September Book Club

As predicted, I was only able to read three books, and just barely.

Let’s get into it:

the mermaid’s voice returns in this one by Amanda Lovelace

I actually finished this on the very last day of August. Oh well. I really enjoyed the conclusion of the magic trilogy. We are all a kind of magic, and this showed one woman’s journey through it. It resonated hardcore with me.

Bag of Bones by Stephen King

This was okay. I think I liked the premise more than the actual story. However, it was amazingly written and I still enjoyed it.

Educated by Tara Westover

Someone at work lent me their copy of the book thinking I’d enjoy it. It was an incredible story that I didn’t want to put down no matter how angry I was reading it (those who read it know why). It truly shows the power of self, of family, and of education—the bad and the good.

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

This is a story about a Christian woman in Holland during WWII who hid Jews in her home and smuggled food ration cards for them before getting caught and sent to a concentration camp. It was fascinating to look into the other perspective of these stories. She was a very strong and faithful woman who refused to bow down to a power that was harming people.

And that’s what I read.

I know at the beginning I said three books when I clearly reviewed four. But I actually read three (since the first book was finished in August).

October is going to be about the same, with three books. This month I plan on reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac, The Omen (book based off the movie), and The Shining by Stephen King. If I magically have time, I’ll jump back to Postern of Fate by Agatha Christie since I didn’t get to read it this past month.

Let me know if you have thoughts about these books or if you read any of them.

Hugs

Alexandra

August Book Club

I was on schedule!…until the very end. I’ll explain as I go.

Let’s get into it:

the witch doesn’t burn in this one by Amanda Lovelace

So, I read the first book in the series last month. And for someone who doesn’t like poetry, I really loved Lovelace’s works. Of course I had to read the second book in the series. I do like the first one better, but I loved this one as well. Still recommend, even if you hate poetry (like me, still). And, yeah, I’ll be buying the third book in the series.

Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Everyone had to read this in high school but me. And when I said I’d read this, everyone told me to be prepared to cry. After reading this book, this is my response to them: did we read the same book? Though Anne Frank’s story ends sadly, her own writing was hopeful and brighter than people like to give her credit for. She was a lovely writer and had lots of teenager thoughts (hello, she was a child). But she was not a sad girl.

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

There’s not much I can say here that I haven’t said in the Fellowship review and that I won’t say in the Return review. Of course I recommend it, let’s move on.

Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien

And the trilogy is done. It was an incredible adventure, a grand journey, and an awesome quest. One thing I took away from this trilogy is how under-appreciated and misused (if that’s the right word) Pippin and Merry were. Especially Pippin. They did amazing things throughout the whole journey and were nowhere near as doofy as the movies portrayed them. Beyond that, it was so incredibly written and the characters were multi-dimensional. It’s the quintessential trilogy I believe everyone should read. And now I’m going to rewatch all the movies and the new movie Tolkien (not sponsored, but boy, do I wish).

How to Be a Bawse by Lilly Singh

The original plan was to read some Stephen King, but after so many ‘heavy’ books, I didn’t want to read a 700 page book about more heavy subjects. So I went with Lilly’s book (that I got over two years ago and still haven’t read oops). It was adorable, but it was also very true. I was able to look at myself in a different light, and I was able to see what I can improve on. I do recommend this to all ages, whether you’re into self-improvement or unicorns.

And that’s what I read.

I’m not too hopeful in the coming months about reading more than three books a month because your girl is BACK IN SCHOOL (but more on that later). We have four months to finish the library goal, and we have 10 books left to go. We got this!

The books for September are Bag of Bones by Stephen King (I’ll actually get to it this month), The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, and Postern of Fate by Agatha Christie (because it’s my birthday month, and I’m gonna read my Queen).

Let me know if you have thoughts about these books or if you read any of them.

Hugs

Alexandra

My History with Books

I read (and own) a lot of books.

Recently, I held a little contest on my Instagram (@alexandrathetg) asking my followers if they could guess how many books I have in my personal library. The contest has since closed and the answer was 380. I say was because I have since bought a few more books…I am closer to 400 than my previous number.

It made me think about my history with books. Where did it start and how did it develop?

This is how I remember my childhood, book-version:

My mother read books to us like ‘The Stinky Cheese Man’ and ‘The True Story of the Three Little Pigs’. It’s no wonder we ended up a little odd. The first books I read on my own in elementary school were The Boxcar Children and a child-friendly biography of Cleopatra.

Then I move up to middle school, the preteen years:

In classes, the books we had to read that I liked included The OutsidersRoll of Thunder Hear My Cry, and The Last Book in the Universe. Of course, we read books I didn’t enjoy like The Old Man and the Sea but they don’t matter. Books I read on my own included The Outsiders (at least 8 times in those three years), as many books as I could about Ancient Egypt and Egyptology, ‘Short and Shivery’ (specifically ‘Even More Short and Shivery’), the Charlie Bone series (better than Harry Potter, fight me), Edgar Allan Poe (duh), and this is when I discovered Agatha Christie (reading her entire play collection). Something else I kept up with is my children’s book genre, reading ‘The Talking Eggs’, ‘Mustafa’s Beautiful Daughters’, and ‘The Children’s Book of Virtues’.

Then I move up again to high school, the teenage years:

In classes, the books we had to read that I liked included a shit-ton of Shakespeare, Tears of a TigerFrankenstein, and ‘The Canterbury Tales’. Obviously, there were class books I didn’t enjoy, like Lord of the Flies and Jane Eyre, but they still don’t matter. Books I read on my own included The Outsiders (maybe only once a year this time), Agatha Christie’s actual novels, plays like ‘Doctor Faustus’, Peter PanAround the World in 80 Days, more Poe, and this is when I was introduced to my favorite literary character Robert Langdon via the book The Lost Symbol (totally read those out of order).

Then I move up once more to college, the young adult years:

In classes, the books we had to read (aka too many to fully remember) that I like included an even bigger shit-ton of Shakespeare, more plays than I can recall, A Monster CallsThe Family RomamovHowl’s Moving Castle, ‘Beowulf’, ‘Sherlock Holmes’, and almost all of my theatre textbooks. So many class books I didn’t enjoy but I don’t want that negativity in my life, so I kinda forgot a lot of them. Books I read on my own included the rest of the Robert Langdon books, John Green, even more Christie and Poe, I Am Not a Serial Killer, The Last Unicorn, Maximum Ride, reread Charlie Bone, and I was introduced to manga (I now own the entire collection of Ouran Highschool Host Club).

Nowadays, I still read Christie, Poe, Brown, and Shakespeare. Stuff I’ve included since was Mitch Albom’s books, autobiographies, Stephen King, DraculaI Am Legend, and a bunch of young adult pieces like StargirlLife of PiThis is Where it Ends, and The Burn Journals.

So, basically I flowed from odd to random to classic to young adult to whatever. From dumb to smart? I don’t really know. As people grow (and as classes demand), tastes change. Sometimes. I did change from Egyptology to theatre. I did change from modern books to classic to both. But my genres just grew, used to stick to one genre then added another and another. I used to be against fantasy (still prefer realistic but anyway), however, it has a place in my library and I’m in the middle of The Return of the King.

The point of this is expand. Add genres rather than dismissing. I’m not saying don’t change. If you want, change. But you know, you can enjoy multiple genres, age groups, and authors. I still have my collection of children’s books right under my Agatha Christie collection.

Expand your mind!

Hugs

Alexandra

July Book Club

I actually wrote August Book Club before correcting myself. Shows you how awesome my mental state is at the moment.

I just hope I can remember what I actually read this month.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

So, I finished this right on the first or second day. This was definitely a special kind of post-apocalyptic book. And I liked it. I mean, it was horrific and sad and hopeful and crushing, but it was very real and raw. And I don’t know if I’d want to see the movie due to…specific scenes. If you like post-apocalyptic/survival, I do recommend it.

the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace

One thing fellow literary people need to know about me is I hate poetry. The only poetry I could tolerate was Poe (even then, I have a much stronger preference for his short films). And then I read Lovelace. There is something so connecting with her work. It’s like she breaks all the rules while creating a large overarching story through various forms of poetry. Talent! I loved it so much I bought the second part of the series: the witch doesn’t burn in this one (which will likely be in next month’s book club). Highly recommend to all ladies, even if you hate poetry (like me).

Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters by Suzanne Weyn

I’m one of those weirdos that really enjoyed Frankenstein in high school. It’s one of my favorite classics. So I was…interested. At first it was out of pure curiosity since (spoiler) Frankenstein’s wife dies on their wedding night. And until then, he had been somewhere else making a man. But it was interesting. I had a hard time with it…UNTIL THE END. Oh man! This twist was actually unexpected (a lot coming from me). It all came together in the end, and that on its own was worth it. It wasn’t as connected to Frankenstein as I had hoped, but it was a good book on it’s own. I do recommend it.

That Was Then, This Is Now by S.E. Hinton

Hinton is a young adult classic, if not the staple of young adult genre. But I’m talking about The Outsiders. I got another book of hers for a nickel, so I thought I’d give it a try. Unfortunately, I think she peeked at The Outsiders. I had read other works of hers before (TexRumble Fish, and Taming the Star Runner), but TWTTIN seemed to be her next most popular work, so I gave her one last try. Guys, just stick with The Outsiders. That is truly the amazing book.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I heard nothing but good things about this. ‘A crazy twist’, ‘the next Gone Girl‘, ‘such suspense, much thriller’. And after I read it, I just sat there asking myself, “really?” Everything about the book was completely obvious! I knew what had happened and why within the beginning of the book. Remember when I said unexpected twists are a lot coming from me (look above), I wasn’t kidding. Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters was a bigger twist than this! Shame! I won’t spoil anything in case you want to watch the movie or read the book. But I wasn’t a fan.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

That’s right, I started the grand trilogy! I’m a fan of the world, even if I’m not a fan of fantasy as a genre. But reading this book is a lot more than fantasy. I understand now why people love this trilogy so much. It’s amazingly written, the characters are fantastic, and the world is…well…out of this world! Tolkien is a genius and no one can top him (screw you George R.R. Martin). I love it, and am excited to finish with The Two Towers and The Return of the King. And of course I recommend it.

There was a roller coaster of feelings with the books this month, and I’m not changing it next month either. Here’s what we’re reading in August:

The Two Towers and The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien (duh); the witch doesn’t burn in this one by Amanda Lovelace; The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank; and Bag of Bones by Stephen King.

Let me know if you have thoughts about these books or if you read any of them.

Hugs

Alexandra

June Book Club

Because of the show, reading was…scarce…ish. Well, I definitely didn’t read as much as last month. Also, in May, I said I’d read the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I actually decided to hold off on that until August. In August,  I’ll be traveling. What better books to read than the LOTR trilogy?

Anyway, so here’s what I read:

1984 by George Orwell

I remember ‘reading’ this in high school. I decided to listen to it at work and…it’s not what I thought. While I understand theme and symbol-wise why this would be read in high schools, there were some disturbing elements that might need to wait until college. With that said, I loved the setting, the plot, but man, the characters were awful. They all sucked so bad. Ignoring the characters, it’s worth a read for the setting and themes.

Creative Struggle by Gavin Aung Than, aka Zen Pencils

I went on a Zen Pencils binge recently needing to feel better about myself and what I’m doing with my life (yes, I had some existentialism going on). I picked up the book and went to town on people of the past who had creative struggles. It’s a quick read as it’s almost entirely comics, but it was super great. Recommend for those who like comics and/or great quotes by influential people.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Narration style of an angsty teenage boy.

That’s all I’ve to say about that.

Holes by Louis Sachar

Love the movie, and everyone talked about how amazing this book was. The movie stuck to the book closer than any other movie I’ve ever seen. I read it in under 24 hours in between work, sleeping, a yard sale, finishing the Good Omens show, and rewatching the movie. It was lovingly written with a fun triple plot and some interesting characters. Highly recommend.

I started The Road, but by the time of writing this I have not finished so that’ll wait until July Book Club. Along with that, I’m planning to read Dr. Frankenstein’s DaughtersThe Girl on the Train, and That Was Then, This Is Now.

Let me know if you have thoughts about these books or if you read any of them.

Hugs

Alexandra

Book Club

Reading was on and off this month, but here’s what I got done. And reminding everyone, just because I have an opinion that is different from yours doesn’t mean either of us is wrong. We can like different stuff.

Let’s get into it:

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

Um. For a book that had such positive reviews, I was expecting much more. If I’m honest, I didn’t like the book. I had seen the movie a long time ago, and I was hoping the book was better than the movie. Nope. Setting was odd, characters were off, and that ending was a poo. So…not a favorite. I don’t recommend this.

White Oleander by Janet Fitch

This book was in my personal library and I have no idea how it got there. It just showed up out of nowhere. Oh, well, if it’s there it’s there for a reason, so let’s read it. It was a rollercoaster of emotion involving a young woman foster home hopping after her mother goes to prison for killing a man. There is a lot of sensitive story-telling and not for the faint-hearted. But for those who like super dramas like this would enjoy the writing. The characters weren’t my favorite, and man did I loathe some people in that book, but the story was well-written. I do recommend this, as I said, if you enjoy dramatic stories.

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

Another classic I wanted to give a try. I’m glad I read it, honestly, even if I wasn’t a fan of the story. I have to give it its props though. The characters are good, the story is well-written, and I did enjoy the way the action was portrayed considering Wells had to write the action with invisible particles. So, it’s a good book…I’m just not a fan of sci-fi. But I do recommend it.

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey

Finally got around to this. I had planned to read this last year, but that didn’t happen. I knew the basic gist of this, but actually diving into the content made me realize how sad and dramatic it actually is. And how terrifying the mental health care system/institutions were in the 60s. Characters were the key point rather than story in this book, though. And for good reason. I enjoyed it, so I read the play version as well. Prefer the play version over the book version (theatre nerd), but I liked the story nonetheless. I recommend this very much.

The Gingerbread Lady by Neil Simon

I was in the mood for another play after OFOTCN. This was in my collection, though I hadn’t read it yet. This was another case of the characters trumped the story. The characters were, on their own, a mess. But together, as they were, made sense and made a cohesive story. I don’t want to go too much into it since it’s definitely a play that needs to be understood in entirety, and I can’t do that. I will say, though, if I drank and stayed in acting, I’m pretty sure that would be my future. My theatre friends, please read this.

Home by Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews is queen, so of course I was interested in a memoir. Unfortunately, I was kind of bored the majority of the time. Let me say this, her memoir is fascinating. Her writing style is eloquent. My issue was my preference to how memoirs and autobiographies should be written. With Queen Julie, she was long-winded. Everything in as much detail as possible on every sort of surface. So, her memoir wasn’t bad. I was just personally bored. If you like memoirs of this kind, then I absolutely recommend it.

The Ugly One by Leanne Statland Ellis

I was actually quite shocked how good this book was! Following a scarred girl in the Incan times in Peru (or around Peru), it looks into what it means to be beautiful and worthwhile. Highly recommend to those in middle school (and to everyone in general).

You Will Not Have My Hate by Antoine Leiris

I found this book at the Dollar Store, and while I got it at cheaper than cheap, this book is so worthwhile. An open diary of Antoine when his wife died in the recent Paris terrorist attacks, it’s a look into how despair affects everyone differently. And how you may not forgive, but you don’t hate. Very interesting thoughts, heart wrenching, and yes I recommend it.

While reading was sporadic, I did read quite a bit, and I’m thankful.

Next month, I’m planning on reading 1984, The Catcher in the Rye, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I think that’ll take up all of June.

Ambitious.

Let me know if you have thoughts about these books or if you read any of them.

 

White Oleander Discussion-ish

If you were not aware, I am on another 50 books in a year challenge. The rules are that they need to come from the library in the category they assigned, so that we can expand our horizons.

One of the categories was a book club book, and to participate in the discussion. Problem is I live in cowland, Idaho with one book club…at the library…that meets when I work. So, a loophole needed to be found. That’s how I figured I would read White Oleander by Janet Fitch. On its cover, it proclaimed to be part of the Oprah Book Club, and this is how I am participating in the discussion: a blog post. So, let’s get to it:

(One side note, I owned this book. And I have no idea where it came from)

White Oleander follows a young girl, Astrid, as she hops around the foster care system while her mother serves time in prison for murdering her ex-boyfriend. Each home she goes to presents new problems, new trials, and new opportunities for her to learn about herself.

This story was, like, the ultimate nightmare of a foster child. But let’s start with her mother. In another online book club I looked into (found here), someone speculated that Ingrid, Astrid’s mother, is only pleased when everyone is in pain. This is shown through her own internal torture of being an artist. She aims to make Astrid an exact mold of herself, to suffer for her art. And when her ex-lover becomes happy away from her, she kills him. Now, for this last part, I have something to add. In my opinion, she recognized that she didn’t suffer around him, that happiness was hypnotic, and he was not to be happy when she was to suffer again. Ingrid was a character to be loathed, though others felt pity as well. Personally, I don’t pity someone who goes out of their way to make others suffer.

Anyway, back to the ultimate nightmare. Astrid was tossed from foster home to foster home, and each one was hell on earth in their own ways. The first was by her own design, in a way, and ended with her getting shot by her foster mom. The second treated her like slave by a racist foster mom, she was attacked by a dog, and was finally just kicked out. The third home, called the starvation home, could’ve been cut out, honestly. It had very little time to develop, and served no purpose. It seemed just to show another aspect of suffering. The fourth home was her best home, with a foster mom who cared. However, things unhinged, especially after a trip to visit Ingrid in prison, and the foster mom eventually committed suicide. Astrid was sent to her final home in a home of immigrants making all kinds of side hustles.

In the end, Astrid aged out of the system, is living in Berlin with her boyfriend, a foster kid she met at the orphanage, and Ingrid was released from prison.

There’s a lot to talk about with this story. Something to address is that this took place in the 90s, when the foster care system was still kind of shit. While there are many many people who want to foster and adopt for good reasons, there are some bad apples in the bunch. Astrid just happened to be placed with a punch of bad apples.

This whole book was about three things, in my opinion: suffering, a mother figure, and self. Those three were prevalent in each and every home (except the starvation home, which doesn’t exist). Ingrid had instilled these messed up morals involving these three things in Astrid. She showed Astrid that everyone needs to suffer, tried to make Astrid a carbon copy rather than letting her be her own person, and was a lousy mother, at one point leaving her with the neighbors for over a year so she can party in Mexico (I think it was Mexico?). Astrid tried to figure out who she was outside of her mother at each home, and through suffering she was able to learn more. As well, in each home she tried to figure out what is a mother figure.

In conclusion (of my TED talk, thanks for coming), suffering helps you learn, but it’s not to dictate your life/happiness. You are your own person, even if it takes years to figure out who that person is. A mother figure doesn’t have to be a mother, or a woman, or a person at all. It’s whatever nurtures you.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. Yes, it was a bit farfetched, melodramatic, and yikes-worthy. However, it was well-written and presented the story amazingly. Yes, I loathe some of the characters. However, there was no perfect person, no hero, and personalities galore.

I would recommend this, but I do have to warn there is some underage things that happen. It’s a definite rated-R, and occasionally rated-Gross.

And because I wrote this, I am not including this in the book club post at the end of the month.

See you next time.

Hugs

Alexandra

April Book Club

Well, how about that.

I was able to read the four books I had actually planned. So, let’s get into this:

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

This appealed to me after multiple reviews and sources compared her writing to Agatha Christie. I love Christie and her writing, so I gave this a shot. I can understand why they said that; it was very Christie-esque. Though, the ending was much more predictable than Christie ever was. It was a much better mystery than a lot of the modern books today. I do recommend it if you like mysteries.

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

This was a yard sale find, and the summary on the back of the book drew me in to buy it. The beginning was fascinating! And that’s the only good thing I can say about it. It started with such promise, then it just got long winded and boring and confusing. Great concept, poor execution. Nah, I don’t recommend this one.

The Outsider by Stephen King

Guys, I found this at my local bookstore for 50 cents! And I wanted to read more Stephen King, so what a good place to start. This was actually more of a murder mystery/suspense than sci fi or horror. Of course, with King, there’s a supernatural element to it, but it just adds to the mystery of it all. The characters were great, the story was great, and I was itching to know what happened next. If you like a good suspense, I do recommend this.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

John Green recommended this book in a vlogbrothers video, and it seemed up my alley. Also, I found this book for 50 cents at the local bookstore. I’ve been so lucky finding these books around. I read this in one sitting, finishing at 2 in the morning because I couldn’t put it down. It was raw and true and I connected with it. This may be a new favorite. I definitely recommend it to anyone and everyone.

For May, I plan to read five books: The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke, White Oleander by Janet Fitch, The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, Home by Julie Andrews, and The Ugly One by Leanne Statland Ellis.

See you at next month’s book club!

Book Club x2

Because the end of February was a wash, I’m gonna combine February and March’s book club.

In February I read:

The Burn Journals by

I remember hearing about this in my YA lit class in college, and I thought I’d give it a try. This was one of the realest YA nonfiction I have ever read. With that said, I definitely do not recommend it to those under the age of 16. Though the narrator was 14 when this event happened to him, it contains very adult writing and graphic language. But it was still an incredible story, amazingly written, and very real. I think because it was so real I loved it even more.

The Bird Box by

I was interested after the Netflix movie came out (haven’t seen it) and another friend of mine remembers being scared shitless reading it. But I was…bored. A fascinating concept; I LOVE the concept. Maybe I was bored with the writing style. That’s personal preference, though.

Fifty-Fifty by James Patterson

Full disclosure, I was stuck in a WalMart for three hours with only my wallet and phone (taking care of auto stuff). I’d rather not waste my battery, so I decided to go into WalMart and buy a book. My local WalMart is small compared to super centers, so the book selection was slim. This was the only book that sparked any sort of interest, so I got it. Read it. Turned out to be quite good. The characters weren’t my favorite, but the story was so interesting that I kept with it. Good for suspense and thriller lovers.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by

I was interested in the story after seeing Tim Burton’s film adaptation with Johnny Depp. And um. Um. Burton definitely took creative liberty with characters and story. Honestly, disappointed with the original story. I prefer Ichabod being a scared detective than a flirtatious schoolteacher. And I definitely prefer the legend of the Hessian being vengeful than…whatever that was they had him in the story. Movie over book in this occurrence.

In March I read:

The Strange True Tale of Frankenstein’s Creator Mary Shelley by Catherine Reef

One of the classics I enjoyed in school was Frankenstein and Mary Shelley always seemed like an odd but brilliant lady. This was a new book in the public library, so I decided to check it out. And I’m glad I did! As I thought, she was an odd and brilliant lady, and there was so much more to her than writing a brilliant gothic novel. She’s definitely a female writer we should learn more about.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Pretty obvious why I wanted to read this book: I love the movie so much. Starting the book was just a wee confusing because of the structure, with Goldman ‘revising’ a piece by S. Morgenstern and adding commentary asides. Once I understood that aspect, I was able to get into the book easily. And the novel is hilarious. It has every bit of charm the movie possesses, with the added bonus of more scenes (because novel versus book, y’know). If you liked the movie, you’ll love the book.

And in next month’s agenda

I am planning, in April, to read The Woman in Cabin 10 by , I Am Pilgrim by , Speak by , and The Outsider by Stephen King. Some longer books coming up, so don’t be too shocked if I only finish 3 in April rather than the goal of 4.

Let me know if you read or have read any of these books; I would love to know what you think. I’m not afraid of different opinions.

Hugs

Alexandra

You Are a Badass

One of the books I read in January (book club post here) was You Are a Badass by Jen Sencaro. I greatly enjoyed the book, and wanted to give some thoughts about why you are a badass.

Watching someone else totally go for it can be incredibly upsetting to the person who’s spent a lifetime building a solid case for why they themselves can’t.

I felt this as a personal attack. All of my friends are incredible at what they have set for themselves. And then there’s me. I am incredibly upset (at myself) when others go for it, only because I convince myself I can’t.

It’s just as easy to believe we’re awesome as it is to believe we’re giant sucking things.

It takes the same amount of brain power. So utilize it for something fulfilling.

We are all perfect in our own magnificent, fucked-up ways.

One of my favorite quotes in the whole book. We are magnificent, we are fucked up, we are us.

Do not waste your precious time giving one single crap about what anybody else thinks of you. 

This was in all caps, so it must be important. I think too much about what others think of me. It’s what I set for myself after traumatic bullying. But so much of my own limited time was spent worrying about someone else when I should have been worrying about me.

THE FOLLOWING IS HUGELY IMPORTANT SO PLEASE PAY VERY CLOSE ATTENTION: You have to change your thinking first, and then the evidence appears. Our big mistake is that we do it the other way around. We demand to see the evidence before we believe it to be true.

I love the way she wrote important messages. I do make the mistake of acting on evidence before faith when it comes to my self worth. Time to change.

Forgiveness is all about taking care of you, not the person you need to forgive. 

Forgive. Let yourself heal; who cares what happens to them afterward. It’s hard, impossible some may say. I’m well aware. But it lets me take care of myself, not letting the other off the hook or giving them my happiness.

Because so often when we say we’re unqualified for something, what we’re really saying is that we’re too scared to try it, not that we can’t do it. 

Another personal attack. Although, I have been getting a lot better at changing this, and I wanted you guys to be aware of what you may be too afraid to do too.

Do what you can in joy, instead of trying to do it all in misery. 

Working in joy helps better your overall attitude and helps it go by easier. I’ve had jobs I loathed, and I’ve spread that complaining to my family and friends. It’s not good for anyone, especially me. A better job and a better confidence comes when you find even the smallest joy and focus on it, rather than letting the overall misery be its defining factor.

Never apologize for who you are. It lets the whole world down. 

Boom. No more needs to be said.

The only failure is quitting. Everything else is just gathering information. 

Another favorite quote. Everything is learning. You are doing better than before; the only way you don’t is when you quit.

New level, new devil. 

Life.