Tag Archives: Books

Love Illuminated

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I haven’t been the most fortunate in the game of love. So of course, when I came across Love Illuminated by Daniel Jones, the editor of the New York Times Modern Love column, I picked it up and decide to indulge in it.

I picked up the book hoping for some clarity, heck some divine intervention as to why I have been so unfortunate in this love mess. To my luck, in just the first few pages, he says that’s exactly what we should not expect in reading the book. Great, I still read it though.

The book is actually entertaining as Jones uses examples of a multitude of situations to discus pursuit, destiny, vulnerability, connection, trust, practicality, monotony, infidelity, loyalty and wisdom. After reading the book, I came to the conclusion that love is…well impossible to understand. It’s messy, annoying, consuming, tiresome,  a high, weird…to be honest I can go on for days. There are just so many different types of loves and ways of loving, no wonder some of us find ourselves lost and confused. We are weird creatures, sometimes even finding ourselves not really satisfied when we have something we’ve dreamed on for so long. Jones reminded me of all of this. He made me remember that I don’t have it as bad as I think I do.


“Let’s try to embrace love’s complexities as much as we try to explain them away” – Daniel Jones


I’m only 25 but it feels like I’ve been searching for love for years. In love with the idea of love; (ironic I know) I never find it in the right places. There are days I just get tired and want to give up. I’ll admit, I find myself crying some nights at how lonely I feel. That’s my problem though, I’m focusing too much on what I don’t have welcoming in people I don’t need. A lot of you could probably relate. feels like humans are addicted to love.

So in the end, I think you can say I learned a little something from this book. Embrace the complexities of love and take the experiences for what they are worth. Don’t fall in the search but fall in the moment. Most importantly, love yourself the deepest above all other loves.

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The fault In Our Stars

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Lately, I’ve had this need to travel, more than I usually do. It just seems as though the older I get, the more real things become like sickness and death; it’s a bright reminder that nothing in this life is promised. In other words, each new day is a blessing so embrace that blessing and live.

That’s why I told myself that this year, 2017, I’m going to take a trip a month. How? Well I’m figuring that out as I go, but so far it’s coming along.

In the middle of all this, I finished reading The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. I saw the movie a few years back, but reading the book gave me a new perspective on life, illnesses and love.

I found this story line genuine and full of hope. It didn’t focus on kids with cancer, but on their love; how apart from their circumstance it helped them live and experience something good. There’s so much negatives in this world, but if we can find that one good thing to experience, it can make it all worth living. Let us blur the negatives weighting us down; let us live and focus on what we do have and what we can do. That’s the lesson that stuck out to me.


“The marks humans leave are too often scars.” – John Green


I found myself thinking about the opportunities life grants us and how so many get taken for granted on a daily. We tend to find ourselves complaining, and cursing at situations that are really not that big of a deal. Selfish? Ungrateful? Let’s stop and think about it. We never take a second to contemplate things and realize that there are others who have it far worse than we do. We have too many scars we keep pressing on, instead of us allowing the scars to teach us and help us grow. Lets become better individuals by appreciating the beauty in life and the small moments we are blessed to see.

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Gone Girl. – A Novel

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Have you ever read a book, or saw a movie, that completely played mind games with you? I’m sure you have a few suggestions in mind because I definitely do.

Awhile back I saw Gone Girl, the 2014 psychological thriller, directed by David Fincher. The movie starts Ben Affleck; yes I know we all have our own opinions on the man. Therefore, you can imagine my surprise when I was totally blown away by the film! The movie was great! It reminded me of how scary the human mind can be. Probably why I was never interested in studying psychology. My mind is complex enough….

Then I found out the movie was actually a book written by Gillian Flynnwho also wrote the screenplay for the movie. I Immediately took myself to Barnes and Noble and bought the book. I was super excited because, as per my previous experiences, movies never stick to the actual book….so I thought.


“Like a child, I picture opening her skull, unspooling her brain and sifting through it,
trying to catch and pin down her thoughts.” – P. 3


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Well, think again Tiffany! I couldn’t have been anymore wrong. The book was the movie. Of course, minus a few scenarios that I envisioned as deleted scenes unnecessary for the movie edition of the plot.

So what happened? It took me forever to finish the book. Not because it wasn’t good, but because I already knew exactly what would happen; the excitement was gone. The first section of the book dragged on! I couldn’t find the want/need to pick up the book. I carried it inside my purse for months. Eventually, I managed to get towards the second half of the book and it seemed to finally start picking up the pace! Spoiler alert: The wife is so crazy it was literally hard to stop reading! See the first half of the book, you have no idea that she’s insane. It involved a lot of exposition which, I already knew of. Once you reach the second half, it’s like “HA, I fooled you!” and all the action starts going down.

All of this still leaves me wondering, book or movie first? Just when I thought I had it all figured out. It’s a hit or miss. Maybe, don’t watch thrillers first, just read the book.

I would love to read people’s opinions on this. Thoughts?

Would I recommend the book? Absolutely! Great book and I can totally see why it was made into a motion picture.

Absolute Truth, For Beginners

Time is everything. Time is uncertain and certain, kind and unpleasant, longed for and dreaded. Life is made of moments in time and thus, time is inevitable.

I recently just finished reading, Absolute Truth, For Beginners
By Katarina West [http://katarinawest.com]

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“Life (n.) A sitcom with no audience, runs till the day you die.” – Absolute Truth, For Beginners p. 273

This book made me think a lot because I found myself connecting with the main character, a 24 year-old girl uncertain as to where her life is headed. The book starts with Elisabetta arriving at her first job, after over a year of graduating college. She has suffered the post-grad struggle, which I know so well and finally, found something to keep her feet wet, even if it’s not in her field of study, Art History.

Throughout the story, taking place in Italy, a series of events unfold intertwined with the idea of time, love, unhealthy relationships, homosexuality, lack of self love, hopelessness, despair, mental instability and ultimately forgiveness. In just a little over 300 pages I was submerged into a story that really broke my heart.

I thought of how many people, including myself, go through this long period of self-doubt and lack of self-love; swearing on everything that they are the only one’s walking on this unfortunate and long path. I know, because I find myself there at times. Then you pick up a book like  Absolute Truth, For Beginners and you’re reminded that there is someone out there walking a path much similar to yours (maybe even worse and twice as complicated.)

Each reader is different therefore, a book can get interpreted in many ways. For me, this book is a reminder. It reminded me that time is tricky, precious and rare. That life is what you make of it and that love is the hardest puzzle to ever be made…but that there’s someone out there willing to make it with you. You just have to wait for time to be on your side.


 

Absolute Truth, For Beginners
Amazon Book Page
Author’s Blog
Goodreads

*I kindly received the book for my honest review.*

Love By The Book – Book 4

I finally finished my 4th book, Love By The Book by Melissa Pimentel.

Love By The Book is about Lauren, a 28-year-old American living in London, who is trying to live the “fabulous” single life. Unfortunately, she can’t seem to convince the men she’s seeing that she isn’t interested in anything else other than really good casual sex. Her frustration turns into determination and she comes up with this hilarious idea of turning her love life into what she calls a “science experiment.” Each month she follows a different dating guide and records her research to ultimately, “unlock the mystery of the male mind,” as she puts it in the book.

What makes this book 10x better is that it’s loosely based on the authors life! She turned her love life into an experiment (where she recorded her dates, with her “test subjects,” and experiences in a blog: Love By The Book,) and then afterwards turned that into a book! Read About It Here. Talk about brave, funny, crazy and exciting.

One thing I really got out of this book was appreciation for my love life. I can sit here and write about how badly I’ve tripped, fell, tumbled and possibly even died and came back to life, in my path to love but, instead I’ll say that I’m single and happy. Lauren followed all these rules, for months, where she was told to basically not be herself, and if we all take a moment and think about it, that’s what we tend to do. We always conform to what we think we should be doing to get someone’s attention. We hide or disguise a portion of ourselves because in our minds thats what we should be doing if we ever plan on retaining anyone. However, that shouldn’t be the case. We should be loved for who we are, as cliché as it sounds. There’s someone out there that’s as crazy as you are, it’s all about being patient and living.

Excerpt from Melissa’s blog: “You can call him or not call him, you can sleep with him or not sleep with him, you can be a total bitch or be a 1950s housewife, but at the end of the day, it’s pretty much just comes down to whether or not you dig each other. And no amount of game playing can force that.”

One of my favorite lines from the book is actually, “Fuck this shit: I was going to date myself for awhile.” Sometimes that’s exactly what we all need to do, stop looking for something, that eventually will come, and focus on getting to know yourself. Lauren finds what she is looking for where and when she leasts expects it and Melissa found love the exact same way.
Moral of the story: stop looking, start living and be yourself!  

6 more books to go!

Book #3

My reading journey continues. I told myself that for 2015, in the midst of everything I want to do and have to do, I was going to read 10 books.

I have officially finished my third book:

 Mistress by James Patterson and David Ellis.

James Patterson is a well-known mystery writer known for his detective series. Mistress is one of his most recent mystery novels. I never read a mystery novel so this was pretty much a first for me. I wanted to experience something different.

I have to admit, at first, it was hard for me to connect with the main character but further into the book I was able to focus more on his story. This was a book filled with twists, random surprises and in my opinion, even funny moments. To summarize the book real quick, the story focuses on an online newspaper owner, Ben, who ends up being involved in a conspiracy against the President. How does a mistress play into the story? Well you will all just have to read and find out! I recommend.

I’m proud of myself for venturing out into a different genre of book. It’s so easy to stay in your safe zone…but life is always better when you take a chance and go on an adventure!

7 more books to go!

Differences

The more I read the more fascinated I become with the idea of reading. This idea of putting pause on your life and being teleported to another world for a few minutes or hours can be quite soothing. I have the same feeling towards movies but with books it’s different…it requires a different sort of thought process. Books generate a different reaction from you…with books you submerge yourself deeper into the plot; you disappear into that world and everything around you becomes irrelevant.

The second book I read was A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. Everyone knows Nicholas Sparks for his touching love stories.

I personally never read any of his books but fell in love with movies based on his stories (The Notebook & A Walk to Remember.) I’m a sucker for a good love story, the kind that make you sob like a baby or make you cheese super hard because deep inside you wish that was you receiving that passionate kiss. So I picked this book because the movie made me sob like a baby and when I saw it at the bookstore immediately became super excited. I started reading the book thinking I knew exactly what to expect….but WOW was I completely WRONG!

The book and movie have two complete different plots! I was in shock! The movie keeps the general story line (boy falls in love with a girl who happens to have Leukemia,) keeps the names of the characters and even little things here and there from the original plot but everything else completely changed. I can sit here and list 101 differences but I won’t. What’s the point? Differences are everywhere. It made reading the book more exciting even more touching. The book focused on love, faith in God and the idea that even in the most unfairness of circumstances hope and happiness should never be lost. In its own way the movie did the same thing. So instead of focusing on the differences why not focus on the bigger picture?

It’s a theme we should all apply to our lives and something I try to remember everyday. Hope should never be lost because just how Sparks said in the last sentence of his book, “…miracles can happen.”

8 more books to go!