This month, we recommend your deepest, darkest, chocolate, a nice Chai Tea, and the following three beautiful books to cozy next to the fire …
FROM THE HILL BY THE SEA
By Chef Seadon Shouse
They say real cooking isn’t always about following the recipe – Chef Seadon Shouse, Executive Chef at Halifax Hoboken, and native Nova Scotian, has been working for the past three years on a memoir combining his life as a forager, fisherman, and cook.
Chef Seadon grew up ‘off the grid’ in a small Nova Scotian rural village. His parents had ho electricity, no running water, and truly foraged, farmed, and fished for food. In this idyllic setting, Chef Seadon grew to understand the relationship of food and cooking with earth and its bounty. Chef shares some of his favorite recipes, stories of nature, and lovely imagery, that eventually conspired to grow this small project into a truly unique story of food and life.
In From the Hill by the Sea, Chef details his philosophy on ingredients and cooking through his recipes and memories; educating the reader in the roots of Nova Scotian foraging, hand-making, and how to cook from the land with heart and soul.
To learn more on Chef’s life in nature and the kitchen follow this link for an in-depth Interview.
Stories By Jacqueline Vogtman
Winner of the Dzanc Shorty Story Collection Prize
A near-future farmer battling environmental crises takes in a mysterious girl he finds on the roadside. A bus driver navigates through treacherous weather and memories of her tragic past as she races to save children from the end of the world. A woman keeps giving birth to children from different time periods. And a woman struggles with her young daughter mysteriously transforming into something wild and unruly, confronting themes of motherhood and family.
Jacqueline Vogtman has appeared in a variety of journals including Hunger Mountain, Permafrost, The Literary View, Smokelong Quarterly, and Third Coast. Girl Country is a collection of these and other earlier works but the author. Ranging from medieval Belgium to the near future of the American Midwest, these short stories are populated by women in every walk of life, particularly working-class women, who navigate the intersection of the mundane and the magical.
While Jacqueline’s stories wrap themselves around the hidden depths of darkness that marble our society, the author’s approach to horror reveals a certain amount of empathy and care rather than visceral fear; not to the nefarious characters involved but to those who must learn to navigate their permeation. If the author of Twilight, Stephenie Meyer, wrote to the band Muse, one might suggest listening to the piano sonatas of Mozart while reading through these thoughtful tales. Don’t get me wrong, Jacqueline’s stories are about women with teeth – both wild and alive – but ultimately they appeal to connection rather than exploitation.
BAD MOON RISING
By Luisa Colón
Cemetery Dance Publications
Born and raised in New York City, we first noticed Luisa Colón in her brief but successful foray into acting, as she starred in the award-winning 2006 indie film Day Night Day Night. And, again, as the titular role in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 2007 short film Anna.
Currently, the artist has illustrations and two murals on display at the World Trade Center, but she also has just released a clever and compelling horror story that sneaks up on the reader with a bit of an emotional punch.
In BAD MOON RISING something terrible has happened to sixteen-year-old Elodia in Gravesend, Brooklyn—she just can’t remember what. The high schooler is an outcast, always at odds with her father, and missing a Mami, who never seems to be at home. The only thing keeping Elodia going is her enigmatic new teacher, Duncan Wolk, who has a frightening past of his own.
Worlds away in upstate New York, a young man named Gabriel occupies his time by killing sparrows and searching for his birth parents, who gave him up for adoption when he was a baby. He discovers a roadmap to chaos: blood, betrayal, and family secrets that are like something out of Greek mythology, but steeped in Puerto Rican superstition.
Lost souls, broken and scarred, desperate for the promise of their past lives and future dreams. But, when wounds run this deep can they ever really be reversed?