My Favorite Reads

46430830_895924280797219_6282832384274464768_n.jpgThese days I am often busy reading long, esoteric texts for school, but when I have the chance to read for fun I always relish it! Below are a few of my favorite reads, both recently and throughout the last few years. Have you read any of them? Please let me know in the comments below, and make your own suggestions!

Originals by Adam Grant
The subtitle of this book is “How non-conformists move the world.” It is all about how to foster and apply creativity, originality, and progress both in your personal life and in a larger setting (i.e. societal movements, corporations, etc.). It may sound dry but I promise it is far from it! Grant draws on lots of studies and research but his tone is super conversational and engaging. My boyfriend (this is not a drill folks! I have a real life boyfriend) read it aloud to me via Skype the past few weeks and I ate it up.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
I finished this about three months ago and am still thinking about it. The story revolves around a young Pakistani man who studies at Princeton and is recruited to work at a large firm on wall street. He is succeeding and doing well for himself in America, until 9/11 happens and everything changes (but not necessarily in the ways you might think!). I finished this book in three days.

Back Talk by Danielle Lazarin
A collection of short stories about girlhood, coming of age, and womanhood. They are sharp, witty, and quick to read. I loved the character development and related to many of the women in the stories.

Self-Help by Lorrie Moore
One of my favorite short story collections I’ve ever read! I love the second person POV she employs in some of the stories and drew a lot inspiration from her for a few of my own stories.

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
Main character Greer Kadetsky is a quiet college freshman when she meets Faith Frank, the striking woman who has been a central pillar of the women’s movement for decades. She idolizes Faith and is drawn to work for her. She must also learn how to balance her love life, and try not to loose herself in the process. I devoured this book up! It is very modern and relatable.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Hamid’s fifth novel, a finalist for the Man Booker Prize for fiction, deals with the
experience of modern-day refugees. But unlike many refugee novels, which focus on the journey itself, Exit West revolves around the struggles and realities of life before and after said journey. Main characters Nadia and Seid decide they must leave their war-torn home for a safer, albeit uncertain, future. They find a smuggler who shows them a ‘magical door’ that leads to an unknown Western country. They walk through and instantaneously emerge into an alien land, where they fight to cling to their love, their past and their sense of self. This was President Obama’s favorite book last year.

A Girl I Knew by JD Salinger
This is one of Salinger’s lesser known short story published in 1948. It is about a young man’s trip to Austria to learn German to be of use in his father’s company. There, he meets and befriends a beautiful, jewish girl who teaches him German. They are separated during the war, and I won’t spoil the ending but it is, well, a little heartbreaking. You can see why I love this one– I relate to the struggle to learn German!46387093_755016484845773_7015624886680813568_n.jpg

 

The Last Bookstore

img_2096Yesterday my friend Jessica and I spent some time exploring Downtown L.A. Honestly, I don’t think people give this city enough credit– it has its moments! Sometimes I find myself wishing I lived in a bigger, more traditionally structured city like New York or Berlin, but then L.A. pleasantly surprises me with something cool. We spent a large portion of the afternoon in The Last Bookstore, an incredible bookstore in the heart of DTLA where you can buy and sell books. There is a coffee shop inside, couches and chairs to relax, and even a few art vendors. I bought “This Side of Paradise” by F. Scott Fitzgerald to read over Christmas break. Below are a few photos if you’d like to see!img_2099img_2100img_2106img_2107^I feel lucky to have made even one friend like Jessica in this lifetime. I can’t express how much she means to me!img_2108img_2110img_2112img_2114img_2115img_2117img_2122img_2123img_2125img_2126img_2129img_2130img_2131img_2132img_2136img_2138^Christmas is in full swing inside the store!img_2140img_2145img_2146^”The Catcher in the Rye” is one of my all time favorites.img_2148img_2150img_2152img_2154img_2155img_2164^Trying to look intellectual…is it working?img_2165img_2166img_2167img_2168^A tunnel of books…casualimg_2170img_2174img_2177^I’ve been listening to Vince Guaraldi’s Christmas album non-stop, particularly the songs from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”img_2185img_2188img_2197After this we headed to The Grove, an outdoor shopping area with lots of lights and festivity. What are your plans for the upcoming break? Be sure to get out an explore your own city one of these days friends!

What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever read?

img_5557A few weeks ago I read this post from the blog ‘A Cup of Jo’ and it inspired my to think back on the many beautiful passages I’ve read over the years. Here are a few that have stuck with me:

“Probably for every man there is at least one city that sooner or later turns into a girl. How well or how badly the man actually knew the girl doesn’t necessarily affect the transformation. She was there, and she was the whole city, and that’s that.” –A Girl I Knew, J.D. Salinger

“I’m glad it’s a girl. And I hope she’ll be a fool – that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”- The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

“In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whispering and the champagne and the stars.” –The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald

“But now, for the first time, I see you are a man like me. I thought of your hand-grenades, of your bayonet, of your rifle; now I see your wife and your face and our fellowship. Forgive me, comrade. We always see it too late. Why do they never tell us that you are poor devils like us, that your mothers are just as anxious as ours, and that we have the same fear of death, and the same dying and the same agony–Forgive me, comrade; how could you be my enemy?” – All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque

“Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.”- The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.” –Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie

So I’m curious, what is one of the most beautiful things you’ve ever read?img_1993

 

Winnie-isms

img_0407I have the pleasure to babysit a little girl named Winnie on Wednesday mornings. She is bright, bubbly and always happy! She LOVES books and is constantly asking me to read to her. Plus, she speaks only German with her mother who went to art school in Dresden, Germany. I speak a mix of German and English with her, and honestly I think her’s is much better than mine! Below are a few Winnie-isms, or cute things she said to me throughout our time together. Enjoy!img_0370^”Look Micah, I’m a shark! I’m gonna get you”img_0350img_0353^She didn’t want to take out her pigtails last night, so she woke up with “Cindy-Lou Who” hair as I like to call it ;p img_0354img_0377img_0378img_0379img_0386
^”Winnie can you cook me something to eat?”
“Yes, I will cook you watermelon.”img_0388img_0389img_0391^”Where’s my dolly? She misses me”img_0393^”There’s an alligator down there! He’s gonna eat me!”img_0398^Winnie took this photo of me…never mind that I look like a psycho! img_0401^I couldn’t resist braiding her hair in these teeny tiny baby braids! I don’t have any sisters but I always wanted to practice hair styles on others, so I used to braid my dolls hair.img_0405img_0406^These “Little Golden Book” from Disney are classics!img_0408img_0414^”The mommy and daddy live in this house together”img_0419^When the braids came undone, I settled on a little pony tail!img_0422img_0423I forget how hilarious kids are! Do you remember funny things a child has said to you? I’d love to hear.