Below are recommendations for flash fiction, novel, short story, micro-fiction, poetry, play, film, and  television. These are my own recommendations — meaning I have read or watched them and think you might enjoy them.  


"Sorry Dan, But It's No Longer Necessary for a Human to Serve as CEO of this Company" by Erik Cofer


My Rating: 10/10

At a glance, this title might evoke laughter, or maybe a slight chuckle. However, the more one thinks about it, the more it hits close to home. "Sorry Dan..." is a brilliant, ultra-witty take on what it might be like to have a robot assume a human CEO's role. Published in 2014, this flash fiction piece becomes more timely with each passing day.  


"Sugar" by Bernice L. McFadden 

Historical Fiction

My Rating: 9/10

A harrowing yet heartwarming story of an unlikely friendship between two very different women living in the gossip-ridden town of Bigelow, Arkansas during the 1940s. A number of sensitive issues are raised, including abuse, prostitution, and segregation — eliciting raw emotions. While not always an easy read, "Sugar" is consistently captivating.   


"The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe 

Horror Fiction

My Rating: 9/10

 "The Tell-Tale Heart" is one of the best psychological horror tales of all time. We're trapped inside the mind of what seems to be an insane narrator — but oh, what a view! It's eerie, taxing, and bewitching — with murder, madness, paranoia, rationalization, and ambiguity on full display. "The Tell-Tale Heart" is both ingenious and skillfully penned.


"Real" by Rhonda Shary 

A 100-Word Story

My Rating: 10/10

How do you tell an involving, provocative, well-rounded, and cohesive story in just 100 words? "Real" shows us how it's done. There's the intriguing Provincetown, the unyielding protagonist with a clear goal, and a clever plot that will have you wondering just what is real. In 100 words, "Real" achieves all of that and more.


"A Poem of Friendship" by Nikki Giovanni

My Rating: 10/10

Of all the poems Nikki Giovanni has crafted, I return to "A Poem of Friendship" the most. What's astounding about this piece is how simple it appears, when in reality, every line is profoundly thought provoking. Using figurative language, Giovanni effortlessly captures the breadth and depths of friendship. 


"Hamlet" by William Shakespeare

My Rating: 9/10

Utterly insightful observations of the human condition are hallmarks of this Shakespeare tragedy, in which the follies of mankind are a glorious sight to behold. Hamlet is an intelligently written play with a challenging protagonist, strong secondary characters, and striking juxtapositions between key characters.


"Amadeus" (1984)

Biographical History Drama

My Rating: 10/10

I unexpectedly fell in love with "Amadeus" on the first viewing. I expected lavish sets, ostentatious costumes, exquisite musical scores,  and fabulous acting — all of which I got. What I did not expect (but also got) was a potent, emotionally haunting character study depicting Mozart's talent and his rival's envy. "Amadeus" is a true masterpiece.   


"The Shield" (2002 - 2008)

Crime Drama

My Rating: 9/10

"The Shield" is an explosive, groundbreaking cop drama about power, friendship, greed, corruption, and betrayal of trust. The characters are nuanced, and morality is a running theme. At 7 seasons, the  show is long. However, the bold storytelling, complex characters, and devastatingly unforgettable series finale establish "The Shield" as more than just another cop drama.