Making real the promises of democracy

Featured

Sixty years after the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the nation still needs to be reminded of what Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the fierce urgency of now.” My husband, the brilliant and thoughtful Alexis Romay, recently had the honor of translating Dr. King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech into Spanish. The book has a forward by National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, also translated by Alexis. 

Tonight, Monday, January 16 (at 7PM), on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Alexis will be reading and reflecting on the experience of translating this important work at Watchung Booksellers, in Montclair, NJ. The event will be in Spanish. You can register here. 

WORD OF MOUTH: Early Winter Edition

Featured

Novel: Take My Hand — Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Novel: The Work Wife — Alison B. Hart

History: Polio: An American Story — David M. Oshinsky

Middle Grade Novel: Merci Suarez Changes Gears— Meg Medina

Podcast: Ask a Librarian, With Julie Chavez: Translating Ways of Being, with Meg Medina and Alexis Romay.

Anthology: Home in Florida: Latinx Writers and the Literature of Uprootedness — Anjanette Delgado

TV: My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend — Rachel Bloom, Aline Brosh McKenna

Movie: Vengeance — B.J. Novak

Music: Tinta y Tiempo — Jorge Drexler

WORD OF MOUTH — FALL

Novel: DEATH UNDER THE PERSEIDS — Teresa Dovalpage

Non-fiction: THE SCIENTIST AND THE SPY: A TRUE STORY OF CHINA, THE FBI AND INDUSTRIAL ESPIONAGE — Mara Hvistendahl

Resource: Ask the Trace: Are Militias Legal? — Jennifer Mascia, THE TRACE

Essay: Elizabeth McCracken Traces the Life of a First Edition: Her Own — Elizabeth McCracken, LITHUB

Opinion: Oh how the powerful wail and whine — Robin Givhan, THE WASHINGTON POST

Opinion: Trump should fill Christians with rage. How come he doesn’t? — Michael Gerson, THE WASHINGTON POST

TV: PAPER GIRLS – Stephany Folsom

TV: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN – Will Graham, Abbi Jacobson

Podcast: Migrant relocations echo a dark past: Reverse Freedom Rides, CODE SWITCH

Podcast: Putin’s Nukes (with Julia Ioffe), STAY TUNED WITH PREET

BEST OF 2021

NON-FICTION: The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together — Heather McGhee

FICTION: Gold Diggers — Sanjena Sathian

FICTION: Impostor Syndrome — Kathy Wang

MEMOIR: Beautiful Country — Xian Julie Wang

ESSAYS: People Love Dead Jews — Dara Horn

DOCUMENTARY: A Thousand Cuts — Ramona S. Diaz

MOVIE: Plus One —Jeff Chan, Andrew Rhymer

MOVIE: Rocks — Sarah Gavron

MUSIC: An Evening with Silk Sonic — Bruno Mars, Anderson.Paak

TV: Taste the Nation — Padma Lakshmi

PODCAST: The Story of America’s Founding You Weren’t Taught in School: Jamelle Bouie interviews Woody Holton on The Ezra Klein Show

Late October Word of Mouth

 

Essays: The Book of Delights — Ross Gay

Fiction: The Farm — Tom Rob Smith

Middle-grade novel: Merci Suárez Changes Gears — Meg Medina

Podcast: Cautionary Tales — Tim Harford, “The Rogue Dressed as a Captain.”

Not-so-ancient wisdom:

The routines of journalists are based on assumptions of how candidates will behave and Trump violates all those assumptions. And so the routines break, and the practices break, and they don’t want to reinvent their routines, so they sort of keep on with the tools that they have, and they don’t apply to Donald Trump. And one of the best examples of that is the whole notion of a gaffe — a candidate lets something really damaging slip from his or her tongue, and it becomes a controversy and distracts from what the candidate is trying to accomplish. The entire presidency of Donald Trump is a gaffe. It’s a twenty times a day gaffe, and so to even use that term with Biden —which the campaign press did earlier in the year, talking about his gaffes— is kind of crazy there’s something lunatic about it. But it’s an example of clinging to your practices after the premises underneath them have fallen through.

Jay Rosen, from the podcast, On the Media, “Emergency Mode”

Late September Word of Mouth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song: Turntables [Emotion Picture] — Janelle Monáe

Documentary: All in: The Fight for Democracy — Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortes

Memoir: My Time Among the Whites — Jennine Capót Crucet

Mystery: Who Is Vera Kelly? — Rosalie Knecht

TV Series: Taste the Nation — Padma Lakshmi