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    How We Organize Our Books at Home + Where to Find Free or Discounted Books

    How We Organize Our Books at Home

    To organize or not to organize, that is the question bibliophiles around the world sometimes discuss both in person and online. Believe it or not, people often get into heated debates about this topic – yes, there are people who take take their books and organization (or lack thereof) VERY seriously.

    I am often asked how we organize our books at home since we are fortunate to have so many of them. Therefore, I finally decided to write a blog post hoping it will help others or spark ideas on different ways to organize books.

    ORGANIZATION METHOD #1: ORGANIZE BY COLOR

    I prefer to organize our books by rainbow color in our family room library. Since those are the main bookshelves in our home, I wanted them to be visually appealing and pleasing to the eye. Plus, I find organizing by color makes it easier for me and my kids to put books away once we’ve read them. This organization method works especially well for smaller kids as it encourages independence. Kids tend to be naturally good at sorting by color as it’s an easy system to follow.

    Side note: Another thing I’ve become really good at by organizing this way is memorizing the book and spine color of books. It’s bizarre to think about how many books I have memorized the colors for.

    ORGANIZATION METHOD #2: ORGANIZE BY THEME

    My kids both have their books organized by theme on the bookshelves in their rooms. More specifically, I’ve chosen to surround them with books where they can see themselves being represented within the pages and on the covers.

    As a parent, my goal is to present my children with a full spectrum of Black and Brown characters in a variety of books. I want their experiences of story and representations of the world to include people of color, people they can imagine being like — people like Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, Misty Copeland, Michelle Obama, and Michael Jordan — or fictional characters with whom they can identify.

    By placing these types of books in their rooms, I hope it reminds my kids daily that they are loved, seen, powerful and worthy of self-love and respect.

    ORGANIZATION METHOD #3: MONTHLY/WEEKLY RANDOM ROTATION

    For this method I use book bins to help keep books organized. The books that are placed in the bins vary from week to week, month to month or day to day. I generally rotate the kids’ book bins (which are placed in their rooms on the floor) once per week or once per month.

    Sometimes the book bins are filled with seasonal or holiday books, but most often these are the books my kids choose to read at bedtime or during story time throughout the week. Book bins also allow my kids to have more independence and select books to read on their own.

    Book bin courtesy of Fankang
    Book bin courtesy of Hunrung

    ORGANIZATION METHOD #4: ORGANIZE BY ROOM

    I’ll admit, we have books in almost every room in our home. For example, we place cookbooks in the kitchen area, personal growth and business/career related books in the office and holiday books are stored in the basement with holiday decorations.

    BEFORE YOU BEGIN ORGANIZING

    Before you begin putting your books in order, you may want to take an inventory of what’s currently in your collection. Decide which books you want to keep, ones you want to donate and ones you want to give away to others. Once per quarter I purge all of our books and decide which ones we’ll keep, donate or give away. I usually end up finding duplicate copies or books my kids have outgrown. Those books automatically fall into either the donate or give away piles.

    THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT

    Looking for an app to help keep your home library even more organized?

    A few weeks ago I started using a FREE app called Libib to catalog and keep track of all the books we own. I love it because it’s very user-friendly and the free version allows you to scan/enter up to 5,000 books, video games, movies and albums. Simply scan your books or other items by barcode or you can input them manually. Check it out!

    OTHER WAYS TO ORGANIZE

    Recently, I asked my audience on Instagram how they organize their books at home. Below find some of their suggestions that may help you too.

    • Organize alphabetically
    • Organize by genre, category, subject or theme
    • Separate paperback books from hard covers
    • Organize by size (tallest to shortest or shortest to tallest)
    • Organize books in a series together
    • Organize by author or illustrator last names
    • Organize by publishing company
    • Organize non-fiction books by the Dewey decimal system and fiction books separated by genre then alphabetically
    • Organize by type (chapter books, picture books, early readers, board books, holiday books, adult books)
    • Organize classic books in one area and Newberry/award winning books in another area
    • Random piles throughout the house – a free for all!
    • No organization – just go with the flow

    As you can see, there is no one size fits all when it comes to book organization. Ultimately, you’ll want to do what works best for you and your family. If you’d like to organize or re-organize books in your home, I hope this has given you a few tips to help get you started.

    TIPS TO SCORE FREE OR DISCOUNTED BOOKS TO BUILD YOUR HOME LIBRARY

    You may also want to check out my blog post (linked here) which provides you with resources to find free or discounted books for your home library. Two of my favorite sources are Bookshop.org and Book Outlet.

    Your turn: Sound off in the comments and let me know how you organize your books at home.

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    adult books, interviews, young adult books

    Author Interview: Up Close and Personal with Tonya Bolden + Saving Savannah

     

    Tonya Bolden is one of my favorite writers for historical fiction for both children and adults.  It was such a treat to have the opportunity to interview her to chat books.  Her forthcoming novel, Saving Savannah will be published January 14, 2020 and I’m so excited to read it since I thoroughly enjoyed Inventing Victoria

    Check out the publisher’s synopsis for Saving Savannah:

    Savannah Riddle is lucky. As a daughter of an upper class African American family in Washington D.C., she attends one of the most rigorous public schools in the nation–black or white–and has her pick among the young men in her set. But lately the structure of her society–the fancy parties, the Sunday teas, the pretentious men, and shallow young women–has started to suffocate her.  Then Savannah meets Lloyd, a young West Indian man from the working class who opens Savannah’s eyes to how the other half lives. Inspired to fight for change, Savannah starts attending suffragist lectures and socialist meetings, finding herself drawn more and more to Lloyd’s world.  Set against the backdrop of the press for women’s rights, the Red Summer, and anarchist bombings, Saving Savannah is the story of a girl and the risks she must take to be the change in a world on the brink of dramatic transformation.

    Author Interview

    How did you come up with the characters for Inventing Victoria and Saving Savannah?
    Characters come to me in shadow, in outline. Then I ask questions. What does she want? What are her fears? And so forth. With Crossing Ebenezer Creek and Saving Savannah I was very much driven/led by an antique photograph of a young black woman that said to me, “This is Mariah!” and another one that said to me, “This is Savannah!”

    Do you enjoy writing children’s books or adult books more?
    Don’t make a choose, please! (smile). Given that the majority of the forty-something books I’ve authored/co-authored/edited are for young people . . . Yes, my first love is writing for children. History is my passion and I believe that if we hook our young people on history—if we make history come alive for them—we really put them on the path of lifelong learning, critical thinking, curiosity, and making some sense of the world.  Without history you have no context for your life, for your present era.

    Besides your own, what were some of your favorite children’s picture, or chapter books you’ve read or come across within the past year?
    Yuyi Morales’s Dreamers. My “to-read” list includes Jennifer Swanson’s Spies, Lies, and Disguise: The Daring Tricks and Deeds that Won World War II and Nikki Grimes’s memoir Ordinary Hazards.

    What are some of your must-have children’s books for a home library?
    That’s a tough one!  I really believe that each home library should be tailor-made for a particular family’s interests and needs. The only must-have I can think of is range: books about the present and the  past, books about people familiar and not familiar. In this global village of a world of ours, to borrow from the eminent Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, all our young people need mirrors, windows, and sliding doors.

    Do you have any literacy rituals that you practice in your family or practiced in the past?
    Not really. Growing up I was crazy about books. Couldn’t get enough of books! And I have my parents to thank for that. My mother, who only had a sixth grade education and my father who only had a ninth grade education, were avid readers. There is a lost picture of me, maybe I was about two or three. And there I was propped up in my parents’ bed. I had my mother’s glasses sprawled on my face. I had a book in my hands. Upside down. I was imitating my parents. There is also a photograph of the living room of our apartment in East Harlem. We had recently moved in. The furniture was the old furniture we had in Brooklyn. There was no carpeting on the floor (at a time when carpeting was pretty much de rigueur). Front and center in this photograph is our family’s bookcase.

    Besides reading, what are some other things parents can do to set their children up for literacy success?
    Engage them in critical thinking, early and often.  Encourage them to create stories of their own. And while you’re at it, tell your children family stories. 

    Do you have a favorite book that you have written?  If so, what is it and why?
    My favorite book of mine is always the one that is just about to come out or the one that has just come out. So right now Saving Savannah is dearest to my heart. But really it’s like a family with many children. Each is unique and you love them all equally (we hope) though each child has something in particular that endears you to her or him.  With Saving Savannah I think Savannah Riddle is the character most like me. I didn’t realize this at first. My sister pointed this out after she read part of an early draft. As  she gave me feedback, I shared with her that compared to Mariah in Crossing Ebenezer  Creek and Victoria in Inventing Victoria, I found Savannah the easier character to write. My sister snickered, then said something like, “That’s because Savannah is you!” 

    If you could give parents one piece of advice about reading with children, what would it be?
    Discussions of books is vital. What did the young reader learn? What puzzled her or him? Is there anything the reader misunderstood? And don’t stop reading aloud!  Whether your child is five or fifteen—or fifty—always make some time for gathering around a book and reading aloud. I don’t think we ever lose our love for being read to. I know it may be difficult to do read-alouds with teens, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try.

    Any advice for aspiring writers and authors?
    Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t be precious. Consider trying to get into the business as a writer for hire. That’s how I began. If you have a big hit out of the gate, save your money.  You never know. Some careers do nothing but skyrocket. Others have peaks and valleys.  Once you get your foot in the door consider diversifying. Being able to write for different ages, different genres can come in handy when there are shifts in the industry. On year picture books are hot! Two years later not so much. Have many arrows in your quiver—especially if you don’t have a day job.

    Hardcover, Paperback or e-book (when reading a book on your own)?
    I like e-books for research because when traveling I can take so much research with me and still travel light. 

    Fiction, non-fiction or some other genre (when reading a book on your own)?
    Nonfiction tops the list. But really as my fiction and nonfiction require so much research, books I pick up just for pure pleasure are few and far between.

    Name an adult book that:

    1. a) Inspired you Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Paula Marshall’s Brown Girl, Brownstones, Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place, Charles’s Johnson’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Oxherding Tale, Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories, Ivan Goncharov’s Oblomov, probably every Anton Chekhov short story I read, Eugene O’Neill’s plays, Carson McCullers’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Majorie Kinnan Rawlings’ The Yearling, W. Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage, Toni Cade Bambara’s  Gorilla, My Love, Toni Morrison’s Sula.
    2. b) Made you laugh out loud  Several stories in Bambara’s Gorilla, My Love and in Naylor’s Brewster Place. 
    3. c) You recommend to others often
      To be honest, I don’t often have the occasion to recommend books to others.

    What books are on your nightstand or e-reader right now? Charles Johnson’s The Way of the Writer: Reflections on the Art and Craft of Storytelling.  

    Are you working on any special projects that you want to share with others?
    I’m brainstorming on the fourth linked novel that began with Crossing Ebenezer Creek. So next up after Saving Savannah is an as yet unnamed novel about the daughter of a character in Saving Savannah. I have the main character’s name (I think) and I have a photograph that says to me, “This is her!”

    How can people get in touch with you on social media or on your website?
    Please visit tonyaboldenbooks.com!

    Tonya Bolden is a critically acclaimed award-winning author/co-author/editor of more than two dozen books for young people. They include Inventing VictoriaCrossing Ebenezer Creek, which received five starred reviews; Finding Family, which received two starred reviews and was a Kirkus Reviews and Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year; Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl, a Coretta Scott King honor book and James Madison Book Award winner; MLK: Journey of a King, winner of a National Council of Teachers of English Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children; Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty, an ALSC Notable Children’s Book, CBC/NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, and winner of the NCSS Carter G. Woodson Middle Level Book Award.

    Tonya also received the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC’s Nonfiction Award. A Princeton University magna cum laude baccalaureate with a master’s degree from Columbia University, Tonya lives in New York City.

    Your turn: Have you ever read any of Tonya Bolden’s books?  Feel free to share some of your favorite Tonya Bolden books in the comments below.

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    adult books, children's books, technology

    Screen-Free Week: Unplug With These Books for Readers of All Ages

    Are you looking for Screen-Free Week book recommendations for readers of all ages?  We’ve got you covered!

    Every year during screen-free week, thousands of people participate and commit to unplug from screen-based entertainment for an entire week.  Are you up for the challenge?  You can visit the screenfree.org website to find out more information, discover local screen-free week events and find great resources to help you.

    What is Screen-Free Week?

    From the Screen-Free website: Screen-Free Week is an annual invitation to play, explore, and rediscover the joys of life beyond ad-supported screens.  Each year, thousands of families, schools, and communities around the world will put down their entertainment screens for seven days of fun, connection, and discovery.  Even though it’s about turning off screens, Screen-Free Week isn’t about going without – it’s about what you can get! An hour once dedicated to YouTube becomes an hour spent outside; ten minutes wiled away on social media turn into ten minutes spent doodling; a movie on a rainy afternoon is replaced by time spent reading, chatting, or playing pretend!  You can celebrate Screen-Free Week at home, in your school, in your community, or anywhere – just put down those entertainment screens and do literally anything else! You might be surprised at what you find.

    Below are a few book recommendations for members of your whole family to enjoy during screen-free week.  These books are all related to the themes of living life unplugged or technology.  Happy Reading!

    Kid/Teen Recommendations

    Unplugged by Steve Anthony (Ages 3-5)
    One day, Blip becomes unplugged after a blackout and discovers the outside world beyond screens.  Blip explores the outdoors and also makes new friends.  A fun story with a timely message that shows kids it’s possible to have fun without electronic devices.

    When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Jamie L.B. Dennihan, illustrated by Lorraine Rocha (Ages 4-8)
    “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” In this imaginative take on that popular saying, a child is surprised (and disappointed) to receive a lemon tree from Grandma for her birthday. After all, she DID ask for a new gadget! But when she follows the narrator’s careful—and funny—instructions, she discovers that the tree might be exactly what she wanted after all. This clever story, complete with a recipe for lemonade, celebrates the pleasures of patience, hard work, nature, community . . . and putting down the electronic devices just for a while.

    Blackout by John Rocco (Ages 4-8)
    This is a wonderful story about how a power outage brings families and neighbors together by turning off all the distractions. I like reading this one with the kids Enjoy in the dark with a flashlight under the covers.

    If You Give a Mouse an iPhone: A Cautionary Tale by Ann Droyd (Ages 4-8)
    A funny and lighthearted parody of the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.  Shows kids the good and bad consequences of too much screen time.

    No More Screen Time by Patti Price (Ages 4-8)
    A cute an informative book about unplugging from devices, playing outside and spending time with family and friends.

    Goodnight iPad by Ann Droyd (Ages 4-8)
    “In a bright buzzing room, in the glow of the moon-and iPhones and Androids and Blackberries too-it is time to say goodnight…”  A whimsical parody about living a life filled with technology and screens.

    How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk (Ages 4 – 8)
    All summer, Pearl has been trying to build the perfect sandcastle, but out-of-control Frisbees and mischievous puppies keep getting in the way! Pearl and her robot friend Pascal have one last chance, and this time, they’re going to use code to get the job done.

    What Does it Mean to Be Safe? by Rana DiOrio (Ages 4-8)
    What Does It Mean To Be Safe? explores physical, emotional, social, and cyber safety in unthreatening ways that spark meaningful conversations between adults and children.

    Jaden Toussant, The Greatest Episode 1: The Quest for Screen Time by Marti Dumas (Ages 5-7 )
    Jaden Toussaint, 5 year-old scientist and all around cool dude, is on a mission to convince the grown-ups that he needs more SCREEN TIME. His only weapons are science, ninja dancing, and his super-powered brain power. Can Jaden Toussaint get the grown-ups to change their minds?

    But I Read It on the Internet by Toni Buzzeo (Ages 8 – 12)
    Hunter and Carmen disagree whether George Washington really had wooden teeth, and Mrs. Skorupski encourages them to research the story on the internet and use her “Website Evaluation Gizmo” to evaluate websites and come up with the correct answer.

    The Teen’s Guide to Social Media… and Mobile Devices: 21 Tips to Wise Posting in an Insecure World by Jonathan McKee (Ages 12 – 18)
    The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices will help you navigate the digital world with 21 refreshingly honest and humorous tips that will not only inform, but that also just might change the way you think about your social media interaction.

    Adult Recommendations

    Raising Humans in a Digital World by Diana Graber
    This book is packed with at-home discussion topics and enjoyable activities that any busy family can slip into their daily routine. Full of practical tips grounded in academic research and hands-on experience, today’s parents finally have what they’ve been waiting for—a guide to raising digital kids who will become the positive and successful leaders our world desperately needs.

    Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport
    Drawing on a diverse array of real-life examples, from Amish farmers to harried parents to Silicon Valley programmers, Newport identifies the common practices of digital minimalists and the ideas that underpin them. He shows how digital minimalists are rethinking their relationship to social media, rediscovering the pleasures of the offline world, and reconnecting with their inner selves through regular periods of solitude.

    Reset Your Child’s Brain: A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time by Victoria L. Dunckley, MD
    Follow the steps outlined in this four-week plan to end meltdowns, raise grades and boost social skills.

    The Art of Screen Time: How Your Family Can Balance Digital Media and Real Life by Anya Kamenetz
    Finally, an evidence-based, don’t-panic guide to what to do about kids and screens.

    Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World by Devorah Heitner
    Screenwise helps parents recognize that the social wisdom they have gained throughout their lives is a relevant and urgently needed supplement to their kid’s digital savvy. These skills can help set kids up for a lifetime of success in a world fueled by technology.

    The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place by Andy Crouch
    Drawing on in-depth original research from the Barna Group, Andy Crouch shows readers that the choices we make about technology have consequences we may never have considered. He takes readers beyond the typical questions of what, where, and when and instead challenges them to answer provocative questions like, Who do we want to be as a family? and How does our use of a particular technology move us closer or farther away from that goal?

    Screen-Free Fun: 400 Activities for the Whole Family by Shannon Philpott-Sanders
    Screen-Free Fun offers over 400 ideas to disconnect from tech devices and reconnect with our families in a healthier way. You can pick from DIY activities to games to weekend outings. Since many of the activities work well for kids at various ages, your family will be able to grow along with the different projects and make plans for both younger and older siblings alike. You can try indoor projects, outdoor activities, or learn more about your favorite destinations with activities like a scavenger hunt in your neighborhood or an i-spy game at the zoo. There is also space for your family to add your own favorite activities so you never forget a great idea or memory! From summer vacation to holiday breaks and every rainy day in between, with this book you and your family will always have something fun to do together—without ever having to resort to a tablet, phone, or computer.

    Your turn: Are you planning to participate in screen-free week?  What other books would you add to this list?  Feel free to share in the comments.

     

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    adult books, children's books, podcasts

    The Ultimate List of Literary Podcasts for Book Lovers of All Ages

    Are you a book lover looking for a new literary podcast to listen to?

    I love listening to podcasts instead of watching tv or mindlessly surfing social media.  I usually listen to podcasts while folding laundry, commuting or when I’m washing dishes.

    I think podcasts have so much to offer people of all ages.  The ones I like to listen to have exciting stories, interesting facts, and lively sound effects.  That’s basically everything you need for an entertaining listening experience.  The best part?  There are podcasts for every member of your family to enjoy!

    Below I’ve rounded up some of my current favorite literary podcasts for kids, tweens/teens, young adults and adults.  I hope you’ll find at least one podcast that resonates with you or other members of your family.  Happy listening!

    Oh, and just in case you never listened to a podcast and don’t know how to do it, I’ve included some of the most popular options for listening:

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    Kids

    All the Wonders
    Weekly interviews with Authors, Illustrators, Award Winners, Up-And-Comers, and Everyone In Between

    Book Club for Kids
    The place where young readers meet to talk about books. The show includes a celebrity reader and an interview with the author.

    Books Between
    A Podcast to help connect kids between 8-12 to books they’ll love.

    Circle Round

    Circle Round is a storytelling podcast for kids ages 3 to 10.  The show features folktales from around the world with an eye towards inclusivity. Stories are 10 to 20 minute diverse episodes that delve into topics such as kindness, persistence and generosity.

    Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls
    Based on the popular book, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, the global best-selling book series written by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, inspiring millions of girls and women around the world to dream bigger, aim higher and fight harder.

    Little Stories for Tiny People

    A podcast featuring original kids’ stories and poems that will delight the tiny people in your life.

    Lu and Bean Read
    Join Lu, Bean and friends as they hear stories read by children’s picture books authors and interview the authors about their books.  Writer and blogger Tracy Babler and daughters Lu and Bean share their favorite children’s books and stories.

    Picturebooking
    A podcast that showcases the authors and illustrators of some of your favorite children’s books.

    Stories Podcast

    The perfect kids podcast for imaginative families. Whether you’re driving with your children or just want to limit your kids’ screen time, Stories Podcast delivers entertainment that kids and parents alike will love.

    Storynory
    A podcast offering  a mixture of original stories, fairy tales, poems and myths from around the world.

    Story Pirates
    Story Pirates is a group of world-class actors, comedians, improvisers and musicians who adapt stories written by kids into sketch comedy and musical theater.

    Story Time
    Story Time is a free fortnightly audiobook podcast for children ages 2-13.  Each story is usually less than 20 minutes long, just long enough to keep toddlers, preschoolers, and little ones engaged.

    Talking About Books for Kids
    A podcast that explores diverse books for kids and teens through conversations with authors and those that love reading children’s literature.

    The Yarn
    A narrative adventure. The Yarn takes listeners behind the scenes of children’s literature, and lets them look at all the threads that must be weaved together to create a book.

    Adults / Young Adults

    All the Books! Podcast
    A weekly book podcast of recommendations and discussions about the most interesting and exciting new book releases.

    Am Writing
    In conversations between us and guests like David Sedaris, best-selling romance author Sarina Bowen, Jennifer Weiner, Alan Alda, Anna Quinlan, Cal Newport and many, many more, the podcast gives you all we can about getting started and keeping going in all aspects of the writing business.

    Black Chick Lit
    A podcast that talks books by and about black women.

    Black & Read
    A book club podcast hosted by Terry Brown. Each week Terry and his guest will discuss a piece of literature from the unique perspectives of a person of color.

    Books and Boba
    A book club dedicated to books written by authors of Asian and Pacific Islander descent.

    Currently Reading Podcast
    A podcast dedicated to the love of books and reading. Two bookish friends discuss what’s on their nightstands, in their earbuds, and on their Kindles right now, in addition to books they’ve loved forever, and a variety of other readerly topics.

    The Guardian Books Podcast
    A weekly look at the world of books, poetry and great writing presented by  Claire Armitstead,  Richard Lea, & Sian Cain

    Hey YA
    A literary podcast for book lovers who enjoy YA (young adult) books.

    Kidlit Women Podcast
    A podcast of interviews and essays focusing on women’s and gender issues, including non-binary and gender fluidity, in the children’s literature community and all its intersectionality.

    Levar Burton Reads
    In every episode, host LeVar Burton (Reading Rainbow, Roots, Star Trek) invites you to take a break from your daily life, and dive into a great story.

    Lit Up
    A literary podcast that beyond the book and ask the writers and thinkers what they’re reading and what they are thinking, and the truth about who they really are.

    Literary Disco
    A podcast where writers talk about reading.

    Minorities in Publishing

    The brain child of publishing professional Jenn Baker, MiP is a podcastdiscussing diversity (or lack thereof) in the book publishing industry with other professionals working in-house as well as authors and those in the literary scene.

    The Bookstore Podcast
    A podcast for book news, reviews, and discussion hosted by two former booksellers.

    The Stacks
    Host Traci Thomas chats with a wide array of guests from film and television stars to community leaders, publishing professionals, and best-selling authors.

    Read Aloud Revival

    A podcast to equip and inspire adults to make meaningful and lasting connections with children through stories.

    Reading Women Podcast
    A podcast discussing books by or about women.

    What Should I Read Next?
    Hosted by Anne Bogel, of the popular blog Modern Mrs Darcy, this podcast features interviews with readers about the books they love, the books they hate, and the books they’re reading now. Then, Anne she makes recommendations about what to read next.

    Your turn:  What are your favorite literary podcasts to listen to?  Feel free to share in the comments.  I’d love to hear your suggestions!

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    adult books

    The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose by Oprah Winfrey

    The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life's Direction and Purpose Published by Flatiron Books Format: Hardcover
    Source: Flatiron Books
    Buy on Amazon

    Everyone has a purpose. And, according to Oprah Winfrey, “Your real job in life is to figure out as soon as possible what that is, who you are meant to be, and begin to honor your calling in the best way possible." That journey starts right here. In her latest book, The Path Made Clear, Oprah shares what she sees as a guide for activating your deepest vision of yourself, offering the framework for creating not just a life of success, but one of significance. The book’s ten chapters are organized to help you recognize the important milestones along the road to self-discovery, laying out what you really need in order to achieve personal contentment, and what life’s detours are there to teach us. Oprah opens each chapter by sharing her own key lessons and the personal stories that helped set the course for her best life. She then brings together wisdom and insights from luminaries in a wide array of fields, inspiring readers to consider what they’re meant to do in the world and how to pursue it with passion and focus. Renowned figures such as Eckhart Tolle, Brene Brown, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Elizabeth Gilbert, Jay-Z, and Ellen DeGeneres share the greatest lessons from their own journeys toward a life filled with purpose.
    Paired with over 100 awe-inspiring photographs to help illuminate the wisdom of these messages, The Path Made Clear provides readers with a beautiful resource for achieving a life lived in service of your calling – whatever it may be.

    When Oprah Winfrey releases a new book it’s an automatic MUST have for me. So when I heard about The Path Made Clear last year, I knew I had to add it to my home library collection. I’m looking forward to diving in to this one and soaking up all the wisdom from Queen O and her peers.  Doesn’t the synopsis pull you right in and make you want to crack open the book to start reading?

    The book is divided into ten different sections: The Seeds, The Roots, The Whispers, The Clouds, The Map, The Road, The Climb, The Give, The Reward and Home.


    I haven’t finished reading the entire book yet, but here are a few quotes from Oprah that really resonated with me:

    Your life isn’t about a big break.  It’s about taking one significant life-transforming step at a time.

    What I know for sure is you become what you believe.

    Wealth is a tool that gives you choices, but it’s can’t compensate for a file not fully lived.

    On a side note, when I turned forty, I took a long hard look at my life and analyzed some of the previous obstacles I used to let stand in my way of achieving my goals. Maybe some of these obstacles have been holding you back too and cluttering your life path to destiny.

    The first obstacle was ME. Yes, I was always stepping in and getting in my own way. Do you do that too sometimes? I’ve come to realize if you don’t believe in yourself. . .no one else will. Period.

    The second obstacle was my past.  This included failed plans, broken dreams, aborted goals. . .what others have said to me. . .or anything else in my past that was weighing me down. I know now you must not let your past determine your future. If you’re struggling with this right now, you might want to write this down.

    I’m forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.

    The third obstacle was resources. Many people never clear the hurdles to success because they don’t think they have the resources to accomplish their goals. Trust and believe you have access to all the educational, spiritual, and, yes, financial resources you need. If you really want to do something you can. No excuses.

    The fourth obstacle was self-imposed limitations. If this is something you’re dealing with ask yourself how many books have you read thus far this year? If you don’t like to read. . .you need to change. . .or your life will remain the same.

    The last obstacle is the opinions of others. Stop caring what other people think and live your life. You are destined for greatness.

    I’m sure some of these obstacles and many more are covered in The Path Made Clear which releases on March 26th.

    Your turn: Do any of these obstacles resonate with you in clearing the path in your life? Feel free to share in the comments.

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    adult books

    10 Male Bookstagrammers to Follow on Instagram If You Love Books

    I’ve been blogging for four years now and while I’ve connected with some really awesome women online, I can’t help but think where are all the men book lovers?

    I know there are men out there who enjoy books as much as women do, but it’s apparent that the bookstagram community on Instagram is dominated by females.  (I’m guessing that’s case in the publishing industry as a whole.)  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it just makes me wonder why aren’t there more male bookstagrammers, book bloggers and influencers?  I don’t know about you, but I’d love to hear the male perspective on books every once in a while.  I think there’s something sexy about a man who continuously reads for pleasure in his personal life beyond the academic years.  Equally as sexy is a man who reads books with his children during story time.  Bonus points if he does it without being asked to!

    I went on a hunt to find a few male bookish accounts, but my search came up short with only a handful of the guys listed below.  If you know any men book bloggers/influencers or bookstagrammers please give them a shout out in the comments and I’ll add them to the list.  Help me build up a list of male book lovers (and eye candy)…please!

    Jordan from @jordys.book.club

    Reggie from @reggiereads

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    #DiverseSpinesPhotoChallenge created by @spinesvines. Days 10-12: My Kind of Books Friday Reads TBR Books written by women of color tend to be my kind of books which I read on Fridays so obviously they're on my TBR for the rest of 2018. Still trying to figure out how I obtained all this good karma that placed all these treasures on my 2018 TBR list. Though not everything depicted is solidified the majority is. Also two books I will be reading in 2018 that do not release until the fall are "She Would Be King " & "Pride," so shoutouts to Wayetu Moore & Ibi Zoboi respectively. Also shouts to Jamise @spinesvines. This challenge was so much fun & it was a genius idea. Can't wait to see what you come up with next. Happy Reading Everyone & don't forget to share your thoughts on my 2018 TBR list. See anything you like? #BlackMenRead #Books #Bookstagram #BlackBookstagram #BlackBookCrew #Bookish #Booknerd #Bibliophile #Bookaholic #BuddyRead #Brigade #Reading #Learning #Enabler #Literary #Fiction #Nonfiction #Memoir #Classics #Masterpiece #DiverseSpines #PhotoChallenge

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    Rod Kelly from @read_by_rodkelly

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    ************************************************** 🇯🇲A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Review🇯🇲 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "There's a reason why the story of the ghetto should never come with a photo. Third World slum is a nightmare that defies beliefs or facts, even the ones staring right at you. A vision of hell that twists and turns on itself and grooves to its own soundtrack. Normal rules do not apply here." 🔫 And here we are, swept immediately into 70s Jamaica, the pomp and the intoxicating rhythm of life, the linguistic zing, its people both trapped within the fist of corruption or violently flung out into the netherworlds of no return. A Brief History of Seven Killings is an ode to an era of political unrest, societal collapse and the violent men who eked kingdoms out of desolation, ruling like old testament gods. This isn't a world I know. This isn't a place I've been, a time I've inhabited or can even imagine. A place where the line between life and death is paper thin like a whisper or a passing breeze and nothing to do but wait and see or see and wait. 🔫 These pages hum with frenetic music, rhythmic and cacophonous, rock and reggae, prismatic and steely-eyed; every sentence a knife jettisoned straight into the psyche of any who chooses to immerse themselves in this chronicle of violence, drugs, politics, sex & sexuality, class, gender, and all of their reverberations over several tumultuous decades. 🔫 “Listen. Dead people never stop talking. Maybe because death is not death at all, just a detention after school. You know where you’re coming from and you’re always returning from it. You know where you’re going, though you never seem to get there and you’re just dead. Dead.” 🔫 Marlon James is a virtuoso with staggering powers of erudition and detail, of dialogue and tone; everyone in his extensive cast of characters speaks with acerbic clarity, ready at any moment to grab you by the throat, sit you down and make you listen. In fact, this is a novel driven by voices, all competing for the microphone, seeking to lull the reader into the violent depths of this epic saga.

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    Casey from @casebounder

    James Trevino from @james_trevino

    Black Guys Reading from @blackguysreading

    Black Men Read Too from @blackmenreadtoo

    Joao Beardy from @beardbetweenthelines

    View this post on Instagram

    💬 What are you reading? ⁣ It’s an usual #saturdaymorning in Bookstagramland, and I’ve finally got some photos to use without having to run and take a picture for the day. I have to start doing the same with captions, but I love writing them in the morning with a nice coffee cup and the view of the street. ⁣ What are your plans for today? 📚 I’m reading ULYSSES by James Joyce (almost finishing) and ATOMIC HABITS by James Clear. I’m gonna enjoy the sun of Brazilian summer to take more pictures of books too, and I’ll soon jump in the pool because it’s hot af. ⁣ What is your weekend menu? ⁣ Good morning, #bookstagram! #Beardy ⁣ PS ✉️ no posts tomorrow, cause tomorrow is #sundaychill 😉

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    Faroukh Naseem from @theguywiththebook

     

    Dad Suggests from @dadsuggests

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    I often find myself reflecting on what I like to call the smartphone epidemic and how it affects cognitive function and social skills – and we wrote about it a little bit on the website this weekend. Go check it out and let us know what you think!⁣ ⁣ In particular I'm interested in the role we parents play in setting a good example. I really hate reading about how damaging it can be for kids to grow up constantly seeing their parents with a dull, lifeless expression on their face looking down at the phone.⁣ ⁣ Recent studies are pretty interesting regarding diminished cognitive function – but I think the missed bonding opportunities throughout the day are even worse. Time together is what it's all about in the end. ⁣ ⁣ So we decided to write a little plug for two of our favorite family activities – reading with the kids and playing board games together. Bonus: the academic and social benefits of both are vast. ⁣ ⁣ Let us know your favorite benefits of reading and playing with the kids that you've experienced!⁣ ⁣ #throwyourphoneoveryourshoulderwhenyourkidscomeintheroom #screentime ⁣ #parenting #dadlife #dadsuggests #parentingadvice #raisingkids #readeveryday #readtoyourkids #playwithyourkids

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    Your turn: What men would you add to this list?  Did you learn about someone new to follow?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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    adult books, children's books

    Happy Birthday, Oprah: 15 Books featuring Oprah for Readers from 0 to 109

    Happy Birthday, Oprah!

    Just when I think I can’t love and admire Oprah Winfrey anymore, she goes and does something EPIC that leaves me speechless and even more inspired.  I still remember her Golden Globes speech from 2018 that gives me chills every time I watch it.  Every. Single. Time.  I am in awe of her journey, philanthropic efforts, financial growth and business success over the years.  She’s is a shining example of a woman who came from nothing and through hard work, perseverance, a grounded sense of faith, an open mind and heart went on to become one of the most successful women in the world.

    If you know me well, then you know Oprah is my ultimate role model and has been since the age of 7.  I have fond memories of running home after school to watch The Oprah Winfrey Talk Show which later went on to become one of the most successful talk shows in the history of television.

    I could go on to talk about the many accomplishments and achievements Oprah has had over the years, but that would make for a really long blog post.  Instead, I’ve rounded up a list of books that either feature Oprah as the main character or feature her among other inspirational women.  Enjoy!

    Board Books

    Be Bold, Baby: Oprah by Alison Oliver

    Celebrate Oprah Winfrey’s most motivational and powerful moments, with quotes from the media mogul, and vibrant illustrations by Alison Oliver.

    Picture Books

    Oprah: The Little Speaker by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by London Ladd

    At age three, Oprah began performing in churches, becoming known to adoring crowds as the Little Speaker. When she was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she answered, “I want to be paid to talk.” Here is the story of Oprah Winfrey’s childhood, a story about a little girl on a Mississippi pig farm who grew up to be the “Queen of Talk.” The host of the Emmy Award–winning Oprah Winfrey Show , she currently directs a media empire that includes television and movie productions, magazines, a book club, and radio shows.

    Oprah Winfrey: The Girl Who Would Grow Up To Be: Oprah by A.D. Largie and Sabrina Pichardo

    Oprah Winfrey: The incredibly accomplished media mogul did not always have the life of her dreams. Oprah grew up extremely poor on a farm town in the South where her family had to make her dress from old potato sacks. But Oprah had a gift and that was a talent for speaking. Oprah eventually used her gift to change the world and create the life of her dreams. This is the story about the girl who would grow up to be Oprah.

    What I Can Learn from the Incredible and Fantastic Life of Oprah Winfrey by Melissa Medina & Fredrik Colting

     

     

     

     

     

    This biography series chronicles the lives of some of our best known leaders, inventors, artists and role models. A source of inspiration for young dreamers, each book is proof that, regardless of who you are and where you come from, dreams do come true. As long as you work hard and never give up.

    Oprah Winfrey: An Inspiration to Millions by Wil Mara

    Meet Oprah Winfrey. Born into poverty, Oprah made herself a promise when she was just four years old: that she would have a better life. Through hard work and perseverance she made good on that promise, becoming the only African-American billionaire in Americaand one of the most respected celebrities in the world.

    Middle Grade Books

    Oprah Winfrey: Run the show like CEO (Work It, Girl) by Caroline Moss illustrated by Sinem Erkas

    When Oprah Winfrey was a little girl, she watched her grandma hang clothes out on the line. Oprah adored her grandma, but she knew in that moment her life would be different… And she was right.

    Discover how Oprah became a billionaire CEO and media mogul in this true story of her life. Then, learn 10 key lessons from her work you can apply to your own life.

    Who Is Oprah Winfrey? by Barbara Kramer

    We all know Oprah Winfrey as a talk-show host, actress, producer, media mogul, and philanthropist, but the “Queen of Talk” wasn’t always so fortunate. She suffered through a rough childhood and went on to use her personal struggles as motivation. Oprah’s kindness, resilience, and determination are just some of the many reasons why her viewers–and people all around the world–love her. The richest African American person of the twentieth century, Oprah is often described as the most influential woman in the world.

    The Oprah Winfrey Story (We Both Read: Level 3) by Lisa Maria & Sindy McKay

    Oprah Winfrey was born into poverty and struggled with a very difficult and troubled life as a young girl. Yet, Oprah has become one of the most influential people in the world, inspiring millions to create a better life for themselves and others. The story of her life is a powerful reminder of how dreams can be realized through determination, perseverance, and the kindness of a helping hand.

    Anthologies (featuring Oprah Winfrey)

    Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present by Jamia Wilson illustrated by Andrea Pippins

    Meet 52 icons of color from the past and present in this celebration of inspirational achievement—a collection of stories about changemakers to encourage, inspire and empower the next generation of changemakers. Jamia Wilson has carefully curated this range of black icons and the book is stylishly brought together by Andrea Pippins’ colorful and celebratory illustrations. Written in the spirit of Nina Simone’s song “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black,” this vibrant book is a perfect introduction to both historic and present-day icons and heroes. Meet figureheads, leaders and pioneers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks, as well as cultural trailblazers and athletes like Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams.

    Girl CEO by Katherine Ellison

    Mini-biographies of leading women entrepreneurs—from Katrina Lake to Oprah, Tavi Gevinson to Sheryl Sandberg, and Ursula Burns to Diane von Furstenberg—offer windows into what it takes to succeed, with a particular focus on the challenges faced (and overcome) by girls and women.

    Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World by Ann Shen

    Aphra Behn, first female professional writer. Sojourner Truth, activist and abolitionist. Ada Lovelace, first computer programmer. Marie Curie, first woman to win the Nobel Prize. Joan Jett, godmother of punk. The 100 revolutionary women highlighted in this gorgeously illustrated book were bad in the best sense of the word: they challenged the status quo and changed the rules for all who followed. From pirates to artists, warriors, daredevils, scientists, activists, and spies, the accomplishments of these incredible women vary as much as the eras and places in which they effected change.

    Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

    An important book for all ages, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.

    Adult Books

    The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose by Oprah Winfrey

    Everyone has a purpose. And, according to Oprah Winfrey, “Your real job in life is to figure out as soon as possible what that is, who you are meant to be, and begin to honor your calling in the best way possible.”

    That journey starts right here.

    In her latest book, The Path Made Clear, Oprah shares what she sees as a guide for activating your deepest vision of yourself, offering the framework for creating not just a life of success, but one of significance. The book’s ten chapters are organized to help you recognize the important milestones along the road to self-discovery, laying out what you really need in order to achieve personal contentment, and what life’s detours are there to teach us.

    The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversations by Oprah Winfrey

    Now, for the first time, the aha moments of inspiration and soul-expanding insight that have enlightened millions on the three-time Emmy Award-winning Super Soul Sunday are collected in The Wisdom of Sundays, a beautiful, cherishable, deeply-affecting book.

    Cookbooks

    Food, Health, and Happiness: 115 On-Point Recipes for Great Meals and a Better Life by Oprah Winfrey

    In Food, Health, and Happiness, Oprah shares the recipes that have allowed eating to finally be joyful for her. With dishes created and prepared alongside her favorite chefs, paired with personal essays and memories from Oprah herself, this cookbook offers a candid, behind-the-scenes look into the life (and kitchen!) of one of the most influential and respected celebrities in the world. Delicious, healthy, and easy to prepare, these are the recipes Oprah most loves to make at home and share with friends and family.

    Your turn: Which books would you add to this list?  Feel free to share in the comments.

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