Life Advice



Ask Amy: This year, put ‘A Book on Every Bed’

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

From Lisa Swayze, general manager of Buffalo Street Books in Ithaca, NY (

“The Young Adult category has some of the most diverse, exciting, and revolutionary writing happening today. Buffalo Street Books' #1 pick this year is ‘This Poison Heart,’ by Kalynn Bayron. Once you're entangled in this heart-stopping story, you won't be able to put the book down.

“We also recommend: ‘The Firekeeper's Daughter,’ by Angeline Boulley, ‘We Are Not Broken,’ by George M. Johnson, and ‘We Are Inevitable,’ by Gayle Forman.”

From the bookselling staff of Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, D.C., Adult non-fiction (

“Empire of Pain,” by Patrick Radden Keefe: A riveting account of the Sackler pharmaceutical dynasty. Over decades they engaged in aggressive marketing of drugs, culminating in the promotion of Oxycontin, which fostered the opioid crisis.

“Crying in H Mart,” by Michelle Zauner: In moving prose, the singer paints a vivid picture of the pain she endured growing up as the biracial daughter of a Korean mother and an American father.


“All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley's Sack, a Black Family Keepsake” by Tiya Miles: Winner of the National Book Award, this historian pieces together the lost lives of a Black American family — through the contents of a flour sack from the 1840s. The story of the sack carries "all the drama and pathos of ancient tapestries depicting the deeds of queens."

[You can share your own literacy stories on my Facebook page @AdickinsonDaily, or through Instagram: @booksonbeds.]


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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