This week we're really enjoying Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir by Padma Lakshmi, Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art by Virginia Heffernan, and The Anatomical Venus: Wax, God, Death & the Ecstatic by Joanna Ebenstein.More
You may know Padma Lakshmi from her luminous presence on Top Chef or her outspoken defense of women's health and rights, but after reading her sensitive and lovely memoir you will know her as a fully formed human, rich with experience and bracingly brave. Her book covers everything from her experiences as an Indian woman in the white-washed world of modeling to her complex marriage to Salman Rushdie, whose fame and intellectual capital did not eclipse her own passions and ambitions and, finally, to motherhood. Peppered throughout are recipes and descriptions of heavenly meals, so make sure you have a tissue AND something to snack on.
Goddamn, Virginia Heffernan is brilliant. That's all you'll be able to say to yourself as you read her new book, Magic and Loss: The Internet as Art. Virginia (full disclosure, a friend) manages to make a highly intellectual aesthetic argument — that the Internet isn't just a technological achievement, it's an artistic one — personal, accessible, and at times, incredibly funny. The Internet can seem like an unruly beast, coming at us at all times, from all places. But Virginia's book frames it in a way that makes it seem explicable, and almost manageable.