On Reading and Pondering Deeply

Freedom Friday, Personal Narrative, Text Talk
Second Sokkai Gakkai president Josei Toda urged young people to read good books and to ponder things deeply. Even though Toda died in 1958, this advice is relevant today and is great encouragement for everyone. And, in fact, is a way to stay youthful despite your physical age. What makes a book "good" to begin with? Is it informative? Inspirational? Energizing? Does it make you see things differently? Laugh? Perhaps good books do all of these things. Perhaps something else entirely. A good book enriches me. It nourishes me in some way. A good books speaks to me, even if it's a psychological thriller with a love story at its center. A good book is not only worth reading, it is worth rereading. You come to it again to unlock new lessons, discover new…
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Tiger Eyes

Personal Narrative
My Goodreads feed has seen a lot of action lately. In recent weeks I've finished The Good House by Tananarive Due, Salsa Nocturna by Daniel José Older, and Freeman by Leonard Pitts. These represent a pretty significant departure from the type of fiction I usually read, yet I enjoyed them all. Now I am on to Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume. I thought I had read all of her juvenile/YA fiction growing up, but somehow I missed this offering. These days I'm "reading like a writer," meaning I'm paying more attention to the structure and craft of the writing I read. Although I'm not very far into the book, I was swept into the action on page one. There's a reason I devoured Judy's books growing up. What I notice…
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What are your must-reads?

30 Day Blog Challenge, 30 in 30 April
The ladies of Whiskey, Wine and Moonshine have books on the brain. We may share some of our recent convos on an upcoming podcast. In the meantime, I want to know your thoughts about books. For all questions, you can choose more than one. Who is your favorite author? What's your favorite children's book? What's your favorite book? What makes it special? What book did you read that you wish you'd encountered earlier in life? How did you come to read it? What book would you recommend to someone? What makes it worthy? What notable book did you try reading, but abandoned? What book is on your "to read" list? Complete the following sentence: {Insert name of book} should be required reading for {insert individual or group} because (insert reason}.…
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Dereliction and Fire

Text Talk
I debated the merits of crafting a preamble to this excerpt, and as I begin typing, I honestly haven't decided what to say about it. So we'll see... I read Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Early on in my reading, I became angry. I graduated from a high school named after this man. We did not read his words. At various points, teachers or administrators recited quotes of his, or summarized the "highlights" of his life. Our mascot, school paper and yearbook were all symbolic of him. But we did not read his words. We did not spend time in an English class, nor a history class, nor an extracurricular making sense of his life. Glaring omission seems too quiet, too meek, too gray to…
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We Wear the Mask | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Education, Politics, News & Notable
Why should the world be over-wise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see us, while We wear the mask. ~Paul Lawrence Dunbar I sit down with two other women present for the two-day workshop. We are instructional coaches – former classroom teachers – in Orlando for professional development in literacy. Our conversation drifts to “the kid.” Who was the kid? The one who was the pivotal in your career? Lillian tells of two, beginning with ‘Eric.’ That kid was always grumpy. On edge. He was likely to pick a fight or get in trouble for some reason or another. It wasn’t long before I discovered he simply couldn’t read very well. She explains to us how she won him over through small, daily successes. She…
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