Reading Roundup #8

Another month of reading is complete and my current count is 60 books! Still basically on a 12 book a month pace but am gearing up for that to slow down once my summer graduate school classes start in July. Now on to May’s top three!

If you want to see all the books I’m reading and rating check out these profiles and add me!



I definitely recommend checking these books out and as always, let me know what books you’ve been enjoying!

#3 The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

I knew absolutely nothing about this book when I picked it up other than I loved the cover and it was by the author who wrote The Boy in the Striped Pajamas meaning I was probably in for an emotional read. It is also quite a long book at 580 pages. It was so worth the length. It follows Cyril Avery through his entire life beginning and ending in post-war Ireland starting in the 1940s. He is born out of wedlock to a girl cast out of her strict, religious Ireland community and his life takes many unexpected turns along the way, both heartwarming and heartwrenching. It also follows his story of coming to terms with his identity and finding where he fits as a gay man first amongst this incredibly conservative Irish community and later during the AIDS epidemic in New York City. I realized I am talking about this book during Pride Month which feels appropriate as it gives an honest and eye-opening view of the struggles and prejudice experienced by the LGBTQIA+ community. As someone not a part of that community, but with friends who are, I think it is important to read stories like this and other works by authors in the community to gain a better understanding. That is just one part of this sweeping novel dealing with family dynamics, friendship, identity, and redemption. Will make you laugh as well as make you cry and by now you all know how I love a bittersweet book. Definitely, a book that surprised me in a great way!

#2 Happy Place by Emily Henry

This was our book club book for May as we have a lot of romance book girlies in our group. A lot of us had read her other books like Book Lovers and Beach Read, so we were excited she was releasing a new book this year! I really enjoyed this one because it dove into some different territory than her other works. There was still a love story at the heart of it between two characters who had broken up but neglected to tell their friend group. They end up all going on a last hoorah vacation to the place they summered together starting in college and they are forced to pretend they are still together. As you can imagine this results in some complicated feelings and general hijinks. But what surprised me about this novel was the heavier weight given to the friendship dynamics among the group. There were some very real moments of fighting and unresolved issues that crop up and made the side storylines sometimes more interesting to me than the main love story. It felt like a real look into transitioning from college friends to adult friends and how life changes can affect those dynamics. Definitely ranked high in my Emily Henry book rankings and is one I would recommend for those who are looking for a contemporary romance that isn’t as fluffy. Don’t get me wrong, I love a fluffy romance on occasion, but I really appreciated the extra depth in this book!

#1 The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

Number one this month is this historical fiction novel written by the author who wrote The Alice Network. A five-star read for me that was even longer than the first book I discussed at 624 pages but I loved every moment of it. It centers around three female code-breakers at Bletchley Park during World War II and the spy that they must uncover after the war has ended. Taking place in 1940 is the story of how these three amazing women came to be code-breakers and their time working at this top-secret facility. The female friendship dynamics among the three of them as well as the ups and downs of relationships in a time of war provide their own intrigue outside the high stakes environment of their jobs. Woven in the midst of that story is a look at where these women ended up post-war in 1947, why they aren’t speaking, and the unlikely discovery of a mole giving out classified information to the enemy that brings them all back together. Expertly written with incredible character development, this book is everything I love about historical fiction. Bletchley Park itself is endlessly fascinating and I am now dying to go and take a tour of the place where women were celebrated for their minds in a time when society didn’t see them as valued outside social society and the home. I love this author because she creates complex female characters that give a voice to the women who have gotten lost in history. Definitely recommend any of her books if you are looking for a great historical book filled with intrigue!

Honorable Mentions:

Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun by Elle Cosimano: This is actually the newest book in the Finlay Donovan series and I highly recommend you read it from the beginning! It follows an author turned accidental hitwoman and that is as ridiculous and wonderful as it sounds. Funny, suspenseful, and with a touch of romance, it’s a wonderful and quick summer read.

This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub: I love the idea of time travel and how it would affect my life if I did it myself, so anytime that concept is the backbone of a book, I’m probably going to enjoy it. This book follows a woman who goes to sleep on her fortieth birthday with her dad dying in the hospital and wakes up on her sixteenth birthday with her father as vibrant as ever. It explores family dynamics, idealism, and hope in a beautiful way.

The It Girl by Ruth Ware: I’ve read all the books by this author because she always scratches that mystery genre itch that lives in my brain most of the time. This one takes place in two times of the main character, Hannah’s, life. One back when she met her friends in college at Oxford where unfortunately she discovers her roommate April’s body after she was murdered and one in present day where the man she helped put away for the murder has died in prison and has left questions of his innocence behind. She decides she has to be sure she helped put the right man away, and there are tons of twists and turns as she uncovers more of the story. Highly recommend this book and any other written by her if you just need a good classic mystery novel!

As always, I’m always looking for new books so send them my way and let me know what your favorites so far this year have been! I hope you have a great day!

Rachel (:

Reading Roundup #7

Another month of reading is complete and my current count is 49 books! On pace to surpass my goal of 100 but we’ll see if I slow down once I start graduate school later this summer. Bought two new books yesterday at a couple of local bookstores for Independent Bookstore Day. Be sure to support your local bookstores! And if you are ever in Nashville, check out Novelette and The Bookshop. Now on to April’s top three. Fewer books to choose from since it was only one month but still a little difficult.

If you want to see all the books I’m reading and rating check out these profiles and add me!



I definitely recommend checking these books out and as always, let me know what books you’ve been enjoying!

#3 Slade House by David Mitchell

I picked up this book because the cover intrigued me: A hardcover, square book where only the yellow frame of the front cover lifts up to reveal even more of a maze on the inside page. I had never heard of this book or this author and going in blind made unraveling the mystery even more exciting. This book spans five decades from 1970 to the present and slowly reveals the secrets of the Slade House which only seems to appear down the street from a British pub every nine years. People investigate, people disappear, and people lose their minds a little as they try to piece together a supernatural-tinged puzzle. A bit of a genre-bender between fantasy, mystery, and horror and definitely unlike other books I have read. I liked that it felt like a short story collection with a common throughline because you read about a new character entering the hunt for the truth of Slade House every nine years. Inventive and definitely keeps you turning the page, I recommend it for anyone looking for something weird and brand new. I think this would make a cool miniseries one day if they did it right, but book adaptations always stress me out so maybe we should leave it on the pages.

#2 Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

This book is actually number five of a series but I haven’t read any of the others yet and didn’t feel lost in the slightest so don’t let that stop you from picking it up! It follows an eccentric family of private investigators as they track down leads, follow people from a safe distance, and for one client, check if they left their sink running in their apartment. The mystery of how several of their client’s cases end up working together is interesting, but the real fun is the family dynamic. It’s told from the perspective of the oldest daughter Isabel who has a habit of hiding from conflict and breaking into houses. She is observing the quirky behavior of her family as the stress of the business and life in general starts to take its toll. Her mother is taking up every new hobby known to man to avoid her mother-in-law who has moved in temporarily. Her dad and sister won’t stop speaking in codenames and secret passwords in order to add mystique to the family business. And her brother is at his wits end trying to keep his life afloat and get his baby to stop calling everything a banana. If that sounds nuts, it’s because it is, but in the most fun way. It’s conversational right down to the footnotes Isabel leaves for the reader and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a light-hearted mystery and some great laughs.

#1 The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

The recommendations came from all sides with this book. My mom, my therapist, and one of my old coworkers talked about this book and it has been on my list but I finally found it at my used bookstore of choice and got to read it! It’s a historical fiction book about the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. Esme, the daughter of one of the lexicographers, is fascinated with words from the time she can read the slips of paper being sorted to build the dictionary pages. As she grows, she collects words that she finds interesting and starts to realize that words used to describe the common folk and women’s experiences are going unrecorded. To fill this gap, she starts to build her own Dictionary of Lost Words to prove that these words do have value. It’s an empowering book for women and a wonderful read for lovers of words. There is also a bit of family drama, social commentary, and romance sprinkled in to make it an even more satisfying read. Set in the early twentieth century during the women’s suffrage movement, it brings up important conversations and fills in the gaps of history that didn’t make the narrative of history written by men. This is the kind of historical fiction I like. Character-driven and poking at the previously unseen or left out moments of history.

Honorable Mentions:

The Giver Series (The Giver, Gathering Blue, Messenger, Son) by Lois Lowry: I reread this series for our nostalgia-themed book club this month and they still hold up incredibly well. Honestly, the messaging of the novels hit even harder as an adult. Definitely recommend going back to this dystopian world that is painted so vividly.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova: Read this book that became a movie and definitely cried in the back half of the book. It follows a woman’s journey through Alzheimer’s and is written with such care. Really helps you see the disease through the eyes of the one going through it, when I feel often we read books from a caregiver’s perspective. Heartbreaking but beautiful, I would definitely check it out.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid: This was another reread this month after watching Daisy Jones and The Six and it is still just a fantastic book. Character-driven like her other incredible books and taking place over the course of one night at a party thrown by rockstar Mick Riva’s abandoned children, it gets into the heart of family dynamics. The connection to her other books is wonderful here as well for those who read all of her books like me. I think it might be my favorite of hers.

As always, I’m always looking for new books so send them my way and let me know what your favorites so far this year have been! I hope you have a great day!

Rachel (:

Twenties and Trying #1

As a 25-year-old woman who has absolutely no clue how her life will turn out, but is trying her best to weave her way through her twenties, I wanted to share my journey. But I also wanted to share some stories of other people trying through their twenties, so I decided to interview my peers. I wanted this to be a safe space where we can talk about our failures, our triumphs, and our anxieties as we learn to be full-fledged adults in an ever-changing society. I hope these honest conversations will help you feel a little less alone. We’re all doing our best.

To kick it off, I wanted to share my answers. Vulnerability invites vulnerability, so it’s only fair.

A conversation with Me, Age 25

Profession and Place of Residence

Freelancer and Upcoming Graduate Student living in Nashville, TN

Are you where you pictured yourself at age 25?

Not even close lol! I think when I was younger I figured I’d be married or in a serious relationship at this point and would have a better idea of what I’m doing with my life. I also don’t think I would have pictured myself living in a city.

What has been the biggest triumph of your twenties so far?

Getting a job straight out of college in the field I went to school for. Especially graduating during a pandemic, options were limited so I was so glad that my work ethic shined through during my internship and they were willing to hire me full-time. Being able to be financially independent living in the city I wanted to be in was a great feeling and something I am definitely proud of.

What has been something that didn’t quite work out in your twenties so far?

Getting laid off at the beginning of the year. It was completely unexpected and threw me for a loop. I think I wasn’t really dealing with all my emotions surrounding being let go and it caused me to kind of lose who I was and wanted to be for a little over a month. I’m now turning that disappointment into an opportunity but it definitely took some time to get to a better headspace.

Are you in the industry/job you pictured yourself in? Where do you ultimately see yourself in your career?

I was in the industry I pictured myself in before getting laid off but as I mentioned in my first post back my idea of where I’m going is a little unknown. I just found out I was accepted to grad school at Pace University and will be diving into learning more about film/TV production and writing. Making an industry switch is honestly a little terrifying but I think it would be a fulfilling change. My dream job would be to write or produce book adaptations so that I could combine my love of all the storytelling mediums and hopefully help make book adaptions that fans of the novels can love instead of cringe at, which I feel happens most of the time haha! For now, I’m hoping to freelance in digital marketing for the book industry or do remote literacy tutoring to make money while I go to school.

Relationship Status? Biggest dating dos and don’ts for you in this phase of your life?

Status: Very single

DO: Only date if you are ready to date. It wastes your time and their time if you aren’t in a place mentally or emotionally to put effort into it. I haven’t actively dated for about a year because I wanted to work on my own self-esteem/mindset before actively trying again. I am feeling like I’m ready now so who knows maybe I’ll start swiping haha! Ideally, I’ll just bump into the love of my life at a bookstore or something though.

DON’T: Ignore red flags. I feel like a lot of times we watch our friends in relationships and want to experience that as well, so we brush past the couple of red flags we see in order to have someone. The issue with that is those red flags will always cause more issues down the road. So don’t waste your time. Also, don’t be afraid to have standards, even ones that seem ridiculous to others. It’s your life, so you get to decide what you are looking for. An example of mine: If I see Kanye West in your top artists on your profile or your entire personality is hiking, I will swipe left lol.

What is an adulting anxiety you’ve had in your twenties?

Making appointments. I HATE phone calls and I have social anxiety so the act of making appointments for all the adult things like the dentist, doctor, hair appointments, insurance, etc, is the worst. It’s a small thing and I do accomplish the task but man do I wish I didn’t have to do that. Also, the constant fear that I’ve forgotten to pay for something. I haven’t ever actually missed a payment on anything important, but I’m always anxious about it anyway haha!

If you could invite five fictional characters to a dinner party who would they be and why?

  1. Pippi Longstocking from Pippi Longstocking: She would 100% liven things up
  2. Ove from A Man Called Ove: I’d love to see the dynamic between a grouchy old man with a heart of gold and an off the wall, independent, pig-tailed little girl
  3. Celia from The Night Circus: She could bring a little magic to the party and I think she would enjoy a night away from the circus she is tied to
  4. Daisy Jones from Daisy Jones and The Six: She could provide musical entertainment and bring countless stories (although we may have to cover Pippi’s ears for some of them lol)
  5. Veronica from How the Penguins Saved Veronica: An older woman who makes me laugh and who I might be able to play matchmaker with between her and Ove

If aliens came down to earth and you could only use three objects you possessed to describe your life to them, what would you show them?

  1. A book (Maybe Phantom Tollbooth which kind of explores the English language and how wacky it can be, plus it is one of my all-time favorites)
  2. A coffee mug (one with a little personality or a pun so it gives them a sense of who I am, but also just denotes my love of a comforting cup of coffee)
  3. My car key (And I would relay to them my love of driving and listening to music, the love of having the freedom to visit family, all of the memories that are forever kept inside the confines of Bailey-my car’s name haha! If you don’t name your car, what are you even doing?)

What obscure TV show or movie instantly brings you back to your childhood?

Ok, the two that come to mind immediately in terms of “obscure” would be The Big Comfy Couch and Strawberry Shortcake. I was obsessed with those shows when I was little haha! The clock exercise on Big Comfy Couch was everything. I was so obsessed with Strawberry Shortcake that my first usernames for things was “strawberryrachh.” They’ve changed the look of Strawberry Shortcake over the years but I will always see her in the animation style of my time. Her hat is simply iconic.

If you could see five years into the future would you do it or would you rather not know what’s coming?

I think I want to be surprised. Hopefully the next five years are filled with good things, and I want to be able to experience that growth and those moments for the first time as they happen. But man would I be tempted!

I hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little bit better and I look forward to you getting to know all of our upcoming interviewees! I’d love to talk with you about your answers so let us know what your life looks like in the comments below.

Rachel (:

Reading Roundup #6

It’s been quite a while since I did my last reading roundup and I have read a copious amount of books since then. Last year alone I read 134 books which is the most I’ve ever read in a year. And it was not for the bragging rights. It was because last year was a year of working on myself. That meant reinvigorating the creative side of me, working on myself physically, and working on my anxiety and self-esteem. I dove headfirst into the pages of books that inspired ideas, made me cry, made me laugh, and allowed me to explore the things that make us all human. Some of those things are not always pretty, but being forced to look at them always helps you grow. I got an idea for a novel. I found representation on those pages for my mental health struggles and a hope within that.  Books have been in my life through every up and down and are continuing to be a part of my journey as I grow even more this year. I decided to give you my top three books I’ve read so far this year. I’m currently at 36 books for the year so it was hard to pick but I will start doing these monthly again after this which will make picking easier I imagine. If you want to follow my reading journey this year and share yours with me feel free to follow me on Goodreads and Storygraph if you use either!



I definitely recommend checking these books out and as always, let me know what books you’ve been enjoying!

#3 Now Is Not The Time to Panic by Kevin Wilson

I’ve read all the books that Kevin Wilson has written so I was so excited to see his new one in our local independent bookstore when I went in last month! He actually is from Franklin, TN which is right outside of Nashville where I live so it’s always nice to support local authors as well. He has an extremely unique writing style and I bet I could tell you if he wrote the book without ever seeing the cover, which is a rare quality to find in the sea of books released each year. His concepts are always super unique and I usually read them in a day or two. This one was no different! It follows two teens, Frankie and Zeke, in a small TN town who meet one summer and decide they want to create art together. After they create a poster and start posting it around the town, panic ensues as no one knows where they came from or what they mean. As the public creates more and more theories, the consequences of their creative spirit snowballs into potential danger. Years later, they have never confirmed it was them who made the poster, but someone calls Frankie saying she knows her secret and wants her to tell their story. It’s funny and weird and makes you think about the power of a creative mind. I highly recommend it as well as any of his other books!

#2 Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

This book came recommended to me by my roommate Jess and she didn’t let me down! This was a beautiful book about the ends and outs of friendship, ambition, and ultimately how your priorities affect your relationships. It is all set in the video game design arena and gives subtle Ready Player One vibes, but the relationship between Sam and Sadie is the driving force. I actually realized partway through reading the book that I had already read The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by this author and didn’t connect the dots right away. Another incredible story to check out! Both of her novels lean on the bittersweet so that’s important to remember going into them. However, those are some of my favorite stories because it seems more true to life. The characters in her novels feel like real people with relatable problems and while escapism in books is great, it’s sometimes nice to feel like the people could be living right down the street. Definitely check this author out!

#1 Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

Okay, this is a classic novel that I missed along the way somehow and I’m so glad I was able to read it! I had seen the movie a long time ago but as we know, the book is usually better. In this case, both are wonderful! I actually got this book at a bookstore in Chatanooga when my friends and I were wandering through local stores during my friend’s wedding weekend and they happened to have a “Blind Date with a Book” section. Basically, the book is covered in brown paper with only a few sentences on the outside about what the book is about, but you don’t know what you bought for sure until you open it at home. I’ve always wanted to do one and was so happy it happened to be this incredible story full of humor, heart, and charm. I’ll leave you with the description I was given before opening it! “Read Me if you’re looking for: A book from the busy brain of a born storyteller. A thoroughly entertaining comic novel. A now classic tale of 2 women in the 1980s, as one tells her life story to the other.” Definitely piqued my interest and I hope it does the same for you. And as a bonus, watch the movie after you read it.! Who doesn’t love Kathy Bates?

Honorable Mentions to Check Out:

Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid: I love all of her books and her newest was no exception. Fans of tennis will especially love it!

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary: Just a cute rom-com when you are in need of something light and fun!

The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal: A really great story of sibling relationships and discovering unknown passions. Great especially for craft beer lovers like myself!

The Killing Hour by Lisa Gardner: Felt like I was reading an episode of Criminal Minds and as someone who loves shows like that, it was great!

S. by Doug Dorst and J.J. Abrams: Crazy concept of a book where there is an entire second book happening in the margins between two people trying to figure out the true identity of the author of the actual book. Really fun and shout out to my brother for gifting it to me!

As always, I’m always looking for new books so send them my way and let me know what your favorites so far this year have been! I hope you have a great day!

Rachel (:

Fictional Characters I Look Up To

The other day I saw a quote from George R R Martin that said “You should grieve if a fictional character is killed. You should care.” As an avid reader and a writer, I couldn’t agree with it more. It made me start to think about what makes you connect with a character. Sometimes it is seeing a small part of you, but I think that more often than not we love characters because they possess a quality that we wish we had. Or at least that we wish we possessed more of. So today I decided I’d talk about some fictional characters that I love and look up to. I’d love to hear about your top 5 in the comments below!

Winnie the Pooh

In my opinion, Winnie the Pooh is one of the best characters that has ever been created. I loved him as a kid and I still love him now when I’m about to graduate college. My brother who is 25 loves him. My parents love him. But why is that? For me, every time I see a quote from him I immediately feel warm inside. Pooh’s like the embodiment of a hug. However, the two qualities that Pooh possesses that I look up to are his loyalty and his positivity. He sticks by the people that he loves through thick and thin. The newest movie where he goes to find Christopher Robin as an adult showcases this brilliantly. He senses that he is needed and he is there. It all comes from a place of genuine love and the desire for other people’s happiness. That’s an admirable quality. As my senior year continues to fly by, I’m forced to think about what comes after. Not all of my friends will stay here. In the past, I haven’t kept up with friendships as well as I could have. Winnie the Pooh makes me want to remember to make a conscious effort to maintain these friendships in a way that still feels meaningful. In a way, all of the characters in these stories model what friendship should look like. Both the things that you should do, but also how other friends should act toward you. Loyalty should go both ways and Winnie the Pooh is an excellent example of what that should look like. Pooh is also a beacon of positivity. I tend to lean on the more pessimistic side. Sometimes Eeyore reminds me a lot of myself. However, Pooh is always looking on the bright side. One of my favorite Pooh quotes is “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” He is always trying to build people up. He always wants people to see the best in themselves and the world. Every time I see a Winnie the Pooh movie, I leave wanting to live my life through a rose-colored lens. I admire his ability to feel a spectrum of emotions (like sadness when he runs out of honey), but still end the day feeling positive. I’m forever grateful that Winnie the Pooh was created and that I can always look to Pooh for models of friendship and positivity.


I have read the book once, but I have seen the movie approximately one million times. I used to watch it every time I went to my Aunt Marla’s house and I never skip it if I scroll past it when channel surfing. It is one of my favorite movies of all time. If you have watched the movie and have not tried to tip over a glass with your mind, you are lying. But her powers are not the main thing that I look up to. I’ve always admired her intelligence and determination. Even though she didn’t have the greatest home life, she was able to dive into books and find other mentorships with people like the librarian and Ms. Honey in order to encourage her learning. She loved school. She actually pleaded to go to school. Sometimes I take for granted the fact that I get to go to college and get a quality education. I complain a lot, but if I take a step back and look at the big picture, I am incredibly lucky. She is a character who makes me look at the world that way. Also, I connect very strongly with her love of books. I bet she has fictional characters that she looks up to as well. I also admire her determination. She was not going to stop without making Ms. Trunchbull pay for the horrible things that she did. Even when others tried to stop her, she believed in herself and pushed forward. In the end, her belief in her goals and her follow-through allowed for everyone to have a much better life. When I watch this movie and think about this character it makes me want to dive into a book and accomplish my goals: both equally important for a happy life for me.

Phineas and Ferb

I haven’t watched this show in a long time. Probably not since I was in middle school, but these characters always made me want to try and do the impossible. These two characters are some of the most inventive and creative characters that I have come across. Their ability to start with an idea in their backyard and transform it into something spectacular was inspiring. They didn’t see anything as too big or too hard. They just did it. I love to write. But for a while now I have been having some sort of a creative block. It may be from stress or from my own anxieties. I’m not totally sure, but for whatever reason, no ideas are flowing. If an idea does come, it’s one that I don’t see ending up well. But characters like Phineas and Ferb wouldn’t just stop. They’d write those bad ideas out if there was even a .00000001 chance it would end up well. They wouldn’t just say “oh well” when writer’s block strikes, they would find a way or build some machine to solve that problem. Too often, I sit by and let things happen around me or ideas pass by without grabbing them because it seems impossible. But characters like these don’t see anything as impossible. They are definitely two characters who possess qualities I’m sometimes lacking.

Nancy Drew

I love this character with all of my heart. I read every Nancy Drew book when I was in elementary school, have played some of the computer games, and have seen the movie. I love the concept of a girl solving crimes with her own wit and strength. She possesses a fearlessness that I wish I had. As you know by now, I struggle with anxiety. I struggle in situations that are much less dire than the places Nancy ends up. She is always willing to jump into the unknown in order to help herself and others, but the unknown is what I fear most. It is what I struggle with coming to terms with on a day to day basis. I wish I had her fearlessness when it comes to diving in even if you aren’t certain it will turn out okay in the end. We aren’t God, so we have no idea what tomorrow brings. Or even what the next hour brings. However, that doesn’t mean that we should just sit in our comfortable bubble and never venture into anything that is uncertain. That is actually impossible. Not everything in life is a sure thing. Sometimes you have to take a deep breath and take a leap of faith. Nancy Drew did that in every book. Sometimes she got out of a sticky situation and learned valuable information that helped her crack the case, but other times she got hit by a bad guy and ended up in a worse position than she started. But she would always take the next case, no matter how difficult the previous one had been. She never let fear hold her back and that is something that I am actively trying to work on. Even just typing this paragraph makes me want to grab a copy and spend some time marveling at Nancy’s ability to walk into the fire. If you never read these books (which is insane to me that this might be the case), you need to. The books are fun but the character and character development that happens over the series is some of my favorite work by an author.

Pippi Longstocking

Last, but certainly not least, is Pippi Longstocking. Based on the mixed reaction I got the year I dressed up as her for Halloween, I would say she is a slightly less popular character than the ones listed above. Not as many people seem to have read these books. For me, she is a character that I have looked up to since the first chapter I read in elementary school. For those of you who don’t know, Pippi Longstocking is a little girl who lives on her own with her monkey and her horse. She has a unique look and a unique set of skills that lead her on a myriad of adventures including being in the circus and making burglars leave her house. The thing I have always admired about this character is her ability to be totally and completely herself without caring what anyone else thinks about her. I can be self-conscious sometimes even when I don’t want to be. I’m a little bit of a people pleaser and I don’t like to rock the boat. Pippi is not afraid of rocking the boat or being seen as different than everyone else. Her individuality is what makes her such a dynamic character. Owning who you are and being unafraid to show it to the world is something that I would love to do 100% of the time. Part of owning who you are is realizing you have flaws, which Pippi does. It is what makes her such a well written and well-rounded character. She will forever stand out in my mind as the most confident character I have come across.

All of these characters stand out for their own reasons. I love all of them for giving me examples of how to live my life better and to its fullest. I look forward to coming across many more influential characters in the future as I continue to devour books and movies. I want to know what characters you look up to! I think knowing someone’s top five can tell you a lot about them. Let me know in the comments below!

Rachel (: