Indie Scouting Report: November 2019
In this month’s roundup of the best-reviewed BookLife titles, we highlight a Sri Lankan cookbook, a guide for transgender Christians, a biography of a burlesque dancer, and others.
★ A Feast of Serendib: Recipes From Sri Lanka
Mary Anne Mohanraj
Synopsis: Mohanraj introduces readers to the comforting cuisine of Sri Lanka in this collection of recipes.
PW’s Takeaway: This is a terrific survey of an overlooked cuisine.
Comparable Title: Peter Kuruvita’s Serendip: My Sri Lankan Kitchen
Sample Line: “We come together with other Sri Lankans—homelander and diaspora, Sinhalese and Tamil, Buddhist and Hindu and Christian and Muslim—over delicious shared meals.”
★ Otherwise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation
Synopsis: In this invigorating dive into scripture, Paige affirms support for transgender experience.
PW’s Takeaway: A treasure chest of resources.
Comparable Title: Austen Hartke’s Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians
Sample Line: “The world finds a plethora of ways to tell us that we are unworthy of love.”
The Painted Cross
Synopsis: A distinguished sequel to The Crimson Heirlooms.
PW’s Takeaway: This epic treasure hunt is well worth readers’ time.
Comparable Title: Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum
Barefoot to the Chin: The Fantastic Life of Sally Rand
Synopsis: Lowe delivers an exhaustive and entertaining biography.
PW’s Takeaway: An enlightening book about an obscure entertainer.
Comparable Title: Leslie Zemeckis’s Feuding Fan Dancers
Sharon Gloger Friedman
Synopsis: Early-20th-century Russia and New York are vividly rendered in this affecting debut.
PW’s Takeaway: Friedman makes a potent statement about the resiliency of the human spirit.
Comparable Title: Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn