Tag: zadie smith

New In Non-Fiction 2020

With the state of the world currently in turmoil, why not read something to keep you updated with current events? Or just something that keeps you more connected with the world. These nonfiction picks are filled with amazing stories that are written about true events and facts about the world. These new books are ones you are going to want to read right away.

 

1. Prison by Any Other Name by Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law

Image via Amazon

Prison by Any Other Name, is about criminal justice reform, and how there are other ways of imprisionment without putting people in jail due to the high incarceration rate. Extended probation, locked down drug treatment programs, electric monitoring, house arrest, and mandated psychiatric treatment. All of these are expensive ways of not imprisioning someone, and they are also ways of putting people who wouldn’t have to face jail time under control for their state. These are just steps to decrease the imprisonment rate, however with these tactics they are now turning homes and states into prisons instead.

 

2. Desert Notebooks by Ben Ehenreich

Image via Amazon

Desert Notebooks, is about the destruction of the environment. It discusses how unstable our sociopolitical instituations are, and how that has led us to where we are now. We are facing an existential crisis that is greater than anything humankind has ever faced. We must now look to historians for guidance and how ecologies of desert spaces can help us be better over time.

 

3. Riding with The Ghost by Justin Taylor

Image via Amazon

Riding with the Ghost, is about a young man named Justin Taylor, who’s life changed when he was thirty years old and he almost witnessed the suicide of his father. With the help of family, his father was able to be talked off the ledge, but Justin began to question himself as a son. Justin tells his story of what it was like to grow up as a middle child, his time as a little league coach, and as an unemployed father who had a time keeping his marriage together. He also discusses how he battled an illness and depression at the same time. We see Justin at different phases in his life, as he tries to understand his relationship with his himself and his religion.

 

4. Intimations by Zadie Smith

Image via Amazon

Intimations, is a collection of essays about being in lockdown. Zadie Smith has written deep and personal essays about being in quarantine, and considering there will be alot of books written about the year 2020, this is one of them you need to read.

 

5. Let Them Eat Tweets by Jacob S Hacker

Image via Amazon

Let Them Eat Tweets, is about the Republican party and how they cater to the rich and wealthy. However when they need to, they do things to benefit the working and middle class just to continue to maintain power within those classes. This book also discusses Trump and how he embodies the right wing way of thinking in the Republican party.

Featured Image via BeFunkyCollageMaker

NaNoWriMo Is Over… Now What?

With the month of November drawn to a close, so too does NaNoWriMo end. NaNoWriMo, for those who might not be familiar, is the month-long writing challenge that pushes writers to write 50,000 words in thirty days. For some, this is a good way to help crank out first drafts of projects. For others, the act of writing so much is exhausting and it will only end in burnout. This challenge is not made simpler by the fact that November is by no means an easy month. For students, this month means working on final papers for class or preparing for exams. For folks working in retail or any position that is holiday sensitive, this is an extremely stressful time of year as well. If you are both a student and an employee, it gets even more difficult. If you happen to be a parent, a student, an employee, and anything else, NaNoWriMo becomes a serious task and commitment to take on.

 

 

All the same, that doesn’t mean that NaNos can’t keep pushing onward and continue working on their projects.

 

So where do NaNos go from here?

 

Well, there are several directions that NaNos can take after November ends. NaNoWriMo was originally meant to help writers create first drafts for projects that they would like to pursue for the remainder of the year. For the writers who completed their drafts, the months following NaNoWriMo are meant typically intended for rewriting, revising, and reworking their current projects. The hardest part for some writers, after all, is getting words onto the page, and that is why NaNoWriMo encourages the idea of writing with abandon. So now that these writers have made it to 50,000 and completed their stories, now is the time to review and revise and decide where to go from there.

 

 

BUt what about the writers who didn’t finish their drafts?

 

Image via yale herald

 

Just because a NaNo didn’t complete her project doesn’t mean that she can’t opt to start a new draft or begin to edit what she already has. It isn’t uncommon for a draft to not be completed prior to a writer beginning another. It also isn’t uncommon to edit as one works on their story either. Writer Zadie Smith edits as she works on her stories, so it isn’t unheard of to take what one currently has and edit it as it is. For some NaNos, that might be exactly what they need to do. One of my dear friends started a project this past November, and she decided that she didn’t like the direction that the story was going. She knows that now, and she can now begin the process of reworking her draft when she feels ready. She can either edit what she has, or she can start anew. Regardless, she knows what things to avoid when she begins her new draft.

 

 

Regardless, this is a time to consider where your story is going and if any changes need to take place

 

Image via hbs digital initiative – harvard business school

 

The end of November is the prime time to review what one has written and consider the direction that one would like to take from there. Do you like where your story went? Or would you rather the plot go another way? Maybe you found out that a character that you thought would be extremely insignificant would make an amazing protagonist and a new point of view to follow. Based on that, you can choose to restructure your story in a way that appeals to you more than it may have originally. Perhaps these decisions will lend a new level of complexity to your narrative, and in doing so, it will help you craft a story that is more well-rounded. This is the ideal time to sit back and ruminate on your story and make a plan of action (if you are a planner when it comes to writing).

 

 

Remember: it is okay to set a story aside

 

image via youworkforthem

 

NaNoWriMo is really good for writers (like me) who have a hard time finishing the projects that they start. We have a clear goal in mind and a month-long window set to complete it. However, I will be the person to say that you, as a writer, will probably not finish every story you start. And that is okay. You might get halfway through your idea and realize that it has no foreseeable end. You might realize that this project doesn’t make you happy. You might have another more promising idea grab you by the wrists.

That’s okay.

Just because you opt to not complete a project doesn’t mean that you have failed. In her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, writer Elizabeth Gilbert tells her readers that there are going to be stories and projects that they start that will never be finished, and that is okay. 

Does this mean that you, as a writer, should abandon every project you start? Absolutely not. This also doesn’t mean that you can’t take these early ideas and incorporate them into another story later on. What it does mean is that you have permission to put an idea on hold or, again, recognize when a story isn’t going anywhere.

 

 

The most important thing is to keep writing

 

image via Scripps college

 

Your work is important. Your ideas are important. You may have no plans of ever sharing either with another soul. You might want to get it published. What matters is that you keep writing. The NaNoWriMo website isn’t only available during November, after all: you can create a new goal and use the same interface to work towards it in the coming months. Ultimately, you should take what you learned from this last month and make something of it. That doesn’t mean take the same project that you had for this year and run with it, especially if you realized that you didn’t enjoy working on it, but it does mean sit back and consider what you liked about the process and what you disliked. What would you change? What worked best for you? Now that you have a better feel of things: keep writing.

And don’t forget: Camp NaNo takes place twice a year (during the months of April and July). So if your November was hectic, maybe Camp NaNo will be a better alternative? After all, you get to choose your writing goal during these months, so you aren’t beholden to the 50,000 words that NaNoWriMo challenges you to reach.

It doesn’t matter if you another month or if you another five years to complete a project: keep writing.

 

Featured Image Via the Irish Times

 


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5 Quotes To Help You Kick Your NaNoWriMo Slump

With the month winding down and NaNoWriMo writers working to reach their respective 50,000 word goals, it should come as no surprise that many of these NaNo participants are experiencing a writer’s slump. Some of these individuals might be dealing with deadlines that relate to school, or perhaps work is taking its toll as the holidays fast approach. Or maybe it’s just good old fashioned writer’s block — the scourge of all writers.

Regardless, this is the time of the month where NaNo writers are confronted by their exhaustion, and they have to make the choice to keep working towards their goals or to call it good for the year. To keep you going, here are five quotes from writers to encourage you to keep working on your NaNo project.

1. “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison

Image via Film at Lincoln center

Toni Morrison, author of Beloved and The Bluest Eye, is a Nobel Prize recipient and the writer of more than ten books.

 

2. “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” – Sir Terry Pratchett

Image via Britannica.com

While alive, Terry Pratchett wrote over 40 books. His impressive bibliography includes titles like Good Omens (co-written with Neil Gaiman) and the Discworld series.

 

3. “Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.” – Annie dillard

image via the Nation

Annie Dillard is a Pulitzer Prize winner and the writer of books like The Writing Life and Living By Fiction. She has dabbled in multiple literary styles– everything from poetry to prose, and from fiction to nonfiction.

 

4. “It’s such a confidence trick, writing a novel. The main person you have to trick into confidence is yourself.” – Zadie Smith

image via Brain Pickings

Zadie Smith has been listed on Granta’s 20 Best Young British Novelists on two separate occasions. She is a recipient of the Orange Prize for Fiction award and a member of the Royal Society of Literature. She wrote the novels White Teeth and On Beauty.

 

5. “Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

image via Nbc News

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been rewarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Hurston/Wright Legacy award, and the Orange Prize. She wrote the novels Americanah and Half of A Yellow Sun

Featured Image Via Pinterest

 

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8 of Michelle Obama’s Must-Reads

Book lovers and Obama supporters alike wait with anticipation every year to hear Barrack Obama’s book picks for that summer. Fortunately, you now have another round of books to choose from thanks to Michelle who has a few book recommendations of her own. Despite your ever-growing to-be-read pile, when Michelle Obama tells you to read a certain book, you listen!

Following the release of her own memoir, Becoming, Michelle reveals eight more must-reads in her “By the Book” interview, published on December 6, 2018 in the New York Times. Other titles come from an interview with Jenna Bush Hager and a memorial posted on Instagram for what would have been a Holocaust victim’s ninetieth birthday.

 

 

8-Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Song of Solomon

Image Via Image via The Stanford Daily

 

Part of the reason why Morrison received the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature, Song of Solomon follows the life of Michigan native, Macon through his life as he searches for a sense of identity.

 

7-The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

Image Via Image via Penguin Books Australia

 

Before the major motion picture, Rachel was just a girl who liked to ride the train everyday to London and back. It’s definitely not because the train passes her ex-husband’s house or the because she can see the perfect couple she envies so who live a few houses down. Definitely not.

 

 

6-White Teeth by Zadie Smith

White Teeth

Image Via Image via Book Riot

 

Smith’s London-centric novel follows two friends, one Bangladeshi and one Englishman, as they navigate family, friendship and life in the city.

 

5-Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

Image via Apple Books

 

The archetype for unreliable narrators, Gone Girl will have you guessing until the very last page. Follow Nick and her husband Amy who disappears, but why…and how…and where?

 

4-An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

An American Marriage

Image Via Image via Oneworld Publications

 

Jones’ novel follows newlyweds who separate after a daunting rape trial. When they reunite later in life, things somehow get even more complicated.

 

 

3-Educated by Tara Westover

Educated

Image via Booktopia

 

Westover’s biographical memoir tells the story of how she fell in love with learning after growing up with little to none of it at all.

 

2-The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank

Image Via Image via Book Depository

 

Frank’s diary which she kept as a young girl before her family was sent to concentration camps during the Holocaust relay the horrors of the terrible tragedy.

 

1-Commonwealth by Anne Patchett

Commonwealth

Image Via Inprint

 

Patchett’s bestseller tells the story of a family whose dynamic gets turned upside down at a family christening and what happens when that child grows up and decides to share that story.

 

 

Featured Image via AARP

8 of Michelle Obama's Must-Reads

Book lovers and Obama supporters alike wait with anticipation every year to hear Barrack Obama’s book picks for that summer. Fortunately, you now have another round of books to choose from thanks to Michelle who has a few book recommendations of her own. Despite your ever-growing to-be-read pile, when Michelle Obama tells you to read a certain book, you listen!
Following the release of her own memoir, Becoming, Michelle reveals eight more must-reads in her “By the Book” interview, published on December 6, 2018 in the New York Times. Other titles come from an interview with Jenna Bush Hager and a memorial posted on Instagram for what would have been a Holocaust victim’s ninetieth birthday.
 

 

8-Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Song of Solomon

Image Via Image via The Stanford Daily

 
Part of the reason why Morrison received the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature, Song of Solomon follows the life of Michigan native, Macon through his life as he searches for a sense of identity.
 

7-The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

Image Via Image via Penguin Books Australia

 
Before the major motion picture, Rachel was just a girl who liked to ride the train everyday to London and back. It’s definitely not because the train passes her ex-husband’s house or the because she can see the perfect couple she envies so who live a few houses down. Definitely not.
 

 

6-White Teeth by Zadie Smith

White Teeth

Image Via Image via Book Riot

 
Smith’s London-centric novel follows two friends, one Bangladeshi and one Englishman, as they navigate family, friendship and life in the city.
 

5-Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

Image via Apple Books

 
The archetype for unreliable narrators, Gone Girl will have you guessing until the very last page. Follow Nick and her husband Amy who disappears, but why…and how…and where?
 

4-An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

An American Marriage

Image Via Image via Oneworld Publications

 
Jones’ novel follows newlyweds who separate after a daunting rape trial. When they reunite later in life, things somehow get even more complicated.
 

 

3-Educated by Tara Westover

Educated

Image via Booktopia

 
Westover’s biographical memoir tells the story of how she fell in love with learning after growing up with little to none of it at all.
 

2-The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank

Image Via Image via Book Depository

 
Frank’s diary which she kept as a young girl before her family was sent to concentration camps during the Holocaust relay the horrors of the terrible tragedy.
 

1-Commonwealth by Anne Patchett

Commonwealth

Image Via Inprint

 
Patchett’s bestseller tells the story of a family whose dynamic gets turned upside down at a family christening and what happens when that child grows up and decides to share that story.
 

 
Featured Image via AARP