Tresure Tuesday

Happy happy Tuesday!

1. It’s official! (Well, it’s been official for a couple of days but…) Marriage equality finally exists! I’m so happy that love is love no matter where you live in America now.

2. I am currently reading “Divergent” by Veronica Roth.

3. collect books even if you dont plan on reading them right away

4.Find out which Disney kingdom you should rule with this Buzzfeed quiz. I’m destined to rule over Arendelle from “Frozen”!

5. Check out this list of 20 books to read in 2015. I know I really want to check out “All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven.

6. I climbed 1,500 ft on Sunday with some friends at Hanging Rock State Park.

throw what you know

(Pictured: My future roommate and I “throwing what we know” at Hanging Rock.)

Have a great rest of your week and look out for a special post on Friday from your favorite guest author!

Happy reading,

Read Please

Title: Yes Please
Author: Amy Poehler
Genre: Humor mixed with a little biography
Quotation: “I don’t consider myself beautiful or famous, but my vagina is.”
Would recommend to: those searching for guidance and appreciative of humor.

amy poehler's book

There’s been a slew of books printed in recent years by great comedians, the latest of which being Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please.” I’d love to be original and tell you it wasn’t my favorite, but then I’d be lying. I absolutely loved it. I raved about it for week and recommended it to anyone who would listen to me.

First let me talk about the design of the book. It’s the first thing that popped out at me as original and FUN. Poehler included personal supplements to her story, like pictures from her childhood. She also added fun inserts like, “Reasons We Cry on Airplanes” and “Apologies” from the head and the heart. Along with these honest extras, were super fun, eye-catching quotes, some of which were my favorite from the book. These fun additions to the book added just the right amount of razzle-dazzle that kept the book entertaining, creative, and authentic.

pull quote from Amy Poehler's book

(“Figure out what you want. Say it loud. Then shut up.”)

Even without all these amazing additions, “Yes Please” stands out on a shelf. While I was abroad in January, a girl on my trip would always quote the book and say, “‘Good for you, not for me,’ Amy Poehler.” I automatically fell in love with the sentiment (one of the reasons I picked up the book was because of the recommendation from this friend) and couldn’t wait to read more of Poehler’s words. I wasn’t disappointed. Poehler inspires throughout her novel with flashes to her past, pre-fame life as a child growing up in Massachusetts and a starving improv comedian (they starve more than normal actresses) in Chicago, and finally, to her life of fame on “Saturday Night Life.”

Every part of the book was interesting and gripping. I’m pretty sure I finished it in three days in the midst of studying for finals. Despite loving it so much (and wanting to read it again after writing this review), I’m stumped when I have to explain what it’s about. Because I’m not really sure. It’s about Amy. It’s about acting. It’s about chasing your dream. It’s about life and everything that happens in between.

All in all, it’s an inspiring book with an amazing design and writing style. I think anyone can appreciate the words on the pages of Poehler’s book.

Happy reading,

Treasure Tuesday

Happy Tuesday everyone!

1. I am STILL working my way through “Wicked.” Usually I read books much faster than this, but between moving, starting a new job, and having my boyfriend visit, I haven’t had as much reading time as usual.

2. Find out who you should date based on your favorite Harry Potter character with this article from Thought Catalog.

3. library paradise

4. This corgi doesn’t know how to ball in this adorable video.

5. While my boyfriend was here we made this Chicken Alfredo Pizza recipe from Cooking Classy. It was delicious!

cooking classy pizza

6. I hope everyone had a great Father’s Day! How did you celebrate the big guy’s special day? Maybe with a good book? One can only hope.

Happy reading,

The Best Kind of Shopping

Hello fellow bookworms,

This past week my guest author, Ryan, was in town visiting me. Naturally we spent a little  (try too much) time in some bookstores around the area. I’m here today to show you what I bought in a mini book haul blog post.

Barnes and Nobel Finds

jonathan tropper

Barnes and Nobel has all these awesome displays of books ranging from beach reads to books that make you think. “This is Where I Leave You” (and the other book I picked up) was in a section of top fiction right now. I started reading it in the store and automatically fell in love with Tropper’s writing. It’s a story about Judd Foxman’s family who are forced together for the first time in a long time to sit shabbat to honor the wishes of his dead father. It promises an emotional roller-coaster on its back cover, and there’s nothing I like more than a book that elicits feelings.

Joshua Ferris

I also picked up this interesting book that I saw a friend reading. It’s a National Book Award finalist about what really happens at the water cooler. I just started my first job in an office setting, so I thought this would be an interesting read. This book follows office workers around during their day and also promises some great laughs. Like “This is Where I Leave You,” I read a couple pages of this in the store and really enjoyed it, so I decided to pick them both up. Can’t wait to give this a read.

The Bookshop Finds

There’s this amazing book store in Chapel Hill called “The Bookshop” with used books from all eras of time. I’ve found some incredible books in this store and enjoy every visit. This is what I got this time. (All for $8.)

F. Scott Fitzgerald

I picked up “The Great Gatsby” because I haven’t read it yet (GASP!) and it was only $2. Who could pass that up?

J. D. Salinger

“Catcher in the Rye” has been on my “To Read Again” list since I hated in back in high school. I wanted to give it one more try since everyone else loved it so much. I found this and instantly fell in love with the cover. Covers are very important to me when buying a book, and I’ve always hated the orange and yellow cover that is usually printed of the novel, so I decided this was the perfect time to reinvest in this classic.

H.G. Wells

My last purchase of the week was the classic “The War of the Worlds.” I’ve read a lot of Wells’ work in the past and just really enjoy his style of writing. I’ve wanted to buy this for a while, and again, I couldn’t pass up the $2 steal.

Let me know what you’ve bought recently in the comments below!

Happy reading,

Which One Fails Better?

Title: The Giver vs. Anthem
Author: Lois Lowry vs. Ayn Rand
Genre: Dystopian Novel
Quotation: “The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.” The Giver vs. “My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end. It is its own goal. It is its own purpose.” Anthem
Would recommend to: readers who like to think about the past.

Dystopian novels have always intrigued me. I find it compelling that people would right novels about what is wrong with the world to prove what humans should change about their patterns to avoid this type of world in the future. It’s a bit like reverse psychology; rather than tell people what they should do, tell them what they should not do. Two novels I read while I was in school, “The Giver” by Lois Lowry and “Anthem” by Ayn Rand, encompass the idea of a communist dystopia.

Here’s a synopsis of each novel:



The Giver: Jonas lives in a world where pain, fear and hatred do not exist. Without these elements, emotions such as love and happiness are also absent. There is no prejudice or competition. Children are born from designated birthing mothers and raised by pseudo parents before they are assigned to families that have submitted applications for children. People in the community apply to be married and are matched to their partner through a complicated process. Jobs are selected for community members at the age of 12, and they have no choice in the matter. This world is based on complete equality, but this world did not just spring up out of nowhere. It is set in the future and everything that America is today, all the memories and feelings, are handed down to one member in the community so that the people do not forget why their society has been created into the thing that now exists. Jonas is chosen to be the next Receiver, and the Giver, who bestows memories upon Jonas about feelings and the past, trains him. Through these memories, Jonas learns about love, compassion, remorse, war, pain, famine and every emotion in between. He learns to hate the lack of freedom in his community, and the Giver gives him a way out to a new life.



Anthem:  Equality 7-2521 lives in a world where a unique identity is not allowed; saying the word “I” is punishable by death. In this society, where equality is of the utmost importance, individuality is squashed through assigned jobs, places of mating and forbidden levels of excellence in sports and academics. Equality 7-2521 is curious and intelligent and has always felt that he is different from those around him. He discovers things that others can only dream of and wants to share them with everyone. He discovers love with another individual and realizes the ultimate meaning of “I,” which is taboo in this world. He escapes the world he has always known to live in the forests with the one he loves. This allows him to gain knowledge about everything possible, and he can fully understand the meaning of freedom.

“The Giver” and “Anthem” have their obvious similarities: dystopian society, seemingly unfair equality and a lack of individual identity. They also have similar protagonists that seek freedom and knowledge, as well as similar law-makers that keep the members of society in line through unjust treatment. Each of these books has a similar dystopian message, but I only liked one.

“The Giver” is very open ended. similar to “J” that I reviewed last week, leaving the reader unsure of what happens to Jonas, whereas “Anthem” clearly states that Equality 7-2521 lives in the forest with his lover and his expanding wealth of knowledge. Each novel tells the compelling story of a society driven by equality, but each does not end in clarity. The preference is up to you, or you could read both and decide for yourself which one is the better dystopian society. After reading “J” and discovering that I can appreciate a novel with an open ending, I might give “The Giver” another read.

Happy reading,

Treasure Tuesday

Hello again on this fine Tuesday. I hope everyone’s weeks are progressing swimmingly. Here’s what I’ve got to brighten up this week for you…

1. magic in a book

2. I am still working my way through “Wicked” but I should have a post about that up soon for you guys.

3. Buzzfeed has compiled a list of books you should read based on your taste in movies. Check it out. This list has helped me pick out books similar to “Juno,” “Memento,” and even “Up!”

4. My friend is visiting for the week so I’ve been cooking a lot more than usual. If you want to know what recipes I’ve been trying, leave a comment below.

5. Check out this adorable video of a puppy and a monkey becoming friends from OMGHumor.

Have a great rest of your week. and I’ll see you on Friday.

Happy reading,

Not Your Ordinary Dystopia

Title: J
Howard Jacobson
“You don’t need to have your eyes open to see things.”
Would recommend to:
someone who likes to create his or her own story.

“J” is an interesting book. It’s different from any other book I’ve read, and I’ve read a lot of books, especially dystopian novels. But interesting does not mean bad.

As you may have gathered from my “little thoughts” post about “J,” I learned a lot while reading it. Not just vocabulary or about different writing styles but about myself and my reading preferences.

I liked “J,” I liked it a lot actually. But it was very hard for me to read due to its style. Jacobson leaves a lot to the imagination. If you like novels with clear-cut explanations and solid conclusions, I challenge you to read “J.” Prior to reading this book, I liked those same things, but after telling myself to slow down and read between the lines, I learned to appreciate what a book like this has to offer.

It’s not everyday that you get to make your own story among the pages of a book. With “J” you have the freedom to make up WHAT HAPPENED IF IT HAPPENED and you get to choose why the letter “j” is so taboo. It’s these choices that make the story yours. And while these plot lines lack a solid explanation, it really doesn’t detract from the story line.

In my “little thoughts” post I mentioned that this novel was definitely not written by an American, by that I was referring to the lack of a definitive answer to readers questions. Despite the clear indications in language choice, this novel is very much un-American. It’s just deeper and more user-involved than any other novel I have read. It reminded me slightly of “The Giver” by Lois Lowry (which I will review soon) that also has a very open ending similar to a lot of plot lines in “J,” but “J” really does stand out on its own in my opinion.

“J” was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize in 2014, and I can see why. With it’s dynamic, unique love story and creative compilation style, this book stands out on the shelf as a thought-provoking, moving piece of work.

Happy reading,

Treasure Tuesday

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday, here’s some fun for you from one book-lover to another.

1. I am currently reading “Wicked” by Gregory Maguire. I’ll let you know if it’s anything like the play.

2. I made some very adult decisions this past weekend before moving into my new apartment and by adult I mean picking out bedding.

3. Ever wished a book would never end? Bustle author Emma Oulton compiled a list of books she wished would never end. Check it out.

4. books and happiness
This is true right?

Have a great rest of your week, and don’t forget to keep on reading.

Happy reading,

‘J’ust Finished

I am finished with “J” by Howard Jacobson, and here are my first thoughts upon completion.

1. My vocabulary has expanded tenfold.
I rarely closed my dictionary app while reading this book. 

2. This novel was not written by an American.
Between the style of writing (did I mention there were a lot of big words) and the style of the novel in its entirety, I could tell fifty pages in that this book was written by someone of a different culture. Between the colloquial phrases, such as snog, the random German spattered throughout the book, and the overall style, you can tell it’s written by someone with a different perspective on life and writing. (I will explain more in-depth in an upcoming review.)

3. Books teach you unexpected lessons.
This was a very different book for me to be reading and it challenged me in unexpected ways. There were the usual challenges that come along with starting a new book, like figuring out who the characters are and where it’s taking place. But this book brought some new challenges up for me. A very basic challenge to be quite honest: I needed to slow down. I was so focused on finishing the book and figuring out what was going on that I was speeding through and not enjoying it. Until I told myself to slow down and enjoy the journey of the novel, I really struggled with it.

Stay tuned for a full review coming out soon.

A 24-Hour Bibliophile’s Dream

Bibliophiles rejoice — It’s the summer book we’ve been waiting for.

Title: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Author: Robin Sloan
Genre: Fiction with a Mystery twist
Quotation: “A bell above a door and the tinkle it makes. A clerk and a ladder and warm golden light, and then: the right book exactly, at exactly the right time.”
Would recommend to: those who know adventure can lurk in a book on a shelf.

24-hour bookstore

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan is the perfect novel for the 21st-century bookworm. Sloan mixes a narrative of centuries old mystery with codes and keyboards that any nerd will appreciate, to weave his awesome tale. It all begins with the superbly written character of Clay Jannon, the narrator.

Clay is a millennial-extraordinaire— newly jobless, nearly penniless, and 100 percent skeptical of (almost) everything. A former web designer living in San Francisco, Clay answers a wanted-ad and shuffles into Mr. Penumbra’s store. He is appointed night clerk at the store that never closes and almost nobody ever visits.

This secretive hole in the wall is typified perfectly in the character of Penumbra himself, an aging, slightly eccentric man, with a passion for hardcovers. To work for Penumbra, one must answer his simple query: Tell me about a book you love. Jannon’s answer sets him on a path of fantastic adventure, blending secrets of the past with innovations that will shape our future. With the help of some friends, including a Silicon Valley businessman and a dashing young Googler, Clay discovers there is much more to Mr. Penumbra’s than meets the eyes; and that sometimes, all you need is a good book and some good companions.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a New York Times Bestseller, and was also named book of the year by NPR, the LA Times, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Though copyrighted in 2012, I count it among my top “Books of 2014.” It is not #1, since Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North could not possibly be topped. Phil Clay’s Redeployment deserves an honorable mention for 2014, as well. These books will also be reviewed throughout the summer for you to decide whether to pick them up for yourself or not.

Take Mr. Penumbra’s to the beach or lake, and prepare to be amazed by a wonderful adventure.

“Where one burns books, in the end, he will also burn men.” – Heinrich Heine, 1820

About the Author

Ryan is a student of business, politics, and German. When he isn’t daydreaming about Bavaria, he is scrolling through endless Wall Street Journal opinions or playing golf. His favorite hobby is, of course, reading. After reading 30 books in 2014, Ryan hopes to make it 50 in 2015. Up next at Vernor Vinge’s A Fire Upon the Deep, Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, and Carl Sagan’s The Demon Haunted World. 

Ryan is also a strong supporter of the Oxford comma, and would like to make that known.