A recovering skinhead, a girl who can taste her mother's emotions, and the grammatical mistakes that drive one woman crazy.
Word maven Patricia T. O'Conner recently released a new edition of her book Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English. If you zoned out during all the lessons on pronoun usage in your high school English class, Woe is I can help u lern how 2 talk better. O'Conner has also opened a "bad signs contest" for grammatically incorrect or awkwardly mispelled signs for readers spot on the street. The prize goes to the person who spots the worst use of English.
In Aimee Bender's new novel The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, 9-year-old Rose's cake tastes lemony, soft, sweet, and... sad. That is, if her mother feels sad. It tastes angry if her mother feels angry, and happy if her mother is having a good day. Bender says the condition is an emotion-based synesthesia.
Frank Meeink was recruited into one of the many factions of American skinheads as a teenage boy. He wrestled with drug addiction and violence. After a number of run-ins with the police and in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City Bombing, Meeink started questioning his own involvement and decided to leave the the community. His book may be a useful key in understanding the psyche of people who belong to hate groups.