July Book Template

Lately, I’ve been seeing these book templates for social media pop up. This isn’t fancy, but I thought I’d put an offering out there, in case anyone is interested.


Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation Read-A-Thon

I’ve mentioned before that I’m an unabashed fan of Lauren Willig and her Pink Carnation series. A couple of months ago, she announced that she was going to do a read-a-thon of the series. They’re a historical fiction/romance/spy series consisting of twelve books, and I love them all like fictional children. (Having read the first Bridgerton book, I think that these are much better, if for no other reason than the plots are more complex for the romance genre.)

Each month, the community is reading a different book, and then Lauren and another author sit down and have a conversation over zoom about said book. While I’m always recommending Lauren’s books, I’m extra enthusiastic about this, because the zoom conversations so far have been fascinating. If you’re a writer in any capacity and interested in listening to writer chat, I recommend checking these out. There’s some really interesting nuggets of info, and if you’re me, and don’t really have a writing community, it’s fun to hear other writers talk. It’s nice to hear writers you admire talk about the same kind of problems that you have, and realize how human they are, even after a dozen published novels.

You can check out the replays at Lauren’s facebook page. If you have the time, jump in and catch up on the series. If you’re at all interested in things like Bridgerton, I think you’d feel right at home here.

Top 10 Books of 2020: Number 1

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

This book is perfection, and it should be required reading. I’d say that’s all you need to know, but it would make for one very short post.

If you’ve somehow managed to miss out on this book, it’s non-fiction. Though the book is largely about race, it also covers class and gender – the other ways we tend to label people without knowing them. The book goes through the ways that having a caste system affects, permeates and damages societies, looking at India, America and nazi Germany.

What makes this book a phenomenal read is the stories it contains. It’s one thing to read facts about lynching, but it’s another to read about a boy being shoved off a cliff into a river to drown while his father was held and forced to watch because the boy sent a valentine to a white classmate. Or that Germany actually took notes on how America managed to oppress citizens so well without public uprising and used these tactics in the 1930’s and 40’s.

Nothing I write can do this book justice. It’s a heavy read, for sure, but a worthy one. The fact is, until we take a hard look at the history of our country and how we’ve treated each other, until we really grapple with how that affects us, and until we actively take steps to do better, we won’t have any lasting change. We can’t walk towards the light unless we admit that we’re in the darkness. We can do better, but will we?

You will be challenged, you will be brokenhearted, and you will be angry. But let it change the way you see the world, and the systemic problems that keep people oppressed. But first read the book, and then pass it on.