This Week In My Library 9.26.23Sep 25, 2023
Ozempic, Gateway Books and the Horseshoe Press
Life of a Bookman
Bookman: 1. a person who has a love of books and especially of reading. 2. a person who is involved in the writing, publishing, or selling of books. Oh, hi thats me!!
The book that got me hooked: I'll never forget my first...woman-led historical novel. I'm sure I read others, but none had centered the complexities of women protagonists and their deep friendship before reading Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. If you need a riveting book about WWII heroines, cozy into fall with a candle lit and snuggle up to this book that will hook you. And then if you're anything like me, it'll serve as a gateway drug for the genre.
Another beautiful memoir: The Bold World by Jodie Patterson is a truly moving recollection on the love of family, the love of one's self and what we'll do for both. Jodie and I had a wonderful podcast conversation on mothering that I still think about today. Her words strike chords, written and spoken, making our world all the more beautiful because of it.
What I'm writing: Writing emotions in #ThatNovel isn't easy, even though I consider myself a prettyyyyy emotionally in-tune person. I'm constantly having to stop in a scene, or after a sentence, to ask myself: but what is she feeling here? And why? Honestly, I think the process is a pretty good training for life ;) PS. If you're writing and trying to master emotions, The Emotional Craft of Fiction is super helpful! Highly recommend.
What gets passed down becomes our history. A few for the canon: I can't believe I'm writing the word Ozempic in this letter but here we go...because I've been pretty fascinated by the content, critiques and cultural dialogue around it (and other semaglutides, the main compound used in these brand name drugs). The mental math around the issues are fascinating. As someone who went on a long and purposeful journey to love my body and get real comfortable in the skin I'm in, I know, like most women do, how pressing the topic of weight and body image can be.It's practically inescapable, which is partially why new drugs like these and their effects create such a stir.
On one hand, we finally have something that treats obesity as a medical issue, rather than a moral/willpower one. But on the other hand, it's being used by many for whom it wasn't FDA approved for in what Jia Tolentino calls “an injectable eating disorder” (her super interesting investigation into how this drug will change about how we think about weight for The New Yorker is worth the read) And then Oprah just came out with a discussion about The State of Weight in America, and well...you know what I'll be watching tonight.
Pass It On
Stories are heirlooms. Here's one of mine: I've started volunteering with The Young Authors Project, which means I have a class of 6th graders every Wednesday. And I teach them how to write! At the end of the semester, their writing will be published in a book, available for purchase on Amazon and around Savannah (you know I'll be dropping that link so hard when it's out!!)
Recently, when explaining why the opportunity spoke to me so deeply (aside from the obvious) I remembered being in elementary school writing my very first book with the help of volunteers, namely Beth Ryan. I still remember sitting at the table with Beth as she helped me write my words, illustrate them, and bind them together. What I didn't know then, because I was too young to realize, was that she was a writer herself. And that love for the craft likely drove her to play a huge role in one of the more formidable experiences of my childhood, which was seeing “my very own book” in print by Matthews Elementary Horseshoe Press. It was only fitting when 20 years later she sat front and center at the Dallas book launch of my first grown-up book, You're Not Lost. I'm really really excited to help some youngins feel the same way I did because of Beth and that first book – because who knows what literary future they might want to create because of our time together. One thing is for certain, Like Beth...I'll be sitting front row if they do.
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