Books are journeys. Books are remembrances. Books are ceremonies honoring those whose brilliance, bravery, and humanity transformed a nation.
Through books, we can read the lives of Black feminists. We can see Bessie Coleman defy Jim Crow to become an aviatrix. We can be there as Rosa Parks begins her life as an activist long before that iconic day on the bus. We can read Jacqueline Woodson’s tales of being a young girl in the Civil Rights Era, a young girl whose gift with words was already steering her on the path of poetry.
We can use these books to teach our children. They can learn of the great Black inventors who often go overlooked. They can be inspired by ballerina Misty Copeland. They can learn how the first African American director got his start.
We can read of how the Great Migration shaped America and of how America’s position as an economic leader was built on slavery. We can read of sacrifice and endurance, but most importantly, humanity: the hopes, fears, and everyday lives.
We can read, and through reading, we will remember. Through reading, we will never forget. continue reading >>
Oregon is known for many things. We can claim the Columbia River, Lewis and Clark, the Spruce Goose, Portlandia, and rain. In addition to these wondrous things, we can also claim a long literary history. And if you look beyond adult authors such as Ken Kesey (much as we adore him), you will find a rich tradition of children’s literature in Oregon.
From classic geniuses like Beverly Cleary, to contemporary favorites like Cynthia Rylant, to soon-to-be-adored writers like Kari Luna, Oregon has more children’s authors than it has ducks and beavers. If you’re looking for a book for a baby or a tome for a teen, think local first, and support an Oregon author! continue reading >>
I was talking with a friend recently about quintessential American experiences, things that multiple generations can relate to in more or less the same way across time. This conversation came about because my friend and I are both pushing hard at 50. We now use reading glasses, and wear yoga pants and practical shoes. Our children are in their 20s, and what we were really talking about was part of a larger search for ways to relate to their generation. Michael Simkins perhaps said it best: continue reading >>
Valentine’s Day is over and done. Say goodbye to romance. Love and lust have left us, and they won’t return until February 1st, 2016. The bloom is off the Fifty Shades of Grey rose now that everyone has either seen it or refused to see it. There is no romance novelty left in the year. Whether you had the most romantic Valentine’s Day or you spent the whole day cleaning your cat’s litter-box, it doesn’t matter now. It’s over and done. We may as well give up now because there is no passion left for us in 2015. continue reading >>
We heard that literary goddess Harper Lee was publishing a new book, and our book-loving souls reached heights we never thought possible. The return of Scout! There weren’t enough tearfully smiling emoji to convey our excitement.
We should’ve known. The hearts of bibliophiles are vulnerable and easily broken. No sooner had we started to daydream about a long night devouring what was sure to be an instant classic, that we heard the whispers. Is it possible this book is set to be published without Harper Lee’s informed consent? Did unscrupulous people wait for her protective sister/lawyer to pass away before taking advantage of a vulnerable woman? Or is this the unexpected gift of a genius author to her adoring readers? An unprecedented literary find? What is certain is that this raises important questions about authorship and consent.
There are multiple theories in the book world, and one of our bloggers will be offering up her own view. We probably will never know the full story, and we leave it up to you to determine your own opinion. To help you make an informed one, here is a compendium of thinkpieces on the existence of Go Set a Watchman.
It’s that time again! Staff Favorites time! Our crew of voracious readers have told us their picks to get our dear readers through the dreary late winter months. We have a little of everything here for you: award-winning literature, love stories, poetry, and a trashy mystery! Think of this a little like a mood ring: whatever your mood, you will find your literary reflection here. So dive in and find your next favorite book! continue reading >>
We are our truest selves in letters. From handwritten missives, to lengthy emails, to short texts, writing down our thoughts helps us to make them clear, passionate, and honest. Crafting the perfect letter is an art form. It requires dedication, time, and a willingness to put yourself on paper.
Some of the greatest literary works are not novels, but love letters. One person reaches out to another with thoughts passionate, kind, or banal. Love letters can be sent between lovers, family, or the best of friends. They can be grandiose expressions of desire, dreams for a future, or casual descriptions of everyday occurrences.
Talented writers have poured their hearts out onto paper, more than likely with the intention that only their loved one would read their words. But we readers get to benefit from an invasion privacy and read their most intimate thoughts. And maybe, just maybe, we will be inspired to put some of their passion into our everyday exchanges. continue reading >>