This was an emotional and empathetic look into America's prison systems. It started off as self serving, but became much more than that. Reading this...moreThis was an emotional and empathetic look into America's prison systems. It started off as self serving, but became much more than that. Reading this book felt like watching the author visit old friends, even if sometimes you learned that your friend was worse off than the last time you saw them. Kerman's memoir also briefly addresses the war on drugs, but is not the book to read if you're looking to read heavily on that topic.(less)
I love the concept behind Dear Teen Me. I think some of the mistakes I’ve made throughout my life are ones I’ve learned from, but sometimes one just l...more
I love the concept behind Dear Teen Me. I think some of the mistakes I’ve made throughout my life are ones I’ve learned from, but sometimes one just looks back and cringes or wishes one had done things differently. That is precisely what the authors in this book talk about.
Every letter in this book has a different tone. Some are sad and somber, some are funny, and others reminded me a lot of my teenage self. I wish I could say every latter in this anthology is a standout, but I only really loved a select few. Regardless, even the ones that I didn’t love helped me see things from a different perspective, or understand how drastically different the experience of growing up can be for everyone.
I could go on for a few paragraphs about Dear Teen Me, which is what I normally do, but instead I’m going to write a letter to my teen self.
Dear Teen Me,
You’ve got a lot going on. For a seventeen-year-old girl, you’ve got it pretty together. You get good grades, participate in extra-curriculars, eat well, and are well read. You’ll get into a good college, and so far, your adult life is off to a solid start.
Regardless, there are two things you can fix, and the sooner you do so, the happier you’ll be.
Start by being a better person. You’re nice enough to the kids at school, and you have decent manners. Still, you can be hard to get along with. Some of the things you say are downright tactless. Or awkward. It makes it challenging for you to make friends. I know you’ve got friends now, but people will see you as a nicer and more well-rounded person if you make this change. And let’s be honest—in some respects, you do care what others think of you. When you get older and start applying for graduate school and looking for work, it will matter what other people think of you, because they could decide whether or not you get that scholarship.
Also? Try being a little bit less judgmental of your peers. Even if you don’t voice your opinions, ask yourself this question: is it really your place to judge them? Because it probably isn’t.
The second item on our agenda is a bit more shallow, but just as important: your appearance. Right now you’re willing to settle for clothes that look okay and are only kind of flattering. The outfits you put together are sometimes mediocre and unoriginal. One day, you’re going to decide to that you need to spend just a little bit more time shopping for clothes. You’ll pick out a few things that are really nice instead of a lot of cheap clothes. You’ll put just a little bit of extra thought into how you can wear the clothes you have. I’m not, however, saying that you need a full face of make-up and super styled hair every day. Just pick out clothes that enhance your natural beauty, and the rest will figure itself out.
It doesn’t sound like a big deal, I know. However, when you put in just a little extra effort, more people you notice you and comment on how nice you look. Your confidence will skyrocket. Suddenly, guys will start to notice and actively pursue you. It’s strange, but decidedly a change for the better.
Overall, you’re doing great. I’m mostly proud of the person you are, and I know that you are going to grow a lot over the coming years, especially in college. Just keep my suggestions in mind. You’ll be in a much better place when you do.
Immediately after watching the book trailer, and reading the blog it’s based on, 1000 Awesome Things, I knew I had to purchase The Book of Awesome.
I w...moreImmediately after watching the book trailer, and reading the blog it’s based on, 1000 Awesome Things, I knew I had to purchase The Book of Awesome.
I was so excited about this book that I started talking to my friends about it as soon as I ordered it, which is unusual for me. One individual said it sounded like something one might buy off of SkyMall, and I admit that the premise may sound cheesy to some. However, rest assured that The Book of Awesome is a witty, feel good read that helps one remember how great the little things are.
Essentially, The Book of Awesome is an extended list. However, it’s more fun than reading a straight up list, because the awesome things are described in slightly different ways. Some have lengthy explanations, others have bulleted advice, others have just a few words or a photo. Pasricha did an excellent job not only of mixing up these formats but of the content of his book so that it never got monotonous.
I won’t lie, The Book of Awesome definitely has moments that are sentimental or reminiscent of childhood. A couple of the awesome things felt targeted at people who are long out of college and have stable lives, and in that respect I may have been a bit young for this book. I think I’ll only grow to appreciate this book more as I re-read it.
I fell in love with this book. It made me laugh, made me go, “Awww” and made me remember to always appreciate the little things in life. As I read, I took it slow, and only read a few pages at a time, often when I was a little glum, and it lifted my spirits every time. I think it’ll have the same effect on you. AWESOME!(less)
I read this book in the hopes of reviewing my punctuation, but this read proved to be far more entertaining than simple grammar rules. If you are an A...moreI read this book in the hopes of reviewing my punctuation, but this read proved to be far more entertaining than simple grammar rules. If you are an American reader, be prepared to have many things about your country, as well as your poor grammar, mocked. I consider myself a bit of a grammar snob (even though I know mine is far from perfect), but Truss definitely put me in my place.
This is a challenging book to review, perhaps because it’s so straight forward. I think Truss did a great job of thoroughly cover all of her bases. It is definitely fair to say that this book proved to be helpful guide and refresher for punctuation. Truss provided practical examples to help her read better understand the points she made.
What I enjoyed most about this book was the fact that Truss had clearly found her voice. She was intelligent, witty and humorous. If you like your grammar and punctuation rules with a little bit of snark, I highly suggest that you pick this book up.(less)
This is the first Linda Hogan work which I've read in whole--I've read excerpts from Dwellings and The Book of Medicine. The times I've read her it's...moreThis is the first Linda Hogan work which I've read in whole--I've read excerpts from Dwellings and The Book of Medicine. The times I've read her it's been assigned reading, and I have to say I'm not really sure how well known she is outside academia. I read this for my women's and gender studies class, where we learned a lot about systems of oppression, including race, and how these perpetuate other systems of oppression. I almost wonder if it would have been better to start with this out of all her works, as it's Hogan's memoir and explains who she is. However, this isn't just Hogan's memoir, but a memoir of her people.
If I had to summarize this book in one sentence, I would say it's about Hogan's experiences growing up and living as an American Indian in America. Hogan places a lot of emphasis on family and tradition and how traditions are passed down. She covers a lot of serious and explicit subject matter in this work. It is true that in some ways, non-American Indian readers might relate to certain areas of this book, such as the difficulty of passing down tradition through generations.
However, as a white reader, one really isn't supposed to be able to connect with this book. To me, this whole book is about the problems that resulted because white people wanted to kick American Indians off American soil. It's about the oppression of a race. It's not only a great lesson in American history, but a reminder that American Indians still don't have great lives.
Hogan writes a considerable amount about spirituality and uses intimate diction in her work. She writes about spiritual connections with land and place which no white man can have--I know I've felt connected with nature before, but not quite to the extreme that Hogan does, if that's even the word I'm looking for. This may sounds like an alienating thing, but to me it wasn't. American Indians and Americans have had very different relationships with the land, such as using every part of the buffalo versus building railroads for ourselves on the land. I found the spiritual aspects of this work to be eye-opening, and I think it's important for Americans to become more educated about American Indian culture, because understanding their relationship to the land versus ours helps us understand how we repress them and what we can do to make it right.
On the back of this book, there is a quote from Hogan saying, "I sat down to write a book about pain and ended up writing about love." At many points in the work Hogan talks about how much more she and those around her thrived in a loving atmosphere. At the end of her book, she doesn't give her reader an exact call to action, but I thought her call to action was to love. Learn more about other cultures that exist in the same country as your own. Learn to love them, and gain a better understanding of they want and need to live happier lives. I think we should not only take action on our own to get this education, but works like Hogan's help with this process, and maybe eventually there will be more love between races, instead of oppression.(less)