Shelf Control #314: Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco by Alia Volz

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco
Author: Alia Volz
Published: 2020
Length: 436 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

A blazingly funny, heartfelt memoir from the daughter of the larger-than-life woman who ran Sticky Fingers Brownies, an underground bakery that distributed thousands of marijuana brownies per month and helped provide medical marijuana to AIDS patients in San Francisco—for fans of Armistead Maupin and Patricia Lockwood

During the ’70s in San Francisco, Alia’s mother ran the underground Sticky Fingers Brownies, delivering upwards of 10,000 illegal marijuana edibles per month throughout the circus-like atmosphere of a city in the throes of major change. She exchanged psychic readings with Alia’s future father, and thereafter had a partner in business and life.

Decades before cannabusiness went mainstream, when marijuana was as illicit as heroin, they ingeniously hid themselves in plain sight, parading through town—and through the scenes and upheavals of the day, from Gay Liberation to the tragedy of the Peoples Temple—in bright and elaborate outfits, the goods wrapped in hand-designed packaging and tucked into Alia’s stroller. But the stars were not aligned forever and, after leaving the city and a shoulda-seen-it-coming divorce, Alia and her mom returned to San Francisco in the mid-80s, this time using Sticky Fingers’ distribution channels to provide medical marijuana to friends and former customers now suffering the depredations of AIDS.

Exhilarating, laugh-out-loud funny, and heartbreaking, Home Baked celebrates an eccentric and remarkable extended family, taking us through love, loss, and finding home.

How and when I got it:

I picked up the Kindle edition about a year ago.

Why I want to read it:

Just last week, I mentioned that I often add non-fiction books to my shelves, yet somehow never find myself motivated to read them. And yet here I go again, featuring a non-fiction book as this week’s Shelf Control book!

This book got a lot of buzz here in San Francisco when it came out in 2020. I remember seeing not just reviews in the arts section of the paper, but also profiles, interviews, etc. And honestly, doesn’t this just sound fascinating?

San Francisco is not my hometown, but I’ve lived here since the mid-90s. Since moving here, I’ve been eager to learn more about SF’s recent and more distant history — and what better and more exciting times to read about than the 70s and 80s? The blurb mentioning Armistead Maupin (author of Tales of the City) doesn’t hurt a bit, and I’m also eager to see how this edibles business transformed into a cause supporting AIDS patients needing medical marijuana.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

13 thoughts on “Shelf Control #314: Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco by Alia Volz

  1. Well, I don’t as a rule read memoirs unless they’re by people I know about, but… this one sounds kind of interesting, actually. I mean… humor and brownies? How could you go wrong?

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