THE ALIGNIST

THE ALIGNIST THE ALIGNIST brings literary works into conversation with current events.

THE ALIGNIST connects current events to literary works to find the Truth amid the facts.

20/03/2018

We’re back!

20/03/2018

Here we are going live with our first Q&A with Jennifer Clement author and Ginger Thompson of ProPublica!

18/03/2018

Our first live Q&A will take place on Tuesday at 10AM. Jennifer Clement will be joined in conversation by Ginger Thompson, an award-winning investigative journalist who has reported on many issues raised in Prayers for the Stolen from abductions to murders.

If you can't join live, share any questions you have for Jennifer or Ginger below and I'll ask as many as possible. Be sure to check back in for the video if you miss it the live discussion Tuesday!

MARCH-APRIL BOOK REVEAL! Our next featured novel goes where fiction and even the news rarely venture — by presenting t...
10/03/2018

MARCH-APRIL BOOK REVEAL! Our next featured novel goes where fiction and even the news rarely venture — by presenting the grim aftermath of terrorism in the months, years, and decades after a deadly blast. Subscribers, prepare to be moved.

One more of these tantalizing illustrations by the Mexico City-based artist Manuel Cetina. He made these tattoo-inspired...
01/03/2018

One more of these tantalizing illustrations by the Mexico City-based artist Manuel Cetina. He made these tattoo-inspired images and THE ALIGNIST made them into temporary tattoos to honor a tattoo artist in our first featured novel, Prayers for the Stolen. You can now buy these sheets individually online. I’m also considering offering art prints. Check out thealignist.com to order tattoos and and get in touch if you’d like to have prints to frame!

Mexico City-based artist Manuel Cetina created these wonderful tattoo-inspired illustrations and THE ALIGNIST turned the...
28/02/2018

Mexico City-based artist Manuel Cetina created these wonderful tattoo-inspired illustrations and THE ALIGNIST turned them into temporary tattoos. They're now on sale (all on their own!) on thealignist.com so head over and get tatt'd! 10% off with the offer code READMORE10.

FINALLY! It's curl-up-with-a-cup-of-hot-chocolate-and-read day. If you subscribed to THE WHOLE STORY box you could be do...
24/02/2018

FINALLY! It's curl-up-with-a-cup-of-hot-chocolate-and-read day. If you subscribed to THE WHOLE STORY box you could be doing this with your copy of Prayers for the Stolen and the disk of Ibarra chocolate that came in your box. ANNNNND if so, here's a recipe for you! This comes courtesy of our pals at @mexgrocer so you know it's the real deal! ⠀

Recipe Ingredients⠀
3.3 oz tablet of Mexican chocolate⠀
2-1/2 cups of milk (or milk substitute) ⠀
1 tsp sugar⠀
1/2 tsp cinnamon⠀

Directions⠀
To make Mexican hot chocolate, break tablet of Mexican chocolate into pieces and bring it to a simmer with milk. Stir the mixture until the chocolate is melted and well-combined. ⠀

Mexican chocolate is traditionally beaten to a froth with a wooden implement called "molinillo." You can imitate the effect by putting a small amount of your chocolate at a time in a blender and briefly pulsing it. Either way, it's delicious! ⠀

Enjoy! And happy weekend!

Who do you know that's transforming realities? Tag them here, even if it's slightly less than a million! A million is a ...
23/02/2018

Who do you know that's transforming realities? Tag them here, even if it's slightly less than a million! A million is a lot and we can't all be Maya Angelou!

You don't want to miss this! Head over to thealignist.com to claim your literary journey to INDIA! It'll sweep you away ...
21/02/2018

You don't want to miss this! Head over to thealignist.com to claim your literary journey to INDIA! It'll sweep you away with a novel, a specially-created news zine, and, if you really want to have some fun, recipes, artwork, tea, and fair trade crafts that connect with the plot. What are you waiting for?!

Cacti are frequently depicted by Mexican artisans because they are widespread across the country -- only less and less s...
20/02/2018

Cacti are frequently depicted by Mexican artisans because they are widespread across the country -- only less and less so. This might come as a surprise, but 1/3 of cactus species are face the threat of extinction, according to the first comprehensive assessment of the plant group by the @iucn. The threat is especially severe in Mexico where agriculture and development are snubbing out some of the country which has more species of cacti than any other country. More than 1000 have been discovered there -- and now even undiscovered types could now be lost.

Cacti are frequently depicted by Mexican artisans because they are widespread across the country -- only less and less s...
20/02/2018

Cacti are frequently depicted by Mexican artisans because they are widespread across the country -- only less and less so. This might come as a surprise, but 1/3 of cactus species are face the threat of extinction, according to the first comprehensive assessment of the plant group by the @iucn. The threat is especially severe in Mexico where agriculture and development are snubbing out some of the country which has more species of cacti than any other country. More than 1000 have been discovered there -- and now even undiscovered types could now be lost.

Another feature of our MEXICO box! Just added a few of these to thealignist.com so head over if you’d like to purchase...
16/02/2018

Another feature of our MEXICO box! Just added a few of these to thealignist.com so head over if you’d like to purchase this exact box! It’ll ship in March with our next batch of orders featuring INDIA. Sign up by Feb. 21 to get a box delivered to you! Use the offer code READMORE2018 for 10% off! This photo is from our lovely subscriber and great supporter, Anisah!

Just gunna drop this little Octavia Butler truth 💣 right here...
15/02/2018

Just gunna drop this little Octavia Butler truth 💣 right here...

We're celebrating Valentine's Day with a ONE DAY ONLY offer for 14% off any order on thealignist.com. Order for yourself...
14/02/2018

We're celebrating Valentine's Day with a ONE DAY ONLY offer for 14% off any order on thealignist.com. Order for yourself or someone special in your life -- or both! After all, there is no love like book love!

I know the MEXICO boxes JUST came out, but this venture is on the move. The March-April boxes will feature INDIA in all ...
12/02/2018

I know the MEXICO boxes JUST came out, but this venture is on the move. The March-April boxes will feature INDIA in all of it's complex and striking wonder. Sign up ASAP to get the next shipment! Use the offer code READMORE10 for 10% off at thealignist.com!

Get ready, because THE ALIGNIST is moving right along! Our next featured country is INDIA. Subscribers will get a chance...
11/02/2018

Get ready, because THE ALIGNIST is moving right along! Our next featured country is INDIA. Subscribers will get a chance to experience the massive, complex, and rapidly changing country thought a novel that gets at some of its core issues and experiences. JUST THE FACTS subscribers will get to connect the novel to reality through our signature ROADMAP. THE WHOLE STORY subscribers get to do that too, while also getting a sense of INDIA's tastes and textures through a box of goodies. I have to say that I'm especially excited about this round! You won't want to miss it! ⠀

Sign up now at thealignist.com. Use the offer code READMORE10 for 10% off your subscription!

Here it is: The first JUST THE FACTS box revealed! These boxes tie into THE ALIGNIST’s most fundamental mission, which...
07/02/2018

Here it is: The first JUST THE FACTS box revealed! These boxes tie into THE ALIGNIST’s most fundamental mission, which is to connect fact to fiction, and novels to the news. Each page of the signature ROADMAP offers real world perspective to what happens in the plot. The idea is to learn about reality as you read a good book. You’ll also get invited to a live Q&A featuring the author and an expert on the issues she explores through her writing. If this sounds like your thing, subscribe now at thealignist.com. Use the offer code READMORE2018 for 10% off any subscription.

JUST THE FACTS boxes shipped out today. This photo doesn’t even include all of them! My small New York City apartment ...
27/01/2018

JUST THE FACTS boxes shipped out today. This photo doesn’t even include all of them! My small New York City apartment basically has a mini city of boxes insides of it! 🏙 From designing the roadmap, to packing these, to scheduling a pick-up, ever part of this process has taken at least three times long as expected, but I’m doing all I can to keep up and am SO EXCITED for you all to see what you all think! It’ll all go smoother next time, I promise! 😅

They’re heeeeeeeeere!
17/01/2018

They’re heeeeeeeeere!

Some words to frame the thoughts on Martin Luther King Jr. day, from one whose words are more than proof of a language, ...
15/01/2018

Some words to frame the thoughts on Martin Luther King Jr. day, from one whose words are more than proof of a language, of power, of beauty, of everything.

🍽CHEF REVEAL! 🍽 Chef Owner Barbara Sibley of @la_palapa will be the featured chef for the first box from THE ALIGN...
14/01/2018

🍽CHEF REVEAL! 🍽 Chef Owner Barbara Sibley of @la_palapa will be the featured chef for the first box from THE ALIGNIST! Chef Sibley was born and raised in Mexico City and studied anthropology at @barnardcollege, focusing in on indigenous cuisine. She’s the author of the cookbook Antojitos: Festive and Flavorful Mexican Small Plates. She contributed a few of her favorites recipes to highlight the culinary tradition of Guerrero, where our featured novel Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement is set. Oh and here’s a fun fact that I didn’t know until after I reached out to Barbara — she and Jennifer are sisters! Feel the love with this box! Sign up now at thealignist.com!
📷: @la_palapa

Because no country is a “sh*thole.” Sign up now to truly understand the world, one book, one country, and one engage...
12/01/2018

Because no country is a “sh*thole.” Sign up now to truly understand the world, one book, one country, and one engaged discussion at a time. Oh — and there could also be recipes and other goodies in the mix if you so choose. Head over to thealignist.com to find out more.

Read the world. Understand the world. Save the world.
11/01/2018
Read the world. Understand the world. Save the world.

Read the world. Understand the world. Save the world.

But Karla Jacinto did not get the royal treatment from man that lured her away from her home. Instead, as she told CNN in 2015, he forced her into sexual slavery. She was only 12 years old. Jacinto estimates that she was raped 43,200 times — 30 times a day, seven days a week, over the course of fo...

Our first featured novel offers a heartbreaking glimpse at human trafficking in Mexico. Learn about the realities throug...
11/01/2018

Our first featured novel offers a heartbreaking glimpse at human trafficking in Mexico. Learn about the realities through our signature ROADMAP — but don’t feel paralyzed. The purchase of each box makes a small contribution to a nonprofit working to save children from exploitation. With THE ALIGNIST, you’ll read the world, understand the world, and change the world. Sign up today at thealignist.com!

I kept reflecting on these postcards featuring vintage travel posters that I picked up at @lacma a couple months ago for...
10/01/2018

I kept reflecting on these postcards featuring vintage travel posters that I picked up at @lacma a couple months ago for inspiration as I put final the upcoming Mexico box. All of it’s contents have been ordered now, and I’m looking forward to sharing a few sneak peaks with you before my first ever shipment!

This display from @spicesandtease made me feel like I was suddenly in the souk of an old world city and not the Union Sq...
07/01/2018

This display from @spicesandtease made me feel like I was suddenly in the souk of an old world city and not the Union Square holiday market! It’s so nice to get to see the vibrant hues of spices from across the world and inhale the aroma of their huge collection of teas. THE WHOLE STORY box will tap into how the senses can sweep you away with one breath. Sign up to get transported to Mexico with the first box. There’s a direct link in this profile!

A life resolution for you, one worthy of returning to day after day, year after year.
01/01/2018

A life resolution for you, one worthy of returning to day after day, year after year.

True story. But I’m almost there, folks! With special thanks to everyone who made this little idea of mine a reality o...
28/12/2017

True story. But I’m almost there, folks! With special thanks to everyone who made this little idea of mine a reality on @kickstarter! The first round of boxes go out next month! Keep your fingers crossed for me though! (Why is there no emoji for that?!? How’s this instead? 🙌🏾)

Want to read more fiction, explore this world, and connect with writers in 2018? Sign up for THE ALIGNIST box subscripti...
26/12/2017

Want to read more fiction, explore this world, and connect with writers in 2018? Sign up for THE ALIGNIST box subscription to get a novel, curated items from the world it represents, and meets its author. Direct link in bio.

Want, want, want. You too?
22/11/2017

Want, want, want. You too?

I went to a friend's to watch the Joan Didion doc last night and couldn't resist taking a shot of her bookshelf. I want ...
08/11/2017

I went to a friend's to watch the Joan Didion doc last night and couldn't resist taking a shot of her bookshelf. I want to start up a series on the bookshelves of various people in various professions. Would love it if you all contributed!Tag your photos #whatidowhatiread. First up is this beauty from a public school teacher!

This poem by Mahmoud Darwish reminded me immediately of Ryan Nash, the NYPD officer who shot the man responsible for the...
05/11/2017

This poem by Mahmoud Darwish reminded me immediately of Ryan Nash, the NYPD officer who shot the man responsible for the terrorist attack that killed eight people here in New York City on Tuesday. But it could mean so much more -- what is heroism in times like these? Do we apply the term too automatically sometimes and not frequently enough in others? Leave your thoughts here!

@archipelagobooks' founder Jill Schoolman was honored at the @wwborders gala for her dedication to publishing literary w...
04/11/2017

@archipelagobooks' founder Jill Schoolman was honored at the @wwborders gala for her dedication to publishing literary works in translation. The tables were stacked with some of those fine works -- as a gift to attendees. I snagged a couple of the ones pictures here will share some excepts over the weekend.

Happened upon this happy place during a brief moment in Baltimore this weekend!
10/10/2017

Happened upon this happy place during a brief moment in Baltimore this weekend!

"To call this book feminist is to forget about me, that I am a reader too, that I am a woman too. That according to Bron...
28/08/2017
Reading Jane Eyre While Black

"To call this book feminist is to forget about me, that I am a reader too, that I am a woman too. That according to Brontë, I am a savage."

Like most writers, I read a lot as a kid. “All the book sense in the world and not a lick of common sense,” my aunt would complain when, every day after school, I’d drop my bookbag, take off my pan…

In Panama, so of course I'm reading Cristina Henriquez's beautiful and painful stories on all kinds love and all kinds l...
23/08/2017

In Panama, so of course I'm reading Cristina Henriquez's beautiful and painful stories on all kinds love and all kinds loss in this enchanting country.

The Kickstarter is over but THE ALIGNIST is just started! (Only six month subscriptions available now but check back nex...
02/08/2017

The Kickstarter is over but THE ALIGNIST is just started! (Only six month subscriptions available now but check back next month for more options!)

It's really, really happening! A huge thank you to everyone who helped spread the word and contributed!
27/07/2017

It's really, really happening! A huge thank you to everyone who helped spread the word and contributed!

97 percent of the way there! Help this project get off the ground by contributing to my Kickstarter. Only a few days lef...
26/07/2017
THE ALIGNIST

97 percent of the way there! Help this project get off the ground by contributing to my Kickstarter. Only a few days left!

Connect novels to the news and experience new worlds with authentic recipes original illustrations…

"Such horrors are difficult to make sense of—and thus lend themselves to the fantastic. In Temporary People, [Deepak] ...
20/07/2017
Disposable People, Dying to Build a City in the Desert

"Such horrors are difficult to make sense of—and thus lend themselves to the fantastic. In Temporary People, [Deepak] Unnikrishnan places the impossible so snuggly into the world he grew up in that the actual circumstances of life in the UAE are what start to seem surreal."

THE ALIGNIST Founder Beenish Ahmed on the Arab Gulf's labor laws as explored in fiction.

Deepak Unnikrishan hadn’t thought very deeply about where he was from until two planes and a band of terrorists brought down the World Trade Center. He had just arrived in the US for an MFA program…

Alright people, I'm 75 percent of the way there! Don't leave me -- and the 120+ people who have backed my Kickstarter ha...
19/07/2017
THE ALIGNIST

Alright people, I'm 75 percent of the way there! Don't leave me -- and the 120+ people who have backed my Kickstarter hanging!

Sign on now to get in on this totally multi-sensory reading experience!

-- Beenish Ahmed

Connect novels to the news and experience new worlds with authentic recipes original illustrations…

From Bonnie Chau, who perfectly distills the feeling of being bilingual but not perfectly so, but still entranced by wor...
19/07/2017
Bonnie Chau | THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING OUT OF A CHINESE EYE

From Bonnie Chau, who perfectly distills the feeling of being bilingual but not perfectly so, but still entranced by words as if they are your thoughts themselves:

"4. The pinyin for the word you want is “mán.” You are sure the English equivalent should be “pretty.” But when you type in “pretty,” usually the Chinese side comes up with the equivalent of “very” or “extremely.” Feel weird about this. Does this mean you are using the word “pretty” incorrectly in English, or the word “mán” incorrectly in Chinese? Feel as if there is a mini Twilight Zone shifting apart and showing its cracks inside your very body."

1. Eat so many almonds, eat them until you are full to the brim with roasted almond skin pieces and tiny chewed up almond pieces, and then look in the mirror and see if your eye resembles the nut.

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