Maya Angelou: What I’ve learned

July 30th, 2014


“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

“I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.

“I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life.’

“I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.

“I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

“I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.

“I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

“I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

— Dr. Maya Angelou

Thanks to


July 29th, 2014

LuckyUsFrom Kirkus Reviews: Nine books you’d recommend to anyone

Annoying fictional teens

July 18th, 2014


From Huff Po: The 10 most annoying teenagers from books. Pictured is my vote: Lydia Bennet (Pride and Prejudice) as portrayed by the wonderful Julia Sawalha.


July 17th, 2014

LostcityofzFrom Huff Po: Eight outrageous nonfiction stories you wouldn’t believe if they were novels.

Dalai Lama wisdom

July 16th, 2014

“Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.”

— His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama of Tibet in “Questions for the Dalai Lama: Answers on Love, Success, Happiness & the Meaning of Life”

How a password changed my life

July 15th, 2014

From How a password changed my life. Great idea.

1669 King James Bible up for bid

July 14th, 2014


From The Daily Telegraph: A King James Bible from 1669 will go up for auction.

Reimagined children’s stories

July 11th, 2014


Here’s a link to the latest “One for the Books” column on Reimagined Children’s Stories (that aren’t for kids)

Entrepreneur Barbie

July 10th, 2014



“Mattel is introducing Entrepreneur Barbie … this summer with a big social media campaign. … Entrepreneur Barbie looks pretty similar to the “I Can Be … President Barbie” of 2012. The big difference is in the shoes. The 2012 President Barbie was the first doll in 53 years of production that was able to stand straight on her feet without assistance (she used magnet-filled wedges!). It seemed like a big step in Barbie history, but … Entrepreneur Barbie, like most Barbies today (with the exception of barefooted Beach Party Barbie), cannot stand alone. They tend to, well, lean in.

(Please click on the photo to read the rest.)

Debut novels

July 9th, 2014

bravemanFrom Kirkus Reviews: Nine debut novels you’ll love. (This is kind of hard to navigate; click on the thumbnail book covers under the featured book cover.)

Leadership Portage County

July 8th, 2014

I wrote a column about my experience with Leadership Portage County this year. It’s in today’s Record-Courier.

A new Harry Potter story!

July 8th, 2014


From Today Books: J.K. Rowling has written another original story about the Quidditch World Cup Finals. Find it on

Books About Town

July 7th, 2014


If you’re going to be in London this summer (and you know you want to), check out the Books about Town benches. Artists have designed 50 unique BookBench sculptures to look like open books. See more here.

Happy 4th of July!

July 4th, 2014


No more World Book Night U.S.

July 3rd, 2014

Sad news from World Book Night (from a letter to volunteers):

After three years in which thousands and thousands of you distributed over a million and half specially printed World Book Night paperbacks across America, we are sad to announce that we are suspending operations. The expenses of running World Book Night U.S., even given the significant financial and time commitment from publishers, writers, booksellers, librarians, printers, distributors, shippers—and you, our amazing givers!—are too high to sustain.

This has been a remarkable, passionate undertaking, and it has been a success by all measures, except for one: Outside funding. For three years, the publishing industry and book community have very generously footed the bill and contributed enormous time and effort, and we are so very grateful for all the support.

We did receive some funds via individual donations, and we worked very hard to get grants. We did get some, but there are a lot of other worthy causes out there and only so much money available. We can’t carry on without significant, sustainable outside funding.

From World Book Night U.S. Board Chairman Michael Pietsch: “World Book Night’s first three years have been a profound experience for everyone involved. The altruistic spirit of the givers and of industry supporters have reminded us all of the transformative impact books have on people’s lives, and of the power of a book as a gift. The World Book Night Board joins me in extending their deep gratitude to all who have taken part.” …

We are staying on hand through the summer without pay to maintain social media contact with you all, to talk good books, and to announce the winner of the giver essay contest.

YOU, the givers, made it possible for WBN to reach its full potential. For us here at World Book Night, this experience has been life-changing, as we hope it has been for you and recipients of the books. Our gratitude to you is simply immeasurable.

With much love, appreciation, and admiration, thank you!
Team WBN U.S

Like a girl

July 2nd, 2014

This is a great video. What does run, etc., “like a girl” mean?

Twitter rant on SCOTUS

July 1st, 2014

My Twitter rant today on yesterday’s boneheaded Supreme Court decision allowing certain corporations not to provide birth control:

I’m so mad at the Supreme Court I could plotz. First of all, corporations are NOT people. They do NOT have religious beliefs. #WarOnWomen

Second, birth control is an actual PRESCRIBED medication, used for more things than birth control. #WarOnWomen

Third, it is NONE of my boss’s business whether I do or do not use birth control. #WarOnWomen

Fourth, corporations will be taking away women’s religious freedom by imposing the corp.’s “beliefs” on them. #WarOnWomen

Fifth, this is total discrimination against women: Men’s E.D. etc. products are covered by insurance; no religious quandaries. #WarOnWomen

Sixth, this is proof that it’s time to take health care out of the hands of employers. #SinglePayer for all. #WarOnWomen

7th, the SCOTUS decision lets employers discriminate in hiring based on religion & gender; i.e., no women, non-Christians. #WarOnWomen

Normal families?

June 27th, 2014


Here’s a link to the latest “One for the Books” column on Normal families (or not).

Books you didn’t expect to like

June 26th, 2014

books-didnt-expect-like-RIFFrom Read It Forward:

“Have you done this? Have you ever started reading a book even though you don’t think you’re going to like it? And then you do? …”

Rowling’s latest climbs lists

June 20th, 2014

From Associated Press:

NEW YORK (AP) — J.K. Rowling’s latest novel has quickly climbed up the best-seller lists now that it’s finally available for purchase on

Rowling’s detective novel “The Silkworm” was in the top 100 by late Thursday for both print and e-book sales. She wrote it under the pen name “Robert Galbraith.”

Thursday was the book’s official publication date, but it couldn’t be ordered before then through Amazon because the online retailer and Rowling’s U.S. publisher, Hachette Book Group, are arguing over e-book terms. Amazon delayed shipments for some books by Hachette authors or made the releases entirely unavailable.

Buying “The Silkworm” in hardcover still isn’t without some frustration: Customers were told delivery would likely take 2-4 weeks.

Barnes & Noble’s website ranks “The Silkworm” No. 1 for print and No. 5 for e-books.

From book to screen

June 17th, 2014

mockingjayx-largeFrom USA Today: Four books that will hit the big screen this fall

Sierra Club vs. Ohio Gov. Kasich

June 16th, 2014

Sierra Club Ohio’s Response to Gov. Kasich Signing ‘Backwards’ Bill

COLUMBUS, Oh. – On Friday, despite pushback from Ohio businesses, consumer advocates, faith leaders, and environmental groups alike, Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed into law Senate Bill 310, a piece of legislation that guts the state’s money-saving renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, and gives handouts to corporate electric utilities.

More than 200,000 Ohio children suffer from asthma and countless others are afflicted with illnesses, including birth defects, heart disease and cancer, that are linked to burning fossil fuels. Ohio ranks in the top five for climate pollution, and Ohio’s efficiency and renewable energy efforts served as cost-effective public health and environmental protections.

In response, Daniel Sawmiller, Sierra Club Campaign Representative, released this statement:

“With this legislation, Gov. Kasich is moving the state backwards while monopoly utilities like FirstEnergy and AEP will see even greater profits. Ohioans can now expect higher electricity bills, fewer jobs in the clean energy manufacturing and construction industries, and increased pollution.
Gov. Kasich promised Ohioans he would protect Ohio families, create Ohio jobs, and champion clean energy technologies. By signing this devastating bill, he has decided to ignore the health and economic interests of everyday Ohioans in favor of big corporations. We need Gov. Kasich to be strong on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and green jobs to move Ohio forward.”

Books to display or inspire

June 13th, 2014


Here’s a link to the latest “One for the Books” column on Gift books to display or inspire.

Popular book group titles

June 12th, 2014

According to, the most popular book group titles read by groups last month were THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green, THE FORTUNE HUNTER by Daisy Goodwin, ORPHAN TRAIN by Christina Baker Kline, and THE HUSBAND’S SECRET by Liane Moriarty.

Books for Dad

June 11th, 2014


From Esquire: Best books for fathers

Books for men

June 10th, 2014

CallOfTheWildFrom Esquire: 80 books every man should read


June 9th, 2014


“Listen to yourself and in that quietude
you might hear the voice of God.”

— Maya Angelou’s final message on Twitter

July’s Indie Next list

June 6th, 2014

From Publisher’s Lunch: the July Indie Next list:

Erika Johansen’s The Queen of the Tearling is the No. 1 pick on the July Indie Next list. The rest of the recommended titles are listed below. Click the link above for descriptions of the books.

Landline, by Rainbow Rowell
One Plus One, by Jojo Moyes
That Night, by Chevy Stevens
Last Night at the Blue Angel, by Rebecca Rotert
The Quick, by Lauren Owen
Flying Shoes, by Lisa Howorth
The Appetites of Girls, by Pamela Moses
Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, by Chris Bohjalian
The Glass Kitchen, by Linda Francis Lee
Dry Bones in the Valley, by Tom Bouman
Dollbaby, by Laura Lane McNeal
The Care and Management of Lies, by Jacqueline Winspear
The String Diaries, by Stephen Lloyd Jones
How to Tell Toledo From the Night Sky, by Lydia Netzer
Em and the Big Hoom, by Jerry Pinto
The Girls From Corona del Mar, by Rufi Thorpe
War of the Whales: A True Story, by Joshua Horwitz
Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies, by Alastair Bonnett
The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

Code talker dies

June 5th, 2014

From CNN: Chester Nez, the last of the original Navajo code talkers of World War II, has died. His story is fascinating.

Amy Einhorn moves to Flatiron

June 4th, 2014


From Publishers Weekly: Big news  in the publishing industry — “Amy Einhorn, who recently left her eponymous imprint at Penguin Random House, is joining Macmillan’s Flatiron Books imprint as senior v-p and publisher. She will start at Flatiron on July 21.”

Einhorn’s imprint published some truly quality books, including “The Help.” It will be interesting to see what follows.