My Favorites of 2020

Hello everyone! Well, 2020 sucked to say the least. I hope all of you are doing well, all things considering. If you are like me, you are maintaining cautious optimism for 2021. If you are also like me, you developed certain fixations during quarantine. My list is going to look a little different this year because there weren’t many new movies or tv shows this year. I’ll be including new things I discovered this year that may have come out previously. I will also be including books I read in class that I did not review here. I hope you enjoy my list and I wish you all a happy, healthy, and safe 2021.

Books

  • The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
  • Dracul by Dacre Stoker and JD Barker
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
  • Trumpet by Jackie Kay
  • Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
  • Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
  • The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek by Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
  • Blood of Elves (Book 1 of The Witcher series) by Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
  • The Tower of Nero (Book 5 of The Trials of Apollo series) by Rick Riordan
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Movies

  • Onward (dir. Dan Scanlon, 2020)
  • Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn (dir. Cathy Yan, 2020)
  • Hamilton: An American Musical (dir. Thomas Kail, 2020)
  • The Lighthouse (dir. Robert Eggers, 2019)
  • Jennifer’s Body (dir. Karyn Kusama, 2009).
  • Jane Eyre (dir. Cary Joji, Fukunaga, 2011)
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (dir. Patty Jenkins, 2020)
  • The Devil All the Time (dir. Antonio Campos, 2020)

TV Shows

  • The Mandalorian: Season 2
  • Supernatural: Season 15
  • Doom Patrol: Season 2
  • The Boys: Season 2
  • Batwoman: Season 1
  • The Flash: Season 7
  • The Good Place: Seasons 1 – 4
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Seasons 1 – 7
  • The Umbrella Academy: Season 2
  • Stargirl: Season 1
  • Legends of Tomorrow: Season 5
  • Black Lightning: Season 4
  • Blood of Zeus: Season 1
  • Supergirl: Season 5
  • Lucifer: Season 4

Music

  • Manic by Halsey (album)
  • After Hours by The Weekend (album)
  • folklore by Taylor Swift (album)
  • evermore by Taylor Swift (album)
  • No Time to Die by Billie Eilish (single)
  • Cape God by Allie X (album)
  • Positions by Ariana Grande (album)
  • Level of Concern by Twenty One Pilots (single)
  • Light of Love by Florence and the Machine (single)
  • Petals for Armor by Hayley Williams (album)
  • WHAT YOU GONNA DO??? by Bastille (single)
  • my future by Billie Eilish (single)
  • Dreamland by Glass Animals (album)
  • Use Me by PVRIS (album)
  • color theory by Soccer Mommy (album)
  • Ferris Wheel by Sylvan Esso (single)
  • Let Me Love You Like A Woman by Lana Del Rey (single)
  • Punisher by Phoebe Bridgers (album)
  • Death of an Optimist by grandson (album)
  • Maps by Wednesday’s Wolves (EP)
  • Afterglow by Ed Sheeran (single)

Podcasts

  • The Magnus Archives
  • The Penumbra Podcast
  • Wolf 359
  • King Falls AM
  • Motherhacker
  • My Brother, My Brother, and Me
  • Passenger List
  • SCP Archives

The Anti-TBR Book Tag

Hey everyone! I’m officially done with my fall semester and I am enjoying every minute of my holiday break. I am also catching up on my TBR list but I wanted to do a tag while I was at it. I found this one on @Embuhleeliest blog so feel free to check her out. Also, I now tag you tag so join in on the tag. (By the way, if someone could create a book tag for evermore now that the album has dropped then that would be great).

A Popular Book That You Have No Interest in Reading: Everyone seems to really love Sarah J. Maas right now and I really don’t think I could ever get into her novels. I am also not terribly interested in any sort of “white woman leading a perfect life has a deep secret” type of novel.

A Classic Book (or Author) You Have No Interest In Reading: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, or any Dickens novel at that. I have heard that they are just really dry novels.

An Author Whose Books You Have No Interest In Reading: I was forced to read an Ayn Rand novel in high school and I never want to read another novel by her. From what I understand, she is mostly just rude to poor people. No thanks.

A Problematic Author Whose Books You Have No Interest In Reading: I have heard too many things about Chuck Palahnuik being pretty racist and misogynistic in his novels, so I am not terribly interested in reading his stuff any time in the future.

An Author You Have Read a Couple of Books From and Decided They Weren’t For You: I really tried to get into Dean Koontz. I just couldn’t get super interested in any of his novels. There was one I liked, but I didn’t care for the others I tried to read.

A Genre You Have No Interest In or A Genre That You Tried to Get Into but Just Couldn’t: I really just can’t do contemporary romance. I think the books are so freaking boring and way too similar to each other.

A Book You Have Bought but Will Never Read: I do have a copy of The Handmaid’s Tale but I really don’t know if or when I am going to read it. I would rather read other novels by Margaret Atwood.

A Series You Have No Interest in Reading or DNF’d: I didn’t care for The Maze Runner series, the Cormoran Strike novels, or the Artemis Fowl series.

A New Release You Have No Interest in Reading: I have no interest in reading Ernest Cline’s Ready Player Two or anything released by Cassandra Clare within the last five years.

How (Not) to End a TV Show

Hello everyone! I’m so close to the end of my semester and I should be able to squeeze in a novel or two before the year is over. Like everyone else, I have been using television to help me escape the reality of COV!D this year. Last night, one of my favorite shows ever, Supernatural, ended and, wow, it was something. I rarely get to see a show come to an actual series finale since either a.) I don’t finish the shows or b.) the show gets cancelled. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the different series finales I’ve watched and where they’ve gone very right or horribly wrong. The following is a list that no one asked for about things that should (or shouldn’t) be done to properly end a show, especially one with a dedicated fan base.

Kill Your Darlings, but Nicely: Since I watch a lot of sci-fi/fantasy/action/etc., character deaths are to be expected. If you are going to kill off a character at the very end, however, make it as poetic and dignified as possible. No one wants to see a character who has been through the wringer die in a completely mundane way. It doesn’t have to be a sacrifice, but it should make the audience and the other characters feel okay with the loss.

Remember the Lore: This mostly applies to the fantasy genre as a whole but canon is also important to any show. If you have elaborate backstory, the least you can do is keep the main threads going and keep in mind all of the important plot points or foreshadowing that has been established. The whole point of a prophecy is it has to come true in some way so make it happen! Fans can theorize all they want but the writers are the ones who get to make these things come to life on the screen.

Cycles Matter: We love seeing a story come full circle and homages are really nice for all of the fans who have stuck around. Easter Eggs and references are great for this. Even inside jokes can help ease us to the end. It’s okay to poke a little fun at the show’s past and reminisce. Let the characters go back to the start in some way then have them learn from the past.

Make Every Minute Count: Whether the show if half an hour, an hour, or two hours, every second counts if it is the end. Do not pad out the show with a montage unless it is super relevant. I don’t want another montage that only exists to show the passage of time. It rarely works. I also especially don’t want a montage about the past. I was there! I saw it! Give me new stuff!

Legacy? What is a Legacy?: Leave the fans something behind to enjoy. The legacy of a show doesn’t necessarily have to come in the form of a spin off or an open ending. I don’t always need a hint at something more. Sometimes, a show just needs to be done. Epilogues are fine and all, but they are all trying to copy off of Harry Potter where someone has a kid who is named after a deceased character. It’s become a weirdly specific trope that I am starting to get tired of. Just let us have the memories and let me enjoy my rewatch without thinking I’m going to be disappointed again.

To Ship or Not to Ship?: Quit teasing a relationship. Either make them friends, put them in a relationship, or at least address it in an appropriate manner. I am all for emotional complexity in a show, but it does get tiring after a while. By the end, we should know whether two characters are going to end up together or not. Please just decide or not, writers. It’s exhausting and I don’t want to read any more fan fiction.

CAMEOS: Give me some indication that the past characters mattered. A cameo is great if the actor is available. If not, at least, acknowledge the fan favorites that weren’t main characters. I get so excited when I see a cameo and I would love even more. Please give me cameos!!!

And that is the end of my post that no one asked for. I hope you enjoyed it and I would love to hear your opinions in the comments. Thank you and stay safe!

24 Books and Movies I love since I’m turning 24

Hi everybody! As of today, I’m officially 24! I know it’s not a milestone birthday or anything like that but every year is worth celebrating in my opinion. In life update new, I finally got my own dog. Her name is Quinn and she is a five year old shih tzu. I’m a proud dog mom as she has already made so much progress in just a few days. It has definitely improved this year vastly already. I decided to give you all a list of some of my favorite books and movies that I have discovered over my lifetime thus far. I may have reviewed some of these already so feel free to check them out.

24 Books I still love after all this time (series and standalones included):

  • The Harry Potter series (I won’t be giving the author credit because you know who she is and I don’t agree with her views but the books are still close to my heart).
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Circe is a great book too)
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • The Sherlock Holmes series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R Tolkien
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin
  • This is How You Lose the Time War by Max Gladstone and Amar El-Mohtar
  • The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • The Illiad by Homer
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
  • The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  • Redshirts by John Scalzi

24 Movies I love and that I think everyone should watch:

  • The Dark Knight (dir. Christoper Nolan)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (dir. The Russo Brothers)
  • The Princess Bride (dir. Rob Reiner)
  • Jurassic Park (dir. Steven Spielberg)
  • Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn (dir. Cathy Yan)
  • The Phantom of the Opera (dir Joel Schumacher)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens (dir. JJ Abrams)
  • The Lord of the Rings series (dir. Peter Jackson)
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (dir. Alfonso Cuaron) (this one is just my favorite out of the series but I love them all)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (dir. Gareth Edwards)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (dir. The Russo Brothers)
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas (dir. Tim Burton)
  • Heathers (dir. Michael Lehmann)
  • Spirited Away (dir. Hayao Myazaki)
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (dir. Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman)
  • Inception (dir. Christoper Nolan)
  • Shutter Island (dir. Martin Scorsese)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (dir. Steven Spielberg)
  • Skyfall (dir. Sam Mendes)
  • A Knight’s Tale (dir. Brian Helgeland)
  • Doctor Strange (dir. Scott Derrickson)
  • Wonder Woman (dir. Patty Jenkins)
  • Venom (dir. Ruben Fleischer)
  • Interview with the Vampire (dir. Neil Jordan)

My Favorite (Cancelled) TV shows and some post-semester thoughts

Hi everyone! I am truly and officially done with my semester. I had to wrap up some grading and deal with some rather…angry students. That was honestly the most frustrating part. Email doesn’t allow for proper communication because you obviously can’t read tone through an email. It was hard, to say the least. Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one dealing with it so it felt good to be in similar company. I can honestly say that I did not enjoy my first time teaching a class on my own. I have higher hopes for the next time I teach, though. I’m sure many of you have similar frustrations and just need a break. That’s why I’m giving you my list of favorite tv shows that were sadly cancelled before their time. To clarify, I’m talking about tv shows that were cancelled after a season or two and not shows that had a proper series finale. I figured some of you might not want to commit to an ongoing tv show so here’s some that require little commitment and are still satisfying to watch.

Firefly – Let’s start with one of the most famous cancelled tv shows. Firefly is such a unique sci-fi show as it combines the gritty and atmospheric feel of a Western with the futuristic tech of science fiction. This show only lasted one season and was created by Joss Whedon. It is still a cult classic with a large following. The spin off movie, Serenity, is also fantastic if you are feeling disheartened after finishing this series.

Agent Carter – Marvel may have a great track record with movies, but they haven’t had as much success with tv shows. Agent Carter, though, was definitely a winner. Peggy Carter is a bad-ass icon who kicks ass in every episode. It was a great take on comic book media with a unique twist to it. There was even a musical episode. All of the seasons are currently on Disney Plus if you are going through Marvel withdrawals.

ForeverForever didn’t last long but it will stay in mind..forever (I couldn’t resist). This show was about a doctor who accidentally discovers he is immortal and now works as a mortician for the NYPD. He must solve crimes and try to hide his secret, while also learning why he is immortal. It stars Ioan Gruffud, who you may recognize as Mr. Fantastic from the 2000s movies. It was a charming little show with a great premise as well as it was a crime show (and I am a sucker for a good crime show).

Pushing Daisies – Again, we have another quirky crime show with an element of magical realism. This show is about a pie maker named Ned (played by Lee Pace) who has the ability to bring dead things back to life with a touch, and send them back with another touch. He uses his ability to help solve crimes. Along with that, he brings back his girlfriend and they must navigate their strange new relationship. It’s a charming little show with a sweet romance at the center. It is also just morbid enough without losing its charm.

Sleepy Hollow – And now we have yet another crime show but this one isn’t as…cute. Sleepy Hollow begins with Ichabod Crane coming back to life after being supposedly killed during the American Revolution. He must discover what happened to bring him back by teaming up with a no-nonsense detective as they investigate all of the supernatural happenings in Sleepy Hollow. This was a really great crime show with a supernatural twist. You can find this one on Hulu if you’re interested. (By the way, I would recommend visiting the actual town of Sleepy Hollow. It was so much fun and they really embrace the legend.)

Constantine – Now, I’m making a bit of an exception with this one as the show is cancelled but Constantine the character is very much active in the current DC tv shows. Constantine is great because it’s like Doctor Strange but imagine if Doctor Strange was an alcoholic. I love my underdog, unconventional heroes and John Constantine fits the bill. It had some great visual effects too.

Swamp Thing – This one was a recent cancellation and I talked about it before a previous list of tv shows I enjoy. I am normally not a fan of the monster genre but I was pleasantly surprised by this show. It took something I considered hokey and made it genuinely scary. If you want a good horror show, I would recommend this one.

I hope you enjoy some of the shows on this list. I’m planning on doing another podcast list because I finally have time to dedicate to the fictional audio genres that I’ve been sitting on forever. Stay safe, stay sane, stay healthy.

Overhyped Books I’ve Read

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy. I hope you are all also finding ways to keep occupied as well. I can feel the boredom really getting to me. You know how you have stuff to keep you occupied but you don’t have the energy to engage? Yeah, that’s me right now. I’m still planning on giving you a book review of Leigh Bardugo’s Ninth House soon. (I’m about halfway through. It’s a decently sized novel.) Besides that, I just finished a novel for a class of mine and it inspired me to talk about book I read because of the hype and felt let down. Keep in mind that this is my personal opinion. I don’t hate these books but I was disappointed after hearing so many good reviews. Let’s get on to my list.

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger – I read this novel for my YA literature course in undergrad. While I see why teens absolutely adore this novel, I just couldn’t get behind it reading it through adult eyes (even though I’m in my 20s). I can see the appeal behind Salinger’s most famous novel but I couldn’t stand Holden Caulfield. He was so condescending and “intellectual” in the way teen boys gets when they want to feel different. That could easily be a way to read the book, though. However, since it was through Holden’s point of view, I felt trapped by the pseudo-intellectual ramblings of a teen boy who doesn’t realize his own privilege. I just thought he was a brat at the end of the day.

The Cormoran Strike novels by Robert Galbraith: You all know that I love a good mystery novel. After finding out that JK Rowling has created a series under a pseudonym, I just had to give these a try. I read The Silk Worm and The Cuckoo’s Calling. I certainly enjoyed them but they just weren’t as good as other detective mysteries I have read. I felt the titular Cormoran Strike was too rough and the novel was too congratulatory whenever he was a decent human being to others, especially women. I’m all for a gruff character with a heart of gold but you never got to see the heart of gold part. They are good books for travel, if nothing else.

Americanah by Chimimanda Ngozi Achidie – This the novel that inspired this list. I just got done reading this for a special topics seminar I am currently taking. I knew nothing about this novel going in but I had seen it on many lists of lauded books. I was looking forward to reading this and was sadly let down. I did enjoy the way that the novel addresses the problems that modern immigrant faces as the main character immigrates from Nigeria to America. It has poignant moments and accurate commentary. My biggest issues (and my classmates agreed with me) was that the characters were too flat and a lot of the problems the characters face get “solved” or wrapped up too quickly. Also, the main romance in the novel felt pointless by the end. I just had a hard time enjoying this novel as the characters weren’t compelling enough for me.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – It has been years since I’ve read this one but I remember picking it up because of the movie adaptation. The book has an interesting premise but it takes a turn into creepy and uncomfortable. The initial plot of the book is about a young girl who was murdered and tries to find a way to move on to the afterlife. Like I said, it takes a bizarre turn when she begins possessing adults who were her childhood friends and takes part in…adult acts. It’s so bizarre and unnecessary. I wouldn’t recommend this novel.

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous – I did a mini-review of this book a while back and I still stand by the fact that it is preachy and exaggerated. It does address important issues but it is so dated.

The Matched series by Ally Condie – I’m going to get a little contradictory here but I actually really enjoyed the first novel of this series. Matched wasn’t half bad but the sequel, Crossed, was incredibly boring. I didn’t even bother reading the last book in the trilogy.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – I did a review of this one already and it was a DNF. The writing was good but it was just so slow and took way too long to get to the most important plot points. Go read The Secret History instead.

The Vampire Diaries series LJ Smith – I loved these book as a pre-teen when I was going through my Twilight phase (ugh). These are longer and even more pretentious. I will give the novels credit as there was way more action, adventure, and magic than it Twilight but all of the characters were such Mary Sues. I didn’t even bother with the TV series when it came out.

The Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller – I had to include at least one play on this list. I read this in high school and it was an incredibly frustrating read with characters that range from boring to unlikeable. Also, most of the play is just stage direction and the dialogue itself goes nowhere.

My Favorites of 2019

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a good Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, etc. (or you at least had some relaxing time off). I had a pretty eventful year in general and I mean that in a good way. It is now time for my annual list of favorites across all creative mediums. I got a bunch of new books over break that I will be reviewing soon. I hope for the best for all of my followers in 2020! (Note: these are probably not in chronological order. I know my book list is rather short but I did not consider everything my favorite. Also, leave me your favorites of 2019 in the comments.)

Books

  • The Shades of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab
  • This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • The Trials of Apollo series by Rick Riordan
  • The Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • The Villains duology by V.E. Schwab
  • Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

Movies

  • Captain Marvel (dir. Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck)
  • Avengers: Endgame (dir. Joe and Anthony Russo)
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (dir. Jon Watts)
  • John Wick: Chapter 3: Parabellum (dir. Chad Stahelski)
  • Zombieland: Double Tap (dir. Ruben Fleischer)
  • Shazam! (dir. David Sandberg)
  • Polar (dir. Jonas Akerlund)
  • Jumanji: The Next Level (dir. Jake Kasdan)
  • Frozen II (dir. Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee)
  • Toy Story 4 (dir. Josh Cooley)
  • Bohemian Rhapsody (dir. Dexter Fletcher)
  • Fyre Fest: The Party that Never Was (dir. Chris Smith)

TV Shows

  • The Mandarlorian, Season 1 (Disney +)
  • Stranger Things, Season 3 (Netflix)
  • Doom Patrol, Season 1 (DC Universe)
  • Swamp Thing, Season 1 (DC Universe)
  • Supernatural, Season 15 (CW)
  • The Flash, Season 6 (CW)
  • Batwoman, Season 1 (CW)
  • Arrow, Season 8 (CW)
  • Supergirl, Season 5 (CW)
  • Black Lightning, Season 3 (CW)
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths: Five Part Crossover (CW)
  • Nancy Drew, Season 1 (CW)
  • Good Omens, Season 1 (Amazon Prime)
  • The Boys, Season 1 (Amazon Prime)
  • The Witcher, Season 1 (Netflix)
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events, Season 3 (Netflix)
  • Jessica Jones, Season 3 (Netflix)
  • Lucifer, Season 4 (Netflix)
  • The Punisher, Season 2 (Netflix)
  • The Umbrella Academy, Season 1 (Netflix)
  • His Dark Materials, Season 1 (HBO)
  • Russian Doll, Season 1 (Netflix)
  • Queer Eye, Season 4 (Netflix)
  • The Umbrella Academy, Season 1 (Netflix)
  • The Haunting of Hill House, Season 1 (Netflix)

Music

  • Norman F*cking Rockwell by Lana del Rey (album)
  • Wasteland, Baby! by Hozier (album)
  • WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? by Billie Eilish (album)
  • Beetlejuice: The Original Broadway Musical (album)
  • Six: The Musical (album)
  • Doom Days by Bastille (album)
  • Blinding Lights by The Weekend (single)
  • Nightmare by Halsey (single)
  • Graveyard by Halsey (single)
  • I’m Too Sensitive for this Sh*t by Hayley Kiyoko (EP)
  • Landfall by Claire Wyndham (single)
  • DEATH STRANDING: Timefall (Original Music from the World of Death Stranding) (album)
  • CHAMPION by Bishop Briggs (album)
  • Cheap Queen by King Princess (album)
  • Hallucinations by PVRIS (album)
  • Don’t Call Me Angel by Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Lana Del Rey (single)
  • Destroy Me by grandson (single)
  • FEVER DREAM by Of Monsters and Men (album)
  • Happiness Begins by Jonas Brothers (album)
  • For The Throne (Music Inspired by the HBO series Game of Thrones) (album)
  • Free Spirit by Khalid (album)
  • Sing to Me Instead by Ben Platt (album)
  • Hadestown: The Original Broadway Musical (album)
  • Truth Hurts by Lizzo (single)
  • Artemis by Lindsey Stirling (album)
  • K – 12 by Melanie Martinez (album)
  • The Birth of Violence by Chelsea Wolfe (album)
  • Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief: The Musical (album)

Podcasts

  • The Last Podcast on the Left
  • Red-Handed
  • Wolverine: The Lost Trail
  • Motherhacker
  • RNZ: The Worst Sitcom Ever Made
  • Queer as Fiction
  • Passenger List
  • My Favorite Murder
  • Behind the Bastards

Favorite Events of 2019

  • Seeing Freestyle Love Supreme on Broadway where Lin-Manuel Miranda performed live (!!!!)
  • Getting floor seats to a Jonas Brothers concert and touching Nick Jonas (!!!!)
  • Starting (and surviving) fall semester of grad school
  • Visiting the Mansfield Reformatory (where they filmed the Shawshank Redemption)
  • Seeing my little sister graduate from high school and start college
  • Successfully working two jobs at once over the summer (I know a lot of people do that and don’t have the same luxury as I do of having an optional part-time job but I did not think I would be able to handle it as well as I did)
  • Successfully being a teaching assistant for two courses
  • Not crying that much over things (lol)

Grad School Update #2

Hello everyone! Sorry I have been MIA for a bit now. I just got back from an awesome weekend in NYC. I got to see Freestyle Love Supreme on Broadway. To make things even more exciting, I got to see Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chris Jackson, and Wayne Brady perform live together! Yes, I screamed very loudly.

I thought I would give some general life updates. I have been way too behind on my leisure reading, but I am working on it. Right now, I’ve been occupying my time with shorter novels I have found online. For all of you frugal book lovers, I found an amazing site called BookBub (not sponsored, I swear). It’s free to sign up. You select your favorite book genres and you get deals on e-books every day. I highly recommend you check it out. Typically, I am not an e-book person but I am always down for a good deal.

Anyway, grad school has been challenging in the most enjoyable way. I have certainly stumbled, but it’s been all a part of the learning process. I’m pretty darn busy outside of my classes. I also work as a teaching assistant for two College Composition I classes and I tutor at the Writing Center. Nothing crazy has happened so far. I really enjoy meeting a wide variety of students and learning about better ways to teach people. I am due to teach a course by myself at some point in the near future. It’s a scary thought, I’m not going to lie. I am thankful, though, that I have plenty of back-up to help if something were to arise. I had to take classes about how to handle troubled students or deal with traumatic student writing. It is difficult to anticipate what might happen and who might be in your class. I do think that I am more well-prepared than I feel I am. Getting to know the students and watching them thrive is so gratifying. I want to show people my passions. Hopefully, I can teach them to appreciate writing if nothing else.

As for my classes, I wanted to share with you what I have currently read. In no particular order, I have studied: Shakespeare’s As You Like It, John Lyly’s Galatea, Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Sprinkled amongst those, I have read some fascinating journal articles. Normally, I hated reading the outside material in undergrad but these have been incredibly interesting. I love being able to take my time to study the things I really care about. At the end of my two years, I have to put together a portfolio of my work. I’m dreading it while also being excited. I want to show off all of the skills I have acquired. I also want to talk about things I want to talk about and not things I am required to talk about. That’s the best part about grad school; being in a position to explore the possibilities and share your thoughts with others.

I hope you all enjoy this post. I am going to try to do something for Halloween but I currently don’t have any ideas. If anyone else is struggling with school, just know that you are doing the best you can and you should be proud of yourself.

Life Update: Grad School and Other Adventures in Academia

Hi everyone! I appreciate you all continuing to check out my blog, even when it gets a bit stagnant. Almost four hundred of you are willing to read my nonsense and I cannot thank you enough. I love checking out your stuff as well. Now, let’s get to the meat of this post: grad school.

I mentioned in previous post that I would be starting soon and I’m now on week three. Grad school presents its own set of challengers that I wasn’t entirely anticipating. I will say I do enjoy the company of my fellow grad students and the professors who are more understanding than they were in undergrad. Granted, I am just getting to know this whole new set of faculty. It is still nice having even less classes and having even more time to dedicate to my field of study. I’m also finding enjoyment in being a TA. My one class is very introverted and the other class is very extroverted. The professor I am working with has been nothing but understanding and given me many opportunities to do some teaching of my own. It has been a solid start to the semester.

As for the struggles of grad school, at the moment they are predominantly internal. Impostor Syndrome has been the hot topic when it comes to college. I’m sure many of you have felt that way too. It’s hard feeling like you’ve somehow cheated your way into the system when, in reality, you’ve worked incredibly hard to get to where you are at. It always feels like you’re one step behind everyone else, even the other people who are just as new as you. The cure to that is continuing to work hard and knowing that you’re doing your absolute best. Academia is not the most ideal career field to pursue. Then again, every professional field has its own challenges. I’ve learned to accept that it will be hard, but it will be satisfying and it will make me happy as opposed to draining me. Yeah, I’ll definitely cry but I’ll get over it and carry on.

Thanks if you have made it this far in the post. Obviously, not everyone cares for this and that is totally fine. You’re not obligated to read my non-review blogs. I should be coming at you with more book reviews soon. Hope you all have a good day.

Book Characters I Would Fight IRL

Hi all! I’m not here because I’ve finished a book. Instead, I have been inspired by BookTube. Several BookTubers I watch have made similar videos to this and I thought I would join in. Yes, I will talk smack about your favorite character. Feel free to fight back as I take down your favorite character or feel free to agree with me.

Severus Snape: “Hi, my name is Snape and my crush dumped me so I’m going to be a dick to children.” Ugh, this man pisses me off to no end. Allan Rickman gets all the kudos for giving us a great performance, but the character himself is such a douchebag. He had decades to get over Lily and accept her choices. They could have easily remained friends, but instead, Snape chose to be a bitter jerk who has thing for betraying people. I love a complex character as much as the next person, but we need to agree that Snape made bad life choices.

Sherlock Holmes: I’m a huge fan of the original Sherlock Holmes series. I’ve read all of those stories and spin-off novels. I’ve watched many live action adaptations. If I ever met Sherlock Holmes in real life, I would punch him in his smug face. The hubris of the man is ridiculous. If it weren’t for Watson, I would probably not enjoy those books at all. Holmes spends most of his time making people prove themselves to him for absolutely no reason. As much as I love the asshole genius trope, I also hate the asshole genius trope.

Amy and Nick Dunne: I thought Gone Girl was an interesting novel in the way it showcased two of the worst protagonists ever. Nick and Amy are both equally garbage human beings and I’m so glad they ended up together because they deserve each other. I get that they are supposed to be written that way and I truly found that interesting. It was also so incredibly frustrating to read too. They were both just horrible people in every way. It’s hard to read a book where you can’t root for anyone involved in the plot.

Bella Swan: I hated her when I was a Twilight fan and I still can’t stand her. Let’s ignore Edward and Jacob for a second because at least they had interesting characteristics. Bella had nothing going for her. She had no personality. She wasn’t unique in any way, shape, or form. No will power of her own. She never really comes out of her shell or opens up in any way. Let us not forget the time she flung herself off a cliff to get Jacob’s attention. I feel so bad for Kristen Stewart to this day.

Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish: Of all the scumbags in all of Westeros, I think Littlefinger takes the cake. While Joffery Baratheon and Ramsay Bolton were sadistic assholes, at least they were interesting to watch in the same way you would watch a slasher movie. Littlefinger, on the other hand, just showed up to pull some scummy, backhanded move that only provided something for himself. Every other person in Game of Thrones had some sort of solid alliance or something to fight for, but not Littlefinger. Like Snape, he also spends most of his time being bitter over a childhood crush that rejected him. He was just made me feel gross whenever he was on screen. (Also, I would have nominated Ramsay Bolton but, let’s be real, I would absolutely not fight him.)

Holden Caulfield: Oh my god, talk about being whiney. I couldn’t stand this kid. Don’t get me wrong: I understand that he was going through some stuff and he’s only a teenager. But, holy cow, nothing gets better if you just whine about it. Even as a teenager, I understood that. Also the kid thought way too highly of himself. I would absolutely punch out anyone who thought so highly of themselves for no real reason. Holden’s attitude is a classic case of “ugh I don’t want to be like everyone else. I’m different because I think.”

Humbert Humbert: Lolita is already such a hard book to read and to have such a garbage narrator makes the whole thing even worse. What else is there to say other than he preys on a young and vulnerable girl for a majority of her life? It’s disgusting and I would happily fight this guy in a back alley.

That’s all I of the characters I can think of for now. Maybe I’ll do a part two or I’ll do a list of movie and/or tv show characters I would fight. Hope you enjoyed this.