You’ve stumbled upon Bar\Heart, a newsletter and podcast about belonging and the places we call home. I’m so glad you’re here. This is the Friday afternoon Cocktail Hour, featuring a drink recipe, book suggestions and a curio cabinet of everything I find interesting each week.
We made it to Cocktail Hour!
Don't miss my Instagram LIVE interview with 27th Letter Books co-owner Jazmine Cooper!
To celebrate the April Bar\Heart Book List, Jazmine and I talked about opening a bookstore and how booksellers find and select books for their shelves. Plus, we make a Manhattan!
Ok. Let's get to Cocktail Hour.
For some reason, I have gotten myself on a Manhattan jag. This is random and new; I’ve never been someone who drinks Manhattans. But, somehow, now I am. I really enjoy their deep, slightly bitter mystery.
I’m on a mission to identify the perfect Manhattan and learn its secrets. I’ve got a strong candidate, but more research is needed. For science. We wouldn’t do anything unscientific over here in Cocktail Hour, now would we?
You would think a Manhattan is a Manhattan is a Manhattan. After all, it’s just three simple ingredients: rye whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters, garnished with a cherry. But they range widely – from magic in a glass to overly bitter to overly sweet to nearly undrinkable.
What I do know so far: I like my Manhattan “up,” meaning it’s stirred and then strained into a glass without ice. But it still needs to be cold. Most bars go wrong by not getting their drinks cold enough. And a room temp Manhattan is just no good – like that beer you left sitting too long.
Do you drink Manhattans? If so, how do you like them? What questions do you have? If you haven't had one -- or don't like them -- tell me more. Leave comments below so I can get our questions answered!
To be continued when I have mastered the Manhattan….
Here's my friend Sharon serving up this month’s Bar\Heart Book List. If you come stay with me, you, too, could get co-opted into being a hand model 🤣
This month's list has a little something for everyone. We’ve got thrillers, short stories, art heists, multi-generational family sagas, sci-fi vibes, the science of love and so much more. Plus, they take us to Texas, Memphis, Silicon Valley, Chernobyl, Vancouver Island, the moon — and even the great beyond.
A Tiny Shove Upward by Melissa Chadburn
Atomic Anna by Rachel Barenbaum
Happy for You by Claire Stanford
Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow
Nobody Gets Out Alive: Stories by Leigh Newman
Pay Dirt Road by Samantha Jayne Allen
Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
The Candy House by Jennifer Egan
Wired for Love by Stephanie Cacioppo
You can find this month’s Bar\Heart Book List – and all previous lists – on my page at Bookshop.org. If you order through them, you are supporting small, independent bookstores. The site takes 10% of sales and divvies it up amongst local bookstores every six months. So far, they’ve given back nearly $20 million. You can read more about how it works here.
I am also an affiliate of Bookshop.org, so I receive a small fee from sales made through my page. It doesn’t cost you anything or take away from the bookstores, though! Just want to be upfront with y’all.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Parental Rights in Education, the so-called "Don't Say Gay" bill, on Monday. On Thursday, Lourdes Casares and Kimberly Feinberg and other plaintiffs sued the state to keep the law from going into effect on July 1.
On its surface, the bill might sound benign to some. It says schools can’t teach gender identity and sexual orientation in grades kindergarten through third grade. Who needs to speak with little kids about sex, right?
But kids come to the classroom with their lived experiences. They know what is happening in the world and in their homes. They have questions. Teachers and schools have long been the place where those questions land because they trust the adults.
Gov. DeSantis, at the bill signing, said that telling kids “they can be whatever they want to be” is “inappropriate.” “It's not something that's appropriate for any place, but especially not in Florida."
I think teaching our children they can be whatever they want to be and embracing them as they are is a hallmark of America.
Since Thomas Jefferson first pushed the idea of public education, some parents have feared the idea of teachers “indoctrinating” students. If you mean creating an open, welcoming place to learn about math, language, science and society as well as teaching social skills and civics, and building a common understanding of our democracy and our responsibility to it, then I say:
“Yes. Indoctrinate away!
What in the actual fuq? These snakes are known to grow up to 23 feet and 200 pounds. But, according to National Geographic, they are “docile” and a popular pet. Unfortunately, people often release them into the wild when they get too large.
Thank all that is holy for the bobcats. They’re here to save us all.
1. "Inside the Heroic Effort to Rescue Masha the Bear from Ukraine" by Natasha Daly in National Geographic
3. "Jada Pinket Smith Shouldn't Have to Take a Joke. Neither Should You" by Roxane Gay in New York Times
Lambing season started for my parents last week, so I couldn't resist sharing more pics. This is my mom bottle-feeding triplets. It's an awwwww moment. So cute right?
But raising livestock is hard. The ewe had an abscess on her teat and can't produce enough milk feed her own babies. So my parents have to care for them every two hours around the clock.
If you're curious about the markings, mama is No. 11 and the babies are 11A, 11B and 11C.
Ok. That's it for me this week. I'll see you next Friday for Cocktail Hour. And don't forget to look for me in your inbox on Tuesday.
P.S. For those of you interested in the readers' survey results, here is a summary of what you had to say.
1. Why do you read Bar\Heart?
2. What do you love? What keeps you coming back?
3. What do you like least?
4. Have you attended a Cocktail Hour LIVE?
5. Would you be interested in a subscribers-only Facebook Group?
6. I am considering inviting more voices into the newsletter. How likely would you be to pay for a subscription to support that work?
7. Here is a sampling of your thoughtful comments and my responses. Thank you.
"JUNE DEMANDS EQUAL AIRTIME."
"I'm really drawn to the concept of belonging. It's not something I consciously thought about before, but the conversations in this newsletter have made me reflect on what belonging means to me, especially as I navigate the many transitions that come with post-grad life."
"Bar\Heart feels honest, like it's trying to get its legs; I like and admire that. – Thank you."
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"I love the stories about Detroit. I moved to DC/Northern Virginia a few years ago and I miss the funky GenX social scene. There is no equivalent here."
"I like that you're in Michigan (hi, neighbor!) and I enjoy the vibe. Paying for the newsletter is just not in my budget right now, currently expecting baby #2."
Are there other things you want me to know? Don't feel like the results quite represent you? Feel free to still take the survey or email me at email@example.com with other thoughts! I'd really love to hear them.
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What is Bar\Heart? It is Amy Haimerl’s weekly newsletter and podcast about belonging in America and the places we call home. Plus cocktails! You can read more about it here. The midweek edition includes intimate conversations from the heart; the Friday Cocktail Hour is a round up drink suggestions, book recommendations and other detritus I pick up on the Internet and in life.