BOOK | About 18 years ago, Claudia Rowe, then a reporter in Poughkeepsie, New York, stringing for the New York Times, wrote her first letter to someone in jail. The man she wrote to, Kendall Francois, had recently admitted to killing eight women over the course of two years, and keeping their rotting bodies in the home where he lived with his parents and sister. Rowe, fascinated with what could have created someone like Francois — his hoarder lifestyle, his family life, his rage sitting just below the surface of a quiet personality — embarked upon a years-long correspondence that wound up raising many more questions about her own life and motivations. In THE SPIDER AND THE FLY: A REPORTER, A SERIAL KILLER, AND THE MEANING OF MURDER, Rowe is unwavering in her grisly descriptions of filth and decay in Kendall's home, and the lives of addiction and sex work experienced by his victims. The book is also introspective, considering her own upbringing and relationships, and questioning her own choices as a reporter, as a woman, and as a person. If you liked In Cold Blood, Rowe's book, released in January, should be your next read.
BEAUTY | It's officially festival season, which means subjecting your hair to sun, heat and sweat for hours on end. Unless you're willing to wait out the lines for a cold shower, or want to single-handedly try to bring back the grease of grunge, one of your best bets for a hair refresh while at a festival or camping is AMIKA PERK UP SHAMPOO. The rice starch in this dry shampoo helps absorb oil, and easily combs through hair without leaving a powdery residue. It smells great, and seems to work well even on dyed hair. Available at Sephora, Birchbox, and other online retailers.
RECIPE | As soon as the weather hints at being warm, it's time to break out the cold salad recipes: the potato, the pasta, the Greek. By far, my favorite to make ahead on a Sunday afternoon for a week of work lunches is a big bowl of PASTA SALAD. Pick your favorite noodle (bowtie works great), and eat the rainbow: chop up red, yellow, orange, and green bell peppers, celery, red onion (which we all know is actually more purple than red), and any other crisp veggies that will give variety to both the flavor and texture. Add your favorite dressing and cheese. Try feta and ranch, or for a lighter salad, a raspberry balsamic dressing and a nice blue or goat cheese. ♦