Book Report | To Kill a Mockingbird

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” (Lee)

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Fall has officially arrived… even in California where the temperature has dropped 10 degrees (laugh all you want, East Coasters… I took my cashmere out of storage). The change in the air brings with it nostalgia for good ole fashioned school days. My cure? Reading a literary classic—one that calls for concentration and a good classroom discussion. I chose To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Enjoyment was my only objective, but I came out of it with a renewed desire to learn. The issues that Lee tackles are historical, but many of the insights into race and society continue to affect our world today… and the lessons in growing up and becoming oneself are unchanging.
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Book Report | All’s Fair in Love & Wardrobe

Why you need to add Stephanie Simons’s All’s Fair in Love & Wardrobe to your shopping cart immediately

all's fair in love and wardrobeIf you love The Devil Wears Prada, read Vogue religiously, or know every episode of The Rachel Zoe Project, you MUST pick up this book. Written “to all the girls who’ve ever wanted to shop, dress, eat, party, travel, and Instagram like a fashion editor; now you can date like one.”

With a crash course on how to date like a fashion “editrix” (“channel a front row state of mind—don’t settle for being a back-row babe who’s constantly shuffled around and buried out of sight under the proverbial exit sign”), guides to the 7 phases of waiting for him to call and throwing the pity party of the season (“do create a stellar guest list; don’t open less than three gift registries”), a history of the relationship between love and fashion, how to master the “signature walk” of shame, a collection of closet confessions (assumedly Simons’s own dating anecdotes),  and over 100 cheeky rules, All’s Fair in Love & Wardrobe makes you want to makeover your wardrobe, your romances, and your life to appear as casually cool and easily put-together as an editor off-duty. Here are 5 points why you should pick up a copy, read, reread, and personify All’s Fair.

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Fall Reading List

Catherine’s Fall Reading List 2014

fall reading listI have a nerd confession to make: During my college years, I would visit my high school’s website for their English classes’ summer reading requirements. These along with the books I never got around to reading (though I managed to pretend I did) became part of my growing “to-read” list. For book lovers, choosing one has much to do with your atmosphere, where you are in life, and what you need from the book you choose. Perhaps it’s just me but as the temperatures start to drop (perhaps figuratively in California), I am looking for a paperback with impact—one that might change me in some way with its story or with its composition. These kind of books require undivided attention: read from your your in-home reading nook, a quiet park bench, or on your long commute. Here’s my reading list for the fall, some that have been on my list for a while, some that I’ve read before, all highly recommended.

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Summer Reading List

summer readingIn the past year I’ve visited three historic public libraries for the first time in Boston, New York City, and Seattle. Aside from the beautiful architecture and the wonder I felt at being in such awesome buildings meant solely for reading and educating, these visits reminded me that I am behind on my reading goal for the year. With a little more free time on my hands, a number of cities enticing with scenic areas ideal for a quiet moment, and more than a few plane rides, I put together a list of books I plan to tackle during the summer. Whether you’re hitting the beach, jetting off on a plane, or claiming a sidewalk table in your hometown or a foreign city, here is your summer reading list. 

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Reading Spotlight | Beginner’s Guide to John Green

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If you haven’t heard of The Fault In Our Stars, now is the time to crawl out from under your rock. Whether or not you watched the film adaptation starring Shailene Woodley already, get on the waiting list at your local library now if you know what’s good for you. I read this novel for book club and subsequently read two other titles by John Green. I am a fan.

Don’t let “Young Adult” fool you. Like the writers of Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Divergent, John Green breathes life into the category with dynamic characters, imperative themes (such as that of needing to matter), and evocation of real emotion (I have both laughed out loud and cried my eyes out over his writing). Since he is not a series writer, here’s the run-down on four of his titles to get you started on your path, with help from a fellow John Green-fan Kate Jones.

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4 Reasons to Read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl

Four reasons to read (or reread) Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl now that it’s on DVD

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If you haven’t seen the trailer for Gone Girl, click through and scroll down. You’ll have chills down your spine, and not the Grease kind. The film starring Academy Award nominee Rosamund Pike is now on DVD, which means you can leisurely dive into this psychological thrilling novel for your first or second time. It may seem like an endless read when you pick it up, but trust me: you won’t put it down. Sure, going straight to the movie instead of losing 3 days of your life reading non-stop cover to cover seems more efficient, but now that I’ve read the book then watched the movie… I want to re-read the novel. But you don’t have to take my word for it…

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What I’m Reading Wednesday

PHOTO: Pinterest.

PHOTO: Pinterest.

Once a quarter I like to share my to-read list of seasonally appropriate novels, but as we know life is unpredictable. Some books come to you at the perfect time, bringing lessons or a message that shifts us ever so slightly. However, not every book will change your life and while I try to read a couple “great” novels a year, sometimes a page-turner can simply help keep you on your reading game.

Some people prefer to get through an entire book before they move on to the next one, but speaking from personal experience this practice often results in finishing not even one book a year. When you were in school you were averaging 4-5 classes per term, so I think you can and should be able to juggle more than one book at a time. Trust me; it’s more fun than getting stuck on one slow-moving story.

This in mind, I’m introducing “What I’m Reading Wednesday,” a monthly series in which I tell you what I’m currently buried in. Now you can find my latest picks as I’m trekking along and get a better sense of how I actually meet my reading goal. If you’re interested in a particular title, you can follow my progress and final reaction on GoodReads if I ultimately decide not to share a book report with you here.

On to the reads!

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My Winter Reading List

My top reading picks for winter 2014

 

It’s raining, it’s pouring… I didn’t realize until a couple weeks ago when the first rain of the season hit San Francisco just how much I love rainstorms. With cold air and longer nights, it’s the perfect weather for curling up with a good book. This season’s picks are a little deeper, a bit more emotional but, like my fall picks, will probably strike a chord. Brew your hot beverage of choice (I go with hot cocoa or apple cider), switch on your holiday lights, snuggle with your most-loved blanket, and get ready to revel in some reading.

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