I’ve lost count of the times I’ve reread the Harry Potter series, but each time feels – forgive my pun – uniquely magical. This December I got wrapped up in the books once again and was living, breathing, and dreaming the world of talking portraits, mail by owls, and – best of all – chocolate for medicine.
This time felt different, though. Maybe it was rereading them as a full fledged, full time working adult. Maybe it was the all consuming-ness of reading ~4,100 pages of fiction in 32 days. But I think it was the time: arriving at the very end of the shitshow that 2017 was for America (and the world), the words on the pages felt strangely poignant, prophetic, and personal. Read More
Ive always felt weird about new years resolutions. Partly because no one sticks to them, partly because they are cliche, partly because, at least in Southern California, they are typically body image related. Making a list at the beginning of a 365 day mark seems strange to me.
It seems useless, if I’m being honest. (And I love lists.)
But I’ve always loved end of year reflections – looking back on the past year, dreaming of the new one. Not focussing on what you’ve done wrong thus far in life, and how to correct yourself in the new year – but seeking out some growth areas. Maybe that is exactly what new years resolutions are, and you’re rolling your eyes at me for being the most annoying kind of hipster. Whatever. Read More
It’s officially the most wonderful time of the year: BOOK LIST SEASON. As always, here’s the best of what I read, a full list at the bottom, and *bonus* my favorite book lists currently floating around the internet!
Top 5 of 2017
- Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi | If I talked to you about books at any point in 2017, I talked about Homegoing. I read it twice this year. I hosted a book club for it. I’ve told 97 people to go buy it. This is THE BEST novel. Tracing one family tree from early 1700s to present day, each chapter is a new person’s story. Not only is the concept of the novel so wonderfully novel, the writing is beautifully done, the characters are real and vibrant, and the story itself is top notch.
- Hidden Figures, Margot Lee Shetterly | If you somehow missed this film earlier this year, FIX IT. But, like always, the book is so much better than the movie (which is saying something, because this movie is pretty near flawless). Hidden Figures is wonderfully researched and wonderfully written – it’s a historical page turner that brought me to tears a handful of times. The amount of women, especially women of color, who have been left out of history books is astounding – but Shetterly manages to write from an encouraging place of hope.
- The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective, Richard Rohr and Andreas Ebert | I’ve fallen so far deep into the enneagram rabbit hole (because I’m a 5, obviously) – but even if I hadn’t, this book is wonderful. It is DENSE with a capital D and then four more capital letters; it took me quite a while to get through it, but was so worth it. The enneagram itself has taught me so much about myself and those around me – and this book offers so much valuable depth.
- Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own, Kate Bolick | This book blew me away. I’ve already said that I fully realize not everyone will love this read as much as I did, but I felt like a book was written for me for the first time in a long time. Mixing in history, mini biographies of females writers and poets, and musings on modern romantic relationships – it even breaks down the history of the word spinster, its legal ramifications, and questions its social consequences as well. What?! I couldn’t put it down.
- What Happened, Hillary Rodham Clinton | This book was so much more fun to read than I ever expected. To be sure, it was sobering, infuriating, and brought me to tears – but it was also a highly enjoyable experience to get a glimpse behind the curtain into the mind of HRC. I audibly laughed when she talked about her preference of Goldfish crackers. The fact that this woman is not our president still grieves me to no end – but this book is a really honest look at 2016, and a very hopeful look to our future.
Singing Christmas carols at church always gets to me. Singing the words, surrounded by my people, puts me smack dab in the middle of the Christmas story like nothing else can. I can’t quite explain it. This year, while singing the same songs as always, a new Christmas-time truth hit me: It feels like we’re living under the rule of a King Herod.
A ruler obsessed with himself, who fakes religious interest to gain the trust of certain people, whose wrath isn’t to be messed with and whose reign was historically polarizing. Are we talking about Rome circa 4 BC or America in 2017…?
Hmmm. Read More
A year ago, I never thought I’d be back here. Going on three days of not sleeping, trying to figure out my hair’s newest texture – figuring out a new normal as my body and thyroid battle it out once again. A war I thought was over. Now a seemingly never ending battle.
My dad got para-thyroid surgery a few weeks ago. Soon we’ll have matching scars on our neck; our health problems slightly different while our age of diagnosis makes all the difference. This holiday season I realized you can be mad about the disease or thankful for the medicine. Mad about the genetic lottery you seemingly lost or thankful for winning some kind of birthright lottery that landed you in a country with modern technology. Mad over what feels unfairly taken or thankful over what feels unfairly given. Read More
The day after a man walked into a Texas church and opened fire, killing 26 people, I was standing outside an auditorium getting pat down, having my purse checked, before I could walk inside. I had driven up to LA for evening (madness, I know) with two friends to hear an author speak. Throughout the whole evening, there remained one security guard onstage, eyes continuously scanning the crowd except for the moments he bent his head down to listen to an ear piece. Two other security guards took turns walking around the packed auditorium, one standing up front, the other strolling around. Every 10 minutes or so they would chit chat quietly, and then the other would take his turn walking (I’m assuming) the premises.
The author was riveting, I have been looking forward to hearing him for weeks, but I couldn’t stop focussing on the security guards. I couldn’t stop staring at them, looking for any signs there was danger – either inside the walls, or outside, about to burst in. I was in a packed auditorium, the kind where people can barely squeeze by you to their seats, even when you stand up to give them room. There were roughly 1200 people in attendance, including those sitting in the balcony. I kept wondering what we would do if someone were to open fire.
This is what it means to be an American in 2017. Read More
It’s been a rough week in America and I, for one, am a little weary of Facebook debates and snide comments about gun control and pretty much anything to do with the current state of our government. I think it’s important for citizens to be aware and not hide from un-fun news or un-fun conversations BUT I also think we need to force ourselves to talk about good things from time to time. Cheering on the good can be just as important as calling out the bad.
So here are some of my current favorite things! It’s fall (San Diego has fallen under 70 degrees some mornings!) – and about 3 seconds from the holidays taking over full force – so I think we should sit back for a second, catch our breath, and enjoy all that this new season has to offer. Read More
“I was shocked”,
“And then I was shocked
that I was shocked.
I realized what a privileged life
I lead as a man.
Two woman telling me about
still shocks me.” Read More
I sent a text I shouldn’t have sent recently.
As a matter of fact, as I picked up my phone to text back, “Sorry, I shouldn’t have said that”, they replied to my initial text. Eep.
This is when I would normally freak out, text four different people with the awkwardness, bemoan how I shouldn’t have said what I said. Foot in mouth, foot in mouth, FOOT IN MOUTH. Read More
Everyone is posting “end of summer” types of things – buuuut I live in San Diego and we basically have summer all year long (#humblebrag). Regardless of what the temperature is outside, post Labor Day means one thing to me: summer book list time! Read More