Tonight I felt like a loser at life. I was really sad and depressed and, although I never turned to Tumblr for comfort before, I thought I would try it. So I searched for “sad” and read the first few things that came up. They didn’t help too much, so I searched for “depressed” and I got the same posts over again. I got frustrated and thought, “I literally just failed at being sad.” But that made me laugh…and then I realized I was wallowing in self-pity and I needed to snap out of it. I guess what I’m saying is—I see what you did there, Tumblr.

Book Reviews: The Stranger the Better

I love things that other people may consider strange—Tom Waits, Egon Schiele, Tim Burton, teaberry ice cream. Naturally, there is a place in my heart for strange books as well. By “strange” I mean that you might not necessarily recommend them to polite company. Since my favorite type of company is impolite company, I read a lot of strange books. I’ve decided to recommend some of my more recent unusual reads. As my beloved Tom Waits said, “The creative process is imagination, memories, nightmares, and dismantling certain aspects of this world and putting them back together in the dark.” Here are a few pieces that were, no question, put together in the darkness—and with brilliant results.

(The Tom Waits quote is from Paul Maher Jr.’s “Tom Waits on Tom Waits: Interviews and Encounters, which may be the most delightfully weird book I mention here. It’s basically undiluted Tom Waits ranting about everything, so if you’re a fan you must go pick it up.)

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

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When I first read the synopsis for We Were Liars I almost completely dismissed it. The last thing I wanted to read was another story about rich WASPs with too much money and too little emotion. And the Sinclair family actually has enough money to own their own island, so I assumed I would not be able to relate to them. They are all perfect, beautiful, and blonde. It’s hard to imagine how the lead character, a teenage girl named Cadence, could even have a care in the world. Initially, the story seems like one that we have all heard before, but then it takes a glorious twist that you will not want to miss. I picked up the book from a display at my local book store while I was waiting for my coffee to be made. As I said, I didn’t want to like it, but E. Lockhart’s very simple and clean writing drags you under until you are halfway through the book and gasping for air. I read the entire thing in 48 hours, and it wasn’t until later that I discovered it’s actually a YA novel. That fact was yet another aspect of this book that surprised me, and I would say that it most certainly is enjoyable for both teens and adults. It’s the most tame of all of the books in this list, but I needed to recommend the moment I finished it. If it seems a bit slow to you at any point, please keep reading. The back of this book should simply say, “Wait for it….”

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Yesterday Ralph and I went to the mall to look for clothes for him to wear to a wedding this weekend. Ralph decided he wanted a summer suit, but it had to be this ONE particular suit only. We ended up running around the mall for 5 hours, finding the shirt at one place, the vest at another, begging tailors to take in a pair of pants…. In the end we got every single piece from a different store, and I realized that I had just been in a life size video game fetch quest. And then I looked at him suspiciously and wondered if that had been his plan all along….