I write like…

As your resident party pooper, I say that the “I write like” website probably isn’t totally legitimate or accurate. If it’s telling me I write like Dan Brown and James Joyce and Gertrude Stein, I want to know why. There may not be any rhyme or reason to these famous author matches, but it’s still fun to see who’s writing your words emulate. I entered three snippets of writing into the generator: 1) a blog post 2) a poem and 3) an essay.

Round ONE

Round TWO

Round THREE

Which famous author do you write like? Go for it.

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Just Finished Reading

Woke up at 6:30 a.m. to finish Catching Fire. Now I’m running late to work. I enjoyed it more than the first one, but honestly, I think that’s because I already knew what was going to happen in the first book from watching the movie. A book spoiled just can’t compete with a fresh read, especially with books like the Hunger Games series, which are so dependent on the plot line for substance and enjoyment. I do give Suzanne Collins credit for keeping me up at night and propelling me to rise earlier than I usually would. But would I read Catching Fire again? Probably not.

Now, The English Patient, on the other hand, which I read earlier this summer, will seemingly always be able to sink its poetic language, characters and insights deep into my consciousness, leaving new tracks each time. I call it one of those books that you feel compelled to read again and again and again…because it’s just so gosh darn beautiful and GOOD.

22 ways to get your Hepburn on

I just finished reading How to Hepburn by Karen Karbo, and I must say, I quite enjoyed it. It was altogether a completely different sort of inspirational biography. Perhaps what Karen Karbo does best is show us how Katharine Hepburn‘s staunch (and often incomprehensible) adherence to her peculiarities, her work, and her married lover has granted her immortality in American film history. What I have learned to truly admire and respect about Hepburn is that she not only knew what she wanted, but she knew herself best of all. And she refused to compromise any part of herself for anyone else even in the face of criticism and hostility. For example, Hepburn loved pants even when society thought she was a mad woman for never taking off her trousers. But through her love of pants, Hepburn revolutionized the meaning of being a woman, and that is more than any of those skirt-wearing cinema sweethearts, the ones who have long since faded into history, can ever say about their fashion dogmas.

In the last chapter of How to Hepburn, Karen provides us with a list of 22 ways to get our Hepburn on.  These 22 are some of the best advice that I’ve ever come across, because they dare us to live happily, honestly, audaciously and, most importantly, unapologetically. Because we should never have to say sorry for being the most fabulous person on this planet.

  1. Have a Credo
  2. Find Yourself Fascinating
  3. Find a Sport(s)
  4. Say What You Think
  5. Don’t Confuse Self-Improvement with Self-Remodeling
  6. Realize You Can Go Forward Blindly
  7. Assume the Answer is No, Unless You Can Find a Reason to Say Yes
  8. Be Frugal
  9. Strive to Fully Inhabit Your Life
  10. Prefer Dark Chocolate
  11. Develop a Concept of Fun That Includes Not Just Play, but Work
  12. Find Danger Exhilarating
  13. Master the Headstand, and Keep the Skill Sharp as Long as Possible
  14. Wear Sunscreen
  15. I Cannot Emphasize This Enough, WEAR SUNSCREEN
  16. Find the Type of Clothes You Feel Best In and Never Take Them Off
  17. Cold Baths, Pros and Cons
  18. Surprise the World and Yourself by Enjoying a Good Cry
  19. Waste Time
  20. Never Pass Up the Opportunity to Give Someone a Good Sock in the Jaw
  21. Care for Someone Who Doesn’t Deserve It
  22. Make It Count

Bella Swan, Stay Away From My Little Sister

Saw Breaking Dawn Part 1 last night. Let’s just say, I will never quite understand what the big Twilight craze is about. Although I would say this movie is the best out of all of them relatively speaking, it’s still not good by any standards of the film industry. Kristen Stewart is getting better at acting, but she still looks like she’s royally uncomfortable and in pain the entire movie. I swear, I really just wanna slap her in the face sometimes. She is such a ridiculous heroine. In our modern age, it’s crazy that people still buy into this whole “I’m nothing without a man” notion. This is such a backwards idea. We are supposed to be teaching young girls that there is more to life than boys and that there is nothing attractive about being desperate and clingy. I am so happy my sister has not picked up these books yet or watched the films. I’m glad that she chooses to read series like Harry Potter and the Hunger Games that actually teach real values and strength. In fact, she’s read a lot of the books here. Yes, my little sister makes classy literary choices.

-Proud, approving big sister

So excited about the new books I picked up today!

My heart is doing the running man, and I feel like my eyes are sparkling. This must be love…

The Borders by my mall was having a store closing clearance, so of course, the bibliophile in me HAD to stop by for a peek. These are the gems I came away with (at a stellar price).

1. Stranger than Fiction:True Stories by Chuck Palahniuk

Previously, I’ve read Fight Club and Choke by Palahniuk both of which I found very provocative. When I read Choke, I was at an age where I found the vulgar, graphic nature of Palahniuk’s writing extremely shocking. At the time, the content was too mature for me so I definitely want to give that book another shot now that I am a grown up, responsible college student (ha! most of the time).

Great authors have great knots of inspiration tangled in their minds. Since Palahniuk writes some of the most twisted stories ever, he must have oodles of crazy thoughts inside his head. I would give up cupcakes for the rest of my life (maybe) to roam through those corridors for a day. I’m looking forward to Stranger than Fiction, because it’s the first nonfiction account of Palahniuk’s world that he’s ever written. So maybe I won’t have to give up cupcakes after all…

2. Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje

I don’t know much about this particular book, but I hear The English Patient by Ondaatje is spectacular and definitely a top must-read for me. Great writers don’t just produce one hit wonders, so I’m interested in reading Ondaatje’s other works too. Chronologically speaking, Anil’s Ghost was published after The English Patient, but I think I will read it first. That way I get to save the best for last (assuming that, like the majority, I will enjoy The English Patient more).

3. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie 

I’ve heard so many raves about this book, and I am so happy I finally got my hands on a copy! And a lovely hardcover copy (only $8!) at that. I bought Shalimar the Clown by Rushdie in Hong Kong this summer, because the bookstore didn’t have Midnight’s Children. I never got around to reading it, but it definitely still holds a place on my reading list. However, I think the latecomer, Midnight’s Children, may have just bumped its literary sister down a step.

Since we are on the topic of books, I am currently reading 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. Loving it so far. I’ll post more thoughts after I turn the last page.

Complete list of books I read this summer:

1. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (twice)

2. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

3. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

4. I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb

5. Monkey Business: Swinging Through the Wall Street Jungle by John Rolfe and Peter Troob

6. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

7. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua

I’m really excited about the new additions to my bookshelf, but I only have a day left before I go back to school. It’s difficult to squeeze in reading time during the crazy hectic year, but thank goodness there’s always the promise of next summer to read like a chain smoker again.

If any of you have book suggestions, don’t be shy…leave me a comment!