Hi! I’m Victoria Stapley-Brown, a returning mentor working with Izabell Mendez for the second year in a row :). I live in Brooklyn. I’ve been enjoying nonfiction biographies lately, usually about women, most recently, Ronnie Spector’s memoir Be My Baby and a biography of the French medieval writer Christine de Pizan. So hard to narrow down my favorite – perhaps Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl, who used to be the food critic for the New York Times. It’s about her experiences becoming the NYT food critic and realizing right away that everyone could identify her – she was recognized on her flight moving to New York! – and so she creates a few personas to put on when she’s testing restaurants and goes to each as all three. It’s fascinating to see how she is treated as the different personas. Ruth Reichl is known for having given some really famous and high-end restaurants rather scathing reviews, and you see why in the book. She is such a beautiful and descriptive writer. Even though I’m not really a foodie, I actually love restaurant critiques – I love Pete Wells’ reviews in the NYT too!