Category Archives: Things I’m Obsessed With

Things I’m Obsessed With

Welcome to the latest Things I’m Obsessed With!


Yup, that’s pretty much it. ;)  Since starting to work for Spence City as a publicist, that’s basically been my life (besides the day job, of course): books.

We’re getting closer to BEA (a little over a month away!!!!) and I can’t wait.  It’s also kicking off vacation season, which I am very much excited for.  I’m going to BEA AND ALA, which means that for about two months, I’ll only be at work for a few weeks.

I’m excited for ALA, because it’s my first time going and because it’ll be bookended with time with my best friend, who I haven’t seen in years.  There will be books and crab angels and movies (definitely 22 Jump Street and The Fault in Our Stars, but probably more) and probably TV marathons and I’m so excited. :)

I feel so lucky, you guys.  I love talking about books and now I have a bigger forum to do it.

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Things I’m Obsessed With (The Birthday Edition)

Welcome to the latest Things I’m Obsessed With!  I’m calling this the “birthday edition” because these would all make great gifts.


I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but Lizzie Skurnick has this great imprint of books where she re-releases YA books with vintage covers.  I’ve gotten the first four and I love the idea of this.  (I especially love the vintage covers.)  Fun fact: most of the releases are in her book Shelf Discovery, which is about the YA she loved growing  up.

Secret Lives


There are so many Scream Factory releases I want (Psycho II, Psycho III, Slumber Party Massacre, The Howling, The Horror Show, Darkman, a belated birthday present of Sleepaway Camp).  Like the Lizzie Skurnick re-releases, they take old-school horror movies and release them with new covers and a ton of special features.


So, this one guy decided to watch every episode of Breaking Bad and then make posters.  You can see them here.  I love them all.  I got this one as an early birthday present from my aunt and uncle, and I love it the most.  (Thanks again!)


So what are you obsessed with this week?

Things I’m Obsessed With

Welcome to the latest Things I’m Obsessed With!

Pop Culture:

Harold Ramis died Monday.  I typically get sad at celebrities dying, but this is a whole other level.  I said on Facebook that I think the last celebrity death that affected me this way is when John Hughes died a couple of years ago.  I don’t think I could overstate how much I loved these two, and Ramis’ death has gotten me right in the childhood.  I love most of the movies he directed and starred in (Ghostbusters, OF COURSE, and Groundhog Day and Multiplicity, but National Lampoon’s Vacation is the first R-rated movie I ever saw, and it’s one of my comfort food movies).  A couple friends of mine have met him, and apparently he was just as lovely and gracious as we could’ve wanted.  I personally didn’t meet him, but my world is a little bit worse now.


We are getting ever closer to BEA, and I’m starting to do preliminary plans about what I hope will be there and who I hope to meet.  The closer we get, the more information will be available (obviously).  I just hope that they don’t wait until two weeks before to release final schedules, like they did last year.


The Oscars (and Independent Spirit awards) are this weekend!  I can’t wait to see what movies/actors win, and I hope that 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture in both.  Really, though, so long as American Hustle goes home empty-handed, I’ll be happy.  (That movie was a huge disappointment for me.)  I did love many of the Best Picture/acting nominees, though, especially 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club, Philomena, Nebraska and Her.  I enjoyed Gravity and Captain Phillips, too.


I am so happy that my shows are finally coming back tomorrow!  I don’t understand how the Olympics means that every other show has to air reruns.  We don’t all watch the Olympics, and it’s SWEEPS.  If people miss something because of the Olympics, maybe they need to suck it up and get a DVR.  Don’t penalize everyone.  It’s not nice.

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Things I’m Obsessed With

Welcome to the first Things I’m Obsessed With in what seems like forever!  :)


I have so many books to read for review, and right now, I’m focusing on two books I need to read for my book clubs.  I’m currently re-reading The Book Thief for my local book club and then I need to read Endless Love for my online one.  I’ve also been beta reading for my author friend Darby.  She has her first adult novel, The Stag Lord, coming out in October.  This book is AMAZING.  I just finished reading it, and believe me, you desperately want to read this book.  I also recently read the second book in her Finn Finnegan series (Gideon’s Spear; out now and review to appear on the blog soon).  Darby is a fantastic author and, while Stag Lord is definitely for grownups only, Finn Finnegan (and her Griffin series!) are appropriate for pretty much everyone.  Highly, highly recommended.


We’re in award season! We’ve already seen the Golden Globes and Screen Actors’ Guild awards and still have BAFTAs, Independent Spirit and Oscars to go.  I have seen all the nominees except for Wolf of Wall Street (which I hope to remedy tomorrow) and so far, I want 12 Years a Slave to win everything.  I’ve heard excellent things about Wolf of Wall Street, though, and I’m very excited to see it.  Once I do, I’ll also have seen nine of the 10 AFI 10 best of 2013 (the tenth is Fruitvale Station, which I also hope to see soon).  Do you have any thoughts about the Oscars?


I’ve started watching Sons of Anarchy and I’m so in love with it! I’m about halfway through the third season, and I hope to be caught up in time to watch the seventh (and final) season live.  It’s so weird that I love this show; it’s definitely not my usual style.  (It’s about a gun-running motorcycle club that bends the law in other ways, as well.)  The first season, especially, is Shakespearean in scope.  (It’s basically described as “Hamlet on motorcycles.”)

What are you obsessed with this week?

Books to Watch For In 2014: The Summer of Letting Go

Throughout December, I will be highlighting 2014 releases that I’m incredibly excited for.  I got the idea for this from my friend Kathy, who is doing something similar.  Make sure to check out her blog to see what books she’s excited for next year!

The latest featured book is The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner, out March 25.

Summary (from Goodreads):

“Still reeling from her little brother’s drowning death, a girl finds her herself holding back – from summer trips to the ocean, friendship, budding romance – till she meets another young boy who may be her brother’s reincarnation, which awakens her to new possibilities.”

Why I’m excited:  Because it’s by GAE POLISNER.  You may have heard me speak of The Pull of Gravity (hint: it comes up A LOT here on the blog, and on Twitter and Facebook) and this is her newest book.

Besides that, this sounds amazing!

I can’t wait for March to see how often The Summer of Letting Go comes up in conversation!

Books I’m Obsessed With (or: what books to give as presents this year)

But before we get to 2014 (which will be the rest of this month), here are the best books I read this year.  I broke them down by genre so that you can get them for whomever you know who likes that genre.

Note: a lot of what I read this year was general fiction or contemporary YA.  As a direct result, there are much more suggestions in those categories.  :)


1)  The Burning Air by Erin Kelly.  This book starts a little slow but will grab you and not let go.

2)  Stolen by Daniel Palmer.   Go ahead.  Stop reading before you’re done.  I DARE YOU.

3)  The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian.  I should have you at “Chris Bohjalian,” right?

4)  Brilliance by Marcus Sakey.  The first in a series and is just as perfect as you’d expect a Marcus Sakey book to be.

5)  The Silent Wife by ASA Harrison.  This reminded me a lot of Gone Girl.

6)  The Never List by Koethi Zan.  This will have you jumping at every noise.

7)  Night Film by Marisha Pessl.  Possibly my favorite book from BEA and cemented her must-buy status for me.

8)  Critical Mass by Sara Paretsky.  One of my favorite authors and one of my favorite series.

9)  Save Yourself by Kelly Braffet.  This book is completely unsettling in the best way.

10)  The Edge of Normal by Carla Norton.  SO FUN and so completely creepy.

General Fiction:

1)  The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers.  This book snuck up on me, and is just an absolute delight.

2)  Z by Therese Anne Fowler.  This made me love Zelda Fitzgerald.

3)  Double Feature by Owen King.  Perfect for movie buffs.

4)  Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.  Historical fiction done so well.

5)  Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight.  LOVED THIS.

6)  Fly Away by Kristin Hannah.  This is the sequel to Firefly Lane and is amazing.

7)  Finding Colin Firth by Mia March.  Amazing and fun and will make you want to watch all of Colin Firth’s movies (what a hardship).

8)  Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld.  Possibly even better than her last book (American Wife) and that’s saying something.

9)  The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood.  Ann Hood is a freaking genius.  That’s all.

10)  Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin. Suggested by a friend of mine—this book is AMAZING.

11)  In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose MacColl.  Perfect for fans of historical fiction.

12)  The Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scotch.  One of my absolute favorites of the year.

13)  The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty.  Transcends genre.

14)  Joyland by Stephen King.  This seems at first to be a suspense novel.  Stick with it.

NOTE: If you have someone who has a strong stomach and loves good books that will get them talking, I recommend Tampa by Alissa Nutting.  But it is not for everybody.  AT ALL.


1) NOS4A2 by Joe Hill.  PERFECT Christmas read. (Oh, wait.)

2)  Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.  Ask first because they may have this.  If they do, NOS4A2 is a great alternate.


1)  Does Jesus Love Me? by Jeff Chu.  Gay man tries to find Christians who are Christ-like.

2)  Stitches by Anne Lamott.  (No description necessary.)

3)  Hollywood in Kodachrome.  This is a coffee table book but is perfect for anyone you know who loves classic movies.

New Adult/Romance:

1) Losing It (and its companion novel, Faking It) by Cora Carmack.  These books are so fun and so sweet.

2)  All the Lauren Blakely books.  (If you’re buying in e-books, they’re also very affordable.)

3)  All the Colleen Hoover books, too.  I love her books but they are dark.

YA (General):

1)  Falling into You by Lisa Schroeder.  Beautiful story, as all of hers are.

2)  Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.  I forced everyone I know to read this book this year.

3)  If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch.  Amazing and harrowing; this is one of those books that changes you.

4)  If He Had Been With Me by Laura Nowlin.  Wrenching, compelling, lovely.

5)  Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown.  Another one of her ripped-from-the-headlines books.  Just as great as I’ve come to expect from her.

6)  When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney.  This book destroyed me.  It may be my favorite of hers.

7)  Golden by Jessi Kirby.  This book is perfect.  If you like contemporary YA, you need to read it.

8)  Just One Day and its sequel Just One Year by Gayle Forman.  If you haven’t read Gayle Forman yet, these are great books to start with.

9)  Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller.  This book will break your heart.

10)  Broken by CJ Lyons.  One of the most fun and unexpected books of my year.

11)  Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.  This would be a great present with Eleanor & Park.

12)  Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick.  Another must-read by Matthew Quick.

YA (Paranormal):

1)  The Originals by Cat Patrick (technically paranormal, I guess?).  Cat Patrick is a must-buy author.  This book will show you why.

2)  Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney.  Paris! Paintings that come alive! Great love story!

3)  Second Verse by Jennifer Walkup.  Creepy little ghost story.

YA (Dystopian):

1)  The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau.  The sequel is out in January and the third/final book is out in June.  So far, it’s the best successor to the Hunger Games I’ve seen (although it’s possible that Allegient soured me on the Divergent trilogy.  Maybe more than possible.)


1)  Finn Finnegan by Darby Karchut.  Book two is out in February.  I loved this book (and her series about Griffin).

2)  This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy J. Cavanaugh.  Adorable story.

3)  Jessica Darling’s IT LIST #1 by Megan McCafferty.  Excellent introduction to Jessica Darling.  Get ‘em while they’re young.

So what books are you giving as presents this year?

Jessica Darling’s IT List

Finished Jessica Darling’s IT List by Megan McCafferty.  I received a copy from the publisher at BEA.

Summary (from Goodreads):

“Move over, Dork Diaries! Jessica Darling, star of Megan McCafferty’s bestselling Jessica Darling series for adults, is back in a hilarious new series perfect for tween (10 to 14) girls.

I hadn’t even gotten to homeroom yet and I’d already discovered five hard truths about junior high:

1. My best friend had turned pretty.
2. She didn’t know it yet.
3. It wouldn’t be long before she did.
4. That knowledge would change everything between us.
5. And there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.

It’s the first day of seventh grade. Is Jessica Darling doomed for dorkdom?

New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty’s hilarious series opener will have you laughing, cringing, and cheering for Jessica Darling as she learns that being herself beats being popular, pretty & perfect any day.”

I love the original Jessica Darling books to a ridiculous and possibly unhealthy degree.  This is a prequel to those books (which begin when she’s in high school and follow her through to early adulthood) and our Jess is in middle school.

Middle school is pretty much an awful time for everyone, but certainly more uncomfortable than most for her, because she’s so completely not a joiner and not someone who’s effortlessly cool.  (Is anyone, though?)

The best part of this for me is seeing Jessica and her friends, seeing how she first encounters Hope and Marcus Flutie, two people who (we know) will be a huge part of her life going forward.

This book would be an excellent gift for people you know entering middle school (which is, what, sixth grade now?).  The tone is definitely much younger than her other books, and I think even elementary school readers would enjoy it.

Is it as good as the original books? No.  But it’s incredibly enjoyable and an excellent gateway into Jessica Darling’s story.

Things I’m Obsessed With

Welcome to the latest Things I’m Obsessed With!


Remember how I said that Kathy and I were going to be blogging about TV? Well, it starts SOON!  I will be blogging recaps of Parks & Recreation and Scandal every Friday morning and she and I will be co-blogging American Horror Story and Bates Motel.  I will also be doing a weekly feature of my auditioning new shows to replace the shows I lost last year.  I’ll be doing the second episodes of Sleepy Hollow and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (because I didn’t think of this last week, when those two premiered) and the pilots of Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hostages, The Blacklist, Mom, The Goldbergs, The Michael J. Fox Show, Trophy Wife, Lucky 7 and Welcome to the Family.  I will also start watching the second season of The Mindy Project (will we make it work this time, Mindy?).  This feature will air at some point on Thursdays and will continue until I make my final selections.  Thursday is going to be my big binge-watching day.


I’m going on vacation soon and I am SO EXCITED.  I will be headed to Florida to visit my aunt and uncle (my first time down there since they moved last year) and it’s going to be awesome.  We’re going to Harry Potter and to the Halloween Horror Night at Universal Studios.  And it’ll be great just to see them, because I obviously haven’t seen them much since they moved.  (And honestly, I haven’t seen them anywhere near as much since I moved to Baltimore almost seven years ago.)

Caveat for announcement in TV: Because I WILL be in Florida, I will be disappearing almost right after I start doing those recaps.  But I will come back and there will be SUCH A MAJOR GLUT OF TV WHEN I DO!


On a related note, I know what books I’m taking with me to Florida.  I plan to bring Joyland, The Shining and its sequel Dr. Sleep, an ARC of the new V.I. Warshawski mystery Critical Mass (I LOVE Sara Paretsky), plus The Dollhouse Asylum, The Edge of Normal and How to Be A Good Wife.  (Those last two have both been compared to Gone Girl, and I am so excited.)  I don’t know that I can reasonably expect to get through all of them, but I will certainly give them a fighting effort. :)

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Things I’m Obsessed With

Welcome to the latest Things I’m Obsessed With!


I am getting closer and closer to being able to read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and I am ridiculously excited.  You all remember how much I loved Eleanor & Park and so my expectations for this are incredibly high.


We are nearing the beginning of A Nightmare on Kel’s Street and I feel like all I want to do now is watch horror movies.  It doesn’t help that there’s going to be a new Child’s Play movie soon.  (I LOVE that series so much.)  What’s your favorite scary movie?


I only have a few shows left of Breaking Bad and cannot even deal with this fact.  Fortunately, most of my other shows are coming back soon (most next week, I think, or the week after) and that will help.  I’ve also been working my way through Downton Abbey, which I very much enjoy…except that I’ll finish watching this well before season four begins airing in January.  I need to start timing this all better.

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Things I’m Obsessed With

Welcome to the latest Things I’m Obsessed With!  So remember how the last one was all about TV? This one is all about…


So I am beginning to prepare for my big December feature.

(I apologize in advance for a potential glut of posts in December.)

I will be spotlighting the 2014 releases I am most excited for and interviewing those authors.  There will be guest posts from publicists and other bloggers, as well.

I’m really excited for this but also a little nervous because honestly, this is the most ambitious thing I’ve ever tried to do with my blog and the chance for failure…well.  I don’t like that. :)  But I think it’ll be pretty awesome.  (I hope.)

So if you’d like to do a guest post with what you’re most excited to read in 2014, please leave me a comment.  I could use the help. ;)

So what are you obsessed with this week?