Why Stories Matter: Harbor Me, by Jacqueline Woodson

Harbor Me is a timely intermediate novel about the importance of stories, of empathy, and of understanding. It’s about how the things that make us different can bind us together and make us all better–if only we’re willing to connect with each other. Six kids of varied backgrounds are put in a room together one … More Why Stories Matter: Harbor Me, by Jacqueline Woodson

Living and Dying the Native American Life in America: There There, by Tommy Orange

My favorite reading experiences either teach me about something I didn’t know much about or shine a light on parts of our culture I am unfamiliar with. Part of the urgency of reading Junot Díaz, for example, is that the stories he tells are usually left on the margins if they get told at all. … More Living and Dying the Native American Life in America: There There, by Tommy Orange

The Nine: Jeffrey Toobin on the Evolution of the Supreme Court

In the current political climate, The Nine isn’t a particularly pleasant read for more liberal audiences, but it is something of an essential one. On the day when Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, now is actually the perfect time to get to know the ways the court has evolved since Kennedy was appointed under Reagan … More The Nine: Jeffrey Toobin on the Evolution of the Supreme Court

When We Rise: Cleve Jones and His Life in the Gay Rights Movement

It may seem surprising that more than half of Cleve Jones’ memoir is taken up with his life before activism–before, that is, his work with Harvey Milk or creating the AIDs Memorial Quilt–but that is the whole point. Admittedly, it does feel as though the first part meanders as Jones moves around, travels, parties, hooks up, … More When We Rise: Cleve Jones and His Life in the Gay Rights Movement

Ranking Every Best Original Song Oscar Winner of the 1960s

If you ask AFI, the 1960s had some of the top movie songs of all time. I… don’t always agree. The high points are definitely up there, though. 10. “Talk to the Animals,” Doctor Dolittle (1967) Not only is the song silly in the extreme, but because of Rex Harrison’s limited vocal range, he speaks it … More Ranking Every Best Original Song Oscar Winner of the 1960s

Ranking Every Best Original Song Oscar Winner of the 1970s

The 80s and 90s were filled with Best Original Song winners that were both iconic and wildly popular, and while the 1970s had some songs that fit that bill most of them haven’t aged well. In fact, a large percentage of them are extremely saccharine. So take some insulin and let’s dive in. 10. “Evergreen,” A Star … More Ranking Every Best Original Song Oscar Winner of the 1970s

A Twist Too Far: Into the Black Nowhere, by Meg Gardiner

This is the second book I’ve read by Meg Gardiner and it’s the second book with a serious case of too-muchness. To be fair, Into the Black Nowhere is toned down compared to its predecessor, Unsub, which introduced us to the character of Caitlin Hendrix as she faced down a serial killer who enjoys antagonizing her family … More A Twist Too Far: Into the Black Nowhere, by Meg Gardiner