Things to be Thankful For

This Friday, rather than bring you another review, I want to take this time to really reflect on what I’m thankful for. I know Thanksgiving was yesterday, but as I’m sure all of you were, I was spending time with my family and eating delicious food. But I think it’s important that on Thanksgiving, and every other day of the year, we take note of what we are thankful for. Here is a short list of just a few things I am (or try to be) thankful for every day:

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(Baby Kim from her freshman year of college.)

1. I am thankful to have the opportunity to attend a beautiful university and pursue my dreams.
I am part of the 7% of the world’s population that is going to earn a college degree. I am part of an even smaller percent that gets to attend their first-choice college. I try to never take for granted the short amount of time I have at such an amazing, beautiful university that has afforded me so many opportunities to further my education and push myself to grow in new ways. I am so fortunate to be able to take this time to develop my interests, expand my mind, and further my growth as an individual.

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(My brother. He’s always got my back. [Even if he doesn’t show it.])

2. I am thankful that I have family and friends that support me in everything I do.
I am so incredibly lucky that I have a close group of friends that truly supports me in everything I try to do, whether it be with my school work or my personal endeavors. They check my blog regularly, come to events I’m hosting on campus for other organizations, and are just there for me through good times and bad. I know I’m among one of the lucky ones to have such good friends. I’m also incredibly lucky to have such supportive parents that let me dream higher than the clouds and encourage me to go after whatever makes me happy.

3. I am thankful to be able to try new things, make mistakes, and fail if need be.
If I want to be a vegetarian (which I am trying), I can do it. If I want to move to Nashville and try my hand at a music career (which I would fail miserably at), I can do it. I can try almost anything I want, and I can fail. I can also succeed —hopefully I will succeed. But I am fortunate enough to be able to fail at things because (as stated above) I have family that will support me no matter what. I have friends that will always be there for me. And I have so many other opportunities that other people in this world are not afforded. I can take risks, make mistakes, and grow from them, and I will try my darnedest not to take advantage of this opportunity.

 

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(This is me having an able body. [This is also probably the most amount of pictures you will ever see of me on this blog. Oops.])

4. I am thankful to have an able body and mind.
As I worked out yesterday morning with my mom, I realized how truly lucky I am to have a body I can push to its limits and a mind that is always growing with more knowledge. These are the types of things we take for granted every day because they are just there, but imagine if they weren’t. Imagine if one day you had to think about moving your legs or couldn’t remember what you learned yesterday (and I mean really not remember). So while you can, push your body, do an extra set of push-ups and crunches, and push your mind by doing some crosswords (or reading more books) because one day, you may not be able to do these things.

5. I am thankful to be able to live in a world that I have the power to change.
As tough as life is some times, I know that I have the power to change it. The world is never going to be perfect. I’m never going to be able to ensure that everyone is kind to their neighbor or that pain never exists. But I can help people deal with that hurt, or encourage people to be better. With my words and my actions, I can affect this world. I can make it a better place one smile at a time. I have to believe in that power. One small act of kindness can change someone’s day, and someday, maybe the world.

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Bonus thanks: I am thankful to be able to read as many books as I want and to share my passion with others. 

Let me know what you’re thankful for in the comments below.

Happy reading,
Kimberly

Top 5 Wednesday: Thanksgiving Round 2

Top 5 Wednesday

As the trend continues, this weeks topic was to talk about the books you’re thankful for. Since I already did that, I’m going to talk about why I’m thankful to have books and reading in my life.

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1. Books help pass the time.
Whenever I need to kill five minutes, I pull out a book. My one rule when going shopping for purses is that it must be big enough to hold a a good book in it. Waiting in line at the grocery store? Going to the bathroom? Hiding out from a party that wasn’t as great as you thought it would be? Your book will always be there for you to kill the time.

2. Books remind me that I’m not alone.
No matter what situation I’m in, there’s a book for it. And it always has a magical way of finding me just when I need it.

3. Books expand my imagination.
Anything is possible in a book, and it reminds me that (almost) anything is possible if I put my mind to it.

savannah books

4. Books challenge me in ways people never could.
They challenge me to think outside the box, to think about myself in ways I never would have thought about myself before. They challenge me to questions events that happen in life, and analyze what’s happening in my life now. They encourage me to question everything and to never take no for an answer. Kind of similar to reason #3, but books challenge me and encourage me and push me in al realms of my life.

A selection of secondhand paperback books for sale

5. Books are my escape when I feel like I really can’t handle life anymore.
Books have probably saved my life more times than I can count. They have this amazing way of being there for you and providing you with an escape in a way your friends and family just can’t. They always know what you need, and magically find of a way of getting into your heart and mind that just isn’t possible for those closest to you in your life.

Top 10 Tuesday: Thanksgiving

Top 10 Tuesday
Top 10 Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in 2010. It’s a fun way for bloggers all over the Internet to connect and post the things they love about books. This week I am dedicating my post to the books and authors I am thankful to have in my life.

harry potter books

1. The Harry Potter Series (of course!)
Thank you for spurring my love of reading and showing me what true friendships should be.

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2. George Orwell
Thank you for writing stories that matter and reminding people that words can pack a powerful punch.

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Thank you for showing me that a little crazy can be a good thing sometimes.

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4. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Thank you for talking about issues that aren’t the easiest to talk to and shining a light on real issues that teens deal with.

5. Chicken Soup for the Soul books
Thank you for getting me through my teen years and reminding me that I am not alone in my struggles.

Cat in the Hat

6. Dr. Seuss
Thank you for making reading fun as a kid.

7. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
Thank you for showing be I can enjoy reading more than just fiction, and telling me that it’s okay to go after what I want.

8. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
Thank you for showing me that sometimes the book is just as good as the movie, just in different ways.

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9. A Corner of the Universe by Ann Martin
Thank you for teaching me at a young age that you can learn a lot about the world around you from a book.

10. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbet
Thank you for showing me that every doesn’t always like the popular books.

What books are you thankful to have had in your life? Leave a comment down below.

Happy reading,
Kimberly

Treasure Tuesday

Treasure Tuesday1. I am currently reading “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert Heinlein.

2. I just got home for Thanksgiving break last night. I’m so pumped for mashed potatoes and rolls! I hope you guys have lots to be thankful for this year.

3.

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4. Here is a definitive list of the most beautiful book covers in 2015 as told by Buzzfeed. I personally really love #3 and #27.

5. Guess who turns 21 this weekend? This girl. And she will be celebrating with some new books! (She hopes.)

Happy reading (and happy Thanksgiving),
Kimberly

 

 

All the Bright Places : A Review

Title: All the Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Genre: Young Adult Non-Fiction
Quotation:“The great thing about this life of ours is that you can be someone different to everybody.”
Would recommend to: anyone who has previously given up on young adult novels but wants to try again.

All the Bright Places (ME)

(As you can see, I bought this book from Target. It was a great purchase at a great price!)

I was pleasantly surprised (and also emotionally destroyed) by Jennifer Niven’s book. Here are my initial thoughts upon completion:

1. Well that was fast.
The story takes off from the moment you crack the cover — and I LOVED it. There was no waiting around for the story to get to the action — no slow beginning. I was automatically thrown into an interesting story. And it didn’t feel weird that it started that way. I think rather than let you get to know the characters at the beginning of the story and gradually introducing a plot line, Niven did an interesting thing where she threw you into the story and gradually let you get to know that characters. It worked.

2. People like this don’t exist.
Finch is interesting. Finch also seems a bit unrealistic. I always read young adult novels and the main characters always have some weird habit that other people view as a flaw but the romantic interest is enthralled by. I can honestly say I’ve never encountered this in my life. I always strived to be that main character who had some weird quirk that someone in the world would find endearing, but I’ve come to believe that those types of characters don’t exist outside of young adult novels. [But I do think a lot of other characteristics about Finch are very realistic and shed a light on important issues that more young readers should be aware of. So I commend you Niven on the risks you took in shining that light.]

3. This is not your average young adult novel.
Typically, I can figure out the end of young adult book before I even start it. It’s usually happy, and it’s usually clean. I REALLY want to spill the beans on how this one ends (and I accidentally did to my roommate, and it’s going to take her awhile to forgive me), but I will restrain myself. I just want everyone to know that this is not going to end they way you think it will. It will probably shock you, break your heart, and then some unanticipated reaction will pour out of you.


All in all, I only  mostly have nice things to say about “All the Bright Places”. I thought it was well written, innovative, inspirational, and important.

If you don’t already know, Niven touches upon a lot of deep issues, such as mental health, that teenagers face these days. These deep issues can be uncomfortable, but they are so important to talk and write about.

This was Niven’s first young adult novel (she’s written other books geared towards an older audience), and I think she crushed it. She wrote a meaningful piece that wasn’t a cliche waiting to happen.

I recommend this book 110% to anyone that wants to give the young adult section another go around.

Happy reading,
Kimberly

P.S. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues, don’t be afraid to talk about it. A lot of people care about you, don’t forget that. My inbox is always open.

Top 5 Wednesday: Hunger Games Moments

Top 5 Wednesday

With the release of the final Hunger Games movie coming out on Friday, there isn’t a  more fitting topic than to talk about our favorite Hunger Games moments! As always, I’m going to be honest with you guys — I haven’t seen Mockingjay Part 1 yet, but I did read the book! Let’s get started!

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1. “I volunteer as tribute.”
Probably the most iconic moment in the whole series. Readers truly understand how much Prim means to Katniss in time between Prim’s name being called and Katniss volunteering to take her place. She knows she is walking to her death, but her sister is worth so much more than that.

2. The real or not real game.
While it’s completely heartbreaking, it’s also one of the most romantic things ever. Especially the moment Peeta asks, “You love me. Real or not real?” Your heart just has to melt. It’s required.

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3. The three finger salute to Rue.
One of the most moving scenes in the entire book, second only to the scene of District 11 saluting Katniss when she visits. It displays solidarity across cultures, something we know too much of in the wake of the tragedy in Paris.

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4. Katniss showing the judges what is up.
When she shoots the arrow into the apple in the mouth of the pig? Best boss-ass-bitch moment of eternity.

5. The epilogue.
It’s the perfect ending. It’s haunting, yet completes the story perfectly. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to a more emotional series.

Let me know your favorite Hunger Games moments in the comments below!

Happy reading,
Kimberly

Top 10 Tuesday: Quotes

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in 2010. It’s a fun way for bloggers all over the Internet to connect and post the things they love about books. I know I posted a few weeks ago about my favorite quotations, but here I am again with another post all about my favorite quotes from the last year or so.

pull quote from Amy Poehler's book

1. “Figure out what you want. Say it loud. Then shut up.” Amy Poehler — Yes Please
This is one of the best pieces of advice I have ever received from a book. Amy speaks to me. Never be ashamed of what you want — if you never admit you want it, you’ll never get it.

2. “Disgust destroys you — avoid it at all costs.” J
Let go of negative emotions. They won’t further anything in life, and they will only drag you down. Disgust is one of those emotions.

Divergent Quote

3. “You will never know them, but sometimes you decide to trust them.” Insurgent
This is a lovely reminder to me that trust is something you have to find out for yourself. There isn’t a test you can give someone when your life/heart/anything is in their hands — sometimes you just have to trust them.

4. “Well, actually, I love books because they are my best friends.” Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Enough said.

5. “I don’t want the easy kind of love. I wanted the crazy love, the kind of love that created and destroyed all at the same time.” Side Effects May Vary
I know I included this quote in my review, but I really mean it. Love that is easy isn’t really love — it’s enjoyment. When you really love someone, it’s passionate, and passionate includes crazy and it includes fighting and it includes screaming, but it also includes staying up until 3 in the morning just talking and it includes jumping into each others arms after six months apart. It includes all of the little things and all of the bigs things.

6. “As it turns out, the brain is a decent scientist but a absolutely outstanding lawyer.” Subliminal
Just a little reminder that you are pretty amazing and convincing yourself of whatever it is you may believe. Remember to listen to what other people have to say and keep an open mind.

All the Bright Places quote

7. “I do it because it reminds me to be here, that I’m still here and I have a say in the matter.” All the Bright Places
You have the ultimate control over your life.

8. “The bitch betrays you behind your back. They asshole fails to recognize you to your face.” Asshole *A Theory
A non-conventional definition of the terms, but I think it captures the essence of it.

The Last Song quote

9. “Sometimes you have to be apart from people you love, but that doesn’t make you love them any less. Sometimes you love them more.” The Last Song
I found this out the hard way. Sometimes distance really does make the heart grow fonder, and it’s stronger because of it.

The Hobbit quote

10. “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” The Hobbit
Tolkien is always here to remind us that it is the little things in life that truly matter. You can have all the money in the world and still be miserable. So enjoy the company surrounding you in times of celebration and the quietness around you in times of solitude. Take every moment as it is and try not to worry too much about what comes next.

Let me know what your favorite quotations are in the comments below!

Happy reading,
Kimberly

Treasure Tuesday

Treasure Tuesday

1. I am currently reading “Asshole: A Theory” by Aaron James.

2. This is your yearly reminder to go to the dentist (even if it’s your least favorite place in the world) and avoid my fate of having two cavities filled on the same day and getting a root canal for Christmas.

3.

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4. After the week I have experienced at my university, and the weekend Paris and the world faced, we definitely need this list of books from Buzzfeed that is guaranteed to restore our faith in humanity. Terrible things happen in the world, all we can do is come together and unite as a stronger force after they occur.

5. This is also a week we need to be reminded that sometimes adorable puppies can make it all better, even if only for a little bit. (BTW, I react this way every time I see a puppy.)

6. Thanksgiving is next week! Have safe travels and enjoy the holidays with a good book.

Happy reading,
Kimberly

Subliminal: A Review

Title: Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior
Author: Leonard Mlodinow
Genre: Non-Fiction
Quotation: “That realization doesn’t bother me; it gives me a greater appreciate of my unseen partner, my unconscious, always providing the support I need as I walk and stumble my way through life.”
Would recommend to: people who are introspective about their behavior / readers who want to branch out from fiction

Subliminal

This is one of the first books I’ve read that has no story-line. I usually stick to the fiction side of the bookstore, but I am really happy I chose to sneak out of my comfort zone with this choice.

While I was reading this book, I had a lot of people ask me what it was about. And I didn’t really know what to tell them because the title says it all. It’s really just about the little things your mind does without you even knowing it.

Mlodinow seperated “Subliminal” into ten chapters, each inspecting different aspects your mind influences, such as feelings, the image you have of yourself, and how you categorize things in life. Each chapter contains experiments, case studies, and explanations of how our brain does its thing without us even realizing it’s doing its thing.

I learned a lot from this book, and really enjoyed the writing. It’s a complex topic that Mlodinow writes about in a simple manner that almost anyone can comprehend.

He also included quotations at the beginning of every section, which I enjoyed because we all know how much I love quotations. Each quotation also related to the chapter, which gave you an understanding of the section before you even started it.

If you’re looking for a non-fiction book that you can use in your life everyday to understand your actions, I recommend “Subliminal”. Even if you don’t really care about science or your brain, it’s an intriguing read that leaves you questioning your perception of yourself and others.

Happy reading,
Kimberly

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Never Finished [OOPS!]

Top 5 Wednesday

Today I’m going to be confessing yet another book faux-pas — Sometimes I’ve started books…and never finished them. BUT I WILL. One day. Eventually. When I muster up the courage to pick it up again and actually finish it. Here’s my shameful list.

Pride and Prejudice

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I almost finished this one! And then sophomore year of college started. I promise I’ll get around to it. Hopefully over Thanksgiving break!

F. Scott Fitzgerald

2. The Great Gastby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I’ve seriously been meaning to read this classic since high school. I’ve started it many a time, but I’ve just never gotten into it. I will keep trying though, I promise.

3. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
I originally started reading this on my mom’s Nook when we were touring colleges one summer. I got about 30 pages in, but then I went on a different vacation without my mother’s Nook, and I just never really picked it up again. I know how great it is though, and I plan on reading it ASAP.

4. Under the Dome by Stephen King
To be fair, I bought this on my Kindle back in high school, and then my Kindle died. It was very tragic, and I held a lovely funeral for her, but I haven’t felt the need to buy it again. I originally bought it because my freshman year geometry teacher raved about it, so maybe I’ll buy it again one of these days.

Inkspell

5. Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
loved “Inkheart” when I was in elementary school, and so when “Inkspell” came out I thought I would immediately fall in love with it. Unfortunately, there was a huge break between when I read the two, and I just couldn’t get into “Inkspell” without reading “Inkheart” first. And there have been so many other books I’ve wanted to read!

Happy reading,
Kimberly