Quote for the Day: February 16th, 2022

Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.

Maya Angelou

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Quote for the Day: January 19th, 2022

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (20th Anniversary Edition with a New Letter from Charlie) by Stephen Chbosky

We accept the love we think we deserve.

Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower (20th Anniversary Edition with a New Letter from Charlie)

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Picture Book Review: Unicorn Day by Diana Murray (Words) and Luke Flowers (Pictures)

Unicorn Day by Diana Murray (Words) and Luke Flowers (Pictures)

Review

Note: I did not receive any compensation from either the publisher or the author(s) to read and review the book discussed below. As of the time of the writing of this review, I do not belong to any affiliate programs which compensate me for sales arising from links included on this page or on any page created and maintained by The Voracious Bibliophile. Links are provided as a courtesy to the author(s) to help them continue producing their works. I am not responsible for the content and/or claims contained on sites linked away from The Voracious Bibliophile and the inclusion of such links do not imply endorsement on my part.

Bright and rambunctious with clever wordplay to encourage kids and their adults to sing along, with Unicorn Day you can’t go wrong!

This book has some of the best illustrations I’ve ever seen in a picture book. Bright and rambunctious with clever wordplay to encourage kids and their adults to sing along, with Unicorn Day you can’t go wrong! You see what I mean? It’s infectious. Another thing I loved about this book is the way it encourages tolerance and acceptance of those who are different.

During the celebrations, a horse masquerading as a unicorn is discovered when their horn falls off, and the horse starts to leave in shame. It really tugs at your heartstrings, especially if you’ve ever been ostracized yourself. The unicorns, not wanting to lose a friend, help their new friend reattach their horn and the celebration continues, adding non-hooved friends along the way to celebrate everyone’s individuality and uniqueness. Unicorn Day is for everyone!

Would it be too much for me to sing along with the unicorns, proclaiming proudly, “I’m on the right track, baby, I was horn this way.”

Also, it did not escape my notice that one of the unicorns featured on the book’s cover has a rainbow horn that looks not-too-subtly like a Pride flag. Would it be too much for me to sing along with the unicorns, proclaiming proudly, “I’m on the right track, baby, I was horn this way.” You see what I did there?

Unicorn Day was published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in June 2019 and is available to purchase wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Quote for the Day: November 6th, 2021

You don’t have to move mountains. Simply fall in love with life. Be a tornado of happiness, gratitude and acceptance. You will change the world just by being a warm, kind hearted human being.

Anita Krizzan

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Quote for the Day: September 5th, 2021

What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey

In this moment, you’re still breathing. In this moment, you’ve survived. In this moment, you’re finding a way to step onto higher ground.

I’ve read What I Know For Sure twice and I keep coming back to this quote. It’s easy to become bogged down by the accretion of worries and problems that we never really seem to have time to process before we have to tackle the next challenge. Remembering this quote helps me to get through by living moment to moment—by living mindfully. I can take stock in each moment when I feel overwhelmed and know that as of right now, I have everything I need. Right now, I am still breathing. Right now, my family is safe, healthy, and provided for. Right now, I am capable of doing what I have to do. Right now. Right now. Right now.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter and Instagram @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Book Review: How to Be You by Jeffrey Marsh

How to Be You: Stop Trying to Be Someone Else and Start Living Your Life by Jeffrey Marsh

I have followed Jeffrey Marsh on Twitter for years. Before I found a therapist, before I got on medication for my anxiety and depression, their videos helped me to be able to take a breath and center myself so I could get through the day. I’m sure I’m not the only person whose life has been impacted by them in this way, but I will forever be grateful for their calm voice affirming my place in the world over and over again until I started to believe it for myself.

How to Be You is the self-love manifesto that everyone in the world needs to read, but it is especially essential for those of us in the LGBTQ+ community. We live in a world that is often hostile to us, a world that bullies, beats, threatens, harasses, disenfranchises, and belittles us to the point of fracture, to the point where our very existence is seen as a threat to the standing order. Jeffrey’s assertion throughout their book is that it is our choice whether or not we are going to capitulate to the people who would make us smaller. We can be expansive or we can shrink. We can grow and learn and change and accept ourselves in all of our glorious complexity or we can draw lines of demarcation around ourselves and always exist as less than our true selves.

We can be expansive or we can shrink. We can grow and learn and change and accept ourselves in all of our glorious complexity or we can draw lines of demarcation around ourselves and always exist as less than our true selves.

I’m not going to lie, a lot of the self-help material circulating in the world today is worthless pablum at best and an avaricious money-grabbing scheme at worst, but Jeffrey Marsh is the real deal. Their work comes from a deep place of understanding what it feels like to be marginalized and maligned for being queer, and I am so grateful for their existence. I am grateful for this book’s existence. Thank you, Jeffrey. A thousand times, thank you.

Favorite Quotes from How to Be You

Confidence comes naturally if trust is present.

Aren’t you lucky that you get this life, this chance, to learn to set aside the yuck and muck of other people’s sometimes nasty words and do your best to live your life as fully as you know how?

Even if it seems like the whole world is against you, you’ve got to trust yourself. Even if no one else will honor you, you must honor what your truth is in any given moment.

Beginning to see yourself as worthy and trustworthy is the start of something beautiful. Why? Because you can finally let go. You don’t need to spend all your time trying not to be too much. You can relax. You can feel safe. You deserve that. Everyone deserves that.

Trusting yourself is the way to claim the life you’ve always been waiting for.

Trust your own self-examination more than you automatically believe someone else’s pronouncement.

Worry and hate are habits, and so are love and forgiveness.

Whatever your imagined crimes were in the past, they are not worth ruining your today for. You deserve to feel free. You deserve to be let off the hook.

The above quotes are © 2016 Jeffrey Marsh. All rights reserved.

Bonus: Jeffrey Marsh’s TedTalk

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter and Instagram @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Poem for the Day: August 28th, 2021

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

You do not have to be good. 
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile, the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Poem for the Day: August 27th, 2021

Prayer by Ellen Bass

I want to stop wanting to be wanted like that.

Once I wore a dress liquid as vodka. 
My lover watched me ascend
from the subway
like I was an underground spring
breaking through.
I want to stop wanting to be wanted like that.
I’m tired of the song the rain sings in June,
the chorus of hope, the ravenous green,
the earth, her ornate crown of trees
spiking up from her loamy head.
There are things I wanted, like everyone.
But to this angel of wishes I’ve worshiped
so long, I ask now to admit
the world as it is.

Quote for the Day: July 20th, 2021

I don’t want the people who love me to avoid the reality of my body. I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable with its size and shape, to tacitly endorse the idea that fat is shameful, to pretend that I’m something I’m not out of deference to a system that hates me. I don’t want to be gentled like I’m something wild and alarming. If I’m gonna be wild and alarming, I’ll do it on my terms.

Reading Lindy West’s Shrill made me reckon with the decades of internalized fatphobia I still needed to vomit up. Now, I am unashamed of being fat. One of my best friends and I were having a conversation the other day about how fat people (we’re both fat) cannot make a single self-deprecating comment about our weight without having it psychoanalyzed or misinterpreted by skinny people.

I cannot tell you how many times that I’ve had a conversation that goes something like this:

Me: God, I’m feeling so fat today.

Skinny Rando: Oh, stop it! You’re beautiful!!!

Me: Bitch, did I say I was ugly?

Bitch, did I say I was ugly?

People really enjoy telling on themselves. You see, for the first thousand times I had that interaction, I didn’t really think much of it. But eventually, I looked deeper. When I say that I’m fat, and someone counters with something asinine like No, you’re beautiful, they’re (consciously or not) letting me know that fat can never = beautiful in their estimation.

When I say that I’m fat, and someone counters with something asinine…they’re (consciously or not) letting me know that fat can never = beautiful in their estimation.

As fat people, we confuse people when we exist in the world without the specter of shame hanging over us like a cloud. To live in a fat body, and to have the audacity to not cower, to deliberately take up space, to not cover every square inch of ourselves with fugly industrial fabric, is still considered radical. People want me to explain to them why I’m so confident in my skin. Sweetheart, have you seen me? How could I not be confident? I am so gorgeous and radiant I should come with a UV warning.

To live in a fat body, and to have the audacity to not cower, to deliberately take up space, to not cover every square inch of ourselves with fugly industrial fabric, is still considered radical.

I earned every single stretch mark that traverses my skin like so many highways all leading me home. They tell the story of how I survived, and how I keep on surviving, despite every cacophonous magpie screaming at me and asking if I’ve tried the SOUTH BEACH JENNY CRAIG KETO CARROT JUICE WONDERLAND DIET? Hell no, and you can keep it—I’ll stay fat and happy.🖕🏻

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please follow, like, comment, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at thevoraciousbibliophile@yahoo.com or catch me on Twitter @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.