I love books. I have stacks of them all over my room. Multiples of some of my favorites. But my copy of “Kafka On The Shore” is a bit different. It’s filled with highlights and underlines and notes and stars. But even more so it’s worn, ripped at the corner from my dog chewing on it. Stained from tears. And filled with laughter.
It’s been a year. It feels like it’s been five. It’s been seven years. It feels like a lifetime. I hate today. I hate April 22. But we labor on, we fall in love, we lose ourselves, we get our hearts broken and maybe, we find ourselves again.
For Kyle & Holly-
In everybody’s life there’s a point of no return. And in a very few cases, a point where you can’t go forward anymore. And when we reach that point, all we can do is quietly accept the fact. That’s how we survive. -Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami
Hilary Winston’s book “My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me” is equal parts hilarious and depressing. Winston’s struggle over her boyfriend writing an unflattering book about their relationship, trying to become a writer in LA and living with an aging cat will make you laugh and cry. Winston is innately funny and can make fun of herself—especially when it comes to her cats. But at the same time admits that she’s dealt with her fair share of bad times. “My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me” isn’t a name dropping writer book, Winston makes a point to not name names. The truth can kick you in the gut when you hear about her heartbreaks and struggles with her family.
Winston’s book is an incredible read for any mid-20something that is looking to realize they’re not alone in the world. Others have been through the same struggles and you can make it through. Maybe we won’t have all the answers, but we can make it ladies. So read Hilary’s book, it’s a keeper!
Amanda Knox’s “Waiting to be Heard” is an enthralling book. Written from the typical mind of a 20-something, Amanda admits to small moments in her life that would ultimately play out in front of the media. She tells of her move to Italy and a new life, how she hoped to grow as an adult and learn maturity, and ultimately of Meredith Kurcher’s murder, her arrest and trail, and time in jail.
While her case was played out in the media, Amanda takes a hard look at her own actions and how they influenced what was said about her. She doesn’t sugarcoat the way she lived her life, she is honest about the actions she took. And it is heartbreaking to read about her confusion after Meredith’s murder. Her desire to help that continually falls flat because of her misunderstanding of the language.
If you have any interest in Amanda’s case, how media (and a totally different government) can affect a murder trial, or if you’re just in need of a good dose of reality hitting you when you’re down check out “Waiting to be Heard.” It will make you rethink that smallest actions you take daily and how they could be used against you if something terrible happened to you.
After my super serious read Salt Sugar Fat, I needed a light hearted book. I ordered Drinking & Tweeting by Brandy Glanville because it was recommended on Amazon and had high reviews.
I didn’t know who Brandi was or any of her drama before reading the book so I think I went in with a pretty open mind. I am familiar with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills although I’ve never really watched it. So I expected a dumb, drama filled book with little to no take aways.
While I wouldn’t say Drinking & Tweeting is the best biography ever, I found it incredibly interesting, light hearted and helpful. Brandi is that friend who shoots straight, she tells you that you need to move on and stop cyber stalking your ex. She admits that she’s done the same thing while chugging wine and obsessing over tweets. She knows it’s unhealthy but at the same time healthy.
I had to look up some details that she only lightly talks about (because I’d never heard of her and her divorce drama), but overall I found it enjoyable. Brandi is down to earth and admits that she’s not always the best at giving advice (she did slash her ex husband’s tires after all), but she’s been through worse than most normal people and seems to have come out of it well. If you need a good beach book or post-breakup book make sure to check out Drinking & Tweeting. It will keep you laughing while giving you some solid advice!
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
After reading multiple positive reviews and hearing rave reviews from friends, I decided to finally read Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss. The whole book focuses on the addictive tactics of processed foods. Written by a journalist, I knew this book would be fact heavy and a more solid read.
While the book as a whole was enjoyable, it did feel like at a certain point he had covered basically everything you needed to know. But there was still half the book left! There were only so many ways to say and show how the processed food industry had given us little to no other affordable options to healthy eaten and thus had driven society into obesity. I found the actual science behind most of it to be rather dull, while the analysis of the marketing campaigns and inner workings of the companies were often riveting. The best parts were finding out how companies found the perfect crunch ratio or the invention of a childhood favorite (Lunchables, etc).
Although Salt Sugar Fat made me question my eating habits—and I have been trying to eat better since reading—I haven’t given up my love of Oreos, potato chips, or cereal. So if you’re looking for a highly educational (although sometimes taxing) book, check it out and make sure you keep the Twinkies close by!
The eve of my 1 year anniversary in New York is upon us. This time last year I was fresh into the city, still sleeping on an air mattress (wether working or not depended on the day), eating without utensils, and waiting for all of my stuff to arrive. I spent my East Sunday and Silence! The Musical and started learning how to become myself in New York. That’s right. It’s been a year. Quite a year might I add. In the past year I’ve lived in two apartments (I moved out of apt 1 a few weeks before my lease was up), worked at 4 different jobs, been on so many crazy adventures, and somehow I managed to thrive. Even as I type, I cannot believe it’s been a year since I packed my bags and decided to move- with only a few weeks notice! It’s been an incredible ride and I can’t wait to see what happens in years 2 and 3 and 5 and 10? Ok…I’ll slow down, let’s just start with year 2!
There will be plenty more craziness to come and I can’t even imagine what is in store. But get excited!
Every baker has certain foods that terrify them to make. On the top of mine is bread. Bread is scary. Yeast…yeast is a nightmare. But I decided to finally tackle baking bread! And a bread that didn’t have yeast. It was so easy.
Easy Irish Soda Bread
2 cups self rising flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup homemade “buttermilk” (squeeze 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice into a 1 cup measure, fill remainder with milk and let stand for 5 minutes)
Pesto Grilled Cheese
Basil pesto spread
Sliced Easy Irish Soda Bread
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Create homemade “buttermilk” and let stand for 5 minutes. While waiting, combine flour, baking soda, and salt in large mixing bowl. Mix well. Then combine butter and “buttermilk” making sure to scrape down the sides and mix well. Dough will be sticky.
Flour hands and form a ball with the dough, placing on a baking sheet. Lightly flour dough and bake for 30-35 minutes (time depends on your oven, it took mine quick a bit longer but original recipe called for 30-35) or until top of bread is golden brown. Let cool completely before slicing.
Add basil pesto and mozzarella cheese to make a delicious grilled cheese sandwich! Or make open-faced grilled cheese sandwiches- place pest and cheese covered bread slices in 400 degree often until cheese has melted (about 10-15 minutes).