My 2018 Goal: A Book Per Month

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One of my goals this year is to read at least one book every month. I realized I haven’t read anything great in a while and I’ve been out of touch with what’s new and profound in the literary realm. Knowing I’d be really indecisive on selecting books, I reached out to my Facebook friends for recommended titles. Naturally, everyone responded with titles close to their heart! I specifically asked for some diversity, everything from science fiction to self help. My network of old friends, colleagues, past professors, and relatives served up a very diverse list. I’ve combed through the titles that seemed interesting and are somewhat relevant to me.

Here are the top 12 that made my list:

  1. La Sombra del Viento / The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón – This is the first one that I bought. Recommended by my grad school professor, this is really great so far. I bought the Spanish version, thinking I’m up for a challenge, but it’s taking me longer than usual to get through a book. I highly recommend this book (it was suggested to me three times) because I’m only on page 50 and I feel like I’m in a magical world.
  2. Who Thought This Was A Good Idea? by Alyssa Mastromonaco – I’m not going to lie, I peeked through the first ten pages of this once I received it in the mail. The writing style is honest and witty, but I’m forcing myself to finish La Sombra del Viento before I finish this.
  3. Building A Story Brand by Donald Miller – Naturally, my boss gifted me an awesome book that would help me develop my branding and message strategy at work. This was an easy read and Donald puts things into perspective.
  4. Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown – A crossfit friend recommended this to me. We’re on the same level. I need to learn how to adult!
  5. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – A former classmate recommended this one and I saw that it was highly rated on Amazon. It’s on my list of next books to purchase (or find a copy of at the library).
  6. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini – This title was recommended to me three times! The synopsis and eager recommendations sealed it’s place on my list.
  7. Ready Player One: A Novel by Ernest Cline – I asked for diversity and my crossfit friend served it up. This isn’t a title I’d pick up immediately, but I hear the movie comes out sometime next year. Plus, it looks exciting!
  8. A Tale for the Time Being: A Novel by Ruth Ozeki – I read the reviews on this one and they are phenomenal. I can tell every person was affected by this book, even the poor ratings have quality feedback. On the list it goes…
  9. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō – Ali Wong was onto something. A fellow AIGA board member recommended this title and I remembered Ali’s standup.
  10. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – A former grad school classmate warned me this is a sad read, but it makes you think about life and death.
  11. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey – Recommended by a former colleague who is always trying to be better at what he does. Such an appropriate title.
  12. Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health by Dr. Caroline Leaf – My younger cousin recommended this, which I am in complete shock that she did. She’s a wildly bold free-thinker and to see her recommend a book that helps center your thoughts and incorporates a spiritual or biblical element shows me how much she’s grown. Perhaps it will help me grow as well.

This list is definitely a great start. I think my Facebook post helped some folks discover new genres and books. A couple of old classmates have even reached out saying they wanted to start a book club. We’ll see how it goes. Feel free to leave your fave titles (and why you recommend them) in the comments!

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Wanderlustings

Summer has been very eventful so far. My little brother arrived in Honolulu the other day and I’ve taken him under my wing for the next three weeks. I’ve been thinking of ways to entertain this 11-year-old wonder-kid, having that he pretty much does whatever he wants in Guam. Since I’m a teacher, I’ve taken it upon myself to have him read at least one book a week, then have him tell me about the characters, plot and literary elements, all in between his golf tournaments, of course.

My brain needs some exercise as well. I’m trying to develop my creative skills and I’ve looked to some artists for inspiration. I’ve just stumbled upon artist and designer Caitlin Peters, creator of Wanderlustings. She designs jewelry on Etsy and has been featured in art shows. Her blog is a wonderful platform to post her designs, fashion tips and photography, I could scroll on forever just admiring her work.

I’m also thinking of taking an art class (either at the university or the Honolulu Academy of Arts) this summer, at least until the Fall semester starts. I’m a natural busy bee. 🙂

Reading Sandra Cisneros’ Loose Woman for the 14392nd time. It never gets old. #chicanalit #lamalinche

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Cisneros has been one of my favorite writers since I broke down and devoured the lost innocence of her infamous work The House on Mango Street, in my sophomore year of high school. It’s so easy to connect with the concepts of mestizaje and being a Mexican-American woman, a chicana who struggles with sexuality, love and her family. Cisneros is brutally honest in Loose Woman, she showcases the dichotomy between feminism and passivity.

M.I.A. Series //// March 12th

Here’s another one of my creations for the monthly M.I.A. Literary Series at Fresh Cafe. This time, I was feeling a bit cartoonish. I used basic wave vectors and tweaked them a bit. It’s really a basic flyer, but I felt clean lines and eye-catching color would suit the event just fine.