My List of Awesome

In lieu of a Top Ten List, I am doing a year-end List of 2015 Debut Awesomeness, (inspired by Kung Fu Panda.) The first part comprises the 2015 debuts I’ve read. There are a ton more that I haven’t read, but which will, of course, have their own brand of awesome.

Books I’ve read:

  1. Awesomely Matched Couple: Shazi and Khalid in THE WRATH AND THE DAWN by Renee Ahdieh
  2. Awesome Friendship: Annamae and Sammy in UNDER A PAINTED SKY by Stacey Lee
  3. Most Mindblowingly Awesome Ending: CONVICTION by Kelly Loy Gilbert
  4. Awesomely Hot Healer. Also, Awesome Witches: THE WITCH HUNTER by Virginia Boecker
  5. Awesomely Empathetic Book: NONE OF THE ABOVE by I.W. Gregorio
  6. Character Who Is So Awesome I Want Her to Be Real: Aysel from MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES by Jasmine Warga
  7. Most Awesomely Jawdropping Moment: MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by Adam Silvera
  8. Character Powers  So Awesome, All the World Should Covet Them: RED QUEEN by Victoria Aveyard
  9. Awesomely Hilarious: DENTON LITTLE’S DEATHDATE by Lance Rubin
  10. Most Awesome World Traveler: Avery from THE CONSPIRACY OF US by Maggie Hall
  11. Most Awesomely Badass Heroine: Mim from MOSQUITOLAND by David Arnold
  12. Whimsically Awesome: THE WATER AND THE WILD by K.E. Ormsbee
  13. Awesome Epistolary Romance: SIMON AND THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertalli
  14. Awesomely Beautiful Performance Art: THE WEIGHT OF FEATHERS by Anna Marie-McLemore
  15. Awesome End of the World Book: WE ALL LOOKED UP by Tommy Wallach
  16. Most Awesome Quest: LARK RISING by Sandra Waugh
  17. Awesomely Nail-Biting Book: Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
  18. Most Awesome Siblings: Tal and Wen in WANDERING WILD by Jessica Taylor
  19. Awesomest Ode to LA: DEAD TO ME by Mary McCoy
  20. Awesomest Otherworldly Twist: IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT by Jen Brooks
  21. Most Awesomely Tearjerking: THE HONEST TRUTH by Dan Gemeinhart
  22. Awesome Survival Story: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOST AND FOUND by Kathryn Holmes

Books I haven’t read but that display their Awesome in other ways:

  1. Most Awesome Title: DR. CRITCHLORE’S SCHOOL FOR MINIONS by Sheila Grau
  2. Awesomely Terrifying Book: BLOOD & SALT by Kim Liggett
  3. Awesomely Scary Cover: SHUTTER by Courtney Alameda
  4. Most Awesome Cover/Title Combo: EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon
  5. Awesome Mean Girls Potential: TINY PRETTY THINGS by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
  6. Most Awesome Book That I Currently Possess and Am About to Read: THE FIRST TIME SHE DROWNED by Kerry Kletter
  7. Most Awesome Diverse Heroine: BLACKBIRD FLY by Erin Entrada Kelly
  8. Middle Grade Book I Am Certain Will Be Insanely Awesome: MY NEAR-DEATH ADVENTURES (99% TRUE!) by Alison DeCamp
  9. Book So Awesome That I’m Considering Bribing Author So I Can Have It: ZEROBOXER by Fonda Lee
  10. Most Awesome Potential for Dragons: THE GIRL AT MIDNIGHT by MELISSA GRAY
  11. Most Awesome Then-and-Now book: THE NIGHT WE SAID YES by Lauren Gibaldi
  12. Most Awesomely Evocative Title: Hoodoo by Ronald Smith
  13. Book With Awesome Playlist: TRACKED by Jenny Martin
  14. Book That Will Be Awesomely Tearjerking: THE LAST LEAVES FALLING by Sarah Benwell

Tons more awesome where that came from. Hold onto your hats people, b/c 2015 is clearly going to be a year of great books!




That time my dad was arrested for no reason

Hot sky, searing white. Low roofs and dead grass. The motel. My home.

A tenant gets belligerent and refuses to pay the rent, refuses to leave. My parents run the motel. They must evict her.

So my father calls the police. They will help.

The squad car arrives. Dad explains the situation.

Then, a mistake. A gesture seen as threatening? A misspoken word? The audacity of his brownness? We never really understood. Whatever it was, it flipped a switch. A second later:

My father’s head rammed into a wall.

A heavy arm locked around his throat.

My father…
shoved in a squad car
taken away.

I could say he didn’t do anything.
I could say he just wanted help.
I could say there was no reason. 

But what I should be able to say, the argument that should work, is: he is a human and he deserved to be treated like one.

My father is in his 70s now.

A long time ago, he had a stroke and forgot many things, like:
The names of objects.
Verdant swaths of his youth.
How to read.

But he remembers this.

Baa Mix 80: Fall 2014 (Part II)

Here’s a Fall present for you. Baa Mix 80.  Julian! Lupe! Andrew! Cold War Kids! Theophilus! IT’S TOO MUCH GREATNESS. *Swoons*

If you’re going to listen to one song on here, let it be the spectacular musical chaos of “Where No Eagles Fly” because WOW. (Oh, and “Tribe”. For the love of God, listen to “Tribe.” That’s two. I know, I’m cheating.)

P.S. The video for “Where No Eagles Fly” is not so good, what with the fake blood and the creepy close-ups and the 80s effects. But the music is YES.

  1. Theophilus London/Jesse Boykins III—Tribe
  2. Kasabian—Eez-Eh
  3. Wiz Khalifa—Promises
  4. Cold War Kids–First
  5. Julian Casablancas—Where No Eagles Fly (From about the halfway point on is basically one of the best things I’ve heard EVER EVER EVER IN MY LIFE.)
  6. In the Valley Below—Lover
  7. In the Valley Below—Dove Season
  8. Iggy Azalea—Walk the Line
  9. Broods—Mother and Father
  10. Bear’s Den—Above the Clouds of Pompeii (Warning: If you listen to this song closely, it might make you sad.)
  11. Mike Doughty—Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating in the Future
  12. Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness—Cecilia and the Satellite (About his daughter, SO SWEET.)
  13. Lupe Fiasco/Jennifer Hudson—Remission (This song. Oh this song. Created for Stand Up to Cancer, so GO BUY IT. Original is great too.) 
  14. The Zolas—Strange Girl
  15. The Zolas—Invisible (His Majesty Andre Remix)
  16. The Kooks—Bad Habit
  17. Sheppard—Geronimo
  18. New Found Glory—Selfless
  19. Hands Like Houses—Introduced Species. (There’s a new remix out, but I prefer the orignal.)