All posts filed under: Books

THE HATE U GIVE – ANGIE THOMAS

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas follows Starr, a teenage girl who witnesses a fatal shooting of her best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. The title actually derives from the rapper Tupac’s philosophy of THUG LIFE (The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody). True. Very, very true. From the moment I opened the cover I breeeeeeeezed through this novel. I couldn’t put it down! I admired the mention of African-American history and culture. Some references I knew such as the acknowledgement of  Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American from Chicago who was murdered for flirting with a white woman. But there were others I had to Google search (my history teachers would be so disappointed..) such as the Ten-Point Program, which was a set of guidelines written by The Panther Party, and Nat Turner, an African American who led the most effective slave rebellion in America. These references were essential to the novel because it gave Starr’s character (and me) further of understanding of race and police brutality in America. What I loved most, however, was the resilience of Starr’s …

BEARTOWN – FREDRIK BACKMAN

Finally! After many months, I have finished reading Beartown by Fredrik Backman. This novel was a pretty intense read and covers topics relevant to society today – peer pressure, homophobia, rape, integrity, etc. To sum it up, Beartown is a small community who lives, eats, and breathes their junior hockey team. The team could potentially give this town recognition, sponsorship money, and opportunities for players to get into the NHL. As an important game approaches, one of the star players comes under fire when he is accused of leaving a young girl traumatized. People of the town become divided and readers witness how society can quickly brush disturbing events under a rug when it comes to protecting the reputation of a town rather than a value of a single person. The ending left me confused as hell (I won’t give away any spoilers), but it’s a good confusion. I’m constantly reflecting back on EVERYTHING that has happened and if you are a super sleuth you can probably figure it all out, but I haven’t, yet. All of this won’t make …

SHOE DOG – PHIL KNIGHT

Have you ever finished reading a book, closed the cover, held it close to you, and sat still. Reflecting on words you read and how they have forever affected your thoughts on the world, entrepreneurship, yourself, etc. If you love a good coming-of-age story, then I highly recommend the memoir by Phil Knight (the inventor of Nike) called Shoe Dog. Knight’s journey started when he was fresh out of business school, having this Crazy Idea. At 23 he embarked on a backpacking trip around the world. It was a dream of his to experience, “what the Chinese call Tao, the Greeks call Logos, the Hindus call Jnana, the Buddhists call Dharma.” He emphasized throughout his memoir how his travels enhanced his Crazy Idea and intertwined his experiences with the names of his designs, fabrics, and how it helped him cater to athletes and customers around the globe. There were quirky stories of his trials and tribulations that made me laugh out loud, hardships and setbacks that made me shed a tear or two, and most importantly, I now feel inspired x100 to …

I AM THAT GIRL – ALEXIS JONES

I don’t remember how I stumbled upon I Am That Girl by Alexis Jones but I purchased the book on Amazon alongside Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything. I was immediately intrigued when I took a peek inside and read Jones’ That Girl Manifesto which stated “I am enough. I have enough. I do enough.” It got my thinking. Often times we don’t give ourselves enough credit and put pressure to be 10 stages ahead of where we are now. Say it with me now: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Someone whom I love dearly had to slap those words in my face when I was in an environment where I was told repeatedly that I’m not confident enough, not smart enough, not cool enough. It wasn’t until I got the eff out of there I realized that my enough was actually exceptionally enough all along. Reading further into the epilogue it seemed Jones (who was once a contestant on the reality TV show Survivor) and I had a similar outlook on life. Throughout the book she gave real, no bull life advice and I appreciated her …

A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING – BILL BRYSON

I first came across Bryson while browsing the interwebs and stumbled upon this quote from his book, A Short History of Nearly Everything. “To begin with, for you to be here now trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you. It’s an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once. For the next many years (we hope) these tiny particles will uncomplainingly engage in all the billions of deft, cooperative efforts necessary to keep you intact and let you experience the supremely agreeable but generally underappreciated state known as existence.” Pretty powerful stuff, huh? I read the first few pages on Amazon and immediately put the book into my cart and hit the purchase button. This is the type of book EVERYONE needs to get their hands on to simply get a better understanding of our universe and how we have evolutionized to be where we are now. I learned that the universe is vast and our brains …

I AM MALALA – MALAA YOUSAFZAI

Wow. Just, wow. I read I am Malala while on vacation in Bali and could not put this book down. Every single person in the entire world needs to read her story. Malala is a girl who stood up for equal education, was shot in the head by the Taliban, and lived to tell the tale. Throughout the book I learned about Malala and how she’s your average teenage girl – loves to read, do her hair, and talk about boys. She is humble, strong, and her relationship with her fearless father (who fought long and hard to keep his schools open in Pakistan despite threats from the Taliban) is endlessly inspiring. Chills ran through my body when I read about the young man from the Taliban who stopped Malala’s school bus to ask, “who is Malala?” Seconds later he shot her in front of all of her schoolmates. The bullet skimmed her brain and landed near her shoulder. Everyone on the bus survived, including Malala. The part in the book when she’s taken away from her home and …

TUCK EVERLASTING – NATALIE BABBITT

Last week I had two hours to spare as I was waiting for my friend to finish work. I stumbled upon a bookstore in Seomyeon and figured I’d read a book to pass the time. English sections are hard to find in Korea so I knew I had to walk up and down each row, graze hundreds of books in hopes to find an English title, ANY English title (even an instructions manual would do the trick). It wasn’t until I got to the back corner of the store. English books were crammed together, as if they were only allowed to share that one section of the shelf. They were mostly children and youth books but it was no matter, I picked up Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit, sat on a staggered steps in the bookstore and read. Two hours passed quickly as I finished the book and looked up for the first time since opening the cover. I sat there on the steps feeling melancholy, drifting from Winnie’s world into my own. I couldn’t think of …

YES PLEASE – AMY PORHLER

I picked up Yes Please by Amy Poehler while in the airport back in February. I thought a light, funny read would boast well with my 14 hour non-stop flight to South Korea. I’m a huge Poehler fan! Loved her on SNL, Parks & Recreation is one of my favourite shows, and her side project “Smart Girls” celebrates curious, intelligent, everyday girls. Poehler is a natural writer. I could hear her own voice as I read her quirky stories, opinions on the general happenstance of life, and the trials and tribulations of working her butt off to get to where she is today. Here are some of my favourite quotes from her book: “I like hard work and I don’t like pretending things are perfect.” “Saying ‘yes’ doesn’t mean I don’t know how to say no and saying ‘please’ doesn’t mean I am waiting for permission.” “Stop whining about getting old. It’s a privilege. A lot of people who are dead wish they were still alive.” Talking about what she has learned from her mother: – Make sure …

THE SWEET LIFE & WHY NOT ME?

The best gift you can ever give me is the gift of friendship, followed closely by Chipotle, sheet masks from Sephora and of course, books. Combine all four into one gift and I’m never leaving you, ever. I celebrated my 25th birthday last month and humbly received, “The Sweet Life” by Dulce Candy Ruiz from my dear friends Katie and Nicole & “Why Not Me” by Mindy Kaling from my lovely co-worker Kathleen. Both were unexpected surprises and were read cover to cover in a matter of a week because when you have a long commute to work, Candy Crush can only entertain you for so long. Real talk, books make the greatest presents (they actually do!). You REALLY have to love a person to willingly stand in a book store, browse through hundreds of titles, get sidetracked by the Kate Spade stationary and still have the patience to pick a novel you know they are going to love/actually read. You don’t want to spend $35 on a hardcover to find out they only use it as a coaster for their morning …

#GIRLBOSS – SOPHIA AMOUSO

You’ve heard the term many times throughout the past year and probably wondered what it takes to be a #GIRLBOSS. In this day and age, being a #GIRLBOSS is much more than owning your own company and ruling the world, it’s owning yourself and making decisions for you because ultimately, it’s your life and you should decide how you want to live it. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amouso was a gift from my own boss when I first joined the team. On the inside cover there was a handwritten a note saying, “May this book inspire you to work hard, be your best self and #OWNIT. Become the best #GIRLBOSS you can be.” I’m all about girl power and marching to your own drum, so I knew without even reading the first paragraph that I would enjoy this book – intuition didn’t let me down. I finally got around to reading #GIRLBOSS the morning after Christmas, and it honestly held my attention from cover to cover. I thoroughly enjoyed Sophia’s story on how she created her own business (Nasty …

Angel Wing Splash Pattern by Richard Van Camp

Angel Wing Splash Pattern is a collection of short stories for dreamers, believers and readers who want a raw look into a corner of Canada that is often over-looked: Contemporary Native life. Each story within the book is only a few pages long (the entire book itself is only 110 pages), but I find Van Camp’s writing so profound and thought-provoking that a few pages is all you need. Quality over quantity. The way Van Camp lures you into the heat of his characters and the way he makes your mind wander about sex, love, compassion and forgiveness is.. well.. it’s flippin’ beautiful. One of my favourite stories is called My Fifth Step and ’till this day no story, ever, has made me feel so much emotion. I don’t know how to properly describe it because saying it made me “feel” doesn’t attest to the fact how meaningful this story truly is to me. It made me re-think how I should treat other people, the importance of being in the moment and how to forgive and move on. I highly recommend …

Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell

First off, the TV show is MUCH better than the book in terms of character development, extended story lines and basically…..everything else. Not saying the book was horrible, but it’s not the greatest literary novel I’ve ever read. If you’re looking for a girly poolside read (quite like Cosmo, but in novel form), then I recommend it. If you live under a rock or uncultured, “Sex and the City” mainly focuses on Carrie (a writer) and her experiences with love in the Big Apple. What I admired was how relatable the chapters were in terms of the trials and tribulations Carrie had to face. Within the first few pages she learns, “relationships in New York is all about detachment.” Much like real life, if a young man lives in the city, is incredibly handsome and successful – he is most likely not looking for a serious relationship. Women make the mistake of falling hard for these types, which often lead to a broken heart, bottomless pits of wine and a dash of hostile feelings. I …

Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt

I just finished reading Barnholdt’s novel “Two-Way Street,” a story of exes Jordan and Courtney going on a road trip together to attend the same university across the country. If you haven’t read the book and you plan to, do not read any further because I have a lot to rant about. Overall, the book was alright. Easy read and semi-relatable. Could have been more thought-provoking and intelligent, but I finished the book in two days, which I guess says something about the story. The reason I couldn’t put it down was not because it was well developed and had captivating characters, it was because I wanted to know WHY COURTNEY’S DAD ACTED LIKE A CHUMP TO JORDAN?! To sum up, Jordan and Courtney are dating and Jordan finds out his mom and her dad are having an affair. When he finds out, he kept that secret from Courtney and continued to date her (not even date her, they weren’t even dating yet but they start dating not long after). Then, he breaks up with Courtney because he …