Let’s face it. The daily news stinks. It’s awful. I am the type of person who must stay informed, so I read it. I also try to balance it with other types of stories, the kind people call “soft” news.

If you’re feeling depressed about the news and want to ignore it for a little while and if you love books and writing, here are 5 of my favorite book-related stories from this week!

1. 12 Inspiring STEM Books for Girls

If you’re interested in combatting the fact that girls don’t think they are as smart as boys by the age of 6 (it’s true) AND they don’t go into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields as often compared to boys AND girls are often not encouraged to go into STEM fields, then here is a great list of books to encourage all the girls in your life to read as well!

It has books for girls of all ages. One of my favorites – Ada Twist, Scientist, from the writer who also wrote – Rosie Revere, Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect.

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2. Beyond the first 5 pages

Dave King talks about the importance of the first 5 pages of your book. In the article it analyzes favorite children’s/YA novel first pages, such as Twilight and Harry Potter, and gives tips for writers on how to make a compelling first 5 pages. It’s a very interesting read for anyone who is or wants to write a novel. Or anyone who is simply a writer.

A lot of wildly successful books have hooks that most of these reviews would reject out of hand.

3. I’m Homeless, And Reading And Writing Fiction Helps Me Make Sense Of Things

This week Bustle published a compelling piece by Lily Meade, a young woman who is jobless and homeless, and finds refuge and inspiration in reading and writing. Her story is the real inspiration.

I am so far gone from remembering that reality I feel as if I’m living two different storylines. One version of me is sprinting across a football field’s length of Walmart parking lot in my pajamas (in the rain at 2AM) just to use their restroom to pee, but it’s an entirely different person joking about Starbucks name misspellings on Twitter.

4. Texas Prisons Ban Books by Langston Hughes, But ‘Mein Kampf’ Stays

Alright, I know this was meant to be a blog about happy things and books to shine some light in the darkness of the world. But, this was just so ridiculous it’s worth a read. Apparently being a racist is fine, but you’re not allowed to dream in prison.

… reports that Sojourner Truth, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, and other black literary icons are all banned from their libraries… and yet, books like Mein Kampf and Lolita go uncontested.

5. Indie bookstores always have the best book recs. So we asked them what to read this summer.

It’s getting to be about that time for summer read recommendations. If you want to get a jump start on your summer read TBR, this is a great one from indie bookstores, which I agree have the best recommendations! They usually include books you haven’t seen in other places to help expand your reading horizons.

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