summer reads

Yesterday on Instagram (shameless LipLiner plug, oh well), I asked our followers to tell me the title of the best book they’ve read in the past year so I can keep my eye out for new picks to add to my “To Read” list. To show that I not only walk to walk, but ~talk the talk~ too, I’ve decided to detail the books I’ve read this summer thus far in hopes that maybe one of these will make it onto your own reading list!

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national poetry month + some of my favs

Happy April, people! The World Wide Web told me that April is National Poetry Month and I thought that it would be fun to kick it off by sharing some of my favorites.  Poetry, and I, though I consider it a dear love of mine, have a pretty complicated relationship.  I remember when I was a lot younger I thought that any string of sentences


a lot

of spaces

was a poem, and my early writing reflects that greatly.  Interestingly enough, as I’ve grown as a writer, I’ve come to see that poetry is perhaps where my writing is the most honest, probably attributed to the fact that ideas for poems come to me one line at a time and are often strung together after the fact.  I am no where near considering myself a poet, in fact, I was way too chicken to try out for the slam poetry team when I was in college, so I have great admiration for poets who are confident in their work and in their ability to present personal material that is able to resonate deeply with others.

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honoring mlk through a child’s eyes

One year in elementary school, a classmate of mine brought in the VHS tape to a movie that he and his family watched each year on MLK Day—the film is titled Our Friend, Martin, and follows Miles, a young African American boy who has more concern for his future than the past, through time with Martin Luther King Jr. throughout various points in his life and activism, including the Birmingham riot of 1963, meetings regarding the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the bombing of King’s house, and ultimately, his assassination.

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sweet dreams


I’m not quite finished reflecting on my life goals and encouraging you to do the same. In searching for something to write for today, however, I started to poke through some of the writing I have saved on my laptop. There isn’t much, as I’ve only had it since May, but there are a few streams of consciousness that are ripe for picking. One of my many goals is to continue to work on my writing, not only narrative non-fiction but also fiction of various kinds. Much like I and many my age are still finding ourselves ~*spiritually~*, I’m still trying to find my voice in writing. This website has been practice but, unfortunately, not enough. In any case, here’s a little piece I wrote about dreams (the sleeping kind, not the wish upon a star kind).

P.S. in the spirit of stream-of-consciousness, this isn’t edited. Sorry in advance, but I said I’m working on it, all right?

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icymi: chance the rapper has basically already won the grammys

On Tuesday, December 06, The Recording Academy announced the nominations for the 59th Grammy Awards.  No shock here: Beyonce heads the nomination with a whopping total of nine nominations.  What’s more exciting, however, is the seven nominations that Chance the Rapper now has under his belt.  These nominations, which include Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song (both for “No Problem”) and Best Rap Album (Coloring Book), have officially allowed Chance to become the first artist to receive Grammy nominations for a streaming-only project.

He’s an artist to watch, as his heart and soul goes into everything he creates.  Read a little bit more about him and then listen to the “feat. Chance the Rapper” playlist I’ve created to celebrate this feat.

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from Chance’s set at The Meadows Music Festival, October 2016.                                c/o Elyssa Brattesani

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‘in a dark, dark wood’ review


Thanks for the warning, Reese.  c/o Google Books

Ruth Ware’s premiere novel, In a Dark, Dark Wood was published in 2015, receiving grand acclaim, publication in over 40 territories , and Reese Witherspoon’s signing on to produce a film-version of the thriller.

However, I purchased the book because it was 20% off and it had no summary on the back, and I thought that that was intriguing.  (Please don’t read on if you plan on reading the book, in which case, please ask to borrow me copy!)

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