Thursday, May 29, 2014


Anyone in need of a "palate cleanser" of the mind should check out Bollywood movies. They provide escapism that American movies generally don't, perhaps because one has to suspend one's belief to incorporate all the singing, dancing, and shirtless men. "When are those a bad thing?" you ask? They aren't. They're wonderful.

Here are my picks for today. Be sure to tell me your all-time favorites in the comments.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Reading in Spring

Winter is finally over -- at least, I haven't had to wear my heavy coat in about a week. People are outside in abundance (some in shorts already, which is really too much). That isn't saying much because people are always out in New York.

Mostly, I've been working. One of the most common questions that comes up 'round the shampoo bowl is, "Do you live around here?" For the clients, that answer is almost always "Yes." Who wants to travel way out of their way to get their hair done? (answer: "no one")

What about me? I must work near where I live, right? "No, I live in Queens."
"Oh. Oh! Wow. How long does it take you to get here?"
With that answer, I've become a curiosity. It's not like I still live in Philadelphia and trying to make that daily commute like I did in cosmetology school (not recommended). I'm in a nearby borough on the subway line.

"So wow, if it takes you an hour to get here... that's a long time!"
"True dat, but I divert the time I could spend staring at the person taking up two seats in front of me into reading, so it's not so bad."

And sometimes I can squeeze in a reference to whatever I'm writing, and then the haircut is done. With a promise to "definitely look you up on Amazon," they walk out the door and I get not a single sale. But whatever.

What have I been reading on said subway, you ask?

"All blank and no blank makes blank a blank blank."

I totally loved The Shining, but didn't have to put it in the freezer at any point.
I didn't think 3 characters alone in a hotel was going to be so rich. And because I knew the story already (who doesn't these days?), I didn't think it would be so scary. On both counts: it was.

Bonus: Jack never says "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," among other things the movie made famous. The difference between books and movies is definitely something I'll tackle another time.

Quiet (The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking) by Susan Cain

My dad bought me and my sister this book for Christmas. The plan was for the three of us to read it and discuss in a kind of long-distance book club (we all live in separate cities)

I was excited to read this book. Being an introvert is not something I always had a name for, and I've struggled with it my whole life. Wanting to be out with people, but never for very long, getting flustered and frustrated with too much information, etc.

This book helps to outline some of what introversion is and isn't. Why it's not bad to be an introvert (even though most companies and people in the United States want you to be bubbly and open), and ways you can pretend to be an extrovert (at work, for example), and then recharge yourself so you don't go on a killing spree (or whatever people do when they've had too much).

This book could have been shorter. Some of the information is repetitive, and quite frankly, not interesting. But for the things I learned, this book is valuable.

Night Slashers by Rashad Freeman
This review is based on a free copy provided for an honest review.
Daniel Montague has a secret. 

A secret so dark, so disturbing that he’s pushed it to the back of his psyche and moved on. Unfortunately for him, it’s itching to find the light.
This book started strong from the first page. The writing was fluid, the plot engaging. This book wasn't overly long, but still felt like a novel (which I love). And while the plot held up throughout, I felt like the book could have used a thorough edit/proofread, especially for punctuation. Then again, I've been editing my own book recently, so my brain's still in nit-picky mode.

This novel is suspenseful, often employing the "cliffhanger" chapter ending, which I've enjoyed since my Nancy Drew days. Many was the time I'd be near my subway stop, end a chapter, and calculate how much more I could read before absolutely having to put it down. I'm also happy to say that while I thought I'd had the ending figured out halfway through, the author totally surprised me at the end. Still thinking about that ending and deciding whether I liked it or not, which is difficult to do. Rashad Freeman has other books available.