Awhile back, Kimberly asked for a few solid book recommendations, and without hesitation, I started rattling off a few recent titles in her comment section. I could've listed at least 15 good reads without coming up for air, but I stopped when I realized I haven't sat down to read a good novel in a few months, maybe longer, and this is extremely out of character for me.

As a kid, when summer break hit, all the kids in my neighborhood would play outside from dusk 'til dawn. No exaggeration here. We only went inside to eat, pee (confession: sometimes we just peed outside) or grab a different toy/game to play with. Every morning I would wake up anticipating the excitement that was waiting for me outside the walls of our house. But every morning my mom would lay out a list of academic work I had to finish before I could go out and play. She bought math and science workbooks with countless pages for me to complete, and every week I had to write a book report. YES, a book report. Do kids still do those these days? I haaaated it. There I was sitting on the couch in our living room, with a calculator in one hand and a Nancy Drew novel in the other, trying to survive the torture of hearing all the hopskotch and hide-and-seek fun I was missing on the other side of my front door, because none of the other kids' parents made them do schoolwork on a sunny afternoon in July. It was the bane of my pre-pubescent existence, but I forced my way through one book after another, just so I could finally go outside with my friends.

On days when there were no kids to play with and nothing entertaining to watch on TV, I'd approach my mom with a phrase she hated hearing: "I'm bored." Pretty soon I learned my lesson about that one, because she'd come up with a laundry list of things for me to do around the house. If I was still bored after that, she'd just tell me to read. Read, Baby. Read.

Well... twenty years later, here I am with this knack for reading that I just can't seem to shake. THANKS, MOM. I've had people look at me sideways for choosing a novel over some trending self-help book, but a good story sucks me in like a deep, sweet dream. I'm currently on my 3rd read of a Jurnot Diaz narrative because the tale was too captivating to only flip through once. That 3rd read, however, is taking me forever to finish. How am I supposed to get through these last few chapters when The Walking Dead, Scandal AND Nashville all have new episodes coming out every week?

If anybody has any kind of book recommendations, please please please drop it in the comments!