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Small kindnesses

While she was in the White House, Michelle Obama invited 12 or so of her closest friends to spend the weekend with her at Camp David every two or three months. “Friendships between women, as any woman will tell you, are built on a thousand small kindnesses….swapped back and forth and over again,” Obama wrote […]

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For Halloween, I would like to be a bookworm and curl up on the couch with a book or two. In Austin at the Texas Book Festival on October 26-27, I saw a girl with a t-shirt that declared, “Bookworms become butterflies!” –Joy

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Books are the journey

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home,”  Anna Quindlen once said. This weekend, I’m going on a journey to the Texas State Book Festival, where I’ll hear Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, John Grisham and Malcolm Gladwell speak. Last year, 50,000 people […]

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The thing about books

“That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet,” the author Jhumpa Lahiri once said. This year, I have experienced a number of good trips—by car and by plane—and from reading some good books. –Joy

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Keep reading

I love this quote! “If you are going to get anywhere in life, you have to read a lot of books,” Roald Dahl once said. Books certainly have taken me on lots of adventures and to lots of places. –Joy

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Unconditional love

“As a child,” David Brooks concludes in his new book, “each person’s emotional and spiritual foundation is formed by the unconditional love of a caring adult.” I hope you received that unconditional love from your mother. If you did, be grateful. If she is still alive, tell her thank you on Mother’s Day. Brooks’ new […]

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Talk and talk and talk

What can we do to help rid our own communities of the shame surrounding menstruation? That’s the question that Megan Lierley, managing editor of the blog Blood and Milk, asks Anna Dahlqvist, author of It’s Only Blood. “Talk and talk and talk,” Dahlqvist answers. “For me, it took the longest time to even say the […]

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Let’s invite one another in

“In sharing my story, I hope to help create space for other stories and other voices, to widen the pathway for who belongs and why,” Michelle Obama says in her book Becoming. And, she adds, “Let’s invite one another in. Maybe then we can begin to fear less, to make fewer wrong assumptions, to let […]

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“There is a lot I still don’t know about America, about life, about what the future might bring,” Michelle Obama says in her book Becoming. “But I do know myself. My father, Fraser, taught me to work hard, laugh often and keep my word. “My mother, Marian, showed me how to think for myself and […]

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We need silence

We live in “an oversaturated culture,” says David Ulin in his book The Lost Art of Reading—Books and Resistance in a Troubled Time. We “skitter across the surface.” We are “awash in distraction…What we need is silence.” And books! And time for reading.

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