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Field Trip Friday: December 5 2014


"But to keep winning, to keep our soul and sanity in this terror-filled coliseum, at some point we have to say fuck it. We have to say fuck them. And most importantly, we must say to people and communities that love us, "I love you. Will you please love me? I'm listening." Kiese Laymon's piece, "My Vassar College Faculty Makes Everything OK," is one thing you should read this week. There are many more below.


- "The books we’ve read are always better than the books we haven’t read, and we haven’t read most of the books." Ron Charles looks at the complex value of "Best Books" lists in the wake of one excluded author's rant.

- Self-promotion is about as fun as bathing in hot wax, says Christa Desir.

- Two great posts from Tessa Graton: Is it hard to have friends who are more successful than you? and "All my books are about politics. If you write about people engaging with their world, so are yours."

- "Very few male novelists get asked: ‘You’ve put some really strong males in your book, why is that?’" says Waterstones Book of the Year winner Jessie Burton.

- Erin Murphy shares a dozen things debut authors have taught her, and Alison Cherry shares 8 (more) things she's learned since getting published (my favorite is number 5).

- Poet and playwright Claudia Rankine discusses her efforts to process micro- and macroaggressions through poetry.

- "I’m hoping that reading my book will encourage teens to take risks and write about things that matter to them, and, in doing so, realize that they matter. That they deserve to be heard." Christine Hepperman on writing poetry for teens.


- Stacked wraps up a week of contemporary YA celebration with a huge list of 2015's upcoming contemporary titles.

- Bustle rounds up 13 female YA authors who killed it in 2014.

- "Kids don't need a book called Don't Call Me Fat," says Anne Ursu. "Maybe they just need someone to tell them they're okay the way they are."

- Girl Online reportedly outsells J.K. Rowling. Related, JKR will publish a new book based on her Harvard commencement speech.

- The Obamas bought 17 books last weekend, including Jacqueline Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming.

- An art student hand-illuminated The Silmarillion.

- Our girl Veronica Roth is partnering with First Book for the #AbnegationDonation.

- Congrats to the indomitable Ellen Oh, one of PW's "Notable Publishing People of 2014"!

- Author P. D. James died at the age of 94.

- "Best Of" lists:


- Barnes and Noble will buy out Microsoft's share of the Nook.

- Abdo Publishing changes a book's title after a 7-yr-old girl complains about its "for boys" branding.

- Editor Jordan Hamessley London describes the different kinds of pre-sale phone calls she makes to authors.


- Want to be a character in Highwayer Kristin Halbrook's next New Adult novel? Enter the Surfacing sweepstakes!


This week, y'all. FFS.

- #ICantBreathe

- #CrimingWhileWhite and #LivingWhileBlack

- Days after the police shooting of 12-yr-old Tamir Rice, an 18-month-long DOJ investigation reveals Cleveland police have engaged in a pattern of “unreasonable and unnecessary use of force,

- Peniel E. Joseph  says NFL player Benjamin Watson's viral post about Ferguson misses the true issues at the heart of the crisis.

- "A long time ago, he had a stroke and forgot many things, like:
The names of objects.
Verdant swaths of his youth.
How to read.

But he remembers this."

That Time My Dad Was Arrested For No Reason, by Sabaa Tahir

- "But the thing is, we treat racism in this country like it’s a style that America went through. Like flared legs and lava lamps. Oh, that crazy thing we did. We were hanging black people. We treat it like a fad instead of a disease that eradicates millions of people. You’ve got to get it at a lab, and study it, and see its origins, and see what it’s immune to and what breaks it down." Chris Rock in a killer interview at Vulture -- and also read his essay at THR about Hollywood's race problem.

- STL Rams players: "Hands up don't shoot."
STL PD: "That was mean. Apologize."
NFL: "Sorry not sorry."
STL PD: "Ha, they said sorry."
NFL: "Um, no we didn't."
Black STL PD: "And actually we completely support them, so..."

- A 15-yr-old Muslim boy in Kansas City was killed in an intentional hit and run.

- 22-yr-old Tugce Albayrak was beaten to death after stopping a group of men harassing two women.

Rolling Stone is now retracting their report about rape culture at UVA, a fact that makes Roxane Gay's "Our Stories" even more gutting, which I would have said was an impossible task.

A GOP staffer resigned after making shitty comments about Malia and Sasha Obama.

- "Police Commander Steve Stocker strongly denied accusations that the department did not do enough, though he acknowledged that no search party was put together for Upham." The family of Native actress Misty Upham believes racial tensions between local police and the Muckleshoot Reservation contributed to her death.

- Meanwhile police are calling a plan by Illinois teens to take stolen firearms to Ferguson "just big talk," and a Utah teen who planned to shoot a former girlfriend and open fire on the rest of the school was taken into custody without incident.

Less soul crushing stuff (though some of it is annoying):

- DazedDigital reports that Flickr is going to sell prints of images with Creative Commons licenses, and you won't see a penny of the profits.

Twitter is making it easier to report abuse.

- "We need to address the fact that many young people feel like they need to get drunk in order to be sexual and sexually active," says Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright.

- Stephanie Roche is the first woman shortlisted for FIFA's Puskas award.


This guy used his Olive Garden "all you can eat pass" to feed homeless people.

Just an owl taking a swim.

This is better with sound.

Take care of yourself, friends. Breathe fire. Spread love. Do what you have to. I don't even know. You have my axe. And my bow. And my hugs. <3

Kate Hart

Kate is the author of After the Fall, coming January 24, 2017 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. A former teacher and grant writer, she now owns a treehouse-building business in the Ozarks and hosts the Badass Ladies You Should Know interview series.

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  1. Breathe fire, spread love is officially my new mantra. That is a beautiful phrase right there.


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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday: December 5 2014 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart