Posts Tagged ‘books’


Emerging Beauty: Find beauty in your world. Post 13: books!

March 31, 2020
brass colored chandelier

Photo by Emre Can on

Read a book! As a writer, I read a lot—it’s my work and my practice. I’ve tried to recommend books published in the last couple of years, although there a few exceptions. If you have kids or teens, I’ve made a list for them, too. Enjoy!

Adult Fiction

The Nickel Boys: Colson Whitehead

A Gentleman in Moscow: Amor Towles

Circe: Madeline Miller

American Dirt:Jeanine Cummins

A Woman is No Man: Etaf Rum

The Friend: Sigrid Nunez

The Great Alone: Kristin Hannah

There, There: Tommy Orange

Writers and Lovers: Lily King

Water Dancer: Ta-Nehisi Coates

Bear Town: Fredrik Backman

Homegoing: Yaa Gyasi

Olive, Again: Elizabeth Strout

Lilac Girls: Martha Hall Kelly

The Great Believers: Rebecca Makkai

The Refugees(short stories): Viet Thanh Nguyen

Sabrina & Corina(short stories): Kali Fajardo-Anstine

State of Wonder: Ann Patchett (I liked it better than The Dutch House)

Top of my to-read Fiction list:

The Island of Sea Women: Lisa See


Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor; Layla Saad

The Five Invitations; Discovering What Death Can Teach Us About Living Fully: Frank


The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present: David


The Immoral Majority: Ben Howe

The Choice: Embrace the Possible: Edith Eger (part memoir of the holocaust)

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness: Michelle Alexande

Top of my NF to-read list: American Wolf: Nate Blakeslee 


The Distance Between Us:Reyna Grande

The Summer Isles: Philip Marsden

-Waiting for Snow in Havana: Carolos Eire

The Faraway Nearby: Rebecca Solnit

The Fire Next Time: James Baldwin (Non Fiction)

-Educated: Tara Westover

-The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees: Meredith May

Young Adult (I’m not a fantasy reader but there are great YA fantasy, sci-fi and dystopian books out there)

            The Poet X: Elizabeth Acevedo

            Shout: Laurie Halse Anderson

The Language of Cherries: Jen Marie Hawkins

We Were Here: Matt de la Pena

A Room Away From the Wolves: Nova Ren Suma

Boy Erased: A Memoir: Garrard Conley

We Are Okay: Nina LaCour

Dear Martin:Nic Stone

All the Bright Places: Jennifer Niven

The Serpent King: Jeff Zentner

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone: Rachel Lynn Solomon

I’ll Give You the Sun: Jandy Nelson

Story of a Girl: Sara Zarr

Two Boys Kissing: David Levithan

books by Ellen Hopkins (poetry format)

Top of my YA to-read list:

Skythe: Neal Shusterman

Upper middle grade (11-13)

The Bridge Home: Padma Venkatraman

            Refugee: Alan Gratz

The War That Saved My Life: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

To Night owl from Dogfish: Holly Goldberg Sloan

Eventown: Corey Ann Haydu

The Only Black Girls in Town: Brandy Colbert

The Benefits of Being and Octopus: Ann Braden

Merci Suarez Changes Gears: Meg Medina  

            Ghost: Jason Reynolds

Millicent Min, Girl Genius:Lisa Yee

The Someday Birds: Sally J. Pla

Listen, Slowly; Thanhha Lai

The Good Hawk; Joseph Elliott

George: Alex Gino

Top of my NF to-read list: A Wish in the Dark: Christina Soontornvat and Genesis Begins Again: Alicia D. Williams

Younger middle grade (8-10)

The Runaways: Ulf Stark

Breaking Stalin’s Nose: Eugene Yelchin

Everlasting Nora:Marie Miranda Cruz

Bob: Wendy Mass

The One and Only Ivan: Katherine Applegate

Clementine Series: Sara Pennypacker

Books by Sarah Aronson and Kate DiCamillo

Picture books– there are so many to love!

As soon as I publish this list, I’ll think of 10 more to add, so feel free to contact me any time for ideas.

Stay well. Find emerging beauty.



Emerging Beauty: A Dozen Resources to Help Parents and Kids During Quarantine

March 21, 2020

Parents!!!!! Wow- who knew how hard this would be, right? I’ve compiled some incredible free resources for you and your kids. I hope they help!

  1. is one of my favorites. Romper started a fantastic program they call, Operation Storytime. Famous people and writers are reading books for free. Go to social media sites and use the hashtag #operationstorytime to find them.
  2. @savewithstories is similar to the above and sponsored by Save the Children. Use the hashtag @savewithstories and listen to more famous people reading books.
  3. If your kids are bouncing off walls, check out the free games and activities offered by the Cleveland Inner City Ballet. They also are offering free online ballet classes for kids! Kudos to them.
  4. Find Kim Brownsberger McMahon on Facebook! Ms. Kim teaches pre-school in Colorado and launched a free morning storytime, every day at 10:00 (on Facebook). She’s great with kids and encourages them to interact.
  5. https://mattdelapena.comMatt de la Pena: Not only is Matt a Newberry Award-Winning author(!!), but he’s a former teacher of mine and a good guy. He writes a range of books, so check out his website. He also started a “Dear Stuck-at-Home-Student” series, and kids are encouraged to email him. He responds!
  6. offers free projects to learn at home by grade-level.
  7. Writing Barn is a wonderful oasis providing classes for writers. Because of Coronavirus, they are offering free events for writers, but also for kids. This particular link is for ages 8-11, but there are more. Check them out!
  8. Who doesn’t love Highlights (I remember doing hidden picture searches in the dentist’s office)? Their website offers free activities for kids. Check them out!
  9. Audible is offering free some stories. Here’s a link to Scarlett Johansson reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:
  10. Want to travel but can’t? Check out a virtual tour of National Parks:
  11. More virtual tours! This time of museums and galleries around the world:
  12. More ideas? Here you go… 100 of them!


My advice? Be patient. Give yourself space when you need it. Get outside. Set a schedule if possible, and create variety. You’ve got this.

Stay well. Find emerging beauty.