Gail Godwin’s “Publishing: A Writer’s Memoir” is a graceful meditation on the author’s years aspiring to publication and her subsequent decades navigating an increasingly cutthroat, capricious industry. Wisdom, perseverance and faith lurk amid the lines of her spare, droll writing, making this an understated yet inspiring read. Godwin exemplifies a keep-on-keeping-on ethos in sharp contrast to writers like Harper Lee, whose concerns about topping past popularity prevented her from continuing . . .
Hocus pocus title aside, “Big Magic” serves up delightfully grounded advice on mustering up the courage and sanity to live creatively. That is, by Gilbert’s definition, to live a life informed by curiosity, not fear or shame. The occult does make an appearance in the book, but it’s largely confined to one section in which Gilbert sets forth some quirky beliefs about creativity and its “not entirely human” origins. She sees ideas as sentient, energetic life forms that “magically collaborate” . . .
Danielle Evans’s collection of short stories recasts young-adult angst as heartrending drama, with smart, intriguing characters navigating the unexpectedly treacherous terrain of friendship, sex and family. Each of its eight stories is powerful in its economy, perfectly tuned domestic tensions, and well-drawn diverse characters. A teen avoids her lunch lady mom, embarrassed by the hairnet cutting a line in her broad, sweaty forehead. A grandmother’s cruel rejection pushes a nine-year-old to . . .
“Into the Go-Slow” is an ambitious novel that attempts to tell the very personal story of a young woman grieving her sister while also exploring larger themes of “how to be black in the world.” Set in 1987, it maps Angie Mackenzie’s fraught journey to retrace her deceased sister Ella’s steps from Detroit to Lagos, and bring a sense of closure to her mourning. Since Ella’s death, Angie had been stuck--unable to forge her own identity. She’s lived instead “as a kind of caretaker to the . . .
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. . . .
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 . . .