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Have you ever wanted to quit your job and go travel the world? At 25 years old Stephanie Yoder was already fed up with the monotony of 9-5 life. After much agonizing, she quit her stable desk job to backpack around Asia. During a year of travel through Japan, China and South East Asia she became a minor Chinese celebrity, was attacked by giant parrots and met the love of her life. In A Year Without Make-Up, Yoder chronicles some of her craziest adventures along with providing helpful tips and encouragement for others looking to make a life change.
Young Americans is the first full collection from one of the most interesting new voices in contemporary American poetry. Funny, honest, self-aware, relatable, in these poems Jordan Castro gives a voice to a generation, the perfect evocation of what it means to be alive “right now”. Or something.
We go to happy hour every day after work — does this mean we’re alcoholics, or just frugal? We spend way too much time online — are we wasting our lives away, or being social the only way we know how? We also have one night stands, commitment issues, and kind of hate dating. Are we destined to be involved with the wrong people until the end of time, or just until the end of our 20s? Does anyone have a Xanax? “How To Be A 20-Something” is a collection of nineteen hilarious, sad, and often cathartic personal essays and stories written by and for 20-somethings.
A popular question in philosophy is “How do I know I exist?” That seems really boring though. How about, “How can I use logic to get over my ex?” If you really love wisdom, you love it in all situations — you don’t need to be spoonfed unsolved problems in philosophy, because you’re already analyzing the US Weekly you’re reading or your kinda significant other. Sarah Heuer and Chrissy Stockton are writers living in Minneapolis who are determined to do something more interesting with their philosophy degrees than talk about dead white guys. PhiLOLZophy: Critical Thinking in Digestible Doses helps its readers think critically about vodka, religion and sex — proving that brains do have more fun.
Cody Gohl spent his childhood in Texas dreaming of travelling the world. He gorged on the works of the Lost Generation, spent nights dreaming of what it would be like to escape his small suburb and set off on an adventure that would take him swerving through Europe’s great cities. He finally got the chance during his junior year at college when he left everything he knew behind to study and live in Madrid. He expected to find himself, his true self, the self of manic poetry and cathedrals, of late night drags off a communal cigarette on the steps of a shadowed metro stop. However this is not what he found. In A Slow Moving Something, Gohl explores themes of loss, frustration and alienation in order to interrogate what it truly means to be an American student living abroad. This is a memoir in flashes, snapshots, in cracks of light and bulb—the essays and poetry in this collection serve to chronicle the ways in which he unraveled his romantic conceptions of what he thought Madrid and Europe should be in order to embrace and accept the beautifully gritty realities of the life he found in Madrid.
As the universe nears its end, the fabric of reality collapses into temporal mush, and dinosaurs, robots, and historical figures spontaneously appear across the planet. Meanwhile, David, a college dropout, is inundated with time displaced versions of his ex-girlfriend who keeps appearing at his house. How do you move on when you’re stuck in the past?
Being a lesbian doesn’t come natural to everyone. That’s what Erika Kleinman learned during her sexual awakening in 1990s Seattle, when she began dating a host of butch women who were all too willing to show her the ropes. My Life as a Dyke recounts Kleinmans’ relationships with candor and humor while making one thing clear: no matter who you’re interested in, dating can be a nightmare.
There is a small town in all of our hearts; regardless of our birthplace, it exists there. The satisfying angst of first love, the bittersweet pain of dashed hopes, the persistence of cast-iron aspirations — they all reside in that non-physical interior location. This one is called Applewood. And in Applewood, the most poignant moments of life can also be the most hilarious: pools will explode, cakes will be made from breasts, kisses spring forth unexpectedly, and teenagers won’t stop running.
We’re in a Beyoncé moment. The pop sensation has more fans, more fame, and more cultural influence than ever before. But what makes her so iconic? Is she really that perfect? And why do we love her so much? How to Be Beyoncé isn’t a biography (mostly because nobody wants to get sued by someone who does everything so perfectly). Instead, it’s a meditation on her place in culture, why we love her so much, and what we can learn from her image and work-ethic so we can reach our own potential.
40 million people in the US have tried Internet dating, which means 40 million people have probably gone on some pretty crappy dates. Not a Match: My True Tales of Online Dating Disasters is about one guy who experienced more than his fair share. Brian Donovan, a writer and comedian whose work has appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, NPR and Chapelle’s Show, has been on over 100 Internet dates in a genuine search for love and happiness. Instead what he found was a whole lot of crazy. Like the girl who couldn’t stop crying, or the one who caught on fire, or the girl who confronted him on national TV. Whether he likes it or not, Donovan has become an expert on Internet dating, and Not a Match is a collection of the stories, lessons, and advice he learned along the way. Perfect for any dater, Internet or otherwise, who has ever looked across the table and thought, “Wow, we are really not a match.”
Sick of feeling heartbroken over her most recent breakup and underwhelmed by the rest of her life, Tiffany Peón decided to embark on a social experiment. Over the course of one year, she used fourteen different online dating sites including Craigslist, speed dating and The Atlasphere, a site for fans of Ayn Rand. Through drunken interactions with strangers, she learned the ins and outs of the online dating world and eventually found her way back to the relationship that started it all.
Rob Black is a college junior who, through a strange and debilitating series of events, has come to believe that he is a prophet. Rob is actually in the beginning stages of schizophrenia, a serious chronic illness that will, in time, begin to define who he is. In this account of his initial episode and descent into delusion, he will come face to face with what it means to, not only exist on the fringes of society, but to change the lives of others who exist there as well. Based on a true story.
These poems and letters are inspired by, but not limited to, the following: Scream 1-3, Dazed and Confused, Ving Rhames, New Jersey, living in your parent’s basement, Dirty Dancing, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Scott Pilgrim, and Marvel Comics from 1991-2000, having no job, having a job you hate, the vague notion that we’re in a perpetual state of moving on, the gross, Big-Gulp-esque consumption of pop-culture, hanging out at the mall, and in-stores at Vintage Vinyl from 2002-2004.
Mary & Kate & Ashley & Peter & Paul & Mary is 22,222 words long and the protagonist is actor Peter Gallagher. According to the protagonist, this is a novel about inventing a cult and a language with only your eyes. The 57-year-old and beloved OC father tries his hand in writing “the next great American novel for millennials,” sponsored by Lacoste Live! This novel is about future-tech, dystopia, millennial writers, and lots of other things, too. Mary & Kate & Ashley & Peter & Paul & Mary wishes it were Spring Breakers or Super Sad True Love Story or Peter Gallagher. This novel is a love story.
Illegal immigrant Adam Humphreys is forced to abandon his cosmopolitan lifestyle for remote bush camps in Northern Canada for one summer in order to earn money. Will he return to New York and his girlfriend? Or will he spend the rest of his days… in purgatory?
Number 24 is a collection of stories based on true accounts of an Asian-American girl’s encounters with American assimilation, racism, friendship, and sex. It simultaneously reaffirms the importance of age as well as the insignificance of it: how the world has little regard to whether one is too young or not to handle its tribulations. Number 24 offers an uncensored and, at times, immature perspective of survival, and recovery.
Nashville is the account of a weekend trip to that city, addressed in the second person to the narrator’s travel companion. The weekend is a complete world unto itself. Between bouts of binge drinking, the duo discuss politics, aesthetics, sex, commerce, and the trajectory of civilization. An early 2000s snapshot of two men in their mid-20s mining the American landscape for innocence and experience.
You know the phrase “sugar, spice and everything nice?” Well, this collection of essays and lists is more like self-conscious, awkward and everything relatable. Christopher Hudspeth is a writer in Tucson, Arizona. He created the pop culture blog-to-book Things 90s Kids Realize and has been featured on College Humor and HuffPost Comedy. “I Love Life, I Just Wish I Were Better At It: The Best Of Christopher Hudspeth, Vol. 1″ is a collection of his most relevant, self-deprecating, and neurotic writings on Thought Catalog.
A story about being young and compulsive, “The Stoned Age” follows a twenty-something narrator’s attempt to quit smoking pot and clear his head. Living in funky Tucson, Arizona, his multiple attempts at sobriety fail, so he enrolls in a drug treatment group and discovers his other problem: cultural perceptions. As a fellow rehab patient tells Dave Chappelle’s character in the movie Half Baked: “You in here ’cuz of marijuana? …Man, this is some bullshit!” Which is exactly the author’s dilemma: if cannabis sativa is so harmless, why can’t he quit smoking it?
“You come for the sand, and you leave with the crabs.” That warning would have been helpful if it had been given to Snowden Wright before he decided to spend a few months living at the beach. Written in discrete vignettes that coalesce into a single narrative arc, “How to Get the Crabs” explores the virtue of narrative itself, how sometimes recounting events can be more edifying than living them. Wright undergoes travails that include a weekend getaway at an expensive hotel, the loss of his virginity, and a torturous but redemptive encounter with pubic lice. Those stories and others combine to provide a unique answer to the question, “Is something bugging you?”
Downton Abbey has brought out the Anglophile in American fans of the hit TV series. But Anglophilia has a long history in America. Why are some native-born residents of our Shining City Upon a Hill, where All Men Are Created Equal, seduced by the fluting tones of manor-born privilege? At last, Anglophilia explained — in American, thank you.
While on vacation in the Pennsylvania mountains with his wife and three-year-old son, Matthew Newton receives a voice mail from his employer. “Please call back as soon as you can,” says the man’s voice on the message. When Matthew returns the call he learns that he no longer has a job. And by the time he hangs up, a new reality has emerged: Life without work. As Matthew frets about survival and the next best steps for his family, he also discovers that he doesn’t miss the job that he just lost. In fact, the news of his layoff is accompanied by an overwhelming sense of relief. As the months of unemployment wear on, however, Matthew also learns that it’s difficult to build a better future while dwelling on the misfortune of the past.
After a stint living and working in Korea, Nebraska native Bart Schaneman sets out on a quest to live deliberately and with strength and purpose before returning to the States and figuring out what to do with his life and his writing. The only constant, his copy of The Idiot, Bart meets many eclectic characters along the way, themselves young travelers like him, and together they share adventures and experiences against the breathtaking backdrops of China, Mongolia and Russia. “Trans-Siberian” is a sparkling travel memoir, full of flavor and spirit.
What do shipwrecks, college slums, bisexuals, and Blink 182 have in common? Gaby Dunn. Gaby is a writer, journalist, and comedian in New York City whose work has appeared everywhere from ROOKIE to New York Times Magazine. “Maybe In Another Universe: The Best of Gaby Dunn, Vol. 1” is a collection of her most humorous, poignant, and touching essays to appear on Thought Catalog.
In high school Evan attends a bonfire with his best friend Dylan and his soon-to-be obsession Amber. A week later the two most important people in his life are gone: Amber moves out of state and Dylan’s parents send him to “The Camp,” a fundamentalist Christian rehab center designed “to scare the other Adam out of him.” Years later, Evan returns home for his father’s funeral where he finds Amber visiting for a few days and Dylan a few doors away, uncured and unhinged. All three are invited to a second bonfire—a chance to remake the past or realize the risks in becoming ambassadors to it.
Are you ever going to find The One? Does she look like her online dating profile pic? Is he really into you, or is he just playing games? And what did that text even mean? Love is so confusing. But one thing’s certain — everyone’s addicted. We’re lonely when it’s not around, and can’t get enough when we finally find it. “How To Tell If Somebody Loves You” explores our back-and-forth relationship with love through a collection of 18 funny, sad, and life-affirming personal essays on dating, sex, random hook-ups, fiery flings, and serious relationships.
The first time Ryan O’Connell had anal sex, he pooped on his partner. This was NOT on his “first time having sex” agenda. In this hilarious and often cringeworthy exposé, Ryan debunks some myths about anal sex and the supposed illustrious sex lives of gay men. Drawing from his own experiences, he dismisses some of the gay stereotypes that have been perpetuated by the mainstream media, including the idea that gay men are soulless sex machines who are immune to having bad sex.
Asked anonymously over the internet by today’s troubled youth, questions concerning relationships, dating, sex, depression, emotional problems, popular culture, and education/career choices are perilously answered by Jimmy Chen, who emphatically offers suspect advice — at once sarcastic, brutally honest, unabashed, but ultimately in empathy —from a place of inner turmoil, manic plight, and spiritual darkness.
Michelle is beautiful, outgoing, and most importantly, she’s interested. Shouldn’t this be enough? In this true story of love and dating in New York City, a smitten young man tries to make it work with a woman who has “great catch” written all over her. If only it were that simple. “The Story of Michelle” is a witty, honest and elegant parable for today’s society; it will resonate with anyone who’s gone out looking for love and come up empty handed.
In 2012, the internet can screw you over in myriad ways, but nothing is more painful than getting over a breakup when your ex’s new life without you is always just one click away. “Breaking Up In The Digital Age” explores themes of love and loss set to the backdrop of a Facebook page. It is not natural for people to know the exact moment their ex gets into a new relationship. It is not natural for someone to be able to see photos of their ex’s new lover eating a taco on the beach. Our brains were not built to sustain this kind of information. Breaking up has always been hard to do — now, thanks to the internet, it’s more difficult than ever.
Public school is a daunting, tedious, occasionally bloody experience shared by millions of students, current and former. Classroom fights, incompetent teachers, sex in bathrooms, rigid social castes — it’s shocking most of us graduated able to read. “Take Out Your Earrings Before You Fight” takes a dry, witty look at all the things you learn — and everything you don’t — while slogging through the K–12 system.
A novelette about a nihilistic young man from New York City, “Going Down South” depicts an isolated and apathetic way of navigating life and romance in a way that will resonate with most Millennials. When Jared Steinfarb decides that his life in Brooklyn has grown too dissolute, he moves in with an old friend from college who is studying to be a minister in Nashville, Tennessee. There, he meets Sylvia, an earnest Christian girl from the Midwest — she becomes an opportunity for his depravity to reach new depths, as Jared finds that his lecherous nature has followed him down south.
“The New Age Camp” camp depicts the clumsy awkwardness and fragile self-discovery that being a teenager is all about. When Chloe, a young woman from New York State, takes a summer job working at a camp for teens in Upstate New York, she has no idea what she’s in for. And maybe that’s a good thing. With a humor that is by turns self-deprecating and candidly critical of the world around her, Chloe describes a summer of Reiki healing, menstrual moon cycle charts, trance dances, junk food, borrowed clothes, teen girl angst, and ultimately emotional growth. Not just for the teens in her charge, but for Chloe herself.
Two ex-pats with an ambiguous relationship return from Japan and reunite in New York for a week of beers and bad attitudes. LJ and Dennis care deeply for each other but are also involved with other lovers. Written in a series of vignettes that unfold across New York and New Jersey, “The Moon Hangs Like a Stupid Mistake” will resonate with anyone who has been in an unconventional relationship.
An excruciatingly honest, unapologetic account of reckless alcoholism, “Drinking and Driving” is one young man’s account of reaching rock bottom behind the wheel. Oliver Miller believes all he needs to be happy is a full tank of gas and a bottle of brand-name booze. It will take him years of false starts, shattered glass, doctors’ offices, dingy halfway houses, fights and slurred phone calls to anyone who’ll pick up to realize that drinking and driving brings him everything but happiness. His story will resonate with anyone who’s ever questioned their own drinking or known someone who has — which, today, is just about everyone.
In these 14 stories, set in England, the Middle East, and across the United States, characters fall in and out of love and lust. A comedian wrestles with his newfound fame as he attempts to commit to one woman for more than a few weeks. An American family takes in a wayward Brit to fill its emptying nest. A young woman dwells on an affair with a reticent older man. Two friends fresh out of college take an extended island vacation in the hopes of putting off the future. And a man is inspired to rekindle his marriage, but only after cheating on his wife.
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