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A joyful warrior

“My daily challenge to myself is to be part of the solution, to be a joyful warrior in the battle to come,” writes Kamala Harris in her book The Truths We Hold—An American Journey. “My challenge to you is to join that effort. To stand up for our ideals and values.”

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Truth and facts

“There is no truth, we all know that,” says Robert Caro, Pulitzer Prize winning author. “No one truth. No objective truth. No simple truth or no one simple truth either. But there are facts. Hard facts. Objective facts. Verifiable facts. And the more facts you come up with, the closer you come to whatever truth […]

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Enlarge your world

I just visited Washington, D.C., with Bob Woodward when I read Rage, and, before that trip, I visited the forests of California with Robert Powers when I read The Overstory. I am thankful for books during this pandemic! “There are many little ways to enlarge your world. Love of books is the best of all,” Jacqueline […]

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People who are difficult

“I don’t enjoy normal, high functioning people,” Frederik Backman, the author of a new book called Anxious People, said recently during an Arts & Letters Live virtual presentation. “When I meet other people who are normal and happy and content, I don’t like them. I like people who are difficult, who march to the beat […]

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A girl with a book

“Never underestimate the power of a girl with a book,” Ruth Bader Ginsberg once said. I’m going to honor Ruth Bader Ginsberg by encouraging girls I know to read a book, get lots of years of education and fight for justice.

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My trip to North Korea

How am I doing? I have been escaping the pandemic by traveling to North Korea. Really! My friend Jane gave me two books about people who escaped the horrors of North Korea—The Girl with Seven Names and A River in Darkness. No matter how long this virus crisis lasts, I won’t run out of books. […]

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Read a book

What do people need more than anything now? Books, says author Emma Straub. “What are we all doing in our quarantines? We’re figuring out how to walk out the door without walking out the door. Reading a book is the best way to do that.” Straub talked about her new book All Adults Here in […]

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Remembering Tomie de Paola

My son Jay, who just got married, is 30, but I will always remember the day a long time ago when we met Tomie de Paola at a Dallas bookstore. Jay was impressed because he liked de Paola’s book The Art Lesson, which tells how the author received a box of 64 crayons for his […]

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A gentle touch

“It will be welcomed much more if you have a gentle touch than if you are aggressive,” says Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. For Christmas, I received a copy of the book Pocket RBG Wisdom—and some RBG socks and an RBG mug. –Joy

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Don’t count sheep

Diana Butler Bass, author of Grateful, reads a gratitude prayer every morning. At night, she suggests following one psychologist’s advice: “Count blessings, not sheep.”

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