Make America Read Again

I disagree with Laura Bush on plenty, but I cheered all the way when she said this:

The power of a book lies in its power to turn a solitary act into a shared vision. As long as we have books, we are not alone.

Not enough of my friends read, and it’s tragic. Reading is hands-down one of the best stress-relieving, knowledge-instilling, and relaxing activities out there. Yes, I’m still bitter that looking at your phone during a party is fine but reading a book isn’t.

So to the two of you who read this, my current reading list is here. I’m thinking of writing a “2016: Reading Recapped” post, but honestly, anything with 2016 in it sounds terrible.

Fiction

Non-Fiction

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare A Problem From Hell by Samantha Power
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr We Believe You by Annie Clark & Andrea Pino
Emma by Jane Austen The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer
The Help by Kathryn Stockett Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
Maximum Ride by James Patterson Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene
Dune by Frank Herbert White Trash by Nancy Isenberg
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clark Strangers in their Own Land by Arlie Hochschild
Solaris by Stanisław Lem The Depression Cure by Stephen Ilardi

It’s been a while…

Wow

It’s been a while…like a few…..months D:

Luckily I have a summer to finish Fifty Shades. That’s not to say I haven’t been reading–I’ve actually been spoiled by great reads lately.

But here’s a snapshot of my latest hobby!

Yup–I’ve been overworking my camera! The result of taking graduation photos for everyone…

But anyways, book catchup!

Books

Legend by Marie Lu

Final thoughts: I have a stigma against dystopian novels ever since they seem to be on every bookshelf after The Hunger Games was published.  Needless to say, my standards for this book were quite high. I was quite taken by the setting Lu created and how class differences and biological warfare were both addressed.  Both the main characters (June and Day) were compelling and their viewpoints distinct.  This series definitely has potential–though the forced romance nearly ruined it for me (two characters who barely know each other make out within a week of seeing each other—really?). But overall the series dodges many dystopian cliches, so who knows maybe the sequels might change my mind!

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Final thoughts: I highly recommend this book to anyone who can read or listen to an audiobook. This book explores vulnerability and how overcoming fear of it can yield other benefits. This book is one of the few I’ve stumbled upon that addresses the modern celebrity complex and identifies the flaws in today’s thinking. Overall, it’s a must-read for anyone.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Final thoughts: Renaming this book Catcher in the Rye: Modern Edition wouldn’t be entirely inaccurate, but Theo’s compelling narration and descriptions of basic human sentiment, ranging from void to absolute loneliness, hold the book together.  This book nailed the stages of grieving so well, while bringing in some Darwinian elements to boot. Highly recommended.

A Sword of Storms by George R.R. Martin

Final thoughts: Valar morghulis. But hands down the best book in the series–worth the 1000 pages and the squinting due to the smaller-than-usual font.

Currently reading:
Fifty Shades of Grey
Guns, Germs, and Steel
A Feast for Crows

Need to start:
Outlander (I’ve heard GREAT things about this book–I hope they’re true!)

TV Shows

Sherlock Season 3, Episodes 2 &3 :


Final thoughts: 
Yays:
This season did an excellent job humanizing Sherlock as a character, rather than dismissing him as an intelligent yet arrogant prick. 
Mehs:
I love Moriarty, but when is the man going to stay dead?
The pacing of the episodes seemed slower than usual. One aspect I love about Sherlock is the thrill of the ride; I understood why that wasn’t possible in the second episode (the setting didn’t allow it), but the third episode could’ve changed that

Once Upon a Time Season 3B:
Recap for this coming soon!

A Thousand Years…of Pics

I was flipping through my cellphone today and looking at photos. Half of the photos on my phone involved selfies/photos with others and the other half were assignments or things on the board the professor was skipping over. Since there were some exceptions, I figured the top nineteen deserved some place other than my phone.

I didn’t see any werewolves that night unfortunately
Our school on Valentine’s Day. Clear skies are rare.

Best way to start a day

I never knew college food as great as this existed.

The mountain near my home..never really appreciated it till now.

The Hidden Places in my school of awesomeness

Not technically “hidden” but the sky looked pretty…

And the college food pics…

The city during holiday season:

And of course some people losing it during finals week:

Dubai: