When I Think of Summer 2018…

My summer’s almost come to an end–it’s almost time for workshops, writing, lesson planning, grading, meetings, readings, etc. It’s almost time for my second year of grad school to commence.

Oh man. I’m so excited for the upcoming semester.

And while I’m excited for what’s ahead, I wanted to write a little post about this summer, about the little moments that have become memories.

So. When I think of the summer of 2018–

I’ll think of purchasing bubbles for a dollar and sitting in the backyard nightly, blowing bubbles for Ellie (my pup) to chase.

I’ll think of reading so much and learning so much for my craft. This summer I truly discovered the complex joy that is literary fiction.

I’ll think of large Diet Cokes with vanilla from Sonic, purchased almost every single day during happy hour.

I’ll think of the week I spent with my best friend up in South Dakota and Iowa, in which we talked and drove and talked and bid on pies and ate s’mores and went on a wagon ride to which I said, “It’s like Kilimanjaro Safaris of South Dakota!”

I’ll also think of the soundtrack Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and miles and miles of corn fields.

I’ll think of finally seeing Waitress after more than a year of obsessing over the soundtrack and the story. Sweet smells (that lobby, though!), sweet pie, sweet experience.

Side note: when can I see another musical?!

I’ll think of trekking to the local library almost every day to write fiction (hopefully the start of my thesis…ahh!) among the books, huge wireless pink headphones spitting the newest Carousel revival soundtrack into my ears, the songs “Mister Snow” and “If I Loved You” always on repeat. So soothing. So nuanced. So great.

I’ll think of finally writing more for this blog after months of being stuck.

I’ll think of The Handmaid’s Tale and Mad Men, the two shows I watched religiously over the summer. Elisabeth Moss is a master, and the characters she portrays are incredible.

Side note: from now on, whenever I’m feeling a little glum/not confident when it comes to my work, I’ll ask myself, “What would Peggy Olson do?” She’s amazing. 

I’ll think of the sleep I lost because I stayed up late watching The Handmaid’s Tale and Mad Men. 

(Ha. I love television, don’t you?)

I’ll think of my re-discovering the gloriousness that is Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food (is that how you spell it?!) ice cream.

I’ll think of barn swallow nests and bird watching.

And, finally, I’ll think of spending time with the people I love most.

It was a good summer, indeed.

Favorite Feelings

The first day of a vacation, i.e. what today is for me. (I’m coming for ya, Allyssa and Iowa and South Dakota!)

The first sip of a large Diet Coke with vanilla from Sonic, because it’s extra vanilla-y.

Reading in a pool, your body half-submerged as the sun warms your shoulders and arms.

When you flip on the Food Network and the Pioneer Woman is on. She’s fantastic.

The crunch of a tortilla chip dripping with creamy jalapeño sauce from Chuy’s. UGH. I melt.

A perfectly clean room.

When you sit down to write and your brain actually spits out ideas.

The first time you listen to an album or a song, and you end up loving it. It’s the magic of listening to lyrics for the first time, you know?

When you used to work at Disney World and you visit for the first time in over a year, and Russell from Up remembers you and walks you to the Wilderness Explorer Clubhouse. (Oh, Disney. I MISS YOU.)

Receiving snail mail from your friends. Just sayin’ hi.

Sitting between the shelves of the local library, writing. You feel so official.

Actually seeing–not FaceTiming, not texting–your best friend for the first time in months. (Tomorrow, tomorrow!)

The tickle of your dog’s tongue on your nose.

Watching baby birds evolve: from aliens to gargoyles to feathered gargoyles to real life birds.

Long drives by yourself. You sing at the top of your lungs and no one judges you when you zone out to think about life and stuff.

And on that drive, you’re able to think of new story ideas and blog posts (like this one) and you feel energized and creative and productive!

And, finally, the satisfaction that comes with writing your thoughts down. There’s nothing better.

Kids Grown Up

I was so happy and lucky to win a contest on Instagram–I enter a lot giveaways, so to actually win something was such a thrill!

But this wasn’t just any old contest–the prize was a copy of Sophie Jo’s (@sophiejowrites on Twitter and Instagram) Disney-inspired poetry book, kids grown up. 

POETRY. INSPIRED BY MY FAVORITE THING EVER. DISNEY. This literature-loving girl’s heart was SO happy to win an item I’ve been eyeing for months.

First of all, the aesthetic of the book is so simple and clean, and I can’t wait to get more furniture so I can get a little stand for it and display it forever. I have a small collection of Disney books, and this is the perfect addition to my menagerie of magic.

Second of all, the poems are wonderful. (I know I’m using a lot of italics for this post, but bear with me). She posts a lot of the poems on her social media, but there were a few I hadn’t seen before. One poem, “windows and doors,” left me teary-eyed. The persona of the poem captures the essence of visiting my favorite place–I think the poem refers to Disneyland Paris, but I can see my beloved Walt Disney World when I read it. There are some lines that really touched me and conveyed how feel about Disney parks:

“and four went strolling, hand in hand: / through pinks and golds and clouds and swells / of music.” (Such beautiful language that puts me right on Main Street.)

“for days inside my head was calmer.” (YES!)

“he waved at me! / he remembers me!” (Me with any character I’ve ever worked with/met.)

There’s so much more to this poem, but I should stop quoting. Go. Purchase this book to read this poem;  I love it so much. Whenever I get “homesick,” this will be my go-to.

The star of the show, in my opinion, is the title poem, “kids grown up.” This little poem completely describes my everyday existence in every way, and it’s full of humor that any adult Disney fanatic can understand. My favorite lines:

“…then i can / think happy thoughts / and fly, and fly, and / thank my second star that i / take joy in stuff like how to store / my cheese baguette and how to pour / my ~CHILDLIKE~ self into the day…” 

THAT LAST BIT…ISN’T THAT BEAUTIFUL?! I hope I pour my “childlike self” into each and every day.

To Sophie Jo: thank you for selecting me as one of the winners of your contest. I am over the moon about your precious book–it will act as a source of inspiration for me as I make my way through graduate school and work on achieving my own writing goals.

To my readers: CHECK THIS GIRL OUT! I hope she publishes more in the future, because I just love the language she uses to describe my favorite thing in the world.

As always, have a magical day, and please pour your own childlike self into every second of it. That’s an order.




Currently Reading: All Things Anne

Note: the following post contains a lot of random musings about everyone’s favorite imaginative redhead–I would like to emphasize the word “random.” Enjoy! 

I finally carved out the time to read (almost) the entire Anne of Green Gables series. FINALLY.

Took me long enough. I was inspired by Netflix’s adaptation of the beloved series–while it was grittier than the books, the series did capture Anne’s ability to survive life’s hardships through optimism.

Disclaimer: while I loooooooove reading and writing and all things literary (former English major and current creative writing grad student here), I’m the kind of girl who can read a whole lot and then fall into a year-long slump in which I can’t seem to find reading material I truly enjoy. It’s been one of those years, but I’m working on it.

Anne has helped me discover reading again; returning to her world is like taking the first sip of morning coffee, sleeping in on a weekday, or having nothing on a must-do list.

I just love her. I love her, I love her, I love her.

Anne is so plucky and ambitious, especially early on. I adore the third book in the series–she attends Redmond College and learns what it means to live on her own away from Green Gables (with a group of delightful “chums,” of course), and she finally opens her eyes and her heart to the boy who has always loved her. She becomes a young principal of an entire school in book four, and she continues to win the heart of every reluctant soul around her. She marries Gilbert in book five and establishes her quaint and Anne-ish “House of Dreams.”

I have to admit, I love Anne the most when she’s single, books one through four. I love how she grapples with the world’s challenges on her own, and I love the relationships she forms with others along the way. Anne has a way of connecting with the misunderstood among society, and audiences aren’t treated to those relationships too much after she is married. Most often those difficult, “kooky,” or tormented souls are her “kindred spirits.” I love that about her–she’s unafraid of going against the grain, and she can win almost any heart with her unconquerable spirit.

Anne still has a way with others when she’s married, but she’s certainly more confined–not necessarily by Gilbert or her children, but by society at that time. Even though she was a successful educator and loved the world of academia, she does as societal custom requires (at least for the era) when she enters the world of marriage. She keeps an impeccable house: she grows gardens, sews clothes, has and raises babies, and keeps the House of Dreams and Ingleside in tip-top shape. She’s the matriarch of her little home(s), and while I know she loves it, I miss her free-spirited Green Gables or Redmond days.

Anne begins to settle as she grows older, which is both admirable (why not be content with the life you have?) but also bittersweet. She forgoes her childhood dreams of successful novel authorship, settling for the few publications in ladies’ magazines and newspapers. Those are still a wonderful accomplishments, but I wish she could have done a little bit of everything–I believe Anne could write the next great Canadian novel and still be a fantastic wife and mother.

No matter. Anne still has my heart, and I aspire to embody her optimism and grace.  Revisiting Anne’s world has been so refreshing and so inspiring–L.M. Montgomery’s dreamy prose and Anne’s spirit is like a drink of cool water on a sweltering Prince Edward Island summer day.

Does P.E.I. ever even experience a good swelter? Probably not, but the effect of the Anne series on my soul is that of contentment and delight nonetheless.

What are you currently reading? I could use some suggestions for future library excursions.

As always, have a magical, imaginative, and zip-a-dee-do-dah day, my friends.

Take Me to the Moon…

No. Not really. I’d be terrified.

I am, however, newly obsessed with the Space Race of the 1950s and 60s, all thanks to the book and television series The Astronaut Wives Club. My mom and I decided to watch the show on a whim, and now we are hooked. We hustled to Barnes and Noble to pick up a copy of Lily Koppel’s book, and the obsession became completely ingrained.

We’ve been enthralled with the fashion of the past, captivated by the relationships between the real-life astronauts and their wives, and busy googling and wondering about the real people behind the space craze.

I’ve never been a girl fascinated by space; I’ve honestly always been terrified of the “last frontier.” The thought of a whole lot of nothing and dark matter and stars just floating out there to infinity and beyond scares the living daylight out of me. I hate thinking about things that are unknown–my future, ingredients in the food at sketchy restaurants, and space, of course. It’s all too much.

The Astronaut Wives Club makes space seem a little more…human. Feasible. Nostalgic. I can empathize with the wives holding their breaths and wringing their hands as their husbands blasted off to dabble among the stars. I can’t imagine the anxiety, the not knowing, these women must have felt. I admire their bravery to face the press for the sake of beating the Russians to the Moon. I have nothing but respect for the women behind the heroes–some put up with infidelity (at least until after the Space Race) to help secure their husband’s spot in history; others battled inner battles (such as Annie Glenn’s speech impediment) to upkeep the essential ideal American appearance. They put on brave faces for the press despite their feelings of terror and apprehension.

Long story short, these women are lofty hero[ines] themselves.

Thanks to the ABC drama and the biographic page-turner, I’ve even conjured up a slight interest in the stars. About a week ago, I ventured out after sunset and marveled at a celestial phenomenon–Venus and Jupiter were in sight, so close to each other that my pinky finger could cover them both. Scholars believe this phenomenon could have been the star of Bethlehem. I wouldn’t have even cared if it weren’t for the Astronaut Wives, real women who would look at the Moon knowing their husbands were so desperate to walk its surface for the sake of fame, country, and history.

If you haven’t watched the TV show or picked up the book, I urge you to do so. These were real women living in a time when women had limited rights. They were supposed to be the perfect homemakers and have things just so, but they also had a voice. I love learning about different times in history, but I never paid much attention to America’s space craze. Now I know what an incredible time in history it was, and I also know a little about the people behind the Moon walks and the missions. It took a whole army to make history–men and wives included.

I’ve Learned “How To Be a Heroine”

I recently devoured one of my favorite books of the summer: How To Be a Heroine: Or, What I Learned From Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis.

Oh my goodness, how I loved this book!

It’s a mix of literary heroines, an autobiography, and a touch of feminism, all of which I love.  Ellis proves to be quite the heroine herself; we, as an audience, discover how she learns to stand on her own two feet and discover her own voice despite some pretty rough circumstances. She learns who she truly is, in spite of and because of the influences she encounters throughout her life.

Throughout her journey in life, she draws inspiration from some leading ladies in the literature I love. Some of these heroines include Anne of Green Gables, Scarlett O’ Hara, Jane Eyre, Franny Glass, and the Little Mermaid (the Hans Christian Anderson version). There are more where that came from, and I loved hearing what she loved/learned about each one–it’s amazing how two people (she and I) could admire many of the same literary heroines in similar, yet decidedly different, ways. That’s so cool, if you ask me; literary heroines are ours for interpreting. They are like gifts to the unsuspecting reader, relatable and inspiring characters that started out as ideas and a few scribbles on a piece of paper.

Isn’t writing just so incredibly cool?

I don’t want to give too much away about this book; I want you to pick it up from a local bookstore and hungrily devour each and every page. What’s also so amazing about this book is it makes you want to buy more and more books, a desire that I see no problem with.

I’ll leave you with this: I’ve learned how to be a heroine, and what’s incredible is that I am the author of my own story.

You are too. Now go and compose your best essay/short story/novel/novella/poem/haiku yet. You are a heroine, and you can do some pretty amazing things.

Happy reading, my friends.

The Importance of Imagination (Inspired by Anne Shirley)

I have just finished reading Anne of Green Gables for the first time. I’ve always been a bookworm, but I tended to avoid the really great classic children’s literature during my actual childhood. I’ve taken it upon myself to read some of the good stuff I might have missed.

Anne of Green Gables was first on my list, and I have completely fallen in love with it. Anne has cast her imaginative spell on me just as she charms her way into the hearts of the unsuspecting citizens of Avonlea, including her “kindred spirit” Matthew (my heart!) and strict, but malleable, Marilla. I just love the dreamy way Anne talks and her emotional involvement in the things she loves. I love her growth throughout the book and I love that she’s a romantic, imaginative girl who isn’t afraid to have ambitions, to be herself.

My momma has always compared me to little miss Anne Shirley of Green Gables. I can see why–I’m a tad dramatic, I’ve always used big words, and I’ve always kind of been an “out there” kid. I used to play “pretend” constantly. I remember practicing “dreamy” faces in the mirror because I wanted to match the descriptions of my favorite heroines in the books I read. I thought living in “olden times” (as I would call them) would be an absolute dream. This was before I realized that “olden times” had no indoor plumbing. Or air conditioning.

I was an imaginative little mess.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized I miss the constant daydreaming of childhood. I daydream now, but my mind often wonders about my unknown future–I don’t often daydream about “lovely” things, about “romantic” things as Anne refers to them. I don’t often imagine fantastical things; I drift off into some other dimension still worrying about the realities in this dimension.

It’s time to bring back some childlike imagination,  to let my mind wander into an abyss of color, possibility, and glorious improbability. Sometimes thinking about things that overreach the realm of reality prepares the mind to deal with the realities we actually face.

I’m not sure if that makes sense. But it definitely feels right.

So. Let’s all take a hint from little Anne Shirley. Take some time today to space out and imagine lovely things. Let your creativity soar, and appreciate all the beautiful things this world has to offer, just like Anne.

And now, a few of my favorite quotes from this glorious classic, all spoken by Anne herself:

  • “Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
  • “Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it?”
  • “Young men are all very well in their place, but it doesn’t do to drag them into everything, does it?”
  • And, my favorite: “Oh, it’s delightful to have ambitions. I’m so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be any end to them–that’s the best of it. Just as soon as you attain one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.”

I’m so glad I decided to revisit the neglected children’s classics of my childhood. Without the decision to do so, I would have never encountered such a lovely little book that encourages girls of all ages to exercise their imaginations and push beyond the limitations society sometimes creates. Anne’s imagination was her asset that aided her in so many areas of life; let’s all take the time to mimic Anne Shirley and drift off into the land of improbability in order to make our dreams an inevitable part of our future.

Spirit Animals

I love books that help me feel as if I am normal.

I received a few of these kinds of books for my birthday last week, and I wasted no time in reading two of them cover to cover. These were just the first two that I picked up to be read eagerly, hungrily, and obsessively: Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse by Alida Nugent and Mindy Kaling’s (I am just now discovering how awesome she is…how am I just now discovering this?) Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). 

Both were a comfort that helped quiet that little voice inside my head that I assume every twenty-something encounters: Despite all my weird tendencies, am I a normal, functioning, perfectly capable human being? Is this feeling of inadequacy and abnormality that I am sure I exude just a “me” thing? Do other people lay awake at night to contemplate the direction of their life, or do they just worry about the normal things? You know, the unknowns such as which Starbucks drink they’ll order in the morning instead of “What if all my dreams and hopes and other vague titles given to the future don’t work out?”

I have a very talkative inner voice, as you can tell.

Lets start of with Don’t Worry, It Get’s Worse.

Alida Nugent is a Spirt Animal of Mine

Let’s just talk about her bio at the very beginning of the book:

“A graduate of Emerson College, Nugent majored in writing and is as shocked as you are that, in this economy, she is able to find a living doing that. She currently resides in Brooklyn, where she stares at dogs and eats sandwiches and stoops and isn’t in a band.”

This style of writing–honest and funny and just plain awesome–continues throughout the entire book. There are moments that bring the audience back to heart of the book: what it feels like to be a twenty-something and struggling to find the balance between careless youth and thriving adult dominate the subject matter, but Nugent mixes in hilarious asides that exaggerate the awkwardness we all feel as ignorant “grown-ups.” There are chapters that are mostly rid of the jokes, but that doesn’t make them any less poignant and memorable.

My favorite chapter has to be “On Panic, or Conquering Fear Like a Child.” She recounts her struggle with recent panic attacks and compares it to her fear of sharks when she was younger. She was deathly afraid of those monsters of the sea until a fateful trip on Universal Orlando’s Jaws-themed ride. Once facing her fear, little Nugent wasn’t as afraid. At the conclusion of this chapter she decided that instead of masking her anxiety problem with pills and failed attempts of yoga and alcoholism (you just got to read…she does an excellent job of making light of scary situations) she decides that in order to conquer her fears, it was just time for her to just get in the water and take life day by day instead of incessantly worrying about the unknowns.

I loved this book. Do me a favor and go buy it.

Mindy Kaling is Also a Spirit Animal

I’ve always loved books written by the textbook “funny” women of the world: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Ellen DeGeneres, ect. Even though I had loved these books, I never really felt a deep connection to any of these women; there were no “She’s just like me!” revelations. Mindy Kaling changed the game for me–I feel as if I am very much like this adorable Hollywood misfit after reading her book.

Kaling grew up in a normal home, attended Dartmouth, failed miserably at a few jobs, and seemed relatively normal throughout her life, even after she found success writing and acting on The Office. Normal in the sense as no drugs, no underage drinking, and all of the awkwardness accompanied by adolescence and twenty-somethingness. She says in her book that her group of friends were the type to talk about going to grad school when they were only freshman in high school–she grew up relatively sheltered, as did I.

Being sheltered, however, didn’t stop her from writing one of the funniest and relatable books I’ve ever gotten my hands on. I loved this book, and I makes me want to binge watch every project she’s ever worked on. I even want to get my hands (or eyes) on the production of her first sort of success, her two-person play entitled Matt and Ben. You rock my socks off, Mindy Kaling.

In Conclusion, Being Scared and Odd is Completely Normal

There you have it, folks. While everyone thinks they’re odd and out of sorts every once in awhile, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t someone out there who is feeling exactly the same way you are. Picking up these two books helped me understand this, so I highly recommend them to you.

Happy reading, my friends!

‘Tis the Season to be Reading

Christmas break is the time for reading–recreationally!

I love getting to actually choose what I get to read for almost an entire month! Of course, this Christmas break I plan to get ahead in my “The Novel” course next semester, but for right now I am enjoying reading whatever my little heart desires.

Some of the following books are in the “to be read” category, and some are in the “currently reading” category. Here are a few little reviews of the books I’ve read/am reading/about to read so far:

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Oh, this was good. If you like historical fiction sort of reminiscent of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, you’ll like this. People of the Book holds a lot more literary merit, however, and it made me want to Google the Sarajevo Haggadah (an ancient illustrated Jewish book; illustrations are extremely rare in Jewish tradition) until the wee hours of the morning. I highly recommend this.

March by Geraldine Brooks

Because of People of the Book, I decided to check out another one by Brooks. March tells the story of the father absent in the beloved children’s classic, Little Women. I am actually  in the middle of listening to this book; it was the audio book of choice as I made my journey home yesterday. I really like it so far–it’s full of Civil War gore and poignant flashbacks in which Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson make an appearance. I also decided I really like Brook’s writing style–rich and full and beautiful; the language flows so nicely as I continue listening, and the narrator’s slight English accent makes it that much better.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

I LOVED this book. Told from a dog’s perspective, this book is funny and heartbreaking and inspiring and just so so good. You’ll never look at a dog the same way again–I’m telling you, dogs know. They just do. Read this. It’s an easy read, and you’ll just want to hug and pet your dog for all they do for you.

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

I recently finished all two seasons of The Carrie Diaries on Netflix, so of course I had to read the book. If you don’t know, The Carrie Diaries follows a young Carrie Bradshaw (pre- Sex and the City) as she navigates her senior year of high school. I’m only half-way through, and so far so good. It’s not mind-shattering or anything, but it is entertaining. The back cover of my copy simply says, “Carrie Bradshaw was a small-town girl who knew she wanted more…” Classic coming of age–can’t complain.

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

I literally just picked this up at the bookstore tonight, and I am so excited to start reading this. I’ve heard it’s a lot like Tina Fey’s Bossypants which I LOVED. What’s funny is I’m not particularly a huge fan of either–of course, I think they are so talented and good at what they do. I just can’t help but absolutely love the way they write. They’re just plain funny and they can convey this through their written word. That takes talent. Even the back cover made me laugh, and the hardcover under the flap: on the front it says the title, Yes Please. On the back, it says, “Thank you.” HA. It’s the little touches that make Fey and Poehler hilarious.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I only have read the first chapter or so, but I am determined to finish it. I’ve heard it’s great, and it’s written by a woman who bet her husband that she could write a better horror story than he could. You go, girl. Can’t wait to uncover the genius that is Frankenstein.

And that, my friends, is the tentative list of what I have read/ what I’ll be reading over break. Of course, I hope this list expands as Christmas comes and goes.

Happy reading, everyone.

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things: Books

I’m an English major. Of course I read.

Right now I’m in a sort of reading slump; or, in other words, I only have time to read the stuff assigned to me and quite often I get tired of it. A lot of it is very depressing. My Modern World Literature class is littered with embattled protagonists that often think of killing themselves. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good thought-provoking classic, but sometimes I crave a little bit of the happy, sappy stuff that usually isn’t considered literary works of art.

I’ve decided to share a few of my favorite books of all time, or at least some books that  have stayed with me for one reason or another. Here we go:

The American Girl Series by Valerie Tripp and others

I can honestly say these books taught me more history than most of my teachers growing up; I was obsessed as a kid. I read all of the books and had eight of the dolls. Eight. And I loved and painstakingly took care of each and every one of them. There is no doubt that my future children with be familiar with the American Girls.

Horton Hatches An Egg by Dr. Seuss

“I said what I meant, I meant what I said. An elephant’s faithful 100 percent.” Best Dr. Seuss book ever. Horton taught me that sometimes there are lazy, ungrateful people in this world, but if you are true to your word and work as hard as you can, good things often come your way. Sometimes that means cute little elephants with wings.

Sum It Up by Pat Summit

One of the best autobiographies I ever read. Pat Summit, the legendary women’s basketball coach at the University of Tennessee, wrote this after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It is one of the most heartbreaking, joyous, triumphant, tear-jerking autobiographies I have ever encountered. Read it.

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

Yes, that’s Lauren Graham as in Lorelei from Gilmore Girls Lauren Graham. That was the primary reason for buying the book, yet I was so pleasantly surprised to find out that Graham can write. Such a witty novel with a heroine we can all relate to. The dialogue is reminiscent of Gilmore Girls– long-winded but smart, you almost even have to read it fast in your head. I totally recommend it.

Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

The first classic I actually really loved. I read it sophomore year of high school for English class, and was just enthralled with the Christ-like Sydney Carton and the drama and the suspense. Never did the ultimate sacrifice seem so romantic.

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Well, duh.

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

I love this because it’s such a unique adaptation; Maguire reinvents a very adult, politically-aware Oz, and gives audiences a glimpse into the Wicked Witch’s side for once. I read this before I saw the musical (my absolute favorite) and it just solidified the love I have for misunderstood, Animal activist Elphaba.

And that, my friends, is just a very small list of my favorite books. These were the first to pop into my head. Don’t worry, there’s plenty more where that came from.

“I do believe that something magical can happen when you open a good book. {J.K. Rowling}