Dear America,

We’re going to start with a story and end with a reading list.

At some point in my childhood, I over heard a conversation between my mom and her mother. I don’t remember when, and I certainly don’t remember what they were discussing. All I remember is one of them turning to me afterwards and telling me that not choosing was making a choice.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Not just in terms of politics and elections and the United States, but in terms of how I’m living my life. I’ve written before about how I don’t want to live passively, or out of fear, or from despairWhat becomes us? Action.

I don’t want to live in a world where my friends feel their very identities and experiences completely dismissed by the leader of our nation.

It is absolutely no secret that I supported Hillary Clinton in this campaign, but I’m not here to argue why she should have won the presidency (and you know, did, by the popular vote). I’m also not here to yell at everyone who voted for Trump, whether I know them or not. In my experience, yelling at people tends to make them more likely to do exactly what you’re telling them not to do. 

And that, I think, is the heart of the problem. Telling. Yes, this election was entirely vitriolic, and yes, we were steeped in it for well over a year, which was far too long. The primaries were bitter, and the election itself was even worse. But even the most vitriolic of campaign ads–and there were plenty on both sides–aren’t what I’m getting at here.

What I’m getting at is this: The moment we stop listening to those with different experiences and accept our own struggles as the only truth is the moment we lose the war.

Continue reading “Dear America,”


five more books*

*that also more or less defined my childhood

Two weeks ago, I decided to write a #throwbackthursday post about books I loved as a kid (and, okay, true–books that also remained on my list of favorites). As is the case with most lists, I remembered everything else I wanted to add as soon as it was out of my hands. Today, I bring you another lit-style throwback: five books that should probably have been on that list, but weren’t (or: five more books you should all consider reading).

Interestingly, all of these received either a Newbery Medal or a Newbery Honor. Make of that what you will; I say it means my family knows good literature when we see it!

In any case, I present to you, in alphabetical order by author’s last name:

Five More Books That Basically Defined My Childhood

Continue reading “five more books*”

ten movies that remind me of growing up

Last week for #throwbackthursday, I presented a list of nine books that (pretty much) shaped my childhood. While I do have more such lists in the works (I do love books, you know), I wanted to do something a bit different for this week.

This list of films is not definitive, but there are plenty of movies in here that will either make you go Wow, I remember when that came out! or You watched that as a child? or even, you know, Wait, she’s young enough to consider Lord of the Rings movies from her childhood? Ack!

(I was nine when Fellowship of the Ring was released, so–yes. Yes, I am that young.)

Youthfulness aside, I present to you: ten movies that remind me of growing up–and that I’ve seen more times than I can count. In chronological order by release date, because that’s how I roll.

Continue reading “ten movies that remind me of growing up”

nine books that (pretty much) defined my childhood

Here’s a new one for you: #throwbackthursday, literature style.

Anyone who knows me probably realizes that I’m a bookworm. You might even say that was an understatement. My friend Lizz, for example, made me this bookmark for my twenty-first birthday:


These are all stories that have meant something like that to me–stories that have made me think, made me laugh, made me cry. These are books that have made me want to run up to the nearest human being and thrust a copy into their hands. Here, I’d say. Hi. You have got to read this one.

And so, without further ado, may I present my take on #throwbackthursday:

Nine Books That (pretty much) Defined My Childhood–or, nine books you should probably consider reading if you haven’t already.

Continue reading “nine books that (pretty much) defined my childhood”