This Year for Thanksgiving...


Can't believe it's already almost the end of 2017! What a wild year...and more than ever, I'm reminded how important it is to be grateful. So here are some things I'm thankful for this year: 

My Texas Book Festival Experience (2017)


Last weekend, my favorite transformation of downtown Austin came around- Texas Book Fest! This was my 4th year going, but my first going alone. It was such an incredible experience, as usual, and here are some of my highlights!

The Virgin Suicides Review

Title: The Virgin Suicides
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Genre: Contemporary

Blurb: First published in 1993, The Virgin Suicides announced the arrival of a major new American novelist. In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters--beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys--commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family's fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death. Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. Adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola, The Virgin Suicides is a modern classic, a lyrical and timeless tale of sex and suicide that transforms and mythologizes suburban middle-American life.


Me: A completely stunning piece of writing- such talent and a great sense of atmosphere.

My Texas Teen Book Festival Experience (2017)

That time of year again, when the book festivals are rolling into Austin and I am a happy happy happy girl. With Texas Book Festival coming up next week and me trying to furiously catch up on reading some of the authors who are coming, here's some highlights of my Saturday, October 7th: Texas Teen Book Festival!!

In Cold Blood Review

Title: In Cold Blood
Author: Truman Capote
Genre: Classics, True Crime 

BlurbOn November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.

As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Blood is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.


Me: A rare required reading treat. Beautifully crafted and told- it was REALLY hard not to read ahead for class.

A Little Life Review

Title: A Little Life
Author: Hanya Yanagihara
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Doubleday

Blurb: When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.

Me: This 720 page wonder has consumed my thoughts awake, my dreams asleep, and every single thing in between for the last week that I read it. It was the fastest I have ever devoured a book this length in a long time, and I have officially been blown away and completely crushed into a million emotional bits. 

Pakistan: The Reluctant Fundamentalist Review

Title: The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Author: Mohsin Hamid
Publisher: Harcourt
Genre: Contemporary

Blurb: At a cafe table in Lahore, a bearded Pakistani man converses with an uneasy American stranger. As dusk deepens to night, he begins the tale that has brought them to this fateful encounter...

Changez is living an immigrant's dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by an elite valuation firm. He thrives on the energy of New York, and his budding romance with elegant, beautiful Erica promises entry into Manhattan society at the same exalted level once occupied by his own family back in Lahore.

But in the wake of September 11, Changez finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned and his relationship with Erica shifting. And Changez's own identity is in seismic shift as well, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and maybe even love.

Me: Unbelievable writing. It was so tense and easy to fall into (I read it in 3 days) but still explored complex ideas- phenomenal.