Author

JeriAnn Geller - page 3

JeriAnn Geller has 78 articles published.

is a writer, editor and dabbler in arty stuff. A fourth-generation journalist (on her father’s side) and millionteenth-generation mother (on her mother’s side) she has written, edited, photographed and illustrated for newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, videos and books. Known for her persnicketyness about grammar, she occasionally leaves in an error to delight people of similar inclination.

Forget Pie. You’ll Want to Make These Thanksgiving Alternatives from Violet Cakes Bakery

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This may sound like sacrilege, but on Thanksgiving I don’t do pie. That doesn’t mean we don’t have pie; a fantastic local farm kitchen fills that need, but I don’t bake pies. Ever. While I do terrific fillings, the alchemy that results in a tender, flaky crust has always eluded me. Instead, I prefer to tempt guests to save a little room with a dessert they don’t expect. To dazzle them, this year I’m turning to The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak (Ten Speed Press; September 29, 2015). One of the things I love about Ptak’s recipes is her emphasis on flavor over appearance and her judicious use of refined sugar and flour. Like everyone else, my family includes…

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Dear Reader Contest Grand Prize Winner

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I personally call the winners of the Write a Dear Reader Contest every year. After I say, “Hello, this is Suzanne Beecher. Your entry in this year’s Write a Dear Reader Contest was a winner. Congratulations!” most of time folks are tongue-tied, reprocessing what I just told them, but not Debbie Perloff, this year’s First Place Winner. “I hate to write,” were the first words out of Debbie’s mouth and she continued, “Even writing a postcard is a chore for me. I am so excited. When I finally decided to enter the contest, I sat down, started writing, and 45 minutes later I was finished. I was so inspired by your writing Suzanne, and also reading the entry of last…

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Smart Reads: Real Life Heroes, Villains and Monsters

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Villains and monsters are so much more frightening in the world of non-fiction. While we can reassure ourselves that the horrors of fiction aren’t real and sleep with the lights on, the comfort in non-fiction lies in the books themselves. By shining a light on the darkest hearts we lessen their hold upon us. At the same time, heroes are burnished in the spotlight’s glow, reminding us that good can ultimately prevail. This week we have five Smart Reads about the heroes, villains and monsters who have walked among us: My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem (Random House, October 27, 2015) “Rarely do women have the opportunity to travel as Steinem has done—living a life full of radical…

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Novel Concept Episode 7: Angela Palm

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Writing can be a solitary experience, which is why so many authors tend to form writing groups as sources of support both for their writing and themselves. In this episode of Novel Concept, host Rachel Carter speaks with nonfiction author Angela Palm, an occasional BookTrib contributor, about the writing group they share. It’s an intimate look into their own experiences as working writers, what they look for in a support system, and the ways writing groups have shaped their work. Palm is the author of Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here, which won the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and is due to be published in August 16, 2016. Her writing has appeared in Brevity, Diagram, The Pilgrim, and Little Fiction.…

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Shonda Rhimes Inspires Positivity with a Year of Yes!

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Shonda Rhimes just reminded me what happens when you spend a year saying, “Yes!” to life’s possibilities. In 2008 this became my mantra. It had been a bad year—major surgery, my employer cheated out of $90 million by Bernie Madoff, massive layoffs (including me), the end of a valued relationship. My son, who was in middle school at the time, dragged me to see Jim Carrey in Yes Man. Inspired, I decided to try to turn my life around by saying “yes” for a year. As Rhimes points out in her new memoir, Year of Yes: How to Dance it Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person (Simon & Schuster; November 10, 2015), life takes on an…

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Smart Reads: 7 Scrumptious New Cookbooks for You to Savor

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Here at the BookTrib office, the cookbooks arrive in the mail about mid-morning—just in time to start our stomachs rumbling. We can’t help but be inspired to kick up our cooking game as we flip through the gorgeous photos and mouth-watering recipes. This week we have cookbooks that serve up the kind of food many of us grew up with—red velvet cake and fried chicken from Savannah, bisque and jambalya from the Big Easy, garlic-and-pepper infused pastrami from Jewish delis, and porchetta and lasagne just like your nonna used to make. And to top it all off—a cookbook from the restaurant that has all the celebrity chefs raving. Hungry yet? This is Camino by Russell Moore and Allison Hopelain with Chris…

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Carrie Brownstein Pauses During Book Tour to Perform a Wedding

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We’re very familiar with book tours here at BookTrib; many of our writers are published authors and we work with authors every day. But this was a first for us—Carrie Brownstein paused during a speaking event for her new memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl (Riverhead Books; October 27, 2015) to marry sweethearts Kendall Oshiro and Genevieve Hernandez. Guest moderator Amy Poehler reportedly yelled out, “You gotta do it!” to applause and cheers when the couple made the request during the Q&A session. There may have been a teeny, tiny bit of planning involved on the fiancées’ part—they just happened to know that Brownstein was an ordained minister (something she did to marry a couple of friends), they had…

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Move Over Breaking Bad, Here Comes Jessica Jones on Netflix

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Is America ready for a superheroine whose story might make Breaking Bad look like a family sitcom? As someone who was lucky enough to see the first episode of Marvel’s Jessica Jones at New York Comic Con, the answer is an unequivocal, “yes!” Recently I mused as to whether Jessica could escape the Strong Female Character trope where she’s just there as a foil for the male hero. Well, the brand new trailer should leave little doubt that Ms. Jones (as well as Krysten Ritter) is a badass in her own right.   Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, has frequently expressed his plan to create unique movies that just happen to contain superheroes, rather “superhero movies.” With Jessica Jones…

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Kitchen Bursting with Produce? Time for Home Canning!

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Are your counters like mine—overflowing with the last of the tomatoes, squash from your in-laws and those plum and apple “seconds” that were too good a deal to pass up at the farmer’s market? As you survey your bounty one question keeps going through your mind, “How the heck are we going to eat all this before it spoils?” Never fear! Canning books are here. We’re not the first humans to want to preserve the sun-drenched lusciousness of summer for the colder months. Fortunately, preserving has been honed to a science and raised to a fine art. In my family we used to do old-fashioned kettle canning every August. It was a hot, sweaty affair but the sheer pleasure of…

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Zahav: Michael Solomonov Presents the Diverse Flavors of Israel

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When it comes to Israeli food, sublime is usually simple. Take Shakshouka for example. I first tasted Shakshouka one summer on a family vacation. My sister had invited her Israeli neighbors to join us and after a few days of our cooking, our guests said they wanted to cook us the quintessential Israeli dish. We had no idea what that might be. Our culinary heritage was limited to the Eastern European Jewish dishes we had grown up with such as chicken soup with matzo balls, and a few well-known Middle Eastern foods—chopped salad, falafel and hummus. We were surprised when the kitchen started releasing the fragrance of sautéing onions, garlic and peppers and they brought to the table a huge…

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Top 5 Reasons Why We Wish Empire’s Cookie Lyon was our Mom

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If you’re not watching Empire, get yourself over to FOX On Demand ASAP, because you’re seriously missing out. For the few people who have been living in caves, Empire is the beloved bedazzled primetime soap Dynasty (1981-1989) reimagined for the 21st century. (It’s probably no surprise that show creator Lee Daniels was a huge fan of Dynasty growing up.) Empire brings all the drama, conflict and bling, minus the shoulder pads and big hair, with an updated twist. This sudsy treat is about an African-American family who owns one of America’s biggest (fictional, of course) recording enterprises. During Season 1 Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) was released from prison, where she went to take the fall for her husband, hip-hop titan…

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James Patterson Wants You to Nominate an Indie Bookseller for a Holiday Bonus

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Know an independent bookstore employee who could really use a holiday bonus? Santa, er, James Patterson is going to make sure that their hard work to help keep indie bookstores alive is rewarded. He’s donating $250,000 to indie booksellers by partnering with the American Booksellers Association to distribute the funds among as many of the 2,200 affiliated bookstores as possible. Why is he doing it? “Every holiday season I get the chance to pick out books to give my son, Jack,” says Patterson.  “I think hard about what he’ll love reading—what will excite him? What will inspire him? Of course, every day booksellers ask these questions on behalf of the people in their community. And I think they should be…

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Smart Reads: 3 Books for Banned Books Week

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We’re closing out Banned Books Week (September 27-October 3) by honoring three of the most challenged and banned books in 2014 as this week’s Smart Reads. Even though our right to read anything we like is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the American Constitution, there have always been members of the community who take exception to the content of certain books. Reasons for banning books have varied. Most frequently cited are offensive language, sexually explicit content, violence, controversial issues (a highly subjective term) and being unsuitable for its targeted age group. But as any book loving parent knows, much of this depends on the individual reader. And what budding adolescent hasn’t read a forbidden adult novel under the covers…

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Exclusive! Lily & Val’s Valerie McKeehan Talks the Art of Chalk Lettering

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The motto on Valerie McKeehan’s website, Lily & Val, says: “Hand-drawn lovelies” and indeed they are. Her gorgeous greeting cards, thank-you notes, posters, wrapping paper and other cheery and graceful designs use a medium familiar to anyone who went to school in the 20th century—chalk on a blackboard. But even my second-grade teacher’s impeccable cursive couldn’t hold a candle to the McKeehan’s lettering designs. Fortunately for us, she’s making it possible to get in on the fun with her new book, The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering: Create and Develop Your Own Style (Workman; September 22, 2015.) Before you declare your handwriting atrocious, McKeehan makes it easy for a beginner to learn the art of chalk board lettering. BookTrib recently…

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