Get Your Bookworm On

The Between Boyfriends Book: A Collection of Cautiously Hopeful Essays

Erica and her boo were talking about their reading habits, how it developed, what they’re reading now and the obstacles to a more robust bibliophilic life. They’ve also taken up a reading challenge which I think is a cool way to push yourself.

I developed the reading habit early on, praised for my abilities in first grade, that compliment fueled an above average vocabulary and a voracious appetite for books. My room as a teenager would be pretty spotless, but if you looked under my bed…dozens of books. My favorites were Judy Blume, Madeline L’Engle and then Stephen King. But I read almost anything, trashy romances, Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, whatever.

I never developed much of a TV habit, even now I haven’t seen my favorite shows (Grey’s Anatomy or 30 Rock) in weeks but I almost always have a book going. I just finished Tourist Season: Stories by Enid Shomer, which I’d recommend if you are into short, character driven stories. I liked it but probably won’t read it again. Prior to that I was reading The Between Boyfriends Book (hilarious!) and Female Chauvanist Pigs (hilarious but smart!) at the same time, which I tend to do, read a “light” tome and something “heavier” at the same time. Sometimes I’ll have 3 books going at once.

Like most readers I have both a physical pile of “To Be Read” and an Amazon Wishlist full of dream books. I’m starting Kickboxing Geishas tonight which I’m looking forward to and I owe a copy of FCP to a friend who is in grad school, but I might have to buy her her own copy because I CAN see reading this one again.

Some of my favorite books of all time:

The World According To Garp, A Prayer For Owen Meany, IT, The Secret History, The Vintner’s Luck, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Honeymoon With My Brother, PUSH, Holidays On Ice, A Memory of Running, Children of Ham, The Alchemist, Vagabonding, The Power of One, The Bible (seriously) and The Way Forward is With a Broken Heart.

One book I’ve tried to read twice and just give up on: Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt.

Book Bandwagon that I haven’t jumped on: Harry Potter.

Let’s hear some of yours…

Oh and also, if you are a reader have you ever seriously dated a non-reader or someone with lopsided reading habits from your own? For example, one of my exes didn’t read alot of books but was a ravenous newspaper nerd, another ex doesn’t read alot of fiction but is into finance, real estate and personal development stuff. I was joking with a friend recently and we both agreed that we have fallen a little bit in lurve with someone based solely on their bookshelf. I know, I’m so shallow!


Happy Happy Turkey Day, Yall

I woke up yesterday and looked out the window to find snow, snow on the ground, snow falling. I cut my workday short and got the hell out of New England. This morning I shed my layers, wool sweater, Columbia wicking socks, fleece and sped towards my parent’s house in the glorious, 70 degree sunshine. I am truly thankful for changes in lattitude. I miss my housemates though.

I am grateful for so many things, and this year has been magical. The last couple of years really, and I thank everyone who has touched me and those I love in some way. I’m also glad that my mother’s mother is still hanging in there. And sometimes, that’s enough. I’m also grateful that my Dad is cooking turkey, my Mom has made sauerkraut and sweet potatoe pie, my nephew made his 5 cheese and macaroni and his Eclair cake. So I will be the recipient of all of their culinary talents. I will definitely be giving Thanks for that!

So, are you cooking or are you showing up at someone else’s house to eat? Holler at us in the comments.



“There are no shortcuts in life or in love. This pain must be felt. The alternative is much worse. It’s what makes us special, what makes us beautiful, what makes us worthy; the pain of how we love. But that pain is accompanied by something else, isn’t it? Hope. With your pain, there is hope. And that is where you are. Somewhere between agony and optimism and prayer. So you’re human. You’re alive. And that is what we have.”



Sometimes you’re lucky enough to realize that life is what happens in between breaths. It’s not the big things that stick with you, it’s the little moments of wonder that look innocuous on the surface that mean the most.

I got to see the Dartmouth College Gospel Choir perform today. It was among other things, just what I needed. I marveled at how beautiful the students looked in their youthful innocence, how fresh-faced and unmoved by life’s true troubles they seemed to be. The beautiful diaspora of ethnicities, the harmonious union of boy and girl voices, the unabashed joy at sharing their joy with us. The sensation of being in a packed auditorium with other celebrants, a private excitement wrapped in a public exuberance.

I love music, I’m particularly touched by great gospel music, and I was so certain that I would well up with unshed tears that I wear close to the surface when I hear gospel, that I brought a handkerchief. I am sentimental. I am super-sensitive. I am a sap. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. And no, I didn’t use the handkerchief. But I’m glad that I know myself well enough, and love myself fully enough to have brought it without fear.

Maple Leaf Madness

Hallo from Canada!

[1] I’m pre-sick. You know that feeling where your head is fuzzy, feels like a 50 lb bowling ball, kind of head-achey and all you want to do is lean your head against a cool pane of glass and sleep? yeah, that is how I feel.

[2] On the way to Montreal I sat in front of a guy who, no lie, was either drunk or coming down off of something. He kept moving around, changing seats, coughing & sneezing and as we neared the end of the trip he started spouting profanities. Not to anyone in particular, but just in general. In the end I ended up touching him, to wake him up and let him know we’d arrived. Don’t worry, the only thing I could bring myself to touch was his shoe.

[3] At the Canadian border:

Immigration/Border Guy (IBG): You sure do pack light lady.

Me: I try, makes the travel more fun.

IBG: (inspecting my passport) When was the last time you were in Canada?

Me: Uh, I’m kind of ashamed but I’ve been about everywhere except Canada

IBG: (poking through the stamps in my passport) Yeah, I can see that…

[4] I love the Hotel Intercontinental so much that I want to take it out behind a middle school and get it pregnant* I thought the one in Montreal was nice, but the one in Toronto…class-ay! I also got a free upgrade to the executive level wherein I strolled around and got my free drink, hoity-toity finger sandwiches and some hot tea for my anti-pre-sick campaign. Then I had to go to work, because this afro ain’t gonna oil itself!

[5] When I left Montreal to head to Toronto…it was snowing. God help me, I don’t know if I’m going to make it. I haven’t spent a winter in the US in TWO YEARS!! Now I remember WHY!

[6] In response to all the frenchy-frenchness of Canada I have adopted an almost sociopathic southern drawl, insisting upon replying to the “Bonjour Madame!” with “Howdy, Howdy!” Yes, yes I am that brand of ridiculous. 

*30 Rock reference

Fitness Mojo

I officially hit my first weight-loss milestone yesterday. I am now down 16 lbs to my pre-Semester at Sea weight. I have been working on lifestyle and diet changes and for the most part I’m enjoying the journey. I seem to have hit both a physical and mental plateau, so I need all yall to send me some good “get your butt in gear” mojo. Work has been crazy (but good) and I’m heading to Canada in a few hours so….wish me luck!