Saturday, October 06, 2018

What is K. J. Reilly reading?

Featured at Writers Read: K. J. Reilly, author of Words We Don't Say.

Her entry begins:
In a chapter of Words We Don’s Say, Eli, one of the main characters, stands up in English class and reads a long list of the countries where you could be arrested or put to death for reading the books they are reading in that class—and the list goes on for pages. It’s important for all of us to be reminded that criminalizing freethinking, banning books—and even burning books—isn't just reserved for other countries or the past, or regimes like the Nazis in Germany. Oppressive thinkers can't be geo or time tagged—they’re everywhere. And history repeats itself. Books have not only been banned and burned throughout time; they've been banned and burned all over the world—even in America in the 21st century.

So since free speech is an important theme in Words We Don't Say, and this week is Banned Books Week – September 23-29th – I’m re-reading as many banned books as I can—from And Tango Makes Three and...[read on]
About Words We Don't Say, from the publisher:
Joel Higgins has 901 unsent text messages saved on his phone. Ever since the thing that happened, there are certain people he hasn’t been able to talk to in person. Sure, he shows up at school, does his mandatory volunteer hours at the soup kitchen, and spends pretty much every moment thinking about Eli, the most amazing girl in the world. But that doesn’t mean he’s keeping it together, or even that he has any friends. So instead of hanging out with people in real life, he drafts text messages. But he never presses send. As dismal as sophomore year was for Joel, he doesn’t see how junior year will be any better. For starters, Eli doesn’t know how he feels about her, his best friend Andy’s gone, and he basically bombed the SATs. But as Joel spends more time at the soup kitchen with Eli and Benj, the new kid whose mouth seems to be unconnected to his brain, he forms bonds with the people they serve there—including a veteran they call Rooster—and begins to understand that the world is bigger than his own pain. In this dazzling, hilarious, and heartbreaking debut, Joel grapples with the aftermath of a tragic loss as he tries to make sense of the problems he’s sees all around him with the help of banned books, Winnie-the-Pooh, a field of asparagus, and many pairs of socks.
Visit K.J. Reilly's website.

Writers Read: K. J. Reilly.

--Marshal Zeringue