Ten Books That Have Been On My TBR Since Before I Started Blogging


Looking at my TBR is never a fun activity to me. I try to read around 100 books a year, but still there are so so so many more that I want to be reading. Where is the time? These are some books that have been on my to read list since before I started blogging, almost five years ago (???am I getting that math right – it sounds too crazy???). What books have you been meaning to read and which of these should I buckle down and read ASAP? Also which ones should I abandon?

Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting this weekly book meme!

Heading for the Woods


Hi friends. I know I’ve been a little MIA from the blog and, unfortunately, that’s going to continue for at least another week. Because I’m going to summer camp. Last time I went to camp it was 1998 and my mom had to come and pick me up because I got so homesick. But this time, I’m going to be a writing instructor. Sleeping in a cabin with tween girls, swimming in a lake, the whole works. I’m excited, but way way more nervous than I expected. I mean, what if no one wants to sit next to me on the staff bus tomorrow morning?

Before I go, I really want to thank everyone for their kind messages after I wrote about my grandmother’s death last week. It’s by far my most popular blog post of the year, which Nana would have loved and writing it was a very important part of my grieving process.

Okay, time to get back to packing. The real question is how many books do you bring to creative writing camp?

My Nana, Jo Barton


My nana died this week. It wasn’t sudden. It wasn’t unexpected. She was lucid enough to make her own decisions and, as much as possible, die on her own terms. She’d been feeling unwell and experiencing pain for a long time. And I thought that because of these things, and because I’ve spent so much time with her in the last twenty-eight years, that somehow I’d be spared the grief that seems to inevitably come with death. But as with most inevitable parts of life, I was not spared. After a week of acting like nothing unusual was going on, it hit me extra hard Friday night. And so I started writing this…  Continue reading

Ten Books I’d Buy Right This Second If Someone Handed Me A Fully Loaded Gift Card


Real talk, guys. If someone handed me a fully loaded gift card, I’d probably melt into the ground the decision of what books to buy would be to big for me to handle. At the very least, I’d ask my friend Kristina – who has excellent taste in books – to meet me at the bookstore. But going with the direction of “right this second” these were the first ten books that came to mind. Always so much to read. Hopefully I’ll get my hands on some of these soon.

Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting this weekly book meme!

Good Can Be Hard, Hard Can Be Good

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I’ve probably blogged about this at some point before, but I was a late reader. Not in the sense that I didn’t pick up reading at age three or four, like some precocious kids. Like I went through five, six, seven, and eight with very little ability to read. I met with specialists and tutors. My mother spent hours upon hours working on exercises, sounding out words, and writing letters in trays of salt. She read to me every night, which engendered a love of books that I can’t imagine having otherwise – especially given our rough start. It’s not that I wasn’t trying. I would have given anything to be able to do it. When teachers asked me to “just try” reading in front of the class, they might as well have asked me to translate the text into Latin or fly. I was trying. And it felt like all day every day I was continually being asked to do something, that I just wasn’t able to do.  Continue reading

Four Good Things

  1. This week marked one month at my new job. I was with seven and eight year old, and their stories were hilarious. Yesterday, I took them for a walk around the block where they had to pretend to be their characters. We had a fairy, a giraffe, the last dragon on earth, a dangerous cat warlord, and a boy with a scar. When we stopped I asked them what they smelled, saw, and heard. The giraffe smelled trees she wanted to eat. The dragon saw weird moving metal boxes (cars). The cat warlord smelled bombs about to go off. It was so charming and now I want to go on a walk pretending to my characters.
  2. I’m getting a lot of reading time in on the subway. This week I’ve read The Girl Who Fell, Shannon M. Parker and Bad Feminist, by Roxane Gay (I can’t believe I waited so long to read this book).
  3. Writing has been going slower than I want, but I did reach the half way point in my revision this week. I’m hoping the second half of the draft will go faster with some down-hill momentum.
  4. Last weekend, I got to see LOTS of family at one of my cousin’s wedding. It was wonderful to get to cuddle with my mom, play with my cousins’ babies, and catch up over frescas and chips in hotel rooms. The wedding was also GORGEOUS.

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all have fun weekend plans and weeks full of good things.