Posted in books, goals, literature, writing

On books and writing

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” –

-Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

I’d like to believe that those of you reading this actually enjoy reading. Possibly you spend a good deal of time reading even. Maybe you just got some new audiobooks (yes, these can count).

Or maybe not. It could be that you are failing in reading and you don’t seem to fathom why. “But I used to love reading!” is what you tell people. “I can’t seem to find the time to read these days.” Oh, so that’s what we’re going with then.

Don’t worry, I have also done this but I know that it does nothing to make me read. If I want to read, no one is stopping me from picking up a book and reading it. I love to get lost in a great story. It reminds you of the wonderful writers, most of who are unknown, that have not given up on their dream. If they haven’t, who says you should?

Sure, you might say you don’t want to write but you could change your mind one day. You might do something amazing and people will pay you great sums to write a memoir. Maybe they’ll make a movie about your life that is then not your life anymore. Anyway, a bit of a far reach but just know that you cannot stop trying because it might be too hard.

Besides anyone can self-publish, as anyone who writes on WordPress or other blogs knows though the likelihood of writing the “Next Great American Novel” is probably not achieved through your own means. As much as you might try.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read. Thanks for remembering that “hey, reading isn’t so bad after all!” That’s right, it’s not so bad. How, about we all try doing more of it?

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Posted in books, goals, lists

Food, music and books

I feel like talking about food. This is a weird thing to want to do, especially considering but alas. I run out of blog ideas rather quickly, but I love to write and the need to keep this thing updated nags at me. It’s not a chore to blog, though but more of a thing that I gotta do. Like, talking to an old friend. That doesn’t talk back. Which is fine really, since most people don’t text me back anyway. So to the internets, I go!

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gif source via FourFiveSeconds music video (retrieved from giphy)

 

Food

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When it comes to food, there are types of food I like. There are types I do not like. Then there are foods that make me wonder why I bothered to eat them. Is water food? No, but it is when it’s weirdly flavoured (yes, I know not really but stop ruining my post ok). So, food is good when it’s clean, which translates to organic or raw. If it has that handy USDA certified or the GMO project label then it’s all good. The fruits are good. They all have different things they do for your body. The same dealio with vegetables. Then we like to eat carbs and not carbs. But, some carbs are good and some are bad? Yes, this is correct. We eat Italian, Mexican, Thai, Indian, and noodles. And rice. Then, mac and cheese. There is no particular order to anything, it’s just food and it just goes in your mouth. But, wait you should know where it comes from! Yeah, be an enlightened food eater. That’s called being a foodie, you know. Or something like that.

Music

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There are good kinds, there are terrible kinds. There is country, rock, pop, popcorn, cheese, robots, robots yelling over a lawnmower, robots doing this in a dance club, Flo-Rida, bouncy balls, screaming cats, and soft bells. It’s all music. There is music for Christmas. No not really for other holidays, only Christmas. Research on why is still pending but probably relates to something called holidays and tradition. Like anything else, you either like something or you don’t. Most of us like at least some of that thing called music. We also want everyone to know about our disliked music for some reason also. So music. It’s everywhere. It’s in your ears. In your mind and a part of your everyday.

Books

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All kinds. All genres. Anyone anywhere can pick up a book in any language and just start reading. Lose yourself quite easily within the pages of a book. So many pages to lose yourself (please pick a good book of fair length). In the age of ebooks, audiobooks, and the no-actual reading generation books still exist. They have always been there and will always be there. You can always count on books, just go into some independent bookstore somewhere and walk around. Books are a different kind of magic that some people will feel but only true book-lovers will understand and cherish. I hope that all people feel this at some point in their life (I’ll always feel this way about books, btw). Don’t just read books, love them too.

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So if you want to be random, just go ahead and be random. No one is going to tell you that being random is wrong. Because it is not. It is fine as long as you know when to stop the absurdity. Actually, you know what just continue on. Just continue breezing along, my friend. Have a great day.

Thanks for making it down here 🙂

 

 

 

Posted in books, goals, literature, reading

The joy of reading books

Effortless. Flawless. Perfect.

That’s what she wanted to be. That’s how she saw herself when she walked the halls of this place. People loved her here. They thought she was royalty. They had no idea.

In a place where few people understand one another, the silent author finds solace in knowing that she will always be revered in the library. Readers will always have your back.

***

There’s a thing about books that makes me want to keep reading them. I’ve read so many books and I still have so many that I want to read. There are so many books that I think I would like then start reading and decide I do not. The way that libraries makes me feel is happy. The way that libraries remind me that it is ok to enjoy books is a real joy no doubt.

Watching children read in a children’s section is rare these days, because of the computers in there. Which have reading games on them, so I’m not that mad. Reading is always a new learning experience. Usually, it reminds me why I think so complexly in the first place. Why I refuse to stop reading no matter how busy I get. I’ve done some audiobooks and some are good, especially when read by the author while others are not. There is something about books that is hard to define. That is hard to describe. I wish that I could find greater words but if you are reading this with glee then books are part of your life.

 

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Unfortunately, I haven’t read as much as I would like lately. This year even. I could make more excuses about how I was doing something else, but the truth is I usually am not. As much as I love reading, I also love a good story. Sometimes it just so happens that those stories are in the form of tv shows. So obviously I have to watch the show for the sake of good stories, then right? Of course. This is how it goes then.

 

I love good stories and books that captivate me more that I do movies that are based on them. Take Divergent, for example. The Hunger Games. I will indulge in the movies, but reading the book for the first time will always hold a special place for me. Reading about a character that died breaks your heart, but you read on with a heavy heart to find someone else dead. It’s terror and you want to throw the book across the room. Sometimes you do. When characters fall in love or out of love you are wracked with how it will turn out because it matters. How they fare will distract you from the truth. The truth is that great books are not romantic, some are but they remind you of real life too. The movies do all the fluffy romance that doesn’t give you the same satisfaction. Books will always win in that regard.

 

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So yeah. Read book. Read in general. You say you do, but you probably don’t. So thanks for starting that goal on the right foot and reading this stellar post.

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Posted in literature, reading

Reading to have a story

I can’t talk about the joy of reading enough. It’s a joy. To read something that has a plot and gives you a reason to want to keep reading and not stop or even to want to read whatever comes next. Whatever comes after and whatever reminds you that this feels nice. This is what you want to read. Most definitely. So, whether you are reading by way of an ebook or long-form non-fiction piece, you are letting yourself escape into that moment of heaven for your eyes.

A good book is all you need to feel weightless sometimes. It’s all you need to remind yourself that things that you thought were hard are not as hard after all. Things can be amended, decisions can be altered and choices can be made based on how you think. What perspectives you have and the worldview you have may depend on this. The openness you have with that worldview will show more of you as a person than anything else ever could. How you think about world leaders, for instance could be shaped by what you think about the laws of government and republic vs. democratic and whether the two are the same. Is democracy a myth? Does the perfect society exist and if so, where is it hiding and nestling that we can’t find it? Do citizens of said place have access to our resources and do they know what’s going on in the world? It might be weird to think about, but people judge people based on what they have read or heard. It is not often what people have seen, because we say we have “seen something” when we haven’t seen enough to know anything. The topic might be new, it might be foreign. But, we know that we read it somewhere or heard about it someplace.

But the images of the broken hearted and helpless can eat at your soul and crush you, I get that. But, go back to books. Go back to that story about the girl that was trapped in the rubble. The story about the boy who got money for college, or the story about the woman who possibly changed her possible biased views on race dramatically based on a mistaken text. All these are part of ways to change the narrative that tells your own story. Your story is shaped just as much by what you are influenced by as what you already know.

The stories. The books. The reading. All of them elements to a larger picture here: A discovery of yourself.

You’ll never know if you don’t try. Just go to your local library and search for history or culture and wind up somewhere else. Let yourself learn something new and create a growing curiosity.

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Posted in inspiration, life, lists

The things you’re not doing to be well

We like to say that we are “multi-taskers” and are able to do so many things without another thought. Because, productivity is important and stuff. Everyone knows this and it must not be questioned. If you go through a day without being productive you are wasting it, particularly if it is a work day and you should be working. But, what if you are not wasting it. What if you are organizing your thoughts. Albeit, this is an easy way to say that you are slightly lazy but don’t tell that to everyone you know. No one like to hear about your laziness, unless its about pizza. Then continue sharing. The point is here is that there are not enough hours in the day. Especially at this time of year, when the daylight hours are 10 hours or less depending on where you live. This might cause a selection of the population to have Seasonal Affective Disorder (yes, a real thing) in which they hate the season they are in because the weather is so gloomy and the days are short and well it’s rather cold and there are feelings about this ok? Anyway, keep reading for some things you’re missing out on today.

Reading. Did you read a book today? Read or digital? Are you currently reading anything or are you more of a summer reader? No, things you read for work do not count. Really, go to the library and hang out there for like an hour. It’s quiet, warm and you can think. I hear they have a lot of books there too.

Eat real food. If you’re too busy, this can be hard. This can also be hard, if you make it hard but it doesn’t have to be hard to eat vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Not added to anything, not blended into anything. Just as it is. Alright, if you can’t a yogurt parfait would suffice. Also, try for at least three meals a day that are equally spaced out to leave you actually hungry for each meal. This will allow you to eat until you’re full and not overeat. Anyway, try to eat food that is enriching and not processed. (not necessarily raw, organic or any of that.)

Drink water. Honestly, a lot of people seem to be drinking water these days. Good job people! But drink more. Take a 24 oz bottle and drink from it throughout the day. Just because its winter does not mean your body doesn’t need the water. Refresh your system, refresh your body. Feel great.

Lie down. You were probably lying down in bed this morning and that’s where you would rather be, but I have to say this: Just lie down. If your head is exploding with the 55 things you need to do and things you want to do, then just press pause for a minute and lay down. Take some deep breathes. Depending on the time of day, it might not do much to sleep but simply laying down and closing your eyes while breathing deeply can really calm your nerves.

Stretch your fingers. Do it right now. I’m doing this right now. After each sentence. Flex, bend, straight. Flex, bend, straight. Arms to the side and do the same thing, until it aches. This is what everyone that works on a computer everyday need to do but probably does not. You’re hurting you’re wrists and hands, so stretch them out. Prevent damage to them.

Stand up. There are so many opportunities to sit everywhere we go. In the car we sit through traffic, at the doctor we sit in the waiting room, waiting on someone to get ready to sit on our phone, and we sit to eat and watch tv. Stand up for once, then sit back down, then stand back up, then sit back down. Oh, look you just did a mini workout. Keep going, until someone starts looking at you strangely and you’re forced to just stand awkwardly.

Like a slogan from a popular drug-store chain goes: “Be well.”

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Posted in personal

Read this, put down that.

We don’t all read. You might be reading this but you probably are just skimming it too. It’s ok, it takes time to read. I have to put it on my list of things to do sometimes (most days) because I am reading a good book and have books I need to get to so I need to make time to read. Gone are the days of reading before bed (well, not as often anymore) because Netflix exists and why would anyone bother with reading? The thought! So, I make time and I read when I remember to in bed but I have to remind myself to put away the phone first.

That’s where the problem starts thought right? We love our phones. We love to know everything that is happening. When we don’t, we’re just scrolling endlessly finding a reason to stay online (we know you finished your work hours ago, what are you doing?) Some have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). I don’t have this because I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing (says a girl that got a popular game on her phone because everyone else is playing it too) but I do my best to do my own thing. That being sad I could never be one of those early morning new anchors waking up before the crack of dawn. But every job becomes a lifestyle as well.

Back to people and wanting to know things. We want to know, but we don’t always teach those that don’t know. It’s like a poor way of calling someone out who doesn’t understand your way of life. Help people who are lost understand. Help someone that want to know more, by giving them the options to know more. There’s no way to know if you’re failing someone greater than if you’re not trying at all.

I’m sure you’re doing fine. The worst you could do is be a librarian who doesn’t even read or doesn’t read nearly enough.

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Posted in books, lists, literature, reading

Books that you need to read before it’s too late.

That was a click-bait title, at least that’s what the analysts call it. I don’t have any analysts and this is getting off topic when the post has barely started so let’s go. This weekend is lists. Not great or epic lists, but lists of things that I want or enjoy. Today: Classic Literature.

Now, being an English major probably afforded me a bit of leeway in thinking about this a bit or at least that’s what people who are not English majors seem to think. The truth is, I never read any of the classics I thought I would. I read some obscure ones that turned out to be interesting, weird, and not ones I can say I would read again (probably because writing a 10 page paper drains the story out for you). But, here’s some novels that I read as an English major that stuck out the most to me. I hope you’ll check some of them out.

1. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.

Image via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Northanger-Abbey-Barnes-Noble-Classics/dp/1593083807/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442715939&sr=1-7&keywords=northanger+abbey
Image via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Northanger-Abbey-Barnes-Noble-Classics/dp/1593083807/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442715939&sr=1-7&keywords=northanger+abbey

I think this must be the most under-rated Austen novel. I would have got to it eventually one day, since my goal is to read all the novels but one class in particular in which I read this book made me think about gothic literature and its effects. I do not remember watching the tv movie or masterpiece special, though maybe I did and it wasn’t as memorable as P & P. Read it though, whatever people told you about Austen forget it and let yourself read a romance out of its time for a bit.

2. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon.

via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Crying-Lot-Perennial-Fiction-Library/dp/B00ERJXBMO/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442716121&sr=1-2&keywords=the+crying+of+lot+49+by+thomas+pynchon
via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Crying-Lot-Perennial-Fiction-Library/dp/B00ERJXBMO/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442716121&sr=1-2&keywords=the+crying+of+lot+49+by+thomas+pynchon

I don’t really know why I’m putting this on the list, I don’t remember the story that well. It’s probably because I saw it in the library recently and I remembered it to be sad and recalled a woman named Oedipa, vaguely. Give it a try.

3. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner.

via Amazon (the copy I read!): http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Fury-Publisher-Vintage/dp/B004V0BAJK/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442716204&sr=1-4&keywords=the+sound+and+the+fury
via Amazon (the copy I read!): http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Fury-Publisher-Vintage/dp/B004V0BAJK/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442716204&sr=1-4&keywords=the+sound+and+the+fury

Wow, go me putting this one on here. This was that novel that takes place in the South that was told through multiple narrative styles (which I just now read included a technique called stream of consciousness..interesting). I didn’t love it when reading it because I analyzed it without getting the meaning from it. I know its importance as an important historical novel about the South. I would recommend it even though I don’t love it. See, I think of others!

4. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Catcher-Rye-J-D-Salinger/dp/0316769177/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442716315&sr=1-1&keywords=the+catcher+in+the+rye
via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Catcher-Rye-J-D-Salinger/dp/0316769177/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442716315&sr=1-1&keywords=the+catcher+in+the+rye

I feel like this should be at the top. I think this is one of my all time favorite novels. I read it in a class for youth fiction or something. Most of my class did not enjoy this novel, but instead loved The Bluest Eye. I never got why that was. Of course both totally different novels.

5. Rabbit, Run by John Updike.

via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rabbit-Run-John-Updike/dp/0449911659/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442716416&sr=1-1&keywords=rabbit+run+john+updike
via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rabbit-Run-John-Updike/dp/0449911659/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442716416&sr=1-1&keywords=rabbit+run+john+updike

This is a good one, that’s all I remember. That it was good and I liked it. Read in an American contemporary fiction/American novelists class. It follows three months of a former basketball players life. There are sequels which I never read. This is like when I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and was told there were sequels. I didn’t read those either. Whatever, don’t regret it too much.

6. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.

via: http://www.amazon.com/Arundhati-Roy-God-Small-Things/dp/B004T4MRAY/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442716509&sr=1-3&keywords=the+god+of+small+things
via: http://www.amazon.com/Arundhati-Roy-God-Small-Things/dp/B004T4MRAY/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442716509&sr=1-3&keywords=the+god+of+small+things

Majestic, heart-wrenching, and thoughtful. Read it and also read more of Roy’s work (I want to read more of her work myself.)

7. White Teeth by Zadie Smith.

via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/White-Teeth-Novel-Zadie-Smith/dp/0375703861/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442716596&sr=1-1&keywords=white+teeth+zadie+smith
via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/White-Teeth-Novel-Zadie-Smith/dp/0375703861/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442716596&sr=1-1&keywords=white+teeth+zadie+smith

This is also one of best books I’ve read. So profoundly moving. Does that sound like a movie critic? Sorry, but read it. If you want to know what its about in four words here: Immigrant family, London, tenacious, sinewy.

8. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Via: http://www.amazon.com/Remains-Day-Kazuo-Ishiguro/dp/B002EXUV32/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442716926&sr=1-5&keywords=the+remains+of+the+day
Via: http://www.amazon.com/Remains-Day-Kazuo-Ishiguro/dp/B002EXUV32/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442716926&sr=1-5&keywords=the+remains+of+the+day

This is historical fiction set in England. I believe it tells a story of a butler, but of course its more than that. It’s really a great book so I do recommend it.

9. Pavilion of Women by Pearl S. Buck.

Via: http://www.amazon.com/Pavilion-Women-Novel-Womens-Quarters-ebook/dp/B008F4NRT4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442717002&sr=1-1&keywords=pavilion+of+women
Via: http://www.amazon.com/Pavilion-Women-Novel-Womens-Quarters-ebook/dp/B008F4NRT4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442717002&sr=1-1&keywords=pavilion+of+women

I would use the word “oppressed” to describe parts of this book and “traditional” and “sacrilegious” to explain other parts. It’s maybe controversial, I don’t know. I can’t remember it clearly enough to say anything to make you want to pick it up and read it more but do look it up.

10. Caucasia by Danzy Senna.

Via: http://www.amazon.com/Caucasia-Novel-Danzy-Senna/dp/1573227161/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442717114&sr=1-1&keywords=caucasia
Via: http://www.amazon.com/Caucasia-Novel-Danzy-Senna/dp/1573227161/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1442717114&sr=1-1&keywords=caucasia

Oh this book. This book, how I worked and researched this book for so long. It was the subject of a class paper and for a senior thesis I chose to write on this book again (professors worried I would be copying from the first essay, but I promised to do more research as I felt there was much more to explore on the novel). Suffice to say, the paper was never published in any journals. Should I have at least tried to submit? Probably? Would it be too late? I don’t know, but I need newer references and sources that the one’s I used likely. Enough of that struggle. Read it!

By this point, you may be like “wow, this girl read so many awesome books during her time in college!” And to that I would say, “Sure, but I read a lot of boring short stories too and I’ve read so many more awesome books since then!” I really have. Check out the book blog. I post what I read, when I remember to post about it.