I don't know about you, but I could really use a laugh or two...or a million... right now. But with such serious and important topics occupying our thoughts and newsfeeds, it can be difficult to dredge up any humor on our own.
Many readers balk when they see the term romance. If you're picturing a steamy, clutch cover of half-naked heroes and heroines, you're picturing an older era of romance readers. Today's romance readers seek out emotional depth, high drama, snapping plots, and lots and lots of happily ever afters (or happily for nows). It's a million-dollar industry made up of stories centering women's experiences; and while there's plenty of male-centered romance out there also, your average reader is hungry for a satisfying read which prioritizes female happiness.
At this point, I think it’s safe to say that none of us are doing much traveling this summer. We’re certainly not doing much traveling internationally. Luckily, there are other ways to peek into new cultures and environments, even when we can’t be there physically.
So for all of you struggling with wanderlust, I compiled a brief list of some recent books by authors from around the world -- hopefully they can at least tide you over until we can get out there for real.
I think at this point we would all be forgiven for wanting to escape 2020, and what better way to do so than to read some high fantasy?
High fantasy ticks all the boxes for what I need right now: it’s often long, so it fills up many hours; it explores complex ideas and themes for maximum distraction potential; and most importantly, it’s set far, far away from the United States in 2020.
Recently, the only thing that has kept me grounded (besides books) is seeing some bonafide earthy ground and the things that come from it. I go for walks in the woods, sit on the beach, tend my plants, or enjoy the crazy drama that is bird watching. In exchange for things like picking up trash, growing some flowers, dropping birdseed, or literally nothing at all (mother earth is that generous), these outdoor outlets help to revive a little bit of my dampened spirits.
We at Third Place Books are committed to fighting systemic racism. Today we want to share one of our efforts to hold the publishing industry accountable in this fight as well.
Months ago, before Covid made a nuisance of itself, and kids left their houses for school, I got a call at the info desk from a local middle schooler. This child had a few questions to ask me for a school project.
I’m not sure what I expected -- maybe help finding books on a topic they were studying. I settled in. These unexpected conversations are my favorite part about working at a bookstore, and while I’m certainly not a tutor, I’m pretty confident in my ability to at least find the right book to send a middle schooler in the right direction.
My first oral presentation took place in the 4th grade. My teacher presented us with a hat filled with names of famous people throughout history.
The name fate handed me was Christopher Columbus.
I didn't think much of this and honestly I was just so stressed about doing an actual oral presentation in front of my class that it was hard to focus on anything else. I had a terrible lisp and was extremely shy as a child.
When I told my mom about the project we decided to walk the three blocks to the public library, which was our second home.
In response to the latest demonstration of the inherent dangerousness of being Black in the United States, we’ve seen nonfiction bestseller lists explode with books by Black authors. So much so that it’s become difficult to get our hands on those books. It’s a good problem to have. The importance of the work those books do, and help others to do, cannot be overstated.