Booing Chandler Parsons

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Your home is a literal shelter. It should be a safe haven from the cruelties of the outside world, a place that brings you peace and comfort, a place filled with people that accepts you for who you are and will support you through all times, the good and the bad. Home is, according to one of the definitions in the Random House Dictionary that is falling apart in one of the cabinets at my workplace says that a home is a place of refuge, which is defined as a shelter from danger, or trouble, so that, at its essence, is what a home should be, so it’s reasonable to expect that the home court of a basketball franchise would also serve as a place of refuge for all of the home town players, but last night, unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. When Chandler Parsons came into the game last night and missed two consecutive free throws, his first two attempts of the season, which was met with a smattering of boos throughout the FedEx Forum, the home court of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Last summer, the Grizzlies signed Parsons, to a four year, ninety-four million dollar deal, which was in retrospect, a mistake on the part of Memphis. Even when the deal was signed it seemed like we were risking so much for the very slim possibility that Parsons would be the player he was before all of his knee injuries. We got screwed, but that’s not on Chandler, it’s not like he’s going out there trying to play poorly, but he just didn’t look that good and seemed to hurt the team more than help us when he was out on the floor, so he ended his season early and had another surgery, hoping that by doing so he would have enough time to rehab and get back into basketball shape before the next season began, because like it or not, he’s still under contract for three more years. I will admit, last year there were times when I was upset and even took to Twitter on occasion to voice my displeasure, but by the end of the year I decided to let go of the resentment I was feeling, because it wasn’t Chandler’s fault that the Grizzlies had spent so much money on him, and also because I realized that nothing good would come from my negative feelings, so since that time, I’ve tried to be optimistic, hoping for the best out of Parsons and looking forward to the time when he would be a big time contributor to the team and prove all of the haters wrong. I hoped it might be this year, but his preseason play left a lot to be desired, but still I remained hopeful going into the season.

When it was announced earlier in the week that he wouldn’t be in the starting lineup and would instead be coming off the bench, I was annoyed. Since we gave up Z-bo and Tony Allen this offseason, it was sad, but it seemed like we were moving into playing a new style of basketball, one where Chandler Parsons would be counted on to step his game up if we wanted to continue having success and make it to the playoffs. We were relying on Chandler to be one of our top scorers, so it only makes sense that it would be in the starting rotation and getting a lot of playing time, but the coach decided to have him come off the bench, so there was nothing to do but accept it, move on, and hope that he would have great success in the role, which is exactly how I was feeling last night when he came onto the court in the first game of the season, hoping for the best, but then he missed those two free throws, and some fans, fans of the team he was playing for, started booing at him. I was upset, not because he missed the free throws but because fans of the team I support, people who live in the same community as me were being so disrespectful to one of our own. I get it that you might be upset that he is being paid so much money and isn’t producing results that are up to your preconceived standards but to yell “booooo” at the man that is on your team, the man that has been training and working hard to help your team, is not only classless but absolutely ridiculous.

We are supposed to be the city that rallies around and embraces our players. The city is one with the team and the team is one with the city, in this together, working hard and grinding, on and off the court, so to ridicule one of our own, at home, booing him for missing free throws, just isn’t what we’re about. We need to lift up the players who are struggling, encouraging them and cheering for them through thick and thin instead of what too many people are doing with Chandler and looking for reasons to dislike the guy. For the record there were a lot of people at the game standing up and cheering for him after the boos started, doing what needed to be done and showing Parsons that we as a fan base were behind him, but it’s just frustrating that there are people out there, who claim to be fans of the Grizzlies, that would treat one of our players that way. I’m still holding out hope that Chandler will start playing at a higher level, but I think that’s a lot less likely to happen if there are fans in the stadium on our home court audibly ridiculing his every mistake while he’s just out there trying his best to be the player everybody, including himself, wants him to be. Maybe we can set aside how we feel individually about Chandler and come together in spirit of unity rather than one of division and support the effort that he is making, and hold onto the hope that it will eventually pay off. It’s a lot more fun being optimistic than it is looking for things to be upset about; I’ve lived both ways, so trust me, I know.

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Worst Restaurant in the World

When I went to France for the first time thirteen years ago, it was my first trip out of the country and I was excited both to see all of the magnificent sights that Paris had to offer, but also to experience and try all of the unique food that is renowned as some of the best in the world. Going in, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Sure my dad had given gone over some of the basics of French cuisine with me, getting me well acquainted with crepes in the years leading up to the trip, and talking about escargot anytime I needed a good laugh, but past that, I wasn’t really too knowledgeable about the food aside from the fact that it is considered to be really, really good. The food in Paris lived up to it’s reputation, leaving me to walk away from every meal full and completely satisfied. It’s almost like Paris is a dream world, because you eat and eat, sometimes spending a couple hours eating multiple courses for dinner, and by the time you leave the restaurant you are completely full, unable to eat another bite, but somehow you are able to summon the energy to walk back home like you hadn’t just eaten a four course meal that was so good you didn’t have the willpower to leave any food on the plate uneaten. So yes, for the first few days in France, everything was perfect and despite having never eaten any of that stuff before, I was really taking a liking to the food, but then one fateful night, we veered right, completely swerving off the path of traditional French cuisine, and ended up in the murky swamp of Parisian Thai food.

Sometimes when you are dating someone, that person can posses a certain amount of control on your mind, using that power to get what they want, say for instance, Thai food in Paris, which is exactly how my dad and I ended up in a Thai restaurant with my dad’s friend Brian, and his girlfriend, Laurence (pronounced Looo-honce). I think to the extent which Brian is to blame is only that he was dating somebody who liked this particular restaurant, because even though he acted like it was partly his idea and that he wanted to eat there, I think he was clearly urged in that direction by Laurence via the aforementioned mind control. We walked into the restaurant which was brightly lit, bathing everything in an obnoxious hue of yellow. This is one of the few things I remember about the décor which should tell you how bad it is that I still remember that bright light vividly more than a decade later. Where going toward the light is normally a reference to heaven, this was more like walking straight into the depths of hell but instead of being tortured for all eternity, it only felt like that long.

We didn’t have to sit on pillows around a low table, but honestly that probably would have been a lot more comfortable. The table we were led to was a small one that was fairly low to the ground with two benches on either side of it, which doesn’t sound all that bed, but that’s only because I’m not finished describing it yet. The benches, that were like rectangular ottomans were bolted to the floor, completely unmovable, which wouldn’t have been so problematic had there been more space between the bench and the table. As it were, the only thing that could have slid comfortably into that microscopic space was a single sheet of printer paper, which didn’t bode well for us humans. I put my left leg over the bench and wiggled it until it found breathing room below the surface of the table, then brought my right knee up, contorting my body like I was a member in Cirque de Soleil rather than an American teenager in a French restaurant, and somehow managed to slide that into place under the table without pulling something out of socket or tearing any major ligaments, which might be the most impressive thing I’ve ever accomplished.

The menu came and it was fairly big which is usually a good thing since there is a lot to choose from and you’re more likely to find something that looks good, but this menu was in a language that was foreign to me. I don’t know if it was in French or Thai, but it definitely wasn’t in English, not that it should have been, but the point is that I couldn’t read the menu at all and my dad seemed to be nearly as clueless as me. I probably could have asked Brian or Laurence for help translating, and that is absolutely what I should have done, but playing the part of the adventurous traveler, I just decided to point at something on the menu, and hope that it was edible. I think to that point in my life I had never eaten Thai food before so I didn’t have any prior knowledge as to what I would like anyway, so asking for a translation might not have affected the outcome at all, unless there was something on the menu called chicken tenders with honey mustard. The waiter arrived with the food, and sat completely at attention, completely still, partly because I was nervously waiting to see what I had ordered, and partly because I was so tightly wedged between the bench in the table that any movement at all was completely impossible.

The plate was set on the table before me; four green bundles stared up at me, leafs wrapped around something that hopefully looked more appetizing than the first impression that I was getting. I unwrapped the leafs like little gifts, optimistically thinking that good things come in small packages. After the small piece of twine was removed and part of the leaf flopped open to the left, as if it couldn’t wait to get away from whatever was inside of it. The air rose out from within the leaf, like the last stale breath before death finally sets in, hitting me square in the face, letting me know that I made a very bad decision. For the life of me I can’t remember what was wrapped in those leaves, but I know that I didn’t eat very much of it, picking at it with my fork and taking small and invisible bites until everyone else finished eating and we were able to leave my least favorite restaurant in the world behind. As we walked back to Brian’s apartment, the Eiffel Tower lit up the night sky, flashing it’s hourly greeting, reminding me that I was in one of the greatest cities in the world, and nothing, not even a terrible meal at a Thai restaurant could change that.

Breakfast with my Wife: Mediocrity at McDonald’s

IMG_4315The best way to start the day is with breakfast, and when I was younger, McDonald’s was the place to get it, which I think had more to do with the sentimentality of that being the place my dad and I would always go when he would come visit rather than the quality of the food, which we can all agree is complete crap, amazing, delicious crap. I remember one time when I had spent the night over at my great grandmother’s house, and in the morning she asked me what I wanted for breakfast, going over all of the many options that she had to make, biscuits, eggs, sausage, fried potatoes, toast, or cereal, all perfectly good options, most of which I would prefer now over going out for breakfast, but my young mind was centered and solely focused on McDonald’s, so that is where we went. I got the sausage biscuit with a hash brown, the only thing I ever got back then. Once I had branched out and tried the breakfast burrito before going to a water park for the day, and that didn’t turn out good for anyone, so the sausage biscuit and hash brown was it from then on. Breakfast was great, the guilt trip I got later in the day from my granddad was not. He told me when offered something, you either take it or you don’t, but you shouldn’t suggest something else that you want more, because that’s rude, a valuable lesson learned at a young age. What made it worse was the fact that my great grandmother had everything at home to make what I got to eat at McDonald’s which I didn’t realize because I was so focused on what I wanted and wasn’t really paying attention to the less desirable homemade options.

Close to twenty years have passed since I snubbed my great grandmother’s home cooking for McDonald’s, and while my love for their breakfast has certainly wavered and fallen off quite a bit, it hasn’t completely disappeared. This past weekend, my wife and I were both up pretty early, before she had to go to work, and lying in bed, as if she had read my mind, suggested we go get breakfast. This may seem like a normal thing for couples to do on the weekend, but it’s actually a very rare occasion for us, not only because she has to work basically every weekend morning, but because my wife actually kind of hates breakfast. It’s crazy, because breakfast is by far the greatest meal of the day, but my wife and I are basically polar opposites when it comes to our feelings on the matter, but for some reason, she suggested it, and of course I was one hundred percent on board. There are several places here in town that I love to go for a good breakfast consisting of either biscuits and gravy, or sausage and eggs with hash browns, but since we were in a little bit of a time crunch and my wife had to leave for work before too long, we wouldn’t have had time to eat at any of those places, so we did the next best thing, and went to McDonald’s.

It was an overcast and dreary morning, and a slight drizzle was descending down on the city, which didn’t seem to deter anyone from getting their breakfast as the parking lot was so full we had to circle fully around the building and found a parking spot on our second loop. Although it was crowded, this McDonald’s was the picture of efficiency, with multiple register opened, taking orders and getting through the line quickly, and then stepping to the side of the counter for maybe two minutes at the most until your food was ready and your number was called. My wife and I both got the hotcakes and sausage with a hash brown, which I added to my order first and my wife decided to piggy back on my gluttony, and coffees for the both of us, vanilla iced for her and a hot pumpkin spice latte for myself, which would probably be embarrassing to admit ordering if it weren’t so freaking good. We found a booth near the window and watched the rain fall from the dark sky on a mild October morning. I “buttered” the pancakes, which I put in quotation marks and say with skepticism because I don’t know what I was spreading on the pancakes but there’s no way it was butter. It would have been nice to equally portion out the syrup between the three flap jacks, but not wanting to risk getting sticky syrup on my hands and ruining the rest of my day, I just dumped it all out on the top pancake, figuring I would just use the excess syrup that ran off and pooled near the sides of the plate as a dipping sauce for the others.

The hot cakes were not so hot, and in fact weren’t even warm, but were actually kind of cold, which did nothing to enhance the flavors that weren’t all that great to begin with. The sausage I actually enjoyed, and the best bites of pancake were the ones that were skewered on the same fork as a bite of sausage and dipped in the syrup. The hash brown was heavenly and just the way I remembered, and the pumpkin spice latte was really good as well, although I must say that it isn’t anywhere near as good as the one from Starbucks that started this whole trend, plus, I got a medium and the cup was only filled up about three quarters of the way which seemed like a bit of a rip off, but the warm taste of fall worked wonders in not allowing me to be bothered by that fact. Overall the breakfast was good but not great, and would have been so much better if the hotcakes had actually been hot, but I realize it’s probably a lot to expect of a McDonald’s product to live up to its name. I probably should have gotten a sausage biscuit and hash brown, because to this day, that meal has never let me down.

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An Embarrassing Lunch at Huey’s

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Never in my life have I ever had my debit card declined at a restaurant, but there’s a first time for everything unfortunately, and Saturday it happened to me. I was out to lunch with my dad and his mom. We had been at the hospital that morning, visiting with my uncle Brett who had been in there since Monday due to an ulcer that had been building up unbeknownst to anyone and finally had to be operated on in emergency surgery. It was good to see him, and although he was still in a little bit of pain, he was doing and feeling a lot better, and only had a couple more days left in the hospital to make sure he didn’t get an infection. We were there for an hour or two, and by the time we left it was nearly one, so naturally we started talking about getting something for lunch. The only thing I could think of in the area was Huey’s, so that’s where we decided to go.
 
It was crowded when we arrived, a fact that always brings me comfort in Huey’s, and is the only restaurant I can think of that has that affect on me. Normally crowded restaurants mean a long wait, either for a table, your food, or both, but here it just seems right that it be crowded. Despite the fact that the restaurant seemed packed to the brim when we walked in, we were immediately ushered to a booth, somewhere amongst the many voices of the cheerful lunch goers surrounding us.  I looked briefly over the menu, which always seems to be a waste of time since every single time I eat at Huey’s, I get a burger, but I like to browse nonetheless, and float some ideas through my mind, putting them in a head-to-head matchup with the burger to see if anything can beat it out. This time I thought about nachos, or just getting a basket of the new tater tots with bacon and cheese, which sounded delicious, but the more I thought about it, the less it sounded like a fulfilling meal and more like an appetizer. The nachos sounded good, the perfect football food, which was fitting since TV’s lining the walls were showing all the college games that were currently going on, but I saw somebody else’s plate of nachos, and decided against it. There is a huge difference in nachos that have shredded cheese and those that have cheese sauce, and as a person who prefers the latter, I decided against the grated cheese version offered up by Huey’s, and went with the always reliable burger.
 
There is a vast selection of burgers to choose from depending on your preferences and mood, and after glancing at the numerous options, I decided on the Bluff City Burger, which is one of my favorite burgers in the city for which it is named. A thick patty topped with bacon, barbecue sauce, fried onion straws, lettuce, and pickles, the Bluff City burger is a in a word, fantastic. My biggest hang up on Huey’s in the past has been the side dishes, because I don’t like their steak fries which in my opinion are too big and devoid of flavor, and I don’t like their onion rings, which are literally the biggest onion rings I’ve ever seen, and the fried batter on the onion doesn’t stay attached very well so inevitably you end up munching on a big chunk of hot onion, but now Huey’s has stepped their game up with the new addition of tater tots. I got them as a side, and this was the first time I’ve ever eaten at Huey’s and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the meal, so it’s definitely going to have a place on my short list of favorite restaurants to go-to because everything from the burger to the tots was perfect. PERFECT. The only bad part about the meal had nothing to do with the food or the restaurant itself, but with me, or rather my debit card, which was declined when attempting to pay for my food.
 
I had enough money in my account, so I couldn’t understand what could have possibly gone wrong. The waitress had the good grace not to announce to the table that my card was declined, and instead told me that the machine couldn’t read my card, but we all knew what was going on. Thankfully my dad stepped in and handed back his card, saying that he would pay and we could settle up later, or else I wouldn’t have had any idea how I would come up with the money because the only card I had on me was the one that wasn’t going through and I had absolutely no cash on me. I pulled up my banking app at the table, just to make sure that money hadn’t been taken out of my account without my knowledge, and, as expected, my account still had the balance that it should have. The problem ended up being that my card was locked, something my wife did as a precaution last weekend after our other account was used fraudulently to make unauthorized purchases, and my wife just forgot to unlock it again. I was embarrassed that for the first time my card was declined at a restaurant, and that it happened in front of my dad and Mimi, but at least there was a logical and reasonable explanation for why it happened so I guess that was kind of  a relief. Despite that one misstep, everything about the meal was great, and I would one hundred percent recommend you checking out Huey’s ASAP to get a fantastic burger and to try their new tater tots, just make sure before you go that your debit card hasn’t been locked by your wife or you might end up having to wash dishes at the restaurant, or possibly getting your dad to bail you out.

The Pick Six: NFL Week 6 Edition

45139bafbe44765118822d5c37e1dacc1Today is going to be a great day, I can just feel it. I woke up feeling great because both Memphis and Alabama won their respective games yesterday, and since the Cowboys aren’t playing today, there’s no chance of a crushing defeat like last week to bring me crashing down from this victorious high. Since it’s the Cowboys bye week and I have no rooting interest today, I’m looking forward to kicking back and watching NFL Redzone, which I think will be a first for me, watching a full slate of games on instead of focusing on one more than others, so that should be fun, or at the very least interesting. Here are the best six games of the day and my picks. Enjoy.

6. Giants/Broncos at 7:30
I thought the Giants would be bad, but I never imagined them being this bad, 0-5 to start the season. I love it, but you have to think at some point that they’ll get things figured out and get a few wins because I still don’t think there’s any way they finish with a worse record than the Jets who are completely surprising me on the other side of the spectrum. The Broncos have looked really good thus far so I don’t think the Giants are going to get things pointed in the right direction today. Denver is a nine point favorite and I think they’ll cover it easily.

5. Buccaneers/Cardinals at 3:05
Arizona is once again underperforming this year, due largely in part to the fact that their running back, one of the best in the league last year got hurt in the opening game, but this is the NFL, where excuses don’t matter, so we’ll see how they handle a talented Tampa Bay team today. I really like the Bucs and think they can be a real playoff contender this year in the NFC. They come into the game as a one point underdog which is irrelevant because they’re going to win the game leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind that they are the better team.

4. Packers/Vikings at Noon
It’s a rivalry game in Minnesota and while I think Green Bay is the better team, anything can happen in a rivalry game, one of the only times the home team has a clear advantage in the NFL unless you’re playing in Seattle or Green Bay, and this game is in Minneapolis which will elevate the play of the Vikings and keep the game competitive. Ultimately, I think Green Bay, the four point favorite, will win the game and cover the spread, but it should be an entertaining game nonetheless.

3. Jets/Patriots at Noon
If you would’ve told me at the beginning of the season that through five weeks in the season, the Jets and Patriots would have the same record I would have run away from you quickly, because clearly you are insane, but here we are and both teams are coming into this game with three wins and two losses, which to be honest is more wins than I thought New York would have on the entire season. New England is a nine and a half point favorite, and while I think they get the win, I’m going to take the Jets with the points and hope that they can keep it close and decide to stave off their inevitable breakdown for another week.

2. Lions/Saints at Noon
The Lions are clearly the better team, yet for some reason the Saints are a three point favorite. I think it will be a good game but I think Matt Stafford and the Detroit offense is going to rip apart the New Orleans defense, and despite valiant efforts by Drew Brees and the offense, they aren’t going to be able to keep up. Lions win.

  1. Steelers/Chiefs at 3:25
    At first glance, this was easily the best game of the NFL weekend, and after looking further into the other games, this one still holds up as the best and the one I’m most excited about. There is a real chance that the only undefeated team in the league goes down today at the hands of the Steelers who are only a three and a half point underdog. While I think it will be a close game, I think the Chiefs will walk away the win and remain unbeaten.

The Pick Six: Best Games on Football Saturday

We’ve been having some cooler, fall weather the past few days, so I thought since the temperatures were going to get back up in the eighties and low nineties today, I would get up first thing this morning and take the dogs for a walk to enjoy a little bit of the cool while we still had it, so a few minutes after eight, with the temperature at a comfortable 64 degrees, I, along with the two dogs, left the apartment full of optimism for a fulfilling walk. Unfortunately, after they went to the bathroom, Mocha, the smaller of the giant rats, decided she wanted no part in the walk and just refused to do so, forcing me to have to pull and drag her across the grass against her will. After a few attempts at this, starting and stopping several times, the walk was over, all thanks to the selfishness of Mocha, so excuse me if today’s Pick Six seems to have an air of frustration about it, because that’s just how I’m feeling right now.

6. South Carolina/Tennessee at 11 on ESPN
As someone who lives in the state of Tennessee but is not a fan of the team, it brings me a sort of twisted satisfaction whenever they lose, and this year has been pretty fun so far, and I see no reason that has to change today. For some reason I always seem to be optimistic about South Carolina after they win a couple at the start of the season, before they inevitably sink back down into the pit of mediocrity from whence they came, but I think today they’re going to get back on the right track with a win over Tennessee who is a two point favorite. Upset for the Gamecocks on the road.

5. Georgia Tech/Miami at 2:30 on ABC
After watching the Miami game last week, and seeing their offensive struggles, I have serious doubts about how good that team actually is. Last week was by far their biggest game of the season, against a team that came in with a losing record, and they almost lost the game. On the other hand, Georgia Tech has beaten both Pittsburgh and North Carolina, and lost by one point to Tennessee, which to me are much more impressive than any of Miami’s wins except for maybe Florida State, whom they barely beat. Miami is a nine and a half point favorite, but I think it’s going to be closer than that. It will come down to Tech’s offense against Miami’s defense that will decide the game, and while I think the Hurricanes will probably win this one at home, I’m picking Georgia Tech with the points.

4. Oklahoma/Texas at 2:30 on ESPN
Remember when the Red River Rivalry actually meant something in college football, back when two relevant programs were playing the biggest game of their season? Those were fun times, and while I certainly don’t think today will be like those great match-ups in the past, I do think this game could possibly be interesting and worth keeping an eye on. Texas is trying to turn their season around and Oklahoma is coming off a huge loss last week, so both teams really want to prove something today. Oklahoma is a nine and a half point favorite, and I’m picking them over the Longhorns against the spread.

3. TCU/Kansas State at 11 on FS1
Kansas State was in the top 25 for a couple weeks to start the season, so we know they have some talent on that team, and I think TCU is overrated, so this could make for a good match-up. TCU is a four and a half point favorite, and I’m going to pick them against the spread, but I do think it will be a good and competitive game today.

2. Texas Tech/West Virginia at 11 on ESPNU
Somehow Texas Tech is in the top 25, and are the underdog today against an unranked team, which makes zero sense to me, but regardless of how dumb I think that is, I do think this will be a very good game to watch. West Virginia is a seven point favorite at home and it seems like a no brainer to me, but I’m going to take Texas Tech with the points. Show me you deserve to be in the top 25.

1. Memphis/Navy at 2:45 on ESPNU
Picking this game as the best game of the day is completely biased, but it’s the one that I’m most interested in outside of the Alabama/Arkansas game which should be a complete bloodbath, whereas this one I think will be close. This is another one of those games where Navy is in the top 25 but Memphis is favorite. This would be a huge win for the Tigers, their second win over a top 25 ranked opponent this season, and I think they’re going to do it. I’m rolling with Memphis -4.

October Reads Part 1

IMG_4306It’s Friday, which means it’s time to talk about books. You might be wondering to yourself why I’m acting like this is a normal weekly occurrence when oftentimes the day of the week is sporadic and I didn’t even talk about what books I’ve been reading last week, and while those are both valid points, I’m going to try doing better going forward about making Friday the official book review day every week, to give a recommendation or two to get the weekend started off right for everyone whose idea of a perfect day off work involves being sitting in a big comfortable chair with a good book. As for why I didn’t do it last week, I was wanting to wait until I finished the current book I was reading, which ended up taking a lot longer than I’d intended, but more on that later. With Halloween being at the end of this month, for the entirety of October I’m going to be reading books that are spooky, scary, creepy, or Halloween themed, so today.

To get the Halloween season kicked off the right way, I read “Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore” by Matthew Sullivan, his debut novel. Not knowing much about the book, except that it was one of the bestsellers on Amazon’s new novel list at the time that I was browsing early last month, I took a chance, intrigued by the title, and the short description about a late night death in a bookstore, and it really paid off. The book starts with a suicide of a bookstore regular, found by one of the employees, one of a few people in the world that he trusted and would talk to. From there the book follows that employee, Lydia, on a journey to find out what pushed her friend over the edge. Guided by clues left behind by the deceased, Lydia learns all about his life, and discovers a lot about hers as well as she is forced to face some of the haunting demons from her past. A quick read with perfectly placed twists that will leave you frantically turning the pages to find out what happens next, “Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore” was thrilling, suspenseful, and at times very eerie, making it the perfect way to kick off October. This is definitely near the top of my list in terms of favorite books that came out this year and would recommend it for anyone looking for a thrill ride that might leave you gasping audibly in disbelief, which happened to me at least one time over the course of this exciting journey.

The second book I read, “The Halloween Tree” by Ray Bradbury, was more of a traditionally themed Halloween book, and in fact is actually set on the thirty-first of October. It’s a fun spirited fall tale that follows eight boys and a skeleton on a journey to find their friend who they can never seem to catch up to, and also to discover the history of Halloween. While I did enjoy reading it, I found myself a little bit lost and confused during certain parts, but I feel that was mainly my fault. It’s a fairly short book, and I think would be best read in one to two days so it flows cohesively all the way through, but my mistake was getting distracted too often and letting it stretch out for more than a week, breaking up the pace of the story too often so the only thing that stayed with me from day to day were fragmented parts of the story rather than keeping up with the big picture. Even though I messed it up this time and didn’t enjoy it to the fullest extent, I would still recommend checking it out if you want a fast paced, fun book to get you in the mood for Halloween, but I would definitely suggest trying to read it in one to two days, which is easily doable lest you get distracted like me.

Whether you read either of these books or you choose to read something else altogether, the important thing is that you read, even if only for a few minutes. Open your imagination up to all of the exciting worlds out there, and I guarantee, you won’t be disappointed.