Melissa Ragsdale is a writer, comedian, and professional book nerd. Born and raised in Austin, TX, she received her B.A. in English from the University of Texas. You can usually find her with a nose stuck in a book.
Latest Articles

This Quote From Amy Poehler's Book Is A Must-Read For Anyone Who's Overwhelmed By Their Job

When I picked up Amy Poehler's Yes Please, I felt deeply insecure about my career. I had recently graduated from college and moved to New York City to pursue my Big City Dream of working in the publishing industry. Instead, I split my time between an…
By Melissa Ragsdale

This Book Is A Must-Read For Everyone Who Needs Help Getting Through Their To-Do List

I am all too familiar with the specific, morbid feeling that I'm going to be physically crushed to death by the emails in my inbox. I realize this is not possible. They don't exist in physical form. But that's how it feels — it's overwhelming spiritu…
By Melissa Ragsdale

9 Books The President Needs To Read, From 'Between The World & Me' To 'I Am Malala'

It's been more than a year since Donald Trump became president, and in that time, he has shown a phenomenal distaste for reading of any kind. Recent reports claim that he doesn’t read his top-secret intelligence reports. Full Frontal with Samantha Be…
By Melissa Ragsdale

These 7 Characters In Harry Potter Are Problematic AF & No One Talks About It

As Sirius Black says in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, "the world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters." A person can be a "good guy" or "on the right side" and still exhibit behavior that is toxic in other ways. So while it's ea…
By Melissa Ragsdale

This Kids' Fantasy Series Is Still Essential Reading For Women In Male-Dominated Fields

There’s a lot of advice to be found in books for women who work in male-dominated workplaces: lean in, be a girlboss, find your magic, etc. But, to be honest, I learned the most about working in male-dominated spaces from books I read while I was sti…
By Melissa Ragsdale

11 Books About True Love That Will Make You Seriously Believe In Fate

Do you believe in true love? Fate? Destiny? Love at first sight? With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, love is certainly in the air. It’s time to dust off your inner romantic, and do a little reading on that special something that makes the …
By Melissa Ragsdale

11 Love Poems That Will Describe How You're Feeling Better Than You Can

OK, Valentine's Day is right around the corner, which means it's time to buy a card... and find a way to express how you really feel about your partner in that card. There's no time like the present to tell someone how much you care about them, but i…
By Melissa Ragsdale

15 Valentine's Day Gifts For The Diehard Harry Potter Fan In Your Life

Love is everywhere in Harry Potter — from the powerful magic Lily invokes when she protects Harry, to all the drama that unfolds between Harry and his eventual wife, Ginny. Sure, the books are about good vs. evil and all that, but there's honestly so…
By Melissa Ragsdale

21 Seriously Swoonworthy Quotes From Books To Use In Your Valentine's Day Cards

It's nearly Valentine’s Day 2018, and the air is sizzling with sweetness. It’s time to say "be mine" to your very own Valentine, whether they’re your secret crush, your platonic best friend, or your long-term partner. Valentine's Day is all about tel…
By Melissa Ragsdale

11 Romantic Books Even The Most Cynical Readers Will Fall In Love With

Listen, I'm just about as cynical as you can get about Valentine's Day. I moan and whine and complain about how it's a made-up holiday. I scowl at couples who walk by me hand-in-hand. I scoff at the flower and chocolate deliveries. But, if I'm being …
By Melissa Ragsdale

15 Valentine's Day Gifts For Readers That Aren't More Books

It’s February already, and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Which — yikes! — means you probably need to buy a Valentine's Day gift that shows your special someone just how much you care about them. I know: It’s a lot of pressure. But don’t…
By Melissa Ragsdale

The 15 Best Fiction Books Of February Feature Tons Of Extraordinary Women

When the cold winds of February blow in, there's nothing I want more than to hide under my covers with a good book. Luckily, there's more than a few fantastic new fiction books coming out this month, so the only tough decision you'll have to make is …
By Melissa Ragsdale

This Murakami Book Was Missing A Single Page — & It Changed How I Feel About Reading

On a recent trip to Tokyo, I opened a drawer in my Airbnb to discover a copy of Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. At the time, I had been on a bit of a Murakami streak, and I had decided just a few days before that the book I wanted to read next…
By Melissa Ragsdale

The 11 Books I Read When I Need A Little Break From The Daily Grind

It's 2018, and I think everyone can agree that real life is pretty hard lately. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is escape into a good book. In books, you can be anything and go anywhere. You can let the problems of the real world me…
By Melissa Ragsdale

Why The Miscarriage Story In This Comic Series Is So Revolutionary

Eight-limbed bounty hunters, robot aristocrats, teenage ghost baby-sitters — in the dazzling universe of Saga, anything is possible. The comic series by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples is bursting with imaginative worlds and passionate characters.…
By Melissa Ragsdale

Snape Isn't A Hero, And Harry Potter Fans Need To Stop Acting Like He Is

The #MeToo and Time's Up movements have sparked many necessary, public conversations about consent and rape culture in the last few months, and it's high-time for everyone to talk about the fact that Professor Snape is problematic as hell. While some…
By Melissa Ragsdale

These 13 Harry Potter Accessories Are So Subtle Only A True Fan Will Notice Them

If there's one thing Harry Potter fans love, it's Harry Potter merchandise — bedsheets, pillows, posters, wine glasses, clothing, backpacks, necklaces. You name it, someone sells it, and you can buy it right now. But what if you want to keep things …
By Melissa Ragsdale

The 11 Most Profound & Heartbreaking Harry Potter Quotes About Grief

Whenever I'm feeling lost, I turn to the Harry Potter series for guidance. I grew up reading these books, and I have turned to them for comfort for almost my entire life. To me, these books are an excellent example of why children's books need to sho…
By Melissa Ragsdale

These Ursula K. Le Guin Quotes Will Inspire You To Read Everything She's Ever Written

Fantasy and science fiction icon Ursula K. Le Guin has just died at the age of 88. Every fantasy and science fiction reader knows Le Guin's name, even if they have yet to read her work. The author of acclaimed titles such as The Left Hand of Darkness…
By Melissa Ragsdale

9 Books That Got Their Start As Fanfiction, Blogs, Or Columns

Despite the Twitter feuds and fake news, the internet is actually kind of a paradise for writers and readers alike. Never has their ever been a medium that allowed people to create and share their work with such ease. As a '90s kid, I grew up right …
By Melissa Ragsdale