Best Books of 2021

  1. The Four Winds: Kristen Hannah has done it again. Her Cinderella-esque tale of a woman who resecues herself from a live of drugery, poverty, and low self esteem is one to be read again and again.
  2. Jewish Pride: Rebuilding a People: Ben M. Freeman‘s treatise on Jews, and Jewish history is a must read for anyone who for once and for all wants to defeat antisemitism and all forms of hate.
  3. Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol: Mallory O’Meara‘s non fiction book explores how inspite of a certain image, women have been creating and drinking all forms of alcohol for centuries.
  4. I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J Trumps Catastrophic Final Year: The subject of you know who will be on the lips of writers and political historians for years to come. Authors Carol Leonning and Philip Rucker examine how the former President believed that he did not need help in running the country.
  5. Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood: Writer and podcaster Mark Oppenheimer tells the story of how a single neighborhood was affected by the murders of eleven Jewish residents in 2018.
  6. Peril: Bob Woodward and Robert Costa take a deep dive into how close the American democracy got close to destruction.
  7. The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh: This JAFF by Molly Greeley gives the spotlight to Anne de Bourgh, a minor Pride and Prejudice character who has yet to be fully seen or appreciated.
  8. Three Ordinary Girls: The Remarkable of Three Dutch Teenagers Who Become Spies, Saboteurs, Nazi Assasins-and WWII Heroes: This fascinating and powerful tale of three young ladies who led an underground war against the Nazis during World War II.
  9. Why She Wrote: A Graphic History of the Lives, Inspiration, and Influence Behind the Pens of Classic Women Writers: Written by the Bonnet at Dawn podcast hosts, this book examines the life and works of the women writers we have loved and respected for generations.
  10. The Matzah Ball: A Novel: Jean Meltzer’s Chanukah themed rom-com about two people who are secretly in love, but cannot speak the words due to the current and past trauma.

Here’s to the books we loved in 2021 and the books we will love in 2022.

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Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol Book Review

Imagine, if you will, a heterosexual couple walks into a bar. The man is likely to order a “manly” drink, which is likely described as a beer or vodka. The woman is likely to order a “girly” drink, which is likely sweet, fizzy, and comes with a tiny umbrella.

Mallory O’Meara‘s new book, Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol, was published last month. Her study of human history and alcohol creation/consumption comes down to a simple hypothesis. Though women have been making and drinking various forms of booze since the beginning of human history, our contributions have been (for the most part) either ignored completely or considered to be “unwomanly”. While men have been allowed to get wasted since the dawn of time, a woman who has had one too many is either neglecting her duties or is daring (heaven forbid) to act as a male does.

I loved this book. The author is funny, sarcastic, and has no problem ripping a hole into the ideas of what is “acceptable” for a woman. She also hilights those who have defied expectations and took their place at the bar, regardless of what was being said about them?

Do I recommend it? Absolutely. It was a joy to read.

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