1. The Lean by Kathy Freston [Weinstein Books]
–Despite already being a vegan, this gave me tons of wonderful tips. I continue to use it as a reference. Freston writes in such a friendly, useful, refreshing style. I recommend this to anyone who would like to pursue a vegan/ plant-based diet. Freston’s goal is to change our our relationship with food and to make us feel better, be energetic and healthy by consuming a plant-based diet.
2. Guts by Kristen Johnston [Gallery Books]
–honest, self-deprecating and wonderful. What differentiates this memoir from other celebrity memoirs is that Johnston doesn’t consider herself a celebrity [she refers to herself as a B-list celebrity] but a hard-working actress and acting teacher. She gets dirty and detailed particularly when she describes the destruction drugs caused to her digestive system.
3. Charlotte au Chocolat: Memories of a Restaurant Girlhood by Charlotte Silver [Riverhead]
–if you ever ate at Upstairs on the Square this is a must-read. it’s a sweet restaurant behind the scenes. although sometimes I wonder how a child could have such clear memories.
4. I Suck at Girls by Justin Halpern [IT Books]
–simultaneously funny and poignant. sweet.
5. Lizz Free or Die by Lizz Winstead [Riverhead]
–a collection of essays about family, friends and Winstead’s journey in her chosen career in the comedy world: both in stand-up and in television and radio. She’s a pioneer with her irreverent ideas and approach. She’s a leader and role model. She’s a tireless advocate for women’s rights. The essays are poignant, humorous, enlightening and insightful.
6. Agorafabulous by Sara Benincasa [William Morrow]
—- an honest and heartfelt recollection of Benincasa’s experiences with anxiety in college and her early twenties. She writes about her recovery and maintenance through meds, therapy, meditation and a support system of friends and family. provides relatable circumstances while addressing serious mental health concerns with flair and compassion.
7. loose diamonds by Amy Ephron [William Morrow]
–delightful collection of essays with deft observations about a multitude of subjects including her childhood, her mother, giving birth, fancy shoes, shopping (particularly at Saks), affairs, flying, her first marriage, divorce and her second marriage. She loses things—sometimes objects, sometimes relationships, sometimes emotional states– and through heartfelt, witty, insightful and clever means, she explains to the reader how she’s learned from those losses. It’s a sparkling memoir.
8. Let Them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton [DaCapo, 2012]
–user-friendly, family-friendly positive cookbook with recipes that appeal to all age ranges and varied palates. straightforward recipes with“Kid Friendly” and “Adult Minded” tips on certain recipes to make them more appealing for whomever you’re serving. an entire section devoted to veggie burgers.
9. Falling for Eli by Nancy Shulins [DaCapo]
10. The Smart Girl’s Guide to the G-Spot by Violet Blue [Cleis Press]
–everyone woman needs to know this!