Most of us would give an arm for the chance to live at and run a winery, but Ingrid, the protagonist of Katherine Taylor's Valley Fever, has always wanted to get away. When a breakup leaves her homeless, she's forced to return to her hometown of Fresno, where her aging parents are suffering from all kinds of financial woes, and not only the grapes need tending.
San Francisco is about to get a major literary visit: Karl Ove Knausgaard, the Norwegian author behind the massive and massively acclaimed multi-volume My Struggle, is headed to town for a busy few days of reading and signing.
If someone handed you Allen Ginsberg's number and told you to give him a call, you'd probably think they were nuts—after all, the legendary Beat poet died in 1997. But while you may not be able to call Ginsberg to chat about the new season of Game of Thrones, you can now call a number and hear one of his greatest poems, thanks to a new project, Call Allen.
Re-reading your childhood diaries is usually cause for embarrassment (after all, the Mortified series wouldn't exist without them). But for Heidi Julavits, they served as the inspiration to keep a new diary, which chronicles her fortysomething life as a writer, mother, and wife. The result is The Folded Clock, an unusual take on a memoir that veers between past and present, encompassing everything from her love of The Bachelorette to the end of her first marriage. Equal parts funny, searching, and sad, it's the kind of book that prompts you to reexamine the simplest daily routines in your own life.
In a culture where new motherhood is either treated as intensely joyful or comically hapless, Elisa Albert's After Birth provides a necessary and fascinating corrective, exploring the loneliness and loss of self that having a child can engender.
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