Earlier today, I went to the gym because it’s only a 5-minute walk from my apartment. It was quite windy, and luckily I didn’t need an umbrella. It was a different story on the way home, though. The rain had picked up, so my umbrella and I fought against the high winds and pelting rain. As I saw my reflection in the window of my building’s front door, I thought, “Lost that fight.” And then, this song came into my head.
Stay safe, fellow East Coasters…
So Random House and Penguin have announced that they’re merging. As someone who was laid off TWICE (from two different jobs) from a book publisher in the throes of acquisitions and mergers, I feel sad. Not mad, exactly…I mean, if they need to merge in order to stay afloat, I’d rather have them merge than disappear. But, Christ, if these two are merging, what does that say about the future of publishing? They are two of the biggest publishers out there! Sigh.
In other news, I hope everyone in Sandy’s path stays safe…I do wonder if it’s all hype in my area, or if we really will get slammed. I have my candles and flashlight ready. Godspeed, everyone!
Through Boston Cares, I’ve been volunteering at the Prison Book Program for the past year or two. Because education and reading are so important to me, I find it very meaningful to do something to help a prisoner trying to educate him- or herself.
Yesterday was the Boston Book Festival, and I volunteered during most of the day. But I was able to make it to a panel about reading’s effect on prisoners. The panelists were two former prisoners, two co-founders of a program called Changing Lives Through Literature, and a person who runs a book group in a Concord prison. It was great to hear firsthand from the former prisoners about how books changed their lives for the better. They talked about how important the Prison Book Program is, as prison libraries are paltry at best. Prisoners often have books confiscated (they aren’t allowed to receive books from family and friends…books have to come through retailers). Also, many subjects such as African American history are deemed “subversive.” And instead of focusing on education and therapy in prisons, officials focus tend to put all the money into increasing security measures instead. As one prisoner said, prisoners are supposed to be “rehabilitated” in prison…but the last thing they need is to go back to the same life they led. They need to be “habilitated,” educated and helped with psychological issues, first.
The book group leader and organization co-founders talked about the changes they had seen in prisoners who engage in book discussions: how they become more of a community and how they become more confident and learn more about the world and themselves. The discussion left me feeling even happier to be involved with the Prison Book Program.
If you live in Boston and like books, you should attend the Boston Book Festival.
If you live in Boston and like vegetarian food, you should attend the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival.
November 6 is coming up…I am going to be a nervous wreck that day. The last presidential debate is on Monday; maybe I will force myself to watch part of it.
I found this presidential bingo game on Amnesty International’s site…a fun idea!
If you care about the environment like I do, you may find the Sierra Club voter guide helpful.
I’m also nervous about the MA Senate race. Warren’s leading a bit in the polls…but not by much.
If you care about the environment, women’s health and reproductive choice, and education, please vote on November 6! If you don’t…well, you can stay home…