Top 5 Books I Read in 2016

Another year, another Top 5 list. It’s an ordinary thing to do as a new year and altogether a new reading list is underway. But I assure you there is nothing ordinary about the books I’ve singled out below. It’s because of their singular impact on me that, in turn, compelled me to pay them forward. As with last year, this list is a little more selective than my best films list (coming up shortly) and that’s because books require a little more time. Here are the top 5 books I happily dedicated my time to in 2016 and would happily do so again.

  1. Scrappy Little Nobody14-scrappy-little-nobody-w1200-h630

Up in the Air remains as one of my favorite movies of all time. So it’s with a bit of coincidence that I chose Anna Kendrick’s delightful collection of essays as my form of entertainment during my flight. At 30,000 feet, she was my row buddy, the two of us getting to know each other over complimentary snacks and drinks. I was wonderfully entertained by her charming wit and honesty, a voice she strikes pitch-perfectly (you bet your ass that pun was intended). Hollywood may be glamorous, but ol’ Kendrick isn’t afraid to point out how hideous of an institution it is. Beyond that, she traces us to her humble beginnings as a young starlet working full-time as a stage actress, then as a teenager awkwardly stumbling through her discovery years while occasionally being dwarfed by her own ambitions. The spotlight doesn’t make everything pretty; it simply shines a light on what desperately needs attention. Kendrick may not crave attention, but she’s certainly got mine.  Continue reading

On Reading

There’s nothing I love more than reading a good book. There’s something romantic and grand about it, knowing I have an entire world at my fingertips. All I have to do is turn the page and suddenly I’m in a place that the storyteller in me calls home. I consider reading to be therapeutic. A release. An escape. After all, each of us needs an escape every once in a while. These little escapes are prevalent in our everyday lives. Movies, music, video games; it’s the same basic concept. They’re stories too, only they’re digested in different ways. But why do some of us embrace one form and condemn another? I ask this because time and time again I find myself having to defend my love for reading, and I am tired of it. Continue reading