Brief break from book discussion: The Summer of Empathy

I’d like to think the area in which I reside experienced some serious whiplash this summer. There were some really great and successful times, and then suddenly it felt like the world was falling apart.

I am empath, which means I am sometimes easily affected by my surroundings and the people in it, and it wasn’t always easy trying to enjoy my own life events while witnessing the disaster-like state of our world, specifically the U.S. I had some options when it came to how to handle this violence, negativity, and confusion. I found that to ignore it was ignorant, in my opinion. I’m fully aware of my privilege, and ignoring it or not talking about it only made me feel guilty. I chose to remain informed and connected. Connected in enough sense that I was aware and could voice my opinion and discover ways to contribute to what I believed in, such as recycling as much as I could, donating to campaigns and charities, and being kind to nearly every person I met.

Working at a library helped me do this. I’ve worked at a library for over a year now, and I can truthfully say it’s one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I think back to the beginning of 2016. I was happy, for the most part, but overall had a rather bleak outlook on life, deep within my soul. I had no stability, no direction, and I was in a constant state of denial in how I truly felt about myself. I won’t say working at a library completely solved all of my problems. Controlling my anxiety is a work in progress, and there are days where I’m wondering how in the hell I’m actually “adulting” (but that’s what being in your mid to late twenties is all about).

I, of course, have always found comfort in the library. I walk into one and immediately feel a rush of relief (unless the library is PACKED full of children, in which I enter a state of slight panic). But working at one has allowed me to embrace empathy, understanding, and insight more than I ever have. Yes, there are days when I interact with certain patrons, and then I want to punch a hole in the wall, but those days are far and few between. One of my ultimate goals in life is to bring others joy; I am a people-pleaser, like a giant doofy golden retriever at heart (this isn’t to say that I am not part finicky, #queen, calico cat, I do have those days). In the end, I always aim to do that with my work (my writing), and I’m fortunate and lucky enough to say that I have already.

Working in a library has enhanced this feeling–this feeling of expressing myself and helping/sharing with others. It allows me to connect to individuals and provide some sort of relief or joy in their life. A majority of what I do involves one-on-one teaching, to provide them with a way to connect to our ever-changing society and community, and showing them multiples resources to get them there, if not providing them myself. On the other hand, I am able to makes suggestions and bring some fun and entertainment into their life, such as recommending a book, helping them order a movie, or making it possible for them to attend the library’s (and the community’s) wonderful events. The library has always been a place of building skills and collecting resources, but it is also a place of communication, kindness, and empathy. It is my place of home, and in combination with my work as a writer, editor, and teacher, I have loved my first year in the start of this awesome career.

With that said, my last semester at Central Michigan University begins in less than a week. I’m taking two classes, one is a workshop in which I was fortunate enough to be invited and allowed into, even though my program only allows two workshops. I’m absolutely ecstatic to be in a group of new people, as well as to continue to polish my writing and work on some new material. Come December, my family and my guy will watch me graduate, and then it’s on to getting my degree to be a librarian.

This summer brought major change. I have a new niece, Harper Layne, who I adore and love with all my heart. I was able to experience some new publishing opportunities, publishing more of my fiction. I connected with new people and made new friends. I read so many new books, so many, ugh, I can’t wait to talk about them (summer list coming soon!). My brother and his wife took me to Beijing which was beyond anything ever imaginable (featured photo from the Great Wall–will post more soon). My mom is finally in a place of happiness, which brings me so much joy. I started working out more regularly again, and I love feeling so refreshed in the morning.

Love brought me a lot of change this summer, too. My guy and I have spent so much time together, and we’ve gone on so many wonderful adventures, from concerts, to trips up north, to spending time with my family and his, to movie nights, to late-night drives, and everything else plus more. We laugh so much, and I love that about us. We’re certainly dorky, no doubt about it, but our love feels so right and so true. The way he knows how to make me smile–it’s insane. I think my favorite thing about us is how we don’t take everything that is so typically “standard” in a relationship so seriously. He knows he doesn’t need to buy me things ALL the time, like big bouquets of flowers or giant boxes of chocolates. I know I don’t need to do my makeup every morning before he wakes up. He knows he doesn’t have to hold the door open for me every time, because sometimes, I want to hold it open for him.

I know every couple’s definition of love is different. Some of the things I listed, like chocolate and holding the door open, may apply to some couples, and that’s okay. Every love is special. For us, our love means laughing for an hour over how to pronounce “tapestry.” It means taking the tater tots out of the oven and burning my finger, sniffling about it, and he kisses it, gives me a hug, then slaps my butt. It means lying in bed, listening to indie rock, and talking about our goals and looking into each other’s eyes. It means being open and honest about our feelings, which we’ve come so damn far in just the last year, it’s amazing, and knowing we can always talk about the hard stuff, like anxiety and depression. It means him telling me I’m beautiful when I’m in an over-sized nightshirt and sick with allergies. It means me letting him tell me all about certain bands or musicians, even though I may not like the particular genre or style of music. We love art–God, do we love art. Some may say two artists cannot be in a relationship together because it’s too “competitive,” and that is just simply not true.

Of course, we disagree about art and other topics (see bands and musicians mentioned above). We’ll always disagree because that’s normal. But, we both have a deep passion for learning, and we love to listen to one another and learn. We joke about being a #powercouple, because what does that even mean, but you know, I feel like we are. In our own way. We want to help people in this world and make art, and that’s cliche, but it’s true.

This is also cliche as hell, but he reminds me how beautiful, radiant, and confident I am on days when I feel opposite. He understands how independent I am and encourages me to thrive in self-appreciation and self-love, and I do the same with him. Yet we can both always rely on each other, and we build each other up every day. Our love is a discovery, each day more and more in love.

He reminded me why sunrises are so pretty and why I like throwing popcorn at people. I reminded him that love can grow slowly (and that’s okay) and why having a glass of water can really improve your mood. We have empathy. For our friends, for our families, for strangers. We care for people. We like people (most days…haha). We care about each other. We are like peas and carrots. And coffee. Because we love coffee.

I promise I will get back to talking about books and movies, but I felt the need to reflect a little. It’s good to do that, right? Right.

All my best, and happy end of summer.


It’s been forever. Here’s a book list.

Hello, faithful followers and friends!

March is here and spring is on its way, and I’m a little unhappy about it because winter went by SO FAST, and I wish it was Christmas again, and I don’t want hot/humid weather, but I shouldn’t complain because the sun is nice…..
Let’s be honest, I wish it was Christmas all the time.

I talk about the weather too much.

The months have come and gone, and it’s been a ride, that’s for sure.
Here’s the rundown, for those interested:

  • I’m halfway through my second to last semester of my MA. Currently on spring break, taking today (Monday) to chill. I also did some spring cleaning and will be donating a lot of stuff. Feels good.
  • I’ve had a few poems published in Blood Moon Rising Magazine and Open Palm Print, which is very exciting. These particular poems meant a lot to me, so it’s so very cool to find them homes.
  • I’m going to be an aunt again! My brother and sister-in-law are expecting their little girl in a few more short months. I love being an auntie.
  • I’ve been in a relationship with a wonderful man for the last four months. He’s loving, funny, smart, and puts up with my antics/weirdness. Did I mention he’s silly af? We’re quite the pair.
  • I’m still working for Temenos (fiction editor), and we just put out our double edition from last season. We currently have an Open Call for submissions! We take fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, art, and photography! So check it out!
  • I’m hanging out with family, friends, my boyfriend, and soaking up this little thing called life. Well, trying to, anyway. It’s tough these days. Have you heard who our president is? You probably have. It’s kind of shitty. But I’ll stay away from politics…for now.

So, onto the books! I wanted to include a list of books I’ve read the last few months.

Here are my favorites:

  1. Cathedral by Raymond Carver (assigned for a craft of fiction class)
    I couldn’t believe I hadn’t read any Carver before! He is totally my style. Weird, simplistic, post-modern, brave, brutal, and honest, Carver writes about real-life; he’s certainly a “dirty realist.” No magic or dragons in his stories. If you like stories that zoom in on the daily strange of people’s lives, you’ll love Carver. 5 stars!
  2. The Brimstone Journals (assigned for a YA lit class)
    I’m in a young adult literature class–can you believe it? We’ve read a few decent books though, a few I wasn’t as fond of (*cough* Divergent *cough*), but The Brimstone Journals is one of my favorites thus far. The format is much like poetry, you could easily classify it as a book of poetry, and each “poem” is a different voice/perspective. All of the voices are kids in high school. It’s raw, scary, heart-breaking, and edgy. 4.5 stars!
  3. Nation by Terry Pratchett (YA Lit)
    In class, we discussed on some level how this book may not be considered YA, but I think we confirmed it’s one of Pratchett’s “more YA” books. Other than Good Omens (his book with Neil Gaiman, I believe), this is the only Pratchett book I’ve read. I talked with my professor and got some recommendations, so I’m looking forward to digging deeper into the Pratchett world. 4 stars!
  4. 98.6 by Ronald Sukenick (craft class)
    Holy shit I loved this book. I loved it as much as I loved Cathedral…almost. It’s experimental, so if you love The Weird, get into this book. It’s about movements, and free-loving, and spiritual quests. There are some triggers, though, so be careful. 4.5 stars!
  5. Snow White by Donald Barthelme (craft class)
    Another one of those weird, post-modern novels. Barthelme is hilarious. I died. Seriously laughed out-loud at so many moments in this book. It’s basically the re-telling of Snow White’s story (an invert fairy tale), but often from the perspective of the dwarves (and sometimes Snow White and a few other characters). They’re kind of all living in a commune, and it’s kind of gross sometimes. It’s like if Snow White were made into a Judd Apatow movie. Or maybe something like The Big Lebowski.
  6. Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy by Judd Apatow
    Speaking of Apatow, if you love his movies, you’ll probably love this. It’s essentially interviews, some years ago and some more recent, of him and various comedians/actors/actresses/etc. Some of the interviews are even Apatow interviewing people from the 1980s, like Jerry Seinfeld. 5 stars!
  7. Maus I and Maus II by Art Spiegelman
    YES YES YES. These books were my absolute favorite read of the year (I started them in 2016, finished in 2017; read over Christmas break). Another set I was surprised I hadn’t read yet. My boyfriend loaned them to me, I started them, and just couldn’t put them down. They feature the story of a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, and the frame story is his son talking to him about his experiences–it’s based on Spiegelman’s story about his father’s experiences in Auschwitz and Poland during WWII. The characters are actually drawn as mice, while the Nazi’s are portrayed as cats. These graphic novels are powerful and moving. 5 stars for sure!
  8. Every Day by David Levithan
    A story about a soul or consciousness that wakes up in a different body every day, this story has INCREDIBLE voice. It deals with many young adult issues, including love and self-identity, and many adult issues as well. Levithan writes clear and concise, and his narrative is brave and real. 4 stars!

Well, I’m off to enjoy the rest of my evening. Probably going to watch more Golden Girls, finish the New Yorker I just got in the mail, and watch some more documentaries on psychopaths on Amazon Prime.

All my best.

Fall is coming.

Hey folks,

Summer is finally drawing to a close. I begin my second year of graduate school on the 29th, Temenos meetings begin again the 26th (which means we’re getting ready to enter a new work year), and my library schedule is set up for September. I’m starting my second workshop this fall, and it’s absolutely glorious and everything exciting.
Plus, there are the usual “fall” things to look forward to: cooler weather, beautiful changing leaves, cozy sweaters, boots, Halloween and horror movies, and of course, pumpkin everything.
I’m also preparing to make another step into adulthood: buying my first “newer” car! I’m freaking a little, to be honest, but it will be SO FUCKING NICE to finally have a car again (my car of nearly five years, Gatsby, finally died about a month ago–RIP Gatsby).

So with all of these exciting events on the horizon and to get more into the spooky spirit, I’ve decided to make a list of some horror movies to check out before Halloween.
‘Tis the season, right?

Horror Film Fest 2016

  1. The Shining (1980)
    Because, duh. This Stanley Kubrick classic is everything twisted and fun. AND, it’s based on the novel by Stephen King (which you should probably read if you haven’t, it’s only one of my favorite books EVER). Follow little Danny through the winding hallways of the Overlook Hotel, keep your eyes peeled for Grady Twins, and consider how Shelley Duvall’s denim overalls may have impacted her acting career.
  2. The Conjuring (2013)
    Ghost Hunters, I’m gonna let you finish, but Ed and Lorraine Warren are the greatest paranormal investigators of all time. Let director James Wan lead you through some scary ass shit based on a true story: how the Perron family and their 72 daughters (Seriously, how many daughters did they have? I lost count) survived a farmhouse of phantoms, possession, and demons.
  3. Lights Out (2016)
    This movie was released this summer, but I’m hoping SO BADLY that it will be out by Halloween. I was thoroughly impressed with the concrete layered meanings, emotions, and extended metaphors in this movie: it was so much more than just jump-scares and shadows. Though there isn’t much of a plot, the story survived gloriously. The film is also David Sandberg’s directorial debut, and it’s based on a short film created by Sandberg and his wife. Let me tell you, the short is just as effing creepy.
  4. Baskin (2015); you can find this one on Netflix
    This Turkish fantasy/horror is pretty slow-burn and VERY odd, and it reminded me a lot of House of 1000 Corpses mixed with Saw (I think it’s safe to say there is some torture porn…icky). A friend told me he thought of it as the love child of Inception and Saw, which is also very accurate. If you have a weak stomach, I don’t recommend this one. But, if you think you can handle it, the actual story of this movie is very well-developed. It keeps you questioning, which is always fun.
  5. They Look Like People (2015); also on Netflix
    I LOVED this movie; one of my favorites I’ve seen in some time. Its creep vibe is high, and I will say it requires a bit of patience (maybe something a la The Village). I admired that instead of jump-scares (there were none), it relied completely on the creep/eerie factor to really mess with your mind. It’s most definitely psychological; you spend a majority of the movie wondering if this guy Wyatt (he’s so troubled it almost hurts you) is right or not: is the world about to be taken over by evil creatures and demons? This film is also a directorial debut for Perry Blackshear, so hell yeah! Support new horror writers and film-makers!
  6. V/H/S (2012); on Netflix…maybe?
    What I liked most about this movie was that it essentially broke down into a series of short films compiled into one. There is frame narration and story, which follows a group of misfit dude-bros searching for a sacred VHS tape, but it focuses more on the cryptic found footage they discover (and watch) and in this creepy, old, dead guy’s house. Some of the “short stories” were “just okay,” but a lot of them left me with very unsettling and disturbed feelings. *shudders*
  7. The Boy (2016)
    This American-Chinese horror (directed by William Brent Bell) takes place in a far-away, almost surreal, English village. Watch how Maggie from The Walking Dead (Lauren Cohan) accepts a nanny job for an elderly couple. Maggie’s position: take care of the elderly couple’s “boy” while they’re away. Oh, and try not to die. The promos and trailers made this film look more like killer doll syndrome, but it’s actually a bit more complicated than that. The ending is a mind fuck you probably won’t forget.
  8. The Conjuring 2 (2016)
    I decided to include the sequel because, though the first one is good, I actually found this one more frightening. Once again, we’re thrown into the experiences of the Warren couple, and this time they find themselves in Enfield (in north London) with a single mother and her kids, and one of the children is tormented by the spirit of a crotchety old man. But seriously, this was another film with a TON of layers and complex characters. Plus, you get to see more of the relationship between Ed and Lorraine, and it’s just so lovely. Side bar: you’ll never hear “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley the same way ever again.
  9. Scream (1996)
    Go slashing and dive into meta with one of Wes Craven’s best. August 30th marks the one year anniversary of Craven’s passing, so honor him and watch this film…or all four of them! If you’re watching MTV’s Scream series, then it might be cool to jump back to the 90s and check out where it all began (I haven’t actually seen the new show, but I have heard it’s decent). One of my many favorite things about Halloween is seeing kids of all ages dressed as Ghostface–he’s timeless. This year also marks Scream’s 20th anniversary (whoa…how did that happen?), so celebrate and get killin’
  10. WILDCARD: The Voices (2014); Hulu and Amazon Prime
    Okay, so technically I think this film is dark comedy, but I think it could be a subcategory of horror. Is there such a thing as comedic horror? Sure. After seeing Deadpool, I was intrigued by other Ryan Reynolds films, and I came across this one. It is now easily one of my favorite movies I own. It’s obviously not The Conjuring level type of scary, but it is most certainly gruesome and eerie. Watch a loveable schizophrenic serial killer named Jerry fall into comedic tragedy as he confides in his dog, Bosco, and his sailor-mouthed cat, Mr. Whiskers. Disturbingly awesome.

Please share your thoughts, concerns, and questions on these movies!
I’d love to hear from you. 🙂
Happy Saturday and all best.

Updates on books this summer.

Hey all!

I’m sitting at the table in my too-hot apartment (I could turn on the AC, but I’m being cheap this evening), I finish up a letter to a friend, and then I think “Wow, you haven’t updated your blog in a long time! You POS!”
So here I am.
It’s been an interesting summer. July starts tomorrow, and I keep thinking “Have you even done anything fun or productive this summer?” Doesn’t feel like it. But I suppose I have. I have been working both jobs, and I’ve worked a lot on my writing. Earlier this month I received the news that my poem “My boogeyman chant, age 6” has been accepted to Blood Moon Rising for their October 2016 issue. Yay for publication! Extremely exciting.
In my downtime I’ve visited family, saw old friends, spent time with new friends, made plans for some awesome academic/career opportunities starting in August, and just adventured around town, going to the theater, etc. I haven’t made it to a baseball game yet, which is disappointing, but maybe later this month…

So in between all of this stuff, I’ve read a lot of books and I’ve drank a lot of coffee. Summer 2016 will be known as the Summer of Coffee. And the Summer of okcupid, but that’s another story…

What I’ve read so far:

  1. Palo Alto by James Franco
    I think I was reading this before classes got out and summer officially began, but whatevs. This was extremely angsty, almost TOO angsty for my taste, but halfway through I just couldn’t put it down. James Franco captured so many voices of Californian teens, and their stories were brutal, honest, and gritty. I insisted on reading this just because I love Franco, and I’m glad I did. 5 out of 5.
  2. Close to Shore: The Terrifying Shark Attacks of 1916 by Michael Capuzzo
    I read this last month in prep for Shark Week 2016, but also just because I love shark attack stories. Who doesn’t? If you don’t, than I feel sorry for you. The book was a little dry, as historical detail can sometimes be, but it was suspenseful enough to keep me reading. It follows the story of a rogue Great White shark who terrorizes the New Jersey shore in the summer of 1916 (I picked a perfect year to read this story, am I right? 100 years later! What in the fuck). If you like sharks and scary shit, try this one out. 4 out of 5.
  3. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
    My best friend gave me this book back in 2012, I believe, and it’s taken me that long to read it. I was such a chicken shit! But I was also worried I was going to hate it…if you’ve read my previous posts, you know how I feel about exorcism stories…UGH. But, I had been told by different people that it was the scariest book they’d ever read, which concerned me, but I had also seen the movie, which didn’t “frighten” me all that much. So I’ve been contemplating this book for quite some time, and then a few weeks ago I said “fuck it.” I know many people know the overall story, so I won’t say much, but I will say the movie does not stray far from the book. In fact, some of the dialogue was almost word-for-word, which was cool. I guess overall this wasn’t the BEST book I’ve ever read, but I am glad I read it. The style of writing was effective, and it was a fast and fun read. 3 out of 5.
  4. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
    THIS book actually frightened me a little. I had also watched the movie (a 1968 release), but the movie doesn’t do the book justice. It took me a couple chapters to get used to the voice and style, but once I fell into it I almost couldn’t get out. The story built slowly upon itself, creeping page after page as you’re swept along with Rosemary’s married life among the disturbingly nice people in her apartment building. The last fifteen pages had me at the edge of my seat, no joke. 5 out of 5.
  5. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
    This was one of those “I can’t believe I’ve seen the movie, but haven’t read the book!” moments. I found the book used (score!), and started reading it the same day I got it (I was actually reading it while I was reading Rosemary’s Baby. Ell Oh Ell). I read it in only a couple days, and it was absolutely wonderful. I’m a huge Bradley Cooper fan, so I loved picturing him and hearing his voice through the entire piece (swoon). It was also fun to compare and contrast character traits between the book and film. The ending of the book was not quite what I had hoped for (it was different from the film, but no spoilers), but I thoroughly enjoyed the “almost innocent” obsession and drive within the narrative voice. 5 out of 5.
  6. Deadpool comics; specifically Deadpool, Vol. 5: Wedding of Deadpool by Brian Posehn and Gerry Duggan
    It just occurred to me that I haven’t informed my blogging friends of my newest fictional character obsession! I saw Deadpool (film) the weekend it was released (Valentine’s Day…how sweet, right?), and it was love at first sight. I went back to see the movie another time, and another, and another (I saw it 7 times…sorry not sorry), and I talked to my best friend (who happens to know quite a bit about comics), and she hooked me up with a series that I adore. Deadpool is mean, raw, savage, truthful, and disgusting, but he’s funny, quippy, clever, and even very loving. Some of the comics are actually sad….sad, can you fricken believe it! He has such a great story. But I think I’ll leave the Deadpool discussion for a separate blog post. Because he deserves it.
    Currently, I’m reading a chapbook of poems by Zachary Schomburg called Scary, No Scary, another collection called The Difficult Farm by Heather Christle (both chapbooks I borrowed from a wonderful friend), and 11/22/63 by Stephen King. This King book is my white whale…it’s taking me forever. But I will finish it, damnit.

‘Till next time (with lots to say about Mr. Pool so prepare yourself), have a wonderful weekend and a happy fourth!

A little poem on this cold evening.

Hey, folks!
I tried out a non-iambic (primarily trochaic) style of poem for my craft class. It was a fun experience. I also wrote a triolet for this week that I’m incredibly excited about, so I’ll be posting that soon, as well as a thorough update about my life, new books, movies and things (spring break next week! aw hell yes).
Have a great night, guys. All my best.

Write me

Try to take this pen, pry it from

hands that hide my face in mornings,

hands that hide in pockets, watching

me shuffle in stolen Converse

from Macy’s, a parade I want you

to see, clowns and firetrucks and

bands and me, marching heavily

down the road that’s going sideways,

backways, gives way to the beat my heart

writes for you and sobs for you like

rivers between horizontal

blue lines. Watch me, break me, write me

Two Thousand Fifteen to Two Thousand Sixteen.

Hello, all!

January 3rd, 2016 is here, and what a beautiful day it is. The sun is shining (we haven’t seen much sun the past few weeks so it’s very welcoming), I’m in my comfy clothes, and I’m doing some laundry. Major productivity.

The holidays came and went, and it seems they move faster as I get older. Christmas was an absolute blast though–all of my siblings were home with their families, and it was a house full of warmth and love.

I also completed my first semester of graduate school, and I’m excited to report that I received A’s in both of my classes. It was a challenging semester, though I do believe next semester will be even more so. But, as always, I will do my best, and that’s what matters most. Right?

Working for the literary magazine, Temenos, was also fantastic. I made so many new friends and read so many wonderful stories by very talented people. I love being a part of such a cool team of writers/editors–it’s where I belong.

So, I’m currently on holiday break, working here and there, but at least on break of school. I’ve watched many movies, wrote a lot in my journal, spent time at home with my loving family, watched a variety of television, saw some old friends, had some amazing times with new friends, traveled, and so far, I’ve read two books (and I’m almost on my third).

1. When You Are Engulfed of Flames by David Sedaris
-This was the last Sedaris book I had left on my “To Read” list. I found a hardcopy at a used book store here in town called the Paperback Book Exchange (a nice little place, not my favorite in town though), and I almost fainted. As you may know, I’m a HUGE Sedaris fan; his writing is engaging, extremely funny, and so real and true to human behavior. Anyway, it’s a spectacular set of essays that I proudly placed in the “Sedaris Section” of my bookcase after finishing it.

2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
-I’m nearly halfway through this little epistolary novel, and as angsty as it is, I’m actually enjoying it. I’ve been told to read it by numerous friends over the years, and I suppose I just avoided it because I don’t generally enjoy books about teenage drama (I originally thought that’s what it was mainly about). However, a new friend of mine put in the movie a few nights ago, and I enjoyed the movie, so I had to give the book a try, you know? Even though I know the main points and elements of the story, having watched the movie, there is much I’m enjoying more about the book (surprise…lol). I see a lot of myself in the narrator (specifically when I was in high school), which is a little creepy at times, but I’m sure many young people do. And I’m sure many young people will be able to relate to this young boy’s story for years to come. USA Today quoted it as “a coming-of-age tale in the tradition of Catcher in the Rye…” and it is very much like that.

So that’s what I’ve read on my break thus far, but I also want to reflect on something from earlier this year. In December of 2014, my sister-in-law informed me of a new book challenge she had seen on Pinterest, and we both decided to give it a shot. This was titled, throughout different posts in my blog, 2015 Book Challenge (or Book Challenge 2015…some variation of that). From January to July 2015, I read a variety of books/plays. When school started and I started new jobs, my pace slowed a bit, but I still managed to read a few more this fall.

Anyway, here’s a Master List from my Book Challenge 2015–all books/plays I read before the ball dropped to 2016. If you’ve read my blog before, you may recognize some titles–I did more elaborate reviews on a few of them. I won’t be doing any in-depth reviews on these last couple books, but I still have one more week of break left, so I’m thinking the next book after Perks I’ll write up a review.

And here we go (asterisk indicates “favorites of the year”):

  1. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
  2. NOS4A2 by Joe Hill*
  3. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
  4. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  5. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
  6. Room by Emma Donoghue
  7. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
  8. Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis
  9. Barrel Fever by David Sedaris
  10. Cruddy by Lynda Barry
  11. Getting Mother’s Body by Suzan-Lori Parks
  12. Troilus and Criseyde by Geoffrey Chaucer
  13. Astray by Emma Donoghue
  14. Bossypants by Tina Fey
  15. Shopgirl by Steve Martin
  16. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis*
  17. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
  18. Generation A by Douglas Coupland
  19. The Red House by Mark Haddon*
  20. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (I’ve read this once before, but I’m counting it again because why not.)
  21. The Watchmen by Alan Moore
  22. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
  23. The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami
  24. The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans
  25. True Grit by Charles Portis
  26. The Price by Arthur Miller*
  27. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
  28. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  29. Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
  30. Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King
  31. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris*

And since this is a new year, and much like I did in my last New Year post, I also want to cover my Top Five Favorite Movies of 2015:
1. Crimson Peak
2. Jurassic World
3. The Babadook
4. Black Mass
5. The Night Before

And my Top Five Favorite TV Shows of 2015:
1. The League
2. The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (because always)
3. Supernatural
4. The Office (UK)
5. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Have you read any of these books? Watched any of these shows or movies? Feel free to ask for or share suggestions!

And as always, thank you for reading.
Wishing you all a wonderful new year! Keep reading and writing. x