Dear Readers,

Last week's election was one of the most contentious the United States has ever seen. And in the aftermath, regardless of how we voted, all of us in the USA are feeling a sense of divide, one that we know is mirrored across much of the world. How do we reach across that chasm to engage in meaningful dialogue? How do we build a bridge between us? To continue that metaphor, how do we find the bricks to build that bridge, made of the solid stuff we have in common? Because we do have so many things in common.

We don't have any good answers about how to find one another again. But we do know one thing: books. All of us at BookBrowse know that books can be a part of the process. You do too. Books are doors through which we can walk to learn about new people, new places, and new ideas. They are mirrors into which we can see ourselves just a little more clearly. And they are maps which can guide us as we get up in the morning, move through our day, go to bed and do it all again the next day. Books are a safe way to try on new perspectives. They are a bold way to articulate what we believe, and to challenge our beliefs.

BookBrowse has always been committed to bringing attention to books that are set both within and outside the USA so as to foster curiosity about the world as well as our own backyard. But last week made it starkly clear that many of us do not know enough about the world inside our borders - our varied cultures, ideas, landscapes, people. And so, going forward, we will continue to recommend books from a wide variety of international perspectives while also making a commitment to seek out reading that helps bridge the national divide.

Perhaps books, and the conversations that come from them, are the bricks that when laid next to one another, overlapping one another, can build the path upon which we can walk to find each other again. Perhaps.

With best wishes to you all,

The BookBrowse Editorial Team

What a thoughtful and hopeful response. I agree that books can bring us together, even if we disagree on whether we like the same ones or not, because we are talking together about something important to us. I have been heartened by the number of public messages from unexpected sources (like Book Browse) to reach out and console and offer suggestions for positive connections. Thank you!
# Posted By Katherine Conover | 11/14/16 2:28 PM
Thank you for your thoughtful and hope filled post. As this election has shown me, I have not been sensitive or open enough to other points of view and others' experiences. It is so hopeful to me that so many folks are recognizing this and making an effort to reach out and connect with others in our neighborhoods and communities.
# Posted By Lisa Pingree | 11/14/16 2:54 PM
Thank you, Davina, for your incredible thoughtfulness and for offering us this opportunity. I think I am still in shock. I am seventy-eight years old and I have never missed voting. I have experienced many feelings following a presidential election, but never before have I felt simply horrified and fearful for the future of my country. For the first time, in order to maintain peace and respect the feelings of my beloved brother, I find myself simply incapable of being with or speaking with him, at least for the time being. He tells me, " Give him a chance," and all I can think is, "For over a year we have given him a chance. We have watched and listened to him. We know who he is. Over and over he has shown us who he is and told us what he believes. This man simply cannot be our president." I simply don't know how to accept this; I know I must, but I don't know how. Having said that, last night I watched a show that showed a coal town that is dying. I have started to better understand the feelings of some of the many people across America who have been forgotten and who believe in this man and I feel deeply for many of them, too. But I don't believe they are the ones who elected him and to those others I say, "Shame on you; shame on you!"
# Posted By Ginny Burke | 11/14/16 3:04 PM
Thank you for this comforting note. We do have books (thank goodness for cozy mysteries in times of stress) but my intention is to keep opening my mind, keep my feet firmly planted on the ground and believe in the democracy that has stood us in good stead. Good will prevail.
# Posted By Patty W | 11/14/16 3:37 PM
Thank you for your thoughtful post. I live in a small town in Colorado. Last night my 16 year old grandson was walking on Main Street with two friends, one who is hispanic. They were chased by men in a truck, with a confederate flag hanging on the truck. The men were screaming horrible epithets about the hispanic boy. They were terrified. I am sick with the horrible anger and hatred that has been curried, and released.
# Posted By Kris | 11/14/16 4:50 PM
This editorial and many of the comments just reek of patronizing, smug, misguided attempts to console likeminded readers who cannot believe that there are other, valid, hopes and dreams for individuals, families, and nations. The assumption of hate and ignorance is part of the problem. The assumption of your own virtuous intentions is maddening. Political correctness resulted in the supression of free speech and calcification of thought. The inability to tolerate opposing viewpoints on the part of supposedly tolerant people is the result of years social and legal supression in the name of political correctness. And now we are witness to the supposedly tolerant filled with hate, invective, and intolerance. Don't assume we need more international perspective, or that we all need consolation, or that people who have different beliefs should be ashamed. Suggestions such as reading Hillybilly Elegy or a treatise on illegal aliens is just so much virtue signaling from a bien pensant who thinks of themself as enlightened. Hubris one and all.
# Posted By Carol | 11/14/16 5:16 PM
You should not presume to speak for the nation. Not all of us in the US are feeling a sense of divide. Take me, for example. I am, in fact, feeling cautiously optimistic.
# Posted By Nancy Gomez | 11/14/16 5:46 PM
Nancy, I am sure that none of the three of us who collaborated to write this short blog would presume to speak for the nation. In fact, like you, I am feeling cautiously optimistic because the divide that has been growing is not the result of the past few months, or even the past few years but a much longer time. What feels different now is a desire by many to actually try to understand. This is not a time to cry "shame" to either side. It is an opportunity to listen and really hear.
# Posted By Davina | 11/14/16 6:54 PM
Thank you for this comforting message. I am grieving for my country. I need books now about real humanitarian heroes so I can regain my faith in my fellow man. Have already dived back into already read books by authors who inspired me in the past and gave me hope (which I am starting to lose).
# Posted By Maureen Donohue | 11/14/16 7:22 PM
I did not sense any bias on BookBrowse's part. Your feelings and reflections fit in perfectly with the MLK quote at the bottom of the email ...Why spread hate...You are spreading and encouraging LOVE....WE are not defined by - Hillary - Trump - Deplorable - Criminal. We are shiny human beings...we are proudly AMERICANS...
# Posted By Becky | 11/14/16 8:00 PM
We have no way to judge the president-to-be other than his history and his words, both of which are contrary to the American dream. I appreciate the counsel in the blog post, but I am not optimistic. I am wary, for Trump is the least qualified person to be elected to the presidency in my memory, but I have no other option other than to accept what cannot be changed.

I was proud that we Americans stepped past racism to elect an African-American to the presidency twice. I am ashamed as an American that Donald Trump has been elected once.
# Posted By Gary Presley | 11/15/16 4:29 AM
Comments (Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)
Discuss on Facebook