Category Archives: Pop Culture

The Balancing Act

So I always mention that I have so many TV shows that I want to watch—and it keeps growing.  Currently it includes, but is not limited to, The Sopranos, The Wire, The Americans, Dexter, Friday Night Lights and the first seasons of Penny Dreadful and True Detective.

But I also really enjoy watching movies.  And I need a ridiculous amount of sleep to function.  And this is primarily a book blog (today notwithstanding).  I’m currently watching all the TV I can handle and still be able to do other things.

My TV schedule:

Monday: nothing

Tuesday: The Mindy Project, Sons of Anarchy (finally caught up, guys!)

Wednesday: Nashville, American Horror Story

Thursday:  Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder

Friday: The Amazing Race

Saturday: nothing

Sunday: nothing

That’s absolutely doable.  I’m also looking forward to Bates Motel and Parks and Rec coming back.

So I think what I’m going to start doing is watching shorter series (True Detective, Penny Dreadful) over the winter hiatus and then doing longer series (The Wire, The Sopranos) over the summer.  It’ll take forever, but that’s fine.  I have time.

A Nightmare on Kel’s Street: 31 Horror Films, 31 Days

So as you know, we are thisclose to October, which means that it is time for horror movies!

I saw on Twitter that there’s a challenge to watch 31 horror films in 31 days (over October, obviously) and because I like challenges and making myself even busier, I thought, “Well, YES PLEASE.”

I’m even going to make a list of what I plan to watch, although I would pay good money on me breaking the last by the end of the first week.  An * means I haven’t seen it before.

1)  The Possession of Michael King*

2)  The Rite

3)  The Possession

4)  The Omen

5)  The Omen (remake)

6) Omen 2

7)  Omen 3

8)  Omen 4

9) Rosemary’s Baby

10)  The Exorcist (director’s cut)

11)  Misery

12)  Cujo

13) The Ward

14)  In the Mouth of Madness

15)  Last House on the Left (original)

16)  The Hills Have Eyes (original)

17)  The Hills Have Eyes (remake)

18)  Village of the Damned

19)  The Fog

20) Christine

21)  A Nightmare on Elm Street (original)

22) A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: Dream Master

23)  Child’s Play

24)  Child’s Play 2

25)  Friday the 13th IV: The Final Chapter

26)  Friday the 13th (remake)

27)  Scream

28)  Scream 2

29)  Scream 3

30)  Halloween 3

31)  Halloween.  Because mandatory.

Things I’m Obsessed With

Welcome to the latest Things I’m Obsessed With!


I’m finishing up prep work for my second annual (!!!) Books To Watch For feature!  It will start in late November and then run through all of December.  I’ve got some great authors lined up and I’m so excited to share these books with you.


I’m just happy that my shows are back.

So what are you obsessed with this week?


Things I’m Obsessed With

Welcome to the latest Things I’m Obsessed With!


I feel like I have so many amazing books coming up to read.  Do you ever feel like that? It’s like every book I have in the stack is just amazing and I cannot wait.  (Upcoming books include the new Jandy Nelson, the new Meg Wolitzer, Famous Last Words, Girl Defective, Tell Me, Anatomy of a Misfit and Falling Into Place.)


We’re slowly heading into two of my favorite movie seasons: Oscar season and horror movie season! The two converge on October 3, when two movies that I am very excited to see both come out.  One is, of course, Gone Girl.  I’m very excited for it in and in a world where The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo gets some nominations, I’m willing to bet Gone Girl could get nods for Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Adapted Screenplay.

And the other? Annabelle.  It’s the prequel of sorts to The Conjuring which had a subplot featuring the world’s creepiest doll.  This movie is all about Annabelle and could be awesome (it’s produced by James Wan—who is doing great things with horror movies—and has Alfre Woodard in the cast) and could be horrible (it’s about a doll; it’s very, very hard to do a movie that centers around a doll and have it be scary. Doll as partial scare—see Poltergeist and The Conjuring—can be done very well; doll as entire scare is generally not good at all).  But I am going to see it anyway, hopefully with my friend Janie.

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Things I’m Obsessed With

Welcome to the latest Things I’m Obsessed With!


I have all these amazing books ahead of me to read and I feel so incredibly lucky to be a book blogger and to get to read so many of them early.  Fellow bloggers, do you ever feel that way? Like you look at your TBR stack and just think, “Holy crap, there are so many! But they all look so amazing and they’re all mine!” And I feel especially blessed that publishers and authors and publicists value my opinion enough to seek it out for a review.  It’s overwhelming in the best possible way, but I hope I never forget how lucky I am.  And I get to go to BEA every year!  (Starting in 2016, I get an extra week vacation at the day job, and I plan to start trying to go to ALA every year it’s on the East Coast or in Chicago.  I think West Coast ALAs would be too expensive, but East Coast ones? Yes, please!)


I have been on a bit of a horror movie kick recently (always) and am completely obsessed with the movie Oculus.  It has so many of my triggers in horror movies (weird things in mirrors, weird things happening to faces, weird things happening to eyes and things happening to your teeth) and it’s a completely confusing movie that keeps you completely off-kilter.  It’s amazing and I love it.

Also, we’re about a month away from the big Halloween boxset release on Blu-Ray and I am SO EXCITED.  I feel like movie for movie, this is the best horror series ever.  There are only two movies that I think are pretty bad (and one of them, Halloween 6, is redeemed by the producer’s cut, WHICH IS INCLUDED IN THE DELUXE BOXSET!).  Nightmare on Elm Street may be my favorite but I think Halloween is the best.


I have currently discovered the joy of (thanks to my friend Erin).  Everything I’ve ordered from them has been amazing and I have a hard time saying exactly what my favorite thing is.  I love the peanut butter cups and the caramel puffs and the black cherry gummy bears and and and and and.  (Yeah, they have a lot of healthy snacks as well, but I haven’t tried those.  I DID get their marshmallow bits, however, which is basically like a bag full of the marshmallows from Lucky Charms with none of the gross cereal parts.  And it’s just as awesome as you’d expect it to be.)

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Things I’m Obsessed With

Welcome to the latest Things I’m Obsessed With!


We’re about two weeks from the re-release of Isla.  I feel like I’ve been waiting FOREVER for this book (and I think it’s been about four years, because I got Lola at my second BEA, so…) and I’m so happy that it’s almost here.

Also, I’m starting to plan my 2015 Books to Watch For feature.  It’s pretty heavy on Spencer Hill books, but there are some great ones coming out.  AND I have some amazing non-SHP authors lined up, too.  I’m very excited at sharing these books with you. :)


I have been in the mood for horror movies lately and I’m very excited for Oculus to come out on Tuesday! I didn’t see it in the theater, so I’m hoping to see it over my weekend.


I’m really liking the show Girl Meets World! It’s not a great show, but I think it’s really cute and sweet.  And it’s nice to see Cory and Topanga together again.  And it helps that I’m pretty much always home on Fridays (as opposed to at work) so I can get into the habit of watching it.

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Things I’m Obsessed With

Welcome to the latest Things I’m Obsessed With!


I’ve seen 22 Jump Street four times now.  I’m pretty sure I’ve seen 21 Jump Street about 30 times but this is pretty impressive given that I almost never get to the movies.  So there’s that.


I just binge-watched The Comeback and I absolutely love it.  I’d heard good things and when HBO announced there’d be a second season, I figured it was a sign that I should watch the first.  Except now I’m done with the first season and I’m not sure when the second season will start.  (Anyone know?)

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Things I’m Obsessed With

Welcome to the latest Things I’m Obsessed With!


I recently read Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle and it’s so good! I am already desperate for the next installment (I believe it’s a trilogy, but either way there’s at least one other book coming).  My review will be out closer to its review date, but if you like contemporary YA, movies or both, this is the book for you.


I hate this, but my vacation is almost over! If you’re my Facebook friend (or Twitter follower), you already know how it’s been going, but if not, expect recap posts to start appearing soon.

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Mandatory Movies, Part 2

Today I’m tackling the second part of my mandatory movies list.  I’m going to do the top 15 movies in the rest of my categories.  As with yesterday, classics will be put into their respective genres instead of in a category all by themselves (Jaws would be in horror, not classics, for example.)


1)  Jaws

2)  Rear Window

3)  Psycho

4)  Rosemary’s Baby

5)  Halloween (original)

6)  A Nightmare on Elm Street (original)

7)  The Ring (American remake)

8)  Alien

9)  The Exorcist

10)  The Conjuring

11)  Night of the Living Dead

12)  The Omen

13)  Poltergeist

14)  The Blair Witch Project

15)  The Strangers


1)  The Breakfast Club

2)  Sixteen Candles

3)  Pretty in Pink

4)  Dirty Dancing

5)  Say Anything

6)  The Goonies

7)  Labyrinth

8)  Big

9)  Back to the Future

10)  Beetlejuice

11)  Who Framed Roger Rabbit

12)  Footloose

13)  Clue

14)  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

15)  Ghostbusters

Kids Movies:

1)  The Harry Potter series

2)  Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

3)  Beauty and the Beast

4)  Alice in Wonderland

5)  ET

6)  Wall-E

7)  Toy Story

8)  The Muppet Movie (okay, almost all the Muppet movies)

9)  Mary Poppins

10)  The Lion King

11)  The Incredibles

12)  Pete’s Dragon

13)  Robin Hood

14)  Pinocchio

15)  Peter Pan


1)  Singin’ in the Rain

2)  The Sound of Music

3)  Moulin Rouge

4)  An American in Paris

5)  My Fair Lady

6)  West Side Story

7)  The King and I

8)  Chicago

9)  The Wizard of Oz

10)  Rent

11)  Les Miserables

12)  The Rocky Horror Picture Show

13)  Grease

14)  Annie

15)  Hair

Mandatory Movies, Part 1

I’m going to do the top 15 movies in a few categories.  Classics will be put into their respective genres instead of in a category all by themselves (Jaws would be in horror, not classics, for example).  These are in no particular order.


1)  The Godfather and The Godfather Part II

2)  Double Indemnity

3)  The Graduate

4)   A Streetcar Named Desire

5)  12 Angry Men

6)  All About Eve

7)  The Maltese Falcon

8)  The Lion in Winter

9)  The Third Man

10)  Sunset Boulevard

11)  To Kill a Mockingbird

12)  Bonnie and Clyde

13)  Rocky

14)  One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

15)  No Country For Old Men


1)  The Apartment

2)  Some Like it Hot

3)  National Lampoon’s Animal House

4)  The Blues Brothers

5)  The Producers

6)  Young Frankenstein

7)  National Lampoon’s Vacation

8)  Bringing Up Baby

9)  Airplane!

10)  The Odd Couple

11)  Tootsie

12)  Heathers

13)  Clueless

14)  Little Miss Sunshine

15)  The Hangover

Love Stories:

1)  Casablanca

2)  The Philadelphia Story

3)  Sabrina

4)  Roman Holiday

5)  When Harry Met Sally

6)  The Way We Were

7)  Woman of the Year

8)  Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

9)  Bull Durham

10)  You’ve Got Mail

11)  As Good as it Gets

12)  The American President

13)  An Affair to Remember

14)  Gone With the Wind

15)  The Princess Bride

Action (may contain sci-fi movies, as well):

1)  Original 3 Star Wars

2)  Lord of the Rings trilogy

3)  Tombstone

4)  James Bond (most Connery movies, Live and Let Die, Goldeneye, Casino Royale, Skyfall)

5)  Kill Bill volume 1 and 2

6)  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

7)  Speed

8)  The Bourne series

9)  The Matrix

10)  Terminator and Terminator 2

11)  Raiders of the Lost Ark

12)  The Batman movies (the 1989 Batman and Christopher Nolan’s trilogy)

13)  The Crow

14)  Gladiator

15)  The Wild Bunch