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Book Tour Canceled Due to Criticism

American Dirt, a novel that Oprah immediately claimed as part of her book club, is now causing an uproar. The author, Jeanine Cummins, is facing criticism for her stereotypical depictions of Mexicans. So, for Cummins’ safety, her publisher had to cancel the reminder of her book tour.

Image via Amazon


The novel is about a Mexican woman and her son, and how they flee to the U.S Boarder. Before the controversy the book was widely praised, even before its January 21 release. Then Mexican American writers began to criticize Cummins, who is of Irish and Puerto Rican descent, for the way she stereotyped the characters. According to her Publisher at Flatiron, Cummins spent the past five years writing this book and they’re saddened by the backlash, because Cummins had good intentions for this work of fiction. Now her book tour is cut, and even before it was cut, Cummins already did some promotional work, but a Saint Louis based Bank Books canceled an event, and others, including California stores canceled their events as well.  However, despite the backlash Cummins is facing, her novel is still doing quite well. It is number 8 on the Amazon best seller list.

Image result for jeanine cummins"
Image via NBC News


Even though her tour is canceled, Cummins still has one more interview left. She has a major interview with Oprah this month that will air on Apple TV in March. Her interview is the third one chosen by Oprah to air on the streaming service. Oprah picked the book last fall for her book club, before the criticism arose, and according to Oprah, she hears the Latinx community and understands their concerns, and by meeting with Cummins she can get a better understanding from both sides.

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Featured image via CBS Baltimore

The Queen of Media Oprah Winfrey Turns 66 Today


image via the atlantic

Talk show host, actress, philanthropist, author, and overall Queen of Media Oprah Winfrey celebrates her 66th birthday today.

Winfrey was born Jan. 29, 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi to Vernita Lee and Vernon Winfrey. Her parents separated soon after her birth and she was left in the care of her maternal grandmother, Hattie Mae Lee. Winfrey moved around frequently as a child, bouncing from the urban, poor life of her mother to the safety of her father’s home.



Oprah says that her life was saved by her father. Her father was quite disciplined and had a focus on education, which made Winfrey a star pupil. Winfrey went on to get a full ride to Tennessee State University and received two offers from CBS before accepting a role as co-anchor of the evening news on WTVF-TV. Winfrey’s role with CBS was groundbreaking because she was the first ever African-American female anchor in Nashville history.


Oprah with kindle.
image via pinterest

Her role as anchor wasn’t the only groundbreaking thing Oprah would achieve, as many readers already know. Her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which launched in 1986, won several Emmys for Best Talk Show, and Oprah herself was honored as Best Talk Show Host. She also launched her own production company, Harpo Inc., in the summer of 1986 so she could produce on topics that were important to her.



Besides her roles on the screen, Oprah has played a significant role in the literary world. Between writing almost 20 books, launching her book club and the Oprah stamp of approval, she has inspired many people to read.

Launched in 1996, the Oprah book club has meticulously selected books for her audience to read, many titles that she selected go on to be bestsellers. Some titles on her prestigious list include Becoming, The Invention of Wings and many other titles.


Oprah holding sun does shine book

image via youtube

For all that she has done, in all of her many fields, we here at Bookstr wish the Queen of Media a very happy 66th!

featured image via Biography

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9 Great Ways to Support Your Local Library

Don’t we all just adore public libraries? The old buildings, the selection, the smell of aging books. It’s a deeply comforting environment, and then when you leave, you can take books with you! They’re warm in the winter, they’re just about everywhere, and they’re full of possibilities. What can we do to give back a little?


Check Out Books

Image result for check out books
Image via Mother Nature Network

And really, how can you help yourself? I walk into the library thinking I’ll just take a look around, but I always leave with more books than I can carry. If it’s bad weather or you don’t feel like going outside, you can get ebooks and audiobooks online from many library systems. It lets the government know people use the libraries, which helps them get funding!


Go To Events

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Image via London Library

Libraries have all kinds of events. Reading days, movie nights, classes and workshops. Want to watch an old horror movie, or learn excel, or meet an author? Check your library’s calendar of events and go to anything that seems interesting. Plus, it’ll make you cool! See above for how it helps.


Ask Questions

Image result for library reference desk
Image via UCLA

Need a particular book or a book on a particular topic? You can also just ASK a librarian about upcoming events. Library use and attendance effect library funding, but so does engagement like asking questions. As long as it’s not too busy, ask for info or where a section or book is. Again, they take note of this to prove people use libraries.


Ask for Library Funding

Image result for library cards
Image via New York Public Library

I can’t find an example, but I swear sometimes, when you go into your library, there are forms and petitions you can sign or fill out and mail or give to the librarians, saying libraries are useful and important, to show they’re needed and necessary. Ask your librarian if you don’t see anything! You can also do stuff like this yourself, but you know, if you’re there.


Spread the Word

Image result for having fun isn't hard when you've got a library card
Image via Quote Fancy

So true story, I got (lightly) bullied in highschool for reading LIBRARY books in the hallway, like that something for OLD people, but I still rep the library whenever I can. I find it especially ridiculous when people want to buy ebooks they don’t even know if they’ll like! I mean, buy books, but support the library too! Tell your friends.


Start a Book Club

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Image via Houston Public Library

This is also something that get stereotyped as not for cool kids, but what’s cooler than sharing books you love with your friends and then all talking about it, and learning their favorites? It’s cool stuff, it’s a great way to get exposure to new books and new genres you may never read otherwise. Plus, you can all check out the books, and maybe even meet at the library!



Image result for shopkeeper

Image via Reading Public Library

It seems obvious, but libraries always need volunteers! If you’ve got anything like time, fill out an application to volunteer, or go in person and ask what you can do. Some libraries also need teachers to run internet and literacy classes, or even just to read aloud to kids. But there’s lots to be done! If you have actual real life skills, you can probably put them to use.


Buy Library Merch

Image result for public library merch
Image via Brooklyn Public Library

Book nerd, but make it fashion. Okay, this photo has shirts, but there’s lots of stuff you can get from library stores! Totes, magnets, whatever you can think of, and all library themed! I get into trouble in museum stores, but library stores? Please. You’re going to have to DRAG me away. Not every library has a store, but most systems have them, so look it up ahead of time.


Buy Books

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Image via Events Time

Libraries also sell books sometimes! These are either old library copies which have been replaced or rendered obsolete, or they’re books people have donated, most of which aren’t really suitable for adding to the catalog, for whatever reason. But you can buy them! And the money supports the library. You can also donate to these kinds of sales.



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Image via Phoenix Public Library

Obviously, if you can, just actually donating helps a great deal. You can become a contributing member with a regular donation, or just give once. If you’re going to do the latter, wait until someone’s matching (many companies and organizations do this) so that your donation is used to the absolute best effect, no matter what you can actually give.


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Featured image via Smithsonian Magazine

Oprah Announces Latest Pick for Book Club Re-debut

Oprah’s Book Club is back and better than ever! Oprah Winfrey took to CBS’ This Morning on Monday to announce that she’s chosen Ta-Nehisi Coates’ The Water Dancer for the comeback of her book club.



Coates won the National Book Award in 2015 for his moving, autobiographical reflection on race in America, Between the World and Me. The Water Dancer is Coates’ first novel, but it has already generated a lot of buzz from critics. Oprah even called it one of the best books she’s ever read!


Image via Amazon.com


Oprah’s Book Club first launched as a segment on Winfrey’s talk show in 1996, and it’s had a proven effect on book culture. The Winfrey stamp of approval has a history of massively boosting book sales. The segment came to an end in 2011 but was relaunched on Winfrey’s OWN TV network. Now, Winfrey is re-launching her book club through the Apple Books app in partnership with Apple TV. An interview between Winfrey and Coates discussing the author’s first novel is set to release on Apple TV on Nov. 1.



In a video announcement, Winfrey said, “Together with Apple we’re building a new book club for today’s world, for a more connected world, for the entire world.”



Coates described the pick by Winfrey as “a huge, huge honor for me,” adding that he’s humbled to be included among the other excellent authors Winfrey has picked for her book club.




Featured image via Literary Hub


10 Reading Resolutions for the New Year

Everybody has that one friend who powers through seventy books in a year. Maybe you’ve got more than one friend who does this, and you’re the friend who doesn’t. Or maybe you are the friend who reads seventy books a year, driven by the knowledge that you—even you, of all people—will never be able to read them all. Reading goals depend on the person setting them, and no goal is better than any other. Most people want to read more, regardless of how much more actually is. Here’s the thing—you can read more and have a better time doing it. So here’s a list of New Years’ resolutions that don’t involve going to the gym.

1. Snag a book from your favorite author’s Goodreads page


Maggie Stiefvater's "read" shelf on Goodreads


Let’s assume your favorite author likes to read—that’s probably part of how they became your favorite author. (If your favorite author doesn’t like to read, maybe pick a new one.) Many authors have presences on Goodreads, but some actually use the site themselves. If you love an author’s actual writing just as much as you love their stories, search their profile for their own reviews and ratings. Chances are, you’ll find a new favorite book.


2. Read a book with friends


A group of friends reads 'Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass' by Meg Medina

Image Via Exchange.org


This doesn’t mean ‘read a book at the same time as your friend.’ It means read it with them. Choose the right book (or the right friend) and discuss your opinions, feelings, and reactions with each other. (Note: it still counts as a discussion if the reaction is !!!!!) Set specific places to check in and discuss—after part II, around 100 pages, etc. If one of you pulls ahead, the other will have to catch up before the faster-reading friend gets lowkey pissed. Peer pressure: now offering you more than cheap liquor and ill-conceived high school relationships.


3. Borrow from a friend


A flowchart to determine whether or not you can borrow my book.

Image Via Epicreads.com


Here’s the logic: if you borrow it, you’ll have to give it back. When you give it back, your friend will ask if you liked it. And if you admit you didn’t actually read it, you’ll probably feel like an idiot.


4. Try a new genre


Three popular genre works, including super-famous 'Children of Blood and Bone'

Image Via Nerdmuch.com


“I hate all fantasy. It’s all about swords and elves and fighting. Sometimes,” you say, like someone who has read two fantasy novels, tops, “they change it up and kiss each other.” The elves kiss the swords? If you insist. The point is that, chances are, you dislike a particular genre because of a few unpleasant encounters. Maybe you dislike the ‘classics’ because you’ve never gotten over your whitewashed high school curriculum (not that you need to get over it). Maybe your brain will liquefy if you see another poster for a YA dystopian blockbuster. Just try again.


5. Join your local library


"Having fun isn't hard, when you've got a library card!"

Image Via Tumblr.com


The cartoon aardvark Arthur said it best: “having fun isn’t hard—when you’ve got a library card.” Many people are surprisingly hesitant to take life advice from an early 2000s cartoon. If the advice is that a teenager can and should catch a murderer via trap-door and pulley system (Scooby Doo), that’s fair enough. This one’s solid, though. Even better, it’s completely free.


6. Find a BookTuber whose opinions you trust

Logo for Booktube, a subsection of YouTube content which covers books and authors

Image Via Bookwork.com


Here’s some news: YouTube isn’t just a place for pre-teens to make asinine comments. (It’s also for Vine compilations.) You may not be aware that the site has a thriving literary community, with many avid readers recording reviews, reactions, unboxings, and more. The obvious downside is that YouTube can be a bit of a popularity contest, and the top BookTubers to come up when you search might just have the highest-quality cameras or the most colorful bookshelves. Try searching for a review of a book you adore to find people reading the same things as you (regardless of the hits on the video). If you agree with that review, maybe you’ll agree with the others.


7. Try a memoir that speaks to you


Some of the best memoirs of 2018, including 'Educated' by Tara Westover and 'Sick' by Porochista Khakpour

Image Via Time.com


Maybe you assume most memoirs are too dramatic to resemble your life. They’re only for famous people, you think, or geniuses, orphans, criminals—people who are important, or tragic, or so often both at once. That’s a big assumption to make when life is the most dramatic possible thing, and you’re important already because you’re alive. Whether you relate to a writers’ cultural background, sexuality, profession, or even sense of humor, it’s powerful to feel a connection to another person—a person who, this time, is far from fictional. Many audiobook versions of memoirs are actually read by the author, which makes the experience all the more personal.


8. Learn something new


A selection of 2018's bestselling reads

Image Via Time.com


The difference between a work of non-fiction and your high school textbook is that the former is meant to be as fascinating as possible—while the latter is usually thick enough to inflict blunt-force trauma. Maybe you encountered a new topic on YouTube and want more information than a twenty-minute video can provide. True crime? Scientology? The Roman Empire? The real difference between a work of non-fiction and your high school textbook is that, with non-fiction, you can learn exactly what you want.


9. Pick a destination


An open book with a globe coming out of it

Image Via Abaa.org

Chances are, you’ve always wanted to go somewhere. (No, ‘to the refrigerator’ doesn’t count.) The destination doesn’t need to be far to be a destination—it only has to excite you. Or maybe you have an upcoming trip to somewhere a little less thrilling. (Off for the holidays to see your estranged aunt in rural Kansas, anyone?) It’s always possible that the sun over the fields will feel more beautiful once you’ve seen it through someone else’s eyes.


10. Develop a routine


A book, a fire, and a cup of whiskey

Image Via Craftybartender.com


In the ideal world, reading is a little more like this: you’re curled up by a fire with a mug of your preferred warm beverage (cocoa with marshmallows, Hot Toddy heavy on the whiskey), possibly in a sprawling library filled with plants you haven’t managed to kill yet. But you’re not in the ideal world—you’re in this one. Since it’s unlikely that you’ll ever have a day of uninterrupted, peaceful reading, it’s better to carve out thirty minutes to read and drink a cup of tea before you head off to bed.


Featured Image Via Goodhousekeeping.com