The Dinosaur Dream

My parents have been giving me grief all evening about my “last night as a teenager.” It has been in some ways quite different from, and in others quite similar, to most of the Wednesday nights of my teenage years: dinner, playing with my cats, watching Mr. Bean, and doing dishes. Its casual nature stands in stark contrast, however, to my first night as a teenager. During my last night as a twelve-year-old, I had a remarkable dream. There was a desperate hunt for fried chicken, an epic battle involving dinosaurs and half of a giraffe, and a few well-placed musical numbers.
I desperately wanted to share this dream with my family members, but the whole day had been rather full. They had blindfolded me and taken me to the Beehive Tea Room, where I had my first cup of jasmine tea, then helped me make fondant surf boards for the penguins on my birthday cake (I was thirteen, ok), and finally, helped me make mac and cheese from scratch. On this auspicious occasion, my parents opened a bottle of champagne; I guess they had one lying around from Christmas celebrations and felt my entrance into my teen years warranted the flair. However, as my siblings and I ranged in age from 11 to 14, my parents had no help finishing the large bottle. It was an ambitious choice on their part, considering the wine they had already consumed while dinner was being made.

We ate dinner, and the conversation never lent itself to the interpretation of my dream, so I waited patiently to mention it while my parents consumed many a flute of bubbly. Finally, the time for cake arrived, and the final glasses of champagne were poured. There was a lull in conversation, and I took the opportunity to introduce the subject of my dream. It was in vain; I was interrupted four or five times, first by parents, then by cats, then by siblings, until finally I raised my voice.

“HEY! Can I PLEASE tell you guys this dream without being interrupted?”

The table was silent, and my dad, visibly tipsy, nodded. “Sorry, sweetie. Go ahead and tell your dream.”

I began, but got no further than the first word when dad threw his champagne over his shoulder, dropping the flute into his lap and saying “lalalalala,” fingers in his ears. The table erupted into giggles. I stamped my tiny teen feet.

“Daddy! What are you doing?”

He picked up the miraculously unbroken glass and explained that he had meant to tease me by sticking his fingers in his ears and pretending to ignore the telling of the dream I had worked so hard and been so patient for, but he had forgotten the step that involved setting his champagne back on the table. From the other end of the room, my mother shook her head slowly.

“You know dear, if you weren’t going to drink that,” she mused, her own glass dangling from two fingers, empty, “I would have had it.”

By that point, my dream had rather lost its punch, but perhaps tomorrow, I shall attempt to tell it again.


Hear Me Out

Today, something truly horrific happened in Connecticut. So much pain and sadness has been sown, and so much fear and hate has surfaced and bubbled over. Hearts have been moved, and voices are shouting.
Mostly, I have been inundated with social media messages about gun control. Don’t get me wrong; I am 110% behind that; gun control will vastly decrease the ease with which such atrocities can be committed, but that is only half the story.
Everyone’s hearts are breaking for the innocent victims, the children in particular, but they are not the only ones to be mourned. People need someone or something to blame when tragedy strikes, a vessel for the negative emotions. Sometimes, we forget that the man who committed this crime was that: a man. 
We’re always told to hate the sin, not the sinner, in the Christian faith. That is what it means to walk in the image of God. Yes, this man did something unspeakably evil. Yes, it is perfectly valid to react to that with fear and anger and hate for the action. But the man himself, we ought to love.
So what is the other half of the story, if gun control is only a part? How can we love someone so broken that he would massacre children? We can start by examining something else that is broken in our world: the way we treat those who are mentally ill. Obviously this man was sick. Mentally healthy individuals do not commit mass murder. I don’t pretend to know what precisely in this man’s brain chemistry didn’t add up, but I would be willing to bet he was not receiving adequate treatment for it. So, yes, we do need better gun control, but on the other side, we also need better mental health care. Prevention is not just making it harder for sick people to obtain weapons. Prevention is trying to heal the sick, make it so that they do not feel compelled to use weapons. We’re not all doctors and we’re not all politicians. We don’t all have the power to pass laws and give therapy, but we all have one thing we can use to make this world a better, safer place: Love.
Let’s start loving one another, through and through. Let’s remember that we’re all imperfect people, no matter how hard it is to do so. 


So I Was on the Six Train...

Good stories never start that way, and this story doesn't start well, although it ends brighter than anticipated. This is a story of sexual assault, and fear, and a few very brave, very kind men who helped me out of a terrifying situation. 
I was on the 6 train, headed downtown to the Flute Bar for a friend's concert. My roommate and I were dressed up, a rare occasion for make-up (though we couldn't bring ourselves to travel in heels, so we carried them in our hands) and fancy clothes. A middle schooler gave me a once-over and I was amused. She was sitting, and I was standing, holding the bar over her head.
We were two stops away from our destination when it happened. A burly man, reeking of beer, his eyes rolling around disturbingly in his head, tugged at my sleeve.
"You look so beautiful."
"Uh, thanks!"
"None of the other girls here even compare."
I smiled, flattered, but a little wary. Then he stood up, lurched towards me with his hand out, offering a slurred, incomprehensible version of his full name. Marcello? Mark? Marmaduke? Hard to say. He asked for mine.
"Uh, Lars."
"Where are you from?"
"Uh...here. New York." 
I started to wish I had lied more about my name, given an alias rather than a nickname.
"What's your last name? You're from here?"
My roommate stepped in, trying to deflect attention. "She's from this subway car. The very one." He didn't even react to her.
Then time slowed to a crawl while events escalated. The drunk lurched forward again and kissed me, putting an arm across my back. Instinctively I began to back away, now terrified where I had been only creeped out. His arm held me in place, though. I was shooting panicked looks around the train, from my roommate to other people on the seats, but no one seemed to know what to do. When the drunk realized I was trying to back away, he began whispering threats in my ear.
"I'm an ex-marine, you know. You can't run away from me." He started fumbling in his jacket, and suddenly I was worried he might have a gun; he could certainly over power me, particularly in my current state, literally paralyzed with fear, so scared I couldn't even cry.
At that moment, two men who had been conversing urgently behind me sprang into action. The first, a short but broad-shouldered middle-aged man hustled his way under the drunks arm, pushing me back and breaking the hold, letting me free. At the same time, a tall, lanky man in his late 20s or early 30s began ushering me and my roommate towards the door as the train approached a station.
"Don't touch her. Get away from this creep, girl, just go. Don't you put your hands on her. I will fucking punch your face in if I have to, you stay away."
I heard myself yelling "This is my stop!" as though I had just had a friendly encounter with a kind person, then bolted from the train. The drunk tried to follow, but the first man held him back, the second stepping onto the platform to make sure we got into the next car ok. 
I was shaken; my legs were trembling, and my heart was racing. I thought I was one of those girls who could stand up for herself, protect herself from creeps and crazies, but when the moment came, I forgot everything I ever learned about how to handle the situation. The only thought running through my head was "Don't make him mad, don't give him a reason to hurt you," like I somehow owed it to this man to be nice, as though his advances were a consequence of my behavior. I don't like it. I didn't like feeling that way. I never want to feel that way again. I never want to be in that situation again. But instead of feeling completely disgusted, totally disheartened with men, I feel an immense gratitude. The heroes in this story out number the villain. Two total strangers were willing to stick their necks on the line to help a scared girl out of a scary moment. Two people who know nothing about me were brave enough and strong enough to fight a battle I couldn't. In a city where so many blind eyes are turned, how grateful I am that those two were watching.


The Canyon

My grandmother says the Canyon used to be less of a chasm and more of a crack in the sidewalk, but that’s hard to believe. Canyons don’t form in a generation. Mom never contradicts her though, just sits there with her eyes on the hem of her shirt, looking sad. I’m not supposed to go near the Canyon, but everyone does it. I’ve even caught Grandma there a few times, but neither of us can accuse the other one without incriminating ourselves, so we don’t. We just walk to the edge and feel the strange sucking sensation, like the wind at the bottom is pulling all of the energy out of your body. I can’t imagine a crack in the sidewalk doing that.
            According to Grandma’s mushed-up brain, when she was a little girl, our town was a city, with a government and everything. She tells me about how there was a Mayor who was in charge, and a Cabinet who helped him keep things organized and running smoothly. There were parks, and a town swimming pool, and libraries, and people to look after all of those things. No curfew, either, and school five days a week. There must have been a lot more people back then. Grandma never says. I don’t think she liked the Mayor much because talking about him pinches her eyebrows together.
            Elizabeth says her great uncle Dan was part of the Cabinet, and he got sucked into the Canyon entirely, that whatever the Canyon sucked out of him was all he was made of, so it took his whole being away. The same thing happened to the Mayor. Most of the Cabinet survived, but none of them were able to speak after their encounters. Dan was important, I think. He had a lot of responsibilities. Elizabeth’s mom says not to worry about that because it won’t happen anymore, yet that doesn’t stop me from lying awake some nights and wondering if Dan maybe just stood too close to the edge and fell. I don’t stand too close to the edge, just enough to feel the rush while Elizabeth stands guard. She never ever stands by the Canyon, because she’s frightened of the force inside that gap. She thinks it’s full of evil. I disagree; I can sense something wonderful about it, if only I could get a hold of the wind, instead of the wind getting hold of me.
            I’m going to the Canyon tonight to think about growing up. It is a little ritual I perform. Without a trip to the Canyon, tomorrow won’t feel like a birthday. The thing is, tomorrow is also the 50th anniversary of the Canyon’s appearance in the sidewalk, so it might be crowded. That’s a big anniversary. It’s a big birthday too: ten. That’s why I didn’t invite Elizabeth this year. Grandma says that in her day, the Canyon was guarded by policemen on anniversaries to keep people from visiting. They were supposed to protect the people, she says, but most of the time they used their jobs to protect themselves. The Canyon took most of them, too. The Canyon only takes certain kinds of people. What those kinds of people are is a mystery to me though, because no one will tell me. Apparently I’m too young. Maybe I’ll be old enough to know tomorrow. Sharing a birthday with it sometimes tricks me into thinking I have some sort of privilege, like I get to know things about it that other people don’t, just because of when I was born.
            When I go to the Canyon, a few hours after Mom has shut off the lights, and Grandma is snoring on her cot, I find I’m entirely alone. It’s just me, and this giant hole that pulls on your insides. It’s a little scary, and a little exhilarating. I’m fascinated by it. It makes me feel strong, energized. On the rim of the Canyon, I’m in control; I can do anything I want.
            Stepping closer to the edge than I’ve ever been before, I stare down into it, trying to see the river that carved it. There is no river.
            “What are you?” I whisper. It’s tugging a little more than it used to. I jump back because I swear the Canyon laughed at me. Just a chuckle, but it was there. “You can’t hear me, you’re a canyon.”
            There’s another chuckle. “Of course I can hear you.” It sounds smooth with a tangy after-taste, like a cough drop.
            I sit down. My legs feel like they’re being erased, hot and rubbery and distant. I’m not afraid. At least that is what I’m saying, even if that is not quite what I’m feeling. I’m feeling like there’s nothing I can do unless the Canyon thinks it’s okay for me to do it. I’m feeling like if the Canyon tells me anything, I have to do it. I don’t like it. I’m starting to understand that face Mom makes when Grandma tells stories about the old days, that defeat and resignation. I’m feeling—
            And it’s right. I want to move away from the edge, to run home and hug my mom and never go near that Canyon again, but I can’t. It won’t let me. So I sit there, my knees shaking on the dirt in front of me, my fingers gripping at tree roots as the ground slowly runs away from my body. My nose is full of mud and there are goose bumps on my arms. I’m being sucked into the Canyon, and there is nothing I can do about it. I guess power destroys you in the end, if you’re not careful with it.


Rory Gilmore: My Literary Hero!

So I saw this list on this website, and was surprised by how many I have read! I have marked those I have read in blue. Others have been marked in orange with commentary. I'll update it as I read more of them!

1984 by George Orwell
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll – read – July 2010

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
The Art of Fiction by Henry James
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Babe by Dick King-Smith
Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie {it's on my list for this summer}
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 
Beloved by Toni Morrison

Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney {actually I have been reading it in it's original language for a class...so only using Heaney as a reference...}
The Bhagava Gita
The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Brick Lane by Monica Ali
Bridgadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
Candide by Voltaire
The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer {excerpts being read and transcribed...}
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger – read
Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
Christine by Stephen King
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens 
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
The Collected Short Stories by Eudora Welty
The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty by Eudora Welty
A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker {I've read about half of this volume}
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père
Cousin Bette by Honor’e de Balzac
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber – started and not finished
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Cujo by Stephen King
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon – read – 2009
Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Da Vinci -Code by Dan Brown 
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Deenie by Judy Blume
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx
The Divine Comedy by Dante
The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
Don Quijote by Cervantes
Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson {I read an abridged version in elementary school}
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe {I've read most of this volume}

Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
Eloise by Kay Thompson
Emily the Strange by Roger Reger
Emma by Jane Austen 
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Ethics by Spinoza
Europe through the Back Door, 2003 by Rick Steves
Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
Extravagance by Gary Krist
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – started and not finished
Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
The Fellowship of the Ring: Book 1 of The Lord of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien (TBR) – read
Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom – read
Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
Fletch by Gregory McDonald
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
Gender Trouble by Judith Butler {Most of it, from various lit classes, in excerpt}
George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy – started and not finished
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – on my book pile
The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
The Graduate by Charles Webb
The Grapes of Wrath by John SteinbeckThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Group by Mary McCarthy
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling 

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad 
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry (TBR)
Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
Henry V by William Shakespeare

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris
The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III (Lpr)
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
How the Light Gets in by M. J. Hyland
Howl by Allen Gingsburg
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo {About a third, but in the original French...ouch.}
The Iliad by Homer
I’m with the Band by Pamela des Barres
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Inferno by Dante
Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
Iron Weed by William J. Kennedy
It Takes a Village by Hillary Clinton
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë 
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini – started and not finished
Lady Chatterleys’ Lover by D. H. Lawrence
The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield
Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian AndersenLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott
Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Love Story by Erich Segal
Macbeth by William Shakespeare 
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
The Manticore by Robertson Davies
Marathon Man by William Goldman
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris {I've read a good number of the essays, but never together or in order, and over the course of several years.}
The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
Mencken’s Chrestomathy by H. R. Mencken
The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin
Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath by Seymour M. Hersh
My Life as Author and Editor by H. R. Mencken
My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest
Myra Waldo’s Travel and Motoring Guide to Europe, 1978 by Myra Waldo
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult {I got most of the way through it, but when I realized Picoult was going to cop out of the moral dilemma, I became disgusted and stopped.} 
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Night by Elie Wiesel
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen 
The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan {What English major HASN'T read part of this?}
Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Old School by Tobias Wolff
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
Oracle Night by Paul Auster
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood {I've read the companion novel, The Year of the Flood, and this one is on my list for the summer.}
Othello by Shakespeare 
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
Out of Africa by Isac Dineson
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby – read
The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche
The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 
Property by Valerie Martin
Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
Quattrocento by James Mckean
A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers 
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – read
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings Book 3 by J. R. R. Tolkien (TBR) – read
R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
Rita Hayworth by Stephen King
Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert
Roman Holiday by Edith Wharton
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
The Rough Guide to Europe, 2003 Edition
Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
Sanctuary by William Faulkner
Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller by Henry James
The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. BaumThe Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir {Yay Gender Theory in Literature...}
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
Selected Hotels of Europe
Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 by Dawn Powell
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen 
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
Sexus by Henry Miller
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Shane by Jack Shaefer
The Shining by Stephen King
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton
Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Small Island by Andrea Levy – on my book pile
Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers 
Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de Burgos
The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
Songbook by Nick Hornby
The Sonnets by William Shakespeare
Sonnets from the Portuegese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach {I tried to read this when I was about 9, but my parents wouldn't let me. I will read it, gross or not. I will.}
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
A Streetcar Named Desiree by Tennessee Williams
Stuart Little by E. B. White

Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Term of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
Time and Again by Jack Finney
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – read
To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee {I've also hugged her apartment door.}
The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Trial by Franz Kafka
The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom – read
Ulysses by James Joyce
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe – started and not finished
Unless by Carol Shields
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray – read
Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides {I started this one while we were moving, and Mom accidentally packed it, and we haven't found it yet. So when we dig it out of the garage, I'll finish it!}
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Walt Disney’s Bambi by Felix Salten
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel Sinker
What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 by Richard Nelson Bolles
What Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee – read
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire 
The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole


Dealing With Horrific Things

Sometimes life is hard. Things go wrong — in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art. I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Someone on the Internet thinks what you’re doing is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, eventually time will take the sting away, and that doesn’t even matter. Do what only you can do best: Make good art. Make it on the bad days, make it on the good days, too.”
--Neil Gaiman


“Please, someone, say something. Anything.”
Silence lingers because
all I can think is
“Keep the jelly donut down”
and the coyote is off-limits.
So Abbie lists the coloring books
she bought for Josh, again,
but I don’t stop her;
I’m too busy thinking about the dead coyote.

It doesn’t matter how loud I yelled
or how fast she screamed
because the oil tanker wasn’t slowing down
so neither could we.

I will not be comfortable in my seat.
In my head I’ve run the physics
over and over in every direction but
the convergence was entirely inevitable.
It happened just how you would expect it to.

On the other side of the median
bronze and sweaty, shining with fear,
the coyote’s heart is pounding and
his legs are pumping through grass
towards an accident I dread for
longer than the impact and
shorter than the aftermath.

Our bumper hits his shoulder
and the whiplash snaps his neck
cutting short the defeated yelp
which morphs into our three frightened cries
when the wheels roll over his body.

They keep talking, too quickly.
I lift my feet off of the car;
wish we could stop and take a walk.
I don’t want the weight of anything
but dirt to push on my soles.

I don’t think it matters what he was running from;
or if he was heading into something
with so much blind determination
it was worth the risk of dying.
Either way I cannot change it,
could not save him.

So we change the light bulb
on the broken left hand turn signal
and pop in a Fred & Ginger flick
to forget about him,
but I will see him again, tonight,
in his best tails and taps,
reminding me that he was important.