Semifinalist of by J.N. 36 under the age of 36, Elizabeth Parker has also made an impact on the local community, including Jews.
yesSince childhood, Elizabeth Parker has always had a passion for writing. “Growing up, I was interested in writing fiction,” explains the Clawson-based journalist and blog owner.
Parker, 35, who works as a managing editor at Troy-based BNP Media and runs two blogs, Books I think you should read and Yes/No Detroit, majored in creative writing at the University of Michigan. “I originally wanted to go into creative writing because I wanted to be an author,” she says, “but I also enjoy working on magazines.”
Throughout his education at the University of Michigan, Parker continued to write and won a Hopwood Prize, a major scholarship program, from the school in 2009 for his work.
Sharing books with the world
Around the same time, in August 2009, Parker came up with the idea for her first blog, Books I Think You Should Read. “I had just graduated from UM and hadn’t found a job yet, so I wanted something to keep me busy,” she recalls. “I publish books that I think others would enjoy or be interested in.”
Books I Think You Should Read includes book reviews, author interviews, giveaways, and more. Since 2009, Parker has blogged continuously, at least once a week, with the help of a guest writer, Becki Smith Bayley.
Parker says she owes Bayley credit for keeping the blog up and running during the pandemic, which hasn’t given Parker the usual time to post reviews and interviews on her own. Her teamwork helps provide Parker’s book-loving audience with new content to read on a regular basis.
As an avid reader, Parker is currently reading enhance by Blake Crouch, published in July. He also likes to read the work of local writers. “I usually like local Michigan authors,” he explains. “Kristina Riggle and Camille Pagan are great.”
Covering the Detroit lifestyle and beyond
Yes/No Detroit, on the other hand, is a newer project that was born in January 2010. The blog was originally called Yes/No Films, a platform where Parker would give movies a “yes,” “no” review. ” or maybe”. instead of a star based review. In 2017, he changed the name of the blog to Yes/No Detroit, covering everything from travel to food to, of course, movies.
It’s “definitely a lot of local readers,” Parker says of the blog’s readership. However, when he does giveaways for movies, he receives many entries from readers and fans from out of state.
“Lifestyle is interesting to me because it encompasses pretty much anything,” he explains. “I still enjoy writing about entertainment. Even though I changed the name of my blog, I still write some movie reviews.”
Fortunately, Parker’s job offers flexible hours, allowing employees to set their own work schedules. Thanks to this opportunity, Parker spends every morning working on her blog before starting his day job.
Making waves in the community
Semifinalist of by J.N. 36 under the age of 36, Parker has also made an impact on the local community, including Jews.
In early 2021, after reading a local news article about a group of “Detroit vaccine hunters,” he messaged one of the founders on Facebook to see if he could help.
The mission: Book COVID-19 vaccine appointments for people in need.
“At the time, appointments could only be booked for people over 65, and many of them couldn’t or didn’t know how to use the internet,” explains Parker. “I helped set up vaccination appointments for them.”
Helping Metro Detroiters get these crucial vaccines contributed to a larger effort to keep the community safe from the virus. “It was gratifying to be able to reserve these for people,” Parker says, “especially at a time when everyone was stressed about COVID and getting the vaccine.”
Parker also recently took a Birthright trip to Israel. “It was amazing to see Israel,” she remembers. “I wanted to go to Birthright in college, but I never could, so I was really glad they expanded the age range.”
Now, Parker continues to work on his two blogs and growing his audience. “I would love to grow my following on social media a little bit more,” she says. “I recently hit 4,000 followers on Instagram and have about 4,350 on Facebook and 7,900 on Twitter.”
She hopes that as the pandemic subsides, she’ll also have more time to contribute book reviews for Books I Think You Should Read, her original passion project.
“I’d definitely like to start checking out a little more on my book blog,” says Parker.