2019 Reading 

I've set my reading goal for 2019 at 75 books. Including all the books below, that gives me a little wiggle room to add a few new discoveries! As you can see, I'm particularly into neuroscience, brain chemistry, and the consciousness / emotions this year.


  1. Put Your Dream to the Test - John Maxwell 

  2. The Bullet Journal Method - Ryder Carroll 

  3. Welcome to Night Vale - Jeffrey Cranor 

  4. The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner - Terry Pratchett 

  5. Shadow & Bone - Leigh Bardugo


  1. The Shadow Effect - Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford
  2. Beauty Sick: How the Cultural Obsession with Appearance Hurts Girls and Women - Renee Engeln
  3. Finding Your Element - Ken Robinson PHD 


  1. Music and Mantras: The Yoga of Mindful Singing - Girish 
  2. F*ck Feelings - Michael I Bennett MD 
  3. Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life - Graham Nash 
  4. How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain - Lisa Feldman Barrett 
  5. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne Lamott 
  6. The Art of Asking - Amanda Palmer 
  7. How Champions Think - Bob Rotella 
  8. The Dark Tower novels - Stephen King 
  9. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern 
  10. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society - Mary Ann Shaffer 
  11. Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human - Daniel J Siegel 
  12. From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds - Daniel C Dennett 
  13. White Fragility - Robin DiAngelo 
  14. Wired to Create - Carolyn Gregoire 
  15. Buddha's Brain - Rick Hanson PHD 
  16. This is Your Brain on Music - Daniel J Levitin 
  17. The Tell-Tale Brain - V S Ramachandran 
  18. The Brain: The Story of You - David Eagleman 
  19. Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain - Oliver Sacks 
  20. The Secret Life of the Mind - Mariano Sigman PHD 
  21. Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain - Antonio Damasio 
  22. Anatomy of the Soul - Curt Thompson MD 
  23. The Emotional Life of Your Brain - Richard J Davidson PHD 
  24. How the Mind Works - Steven Pinker 
  25. The Hazel Wood - Melissa Albert 
  26. The Healthy Mind Toolkit - Alice Boyes PHD 
  27. The Mind-Gut Connection - Emeran Mayer 
  28. Designing Your Life - Bill Burnett 
  29. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself - Michael A Singer 
  30. I Contain Multitudes - Ed Yong 
  31. The Human Superorganism - Rodnery Dietert PHD 
  32. Drink: The Intimate Relationship between Women and Alcohol - Ann Dowsett Johnston 
  33. Pure - Linda Key Klein 
  34. Little, Big - John Crowley 
  35. Consciousness Explained - Daniel C Dennett 
  36. Busman's Honeymoon - Dorothy L Sayers 
  37. The Compass of Pleasure - David J Linden 
  38. Consciousness and the Brain - Stanislas Dehaene 
  39. Molecules Of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine - Candace B. Pert
  40. The Girls at the Kingfisher Club - Genevieve Valentine
  41. Her Body and Other Parties - Carmen Maria Machado
  42. Joy, Guilt, Anger, Love: What Neuroscience Can--and Can't--Tell Us About How We Feel - Giovanni Frazzetto
  43. Radiance - Catherynne M Valente 
  44. The Enchanted Places & The Path Through the Trees - Christopher Milne 
  45. A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie - Kathryn Harkup 
  46. Under the Pendulum Sun - Jeannette Ng 
  47. The Voice is All - Joyce Johnson 
  48. We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson 
  49. The Year of Magical Thinking - Joan Didion 
  50. Words Without Music - Philip Glass

15 + 15 Personal Questions #4 

  1. If your 5 year old self were looking at you today, would it recognize you?
    In a goofy inner self sort of way, sure. Situationally? Nope.
  2. Who is the one person you'd love to have as a mentor?
    Leonard Bernstein OR Jerry Lewis
  3. What is one thing you always get when you go to the store?
    I'm always buying more pens. Especially colored pens.
  4. Do you get seasick?
    I wouldn't know. I've only been on a boat on a Norwegian fjord.
  5. Have you ever gotten sick from eating too much?
    I get sugar headaches...
  6. What is your favorite thing to put in the freezer to eat or drink that normally isn't?
    As a kid I used to eat mozzarella sticks still frozen. Still get an odd craving every now and then... haven't indulged, though!
  7. If you started training for the Olympics, what event would you have a realistic chance at?
  8. If you were going to join a music band past or present, what band would fit you best?
    Crosby Stills & Nash (& Young)
  9. How long do you think you could last without your smartphone or internet?
    Oh, one day, tops
  10. Is someone's word enough for you or do you need more?
    If someone matters enough to be promising something to me, then I take them at their word.
  11. What is your favorite eye color on someone else, why?
    Brown/hazel -- why? Sentimental reasons.
  12. Does anything make you feel claustrophobic?
    Being pressed-in all around by too many people (duh)
  13. What do you have on your fridge door?
    A wedding souvenir from my best friend's wedding
  14. What is the most unusual thing you've done on a date?
    Checked out the liquid nitrogen and looked at bacteria through a microscope
  15. Have you ever been laid off from a job?
    No, but I've had seasonal / temporary jobs


  1. If a genie offered you three wishes, what would you wish for (not more wishes)?
    - mad piano skills
    - immortality for my cat(s)
    - the ability to listen to 5 symphonies (or whatever) at once, like Data from Star Trek
  2. What housework/chore do you absolutely refuse to do?
    washing dishes by hand
  3. Name something you had a close call with?
    drinking too much & being dangerous to myself
  4. If you could live one week with an uncivilized tribe to learn their ways, would you?
    Honestly, no. I value indoor plumbing too much.
  5. What one thing are you worried will never change for you?
    Financial (in)stability
  6. How do you resolve conflict?
    "Conflict? What conflict?" (It's not healthy, I know)
  7. If you were going to write an essay about your life what would your essay be called?
    "In Which Our Heroine..."
  8. Do you think there should be a salary cap for actors in movies?
    No cap, so long as the women are paid equally with the men
  9. Do you have a favorite furniture designer, if so who?
    I love anything mid-century modern
  10. What is your favorite outfit?
    Leggings, tank top, big snuggly cardigan
  11. What is your point of no return?
    The midway point? This one requires more thought.
  12. Are you godparent to a child, if so whose?
    Nope. It would be cool, though.
  13. What did you think was stupid until you tried it?
  14. Would you ever date someone with a kid or kids?
    Again, honestly? No. I don't want kids.
  15. What is the worst thing you've ever tried?
    Oyster dressing (as in, Thanksgiving stuffing with oysters) -- unfortunately it's a family tradition

15 Personal Questions #3 

  1. Do you have any old friends you wish you could meet up with again?
    I miss Megan. Not sure how we fell apart.
  2. If you joined a rock band what position would you want?
    HAHAHA. Lead singer & keyboard player. ;)
  3. Do you know your own worth?
    Probably not.
  4. If you were designing your own fragrance to represent you, what would you call it?
  5. What did you do for your 21st birthday?
    My best friend Sam took me out to Aggieville (what else do you do in MHK?)
  6. What is something that gave you buyer's remorse?
    Every time I shop at Marshall's! lol
  7. Do you know how to jump rope?
  8. When it's your birthday do you always wear a birthday hat?
    I try not to. But I don't mind for other people's birthdays.
  9. Have you ever been to Legoland?
  10. What is your favorite ride at any amusement park?
    The Sizzler at the Marshall Co Fair
  11. Describe your most independent decision or moment without others' influence?
    Getting my nose piercing on Dec 31st, 2009 / Going to New York for 3 months in 2008
  12. Have you ever made a scrapbook for yourself or someone else, what was in it?
    No, but I cherish the scrapbook my mother-in-law made for my wedding photos
  13. Do you think a full moon can have an effect on a person?
  14. In a relationship do you believe in joint or separate bank accounts?
  15. Do you think friends make better lovers or that friends should never cross that line?
    I believe in every relationship beginning with friendship.

15 Personal Questions #2 

  1. If you lost everything you worked for tomorrow, what's the first step in starting over?
    Finding a reason to get up in the morning. Finding a reason to put one foot in front of the other. Living 10 seconds at a time.
  2. Something you believe in that others think is not real.
    Tarot? But I use it for journaling and creative writing, not predication.
  3. What social media platform are you most active on?
    Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
  4. What's the simplest way you have fun?
    Watching Martin & Lewis on YouTube
  5. What is your favorite personality trait you like about yourself?
    My easily-amused sense of humor
  6. Does the sight of blood make you queasy?
    Definitely *uncomfortable*
  7. What makes you feel unstoppable?

  8. Do you think you need to slow down and enjoy life more?
    Slow down? No. Enjoy life more? Yes.
  9. How do you cope with loss or death?
    Honestly? Avoidance. Crying a lot.
  10. What book from your childhood would you want to read to your children?
    No children, but, Winnie the Pooh
  11. What moment from your life would you love to live over and over?
    Wedding night sex *blush*
  12. What news story are you tired of hearing about?
    Anything validating #45
  13. How did you meet your significant other?
    We were in a band together
  14. Who made the worst first impression on you but then later became your friend?
    Honestly, the opposite happens more often. I thought someone was OK but they turned out to be evil.
  15. Have you ever slept outdoors?
    I've napped on top of a hay bale...? lol


  • First friend
    Megan or Kayela
  • First love
    First crush was a cowboy, first celebrity crush Jim Craig / Tom Burlinson in "The Man From Snowy River"
  • First record / CD bought
    Jennifer Knapp - Kansas
  • First foreign holiday
    Norway when I was 7
  • First job
    General office lackey at a recording studio
  • First car
    '97 Dodge Dakota
  • First concert
    Rebecca St. James
  • First school
  • First kiss
    on Manhattan Hill when I was 21
  • First teacher
    my mother, first music teacher was my piano teacher Loretta Petr
  • First alcoholic drink
    Bacardi & Coke in Budapest at 19

15 Personal Questions #1 

  1. What common pitfalls do you find yourself dealing with in your work life?
  2. Do you tend to follow your heart or your head?
    Wish I followed my head, probably follow my heart too much
  3. What celebrity or TV show in your opinion set a bad example for youth today?
    I've never even seen it, but gonna go ahead & say "Keeping Up with the Kardashians"
  4. How do you feel about jazz music, if you like it who is your favorite?
    I love jazz! #1 fav who comes to mind is Cecile McLorin Salvant. (Plus all the great classics,  natch.)
  5. Have you even been diagnosed with something that's challenged you, if so what?
    My diagnoses of depression and anxiety challenge me daily
  6. What is your favorite precious stone?
    My birthstone, ruby
  7. If you had your perfect dream house, what kind of tree/s would you want in your yard?
    Catalpa and weeping willow
  8. Describe your "poker face."
    I have none.
  9. If happiness were the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
    Reading & drinking (tea! I mean... tea?)
  10. Do you keep up with current events, why or why not?
    I try to; I listen to NPR / BBC World News daily. I think it's important to be informed.
  11. Did you ever have a mean nickname that kids called you, one you didn't like?
    Not kids; hated when adults sang "Chantilly Lace" at me.
  12. What childhood dreams have you neglected?
    I should maintain my piano skills better. Also, I LOVED writing as a child; struggle with it today.
  13. Do you ever compare your life to anyone else's, if so who?
    There is a certain local female musician who makes me feel inadequate, as much as I admire her. Also, instagram celebrities in general make me feel slimy.
  14. What's the craziest thing you've done in a car?
    Been kissed while driving.
  15. What's something weird you do before bedtime?
    On my phone too much? I don't know!


Favorite song: “Without a Soul” - Nicole Byblow 

Favorite music: 

Favorite book: Once on a Time (A. A. Milne), Sherlock Holmes

Favorite movie/TV show/miniseries: “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell” 

Favorite childhood TV show: Wishbone, Bill Nye the Science Guy

Favorite composer: Gustav Mahler

Favorite educational video: Leonard Bernstein Norton Lectures "The Unanswered Question: Six Talks at Harvard"

Favorite audiobook narrator: Stephen Fry

Favorite comedian: Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis

Favorite graphic novel: Agatha Heterodyne Girl Genius

Favorite meal: sushi or manicotti or steak 

Favorite candy: toffee, anything peppermint 

Favorite ice cream: Ben & Jerry’s Cinnamon Buns 

Favorite perfume: Chanel Chance 

Favorite dog breed: corgi 

Favorite big cat: tiger 

Favorite animal at the zoo: penguins 

Favorite pizza topping: chicken + red onion + pineapple 

Favorite tipple: a Manhattan 

Favorite cartoon: The Amazing World of Gumball 

Favorite Actor/Actress: Cary Grant, Judy Garland

Favorite musical: West Side Story, The Scarlet Pimpernel 

Favorite city: New York City 

Favorite color: pink 

Favorite car: Chrysler Crossfire, 1967 Impala 

Favorite soda: Vanilla Coke 

Favorite cereal: Cinnamon Toast Crunch 

Favorite quote: For a person remains of consequence not so far as he leaves something behind him but so far as he acts and enjoys, and rouses others to action and enjoyment. -Goethe 

Favorite magazine: English Home 

Favorite season: summer 

Favorite candle scent: coconut milk mango 

Favorite flower: red geranium, lilac, lily of the valley, violet 

Favorite coffee order: peppermint breve or cold brew with cream

July To-Read List 

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

Songwriting Without Boundaries - Pat Pattison

Writing Better Lyrics - Pat Pattison

Last Call - Daniel Okrent

The Left Brain Speaks, The Right Brain Laughs - Ransom Stephens

Strong Poison - Dorothy L Sayers

Walking in this World - Julia Cameron

Creative Recovery - Eric Maisel & Susan Raeburn

Make Peace with Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Your Inner Critic - Mark Coleman

Why Smart People Hurt - Eric Maisel

How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times by Roy Peter Clark

Make Your Creative Dreams Real by SARK

MHK Public Library Book Sale 

  1. North by Northwest (DVD, starring Cary Grant) 
  2. Amelia's Family Ties - Marrisa Moss 
  3. Prozac Nation - Elizabeth Wurtzel 
  4. The Midnight Raymond Chandler 
  5. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath 
  6. Daniel Deronda - George Eliot 
  7. The China Governess - Margery Allingham 
  8. The Artist's Way - Julia Cameron 
  9. The Angels of Darkness - Caleb Carr 
  10. Seven Types of Ambiguity - Elliot Perlman 
  11. The New York Times Menu Cookbook 
  12. Awakening to the Spirit World - Sandra Ingerman & Hank Wesselman 
  13. Handbook for the Soul - Richard Charlson and Bejamin Sheild, editors 
  14. The Tenth Power - Kate Constable 
  15. Pirate King - Laurie R King 
  16. Folly - Laurie R King 
  17. Creating Women: An Anthology of Readings on Women in Western Culture vols. I & II 
  18. African Pygmy Hedgehogs As Your new Peg 
  19. The Best of Bon Apetit 
  20. The Virtues of War - Steven Pressfield 
  21. The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes - Willie Nelson 
  22. Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert 
  23. Music & Society: The Later Writings of Paul Honigsheim 
  24. Eye of the Crow (The Boy Sherlock Holmes) - Shane Peacock 
  25. Danton: A Life (The Giant of the French Revolution) - David Lawday 
  26. Barbra - Christopher Andersen 
  27. Rag and Bone - Peter Manseau 
  28. Strange Candy - Laurell K Hamilton 
  29. The Go-Girl Guide - Bourland 
  30. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society - Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows 
  31. Salad Gardens - Luebermann 
  32. The Incredible Incas and Their Timeless Land

40 Books to Read in 2018 

  1. Music and Mantras: The Yoga of Mindful Singing for Health, Happiness, Peace & Prosperity by Girish, Rolf Gates 
  2. You Are Enough: How To Elevate Your Thoughts, Align Your Energy & Get Out of the Comparison Trap by Cassie Mendoza-Jones 
  3. The Mind-Gut Connection: How the Hidden Conversation Within Our Bodies Impacts Our Mood, Our Choices, and Our Overall Health by Emeran Mayer 
  4. Steering by Starlight: The Science and Magic of Finding Your Destiny by Beck PhD, Martha 
  5. Judgment Detox: Release the Beliefs That Hold You Back from Living A Better Life by Gabrielle Bernstein 
  6. Dark Mirror: The Pathology of the Singer-Songwriter by Donald Brackett 
  7. You Do You: How to Be Who You Are and Use What You've Got to Get What You Want (A No F*cks Given Guide) by Sarah Knight 
  8. Zelda Fitzgerald: The Tragic, Meticulously Researched Biography of the Jazz Age's High Priestess by Sally Cline 
  9. The Collected Writings of Zelda Fitzgerald by Zelda Fitzgerald 
  10. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler 
  11. Something Is Always On Fire: My Life So Far by Measha Brueggergosman
  12. Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive by Kristen J. Sollee 
  13. Warrior Goddess Training: Become the Woman You Are Meant to Be by HeatherAsh Amara 
  14. Saturn Returns: Thinking Astrologically by Tom Jacobs 
  15. The Dark Side of the Light Chasers by Deborah Ford 
  16. Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live by Martha Beck 
  17. Buddhist Scriptures (Penguin Classics) by Donald Lopez
  18. The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within by Stephen Fry 
  19. Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: One Woman's Desperate, Funny, and Healing Journey to Explore 30 Religions by Her 30th Birthday by Reba Riley 
  20. Breaking Up with God: A Love Story by Sarah Sentilles 
  21. Feminine Endings: Music, Gender, and Sexuality by Susan Mcclary 
  22. At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir,Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Others by Sarah Bakewell 
  23. Shakti Woman: Feeling Our Fire, Healing Our World by Vicki Noble 
  24. Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life by Graham Nash 
  25. Rise Sister Rise: A Guide to Unleashing the Wise, Wild Woman by Rebecca Campbell 
  26. Own Your Glow: A Soulful Guide to Luminous Living and Crowning by Latham Thomas 
  27. Origin: A Novel by Dan Brown 
  28. The Shadow Effect: Illuminating the Hidden Power of Your True Self by Deepak Chopra and Marianne Williamson 
  29. Beyond the Self: Conversations Between Buddhism and Neuroscience (MIT Press) by Matthieu Ricard and Wolf Singer 
  30. Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom by Rick Hanson and Daniel J. Siegel 
  31. How the Mind Words by Steven Pinker 
  32. Make Your Creative Dreams Real: A Plan for Procrastinators, Perfectionists, Busy People by SARK 
  33. How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed by Ray Kurzweil 
  34. Joy, Guilt, Anger, Love: What Neuroscience Can--and Can't--Tell Us About How We Feel by Giovanni Frazzetto 
  35. Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts by Stanislas Dehaene 
  36. Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) by Daniel J. Siegel 
  37. The Mind Club: Who Thinks, What Feels, and Why It Matters by Daniel M. Wegner, Kurt Gray 
  38. The Tides of Mind: Uncovering the Spectrum of Consciousness by David Gelernter 
  39. The Sun & Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur 
  40. Magic and Music : The Language of the Gods Revealed by Juanita S. Wescott