Book Talks and Book Clubs and Book Reviews, Oh My!

February 17, 2014Dear friends,

Writing a book is only a fraction of the work; ensuring the book has maximum impact is where the real work comes in.

This is why I’m delighted to fill you in on how I Am Troy Davis has been part of the U.S.’s growing discourse around the death penalty, and to ask your help in reaching even wider-audiences with the book’s message of the human impact of the death penalty system.

Upcoming Events
Members of the Davis family and I will be speaking with I Am Troy Davis in Pasadena CA on Sat Feb 22; in Los Angeles CA on Sun Feb 23; in Olympia WA on Wed April 9; and in Portland OR on Thurs April 10.  More information about upcoming book talks can be found HERE. I hope you will spread the word to friends or family you may have in those cities.
Events are in the works for Florida, the United Kingdom, North Carolina and beyond…so stay tuned for more info!

Washington Moratorium
Here in my home-state of Washington, Governor Jay Inslee recently announced that he was placing a moratorium on executions for the remainder of his tenure as governor. He hopes that the move will bring citizens of Washington into the much-needed discourse about the death penalty. I had the opportunity to participate in that discourse on Seattle’s King5 TV, discussing Inslee’s announcement with host Mark Wright. You can watch the 5-minute segment here.

Book Clubs
Book Clubs across the country have been reading and discussing I Am Troy Davis, many of them using the discussion guide developed by Equal Justice USA in collaboration with Amnesty USA, the NAACP and Haymarket Books.
However, you don’t need to be in a book club to get folks reading and talking about I Am Troy Davis–you can do what Doreen Shapiro did in Brooklyn, NY!
Doreen invited friends to her home to share a delicious meal and discuss the book together (which she asked her guests to read in advance.)
Doreen said of the evening:  “The attendees numbered 8, a perfect number for a lively and thoughtful discussion. Different cultural and social viewpoints were accounted for in those who attended…The discussion raised many more questions and the answers were rarely unanimous., which made for an extremely interesting evening. Several of the women, upon leaving, told me that they had never heard of Troy Davis before reading the book and had never really thought about the death penalty. They intended to recommend the book to their friends and family to further the discussion.”    

Stay tuned for more information about a Community Read this September to mark the anniversary of Troy’s execution, but there’s no need to wait until September! You can start to plan a book discussion at your home today! Feel free to contact me for help/support in making this happen.Customer Reviews
It’s wonderful when media outlets review your book, and I Am Troy Davis has been fortunate enough to have received thougtful treatments from the Grio (MSNBC), the Library Journal, the Bellingham Herald, and more. The Socialist Worker’s review of the book, written by former Illinois death row inmate Stanley Howard, was especially moving.
However, it is equally important for readers like yourself to voice your response to the book, and to create some grassroots “buzz!” Twenty readers have already written an Amazon Customer Review, and two more have reviewed the book on GoodReads. Will you take a moment to do the same?

Looking forward to partnering with you to ensure that I Am Troy Davis reveals to thousands of readers nation-wide the human impact of the death penalty system, and why we must abolish it once and for all. I welcome any thoughts or suggestions you may have towards that end!

In solidarity,

Jen Marlowe
donkeysaddle projects
Twitter: @donkeysaddleorg
Blog: View from the donkey’s saddle
Facebook: donkeysaddle projects

(Photo caption: Doreen Shapiro holds up I Am Troy Davis at the book discussion she hosted in her home.)

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Filed under Death Penalty, Human Rights, Troy Davis

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