I hope you and yours had a merry merry merry insert-whatever-holiday-you-celebrate-here!
Little Thing came home from school last Friday with a sore throat that progressed to “the bad sneezes” and a cough. So a week later, guess who got a cold and some chapped lips for Christmas? Me!
I’m still feeling under the weather, so I’m not feeling prolific or revelatory in regards to today’s post. . . but I am looking forward to next week’s post–my favorite reads from 2020. I’ve read 176 books so far this year, and I’m hoping to make it to 180 before 2021 hits.
If anyone could help a sick girl out and make a few easy, breezy, heartwarming, or funny book recommendations, I’d appreciate it. I’ll get back into some heavy reads in 2021.
plaster a big smile on your face even though it's hidden by your mask wish the mask covered up your eyes too because you're end of the school year tired but it's only December because it's hard to fake enthusiasm with your retinas and your pupils
remind your in-person pupils, all twelve of them, to keep their space don't touch his desk or his backpack or his breakfast
pinch your nose and close your eyes while you tell him for the umpteenth time to get his mask over his nose lose your mind as he covers his eyeballs with it because the sass, the audacity, is too much because you're jealous
begin going through the eMotions
start your Google Meet check you COVID screening spreadsheet tell a student that if she doesn't turn her camera on, she will be marked absent she doesn't choke on your sigh of frustration because she never listens because you don't know if she's with her mom or her dad because she might not even be there because you don't know if she has anything to eat today be thankful that the resolution sucks so the kids at home don't see the tear leaking out of your left eye but the resolution IRL works just fine nobody sees anyway because they're teenagers who have screens for faces
you're overwhelmed by going through the eMotions
put on a dog and pony show, a three ring circus, an Oscar worthy performance to try to get anybody to talk during the lesson but the only thing you can hear is the clack clack clack of the keys
let them type their exit tickets while you recall pen and paper with nostalgia, the worst emotion of them all
work on fully digitizing a week's worth of lessons turn pink and then red when you remember you can't use anything you've spent hours creating next school year because the curriculum is switching for the second time in two years angry pound the keys as you type with a force that could shatter your fingernails your desk the county
because you're tired of going through the eMotions
sift through Google Classroom for an assignment that he completed three weeks late that he expects to be graded RIGHT NOW and so does his mom she's only emailed you five times about it you've responded once in return the assignment's only half done like the school year like your sanity like your self-esteem
ignore the other late work emails
rest your forehead on your desk stare at your lap and breathe, breathe, breathe deep look up to see if anyone witnessed your saga, your mental break down, your calamity but they're teenagers who have screens for faces and Ray-Bradbury-is-rolling-over-in-his-grave AirPods because they're only concerned about their own emotions, not yours
and you're marrow-deep tired of going through the eMotions
you hand them a book--tactile, paper, cover, spine, pages to turn, black ink and they stare at it like their mom put Brussels sprouts on their plate when you've actually given them chocolate cake
because you're tired of eMotions
you smile, a real one this time, that lights up your bloodshot eyes because books because the bell rang because it's finally break and you've got two weeks off from going through the motions
try to turn off your inner monologue as you power down your Dell but you know that you'll spend your entire break going through your emotions
Tired of giving gift cards, coffee mugs, and home-baked goodies to your children’s teachers every year for Christmas?
Have you put off shopping for teacher gifts because you lack good ideas?
Look no further! I’ve got some great teacher gift ideas for you.
Plants. I squealed in delight when the school librarian dropped off this perfect little succulent in my room this week.
Once, I received a begonia hanging basket and about died on the spot. If your child showed up with a tiny poinsettia for me, I would explode with Christmas joy. Seriously, consider giving plants this Christmas. They’re inexpensive and unexpected.
A lunch-sized Crock-Pot. If you’re willing to spend a little more on a Christmas gift, this is perfect for teachers. I purchased one for myself, and it has been life-changing. Some schools don’t allow teachers to have their own microwaves in their rooms, and right now using a communal microwave grosses me out. With COVID, lots of teachers have to monitor students during lunch and can barely find the time to eat, let alone heat up their lunch. I plug in my baby Crock-Pot at the end of third block, and my chicken and veggie soup or pot roast is the perfect temperature by the end of fourth block. Every teacher I know who has one can’t live without theirs.
Cool handmade shit you or your friends make. ‘Tis the season to promote yourself! Last year, I received a gorgeous pottery ornament and bowl made by a student’s mother. I’ve gotten the most delicious salsa that a student’s mother sells, and once I tasted it, I turned around and bought some to give to my friends for Christmas. And while I’m not crafty, I have friends who are. One of my besties from high school makes the MOST gorgeous and fantastic artisan soaps, so guess what Little Thing’s teachers are getting this year?
I’m sure you have friends who make earrings, bath bombs, hot chocolate bombs, etc. Support your friends, and give the cool shit they make to your kids’ teachers.
Cool handmade shit your kids make. I have received gifts that have made me cry and are framed and precious and I will cherish them forever and ever. (Rambly incoherent sentence intended because I’m incoherent just thinking about them.) I had a student two years ago paint me this. I was a mess for the rest of the day.
I had a student draw this for me one year. (Context: Mrs. Ram, that’s me, loves Goose, my husband’s nickname, with Little Thing watching the two of us. I die now, okay?)
Your kids are talented. I love to get their works of art.
Gifts that relate to the teacher’s classroom theme. More than likely, your kids’ teachers’ classrooms are decorated with a theme. Mine’s decorated in llamas, so anything llama related is welcome! Llama sticky notes? Yes, please! Llama pencils? Sure! Llama stuffed animals, hand towels, or journals? Absolutely! Ask your kids how their teachers’ classrooms are decorated and go from there.
Gift cards to local businesses. Okay, I know I started this post by saying Tired of giving gift cards…but but but. Think outside the box with this one. Don’t just go with gift cards for Amazon, Walmart, Target, or Starbucks. Think local, especially with small businesses being hit hard this year. Give the gift of a manicure or pedicure! Give the gift of your favorite Mexican restaurant! Give the gift of your favorite florist or boutique!
But in all honesty, teachers enjoy all the gifts they receive. They will love every coffee mug and Starbucks gift card they receive.
It’s just nice to be recognized and appreciated, especially during such a tumultuous school year.
Who is ready for some quasi-coherent (I haven’t been sleeping and have been putting too much distance between finishing a book and actually writing a review! Meep!) mini book reviews?
I had a great reading month and promise there’s a book on this list for every type of reader!
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager—published 2020—horror—four stars: I’m conflicted on this rating. No joke: this is a wannabe Haunting of Hill House. If you ask me, it’s a mashup of Shirley Jackson’s novel and Netflix’s interpretation. But I’m wary of the “horror” genre: most aren’t scary. I also thumbs-down dislike reading books within books (BWBs) because BWBs have shitty writing. But. But. But. It’s a great thriller.
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender—published 2020—YAL/LGBTQIA+ romance—four stars: Felix—Black, transgender, and queer—attends a private art school in New York City. He bounces between staying with his dad, a doorman, and his privileged bestie, Ezra, who has his own apartment close to school. A mystery student at the school hacks into Felix’s Instagram account, stealing images of him from before his transition. The perpetrator blows the photos up and puts them in the school gallery, also deadnaming Felix. Felix, angry and embarrassed, resolves to discover who the culprit is. An important YAL book. I learned things from this book. The cover is gorgeous. My only criticism is that I didn’t think it feasible for a NYC doorman to be able to afford private high school tuition and still be able to rent an apartment in the city. And you know how I feel about YAL protagonists yearning to attend Ivy League universities.
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks—published 2020—middle-grade fiction—four stars: Oh, I needed a good middle grade read, and this hit the spot. When the mail arrives on her birthday, Zoe finds a letter from her father, who’s in prison and has never written to her before. She starts sending him letters and, convinced of his innocence, tries to prove that he’s been imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit.
Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall—published 2020—nonfiction—five stars: Holy shit. A must-read. White feminists? We’re doing it wrong. I’m just going to leave this quote right here: If mainstream white feminism wants something to do, wants to help, this is one area where it is important to step back, to wait to be invited in. If no invocation is forthcoming? Well, you can always challenge the white patriarchy. There’s always space to combat the prison industrial complex, to advocate for the reduction of incarceration as a solution for societal concerns. There’s space to limit the harm done to marginalized communities without intruding on the internal work that insiders can and must do. And that space can operate from the outside.
The House in the Cerulean Seaby T.J. Klune—published 2020—fantasy/LGBTQIA+–four stars: T.J. Klune has written a story with Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett style. At first, this feels like it should be a children’s fantasy, vibing Peter Pan and A Series of Unfortunate Events, but the love story weaves in a beautifully written adult romance. Think whimsy meets universal truths. Can we talk about Chauncey? He’s perfect.
You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Mattersby Kate Murphy—published 2020—nonfiction—four stars: As a teacher and as a human being, I find this book fascinating. Here are some gems I highlighted:
“To listen does not mean, or even imply, that you agree with someone. It simply means you accept the legitimacy of the other person’s point of view and that you might have something to learn from it.
“Good listeners know that understanding isn’t binary.”
“Good gossip smells like bourbon to me.”
“While gossip often has a negative connotation, it actually has a positive social function. There’s a reason why as much as two-thirds of adult conversations is gossip…”
“Evolution gave us eyelids so we can close our eyes but no corresponding structure to close off our ears. It suggests that listening is essential to our survival.
“Early humans had to listen and collaborate or die. Norms of behavior and rules of civility emerged from those early joint activities, which later informed our ideas of morality.”
“Our modern selves talk more and listen less despite the fact that understanding and responsiveness to one another’s stories, ideas, and concerns have defined all our achievements from hunting wooly mammoths to putting a man on the moon. Not listening to one another diminishes what we can achieve and in that way, too, can be seen as a moral failing. We not only fail one another as individuals, we also fail to thrive as a society.”
And who knew that everyone literally possesses an emotional ear—the left one—versus a logical ear—the right???? Mind blown emoji.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab—published 2020—fantasy/romance—four stars: If you need a slow burn fantasy romance with lyrical prose, then Addie LaRue is for you. Addie makes a deal with the devil so she can live forever, but he, in return, curses her. He makes her easy to forget. Over the centuries, she learns to manage and leaves her impression in famous works of art. When Addie meets someone who can finally remember her, she must face the devil once again. I love Schwab’s range as a writer and how distinctly different all of her middle grade, young adult, and adult stories are. I loved the language motif woven into her story like here: “Bad Night.” A question without a question mark. I loved the repetition of “palimpsest.” I loved the little snippets of gorgeous writing sprinkled throughout like here: The world goes muffled, a cotton kind of quiet. And if it were not for the icy damp leaching through her clothes, she thinks she could stay here forever. She decides she will at least stay here for now. And then this: So she longs for the mornings, but she settles for the nights, and if it cannot be love, well, then, at least it is not lonely. However, I did hate this book at certain points too. It’s long. I felt it read more like young adult literature. I wasn’t happy with the ending. Because I’m a terrible human being, I found myself rooting for Stockholm syndrome. But lawd have mercy, what a lovely ride.
Malorie (Bird Box #2) by Josh Malerman—published 2020—horror—four stars: Who wouldn’t want to read a sequel to Bird Box? You learn more about the monsters. Malorie’s children are teenagers. When Malorie learns that her parents might still be alive, she packs up the teens, and they set off on an adventure, including a ride on a blind train. Despite its repetitiveness and not being as good as the original, I enjoyed reading it.
The Switch by Beth O’Leary—published 2020—chick lit—three stars: A mediocre read in the middle of a great reading month. I enjoyed O’Leary’s The Flatshare more. When Leena is forced to take leave from her high-powered job, she decides to move into her granny’s house, taking on the old lady life. Meanwhile, her granny, Eileen, moves into Leena’s London flat and tries her hand at online dating. Meh? Very predictable.
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman—published 2020—contemporary fiction—four stars: I hated this book at first. I couldn’t get into it. Backman kept repeating parts of the story that had already been established, ugh. Despite finding the repetition nauseating, Backman must have slipped some Zofran into his narrative because by the end I’d settled in and my appetite was restored. He makes it clear from the beginning that it’s a story about idiots—but they’re endearing idiots, except for the real estate agent, she’s awful. The worst bank robber in existence tries to rob a bank, but it’s a cashless one. When trying to get away, the bank robber stumbles into an apartment viewing and takes the would-be buyers hostage. The book tackles death, suicide, homelessness, and love with such a light, humourous touch while at the same time being deeply moving and respectful–Backman signature style. And this line kills me: But if there’s one thing modern life and the internet have taught us, it’s that you should never expect to win a discussion simply because you’re right. And Zara, where do I start with Zara? She rivals Chauncey from The House in the Cerulean Sea as my new favorite character.
no fear no fear
the new christmas cheer!
let's pretend the pandemic is as real as rudolph the red-nosed reindeer!
they want to cancel christmas?
now they've really gone too far!
all I want for christmas is to go to the bar!
how could grabbing a drink with my buddies send grandma to the e.r.?
stop living in fear
the new christmas cheer!
but 2020 has lasted an era!
I deserve to put on my earrings and some mascara and go ring in the new year with sara, tara, and kara!
no fear no fear
2020 has spit in our eggnog and beer!
fa la la la la and are we listening?
why are we scared of social distancing?
no fear sounds an awful lot like no fair
no fair no fear
stop looking in the mirror
the new christmas cheer!
I’m rather wistful this morning. Here are two things that I’ve been missing HARD because of the pandemic:
Wearing fancy earrings. I have a whole drawer full of golden hoops, tortoise shell danglies, leather teardrops, and Kendra Scott knockoffs that are slowly going out of style. Instead, I’m donning studs, BORING, because I am fearful of losing an earlobe when tearing my mask off my face after class ends. Have you ever ripped a piercing wide open? I have— between freshman and sophomore year of college waiting tables at my cousin’s restaurant. I bussed a table using a big Rubbermaid container and brought it back to the dishwashing area. As I was setting it down, its lip got caught on my belly button ring and ripped that senior-year-in-high-school-spring-break-bad-decision right out. I screamed. It hurt like hell. For years the top of my bellybutton looked like it had floppy devil horns hanging upside down from it. I don’t want my ears to suffer the same fate. Occasionally I’ll sport my fancy earrings anyway when I want to live on the wild side or simply forget the dangers of fancy earring wearing. The only upside to wearing them is if you wear hoops. Then at least when you take your mask off, the hoopies catch the elastic and your mask can hang like a hammock from them if you don’t feel like putting your mask on your desk.
Name brand hand sanitizer. All I want for Christmas is some Germ-X or Purell. That cheap shit smells like tequila, and by nine a.m., WHILE I’M TEACHING CHILDREN, all I can think about is a giant top-shelf margarita. I’ve had to stop myself mid lesson from sniffing it because I’m all nostalgic for bygone Friday afternoon happy hours with my teacher friends. It’s not fair that my classroom smells like a Mexican restaurant when it’s unsafe to even patronize (Patrón-ize?) one currently. So if you walk past my classroom door and see me fondling a bottle of GermsNoMore and bringing it lovingly up to my nose, I might need you to come in and confiscate it and replace it with some chips and salsa, thank you very much.
If you need me for anything this Thanksgiving break, you can find me in my backyard wearing my favorite tortoise shell oversized hoopies sipping a massive margarita in my not-yet-purchased hammock.
What are the random things that you miss, friends?
The white-page glow of my Chromebook’s screen dimmed then disappeared as I closed my Chromebook with a click and thank-god-it’s-Friday.
Having just taught for five hours straight, I was famished. I exited the guest bedroom, my makeshift virtual classroom hub, and crossed into the kitchen, whipping the smart refrigerator’s door open to confirm it held nothing appetizing within. Its cool air laughed in my face while I sighed in defeat. I considered Waitr momentarily, but I’d already ordered it twice that week since I’d been too sick to cook. Ordering it a third time bordered on financial negligence.
The refrigerator chimed an eight-note tune, its way of saying—hey, blondie, you’re letting all the cold air out. Chastised, I eased its door closed, wishing no further admonishment.
Snatching my keys off the black-flecked, white countertop, I mosied out the door towards my Buick, jangling the keys in my hand to see if my archnemesis, our cat Suny, was lazing or prowling near. His Evil Highness failed to appear. Darn.
The sunshine did, however, and I unleashed an otherworldly fuck when it initially singed my vampire pallor. I shielded my eyes, forcing myself to gaze half-lidded into the cerulean sky, letting my eyes adjust to the brightness. A small defiance to acclimate to a healthy dose of Vitamin D. I sneezed. Thanks, Helios. I sneezed again.
Once I climbed into the car, I pressed my foot to the brake then my finger to the start button. I rolled the windows down, letting the stifling, stale November heat escape. I hooked my iPhone up to a power cord, engaging CarPlay mode, because who listens to the radio anymore when there’s Amazon Music? After a ferocious debate with myself because I felt like I was cheating on Taylor Swift’s Red album, I settled on The Chicks’ explicit Gaslighter album. I whispered sorry to TayTay, pinky-promised her we Would Be Getting Back Together, and cranked the volume to “How Do You Sleep at Night” to a the-neighbors-will-totally-disapprove level.
Because my respiratory system was otherwise engaged in snot factory mode à la prednisone, I couldn’t sing along, but I bopped my head, despite a lingering headache, as I eased onto the highway.
Burger King’s drive-through didn’t appear super busy, so I pulled in. I reluctantly turned my music down—Natalie, Emily, and Martie’s harmony decrescendoing into the low buzz associated with elevator music.
When it was my turn, the drive-through speaker issued forth a series of clicks and hisses. I assumed a human wasn’t attempting to make contact yet, so I sat patiently awaiting an employee’s request for my Whopper with cheese. More microphone noises filled the air for five minutes.
Fed up, in my sweetest, to appease the french fry gods, voice, I questioned, “Hello?” I waited for a plague of ketchup sent from the heavens to smote me. Death by ketchup asphyxiation, not a terrible way to go, I guessed.
Seconds passed. I broke into a sweat. A glance into my rearview mirror revealed the frustrated faces of lunch-hungry contemporaries also lamenting how fast food is never fast in the South, unless you’re at Chick-fil-A.
The speaker emitted a sound like someone was petting a microphone, and then finally spoke the most welcome phrase in the English language, “May I take your order?”
After a rather unremarkable exchange of credit card and food, the smell of hot cheeseburger and greasy fries wafted on the air conditioner’s current, and I fumbled with the paper bag while trying to turn right out of the parking lot.
The brown bag crinkled while I fished for some fries. They were hot and mushy, not quite crispy enough, but they’d do. I finished them before even turning onto the interstate.
I licked my fingers like a deer at a salt lick, reveling in the brine.
I knew I should wait to eat the burger, but I dug in, blindly.
I disrobed the burger, removing the bun (thank you wheat sensitivity), the lettuce, the onions, while keeping my eyes on the road. I tore off a piece of meat, my fingers immediately clothed in an outfit of ketchup, half-melted American cheese, and mayo, and plopped the certified Angus beef into my mouth.
My next piece had an entire pickle glued to it. I’d eat the pickle, but I knew my IBD would be like a Little Rascal shouting, “I’ve got a pickle! I’ve got a pickle! I’ve got a pickle! Hey! Hey! Hey!” and create utter mayhem for me five hours later.
So, I tried to fling the pickle back into the bag, but I missed.
It landed with a gentle thwack to my right, on the center console’s black, perilous precipice.
A moment of stark horror raced through my mind. I knew I couldn’t immediately conduct an emergency rescue operation on the rogue pickle. I was approaching a roundabout, requiring full concentration and both hands on the wheel. But if I didn’t get to it in time, it would dangle, slip, fall into that unreachable no-man’s-land canyon of inanimate-object-death between my driver’s seat and center console.
I prayed to the Vlasic god this time and hoped that the pickle’s mayo and ketchup shroud would keep him glued to the edge to counteract his slippery juiciness while I looped to the right.
I thought I heard a faint, “Save me. This is no way to go.” I swept my eyes down to check on him. I breathed in relief; he hadn’t moved.
I named him Dill.
I couldn’t let Dill die.
I swooped the steering wheel left.
Another look revealed Dill had slid down the slope, leaving a sluglike white and red trail behind him. Even though he was still reachable, I couldn’t rescue him yet.
By the time I made it safely through the roundabout, the abyss had devoured Dill.
When I reached my driveway, I threw my crossover into park, unbuckled my seatbelt, and flung open the car door. I splayed myself flat across the driver’s side seat, becoming flush with its surface area, garnering grip for the Herculean task of pickle rescue.
“I’m coming, Dill!” I shouted.
I thrust my arm over the driver’s seat ledge, wishing Dill would throw up an arm and meet me halfway. But the crevice trapped my can-palm-a-basketball-man-hand.
I struggled for a minute, escaping unscathed save for a few brush burns.
I heaved a sigh of frustration. I needed a break.
“I’ll be back later, Dill.”
So I left him there. I finished my lunch and my workday.
I picked up Little Thing from school, and when we pulled into the driveway, I explained Dill’s situation. She was unbothered and callous. She withdrew indoors to watch her iPad.
I knew if I didn’t rescue Dill now his corpse would wreak havoc on my olfactory senses for weeks.
I knew what I had to do.
I opened my car door one last time and got on my knees. I pushed the button on the bottom side of my car’s seat. The seat moved back as far as it could go.
I brought my head level to the car’s floor. My eyes shifted over rocks and dust, settling on the dark space between the seat and the console.
And there was Dill. Wedged between a black and gold earring and a tube of pink lipstick. Looking dehydrated and on his last breath.
I grabbed the tube of lipstick and used it as a rope to rescue him.
I cradled him in my arms.
I looked at him as he croaked, “Thank you.”
I screamed and dropped him.
Not because he was talking, but because he’d grown a full head of hair. Long blonde hair that looked vaguely familiar.
I recovered quickly, picking him up off the pavement.
I brought him inside as he breathed his last breath.
Little Thing (Who knew she was so morbid?) asked for a final viewing.
Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi–published 2020–contemporary fiction–four stars: Gifty, a Stanford doctoral student, studies addiction and depression and their effects on mice. When her mother has a mental breakdown, she moves in with Gifty. The narrative gets interrupted by flashbacks to Gifty’s childhood, outlining her brother’s life as an addict and her Christian faith. Gifty struggles with justifying her religious beliefs to her Ivy League science community. While this book is beautiful, it is dull. I liked this more than Homegoing.
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke–published 2020–fantasy–three stars: Piranesi lives alone in a labyrinth of halls. The whims of nature and the tides batter his world. Occasionally he meets with the Other, a mysterious man. When Piranesi suspects another person has penetrated the labyrinth, he questions his entire reality. The writing style was a bit too repetitive for my taste.
He Started It by Samantha Downing–published 2020–thriller–three stars: When Beth, Eddie, and Portia’s grandfather dies, the siblings recreate a harrowing, murderous road trip that their grandfather forced them to take as children. If they don’t, they won’t receive their millions in inheritance. Not gonna lie, this book is pretty twisty, but it was long for a thriller despite being written in a whole bunch of short sentences. The ending was a complete surprise.
Rosemary’s Babyby Ira Levin–published 1967–horror–four stars: I might be the only person on the planet unfamiliar with this book’s premise. I pictured myself huddled up under the covers, scared shitless, the entire time while reading, but it wasn’t scary. However, I appreciated the writing, the layered details that melded together in the last chapters.
A Deadly Education (The Scholomance #1) by Naomi Novik–published 2020–fantasy–four stars: A heroine 95 percent unlikeable? Check. A magic school that tries to kill its students? Check Check. Novik killing it at worldbuilding with a super original storyline? Check Check Check. Is this Uprooted, one of my all-time fantasy faves? Absolutely not. This is dark. And that damn cliffhanger at the end. Ugh!
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson–published 2015–thriller–four stars: Truth bomb alert: because school’s back in session, I’ve had less time to write book reviews as I finish each book. I’m typing this three weeks after finishing the book. Yes, I enjoyed this thriller. Was it twistier than Twister? Sure! Can I tell you the main characters’ names without revisiting the book’s blurb on Goodreads? Nope.
The Year of the Witchingby Alexis Henderson–published 2020–fantasy/horror–three stars: Think feminist dystopian literature meets witches rebelling against oppressive religion. Also, prepare yourselves for religious men taking multiple wives, you know, because, oppressive religion. The book read more like YAL than true adult fiction. Some parts were scary. Others weren’t. The pacing was off.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier–published 1938–classics/gothic/mystery–four stars: I dislike when authors layer on the imagery thick right at a book’s beginning, which happens here. Just begin in medias res, please! And while I wasn’t necessarily creeped out, I enjoyed the slow burn of the mystery surrounding Rebecca’s death.
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby—published 2017–nonfiction/essays/humor/memoir–five stars: All I want to do in real life is meet Samantha Irby. Her writing IS goals. I had to put the book down at one point because I was laughing so hard my whole body shook. Irby makes writing about literal SHIT, mainstream (mainpoop?), and she deserves all of the claps (and chorusing of toilet flushes?). I too suffer from IBD, and we should flush the talking about poop taboo down the toilet.
Do not be ghoulish.
On October thirty-first,
wear a mask outside.
Do not be ghoulish.
On October thirty-first,
stay six feet apart
Do not be ghoulish.
Let the trick-or-treaters take
the sweet treats themselves.
Do not be ghoulish.
Do not be ghoulish.
Just because it is outside
doesn't make it safe.
Do not be ghoulish.
Get ready for schools to close
because: free candy.
Click here and here for the CDC’s info on Halloween.