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Books

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We thought we could save people’s lives with the manna to be found in books — and they only got better over time

A black history book display at a library.
A black history book display at a library.
Photo: Newsday LLC/Getty Images

I began my journey into activism alone, a freshman at Ohio State University, still part of the city in which I was raised but a world away from everything I had known. I don’t think I was on campus a month before attending my first proper Black student event. As the African drumming and dance was winding down, I noticed a table full of books manned by a tall Black man in a suit and bowtie. I knew next to nothing about Black Muslims or the Nation of Islam and so struck up a conversation with the seller. …


But the Biden administration isn’t taking the bait

Dr. Seuss books at a library.
Dr. Seuss books at a library.
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Last week, during a Biden administration press briefing, a Fox News political reporter tried to take White House press secretary Jen Psaki on a trip to Seussville.

Specifically, Kristin Fisher asked Psaki why President Biden had removed mention of the children’s book author in his Read Across America Day proclamation to the Department of Education.

That same day, in a statement tied to the late author’s birthday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises told the that it would cease publishing six Dr. Seuss books — including his first, — because of…


Just Rankin’ Sh!t

Pour a little out for the diggy-diggy-Doc, y’all

Photo illustration: Save As/Medium; Photo: Getty Images

4. “Karen Korvaller, the Manager-Kaller”

In this tale of a coffee run gone wrong, readers meet a disgruntled patron who just can’t leave well enough alone: “And she took a deep breath and she puffed out her bangs/and she yelled with a growl like a White Clubber Lang/pointing one pudgy finger that was covered in jewels/‘I SAID PUMPS OF BIRTHDAY CAKE SYRUP, YOU FOOLS!’”

3. “And to Think That I Saw It on OnlyFans Street”

After a middle school student borrows his father’s smartphone, he stumbles upon the adult subscription service — and promptly regales his friends at school with the saga of what he witnessed: “Well, Tammy Tarturken was dancin’ and twerkin’/A guy called…


Just a little recommended reading for a senator who may not be familiar with concepts like ‘empathy’ and ‘humanity’

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Dear Sen. Ted Cruz,

You don’t know me, so I hope this missive doesn’t strike you as overly forward. I assure you I am only here to offer my services. And after the week you’ve had, you could use the help.

Your state is reeling from every lesson that politics built on Manifest Destiny has to teach, and there you are, flying out of the country. To Cancun, no less, so it’s not like you could paint it as a mission of diplomacy. …


As a Mexican American poet, tapping into my interior meant breaking through a shell of expectations for men of color

Art by Lisa Max (Oakland School for the Arts student)

Stage One: Body

There’s something distinctly violent about piñatas. How they’re formed from discarded scraps into a beautiful fragility that we publicly destroy — a celebratory smashing at a young age. How they’re colorfully filled with sweets and goods to be grabbed by a hustle of hands once their insides are spilled. How, at parties, we act as both witnesses and participants in this act of playful breakage.

As a first-generation Mexican American, I grew up watching literal piñatas being bashed, and was often the kid most excited to do the actual bashing. …


Just Rankin’ Sh!t

Excerpts from ‘A Promised Land’ have put the former president in the hot seat — just imagine if he let these opinions fly in his bestseller

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

6. On entertainment

“I have endured silence for far too long. I’ve searched long and wide across the globe, through the annals of every nation with a film and television industry, but it’s impossible to find a sitcom that rivals season five of . The comedic genius of that particular season is far superior to anything in the show’s canon — or, indeed, in television comedy as a whole.” (p. 395)

5. On food

“As much as it pains me to admit, Chicago pizza is just fucking lasagna. To say otherwise is cap. Big cap.” (p. 22)

4. On war

“I always felt that in war you have to…


In an interview with , former president Barack Obama tells Jeffrey Goldberg about his presidency’s effect on some Americans. Obama’s presidential memoir, , is out today.

Read…


Thrift stores — and nights in my Corolla — led me to the power of books

Photo: bantersnaps/Unsplash

When I was 19, I threw a mug of hot coffee at a framed wall tapestry my dad purchased when he was in Italy. The cost in damages was a few thousand for the tapestry, a couple of bucks for the mug and brew, and my ability to continue living there.

The mug exploded, the glass of the frame shattered, and the near-boiling roast spewed out over the elegant threads depicting some fanciful 18th-century scene no one in the heavy air of that living room would ever care about. My dad, ever theatrical, called the cops. They came and cuffed…


The fierce backlash over the immigration-themed novel could spark change in the publishing industry. Or it may just happen all over again.

Photo: cmcderm1/Getty Images

Jeanine Cummins, author of the new novel , made some mistakes.

Some critics believe Cummins showed a lack of judgment in the first place by writing a fictional book from the point of view of Mexican immigrants. Though she says she did five years of research, Cummins’ main qualification seemed to be that she had a Puerto Rican grandmother. That’s like saying an author from Honduras is the best person to write about the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico because they happen to be from another Spanish-speaking country.

Whether you think a person not of Mexican descent…


As decades of his Black characters show, one tone-deaf tweet is the least of his problems

Stephen King. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/Getty Images

In light of the blindingly White slate of Academy Award nominations released this week, #OscarsSoWhite has made a bit of a comeback. I struggled with this hashtag the first time it came knocking in 2015, mostly because people wanted to expend a lot of energy in changing an industry that had expressed virtually no interest in achieving genuine diversity, let alone equity. In any event, world-famous author and Oscar voter Stephen King weighed in on the matter on Twitter.

And because Stephen King — one of the richest, bestselling media institutions in the world — has blithely waded into…

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