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The Painted Girls: A Novel
Inspired by the real hardscrabble lives of a set of Parisian sisters, this story begins in 1878 as the Van Goethem children are mourning the death of their father and the boozy antics of their absinthe-loving mother. Antoinette, the oldest, is a sharp-tongued but soft-hearted actress who is drawn into the City of Light’s seedy underworld by a dodgy fellow actor. Her talented younger sister, Marie, is making her way up the ranks of the famed Paris ballet, but finds herself distracted by a side job as the half-dressed muse of a crabby artist. Family bonds are tested—and nearly broken—by murder, romance, betrayal and desperation, but ultimately, the greatest survival instinct may be keeping the faith and sticking by your sister.
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Still Points North: One Alaskan Childhood, One Grown-up World, One Long Journey Home
I like to think of this as a girl’s guide to hunting, fishing and latchkey childhoods. Author Leigh Newman writes about her mischief-filled Alaskan youth flying single-propeller planes, hunting grizzly bears and catching salmon alongside her father. When her parents divorce, she moves to Baltimore. There, she makes a half-hearted attempt at being a focused student under the not-so-watchful gaze of a mother working more jobs than Damon Wayans in the old "Hey Mon" sketches on In Living Color. As an adult, Newman’s work as a travel writer keeps her on the road just enough to outrun a loving marriage to the man of her dreams. But an impressive list of global misadventures, patient parents and a cute dog named Leonard may be the trick to helping Newman find a place to truly call home.
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Drinking With Men: A Memoir
Let’s imagine for a moment that every person whose life included earning a PhD, touring with the Grateful Dead, a job as a cleric, a gig as a paranormal librarian and a perennial perch in bars around the world wrote a memoir. How many of these stories would exist? Just one, and it's penned by Rosie Schaap. Drinking With Men begins with a description of Schaap's days as a teenage tarot card reader hustling drinks in exchange for clairvoyance in the boxcar of a New York City commuter rail. That experience launches her decades-long journey through bars in Dublin, Montreal, Vermont and New York, plus one night in Santa Cruz involving so many shots of Jack Daniel's that I got a little drunk just reading the chapter. Along the way, she clinks glasses with a wildly loveable stream of characters: artists, poets, professors, tender barkeeps and a motley crew of pubmates who don’t mind reciting Shakespeare…in the pub. Consider this Schaap’s friendly tutorial in drinking your spirits with spirit.
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