Archives for posts with tag: Leah Vincent

Sharing 14 of my favorite reads this year. Here they are in no particular order (except for the first one, which was my absolute favorite):

  1. The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver

    From The Poisonwood Bible's beginning: Leah Price: We came from Bethlehem, Georgia, bearing Betty Crocker cake mixes into the jungle. My sisters and I were all counting on having one birthday apiece during our twelve-month mission. "And heaven knows," our mother predicted, "they won't have Betty Crocker in the Congo."

    From the beginning: Leah Price: “We came from Bethlehem, Georgia, bearing Betty Crocker cake mixes into the jungle. My sisters and I were all counting on having one birthday apiece during our twelve-month mission. “And heaven knows,” our mother predicted, “they won’t have Betty Crocker in the Congo.”

  2. War Sebastian Junger
  3. A New Leaf Alyson Martin & Nushin Rashidian
  4. Orange is the New Black Piper Kerman
  5. Sex at Dawn Christopher Ryan, PhD & Cacilda Jethá, MD
  6. Swamplandia! Karen Russell

    As I said on Twitter, I could go Pentecostal over how much I loved this book.

    Chapter One of Swamplandia! and as I said on Twitter, I could go Pentecostal over how much I loved this book.

  7. More than Conquerors Megan Hustad
  8. Don’t Cry Mary Gaitskill
  9. Vanity Fair William Thackeray
  10. Self-Help Lorrie Moore
  11. Why We Broke Up Daniel Handler & illustrator Maira Kalman

    In Why We Broke Up, an illustration of an unfolded note.

    In Why We Broke Up, an illustration of an unfolded note, confessing: “I can’t stop thinking about you.”

  12. Cut Me Loose Leah Vincent
  13. Drift Rachel Maddow
  14. The New Digital Age Eric Schmidt & Jared Cohen

To buy these books, check Indie Bound to see if your local, independent bookstore already has a copy.

Happy reading in 2015! Any recommendations?

Brooklyn Rail logo(2)My (fangirl) review of Leah Vincent’s memoir Cut Me Loose is included in the November issue of The Brooklyn Rail.

"...my goddamn flesh." Leah Vincent in Cut Me Loose

“…my goddamn flesh.” Leah Vincent in Cut Me Loose

 

From “My Goddamn Flesh”:

As the daughter of a respected rabbi, Leah Vincent was born into a world that worshiped messiahs, men, and modesty in suburban Pittsburg. A middle child in a family of 13 devoted to the Yeshivish faith, an ultra-orthodox sect of Judaism, Vincent writes, “I had been groomed to handle men—God, my father, my future husband—with relentless worship. I carried that lesson from my childhood…like a butterfly dragging its cocoon.”

Vincent’s coming-of-age memoir is a dark journey of hacking her way out of a stifling religious community—through questioning, cutting, and exploring her sexuality—in order to go frei, Hebrew for free. While Cut Me Loose is about a girl shedding her skin, it also provokes the question over whether anyone can truly escape the culture in which she was weaned.

Continue reading in The Brooklyn Rail

Three years ago, today, I decided to start writing my first book. On that April Fool’s Day, I thought I was writing a collection essays, but it turned out to be a memoir. Since then, I’ve written—and re-written—something that I believe finally adds up to a manuscript. Getting it published will be an entirely different story.

However, on this anniversary that I hold dear, I find myself looking back and cataloging the books that have literally altered the course of my life. Starting with the first book that inspired me to write back beyond the margins, here are a few of the books, listed in the year I read them, that beckoned me to the page in the hopes of adding to the cultural conversation of books.

1994: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

1995: Prozac Nation, Elizabeth Wurtzel

Asking RWE why at 17

1996: Emerson’s Essays, Ralph Waldo Emerson

1997: Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin

1998: My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok

 

1999: Notes from a Small Island, Bill Bryson

1999: Notes from a Small Island, Bill Bryson

Starring Bill Bryson during Study Abroad

2000: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Anne Fadiman

2001: In Cold Blood, Truman Capote

2002: Middlesex, Jeffery Eugenides

 

2003: A Heartbreaking Work of a Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers

2004: Journal, Annabel Clark and Lynn Redgrave

2005: Jesus Land, Julia Scheeres

Commiserating with Jesus Land

2005: Jesus Land, Julia Scheeres

2006: On Writing, Stephen King

2007: Take the Cannoli, Sarah Vowell

2008: Holidays on Ice, David Sedaris

2009: The Situation and the Story, Vivian Gornick

2010: Boys of My Youth, Jo Ann Beard

2011: The Commitment, Dan Savage

2012: Virgin, Hanne Blank

Learning from the historian, Hanne Blank

Learning from the historian, Hanne Blank

2013: Memories of a Catholic Girlhood, Mary McCarthy

2014: Don’t Cry, Mary Gaitskill. Or, Cut me Loose, Leah Vincent. I’m in the middle of reading both right now and couldn’t possibly decide.

 

What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

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