cats-2When I was a little kid and my mother said, “You’re on my list,” it was scary. Now I’m more likely to hear that from a restaurant hostess and it’s a relief. There are all kinds of lists: to-do lists, grocery lists, even blacklists (one you don’t want to be on—check out the “Hollywood Ten“).

Lists can be a way of eliminating anxiety. When I feel pressured by all the things I’m supposed to be doing, making a list of tasks on a sheet of paper (yes, I still use paper) lifts a weight from my shoulders. Another way lists are useful is that once something is written down, it’s much more likely to get done rather than forgotten. And there is great pleasure in crossing off an item.

A popular trend in lists is the “Top Ten.” When I was learning about blogs and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), one of the tips was to write blogs with numbered lists. Apparently they’re irresistible. The internet is chock full of “Top Tens.” How about “10 Unexpected Benefits to Being a Psychopath?” Here’s a creepy one from that list: “Psychopaths are better surgeons.”

If you’re looking for good books to read this summer, the Publishers’ Weekly* staff has included these ten works of fiction in its 2016 summer reading list:

The Lonely by Andrew Michael Hurley
Wintering by Peter Geye
Allegheny Front by Matthew Neill Null
Everybody’s Fool by Richard Russo
Barkskins by Annie Proulx
The Heavenly Table by Donald Ray
Problems by Jade Sharma
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
Magnate by Joanna Shupe
The Girls by Emma Cline

 *I chose Publishers’ Weekly because of its status in the book world NOT because they wrote a very flattering review of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate. However, if you haven’t read it yet, add it to your Summer Reading List.




About Alexis

Alexis Rankin Popik, author of Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate, is an award-winning short story writer whose work has appeared in The Berkshire Review and Potpourri Magazine. She has penned numerous articles about local history that have been published in Connecticut Explored and the University of Connecticut School of Law and The Hartford Seminary publications. A former union organizer, Popik traveled the country educating shipyard workers about health and safety and founded a labor-management health plan before turning to writing fiction full-time. She lives with her husband in New England.
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