Story Tags

Cult Artists Book Cover Image

Finding a Flow State

Books to Absorb You

We've likely all looked for it: a way to simultaneously escape ourselves while being as close to our bones as we can be. The whole idea of a "flow state" is predicated on this idea - losing ourselves in a purposeful way. Thoughtful or creative work is the cleanest path to this state, but exposing ourselves to someone else's art also prompts the reader's imagination and cues readers to find what it says about who they are. 

bird box book cover image

What Happens After the End of the World?

With everything going on lately, I’ve been swallowed by a thousand emotions and thoughts per hour and my mind’s been haphazardly ping-ponging between the doors holding each one in place. To be fair, in order to comply with D.C.’s Stay At Home Orders, my body only ping-pongs around my apartment so at least one part of me stays steady.

Black History of the White House Book Cover

DC Emancipation Day, Census 2020, and Voting

Read and participate

With DC Emancipation Day on April 16, it seems prudent to be thinking about D.C.’s place in this country and the history it has seen, as well as all the people who have shaped it into the city it is today -- and what steps can be taken even now from home to contribute to its future.

One day book cover

Second Chance Romances

Another chance to consider love comes at almost the beginning of every year, after New Year's resolutions are set and as the days are stretching into something brighter as they pass. Valentine's Day is as good a reason as any to watch something romantic and full of possibility and questions. Some romances feel like an answer but some embrace uncertainty and give us the secondhand experience of happenstance and second chances.

Gingerbread Cover Art

Fairy Tale Winter

Each season of the year has its own unique qualities. But, it's winter, more than any other season, that feels filled with magic. Maybe it's the quietude, the way an uncommon hush from a snowfall can feel like awe; or maybe just the way we still when  spending more time indoors, more time at home. Magic creeps into my reading taste this time of year, but I like to read things that feel fresh, too, in a way. Below are some books that aren't fully fantasy, but that have it creeping at the edges, like ivy on a wintry house.

bluets book

Autumn Books and Songs

While summer is a time that feels actionable and light, winter feels like a time for hunkering down. The opposite sensibilities of summer and winter leave autumn, which officially started Sept. 23 this year, to be the in-between time.  As summer's curtain lifts for fall, it sets the scene for settling. And, in correlation, the romanticism of summer tapering to a slower pulse feels like longing.

me talk pretty one day book cover

Feelings, Feelings, Feelings

The important thing to remember about feelings is that despite the manifestations they find in the world, and/or the actions taken to express them, they only truly exist in your head. There are a lot of methods for managing the way these feelings impact your life, and finding someone to talk to is invaluable. But another way to move forward is to look at things through another lens.

specimen days book image

Walt Whitman and Fiction about the Mystery of Being Alive

Walt Whitman left an enormous impact on American culture. His impact is well documented in both his own words and by people who have come afterward and found resonance with his work.

anna karenina

Romance with a Compelling Setting

One of the most essential principles of books that delve into the different ways we love people is that the book needs to be felt. Part of what makes that happen are the characters themselves: how realistically they are portrayed and how well the author is able to make them feel human, or how much of an affinity they have to our own sensibilities (or to what we can imagine as readers). These affinities ground themselves in the characters, but also in the settings of the books.

The Carrying by Ada Limon

Year End Reads

As the official winter season gets closer, the weather slows things down and instills a heaviness that really makes us feel ourselves in our bodies. When we are not as frenetic, books are a great companion to the new (but cyclical) rhythm. It’s a vista from which to take stock, particularly with a new year on the horizon line. The books below offer characters or writers who are speaking to a centeredness, steadiness, or timeliness.

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