Literature and the Power of Diversity

Let me start by saying diversity and literature go hand in hand.

  1. Diversity is the foundation to learn new perspectives from literature.
  2. Literature proves the value and necessity of diversity.

We are coming full circle here, people.

Diversity wasn’t really part of my upbringing, though. I grew up in a mostly white community and knew very few people who looked or lived differently than I did. I don’t even remember talking to a person of color until high school. Even then, my school was mostly white kids. On top of that, I barely knew any non-Christians or non-straight people. I definitely didn’t know anyone from the trans community.

That changed a bit when I went to college. I was definitely one of those people, though, who had one or two black friends and thought that made me an ally and not racist. I would even say that out loud. “Oh she’s my black friend.” And I shamefully remember commenting once that one of these women didn’t “act black.” I’m embarrassed now to write that and of my 20-year-old self, and I feel immense guilt.

Thank God for growth, for New York, and for literature.

Black Lives Matter

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TBF: The Shadow of the Wind

When I found out my colleague Sabrina loved books as much as I do, I knew I’d found a new soul sister. Now we spend many minutes during our work day chatting and calling via Skype about the books we’re reading. This often carries over to text after we complete our work day.

Many of those chats, calls, and texts in the past two months revolved around one book in particular: The Shadow of the Wind.

Sabrina was a superb guest in a preceding episode of The Biblio Files when we chatted with her friend Meghann about our shared love of libraries. I knew I’d have to snag her for another episode to discuss this superb book. In the latest, we explore the themes of family, friendship, love, mysteries, loyalty, book culture, and Barcelona in Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s masterpiece. We also go on a travel tangent about European churches. You certainly don’t want to miss that.

Click on this link or search for The Biblio Files on your favorite podcast platform to listen. And, as always, don’t forget to subscribe and check out Anchor to see how you can support your favorite bibliophile.

TBF Shadow

TBF: The Beautiful World of Libraries

Just like the books they house, libraries change lives. It’s just a fact. Yes, they completely open our eyes to new worlds and new perspectives through books, but they also provide countless resources for everyone who visits them. In the latest episode of The Biblio Files, I sit down with my dear friend Sabrina and her friend Meghann (who I can’t wait to meet) to profess our love for libraries and discuss how they’ve changed our lives. Meghann also tells us about the cool work she’s doing in Kansas City with the Mesner Puppet Theatre and The Rabbit Hole. Check them out!

To tune into the episode, which I know you’re dying to do, click on the Anchor link below or search for The Biblio Files on your favorite podcast platform. Don’t forget to subscribe!

And if you’re looking for more links to click, check out my homepage on Anchor to see how you can support The Biblio Files.

Libraries

Pictured at the top are Sabrina and Meghann.

Little Fires Everywhere: Series Finale

Say what? Little Fires Everywhere is over?!

Sadly, yes, but not before you listen to one more episode of The Biblio Files to dissect this incredibly lit TV show. In the third podcast episode in this series, Dana, Hilary, and I dive into the ending that everyone is talking about, the “challenge to “well-intentioned white women,” being a product of our environments and time period, and that snarl from Reese.

Tune in now to listen by clicking on the link or searching for The Biblio Files on your favorite podcast platform.

And don’t forget to subscribe! You don’t want to miss future literary discussions.

(Below represents my range of emotions while watching this show.)

LFE Series Finale

Little Fires Everywhere: Episodes 4-7

To quote one of my guests, “These aren’t little fires anymore.” In this episode of The Biblio Files, Dana, Hilary, and I once again dive into all things savage, fraught, tangled, and intense from episodes 4-7 of the hot TV series, Little Fires Everywhere. Tune in as we discuss how the show has diverged from the book and what we anticipate for episode 8, the series finale.

Click on the link or search The Biblio Files on your favorite podcast platform!

And don’t forget to subscribe and check out my profile on Anchor to see how you can support The Biblio Files.

LFE Episodes 4-7

Toe to Toe: Friday Night Lights

America loves its Friday nights on the gridiron. Small towns showing up to the stands in droves as they cheer on their teams of young boys with big dreams. It’s quintessential Americana. It loves it so much that, when a nonfiction book was published about it (along with many other sociological themes) in 1989, a movie by the same name premiered 15 years later and a TV show two years after that. They both starred the great Connie Britton, so you know they have reach and power.

Yes, Friday Night Lights and everything it represents and demonstrates has become ingrained in American culture. Clearly, we’re all a little obsessed with high school football. But with three types of media focused on this theme, which one does Big Little Literature love most?

Although I’ve also watched the television series, that was five years ago, and my memory necessitates more time to relive the show than the movie. So we’re going to narrow our focus a bit. Friday Night Lights, it’s time to go toe to toe: book versus movie.

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2020 Resolutions

Resolutions definitely guided my reading choices in 2019. Even if I didn’t fully succeed, I was at least conscious of them while picking out some of the books I read. I’d like to keep on this resolution road because it’s changed my mind about memoirs, forced me to think about diversity when choosing authors, and influenced me to dabble in other genres. (I’d also be remiss if I didn’t give resolution-making the credit for five straight years of flossing every day.)

This year, though, rather than thinking about the types of books I want to read, I’m focusing my resolutions on my baby, Big Little Literature. My greatest joy is sharing my thoughts and feelings about books with you all, so for 2020, I want to think of new ways (and revisit some old ones) on how to grow our community and improve the BLL experience. Check out my 2020 resolutions below.

2020 Books

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2019 Resolution Review

Let’s look at my specs for the year. In 2019, I:

  • Read 10,904 pages across 31 books — thanks, Goodreads!
  • Averaged 351 pages per book.
  • Explored 10 different genres with contemporary fiction winning most popular.
  • Only read one author more than once — Kristin Hannah.
  • Read five two-flame books (more than the number of the previous year-and-a-half) and six three-flame books.
  • But I also had the joy of experiencing 11 books with four flames, and nine garnered a whole five flames. I’d call that a success!

But how did I do with the resolutions I set for myself in January? Let’s see how I scored (and check out the books I said I’d read at the beginning of the year in the picture below and compare them to my fully ranked list of 2019).

2019 Resolutions

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Ranked: Reads in 2019

It’s been a weird year. With a lot of lows and a lot of highs, sometimes I didn’t know how to feel. But one thing that constantly kept me excited, intrigued, and motivated? Literature. Ahh yes, my best friend that has never and will never let me down. In 2019, I read 31 books (the review for #31 will be posted in the new year).

I raved about many of them and stated how interesting they were and how difficult it was to put them down; others were less so. But where do they compare with one another? You’re about to find out.

2019 books, let’s get you ranked.

2019 Books

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