Thanks for your interest in entering to win a complete set of the 2015 Girls of Summer List, curated by authors Gigi Amateau and Meg Medina. Stay Tuned! Another exciting giveaway will launch on August 17. We'll release details via social media and my weekly newsletter, The Smart Take. Thanks for being a part of our reading community. Email book and author suggestions for future giveaways to email@example.com. . . .
Each year, I eagerly look forward to the launch of the Girls of Summer list, a compilation of 18 titles from picture books to young adult selections. Authors Gigi Amateau and Meg Medina carefully and lovingly curate the list for strong and amazing girls everywhere. The Girls of Summer list is not your school’s reading list! It’s a celebration of a girl’s connection to the world around her, where all kinds of girls can see themselves and be themselves in a world of fiction, non-fiction, and . . .
Last year I went big with my New Year’s Resolutions. I had a slew of self-improvement projects on the docket, including the infamous “This Year I Learn to Cook” intention. Guess what? I didn’t. I got busy doing more important things, and I learned to order groceries and prepared foods online instead. This year I’m getting a late start on annual planning and I’m feeling a lot less resolute. In a complete reversal from past practice, I’ve canceled my gym membership, quit running and given up . . .
I think books need some cheerleading these days as gift options for kids. They aren’t (usually) shiny, they don’t (hopefully) make noise and they require some work to enjoy. Nevertheless, books are homerun gift picks because they position literacy as something to be treasured. We recently attended a toddler birthday party where the parents distributed books as party favors instead of the usual candy/toy mix. My three-year-old daughter Zora has pretend-read “Curious George’s Birthday Surprise” . . .
Vote Smart in the 2015 Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge. Shaka has again selected FRIENDS Association for Children as his partner agency, and your support could generate $100,000! Vote now and come back every day––Round 1 ends January 25! . . .
Here’s my confession. I buy 90% of my books from Amazon (gulp!), even as I diligently link to Indiebound.org on my blog to spur readers to shop indie. I have not been walking the walk. Blame it on Prime or One-Click or the 2,000-employee fulfillment center one county over (which I visited — witness the addiction). The speedy delivery is alluring, addictive even. I’ve pondered using a site-blocking app to force alignment of my indie spirit and my buying habits, but Amazon’s mammoth selection of . . .
I was invited to give a Welcome Week speech at VCU and the occasion provided a great opportunity for me to reflect on my college years. Ultimately, I decided to leave the incoming students with three pieces of advice (the Freshmen ABCs) that I hope will serve them well for a lifetime. . . .
The most magnificent drama in the last thousand years of human history is the transportation of ten million human beings out of the dark beauty of their mother continent into the new-found El Dorado of the West. They descended into Hell; and in the third century they arose from the dead, in the finest effort to achieve democracy for the working millions which this world had ever seen. It was a tragedy that beggared the Greek; it was an upheaval of humanity like the Reformation and the French . . .
As I watch the #weneeddiversebooks hashtag fly on Twitter, I’m reminded that seeing some element of yourself reflected in the books you read can affirm you in meaningful, life-altering ways. I’m so thankful to my parents for making it easy for me to fall in love with books. From Day One when they named me after Maya Angelou, they set me up for a grand reading life. Ironically, I don’t have any memories of my parents reading to me, even though I know they did. (My dad said I learned to read at . . .
Recently I was invited to address the Richmond Chapter of Executive Women International (EWI) at its annual scholarship dinner. I decided to use the opportunity to share some of my ideas about one of life’s most underutilized power tools: storytelling. I thought a “What’s Your Story?” theme could speak compellingly to both the businesswomen of EWI and their young college-bound scholarship recipients. I mentioned Maya Angelou (storyteller extraordinaire) during my remarks, not knowing that she . . .