Recommendations & Endorsements

NOTE: This is a legacy page and has not been updated especially recently.  It exists only for posterity.  Take these suggestions at your own risk!

Here you'll find books, movies, and music I heartily endorse no matter how much they keep asking me not to.  If my blog doesn't tickle your fancy, perhaps one of these other suggestions will.

Books
  • "House of Leaves"  (Mark Z. Danielewski)
    • Hands-down the best book ever written.
  • "The Thirteenth Tale"  (Diane Setterfield)  
  • "The Red Market" (Scott Carney)
  • "Survival of the Sickest"  (Sharon Moalem, Jonathan Prince)
  • "Stiff" and "Gulp"  (Mary Roach)
  • "The Kite Runner"  (Khaled Hosseini)
  • "The Orphan Master's Son"  (Adam Johnson)
    • Culturally relevant.  A fictional work portraying the life of a North Korean man.
  • "A Fine Balance"  (Rohinton Mistry)
  • "The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time"  (Mark Haddon)
  • "The Historian" (Elizabeth Kostova)
  • "The Sister"  (Poppy Adams) 
  • "The Lives of Objects"  (Susanna Moore)
  • "The Book Thief"  (Markus Zusak)
  • "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer
    • Regarding the 1996 Everest disaster.
  • "Exegesis"  (Astro Teller)
  • "Room" by Emma Donoghue
  • the Goon comics by Eric Powell (Dark Horse Publications)
  • the Hawkeye comics by Matt Fraction (Marvel Comics)
  • "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese
  • "The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb" by Melanie Benjamin
  •  "Grendel"  (John Gardner)
    • Great modern existential work.
  • "To Kill a Mockingbird"  (Harper Lee)
    • If you were forced to read this in school and hated it, read it again as an adult for pleasure.  You will be surprised at how great of a book this really is.
  •  "The Great Gatsby"  (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
  •  "World War Z"  (Max Brooks)
  • " Lives of the Monster Dogs"  (Kirsten Bakis)
  • "The Dogs of Babel"  (Carolyn Parkhurst)
  • "The Lost Origin of the Essay" (John D'Agata)

Television Series

I don't watch a whole hell of a lot of television because I genuinely think it rots the brain.  I don't even own a television.  That being said, there are a couple of series I've watched and that aren't getting the necessary amount of credit they deserve, and which are definitely worth rotting your brain over.  These include:
  • Gravity Falls.  A new cartoon by Disney about twelve-year-old fraternal twins who are spending the summer with their great-uncle in a little town in Oregon where all sorts of spooky, supernatural stuff happens.  A quirky little show.  Everyone says I'm exactly like Mabel. 
  • The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  Available on Netflix, this is a series about a perky girl who was kidnapped at the age of 15 and spent 15 years living in a bunker underground.  Now free, she is adjusting to modern life in New York City with an insanely cheerful though sometimes naive attitude.  Like 30 rock, this show has shockingly good humor from beginning to end, with complex, diverse characters, bright colors, and unexpectedly good music.  
  • Steven Universe.  It's a confusing, progressive cartoon about lesbian space rocks.  The music and animation is stunning.
  • Bojack Horseman.  A perfect existential work about a washed-up, has-been horse living in Hollywood.  Technically an animated comedy, but also powerfully emotional.

Music

Music is something I think I take for granted.  My tastes are so nebulous that I have difficulty really recommending anything.  But here's a few ideas: go to YouTube and check out Django Reinhardt for some classy jazz, Paul Datah for electric violin music set to a solid hip-hop beat, the Rubberbandits for some Irish rap, and to top it all off, here's "Truman's Song" played with ping-pong balls.  My current (new) favorite band is probably Caravan Palace, who is helping to define the (relatively new) genre of electro-jazz.  I'm glad that Greenday is staying relevant; I thought "Bang Bang" was awesome.  I'm moderately interested in pop and alt-rock/indie bands like 21 Pilots and Imagine Dragons, and not ashamed of it.  Anywho, here's a list of some of my favourite songs, a list that is in no way even close to inclusive.

 Links

If you are not thoroughly impressed by my blog and need another corner of the internet to occupy your time, I recommend these.
  • Post Secret
    • A blog that updates weekly with selected postcards sent in from all over the world, anonymously stating people's most intimate hopes, fears, and secrets.
  • The MSNBC Photo Blog
    • What real photojournalism should be.
  • Pandora Music
    • If you don't already know about this, enjoy creating your own radio stations based on your own musical preferences.
  •  Married to the Sea
    • Single-panel comics creating by placing text over old-fashioned sketches.
  •  Amazing Super Powers!
    • Traditionally drawn comics with clever and irreverent punchlines.
  • The Perry Bible Fellowship
    • Traditionally drawn comics with bizarre, surreal themes.
  • A Softer World
    • Demure, existential comics; text placed over photography.
  • Clickhole.
    • Buzzfeed-inspired satire.
  • Horsey Surprise
    • The best troll blog of all time, courtesy of Ken M.
  • Omegle
    • Talk to strangers one-on-one and anonymously.
  • GeoGuesser
    • A game that places you somewhere random on Google Maps and has you try to figure out where you are. 
  • My boyfriend's blog.
    • In which Andy shamelessly rides the coat-tails of my internet success.  (Naw, but seriously, it's a good read and he talks about some of his cutting-edge work with stem cells, so go give it a looksee.) (Disclaimer: I am not actually internet famous.)
  • My buddy's film production studio.
    • In which Mick makes surprisingly high-quality micro-budget action films.
  • The L.A. Pony and Critter Club.
    • A club for human-animal roleplay.  NSFW: adult content.
  • Reddit.
  • RedditGifts.
    • Like Secret Santa exchanges?  Want to do them all year 'round with strangers from the internet?  Sign up here for monthly themed exchanges!

Other
  • Psychonauts.  It's a platform video game.  I'm not a gamer, but damn, this game is amazing.  You are a psychic kid who goes into people's brains, and each brain is a level, and each level is unique to each individual.  It's very funny with incredible plot and writing.  It didn't get nearly enough attention.  So go out there and play this, on XBox or on your PC.  I think Steam has it for something like $10.  Well worth your money.
  • The Bissell LittleGreen ProHeat carpet cleaner.  Before I had hardwood floors, I had carpet, and I had dogs, and this thing saved my life.  If you have carpet and pets, go get one.  I'm on my second and I have zero regrets.
  • Etsy.com.  Before you go anywhere else to buy, check out this site for artisan crafts.  A lot of unique and customisable items.
  • Harem pants.  Damn they are comfortable.
  • CareCredit by GE Capital Bank.  A credit card that can only be used for healthcare, including dentistry and vet bills.  With no interest in the first six months, this has helped me budget a lot of major animal surgeries that otherwise wouldn't have been possible.  If you have pets, this is a GREAT resource for emergencies.
That leg cost us $10,000.
  • Gardein vegetarian imitation meats.  Much more selection than Morning Star, and unlike Morning Star, many of their products are vegan.  Morning Star uses eggs from factory farms (that's right, not even free-range), which is definitely NOT targeting their market base.  But ethics aside, Gardein actually just tastes better, and they have items like ribs and Chinese orange chicken.
  • Speaking of Gardein, have you tried "Primal" vegan jerky?  So good.
  • If you're in LA, go to the Museum of Jurassic Technology.  It's weird and perfect in all the right ways.
  • Amazon Prime.  I got it.  No regrets.
  • Shelter dogs.  Go adopt your best friend today.
 I like big mutts and I cannot lie.

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