#BookTheVote!


Do you ever wish you could have a hand in shaping the future? You can. It’s called voting.  And now’s the time.

Are you registered to vote? If not, it’s easy to do. Find out how at https://vote.gov/.

And hurry – the window to register in many states closes soon. Check for your state’s deadline here.

You’re already registered? That’s great. But are you sure you’re still registered?

Many states are purging tens of thousands of registered voters from the rolls – mainly people of color, low-income people, and young people.

Make sure you’re still registered.

Today I’m joining with published writers across the country to urge readers to register and vote. It’s never been more important.

But don’t take my word for it. Ask Karen Joy Fowler, Tayari Jones, Meg Waite Clayton,  Celeste Ng, Caroline Leavitt, Soniah Kamal – pretty much any novelist you admire. They’ll all tell you the same thing:

Register.

Vote.

#BookTheVote

My Hierarchy of Reads

Photo: allposters.com

One day this week, as I was idly gazing at my bookshelves (aka writing), I began to think about what moves me to buy or read a particular book. Of course, there can be any number of reasons, but as I considered it, several distinctive themes emerged.

Using a few examples from books I read in 2017-2018, here is my personal hierarchy of reads.

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What is the Best Month to Read Black Authors?

Every month, silly.  And here are some excellent options, from A to , well, W.

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Gorgeous, poetic novel about four young African American girls who grow up, grow close, and grow apart in the Brooklyn of the 1970s. The novel begins as two of the girls – now grown women – run into each other on the subway after years of separation. One of the women rises and, although she knows her old friend expects her to come over and “hug the years away,” instead gets off the train. The scene both startles and puts the reader on notice to expect a wallop from this brief book that deals with memory, grief, racism, white flight, male violence, and the power of women’s friendships, with language so sharply honed you almost don’t feel it stab you in the heart.

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History in the Margins


My favorite history blog is History in the Margins, by Pamela Toler. She writes about historical events that I never knew – or that I thought I knew – and makes me see them through her fresh, witty perspective. (Have you watched the PBS series “Mercy Street”? Pamela wrote the book.)

I’ve been reading her blog for years, so I was thrilled when she invited me to write a guest post about the women who served in the Vietnam war.  Enjoy! And while you’re at it, take a stroll through History in the Margins.