Five Good Things

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Happy Friday, friends! Congratulations on making it through the week! On this rainy, gray morning that actually feels like an accomplishment. Still, there is much to celebrate (even if the weather has gone cuckoo). Here are five good things that I’ve been excited about recently.

  1. I’ve gotten to celebrate my sister’s upcoming wedding with our friends and family with a Palm Spring trip and a brunch/karaoke outing in NYC. Living on opposite coasts is hard. Getting to see her more as we get closer to the big day is an excellent bonus to everything else fun about weddings. She just flew back to LA a few days ago, and I’m missing her already.
  2. I’ve gotten to see so many authors this month! Perhaps most exciting was hearing Angie Thomas talk about The Hate U Give at Books of Wonder. I’m beyond thrilled that this book has been #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List for four weeks in a row! I also saw many authors I admire at the Teen Author Festival panels on Feminism and YA and Writing About New York City. All this reminds me why I’m so lucky to live here!
  3. Earlier this month, I went to a rally on International Women’s Day and was heartened to see a huge crowd gathered to support women’s rights and equality. Also we still have our current health care system! A lot is completely terrifying about politics/government right now, but I’m trying to celebrate the victories too.
  4. Speaking of politics, I was so so nervous to write this post comparing the presidential administration to Harry Potter villains on Book Riot. It turned out to be one of the most-read things I’ve ever written and so far I’ve received no negative backlash.
  5.  Americanah was chosen as the first read for the One Book, One New York Program. I’m excited to see my city reading one of my favorite books!

How Many Times Are We Going to Have to Defend English Majors?

Anyone else have a major eye roll when they saw that people were attacking/defending English majors again? I was writing about this in 2013, and I guess now five years later I’m writing about it again. Even more upsetting was the need to defend food service people. Ugh. Seriously? I did a little digging this morning and, of course, added my two cents on twitter. In case anyone is wondering, here’s what happened.

A college student asked author Diana Gabaldon about majoring in English. This was the authors oh-so-sensitive response:

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Have Your Reading Habits Changed Since the Election?


This weekend, I was reading Publisher’s Weekly and saw a piece about what books have become drastically more popular this year. While sales of Trump’s book The Art of the Deal have dramatically risen (325% increase), most of the other books had to do with with feminism, race, warnings of fascism, and the constitution. It Can’t Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis, has increased sales by twelve thousand percent. Sales of March, the graphic novel John Lewis co-created, increased by over four hundred percent. Sales of The Constitution, Brave New World, Animal Farm, and Fahrenheit 451 have all risen dramatically. This is heartening!  Continue reading



Happy Friday friends! It’s been a hard week for America, but a pretty good week for Alison. My mom came to visit for two nights. The most exciting thing we did should already be obvious. I bought our tickets in a totally random, lucky moment right around graduation last year. It was the most lovely to get to share the show with my mom after waiting for so long. When Hamilton and Lafeyette say, “Immigrants, we get the job done,” the audience screamed, hollered, and clapped. I basically cried the whole way through, especially when George Washington stepped down. Still processing the election. Still on my own mind loop about revisions and new stories and publishing. But what a big, fun thing to get to do! So grateful!

Ten Graphic Novels I Want to Read


Hi friends! I have read a few graphic novels – and really enjoyed them – but haven’t even begun to scratch the surface on the great stories that exist in the world. Since I already wrote a post about picture books during a freebie week, I thought I’d list some graphic novels that I want to read in the not too distant future. Let me know what I should add to the list and/or which of these I should make sure to read first in the comments. Continue reading

Five Good Things


Hi friends. Congratulations on making it through the week. I don’t know if it makes sense to write about good things during a week where so much made me feel sad and angry and scared. Separating the personal from the political is a privilege not everyone has. I’m trying to pay attention. But I’m also reading more than ever, retreating into my writing, spending time with friends, and trying to be a good teacher. So yeah, here are some things that made me smile this week:  Continue reading

Take Care of Yourselves


Take care of yourselves this weekend, friends. Whatever that means to you. It’s no secret that I’ve been disappointed by the results of this election. I’ve tried to lean towards love instead of fear since then, but it isn’t always easy and all week I’ve had a hard time writing because I’m sad. Sad that Donald Trump will be our president and sad that the Obamas, who’ve I respected so much, won’t be in the White House anymore. As always, I’ve been grateful for the ability (and privilege) to take breaks and retreat into writing and reading during tough times. So yeah … I don’t know what to write, except take care of yourselves.

That could mean marching. It could mean not leaving your house. It could mean watching the news to stay informed. It could mean forgoing social media and participating in this cool read-a-thon. For me, it means driving down to the DC area with a caravan of friends to prepare for Saturday’s march. But I know it won’t be the same for everyone.