. I enjoyed this a lot, but it was very dense in parts. I'd give it more of a 3.5 than a 4, but I rounded up....more