What’s the deal with Ohio?

It seems to me that there must be something in the water in the great state of Ohio. Despite being home to a few major US cities, assorted professional sports teams, a renowned college football program, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, most people seem to forget about Ohio until some kind of (fictional) catastrophe puts it back on the map.

And boy, is it prone to catastrophe! From murderous teens to an alien invasion, the seventeenth state has seen it all. Upon my (admittedly narrow and short) survey of pop culture, I’ve come to the conclusion that whenever something awful happens, it happens in the Buckeye State. I’m not sure if the Hollywood elite just uses “Ohio” as a placeholder and then continually forgets to replace it with another state, or if there’s something about the state’s mystique that draws creative interest, or if maybe writers just really hate Ohio; regardless, here’s a (by no means definitive) list of fictional Ohio towns and the awful, awful things that have happened therein. Continue reading What’s the deal with Ohio?

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Slasher flicks and FINAL GIRLS: A review of Riley Sager’s novel

There will be mild spoilers below for assorted horror movies of the last 40 or so years—namely, revealing the names of the “final girls” of said movies. Read on at your own risk.


Screenshot 2017-04-22 15.55.00Until I was 13 or 14 years old, I hated horror movies. I had always hated Halloween because there were nothing but men in scary masks hacking up teenagers on TV (and because I hated seeing teenagers in those same masks running around the neighborhood) and I didn’t like being scared. Life can be awful enough; why subject yourself to extra torture?

But it was the middle of a weekend day, probably on AMC’s Halloween marathon, when my mom (who also largely disliked scary movies) and I ended up engrossed in 1998’s teen slasher, Urban Legend. That moment will live in infamy in my life, as that was the movie that spawned my concurrent love affairs with late 90s teen slasher flicks, Joshua Jackson, and final girls.

Continue reading Slasher flicks and FINAL GIRLS: A review of Riley Sager’s novel

So you didn’t get into that masters program

So you’ve been sitting in an international airport for three hours, now waiting on a flight that’s been delayed by an hour.

So you can’t watch the Homeland first season finale because Amazon won’t allow it to play on your U.S. device in a foreign country.

So you checked your email and noticed a couple messages in the spam folder — including something called “Graduate Admissions Decision.”

So you clicked on it with bated breathe and saw only four short paragraphs, wishing you luck in your future endeavors.

So it’s the day after your birthday. It’s fine; you’re not bitter. Continue reading So you didn’t get into that masters program

Slip beneath the surface with INTO THE WATER

into-the-water
Also this cover is GORGEOUS.

This past summer, my friend Brittney and I went to Montauk for a long weekend. We spent one of our vacation days in East Hampton, where we made an appointment to get our nails done and have a fancy lady day. We had an hour or two to kill until our appointments, so we (of course) went to Book Hampton, where, after much discussion of how we had somehow missed out on reading it, we both bought a copy of Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train.

We finished that book over the course of that day, spending our time getting our nails painted wishing we could be reading and then returning to Montauk to sit outside at a cafe in complete silence and just read. For me, personally, the last 40-50 pages got a bit too melodramatic, but by then, I was hooked, and I needed to know how it ended. Continue reading Slip beneath the surface with INTO THE WATER

#CloakandDagger2017: QUEEN OF SPIES by Paddy Hayes

This is part of my 2017 reading challenge, Cloak and Dagger, for which I’ve pledged to read all the spy books I have stacked up in my room. Read along!

25705939I was incredibly excited to dive into Queen of Spies, because I really wanted to learn about Daphne Park. To be honest, I knew nothing about her heading into this book; I really just wanted to read a book about a woman who also just so happened to be a spy. But perhaps a year or so ago, I had a friend who worked at the company that would be publishing Paddy Hayes’s book on Park and I got her to sneak me a galley.

I only just now got around to reading it, and I’ll admit that this one was a bit of a let-down. This book is dense, and packed with details that will surely fascinate those who are already fairly familiar with SIS history (or British history, at least) and the ins and outs of international relations during the Cold War. The subtitle of Queen of Spies is “Daphne Park, Britain’s Cold War Spy Queen,” and though the book opens on an harrowing moment of Park in Moscow in the 50s and then dives into her childhood in Africa, Daphne Park is sometimes very difficult to find on the pages of a book supposedly about her.

Continue reading #CloakandDagger2017: QUEEN OF SPIES by Paddy Hayes

Donald Trump should read PERSEPOLIS

Don’t forget to send your book and letter to the White House today! ♥


Mr. Trump:

complete-persepolisThis is the second book I’m sending you (and I do hope you opened my first gift already), so I’ll get right to the point.

First of all, happy Valentine’s day.

Secondly, please find enclosed a copy of The Complete Persepolis, written and drawn by Marjane Satrapi. Perhaps you’ve heard of this book. It’s a graphic novel that is often cited on best-of lists and often used in classrooms to teach students about the importance of diversity in literature. Continue reading Donald Trump should read PERSEPOLIS

Donald Trump should read ROLLING BLACKOUTS

Don’t forget to send your book and letter to the White House today! ♥


Mr. Trump:

Let me begin by stating how disappointed I was to read in a recent New York Times article that you do not read books. I can only imagine how stressful the job (and it is a job, Mr. Trump–you work for us, the American people) in which you now find yourself must be on a daily basis, but I’ve always found reading to be a wonderful way to both relax and educate yourself on any number of topics. There are books out there on the U.S. government and world history and war, and there are instructional books on everything from how to knit a scarf to how to resist a fascist regime. I believe that books are powerful, reading is essential, and universal literacy should be a top priority in any country that claims to be “the greatest.” Continue reading Donald Trump should read ROLLING BLACKOUTS