1) The Return of Amazing Music: I feel like I’ve been in a music drought for too long. So far, the summer of 2015 has been good to me—with Brandon Flowers’ Desired Effect and Florence Welch’s How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful getting HEAVY rotation on my laptop and phone. “Dreams Come True” (off Desired Effect) is a perfect anthem to belt out in the car, on a run, or, if you’re like me, while folding your running shorts you should be running (not sleeping) in, and as for Florence’s How Big, well, I CANNOT GET ENOUGH of “Third Eye” (expect that to be the breakout ballad from the album!) and “Caught” is equal parts perfection.
2) Inside Out: It’s inventive as all get out. It’s Pixar. It’s gonna make you cry. SO GO SEE THIS FILM ALREADY. (And just when I thought my love of Amy Poehler and Mindy Kaling couldn’t get any more extreme.)
3) Cell Phone Wallet: Where did I make this impulsive purchase? TARGET OF COURSE. I snatched up one of these as a going away present for my awesome graduate assistant, Megan, and then thought, I need one too! The best part is you can still use your phone through the plastic sleeve, so it’s perfect for grab and go trips when you want to buy a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food at CVS without hauling your 5-pound purse with you.
4) Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap: A young adult book about a magical (literally) Midwestern town where corn talks, people gossip, and love stories are woven out of stitches and honey, this book stole my heart like whoa! Not even in my DREAMS could I write like Laura Ruby (magical realism is not in my creative wheelhouse) but what really took it to the moon was its full circle ending. I finished it covered in goose flesh, with a big goofy grin on my face and tears in my eyes.
5) Katie Cotugno’s 99 Days: Cue a new author crush! If you spend five minutes on Katie Cotugno’s website and fall for her witty sense of humor and writing style (as I did), then I promise you’ll be equally charmed by her summer read 99 Days (though, in fair warning—along with an overload of cute boys, there is a storyline involving cheating). Her work’s smart, on point with pop culture and young adults, with just a smidge of guilty pleasure factor mixed in. (Also, when I read that she was inspired to write it as a mash up of two of her favorite movies–Dirty Dancing and Mystic Pizza–I was all buy buy buy!!! on my phone 😉 )