the art of racing in the rain

Here’s why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot talk, so I listen very well. I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another’s conversations constantly. It’s like being a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street. For instance, if we met at a party and I wanted to tell you a story about the time I needed to get a soccer ball in my neighbor’s yard but his dog chased me and I had to jump into a swimming pool to escape, and I began telling the story, you, hearing the words ‘soccer’ and ‘neighbor’ in the same sentence, might interrupt and mention that your childhood neighbor was Pele, the famous soccer player, and I might be courteous and say, Didn’t he play for the Cosmos of New York? Did you grow up in New York? And you might reply that, no, you grew up in Brazil on the streets of Tres Coracoes with Pele, and I might say, I thought you were from Tennessee, and you might say not originally, and then go on to outline your genealogy at length. So my initial conversational gambit - that I had a funny story about being chased by my neighbor’s dog - would be totally lost, and only because you had to tell me all about Pele. Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories.
—  Garth Stein, The Art of Racing in the Rain

Lots of people, including myself, have included “read more books” on their list of New Year’s Resolutions. So I thought I’d compile some book recommendations to provide you guys with inspiration! In no particular order, here’s a list of 101 books I’ve read and loved.

FICTION

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (my all-time favorite!)
  2. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
  3. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  4. Sabriel by Garth Nix
  5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  6. Room by Emma Donoghue
  7. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  8. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
  9. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  10. The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  11. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
  12. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  13. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
  14. The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
  15. Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
  16. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
  17. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  18. Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
  19. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  20. Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith (an underrated but oh-so-beautiful book)
  21. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  22. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  23. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  24. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (duh)
  25. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  26. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
  27. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  28. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
  29. The Odyssey by Homer (I recommend the Robert Fagles translation)
  30. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  31. It by Stephen King
  32. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  33. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  34. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (even better if you can read it in the original French!)
  35. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  36. Savvy by Ingrid Law
  37. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
  38. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  39. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  40. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
  41. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  42. The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  43. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  44. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  45. The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland by Rebekah Crane
  46. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  47. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  48. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  49. Hunger by Knut Hamsun
  50. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
  51. The World According to Garp by John Irving
  52. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  53. The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  54. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (love, love, love!)
  55. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  56. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  57. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  58. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  59. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  60. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  61. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  62. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  63. It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
  64. 1984 by George Orwell
  65. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  66. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
  67. The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
  68. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  69. It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis (a book whose message is especially relevant in light of the recent election)
  70. Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

NONFICTION/POETRY

  1. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
  2. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  3. Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be by Frank Bruni (a must-read for anyone stressed out about college admissions and the Ivy League hype)
  4. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
  5. The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida
  6. salt. by Nayyirah Waheed
  7. Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O'Reilly
  8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  9. The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace
  10. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  11. Night by Elie Wiesel
  12. Ariel by Sylvia Plath
  13. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
  14. A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
  15. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom (this is the memoir that baby memoirs want to be when they grow up)
  16. Cosmos by Carl Sagan
  17. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  18. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  19. The Ethics of Ambiguity by Simone de Beauvoir
  20. Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon
  21. How to Become a Straight‑A Student by Cal Newport
  22. The Color of Water by James McBride
  23. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  24. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
  25. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  26. The Road to Character by David Brooks
  27. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (all of Gladwell’s books are great tbh)
  28. The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
  29. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
  30. No Matter the Wreckage by Sarah Kay
  31. Our Numbered Days by Neil Hilborn

P.S. If you’re trying to read more in 2017, check out my posts about goal-setting and habits!


Thanks for reading! If you have questions, feedback, or post requests, feel free to drop me an ask.

+Click here for the rest of my original reference posts!

Sophia :)

Slytherin Aesthetics

feel free to add more below! inspired by @shitslytherinssay ’s blog (♥️♥️♥️)

•the crunch of leaves in the middle of fall when they get stepped or jumped on
•The nip of the chilly winter air biting at your nose
•the crackling of the fire when another piece of kindling is thrown in
•short bursts of poetry combined with pictures that have no relation to them
•the burning feeling you get when you stare at something too long
•the warm mist of tea as it cumulates on the cup while you inhale the scent
•instantly messing up the art that some barista put a lot of work into when they give you your drink
•the crisp gliding of yellow book pages as you turn them
•the comforting feeling that comes with light rain and cloudy skies
•lots of snow in one night that immediately melts into a giant puddle the next day
•pondering over whether or not the entire human race is just an au or not
•the way your lips subconsciously part as you slowly lean in to kiss someone
•little mason jars filled with jam and little sprigs of parsley that have a bandanna tied around the center
•sighing as you breathe in the smell of your freshly cleaned laundry
•the intoxicating feeling you get when you get to stay home from school
•the quiet hissing of metal against skin
•sticky beads of sweat that roll across your forehead when you overthink something repeatedly
•piping hot chocolate the nearly scalds your tongue because you weren’t paying to attention and you didn’t cool it off
•feeling content and happy when you think that someone made you loads of flower crowns out of whatever was available (then realizing that they got it at a gift shop outside of town)
•perfectly shaved legs rubbing against freshly dried sheets
•staying up until 3am on a school night
•man buns & half shaved heads
•the anxiety that comes with college applications and sats
•sobbing over the fact that “DEAN MADE CAS A MIXTAPE, A MIXTAPE!!!”
•obsessively posting random crap on tumblr that people somehow like
•lumpy space princess thinking that she’s the shit
•the last phone charger breaking only a week after the headphones
•jamming out to 1975 in your underwear on a stormy Tuesday afternoon
•reading Harry Potter and, “fuck you dumbledore.”
•gorging on Chinese food while watching the entire series of friends in the span of a single weekend
•listening to Halsey and feeling angsty and badass as fuck
•snuggling closer into the covers while curling your toes as you fall asleep
•going to Starbucks and ordering one of those “pumpkin lattes” just to be an “annoying ass White person”
•wearing crystal necklaces that supposedly give you “strength” and other shit
•going to sleep until 3pm because you just don’t give a fuck
•the silent internal screaming that happens whenever it’s finals week
•warm laughter that occurs when a stupid yet meaningful joke is told
•blaring pop music until ears went numb
•always using emojis that make no sense to the conversation
•the painful howls of wolves when the full moon peeks out
•sucking cherries off of their stems only to eat the stems as well
•browsing through various otp prompts but never writing about any of them
•wearing eyeglasses in the dark and feeling like such a badass
•lipstick stains across dusty bathroom mirrors in a secondhand supermarket
•randomly placed books in the wrong section of the library than where they’re supposed to be
•screaming along to three days grace in hello kitty pajamas on a hot Wednesday night in the middle of summer
•learning languages only to do nothing with the newfound knowledge
•speaking through glances and hushed tones
•the crinkle of candy wrappers between fingers when their squished as they get thrown away
•thor’s smile as he watches his bf dizee live his dream
•naming a cat queso just because of that one time and that one Mexican restaurant
•leather jackets being thrown over shoulders as their wearers saunter down the hallway
•the smell of cinnamon and apple wrapped up in pure sugar
•Baz attacking the mole on Simon’s neck as if it were a target
•cursing someone out in another language
•"we saw the same sunset.“
•the exhausting moment when you get up and go to the bathroom early in the morning and you trip, and you just kinda lay there
•the squeaks of mattresses that happen when a hoard of people jump on them
•the life or death moment when you can’t get to your phone in time and it’s about to die
•crying as “Talking To The Moon” by Bruno Mars plays in a bar at 2am on a loop
•sighing when you realize that you made several grammatical errors in your writing and your already turned it in
•the sound of sneakers screeching against newly waxed gym floors