The Best Things We Read In 2016

This year has had its ups and downs, the downs being more recent in our memories, but there were also a multitude of excellent stories told this year. We’ve read a number of articles, books, magazines, etc. this year and have compiled a list of some of the best this year had to offer. There were stories that took us to a galaxy far, far away and stories that hit close to home and helped us connect with ourselves and the ever-changing world around us.

What I Know

Rosanna Tasker – Lenny Letter

In March, New York Times best-selling author Jessica Knoll shared the story of the real rape informing her debut novel Luckiest Girl Alive (which is also one of the best thing’s I’ve read this year).  Her essay is real, powerful, and necessary. I don’t think a line of text has ever resonated with me more than the final line of her piece: “I’m not fine. It’s not fine. But it’s finally the truth, it’s what I know, and that’s a start.” 



Star Wars: Ahsoka

 

Star Wars: Ahsoka is one of the newest  Star Wars texts this year and is the first book in the canon to feature the former Jedi apprentice to Anakin Skywalker. The story, written by E.K. Johnston, focuses on Ahsoka’s time after the fall of the Republic.  For any fan of Star Wars Rebels or Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this book shares the story of how our favorite padawan became Fulcrum, the informant for the Resistance. 

Scrappy Little Nobody

Anna Kendrick’s collection of essays, Scrappy Little Nobody, was released in November of this year. It is a hilarious and charming account of her time in the business so far. She has written this book in the same authentic and candid voice that can be found on her Twitter. It was a joy to read!




The Princess Diarist 

The final memoir written by the late Carrie Fisher is by far one of my favorites from 2016.  The entire text focuses on Carrie’s reflections on and personal diaries surrounding her time filming the original Star Wars film, now known as A New Hope. She also speaks about bringing her iconic role back to the big screen in The Force Awakens.  Ms. Fisher, in her outstanding way, maintains her usual frank, witty humor throughout the text.  Many times, I found myself hearing her voice in my mind telling the story (Of course, you can actually hear her tell the story through the audiobook). – Sarah

Marcia Clark is Redeemed

via: NY Mag

The People v. O.J. Simpson was one of the biggest television events of the season and has garnered high critical praise and industry awards for best television mini-series and its leading actors.  The major appeal of the show was the sensational nature of O.J. Simpson’s trial and one of the best performances of the television season was Sarah Paulson’s portrayal of Marcia Clark.  I loved reading Rebecca Traister’s piece detailing how the show has helped the “90’s bogeywoman… become a feminist icon.”

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Review: Felicia Ricci’s Unnaturally Green

Felicia Ricci’s amazing memoir reveals some of the workings of the Broadway musical Wicked.  She allows the reader to see the audition process for the show, experiences with behind-the-scenes work of the show (i.e. costume, hair, make-up), and her personal life throughout her time with the show.  
Now, if you are wondering exactly who she is…that’s okay.  Unfortunately, I had never heard of her until I got the book.  However, I have to say that I’m glad I discovered her!  If you have time, check out these youtube videos I found of her performing numbers from Wicked.  
Felicia Ricci graduated with a BA in English from Yale University, but her passion was performing.  She had had very little professional experience, only having really performed in some non-professional stuff.  She even notes in the book that she got her agent by sending emails to different possible agents (with a compilation video of some of her performances at Yale), and only two responded.  She proceeded to do regional work until she got her break as the Elphaba stand-by in the San-Francisco company of Wicked.  
One thing that I love about this book is that there are no boundaries within the writing.  Felicia does not restrict herself as she tells the story.  She was already the understudy for Elphaba in San Francisco when she auditioned for the stand-by role.  She tells that after her stand-by audition, the week-long wait also took a strain on her physical health…I won’t disgust you with the details, but she will.  
I love how she discusses her experiences with the songs of the show.  One chapter is titled, “Songs of Death, or, Meet Eden Espinosa.”  If you know Eden’s works and have heard her sing, then you know that is the truth!  
As I said, this book is perfect for any Broadway or Wicked lover! So, go take a peek into the magical world of Wicked with Felicia Ricci.

Felicia’s Youtube Channel
Felicia Ricci
Wicked’s Official Website