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Flapper Queens is a biographical showcase of early art from female newspaper cartoonists like Nell Brinkley, whose 1918 illustration Golden Eyes with Uncle Sam supported American soldiers during World War 1. Photo: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/ Getty Images

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Wildcards

For those with eclectic or unpredictable interests, these non-fiction wildcard picks offer intriguing options for outliers, with books about fashion, food, comic artists — and Scotland. / BY Nathalie Atkinson / January 29th, 2021


For the reader with eclectic and unpredictable interests, any of these unexpected titles will delight even the most idiosyncratic outlier.

Obsessive Book Buyers: Zoomer editors have carefully curated our book coverage to ensure you find the perfect read. We may earn a commission on books you buy by clicking on the cover image.

1Nobody Will Tell You This But Me by Bess Kalb

This is equal parts guide to living and poignant memoir of four generations of women as told through the saved voicemails and texts of its Jewish matriarch to her adored granddaughter, an Emmy-nominated writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live. You’ll want to give this to everyone you know and listen to the inimitably entertaining audiobook with family.


2The Flapper Queens: Women Cartoonists of the Jazz Age by Trina Robbins

A dazzling biographical showcase of early comic strips by female newspaper cartoonists, from the legendary Nell Brinkley to lesser-known Fay King, curated by the award-winning, underground, commix-movement artist who was the first woman to draw Wonder Woman.

 

 

 


3Pappyland: A Story of Family, Fine Bourbon, and the Things That Last by Wright Thompson

The story of Julian Van Winkle, third-generation steward of the family distillery that bears his name and its cult-following Kentucky bourbon, and his quest to preserve their legacy.

 

 

 


4Gas and Glamour: Roadside Architecture in Los Angeles by Ashok Sinha

The architectural photographer’s lavish tribute to midcentury automobile culture, futuristic façades, and the golden age of driving is a chronicle of lost design history.


5Let’s Ask Marion: What You Need to Know about the Politics of Food, Nutrition and Health by Marion Nestle and Kerry Trueman

Many of our current conversations about food politics can be traced back to powerhouse Nestle, now 84, a U.S. nutrition scientist who has inspired many slow food movements in her day (and is a mentor to Mark Bittman). This book is a series of conversations with Trueman, an environmental advocate, about the individual, social and global politics off what we eat.


6 Clanlands: Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish

The Outlander actors began this project as a podcast about the history, culture, and landscape of Scotland; it soon evolved into the Men In Kilts travel show, and now it’s a confessional road trip book (complete with maps).

 

 

 


7The Bloomsbury Look by Wendy Hitchmough

Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, E.M. Forster, John Maynard Keynes all had it. In this book, the former curator of Charleston, the Bloombury artists’ iconic gathering place in Sussex, England, explores how the group’s distinctive visual aesthetic and avant-garde choices took shape, from clothing and interiors to art, photography, and design.


8The Wig: A Hairbrained History by Luigi Amara

Through a tonsorial romp that is ostensibly the history of wigs (from Ancient Egypt ceremonials to powdered French court confections to chemotherapy rooms), the Mexican essayist also offers an incisive social history of the customs and shifting identities within Western civilization.

 

 

 


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