Five Good Things

  1. My summer commuting uptown to teach writing classes is basically over. It’s been hilarious, inspirational, and exhausting. I’ve worked with kids and teens ages seven to eighteen on short stories, novel beginnings, poems, plays, memoir, and essays. I’m constantly in awe of my youngest writers’ totally unselfconscious approach to writing. But especially after a week with all seven-year-old boys (poop jokes and dinosaur stories galore!), I’m ready to get back to college students next week.
  2. Also … more writing time! I have revisions to write and new stories I can’t wait to draft. I’ve done okay balancing working and writing, but I’m itching to have more time in front of my computer.
  3. YA Twitter for the win! After the YA Twitter craziness last week (I won’t even go into it), Sona Charaipotra and Zoraida Córdova set the record straight on what’s really going on. Then yesterday book twitter uncovered a very bizarre plot to scam the NYT Bestseller list.
  4. There is going to be another Pride and Prejudice adaptation. I obviously can’t get enough of these! 
  5. Thirty is right around the corner. I take birthdays hard most of the time. Like I had my first quarter life crisis at age ten. But I’m super pumped to turn thirty and say goodbye to my twenties, and this month I planned a fun trip to celebrate the big birthday.

Ten Books that Should Be Assigned in High School

My high school was heavy on the classics, which was (and continues to be) awesome. But I definitely graduated twelfth grade with no idea that anything good was being written in the present tense. Also the diversity of what is considered “a classic” is highly problematic. I’m all for reading The Great Gatsby and Chaucer and Catcher in the Rye… but here are then books that I would love to see on more high school curriculums – I know I would have gotten a lot out of them if I’d been assigned to read them in school.

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Three Mini Reviews of Some Good (No Great!) Books I’ve Been Reading

Happy weekend! I am having a huge good book streak. I’m really hoping it doesn’t end anytime soon – obviously. I might be losing sleep, but it’s one hundred percent worth it. Here are some favorite YA books that I’ve read in the last few weeks!

Eliza and her MonstersEliza and her Monsters, by Francesca Zappia, blew me away and kept me up late at night. In some ways it felt like Fangirl on steroids. In others, it had its own special and unique magic. In the story, teenage Eliza is the creator of one of the most popular webcomics on the internet. She doesn’t do friends, at least not IRL, and her identity on the internet is a closely guarded secret. Then Wallace, her comic’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school and they develop a relationship through their shared interest. But he thinks that she’s just another fan and doesn’t know how to tell him. Ugh. This writing is beautiful. Like makes you want to cry and throw up at the same time beautiful. And the story is … I said on twitter that it made me feel like a mix between having a crush and the night before a new Harry Potter book comes out. And I stand by that strong endorsement. More people should be reading this book. Aside from being oh so swoony, it also has some of the best descriptions of anxiety I’ve ever read. Continue reading

Top Ten Recommendations for People Who Want Diverse Summer Reads

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Books open us up to new worlds. They help us empathize and identify with people that are different from us. When characters are the same, even in small ways, they make us feel understood and less alone. They are powerful. There are only a few weeks left in summer. Here are ten diverse summer reads. Reading any of them would be a fantastic use of your time. Continue reading

Some Recent BookRiot Articles

Hi friends! I feel like I’ve been neglecting this blog a bit. I have a blessed life, but juggling writing, revisions, teaching, blogging for BookRiot, planning my syllabus for the fall…this is boring. You get the point. I’m in over my head, and I’m so so so grateful for your patience and for everyone that’s still reading. While I queue up some good post for next week, here are some of my favorite, recent BookRiot articles. Hope you all are having beautiful ends to your summers – where does the time go?

More soon … I promise. xoxo

 

Author Interview: Betsy Cornwell

VenturessBetsy and I met in college, but even though I had a big friend crush on her I was way too shy to talk to her much. Then I reached out about how much I loved her first book Tides and an online friendship sparked into being. In another life, we are roommates conquering the NYC publishing world together and drinking beers on the weekend at The Way Station. But since she lives with her dreamy family in Ireland, I have to settle for some of the kindest, most supportive emails a friend/aspiring writer could ever ask for. Betsy’s third book Venturess is out today. It is the sequel to the badass, feminist Cinderella retelling Mechanica and my very favorite thing that Betsy’s written so far.  Expect a (glowing!) review soon. But for now, Betsy was kind enough to answer some questions for me…  Continue reading