Independent Bookstores To Love

Image of books with text overlayed: Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day
Image of books with text overlayed: Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day

Let’s celebrate Independent Bookstore Day with a favorites list! I’m sharing my favorites and the favorites of some of my favorite people and other writers. This list features loads of bookstores in Los Angeles, so if you are in L.A. or heading there soon, this list has you covered. We’ve got suggestions in other areas as well, including Vancouver, the U.K. and more. Most indie bookstores ship anywhere, so support your local independent bookstore or order from any of these! Also, please add YOUR favorite independent bookstore in the comments. Let’s spread the love!


*This story originally appeared on the B*tch Flicks site in 2016. The site is no longer active, but I have a soft spot for this piece and decided to re-share it here, with a few updates. Many of our friends working for criminal justice reform are using this film as an educational tool. If you would like a free screener, email jennifer (at) thinktenmediagroup.com.

As a woman and a filmmaker, I asked myself many times why my short film, THE wHOLE, focused on a man in an almost exclusively male milieu. …


Image of the entrance to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, snow blankets the ground
Image of the entrance to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, snow blankets the ground
Auschwitz

Because of April
Boscoe doesn’t eat fish
And Freddy teaches peace to others,
Traveled to Bangui to assist with food relief
And once walked through the Kigali Genocide Memorial
With individuals who murdered 80 of his family members

Because of April
Romeo shook hands with the devil
And still can’t shake off his shadow
And my park guide in Rwanda speaks the 41 languages of Uganda
But does not have a single blood relative

Because of April
I travel the world seeking answers to questions no one should have to ask

11 million in Europe
1 million in Africa
3 million in…


Bright abstract art with wide brush strokes and some splatters. Various shades of blue dominate. Some splatters look like purple-silver glitter. There are other colors as well: bright yellow, red, light green, and a few strokes of white around the edges.
Bright abstract art with wide brush strokes and some splatters. Various shades of blue dominate. Some splatters look like purple-silver glitter. There are other colors as well: bright yellow, red, light green, and a few strokes of white around the edges.
Hive Mind by Katherine Lockett-Clark. Find her work on Facebook, Instagram or here.

Recently, the New York Times asked creative people 7 questions about the first year of the pandemic. When I first saw this, I thought about answering the same questions on my medium page. Then, I forgot. Recently, Roxane Gay answered these questions on her substack (which I love, subscribe!) and it reminded me that I wanted to do this too. Here goes.

What’s one thing you made this year?

We baked a lot this year. Sometimes, just me, learning to make bread and English muffins. Sometimes, me and the kids: cake, cookies. Oh and donuts! We stretched outside of our…


Choose to Challenge — Celebrate & Take Action

Image courtesy of Pixabay

When I reignited this medium page last Fall, I led with a piece on the reality that women’s bodies, even in 2020, remained a battlefield. Still among the most popular pieces on my page, A Dark Legacy was written in response to forced hysterectomies at ICE detention facilities in the United States, but also referenced the historical reality

“that women’s bodies have always, and often, been treated like a battlefield, a territory to control in a grasp for power.”

Those words remain all too true, as I was reminded recently in various…


In Praise of Books for World Book Day

Photo Credit: Min An via Pexels

I only brought one book. I should have brought two or four or twenty or five thousand, even more. Maybe then, it would have been enough. The books towering above me, creating a pathway to the sky, for an ant, anyway. I would never climb the tower of books, never desecrate them in this way — not even the “bad” ones.

Perhaps, I could play Jenga. Carefully pulling out one book and then another until the tower came tumbling down, burying me in a pile of books. …


Loss and Life Boats

An image of a lake at dusk with a green island forest visible in the distance.
An image of a lake at dusk with a green island forest visible in the distance.
Dusk in Kibuye; the view from our plastic, white table; Rwanda 2018

Eve sat at the table next to mine, only 3 to 5 feet separating us. The white, circular plastic tables and matching chairs could have been anywhere in the world, just as Eve and I could have been. She, Dutch by nationality. Me, American. Both of us, alone, in Kibuye, Rwanda. Each pulled to this place for our own reasons. The beauty of Lake Kivu stretched before us at dusk. A beer on each of our tables. French fries, on mine. I think. I can’t recall that detail, but I do remember the look in Eve’s eyes. …


Parenting in a Pandemic

Image credit: Taryn Elliott, pexels.com

I fill the tub, making the water as hot as I can stand it. I slide in and my ice cold feet burn from the contrast. It hurts at first, but I continue. I submerge everything except pointy knees, chin, lips, nose, eyes, forehead, hair. I slide my hands into the hot water last. My right hand, so dry from the New Mexico wind that the skin is cracked, causes me to wince as the hot water attacks the broken places. …


We will not give up. The hope that beams from our hearts is bright enough to see through this pitch dark.
We will not give up. The hope that beams from our hearts is bright enough to see through this pitch dark.
Alain Bertrand Lazaret is an Aegis Trust Peace Educator, currently in Bangui, Central African Republic

On January 6th in the U.S., the capitol building was under siege. Elected officials crouched in hiding places, silent; doors barricaded, taking tips from their staffers experienced in such tactics through over a decade of American schooling in which lock down drills and actual lock downs were as commonplace as fire drills. By the end of the day, insurgents were cleared from the area in a tumultuous day that left four dead. Later that night, the electoral process that had been deferred came to its completion. Legal election results upheld.

On January 13th, those same elected officials stood before one…


Recently, I read Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell about Mildred and Richard Loving, a Virginia couple whose marriage was legal in Washington, D.C., where they traveled to be married, but illegal in their native state of Virginia. Living together there as husband and wife was a crime. Ultimately, their case made its way to the Supreme Court and led to the end of the illegality of interracial marriage in the United States in 1967.

But in 1958, Mildred and Richard woke to find the county sheriff and two deputies standing next to their bed.

Their crime was not…

Indie Jen Fischer

Co-Founder, Think Ten Media Group. Mom. Coffee Lover. Currently writing #TheLeeches (novel series) and researching education in post-genocide societies

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store