On Twitter, where brevity reigns supreme, I sum myself up as: Writer, educator, yogi, runner, general nerd & wearer of many metaphorical hats.

While that’s great place to start, a list of labels only gets you so far in learning about someone. In addition to the above, I…

  1. Work a day job in Student Affairs and teach two 100-level courses
  2. Fill my phone with pictures of Azula, my Blue Heeler puppy with a personality fitting her Avatar: The Last Airbender namesake a little too well
  3. Am originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, but currently live in Pittsburgh
  4. Love a good buffalo chicken…

Our weekly space to check-in on current and recent reads

Image created by the editor in Canva

Happy Wednesday, book friends! I am in denial that September is almost over, because that would mean it’s nearly October, which means that Winter is Coming.

As much as I enjoy a warm cup of tea and a snuggle under the blankets with a good book, I hate winter. I don’t do cold, and my clumsy tendencies mean if there’s even a hint of ice or snow, I’m liable to fall down. That means the treadmill for my runs and extra anxiety during dog walks. …

I had to write this review because I’m sad it’s over

Photo by the author, originally posted on Instagram

(Full disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

Okay, book friends. I can count the number of times that I’ve stayed up past my bedtime to finish a book on one hand. And after last night, I’m adding The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood to that list.

It started off innocently enough. I sat down around 7:30pm to read a little while, having started the book the night before. I’d been looking forward to digging back in all day but between apple picking, baking apple pie…

Digging into the past to thank my page-numbered friends

Photo by the author (originally posted to Instagram)

Since early in the pandemic, I’ve felt the tug of nostalgia. I’ve reread old books and replayed old video games, drawn by the comfort of a time when the world didn’t feel so scary and unpredictable.

That’s not to say the world wasn’t scary and unpredictable, of course. But I was young and privileged and lived so much inside my own head back then that it was easy to feel as though things weren’t so bad, really. …

If I’m being honest, it’s not them… it’s me

Photo by Richard Jaimes on Unsplash

Aside from that one summer when I listened to Serial and became obsessed with learning everything I could about Columbine, I’ve never cared much for true crime or mystery.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve avoided being scared on purpose. I got about two horror movies under my belt before I realized they’d send me into an anxious spiral and prevent falling asleep easily for weeks afterwards. If I watched, say, the Zac Efron movie about Ted Bundy, I’d wind up wide awake terrified to sleep next to my fiancé because, I mean, what if?

So when it comes…

Yet life expects me to carry on like normal

Photo by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash

Ever since that day in third grade when I first experienced them, I’ve ridden the monthly wave of menstrual cramps.

My cycles, even before being regulated by the pill, were as impeccably punctual as I am. They arrived on time each month with a few telltale signs and symptoms — increased likelihood to cry, a spike in anxiety, fatigue, and, of course, cramps.

I suppose, given this predictably, I shouldn’t be surprised my body decided to follow this same schedule when it comes to my chronic pain symptoms.

Now that my occipital neuralgia pain is fairly well managed with medication…

Guess who’s back, back again with a weekly space to chat about current reads?

Image created by the editor in Canva

Hello, Your Book Friend readers and pals! It’s your old buddy Amanda back at it again after a series of lovely guest posts for the past several weeks.

Labor Day weekend may be my favorite long weekend simply because it falls after the busiest time of the year for me personally — orientation leading right up into the first two weeks of the Fall semester. I work in Student Affairs and teach two first year courses in the Fall, so it’s always a bit of a whirlwind, in the best possible way. Well, mostly.

This year, I took an extra…

Destination wedding plus family drama, anyone?

Image created by the author in Canva, cover image courtesy of Goodreads

When I read the synopsis for All Are Welcome, I had two simultaneous reactions.

First, that it sounded like a “family with secrets” kind of story, which I don’t typically enjoy. Second, that it somehow still sounded like a book I’d like to read.

So, I downloaded a digital ARC (thanks, NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing!) and set it aside for the next time I felt like reading outside my comfort zone. After all, some of my favorite reads have come from outside my typical memoir and romance boxes.

The time for one of those reads came during a somewhat…

And it wasn’t fair of me to expect it to be

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

(Full disclosure: Links to specific books are affiliate links, and Your Book Friend may earn a small commission if you choose to purchase. Thanks for your support!)

Before we begin, I should get two things out in the open.

One, I spent the majority of my teens reading and rereading all that Meg Cabot had on offer.

And two, the Disney film based on — ahem, loosely inspired by — The Princess Diaries is one of my favorite nostalgic self-care movies.

So, when I read the synopsis for Emiko Jean’s Tokyo Ever After, I couldn’t help but think to myself…

Mini-reviews and recommendations to pump up your TBR

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

August is always a hectic time of year in education, and as a student affairs professional, it’s a wild ride. This year in particular has been challenging due to some changes in staffing and weather-related snaffus, yet we’ve arrived to September all the same!

My courses are underway and the students are here, and life feels a bit closer to what it used to be… aside from the fact that we’re all still wearing masks indoors, of course.

Naturally, August is a slow reading month for me, but I’m still here bringing a few gentle recommendations from the books I…

Amanda Kay Oaks

Pittsburgh-based writer & wearer of many metaphorical hats. Making words about self, health, books, travel, and more! She/her.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store