Casey’s Notable Books of 2017

I am a huge reader… I think everyone has figured that out by now. Since the year 2005, I have recorded every book I read in a given year into a notebook (I’ve only just recently put these lists into a Word document). I have no idea why I started to do that, but I’m really glad that I did. It helps me keep track of what I’ve read and allows me to offer up recommendations for friends and family looking for a vacation book suggestion (It also comes in handy in my job at Amazon Books).

Last year, I read 62 titles, one of my highest numbers since early high school (those were the days for recreational reading, am I right?) Since quite a few people have been interested in what I’ve been reading, especially the books I’ve given the gold star of approval, I’ve decided to give you my list of favorite books I read in 2017.

DISCLAIMER: Yes, I realize this post is coming about three months and a half months too late, but hey! Getting back into writing is hard, but luckily, there’s never a wrong time to talk about books. 🙂

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25 *BLEEPING* Terrifies Me

It is official. I, Casey Marie Brown, am 25 years old. I have lived a quarter of a century. Wow, the time flies, doesn’t it?!

Among the very heartfelt messages I received from friends and family on the big day, one stuck out to me. My best friend Emily said, “Don’t be scared of 25—I know it’s going to be a great one for you!” She didn’t just say this to be the supportive friend she is; she knew that this birthday was weighing heavily on me.

The truth is, for the last couple of months, the thought of turning 25 absolutely terrified me.

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Why I Stopped Writing (And Why I’m Starting Again)

It is February 12th. We’re nearly a month and a half into the new year. Some of us are still going strong with our resolutions. Some of us have tweaked or even given up on certain resolutions. As for me, I’m just starting.

Even though there are countless internet articles that argue for it, I forwent writing my resolutions down this year. I did that last year. I neatly printed my resolutions in the Moleskin notebook I always carry with me. I only had two: 1) Take a comedy writing class, and 2) Run the Marvel Superhero 10k at Disneyland. By the time I got out of my 60-plus-hour-a-week job, I had already planned to leave LA, so resolution #1 was a bust. As for resolution #2, moving home made it impossible to return for the race. So, Casey’s Resolutions for 2017 were a wash.

This year, I didn’t write their resolutions down. I didn’t want to feel pressure to complete anything by year end. The last couple of years have been filled with enough pressure for me. But I do have an idea of the things I want to do this year: Finish my upcoming 5k in under 30 minutes, Try to get to 100 books read in the year (a yearly goal I’ve had for a long time), Become better at keeping in touch/making plans with people (since I’m pretty terrible at it), Actively work towards happiness and relaxation.

Most of all, I want to get back into writing, particularly writing here on my blog.

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Requiem for a Race

Today, I was supposed to be back in sunny California. I was supposed to get up tomorrow at the ungodly hour of 3AM, pull on my blue spandex with matching star-adored baseball cap and take to on the Thor 10k with the running fiends and Marvel fanatics as Captain America. I couldn’t wait the heroic overtures of the marathon’s official Spotify playlist to keep me going until the finish line, where I would collect that shining Thor medal, a token of five months’ diligent training.

However, due to a myriad of circumstances, the biggest being it’s astronomically expensive to get back to California, I will not be there. And it bothers me that I won’t be there. I get a pit in my stomach every time I get an email whose subject reads “Review these Last Race Day Reminders” or the runDisney Instagram story refreshes with new glimpses into the race decor or the merch tent.

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Casey Takes Route 66, Day 5: Meet Me in St. Louis

With my longest day behind me, the excitement was building: only three days until I’d be reunited with my parents in South Bend, IN. And the stops between Joplin and South Bend were my most exciting yet: St. Louis, MO and Chicago, IL.

I got up and was anxious to get to St. Louis, because it would be my only destination where I would be receiving a personalized guided tour, courtesy of my mom’s cousins, Kathy and Karen.

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Casey Takes Route 66, Day 3: Take It Easy

Day 3 started off strong, because according to the beautiful itinerary Mom crafted for the trip, I didn’t have to leave Flagstaff, AZ until noon, which allowed for a major sleep in. Did I sleep in? Of course not! By 10AM, I was fed, showered, dressed, had published two blog posts and was itching to get on the road.

In my pre-departure phone call with Mom, she reminded me to enjoy the journey. It’s so easy to think about getting to the next destination and forgetting that driving through this country, exploring its features big and small, might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I can’t take for granted. With her wise words in mind, I hopped into my trusty steed George and headed east!

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