Melinda’s Book is Out Today! Kirkus Says It’s “A Perfect Blend of the Intimate and the Epic.”

We interrupt our normally scheduled atrocity coverage to bring you the message that my sister, the talented Melinda Taub, has a novel out today!

It’s called “Still Star Crossed,” it’s a sequel to Romeo and Juliet, it’s available on Amazon and in book stores near you, it’s awesome, and you should buy it.

I’m obviously biased, but there’s no need to take my word for this. Here’s what Kirkus said in its (ahem, starred) review:

Love and violence intertwine in this spectacular sequel to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.


Taub splits her focus between the personal and the political, sending the narrative shuttling among Rosaline, Benvolio, Rosaline’s spirited sister, Livia, and desperate Prince Escalus without losing the thread. Rosaline and Benvolio’s tale is equal parts historical fiction, detective story and high adventure, relayed in accurate but not overwhelming period language, informed by Romeo and Juliet and Shakespeare’s other works but offering an expanded and original perspective.

A perfect blend of the intimate and the epic, the story both honors its origin and works in its own right. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)

Now excuse me while I go wander the city, bragging about my little sister, the novelist.

Is Brooklyn Cuisine Just an Elaborate Practical Joke Now?

Does anyone still believe that hipster restaurants are really eateries, as opposed to conceptual art installations and/or elaborate social psychology experiments? If you answered “yes,” then I dare you to identify which of the below statements are not lines from a recent review of an institution claiming to be a restaurant (answers after the jump):

  1. “He’s a peer of the Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson, who conjures up strange delicacies from all sorts of primal ingredients (pig’s blood, cow’s bones, wet forest leaves, etc.)”
  2. “My favorite course was a plate of locally-sourced loam with mucosal kombucha. The accompanying homemade pickles are a $9 supplement, but shouldn’t be missed – their tangy crunch harmonizes perfectly with the heavy funk of the main plate.”
  3. “Or so I thought to myself as I pondered a pair of crimson-colored cracker­like objects, which, our lumberjack waiter gently informed us, were made mostly with dehydrated pig’s blood.”
  4. “Although I was initially skeptical of the hay-roasted herring livers, the presentation – in which the still-smoking bale is brought to the table in a brazier and the diner is offered a pair of antique Norwegian elk shears with which to remove the charred morsels from the ashes – won me over.”
  5. “The next course is a mulch-y concoction of root vegetables (salsify, lichen curls) served with the yolk of a single egg, which tasted bracing in a faintly medicinal way, despite looking, in the words of one of my city-slicker guests, like “something you’d find in the puddles of a tree stump after a rainstorm.”

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