Wednesday, December 31, 2014

College Fashion Link Up: The Phantom Tollbooth

Well, we're finally at the end, my friends, and what more fitting for a final blog post for College Fashion's "Looks from Books" column, than one of the first books I was ever read as a kid? 

Just like my last post dealt with The Little Prince - the first book my Mom ever recommended I cover as a part of the column - my final post, ever, will be featuring the first book my Dad recommended I use as inspiration: The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster, and illustrated by Jules Feiffer. 

I had a really good time rereading it. As you might remember, I also reread it my freshman year of college as well... in fact, shortly before embarking upon my journey with College Fashion!

I had been feeling uninspired, homesick, and more than a little paralyzed - not with fear, or confusion, or anything, but more of like that feeling when you're too comfortable to bother change anything while also feeling like you haven't really done anything at all worthy of feeling that way - and the Phantom Tollbooth and Norton Juster cleared out all the cobwebs in my brainspace, and made me able to work again.

Revisiting it again for the purposes of a College Fashion redux came from much happier origins, and as a final laurel to rest my head on, I'm fairly happy with the results.

Here's my favorite look from the post, featuring two of my favorite figures within the story: the princesses - naturally! - of Sweet Rhyme and Pure Reason:

The Big Announcement: An End to an Era with College Fashion

"Gatsby Green and the American Dream," The Great Gatsby
It's been a long time coming, this grand reveal, but with the very last day of 2014, I finally feel ready to make my next move: with this afternoon's new College Fashion post in my "Looks from Books" column, I will be ending my time spent as contributor editor for that website.

For the past two years - since January 2nd, 2013, when my first article, on Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, went up  - I've worked diligently to put forth a quality post every other Sunday. That's evened out to fifty-three articles having been published on College Fashion... and today's is that 53rd.

First thought: I mean, YIKES, right? I've put a lot of labor and love into this thing, and I'm not really moving on to another ingenious plan just yet. There's no exit strategy for my departure; it's just the culmination of so much work, saying, "I think it's time to go now."

"Follow the Star," Stardust

"Timeslessly Trendy," Nancy Drew
"Havisham's Desk," Great Expectations

I applied for this position not just before I knew who my Big was, but before I even knew who my friends in college really were, or even who I really had the potential to be. College Fashion was something to beef up my resume and take up space in my newly lackluster schedule. For a while, it's been something I've kind of had to built my lifestyle around, and now, it's something I'm leaving behind.

Second thought: Let's look at alittle simple arithmetic, here: between brainstorming themes, creating outfit ideas, researching novels and their respective histories, and writing the whole damn thing - not to mention reading the books they're based off of in the first place! - I spent at least fifteen hours every two weeks reading and writing and clicking before submitting. Now that I don't have to fit all of that work into my schedule, look at how much more time I'll have to spend on books!

"It's Okay to Spill Tea on This," Fangirl 
"Summertime Sadness," Gone Girl
"Gimme a Beat, Boys" On the Road

But seriously: the last time I've spent more than a couple of days ruminating over a book outside of school - regardless of its themes or origins or even how much I really, really liked it - was when I read Anna Karenina. I spent about three weeks carving out a hole in my brain for that book to live in, and when I was done with it, I knew it had been worth it. It became my first College Fashion post.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to read a book like that since then... even though Gone with the Wind, Madame Bovary, and The Brothers Karamazov are all sitting on my bookshelf as we speak, and have been waiting patiently for me for so long.

"The Horseman," Sleepy Hollow
That doesn't mean that I haven't been learning from it, however. Between finding AP teachers who have linked their class blogs to my posts - like one did to Wuthering Heightsas well as getting my participation grade bumped up by an especially enthusiastic professor, by doing a post on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales while taking a course in that subject, I've had plenty of grades to show for my hard work.

And there have been plenty more than teachers who've been with me for the journey: whether it was friends of friends at UW expressing their appreciation, or engaging commenters online with interesting discussion points, there's been plenty of bookish buddies found through this column!

"A Different Point of View," Alice in Wonderland
So, don't be glum, chum. It's a fond parting for me and College Fashion, and I'll always be happy to have spent such a long time with such a great website. It's helped me develop my voice, my style, and my portfolio, and I am proud of the work that I've done there. I hope you've all enjoyed the journey as much as I have! 

Now, for the fun part: since I'm parting ways with the column, I thought it would be fun to take a little trip down memory lane, and pick out some of my very favorite outfits from my very favorite posts! (Hint: You're looking at them!)

And, of course, stay tuned for my last College Fashion "Looks from Books" Link Up post, coming this afternoon!
"Perfect Match," Emma

Monday, December 29, 2014

Top Ten Books I Read in 2014

Now that the year's winding down to a close, I figure it's time once again to review all of the books I've read in 2014, and weigh the merits of some of my absolute favorites (and also, not-so-favorites).

According to the count of the many titles I actually managed to plug into my Goodreads account, I've read 68 books in the past year - surpassing my Challenge of 55! - and through them all I've found some really great YA, really terrible nonfiction, and just about everything in between, including quite a bit of comic books, too.

So, without much further ado, here's my bookish year in review! (*self-high-five for the sweet rhyme*)

Killer Thrillers with A Twist

Chock full of the kinds of jaw-dropping, heart-stopping twists and turns that can only follow murder and mayhem... but neither of them the typical kind of thriller novel, either! 

Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
I'm not the only person in the world who fell in love with this story this year - mainly because of the movie that has won international acclaim - but I seem to be the only one who can't shut up about it.

The Intern's Handbook, Shane Kuhn
Even a handful of months after I published this review back in September, I still am struck by how quickly I made it through this break-neck barrage of violence and wit... not to mention how much I LOVED it.

Making Old Love Stories New Again

Classic tales of epic romance, flipped through the lens of a more modernized approach, and two that take on the new scope of storytelling powers afforded by new mediums! 

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, Bernie Su and Kate Rorick
I've already remarked upon my absolutely obsessive love for Austen, and the Lizzie Bennet Diaries web series fangirling continues in the novelized compendium to dearest Elizabeth's annotation on the modern version of the classic comedy of manners.

Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell
Speaking of fangirling, despite a rising acknowledgement of fanfiction in the realms of popular reading - hey, Fifty Shades started out as an explicit-grade Twilight fanfic, right? - there definitely isn't all that much acceptance for it - with the previous bit of trivia probably playing a part in that, actually - so it was interesting to see it play such a large part in a contemporary Young Adult novel.

Cinder and Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #1 and 2), Marissa Meyer
It may be my obsession for hometown author heroes, but Tacoma's own Marissa Meyer is a pretty fantastic creative type in the forefront of young adult science fiction, specializing on finding yet another new angle to take classic fairy tales.

The Hard Truth of It All

Three hard-hitting works of nonfiction that explore facets of human history and experience strange enough to be fiction, and one heart-breaking work of fiction just painful and real enough to be completely true. 

Freakonomics,Stephen D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
Once again, a widely-praised title long before I came around to it, but this nonfiction exploration of everyday kinds of economics in action makes difficult concepts easy to experience.

Devil in the White City, Erik Larson
How many amazing history-oriented non-fictions have I been missing out on? This is yet another that has won a couple of awards, and holds the specific point of interest of featuring the mechanisms of an infamous American serial killer.

Barbie and Ruth, Robin Gerber (I didn't end up doing a review on this one!)
If you're as enamored with the glittery pink legacy of Barbie as I am, then this nonfiction account of the origins of not just the long-lampooned busty blonde and her ingenious entrepreneurial inventor, Ruth Handler, will no doubt make you at least a little interested.

Still Alice, Lisa Genova
Besides Gone Girl, this is probably the novel I recommend the most to others, half because it's a guaranteed ugly-cry-fest, and half because it links up with something else in my life that I care about tremendously: philanthropy. And since the movie's coming out in January, you could definitely work this one into your Winter Break reading list before school starts up again!

What were some of your favorite titles from this past year?

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Review: Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Book Club

I had a very different idea of what this book would be about before I started reading... but even though the subject matter was so wildly different, I still enjoyed this adventure into the similarities between publication and immortality... 

As Clay faces his grim future in the unemployment line - thanks to the collapse of the bagel company he served as designer for before the Great Recession - he chances upon a small bookstore, looked over by the enigmatic owner Mr. Penumbra. Frequented by a select clientele who don't even buy the books that populate the store's high-reaching shelves - just check out a copy or two of mysterious coded texts  - the bookstore holds a series of secrets Clay can't help but try to uncover... with a little help from Google. (The novel takes place, after all, in San Francisco.)

If you were a little bit taken aback from the inclusion of technology in that blurb, then you're in good company. That was actually the thing that surprised me the most about this novel: the heavy integration of computer-y bits, from the basics of data visualization, to project outplacement through a steady stream of supercomputers, makes for a bit of difference from what I thought I was getting into from just the cover alone. When you look at the sunny yellow psuedo-bookshelves and chicken-scratch writing, you would think it would be something like a Carlos Ruiz Zafon Shadow of the Wind kind of situation, or even a Cornelia Funke kind of Inkheart, but while the books share similar tone - preaching the prolonged endurance of the printed word - they really couldn't differ more in subject.

One attitude taken by the novel I did appreciate, wa the projected ingenuity and optimism represented in the future of Generation Whatever... instead of focusing on the romantic nostalgia of the musty smell of books and the magic contained between moldering pages, there was a Tomorrowland-style appreciation for all the ways technology makes our future even that much more interesting. There was a twin respect for the wonder of books and the wonder of human development, basically unheard of in books about books...

In terms of writing construction, the interior, more personal, form of narration was an incredibly interesting stylistic choice, as well. Instead of a standard format for dialogue, Clay's questions are built into the inner narration, which makes for a wonderfully absorbing character, which makes the job of connecting to him that much easier. You know you're following the story along with Clay, because you're finding everything out at the same time he is.

One thing, though, is that I feel like the inventive plot and format kind of rendered some of the characters a little bit more one-dimensional - from the imposing, mustachio-ed baddie, the fluttery and kind old bookstore owner/mentor, and the geeky and utterly irresistible intelli-girl love interest (see SNL's recent form of parody, One-Dimensional Female Character from a Male-Driven Comedy, for a more complete diagnosis of this particular stock character) - and the happy ending was just a bit too idllyic.

(Then again, an idyllic, tech-driven future, built on youth and ingenuity, that manages to satisfy all consumer groups, is kind of Google's thing, isn't it?)

In the end, I'm just waiting for it all to be unearthed as a conspiracy, planned on the part of Google's PR department, on how to promote a more positive public image for the company in the wake of so many evil-tech-empire scandals in recent years (this year's Christmas miracle will hopefully involve me convincing my father he shouldn't be buying so completely into all of Amazon's splendor).

Final Verdict: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Book Club was actually a fun and interesting quick read, especially recommended for those studying communications or invested in conversations about the durability of the written word.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

College Fashion Link Up: The Little Prince

The very first book my mother insisted I had to cover for my "Looks from Books" column, as soon as I had been informed of my position writing for College Fashion back in November 2012, was The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. 

However, it's taken til the second-to-last post of 2014 to actually cover the classic source material for an upcoming big-screen adaptation, whose trailer was released just earlier this month, to international excitement. While the French version of the teaser is the only one available right now, I knew it was going to be making waves worldwide, and quickly got to work on translating it to some cool fashion looks. 

I hadn't read the book in a while, but it wasn't long before the whimsical philosophies and heart-touching truths covered by the short novel were zooming around in my head once again. If the movie does the book any justice at all - which it looks like it's going to - I'm going to be walking into that theater next year with a whole box of Kleenex shoved under my arm. 

But I don't need to tell y'all any of that. In fact, being that it remains one of the most-printed books worldwide, chances are you've already read it... and are probably as excited about the adaptation as I am. 

Here's my favorite look from the article, based around two of the novel's most interesting characters: the pilot who narrates the story, as well as the snake who brings about its climax. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Review: Yes Please

I've never been coy about my deep and abiding love for comedian memoirs of all shapes, sizes, and schools of comedy. I blame my Dad for his part, but its honestly just because of the continued interest I have in the not-always-funny lives of my favorite funny people, exhibited through every new edition of memoirs. 

The latest of which was Amy Poehler's Yes Please...

In the rare case you haven't heard of the new collection of life anecdotes from the effervescent long-time SNL alum and star of the fading Parks and Recreation on NBC, Yes Please is a rambling, tangent-traveling, saga of dead-funny and open-hearted truth-embellishment, courtesy of the blonde half of America's favorite comedy duo. 

In comparison to some of Poehler's female comedy compatriots, Yes Please takes a more deliberately funny approach than her "comedy wife" Tina Fey's Bossypants, or Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me. One of the many reasons why I like comedian memoirs that give better scope to why they pursued comedy, and after reading Yes Please I think I've come to the conclusion that Amy Poehler is just a straight-up, inherently funny lady.

Here's the thing, though: Tina Fey, by contrast, manages to project a professional veneer even when she's being self-effacing, with this superhuman effect of making everything she does look perfectly deliberate, even when you know she's been secretly exhibiting a Dickensian amount of work to get there. Meanwhile, Poehler is perfectly aware of the fact that writing is hard, and comedy is hard, and spends more time impressing on readers as to the importance of why its all worth the work rather than the importance of the work itself.

This was especially true when she was talking about her time working on the comedy juggernaut of Saturday Night Live, complete with stories of pranks and pitfalls she took during her time with some of my favorite key players of the '00s. I love reading about what goes behind the scenes on one of my favorite television shows, and this provides even more highlighting as to the scope of exactly what kind of very special people can exist in that blessedly chaotic ecosystem. None better than this unapologetic loudmouth with a heart of gold and an affinity for going balls to the wall when committing to an act.

That being said, she also knows how to apologize. And stick up for herself, and her fellow women. She's fearless and loving and really damn smart. I had no idea that this tiny blonde smile-making-machine was such a courageous person, in both attitude and actions, and this book did a great job at giving a greater context on who exactly Amy Poehler is, and what she's been able to do.

Final Verdict: What I'm struck by most after finishing this book, is how much I wish I could be more like Amy Poehler.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

College Fashion Link Up: Grimm's Fairy Tales

Alright, so I've been pretty strapped for time recently.

With NaNo and Panhellenic and prepping for Finals - btws, I rocked the heck out of my English Final today, guys! - I've been dying to get just a couple of pages for myself, but there just hasn't been the time. So with a College Fashion article due November 30th, you can understand how I was feeling a significant schedule crunch this past weekend! 

Luckily, the Cheerleader has been singing the two lines she knows from "Agony" from Into the Woods around the house since the marketing has been ramping up for the film adaptation - "Dwarves are very upsetting!" -  so I was easily able to find a good source of inspiration for the article. 

I couldn't really give Into the Woods the kind of attention the Cheerleader would have necessarily liked, but I did get the chance to focus on some of my favorite fairy tales, including "Red Riding Hood," "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves," and "Rapunzel." Even though I'm pretty sure the curriculum covered all of these tales during my Fairy Tales class last Winter Quarter, I was more than happy to revisit each of them, and remember exactly how messed up the original colloquial versions were! 

The outfits turned out to be just as whimsical and woeful as Into the Woods, with as much winter-y wonder punched in as I could. Here's my favorite outfit from the post, featuring the naturalistic elements and luxe happily ever after of Rapunzel:

Monday, December 1, 2014

Coming Attractions: December

{the adorable and seasonally-appropriate desktop from Oana Befort decking my computer screen}

Well, thanks for sticking with me through the month of November, because that one sure was a doozie (side note: is it spelled "doozie"? or it is "doozy"? The Internet is telling me two different things!). 

So after living through what turned out to be both the busiest and most rewarding month of my life - Elected to Panhellenic! Got a new GLittle! Aced most of my midterms! Conquered NaNoWriMo! - I'm winding things down now by heading into Finals, and will soon enough be venturing back to Tacoma once more once Winter Break gets here next week. I can't WAIT to get back to tons of reading, cooking, and generally enjoying the wealth of flex room in my schedule that occurs when I no longer have to contend with things like... group papers (*shudder*). 

But the return of Reading Time and all the joy, warmth, and wonderment of the Freezin' Season aren't the only things that are making me happy this season: the end of December is going to bring about the End of an Era. What that means exactly, I'm not ready to tell just yet. Just bear in mind, big changes are a comin'... 


{Nothing Sweeter than a Sigma Kay, am I right?, NaNoWriMo Writing Station during Midterms, Photographic evidence of my sushi fixation} 

these are a few of my favorite links...

  1. From Buzzfeed, a pretty extensive list of 33 book recommendations based on popular movie favorites. I haven't read (or watched) a lot of these before, so it's giving me some pretty great ideas for what to do with my Winter Break!
  2. I'm feeling some residual NYC wanderlust after watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade, so here's a great list from Refinery 29 about 10 Great NYC Bars and the Books to Get Caught Reading in Them.
  3. I'm so sad I'm just finding out about this AMAZING Kickstarter now! But at least I know that the company's doing well... and that I can put plenty of their super-sweet temporary tattoos on my Christmas List! 
  4. I was pretty pumped to stumble across this Buzzfeed list - of 20 Debut Writers Under 40 You Should Be Reading - and even more so to see that I had some personal faves on the list as well! 
  5. But back to that Christmas List thing: make sure to check out Paddywax's line of Library Candles, with signature scents inspired by the works of various classic authors, including Jane Austen (gardenia, tuberose, and jasmine), Leo Tolstoy (black plum, persimmon, and oak moss), and Mark Twain (tobacco flower and vanilla). 

quote of the month

"The woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet."--Mohadesa Najumi #dailydose (photo: Kitchener Photography)
As 2014 winds down, I've been having a lot of second thoughts about the amount of growing I've done in the past year... but what it comes down to, is the fact that I know I've accomplished a lot. I don't need anyone else's recognition of that.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

NaNoWriMo Final Update: I've Written Over 50,000 Words, and Probably 30,000 Were Run On Sentences

Just this past Friday - while I was still stuffed with plenty of turkey, gravy, and pecan pie, leftover from the celebrating of the day before, and not to mention feeling a bit of residual Angry Orchard-and-Fireball feeling - I clicked "Validate" on my NaNoWriMo Novel, clocking in at 50,781 words! 

The Hallelujah Chorus erupted in the air around me in celebration of my momentous feat... or maybe it was just the advent of, well, Advent, with Christmas decorations going up all over the house.

Regardless, it was an incredibly rewarding feeling to see the results of a month's worth of hard work, especially because I had been clocking in at about 5,000 words for each of the days I had spent at home for Thanksgiving Break. Now, I'm able to head back to school in Seattle today, recharged and ready to kick butt on Finals... and of course, I've already got a stack of books I'm looking forward to reading over Winter Break!



So, yes, I've already announced to you all that I completed my NaNo Challenge, but that doesn't mean the journey's over... I still have a lot of editing to do, and not just because of the litany of what are sure to be grammatical errors and inconsistencies in the plot, but I'm also pretty sure I switched third person to first person halfway through. 

I'm definitely looking forward to going back to revisit and revise, and fill in some of the holes I had left with just a set of parentheses and the words "Fill in this part later." 

But for now, I'm plenty happy reveling in my glorious and decisive victory, which came three days before the deadline, and way damn before I was actually expecting to be finished. Honestly, if you had asked me about a week before I validated my final word count about whether I was expecting to finish, I would have told you that I was way too busy and way too far behind to make it. 

And yet, thanks to a couple different factors - for starters, the continued harassment by my Dad and Sigma Kappa Little about getting it done - I was able to rally there at the end, and bring it all home. 

That's on top of the College Fashion article that's also due this afternoon, as well as preparing for an English class Final this coming Wednesday afternoon. 


  • There's nothing like having the world expected of you and having people constantly harping on you about getting things done. My best advice for NaNoWriMo: Tell literally all of your most aggressive, obsessed, and book-intense friends, because they're the ones who are really going to kick your butt if you don't finish! 
  • I'm definitely looking forward to being able to actually read books again over Winter Break... I've been too worried about getting too sucked into a good novel or unknowingly taking on the voice of a different author just because I had their words mixing around in my brain when I was trying to focus on developing my own. On the other hand, I've read a ton of great comic books this past month, just because they were short and visually-oriented. Still, my TBR pile for After Finals has got me feeling some kind of way! 
  • More on what happens when you start to deprive yourself of good fiction: the moment when you're daydreaming about what books you're going to read when you have free time again, and the first title you come up with is Dr. Zhivago. When you're fantasizing about reading Russian Literature for kicks and giggles, you're pretty far gone. 
  • I'm learning a lot about my own productivity levels, of when exactly I'm at my most focused and able to sit down and power write. Up at school, I always thought it was at night, when all my friends were together in our room, and working on homework, but here, at home, I've found that when I get up before everyone else, and I sit in front of the windows in the living room, that's when I can really work uninterrupted. 


Just because I don't feel like I get a lot of wiggle room beyond social media updating to talk about how this success is making me feel, I wanted to state her that I'm really, really proud of myself for making it through this challenge, and I owe a lot of that to how supportive my friends and family have been about it, too. 

I had developed plenty of novel ideas before, but none to the extent of Blood Read (still a working title, I need to find something that's a little less aggressive). The fact that I started out with an outline, and now have almost 90 1.5-spaced pages in a Word document (narrowest margins setting, I might add), is a pretty spectacular transformation, and something I've never done before. It's my first ever novel, and I couldn't be happier to have what I've got of it now, even though I already have been making plans on how I'm going to fix it next. 

And, to be expected, plenty of my friends, including my sister, the Cheerleader, have stocked up with plenty of jokes about how soon I'm going to get someone to publish it. Honestly, that's not even something I want to think about at all right now (partially because I have one too many friends way more accomplished than me in that field, and I know how stressful thinking about publishing really is). 

In fact, no one is allowed to read this thing, until I've spent at least another couple of months on it. After putting all that time and effort into building cohesive characters, plot, and action, I'm just happy and thankful that I have something so cool, that I created. It's nice having something like this for my eyes only. 

Still, I can't be thankful enough for those people, because they're the ones who got me to write all of this in the first place. Thank you, everybody! 

So, there you have it: My 2014 NaNoWriMo journey. Did you take the challenge? What was your result? At any rate, congratulations for taking part, and I'll see you again next year! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

College Fashion Link Up: A Series of Unfortunate Events

I mean, I was a pretty big fan of The Series of Unfortunate Events growing up. Then again, so were more people my age. After The Grim Grotto came out, I remember one particularly malevolent 5th grade counterpart attempting to sway us all to eat great green globs of wasabi as a part of her interactive book report.

(I was bullied into it. While I still hate spicy food, I think I developed a certain affinity to wasabi simply because of the accompanying subconscious "Screw You.")

It's also probably worth noting that I fell into The Series at around the same time I developed a love for Tim Burton and Edgar Allen Poe, not to mention Hot Topic, Scary Tales to Tell in the Dark, and the artistic stylings of Gris Grimly.

I wasn't goth, but I wanted to be, very badly. But after staring a little too longingly at a skull-print black scarf at Limited Too, my mom stamped that dream out pretty quick. It was pink hoodies from there on out, but you could always count on me carrying books like R.L. Stine's Dangerous Girls series, and The Spiderwick Chronicles, in the darkest depths of my Jansport.

Still, there are parts of those older leanings that still make me smile today. And while it's still going to take a while for the ill-effects of the 2004 Jim Carrey film to wash out of my brain, that lingering sensitivity to gothic romanticism and the fear of the wide, weird world is always going to be a part of me. That's why when my media-obsessed younger sister shot me a news piece about Netflix picking up the rights to the novels to develop an independent series, I was more than happy to buy into the hype that was giving a childhood favorite new life.

And, of course, give it an accompanying College Fashion post. Duh.

Here's my favorite look from the post, inspired by the grandiose nature, theatricality, and dynamics of an author who served as part of the inspiration for the mock-gothic stylings of The Series, Edgar Allen Poe:

(Especially if you're a follower of the series... because if that's the case, I've got some special shoutouts hidden in there for the real fans!)

Monday, November 17, 2014

NaNoWriMo Update #2: Holy Setback, Batman, and I'm On Top of the World

Hello, once again, and welcome to the hectic tornado that is my current state of mind, as we hit the half-way mark for NaNoWriMo! Please, try not to judge too hard, as I give you another brief glimpse into what, exactly, is making writing so difficult right now. 

My story for this past week includes a major success, some schoolwork setbacks, and a massive craving for sushi. 


So, like I said, try not to judge. It's been tough goings this past week, with many factors contributing both to an overall lack of time to write, as well as exhausted mental power when I do manage to find a few hours to spare to just sit down and focus. 

For starters, we're heading into crunch time for school, with Week 8 out of 10. Yeah, midterms were all last week, but this past week has had its fill of scholarly deadlines, as well. Between working on a group paper and taking down simple Communications assignments that all add up to a much larger grade, there's been plenty of classes and papers to fill up my time. 

Veteran's Day was also less of something helpful, and more of an awkward break-time that I didn't feel like I made the most of. I went home with my sister and my Little, and we had a good day getting errands done, making cookies, and having a Captain America marathon, but I probably should have spent a little more effort on making sure I got enough written that day. That being said, however, I was a little more focused on writing for an event the subsequent evening... 

That's right, Panhellenic Elections. Hope y'all didn't forget about that, because I sure haven't. After preparing as much as I could the couple of days prior to the event, I ended up running unopposed, and my beautiful speech was prepared to no avail. I'm enormously grateful for my position, and super excited to get started, even if it does mean I may miss out on some more precious writing time. 

And then, of course, there's the other regular parts of sorority life. We had Founder's Day to celebrate this past Saturday, and Initiation for our New Member Class just yesterday, so my weekend and some of the time leading up to it has been a bit compromised. 

Even on top of that, one of my best friends from high school had a birthday to celebrate, and my best friend threw a surprise anniversary party for her parents, so "party time" took up space in the schedule than usual, too. And then there was that pesky College Fashion article I had due by this past Sunday afternoon, that I managed to frantically write in the space of about 28 hours! 

I just had a really eventful week, okay? Unfortunately, that's pretty much resulted in me being about five thousand words behind schedule. 


So, with such a hectic past week, it's no surprise that my Sunday night was originally supposed to be pretty jam-packed, as well; however, after plans for a Panhellenic meeting fell through, I was suddenly faced with a wide-open evening! 

I decided that I was going to write at least 3,000 words before I went to bed, so I set myself firmly to the task. I ordered in some delivery sushi, cranked up the tunes, finally flipped to a new page in my outline, and set about writing as furiously and uninterruptedly as possible. 

It was honestly a pretty successful exercise. I wrote just about 3,100 words, and every time that my brain tried to persuade me to take a break and go wander off into Social Media Land, I was struck on Twitter by the live-tweeting going on at NaNoWriMo's "Night of Writing Dangerously." and turned back to my writing. 

This week is shaping up to be a bit more empty than my last one, so I'm pretty confident in the belief that these next seven days will be a big catch-up period for me. Even if not, my Dad keeps me afloat with the idea of the two of us hosting a kind of in-house writing workshop for just us two over Thanksgiving Break, so we can really dedicate some time to writing deliberately. 

Still, I kind of like the idea of being finished before those last few days of November... when I'm so far behind now, is it even feasible that I'm entertaining the thought of finishing early? 


  • People are finally starting to notice I'm serious about this stuff. While I'm incredibly happy this has resulted in a little more consciousness paid to keeping me un-distracted while I'm writing, it's also lead to a couple of recurring questions: "Can I read what you're writing?" and "What are you writing about?" Thankfully I've got it down to fairly pared down answers that are seeming to stick with people: "No; it's word vomit," and "I'll tell you when I'm finished." 
  • Also, I had gotten so used to having to explain to people what NaNoWriMo was, I was pleased to be approached by several people this week, who said they had no idea I was taking part in the challenge this year and were excited to see my progress. I forget sometimes that I'm not the only one who loves this stuff, mainly because I'm separated by a computer screen from most of those I know also taking part! 
  • Writing snacks are both a necessity and a curse: sitting down with tea and a muffin - or edamame and miso soup, like yesterday - just seems like such a more deliberate action, in sitting down and writing, but I inevitably run into problems. It's just more cumbersome to juggle good food and writing. Maybe take snack time in stride with meditation time, as a pre-writing exercise? 
  • I'm getting way more confident in this challenge, even with how far behind I am now. It's finally becoming real to me, that by the end of this month, I'm going to have written a big, ol' beautiful book! 

So, that's where I'm sitting in terms of word count right now. Will I make up the deficit this week?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

NaNoWriMo Update #1: My Dad is the Best, My Brain Hurts, and We're Just Getting Started

Hello! We are now officially just a little over a week into National Novel Writing Month - aka, NaNoWriMo - and I figured I'd do a little bit to check in with you all on my progress, just to show you all how I've been doing with the challenge!

While NaNo has been tearing up the book blogosphere for a solid couple of years now on a popular level, I've still been able to get quite a bit of practice in answering questions about exactly what I'm doing:

National Novel Writing Month is a 30 day challenge, taking place during the month of November each year, in which NaNo participants pledge to write at least 50,000 words (the rough equivalent of an average-sized novel). The programs run through the challenge are meant to prompt and sponsor creativity, community, and, of course, education, with accompanying challenges ran for children in school "from Dubai to Boston."

Basically, it's a bunch of nerds across the county, and world, getting together and saying, "Hey, I want to write a novel! You do, too? Let's do it together, right NOW."

And it's fantastic. 


So, I haven't attempted NaNoWriMo since my freshman year of high school, where I took a general (kinda juvenile) idea of mine - involving a creepy cabin in the forest, a tenuous knowledge of how integrated computer systems work, and plenty of nightmares about shady government organizations - to the mat. Subsequently, I failed about four days into the challenge, when I grew too overwhelmed, and gave up. 

Since then, I've had plenty of friends win their own challenges, but I hadn't been really inspired to complete my own again until last year. I had been sitting on a really great book idea, but was stunted, once again, by the fact that I didn't have a cohesive outline ready for its actual plot line. Instead of taking on the challenge itself, I pledged myself to working harder on my schoolwork and on the blog during the month of November... but unfortunately, that didn't happen either. 

What did happen, however, was that a couple of days into the month, I was struck with genius lightning, and hand-wrote a single-spaced, six page outline in a two-hour time period. I couldn't really use my right hand for the rest of the day, but I at least now I had a story. 


Fast-forward to this year. I still wasn't planning on undertaking the challenge, but I kept alluding to it to specific friends of mine, who encouraged me to try. After breaking down after a particularly grueling midterm, I ended up taking out an old journal full of book ideas, and reading every single synopsis to my best-friend-slash-roommate, who made me promise that I was actually going to try and write one. 

Therefore, despite the fact that this November is busier than any month I've encountered since first coming to college - and no, that is not an exaggeration by any means, in the slightest - I'm going ahead with the challenge. And honestly, I couldn't be any happier about it! 

Sure, it's been a little rough so far. I didn't even manage to get started writing until Day Two, and my writing habits have grown in fits and starts since then, but as you can tell with the above chart, I've had a really good weekend for writing. In yesterday and today alone, I've managed to write 7,071 words, on top of taking care of my homework for the week, celebrating my best friend's 21st birthday, and writing up a speech to give at the University of Washington Panhellenic Elections this upcoming Wednesday (as well as watch 8 episodes of Veronica Mars, but who's counting that?). 

That's right, Panhellenic Elections. I'm expected to give a speech in front of about 200 people on Wednesday, and that's only after I had to write a six-page application for the positions, complete with resume, essay answers, and a sample of my work. 

Plus, I've got another College Fashion article due this upcoming Sunday afternoon that I haven't even started brainstorming yet. I've got a general idea for what direction I'm going to take it, but with everything else going on in my life, it's going to be pretty difficult to find the time to really enjoy the source material. (Can you guess the novel? Here's a hint: it has to do with recent Netflix news...) 

And that's not even really schoolwork: by this Friday, I have my section of a group paper due, as well as three assignments due for a Communications class, and several English readings to catch up on! 

Needless to say, this challenge is going to be just that for me: a damn difficult challenge. However, I think I'm starting to get invested enough into my own story that I'd hate to see it left unfinished, especially when I've already made such headway into writing it! All I've got to do now is keep up the good work, and I'll be sitting pretty come Thanksgiving Weekend. 


  • I'm not kidding when I say my Dad is the best. Sure, I've got writing buddies tackling their own set of demons with NaNo, but no matter how few or many words I manage to eke out in a day, if I text my Dad my Stats, he's sure to reply with an exuberant, encouraging message. Thanks, Dad! 
  • It is incredibly difficult to write with music with words in them, but I could have told you that just from my many years of homework struggles. Still, I wish there was a playlist full of music to get me into the mood to write! Until then, I just have to listen to Taylor Swift's 1989 album on repeat... 
  • I couldn't get through this without Twitter. Between NaNoWriMo's incredibly encouraging own Twitter, and the many legions of fellow bloggers taking part in their own challenges, I've also got publishers tweeting about their new releases, and Team Epic Reads taking part in YALLFest this past weekend, to remind me of why it's so important to me to be a part of this community. It seems like everyone's got 140 characters to sacrifice from their word counts for the day. Go NaNo! 
  • I think I've achieved a higher state of consciousness with writing. I wrote this whole blog post - about 1,000 words - in about a half an hour! 

So, that's what I've seen in the past week and a half. See you at my next check in!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

College Fashion Link Up: A Wrinkle in Time

 My Dad is incredibly proud of the books he got us kids to read back when we were really kids, making us susceptible to his recommendations without really understanding the significance of what we were reading. He instilled in us, from a very young age, an appreciation for things like fantasy and science fiction, genres with which I might not view with such passion today if not for my Dad's early coaching. 

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle, is one of my favorite books, and it's because I first read it when I was maybe eight. The novel follows Meg Murry, a twelve-year-old, self-conscious outcast, who is busy coming to grips with the disappearance of her father and protecting her precocious younger brother, Charles Wallace, from the bullies at school. When a mysterious visitor named Mrs. Whatsit appears in the middle of one "dark and stormy night," and makes her mother faint with the enigmatic words "There is such a thing as a tesseract," Meg finds herself thrust into an adventure across the Universe, to save her father... and maybe the world?

This book was a great source of comfort to me as a kid, because it was nice having someone to read about who wasn't necessarily the smartest, coolest, or most "special," but who was definitely still the hero of her own story. It's one of those things that I still find comforting to read today, that even supposedly ordinary people can also have great adventures (especially when I come back from a class leaving me feeling about as dumb as Meg felt about school, too). 

More impressive is the fact that A Wrinkle in Time was one of the first popularized science fiction novels to make a significant culture impact AND have a young, female protagonist, something virtually unheard of at the time of its first publication in 1962. It's remained continuously in print since then, which is a pretty significant accomplishment in itself, but the fact that L'Engle is essentially responsible for raising the people who write strong female characters in YA fantasy and science fiction today, is pretty damn cool. 

Here's my favorite look from the post, inspired by the droll, doll-like qualities of the people on Camazotz, ruled over by the dark and oppressive "IT." 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Coming Attractions: November

{This gorgeous geometric calendar from Oh So Lovely is brightening up my desktop this month!}

October was a heck of a month for getting back into the groove of things. But all to soon that month has come to an end... and now I'm staring down the barrel at the month of November!

November is going to be interesting. I'm taking on a couple of new challenges, the very least of which includes my new role as the Editor-in-Chief of the University of Washington Greek Voice, our Greek community publication, and the most of which is taking on the challenge of NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month! - for the first time since high school. On top of that I've got the second half of the Fall Quarter, Panhellenic elections, and more... which means that y'all are probably not going to be hearing much from me this month! 

No worries, that does NOT mean that I'm taking hiatus or giving up on the blog for November. It just means that the kinds of things I post are going to be changing in tone and content. Look forward to NaNoWriMo progress updates and descriptions, maybe a meme or two, and potentially even a review if I can squeeze in time to read. Regardless, big things are happening this month, and you'll be getting an insight into the craziness here! 


{Children of the Corn (Maze); Soaking up some unseasonal sunshine on campus with commentary from L.M. Montgomery; Meeting my new GLittle in Sigma Kappa!}

  • My College Fashion posts from this month: Gone Girl and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" 
  • My favorite review to write this month: Nightmares and Dreamscapes
  • Your favorite review to read this month: The Intern's Handbook

  • these are a few of my favorite links

    1. The Epic Reads team does it again with another impressive collection of YA novels; this time, with a chronological timeline of books set during time periods from the Iron Age to the Information Age. 

    2. If you're looking for a classic bit of sweetness to brighten up your Halloween candy hangover, here's an Anne of Green Gables themed wedding, courtesy of wedding photographer Jessica Zais and the Green Wedding Shoes blog! 

    3. We're in the thick of gloomy Seattle November, which has got me feeling wanderlust something fierce, especially once I looked at Buzzfeed's list of 44 Great American Bookstores Every Book Lover Should Visit (go, Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle!). 

    4. If you're taking on the daring challenge of NaNoWriMo like me, then you're probably going to appreciate this post by Notebook Sisters, about how to write 10,000 words in one day! 

    5. And I don't usually link up to my Dad's blog terribly much - mainly because he writes about technology, which is a totally different audience than you guys - but he wrote the sweetest post about a plant in his office that's very special to the both of us, so I just had to share it! 

    quote of the month

    {I've got a lot on my plate. It's going to be important to me this month to make sure I'm managing my time to its maximum possible potential, and that includes saying 'no' to things I can't handle, as well as cutting out things that take up too much of my time. This mug is a reminder that I am more than capable of taking on these new challenges, but only if I give myself a fighting chance!}

    Wednesday, October 29, 2014

    Review: Nightmares and Dreamscapes

    I already knew I was pretty much destined to love the works of this author, but what I originally thought would be a scare-your-pants-off kind of horror actually turned out to be a creeping-goose-bumps-and-general-unease kind of horror. It may not have been one of my favorites, but let's just say, I've still been getting less sleep than usual. 

    It's the end of October, and as the leaves turn brown and mushy on the streets, making sure footing even harder to find in Red Square, and as pumpkins over-eagerly carved have already started to gather mold or find themselves split into a million pieces by belligerent drunkies walking home from the Ave, I keep pining to read something genuinely scary. This collection of short stories, from one of America's preeminent authors of speculative fiction, seemed like it would fit the bill just fine.

    I'm talking about, of course, Stephen King's Nightmares and Dreamscapes! It was published in 1993, the year I was born, so it was really only fitting that we celebrated our 21st birthdays together.

    Her'es the thing about these short stories, though: the collection was not so much scary or startling than genuinely unnerving... sure, there were monsters, but others found the true chills and thrills in the hearts of humans.

    Take, for instance, the first selection of the book: "Dolan's Cadillac," a 50-page excruciatingly detailed description of a brutal revenge plot. The minutae of its focus and the building desperation and tension of its narrator cast into doubt where the true ruthlessness lies, in the protagonist or in his quarry? Believe me when I say that it pairs well with a very specific cask of Amontillado. (Yes, that was a Poe reference... a couple of which you might find in this short story!)

    Others, like "The Moving Finger," "The Rainy Season," and "Suffer the Little Children" terrify even with their brevity, by means of their brutality... the strangeness of the positions these characters find themselves thrust into makes their violent reactions seem almost justified, though never wholly absolvable.

    Then you had some stories that made you think, rather than just cringe."The End of the Whole Mess" I originally watched a couple of years ago, via it's television adaptation, so I already knew how it ended... but it still made me cry when I read it for the first time. Stephen King just communicates so effectively through the written word; I'd hope that any who takes a chance of viewing adaptations of his work read the originals as well.

    Though they weren't all just terror-lurking-in-human-form kind of things... a couple of them actually utilized monster types to make their point. "Sneakers" and "The Night Flier" involve the inclusion of a ghost, and a vampire (respectively), which makes them genuine horror stories from that specific angle of a "creature feature" in the written form. 

    So, we've got a brutal revenge opus, brutality inflicted in an unsuspecting way, a sci-fi thinkpiece, and ghoulish monsters, but you know what else? Some of these stories are just freakin' strange. "You Know They've Got One Hell of a Band" and "The House on Maple Street" are essentially Twilight Zone episodes within themselves... from a town exclusively populated by rock 'n' roll legends, to children discovering aliens, these tales are written so unnervingly close to normal that when the uneasiness starts to set in, you're already sold on the outcome.

     (Also, quick note when reading "The House on Maple Street": I'm betting that the family wasn't named the Bradbury children just on some fluke. Beside you know that in his own way, Stephen King is really a child of Bradbury's himself...)

    Final Verdict: it's a well-curated collection of curiosities, though I do think I enjoyed Night Shift a little bit more. Now all I've got to read is Skeleton Crew!

    Thursday, October 23, 2014

    College Fashion Link Up: Sleepy Hollow

    Alright, so to answer the question that many who know me well began to ask as soon as they saw the title of my most recent College Fashion article - Did I blatantly use my position as a contributor for College Fashion as an excuse to pimp out one of my Fall favorites?- I answer with a resounding, "You bet I did!"

    It's one of my favorite television shows on right now, and it's one of my favorite Halloween movies (no, not the Time Burton one, ya lunk, the Disney musical short!), so why wouldn't I have good reason to make this year's spook-tastic holiday-themed article based around one of the best baddies to ever hit American Literature: The Headless Horseman, and Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"! 

    I mean, it also helps that it's the perfect example of one of my favorite literary movements: Romanticism, with its naturalistic elements and focus on the supernatural, with Gothic literature also falling under its umbrella, makes for the perfect kind of reading material to match with this gloomy Seattle weather. While I'm wasting away studying for midterms as the rain starts leaking through the ceilings of our old Sigma Kastle, at least I've still got one better than that superstitious, flighty Ichabod Crane!

    Here's a sneak peek of the article, integrating the spooky characteristics of that good ol' Headless Hessian, into a look that's chock full of riding basics and fall knits, but short one missing head! 

    Sunday, October 19, 2014

    Review: Jennifer, Gwyneth & Me

    Alright, so this is a little bit of a late post... make that quite the late post. So I read this book during Recruitment way back when, and never got around to saying much about it. Mainly because I didn't have all that much to say. 

    Who hasn't gazed into the glossy state of celebrity, as documented by tabloids, gossip blogs, magazines, and more, and not dreamed of being a member to that exclusive faction? I mean, even if you never outright admitted to yourself, "I wish I was a celebrity," there are celebrities you admire... for me, it's Kate Middleton, Mindy Kaling, Emma Watson, and Lauren Conrad, whom I all admire for various reasons. If I see them on Facebook's trending topics list, chances are I'm clicking over.

    Well, in Jennifer, Gwyneth and Me, Rachel Bertsche takes celeb obsession to a new level... by crafting a lifestyle plan for her own edification, for the purposes of gaining greater insight into Hollywood talents, like Gwyneth's cooking, SJP's fashion sense, Jen and Ben's marriage, and Beyonce's, well, everything. Cue the shenanigans.

    To be honest, I could probably take the easy route here, and pinpoint my dislike of this nonfiction account on the principle of disdain for a dangerous cultural practice - namely, star-stalking - but lets be real: the culture of celebrity is deeply entrenched in modern media. Like I mentioned earlier, I have a ready-and-available list of celebrities I admire, based strictly on the scant amounts of information I've been able to glean on their personalities from a very select source of a very biased, and often unhealthy, media.

    We connect to celebrities, and use them as a source of self-projection, building up a sort of dependent relationship, where we consider them close to us, and yet, they don't know us at all. This can take a significant emotional toll on us individually, not to mention on the public consciousness: remember the immediate reaction when Robin Williams died?

    (And it wasn't just him, for me: I distinctly remember my mother sitting me down six years ago, in 2008, to break the news to me that Heath Ledger had died. Even just a month and a half ago, I was in the middle of a quick lunch amidst Recruitment workshops, when I got the text from my sister, The Cheerleader, about Joan Rivers' death, with the accompanying sentiments, "I wanted to make sure you heard it from us first.")

    However, my dislike for the nonfiction book stemmed more from the fact that I felt like the advice I was being given - detailing how to achieve the lifestyles of those I only read about in magazines - were things I HAD already read in the pages of magazines before. From work-out advice, to cooking tips, to figuring out how to balance work and, well, the rest of your life, the instruction was generic.

    Overall, and I know this might sound a little crazy, I felt like the book would have been more successful in a blog format. The personal nature of some of her experiences - including her pregnancy struggle - would seem a lot more intimate and believable than out-of-place,  and the lifestyle plans would seem more easily replicable, as evidenced by their varying degrees of success/failure.

    Mainly I feel like it just would have lent the narrative more veracity; sure, you can say that you changed for the better because of this new lifestyle plan, but without concrete information on how and why these things worked for you, your readership strictly relies upon your individual testament. Where are the recipes you enjoyed the most? What workouts were most worth your time? What sort of outfits did you come up with? These are the sorts of individual stories that would have made up a more cohesive overall narrative in the blog format.

    Final Verdict: Accessible, but not interesting; Jennifer, Gwyneth and Me takes celeb culture into a slightly more realistic territory without making it something you can totally replicate, relying on generic lifestyle advice and a slight disconnect in the intimacy of the narrative for an overall work that doesn't really give that much of a glimpse into how the famous folk live.

    Friday, October 10, 2014

    College Fashion Link Up: Gone Girl

    This book didn't just provide the chills and thrills as promised by hyped-up fans and movie-trailers alike... it made me more excited about the concept of an unreliable narrator than I've ever been before. 

    A narrative we've seen spelled out too many times splayed across spreads of tabloid pages, a cause championed by media blowhards like Nancy Grace, the twisted tale of a seemingly idyllic marriage cracking like a mirror, played out in cliche's that rip through Facebook news feeds like buzzsaws. After all, who doesn't love the spine-tingling reality and grim thrill of tracking down a Dead Wife... and who better to pin her disappearance on than a Deadbeat Husband? Nick, what did you do to Amy? 

    I don't have to pretend that most of you don't know the plotline for this epic best-seller of a novel. It's maintained a spot on the New York Times list since its publication two years ago, in 2012, so it's a pretty big deal in Bookworld (and now, Movieworld, too!). The very idea of a wife's mysterious disappearance and her husband's inability to account for his actions is already a harsh situation, especially when even the narrator himself seems to be unable to explain his motives...

    Alright, I know I shouldn't say "narrator," because the novel itself is a study in perspective. Part One alone flips between the modern-day observations of Nicke Dunne, while Amy's diary pages make up the rebuttal... the entire novel displays the chasms of disconnect built from the years of their relationship, only to bridge the gaps with flashes of strange commonality.

    Also, to make this point clear - especially to my Dad - I refuse to tell you what happens. It's a holy mindf*** of a situation, and I went and ruined it for myself by reading the Wiki synopsis before I'd even gotten to page two, so I won't tell you, but be wary: like I said above, it's a study in perspective. So keep your eyes open. 

    When it comes to construction, the characters are so well-rounded, it's astounding. Both Nick and Amy are incredibly relatable, even for their faults and foibles and differences and destructive habits, there were aspects of their personalities I viewed with close familiarity. Without giving away too much, I'll just say that we can call killers and psychos "monsters," dehumanizing them to create a discernible breach between Us and Them... but I recognized pieces of myself, my friends, my family, etc. in each of the characters of the novel.

    I'm immensely impressed with Flynn for being able to craft such a monster of an interconnecting story. Trying to sift through the plot of this book was like untangling the contents of a mixed-up jewelry box... trailing along endless knots, criss-crossing story lines, coming across glinting, sharp edges of cutting commentary and recognizable views of the world, but all muddled together in an addicting mess you are determined to see through to the end. Just like I was determined to wear my long pendant tassel necklace to the first day of school, even though I had to spend a good hour extracting it from the mauled mess of my other necklaces, I was determined to find out what happened to Amy Dunne.

    And be forewarned, oh future readers: this is the kind of book where people ask, "What part are you at?" then immediately follow up with the ominous, "I want to talk to you when you're finished." If you don't like having others' opinions impressed upon you unbidden, then maybe keep this title to your Kindle, so nobody gets any crazy ideas about approaching you while you're reading.

    This maybe is going to sound a little heavy-handed, but honestly, it makes me reaffirmed in my desire to be a writer, that there are still people like Gillian Flynn out there writing.

    So, I did a College Fashion article on this one, though inspiration didn't exactly come to me as easily as I would have like, but I'm still proud on how it all turned out. Here's my favorite look from the piece, depicting the summer Southern setting, juxtaposed against its dark and bleak tone:

    Also, this amazing 8Tracks playlist by user "alihendrix" definitely helped get me into the mood for writing this post... with numbers like a low-key Sky Ferreira rendition of Nancy Sinatra's "Bang Bang," and indie rock The Neighborhood's smoldering "Baby Come Home" I was sucked right back into the mindsets of Nick and Amy Dunne. Definitely recommended for those who like music to accompany their reading habit!