Gilded Age Cocktails: History, Lore, and Recipes from America’s Golden Age by Cecelia Tichi

by George Yatchisin If you’ve ever wondered how historical nonfiction can be dry like a martini and not dry like a textbook tome, you need to pick up Cecelia Tichi’s…

The Cruelty Is The Point: The Past, Present and Future of Trump’s America by Adam Serwer

Review by Brian Tanguay When Donald J. Trump ran for president in 2016 he made many promises, from rebuilding America’s infrastructure to reducing the federal deficit to replacing the Affordable…

The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes by Janet Malcolm

Review by David Starkey Janet Malcolm, who died on June 16, 2021, typically referred to herself as a journalist. While that’s certainly an honorable occupation—and working for The New Yorker,she…

A Year with Swollen Appendices by Brian Eno

Review by David Starkey Several years ago, as I was listening to the ambient music of Brian Eno, which has kept me company through decades of reading, writing and grading…

Cuttings from the Tangle by Richard Buckner

Review by George Yatchisin Richard Buckner, songwriter, singer, can open a song with the lines “Tough is as she does, won’t you slump on over and stir my shuffle down,”…

The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California by Mark Arax

Review by Brian Tanguay On the coast of California where I live drought has been a constant feature of the past twenty years. Enough rain some years made us forget,…

Phase Six by Jim Shepard

Review by David Starkey Right about now, probably the last thing most readers are looking for is another book about pandemics, and Jim Shepard’s new novel is a pandemic book…

We Are What We Eat: A Slow Food Manifesto by Alice Waters with Bob Carrau and Cristina Mueller

Review by George Yatchisin In Charles Laughton’s fantastic 1955 fairy tale noir Night of the Hunter, Robert Mitchum’s curdled preacher is infamous for having “love” and “hate” tattooed across the…

Ladies Who Lunch: a satirical taste of L.A. by Josef Woodard

Review by George Yatchisin It’s 1990-something, and although fabulous Danielle Wiffard’s marriage is about to blow, fortunately for her (and this book’s readers), all of L.A.’s eligible bachelors, not to…

2021 Poetry Month Reviews: April 22-30

by David Starkey Back in 2014, when I was reviewing books for the Santa Barbara Independent, I proposed an offbeat idea to my editor. I would offer one very short…