Image: A pair of hands reading a book. A tree is in the background.

Favorite Books Read In 2017

(Or some of them, anyway. I can never make a definitive list!)

  • Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer. Teenagers in a small town start going boom. I reviewed it here.
  • Galaxy Love by Gerald Stern. The latest collection of poems by Stern, steeped in memory and history, personal and otherwise.
  • Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me by Janet Mock. The second memoir by Mock talks about love, marriage, aspirations, and navigating the big city as a trans black woman.
  • Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz. A young woman in recovery for an eating disorder makes a new friend while struggling with her dreams of dancing.
  • Tuva or Bust!: Richard Feynman’s Last Journey by Ralph Leighton. The true story of a famous physicist’s wish to visit the country of Tannu Tuva.
  • Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis. Two people bound by their subconscious, linked across two worlds, are drawn into each other’s lives. I reviewed it here.
  • Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee. A delightful middle grade novel about a girl discovering she’s bi, the girl she has a crush on, and a near-disastrous staging of Romeo and Juliet.

Things To Do In 2018

A list for myself but really for anyone who wants it:

  1. Give up on media that bores you, or aggravates you. Stop listening to music that doesn’t excite you. Drop any book that doesn’t have a good hook or an interesting build-up. Don’t watch a TV series if it does nothing for you after a few episodes.
  2. Write something once in a while that isn’t for a school assignment. Maybe it’s fiction, or creative non-fiction, or an article, or just a list of things (meta!). Don’t force it. Don’t try to do it every day. But, sometimes, write.
  3. Allow yourself the freedom of saying, “I don’t know what that is, but I’d like to learn”, and variations on it. Be okay with admitting that you don’t know everything.
  4. Experiment with computer languages you’ve never worked with before: R, Ruby, Rust, et cetera. Think about computer programming for apps and mobile devices. Think about SQL applications and the millions of ways Python can be put into Excel. Maybe brush up on your HTML/CSS?
  5. Go see a movie at an actual movie theater.
  6. See music being performed live, whether it’s a band on stage or a talent show at the local library or someone playing guitar at an open air market.
  7. Don’t worry so much. Seriously, you don’t need to worry as much as you do right now. Everything will be okay.