Happy New Year! These are just some of the books we’re planning to read as part of our 2014 50 Book Pledge.
What books are you excited to read this year?
Six steps to becoming a writer.
How to be a Stuffed Animal by Frances Stonor Saunders - The fire that destroyed P. T. Barnum’s American Museum was the spectacle to end all spectacles…
Out in the Great Alone by Brian Phillips - The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race pushes participants to the brink on an unforgiving trek to the end of the world…
Girls in the Grass by Angela Sebastian - …it’s the word “sis” that sends me into giggles, because “sis” is me. This summer I will have a sister.
Here Comes Everybody by Miriam Markowitz - Women writers are far outnumbered by men in magazines and book reviews, but why?
Emancipation by Casey Cep - Each tree and farm, street and courthouse of my home county rests on shallow-buried stories of slavery and Civil War
The Ghost Rapes of Bolivia by Jean Friedman-Rudovsky - For a while, the residents of Manitoba Colony thought demons were raping the town’s women. There was no other explanation.
Teach Me How to Speak by Soleil Ho - Though it was just an errant eruption from some distant undergrad’s laptop, the music bounced off the facades of the buildings around me, gaining more and more volume with each leap.
A Tooth for a Tooth by Jess Stoner - Modern dentistry does wonders for a rotten molar or a cracked bicuspid—it’s modern dental insurance that falls short.
The Forgetting Tree by Rae Paris - Because on your day I ate fried scallops, drank wine, tucked your name under my greasy napkin, explained to my job how productive I was this year. This year, every day you were dead.
How to Slowly Kill Yourself in America by Kiese Laymon - I’m a walking regret, a truth-teller, a liar, a survivor, a frowning ellipsis, a witness, a dreamer, a teacher, a student, a joker, a writer whose eyes stay red, and I’m a child of this nation.
Invisible Child by Andrea Elliott - This child of New York is always running before she walks. She likes being first — the first to be born, the first to go to school, the first to make the honor roll…
Hello, I am a reading machine.
Hey! Looking for YA book recs for the reader in your life this holiday season? (I mean actual YA recs since certain places seem to get really confused about what YA actually is!) I have some suggestions for you!
I originally posted this on my Facebook author page and realized there were so many more titles I wanted to share and here we are. Particularly at the end of the year, I think it’s so important to spread the word about titles that may have been overlooked. That said, I’m PAINFULLY aware of my omissions, that I’ve likely missed books I had no intention of missing (sorry! Making lists can be mind-frazzling after a while)… which is why I encourage anyone who wants to to re-blog this and add their own categories or suggestions to the existing categories.
Also I realize that my categories are overly simplistic. These books are more amazing than there is room to tell you about.
I hope this helps you find a book you might be interested in giving to others or giving to yourself!
COOL & CHARMING
Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills
Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos
The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharpe
CLASSIC & AMAZING
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The President’s Daughter series by Ellen Emerson White
DREAMY & DISTURBING
Boy Heaven by Laura Kasischke
Family by Micol Ostow
Defy the Dark edited by Saundra Mitchell
Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
The Space Between Trees by Katie Williams
EERIE & UNFORGETTABLE
Chime by Franny Billingsley
All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin
17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma
EMOTIONAL & THRILLING
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
Entangled by Cat Clarke
Through to You by Emily Hainsworth
Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook
Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent
EVOCATIVE & BOLD
Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
Uses for Boys by Erica Lorraine Scheidt
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
FUN & HEARTFELT
Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo
Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding
Ink is Thicker than Water by Amy Spalding
GRACEFUL & HONEST
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Live Through This by Mindi Scott
When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney
GRITTY & REAL
Don’t Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala
Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Making the Run by Heather Henson
Clean by Amy Reed
GROSS & AWESOME
Scowler by Daniel Kraus
HIGH STAKES & INTELLIGENT
Razorland series by Ann Aguirre
The Memory of After by Lenore Appelhans
Adaptation and its sequel, Inheritance by Malinda Lo
Clan by Realm Lovejoy
Yesterday and its sequel, Tomorrow by CK Kelly Martin
The Program by Suzanne Young
HILARIOUS & POINTED
Destroy all Cars by Blake Nelson
Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison
Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas
LYRICAL & SHARP
The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab
All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry
Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield
Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield
ROMANTIC & THOUGHTFUL
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt
The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder
Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker
TRANSPORTIVE & SWOONY
The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell
The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1 by Jessica Spotswood
Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney
UNFLINCHING & EDGY
Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian
Shine by Lauren Myracle
Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololo
"My body, my choice" only makes sense when someone else’s life isn’t at stake.
Fun fact: If my younger sister was in a car accident and desperately needed a blood transfusion to live, and I was the only person on Earth who could donate blood to save her, and even though donating blood is a relatively easy, safe, and quick procedure no one can force me to give blood. Yes, even to save the life of a fully grown person, it would be ILLEGAL to FORCE me to donate blood if I didn’t want to.
See, we have this concept called “bodily autonomy.” It’s this….cultural notion that a person’s control over their own body is above all important and must not be infringed upon.
Like, we can’t even take LIFE SAVING organs from CORPSES unless the person whose corpse it is gave consent before their death. Even corpses get bodily autonomy.
To tell people that they MUST sacrifice their bodily autonomy for 9 months against their will in an incredibly expensive, invasive, difficult process to save what YOU view as another human life (a debatable claim in the early stages of pregnancy when the VAST majority of abortions are performed) is desperately unethical. You can’t even ask people to sacrifice bodily autonomy to give up organs they aren’t using anymore after they have died.
You’re asking people who can become pregnant to accept less bodily autonomy than we grant to dead bodies.
reblogging for commentary
But, assuming the mother wasn’t raped, the choice to HAVE a baby and risk sacrificing their “bodily autonomy” is a choice that the mother made. YOu don’t have to have sex with someone. Cases of rape aside, it isn’t ethical to say abortion is justified. The unborn baby has rights, too.
First point: Bodily autonomy can be preserved, even if another life is dependent on it. See again the example about the blood donation.
And here’s another point: When you say that “rape is the exception” you betray something FUNDAMENTALLY BROKEN about your own argument.
Because a fetus produced from sexual assault is biologically NO DIFFERENT than a fetus produced from consensual sex. No difference at all.
If one is alive, so is the other. If one is a person, so is the other. If one has a soul, then so does the other. If one is a little blessing that happened for a reason and must be protected, then so is the other.
When you say that “Rape is the exception” what you betray is this: It isn’t about a life. This isn’t about the little soul sitting inside some person’s womb, because if it was you wouldn’t care about HOW it got there, only that it is a little life that needs protecting.
When you say “rape is the exception” what you say is this: You are treating pregnancy as a punishment. You are PUNISHING people who have had CONSENSUAL SEX but don’t want to go through a pregnancy. People who DARED to have consensual sex without the goal of procreation in mind, and this is their “consequence.”
And that is gross.
You were on your way home when you died.
It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that’s when you met me.
“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”
“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”
“Yup,” I said.
“I… I died?”
“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.
You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”
“More or less,” I said.
“Are you god?” You asked.
“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”
“My kids… my wife,” you said.
“What about them?”
“Will they be all right?”
“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”
“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”
“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”
“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”
“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”
You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”
“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”
“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.
“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”
“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”
“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”
“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”
“Where you come from?” You said.
“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
“So what’s the point of it all?”
“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
“Just me? What about everyone else?”
“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
“Wait. I’m everyone!?”
“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.
“I’m every human being who ever lived?”
“Or who will ever live, yes.”
“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.
“And you’re the millions he killed.”
“And you’re everyone who followed him.”
You fell silent.
“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”
You thought for a long time.
“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”
“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”
“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”
“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”
“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”
And I sent you on your way.
yesss i found it again! one of my all time favourite reads.
Philosophy went to the max right here
OI SCROLL BACK UP AND READ ALL OF IT!
I was really intrigued by this
i wrote a poem
I almost scrolled past this but it’s actually really fucking deep…
Spooky evening short film: “Haunting of the White Sparrow”
Five years ago, when the fevers swept through town, so did the rituals, so did the fear. The fevers were bad. It took most of the towns folk. The towns and villages were much bigger then. Those that survived have started a ritual to prove their bravery. They gather every year, the night before the harvest, offering blood and courage to satiate the fear. A fear they call the White Sparrow.
Do you remember reading dusty old books in English class? My students are used to reading books that are decades old, if we can find enough copies to use. Help us read current, fascinating novels… My students need multiple copies of various books to participate in literature circles. They’ll read these with a small group and have discussions to deepen their underst
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