Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller
There is a whole new sub-genre of books that seem to be revealing themselves to me: beautifully written but very depressing content. Unsettled Ground is a story of family drama, poverty, trust, independence and was captivating from the word go. I was hopeful that many moments would be uplifting and hopeful but in fact, it was mostly all sad and unsettling. If you’re down with that, it’s worth a read!
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
File this one under nonfiction books that are beautifully written but with depressing content. Actually this thoroughly researched and well told story of how maddeningly awful that Osage nation was treated after they struck it rich through the discovery of oil on their land is depressing-with-purpose. This is a story that needed shared and there was no need (or way) to sugarcoat any of it. Fascinating, all of it.
Excavation by Wendy Ortiz
Last month I read My Dark Vanessa and shared that I was planning to read Excavation due to the accusation by Ortiz that Vanessa’s author had plagiarized and that the stories were extremely similar (despite Ortiz not having actually read My Dark Vanessa). I wasn’t too excited to delve back into the world of professors preying on their young teen students, but I wanted to read Excavation while Vanessa was still clear in my mind. This memoir certainly has a similar central focus but is really disjointed and the criminal act(s) in question seemed to affect Ortiz much differently than they did the fictional protagonist in My Dark Vanessa. While the comparison was interesting, the actual memoir wouldn’t be anything I would recommend to anyone.
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World by Eric Weiner
Enough of all of the depressing stuff! Where can we go to be happy? Luckily Eric Weiner travels the world to find out how other countries and other cultures achieve complete contentment. What an awesome travel memoir with a twist! The author is great fun as well (despite being a grump). You’ll laugh and learn and Google everywhere he goes.
July looks like it will be my month of brand new and buzzy bestsellers, including Kristen Hannah's newest which is receiving mixed reviews.
I've polished off eight books in the past month, thanks to a nice relaxing vacation to the Florida Keys! I love plane reading and I love beach reading! I also love reading while picking at my sunburn. But I'm happy to share that my skin now has some sort of pigment! Also I read a few great books! Here they are:
The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
I’ll be visiting Charleston, South Carolina in the coming weeks so I chose this as a “lowcountry” read. This dysfunctional family saga was simultaneously dark and hilarious and meaningful, which was quite the accomplishment. I’m still processing it, but I think I loved it. Plus, the setting certainly played a (beautiful) central role.
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
Although reading about a teacher’s inappropriate relationship with his student was incredibly unsettling (especially due to the age of my oldest daughter), I have to say it was an incredible look at what grooming actually looks like and how people lie to themselves. Now I have to read Excavation, as the author accuses Russell of plagiarism. I guess I’ll see for myself. (Here’s the article about the controversy.)
Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I’m going to read everything TJR writes, okay? I like it all. This was more of a novella and was initially a wee bit predictable and then delightfully veers a little. It’s a tiny shot of bittersweet romance but certainly thought-provoking.
People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry
First off, I’m tired of every book cover having a cartoon on it now. What’s up with that? I hate trends in book publishing. Books are and should be totally different from one another. They don’t all need cartoons on the cover or girl in the title.
Anyway! This started in such a brain-candy way that I thought I was going to have to abandon it, but I eventually settled into the groove and enjoyed this traveling romance… a lot! It’s cheesy romance, but it’s fun, and the main characters visit a different locale every chapter which was delightful. I finished it on the plane, which seemed appropriate.
The Bad Muslim Discount by Syed M. Masood
Another cartoon cover, which was stupid, because this is a heavy book.
I don’t know, this book wouldn’t be for everyone. It’s also both dark and funny, but it tries too hard and misses the mark more often than not for me. Overall, it’s a neat story weaving in the trials of being Muslim in America, but it could’ve been oh so much better.
Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant
I actually just read this book a few months ago when it was called All Things Reconsidered by Knox McCoy. Except that time it was funny and didn’t involve as much annoying pandering.
The Women of the Copper Country by Mary Doria Russell
I finished this book and was amazed to see that it was based on a true story, with true events and real people. I thought it was way too depressing to be real, but alas, it was a true account of a poor mining town. I’d suggest a skip on this one, unless you need to be really depressed for however long it takes you to read this book.
More Myself: A Journey by Alicia Keys
I’m not one to be “obsessed with” any particular musical artist. If I like someone’s music, cool, I won’t turn their song off the radio. I might go to a concert if they’re in the area. I might put one of their songs on my phone. But I’d definitely read a memoir!
I’ve liked Alicia Keys so much throughout the years – Fallin’ is still one of my favorite songs. Her memoir was good fun to read as she’s almost exactly my ages, so as I was sleeping between classes in college, she was signing huge contracts and transforming herself from Hell’s Kitchen tough tomboy into a music legend.
I was vibin’ with Alicia (as she would say) for most of the book, but I admit in the final few chapters she was starting to sound like the insta-self-help-guru-influencers of the “I’m living my truth” variety. It was an odd switch-up in the book, and I’d be interested to see if anyone else noticed the change, but it’s cool. I guess I'm not necessarily opposed to Alicia living her truth. But I was definitely glad I read this – I shouldn’t have let it sit on my TBR so long!
Hello, blog reader! I hope all is wonderful in your world!
All is well here, although Jeff and I realized two days ago that we will once again be cancelling our trip to Curacao. That's three times now.... we were sure that this time would be different, but alas, the pandemic looks different all over the world. Right now in Curacao, they're rebounding from a significant third wave in April and are being cautious to the point of not letting people drive their cars except on certain days of the week (!) - so after our initial grumblings, we re-routed to the Florida Keys. I'm going to soak up the sun and read all the books!
Despite a generally hectic lifestyle, it seems that I'm managing to read all the books here lately even while not on vacation. I'll keep me reviews short for you, but I'd *love* to hear about your recent reads!
Death with Interruptions by Jose Saramago
Although this fictional exploration of what it might be like if everyone in a country stopped dying has a fascinating premise, the run-on-sentence style of the book is exhausting. Then the second half just gets weird and all of the sudden this is a romance?
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
Veronica read this, because Vicky gifted to her, and I promised I would read it as well. I liked this YA strong-girls-band-together read more than I thought I would, but we both had lots of moments of, “Okay but that would never happen!” (Note: book way better than the movie, of course)
Share Your Stuff, I’ll Go First: 10 Questions to Take Your Friendships to the Next Level by Laura Tremaine
I don’t know even know why this was ever written. I grabbed it because I had seen it promoted and it sounded halfway interesting, but really it’s a memoir about someone not-super-interesting under the guise of self-help teaching us how to talk to our friends?
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
A classic that had been recommended to me, I found this to be super weird, oddly hilarious, and definitely a lot of fun. I probably missed half of it though, so I should read it again a time or two just to catch every fun detail of this oddball translated Russian novel about the devil and his cohorts paying a visit to Moscow (and the chaos that ensues).
The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
While the others I would maybe recommend to specific readers, this would be a novel I would recommend more universally to anyone looking for an incredible story. Kidd imagines Jesus’s wife and what she might’ve been like as a women seeking her own voice in that time, as well as what Jesus would have been like as a husband (and she handles it so beautifully, with a can’t-miss Author’s Note at the end.)
Up Next: I'm reading a really dull non-fiction that I've actually considered abandoning, but I guess I won't - I hate to do that unless I really have to! On my phone, though, I'm reading a really depressing book. So.... hopefully they both get better!
I hope everyone is doing well and is finding some great books to read along the way as we usher in warm weather and what was supposed to be the end of this stupid pandemic. I've had a few hits and misses.
Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour
At first I thought I was going to really love this novel about a black Starbucks manager turned start-up company salesman. From the brief descriptions I had read, I was envisioning something similar to The Pursuit of Happyness, which is just a brilliant book (AND movie!). It started out promising but somewhere along the way took a nosedive.
That’s all I’ll say about that on a “public” forum. I would not recommend this book.
Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of Life Interrupted by Suleika Jaouad
I love a good memoir, especially one written by someone I’ve never heard of who has gone through some stuff and wants to tell me all about it. I wouldn’t normally be like, “Oh, this tells of someone’s cancer journey – sounds great!” – but my goodness, this was an incredible story of a long cancer battle followed by an epic road trip and interwoven with so much good and real examples of relationship strain and strength. Best of all, it’s a memoir and not a novel, so it doesn’t end all nice and tidy and perfect, which hurts (in a good way).
Read this one!
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
This languished on my TBR list forever. I knew I had to read it, but I knew it was going to be heavy. Ultimately, I’m glad I read it, as much of it was beautiful/symbolic/important, but as with much WW2 historical fiction, it was pretty depressing. I’d recommend this if you’re into the WW2 stories or you’ve just got a thick skin for all of that SAD, but otherwise I’d say it’s not necessarily the must read that it was hyped to be.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
Someday I’d like to go back and read this all again, over the course of just a day or two. I read it over a couple of weeks, so I had a little trouble keeping some of the stories straight of the various characters trying to make a home in Milwaukee. The last section where Desmond talks about how he lived among these folks for months at a time to really get at the stories and the experience is not to be skipped! This was a fascinating and sobering look at the realities of all sorts of folks who are getting hit while they’re down and includes some suggestions for solutions in the last section. Clearly the author is committed to illustrating the issues with housing but also in giving us a very real glimpse into the lives affected by bad choices, poverty, greedy landlords, racism, and drug addiction.
When I worked at what is now Phoenix Community Development Services, I saw firsthand that housing is really a critical piece of overall wellness and success. Without stable housing, nothing else can really be stable. Evicted really drives that home (Ooof) and I recommend you read it and then maybe go throw some money at the problem here locally, or learn more about how to help.
I also have one more comment (question!). I caught a big chunk of Forrest Gump on TV recently, and I can't stop thinking about one scene. Now that I'm solidly into adulthood, I'm starting to ask "Why?" way more about....everything. So my question to you is - WHY did Jenny leave Forrest right after they had "relations"? Did she feel like she took advantage of him? Or was it something else? Theories, anyone?
Happy St. Patrick's Day reader friends! It mostly looks like any other day around here, but I hope at least one of you enjoys a green beer later today!
I've been on a pretty awesome reading streak here lately, and am excited to share a few good reads with you today. Let me know what you've been reading!
A Gambler’s Jury by Victor Methos
I like to pepper my reading with the occasional legal thriller, because isn’t our legal system just fascinating and horrifying? Methos really shines a light on all of that in A Gambler’s Jury which puts a black man with developmental disabilities at the center of a huge drug bust. It’s clear that there’s no way he is guilty, but nobody seems to care. As I played along with whodunit, I enjoyed some fun gender stereotype swapping and the general sassiness of the lady lawyer protagonist. But be aware you might have to work to suspend your disbelief now and then, because she says some (fun) stuff that literally nobody would ever say. Aside from that, this is a both a fun and yet eye-opening read about race, disability, family, and our court of law.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
I can’t say too much about this one due to Book Club having not yet happened, but I will say that I started this book thinking, “Yikes, I don’t want to read 400+ pages about some chick who isn’t remember by anyone and never dies.” But as it turned out, I wanted to read even more than 400 pages about it, because I was sorry to turn the last page. Luckily the story takes us beyond Addie just roaming the Earth for hundreds of years and leaves us with questions to ponder for the rest of our (numbered) days, or at least for the foreseeable future. Can’t wait to discuss!
Self Care by Leigh Stein
I *finally* got my hands on this parody of the self care movement, which I’ve wanted to read FOREVER, because it is a parody of the self care movement! (I’m all for what self care actually means, but the buzzwords and horsecrap around all of it just annoys me to no end.) Stein is getting some extra attention here lately because of the opinion piece she wrote for the New York Times a couple of weeks ago that spotlights how today’s influencers/instagrammers are taking the place of church and religion for so many women in our general demographic. She suggests that maybe that isn’t such a good thing (spoiler alert: ….because living your own best wild amazing life is great and important, but it’s also not just about you…)
So I certainly had fun reading this hilarious book but it’s really kind of an oddball piece of work with a sloppy ending. But I promise you will laugh out loud.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Initially I planned to boycott this book along with the 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. I mean, why was that mistake made in the publishing industry? Or was it a mistake? Are there focus groups that show that we like books with numbers and women named Evelyn? Do these same focus groups also suggest titles with “Girl” and with “The <Occupation’s> <Relationship>”????? Go fly a kite, focus groups!
But – I super like Taylor Jenkins Reid. Also, a beautiful practically new hardcover of this book was just hanging out in my library’s front room of free books. It looks great in my new book nook! So I read it!
One thing I really love about Reid is that of the three books I’ve now read by her, none of them are even remotely similar. Yet they’ve all been solid gold in my opinion. I loved this sweeping novel of this super selfish and amazing actress telling her life story to a journalist that she has chosen for some specific reason. First we want to know who Evelyn’s true love was and THEN we have to know why the heck she picked this particular journalist. So this is certainly a mystery and also a love story with all of the types of love you can imagine. I just finished it two days ago and I keep thinking back to it because it really was an incredible book, despite the focus group title.
Up Next: On my phone, I'm reading a book about evictions and poverty in Milwaukee (not upifting, but important) and in print I've got an awesome novel about a Starbucks-manager-turned-salesman at a wacky start-up. How about you?
Hi! As I look over my recently read book list, I can tell I've been making selections of reading material that will not drag me down. I'm glad I did that for myself - despite the light at the end of the tunnel with the pandemic, it's been a trying year (for everyone!). Here lately I've been absolutely climbing the walls!
I had been considering taking down my blog, but it turns out that I do still have readers! I appreciate you and look forward to talking books whenever and however we can!
I decided to go back to my normal way of blogging, because I want to say at least something about each book I read. I can do that – it’s my blog! Who cares!
Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of ‘80s and ‘90s Teen Fiction by Gabrielle Moss
This was so much fun!!! The author was so hilarious that I forgave her for getting political (in a book about Sweet Valley High and Babysitter’s Club for flip’s sake!!) – and this was super well researched and provided tons of food for thought. I would certainly recommend this to those in my age range who grew up with pink-covered brain candy and/or those who graduated to the darker Christopher Pikes and RS Stines. There are tons of pictures of covers – books I’d forgotten all about but that we definitely had in our house! My Lord, we had all of them!
This would be a great book to read after something really heavy.
Last Couple Standing by Matthew Norman
A modern-day problem to have: All of your married friends have divorced and now you and your spouse are left looking at each other wondering if you’re next and….how do we not be next? How do we salvage this? I guess by agreeing to sleep with other people? What could go wrong? Ground rules are made and broken and it’s all very hilarious and stupid and weirdly romantic. This is the kind of fluff that I like when I’m looking to read fluff- good characters, funny moments, meaningful takeaways.
The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win by Maria Konnikova
Simply put, this is of the family of books written by someone-normal-who-tries-something-crazy-for-a-set-amount-of-time-and-learns-about-life-in-the-process. I’m jealous of the authors who can get a book advance and a deadline and just go try whatever, but I agree that it usually makes for good reading. Usually the author pretends that their motivation is something other than a book advance, but I feel like Konnikova was pretty open about the situation here, which I liked. Anyway! This was a lovely book written by a psychologist who tries her hand at poker and does really well. If she sucked, would they have made the book? I mostly just want to learn how to play poker now. I think Jeff was surprised when I wanted to watch some televised poker the other day and then I’m not sure what his emotion might’ve been when I couldn’t shut up about the book while we watched.
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
I like Moyes because she writes strong characters, including likeable female *and* male characters. I struggle with books that are very obviously skewed in favor of female=good and male=bad. That isn’t real life! The Giver of Stars has a whole slew of fantastic folks and I’d love for you to meet them. It’ll mean a trip to 1930’s rural Kentucky, which stinks in a lot of ways, but you’ll get to ride your horse through the mountains and deliver books to people! ….and so much more. This is a beautiful book and if you’re looking for some historical fiction where nothing horrific happens – this is it!
What are you reading!?!?
I’m going to experiment with a new format to my blog – let me know if you like it! My theory is that readers might be a little more interested in a deeper dive of a book from the past couple of weeks that I really enjoyed, as opposed to a few sentences about each book I read. Many books I read are good (not great), a few are trash, and a few more are just terrific. I’ll try to focus on those terrific ones!
Skincare by Caroline Hirons
I’d heard some good stuff about Skincare, but knew nothing about it other than the author gives specific product recommendations and hates cleanser wipes. Well, I’m rapidly (SO rapidly) approaching 40 and LOVE skin care wipes, so I knew I’d better grab his book and grab it NOW. I love the idea of serums and moisturizers and creams and potions but I’ll be honest – not only couldn’t I remember the order of when to smear all of that stuff on my face, I rarely want to take the time to mess with it. When it’s bedtime, more often than not I climb the stairs and brush my teeth and pass out on the bed. Usually with my makeup on, sometimes I go full spa and rub a cleanser wipe on my face. Goodnight.
Would you believe that this book now has me going the whole nine yards with cleanser, toner, serum, retinol, and moisturizer and drinking loads of water? Listen, Hirons is British, she’s no-nonsense, she’s hilarious, and her skin is what dreams are made of. Plus, the whole process really only does take 5 minutes.
Additionally, I really appreciate her lists of suggested products for various ages and skin conditions. I now know why the Clean & Clear I had my teens using wasn’t working for anything, and exactly which brands are going to be on my Sephora wish list going forward. She also totally debunks the “clean” skincare industry, which was glorious reading for this cynical old fart who doesn’t care to dole out extra cash just because a company can *say* it is “clean.”
Therefore, Skincare is the book I’m going to be recommending to anyone looking for some guidance or just some inspiration for their skincare routine. Trigger warning, though – she does suggest avoiding alcohol. Sorry, I have my limits.
Whenever I feel like the world is in shambles (and right now, it is) - I just zoom in. I zoom in as close as I need to and remind myself that in my own little world, things are good (and right now, they are). Lately I've zoomed out no further than my house and my family, but appreciate some good reading for both fiction and non-fiction glimpses of the outside world.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Book Club is currently reading this, so I don't want to give too much away, but.... LOVED. Really good. I've been thinking about it a lot.
Shiner by Amy Jo Burns
I'd heard really good things about this one and I could certainly see why people would love this religious cult Appalachia mountain moonshine book and while all of the characters certainly had layers, it very much struck me as good (women) vs. evil (men) and frankly that story is getting old for me. On the other hand, the writing was incredibly and the author did spin an interesting story. I'd be interested to hear what others thought.
The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
This novel had a few bright spots, but ultimately I didn't love this story about a sister and brother and the crimes with which they were connected. I'd advise skipping it.
With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace by Nikki Haley
I hesitate to make note of this, because I don't want anyone - not even my six blog readers - to align me with any political party. My goal is to read memoirs of people who interest me, despite political affiliation. At any rate, I believe Nikki Haley will be someone to watch in the coming years and I enjoyed this account of her time in the UN. But her editor should've cut out some of her repetition - she was certainly trying to hammer home some points that made me feel a little like she was speaking from a podium.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Morena-Garcia
So much buzz about Mexican Gothic! Plus, I think this counts as a horror novel, which is not a genre I have spent much time in since my high schools years. This was pretty alright for what it was, but kind of gross and frankly I was ready to be done with it.
The Answer Is...Reflections on My Life by Alex Trebek
Oh, this was good! Very up to the moment and bittersweet for sure. Trebek had an interesting job but he wasn't a fascinating person, and yet this memoir is therefore a compilation of all that made him who he was - someone we felt comfortable inviting into our homes every night as we scooped up potatoes and grabbed the chicken legs while marveling at how much useless trivia our mom has in her head. This is a quick read and while the end didn't have me sobbing, I definitely would've been had I been PMS-ing at the time.
Next up - I'm reading some non-fiction about how to deal with my skin (because I'm almost 40 and I still go to bed with makeup on more often than not) and I'm about to dive into a big stack of awesome that I just picked up from the library that includes Seinfeld's new book.
I haven't dropped a book review here for over two months, so I have a lot of catching up to do. But it's okay - I'll make it quick! Working through 1000 Places to See Before You Die consumed much of my reading time, so the list isn't as long as it could be... (worth it!)
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Wow, this was a great book that has really stuck with me and deserves the hype it has gotten. It's about race and sisterhood and so much more.
Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King
Our book club picked this as a not-too-scary Halloween read. Dolores is a quirky and fascinating character who tells her disturbing and occasionally funny story without hardly taking a breath.
The Big Door Prize by M.O. Walsh
I loved this odd and maybe a little predictable tale about normal small town life interrupted by a random teller-of-destinies machine. The ending had me scratching my head a bit, but the characters were all a lot of fun.
W.C. Fields: His Follies and Fortunes by Robert Lewis Taylor
Another book club pick - a biography of a total oddball ornery comedian. Fell in line really well with my recent reading of Judd Apatow's interviews with various comedians - I love learning about how they all approach their craft (and kinda wish this biography had been a five page interview in Apatow's book, but- he was a little too dead for that to work.)
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
I'll read anything Backman wants to write, and wondered if maybe I'd be a little over his tendency to write like he was writing quotes for people to put on t-shirts and in greeting cards (and to type out with typewriter font for social media use <so much this>). Alas, instead I fell in love with his twisty fun cheesy bank robbery gone wrong tale.
Actress by Anne Enright
Even as I was reading it, I knew I would retain next to nothing about it. Lady has an eccentric and famous mom and then some other stuff happens and she tries to find out who her dad is and then a little more happens and that's the book.
1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz
I spent many weeks during our global pandemic working my way through this massive book that highlights all of the amazing spots on this planet. Then I wrote Jeff an e-mail outlining all of the various places I had noted that we NEED TO GO, so we're gonna be busy once we're allowed to leave our house again.
Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
I finished this book a few days ago and have been spending all of my time since then trying to decide if Matthew is pretty awesome and insightful or actually a frustrating and entitled narcissistic actor who decided his musings in his Lincoln commercials are so interesting that he should bless us all with a book full of them. Either way, I did really like it, although I read the whole stupid thing in his voice (in my head, not out loud...usually).
Up Next: Just started a majorly hyped book - so far, so good!
I believe this is called a "think piece."
NOW MORE THAN EVER... (Actually at this point I'm hearing people gripe about these pandemic catchphrases as much as I'm actually hearing the catchphrases. They're still annoying, but oh so applicable.)
... we need to look each other in the eye. But we can't anymore. Now relationships are crumbling because we're relying on social media and texting for the maintenance of these relationships.
In fundraising, we depend on the face-to-face visits for success with major gifts. Yes, it's harder to say "no" to my face. But importantly, beyond the ask visit - it's hard to build a relationship via e-mail, voicemails, and form letters.
Our personal lives are no different. Jeff and I did a lot of texting in our dating years and my God - I think we each read at least half of those text messages the wrong way. Luckily we were pretty good about clarifying misunderstandings in person, but even that gets tiresome.
Also, let's face it. The social media profiles of many of our friends are just - like, what on Earth is this? You've got the friend who piously announces that she like *never* gets political on Facebook BUT <x, y, and z opinion that will change nobody's mind> and within 45 minutes she has 5 fewer family members as friends, her niece has uninvited her to the wedding, and her coworker has screenshotted that mess to half of the sales team and all of Finance (they needed a laugh). You've got the friend(s) who actually always get political on Facebook and after the 5th stupid political meme of the day you're considering unfriending them even though you actually agree on most of the crap.
You also have friends who may or may not have actual opinions about things, but they spew articles at you left and right. Posting an article means nothing unless you have read it and have thoughtful commentary about it.
Plus you have the handful of people who are blissfully off of social media, but how do they even know what Haynes on Main has on special that day?
I'm the friend who actually sticks to the not getting political on Facebook, but I actually really do like discussing various issues face-to-face with friends and family members (with completely varying beliefs), even if it has the potential to get contentious, because I feel that we all have a lot to learn from one another. Right now is a wonderfully meaningful time in history to have these great discussions and figure out how we can be the change we wish to see in the world and yet - it's hard to do that right now.
So behind all of the screens, relationships are shattered. People can be vile when they're allowed to spew whatever without having to look into your eyes.
I'd hate to just complain without offering at least a partial solution. Remember what you can change, and what you can't. You can't really change how others think or behave, even if it's your uncle. You *can* show some grace wherever possible, choose not to reply to questionable posts (I've learned the hard way from this one), and remember that you don't have to say EVERYTHING you think. You can buy a blog site and say it there - I promise nobody will read it.
Send a real letter or call someone on the phone or talk to them through their window if you love them and want to learn more about why they think what they think.
That said, I hope that when everyone can safely get back together, we have at least some mending of relationships and a solid understanding how important face-to-face interaction really is.
(When you write a think piece, you're then allowed to eat potato chips and lay around and not have to think for the rest of the day, so that's my game plan.)
Mom of four, wife of one. By day I fund-raise with coffee, by night I read with wine and chocolate.