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A test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter

A Dog’s Purpose

a dogs purpose

I am so excited I finally got to read this book! I had wanted to see the movie that recently came out as well, but after the allegations of dog abuse on set, I opted to not give my money to see the movie. As excited as I was to see the movie, it was clear that it would be drastically different from the book.

A Dog’s Purpose is written by W. Bruce Cameron, who also wrote 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter. His writing style is fun and he really knows how to hook you in the story and make you not want to put the book down. This book will make you smile, laugh, weep, and definitely make you look at your dog differently. He really captures how we would think a dog thinks and what a dog would want to say if he could speak.

This novel is about a dog that keeps coming back even after his earthly body dies. The dog can’t figure out why he keeps coming back, as he thinks his purpose is complete on Earth, but with each life he learns more and more about what his purpose is. He touches so many lives in each relatively short lifetime he has. His most prominent life is probably his second one, where he is found as a puppy and grows up with a little boy named Ethan. Ethan names the puppy Buddy and the two become inseparable and Buddy even saves the lives of his human family at one point. As the story follows Buddy and Ethan, it is impossible to not love how Cameron captures the human-dog bond.

If you own a dog or have ever owned a dog, you will absolutely love and relate to this book. Even if you have never owned a dog you will still fall in love with this book, it is such a great read and beautifully written. I highly recommend this book. I really look forward to reading the sequel!

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The Art of Racing in the Rain

This book was on my list of one’s that I have been wanting to read. I am so glad I found this book at good ole Good Will. 

This book focuses on a family and their dog, Enzo. Enzo watched a documentary about dogs in Mongolia and how when dogs passed away there, they were reincarnated as a human. So he has a unique perspective of life. The book is all told from Enzo’s point of view on his human family’s life. He watches his humans successes and struggles; heartbreaks and joys, and wishes more than anything he could help them. The plot of the story is really touching and will keep you wanting to read more and more. Enzo’s family is very real feeling and his feelings towards his humans will touch your heart.  If you have a dog or ever had a dog, then you will love this book and your love of dogs will grow even more. It’s such an innocent take on life and filled with so much love. 

I absolutely loved this book. It makes you sort of take a step back sometimes and realize that humans can be very impatient and need to work on a lot of things that we don’t even sometimes realize we do. It also makes you feel like your dog really does understand a little bit of what’s going on in your life and that you are their entire life. They love you more than anything else in the world and truly care about you. Even if you aren’t a dog owner, you will adore this book. 

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

I haven’t posted anything on here in quite a long time. I have been reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, a coworker let me borrow the book and I had been wanting to read it for a while. I don’t know what it was about the book, but it took me so long to get through. I haven’t actually finished it yet either, I decided to start another book I’ve been dying to read, The Art of Racing in the Rain. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo wasn’t a terrible read, I appreciated the build up and the anticipation, and part of me still really wants to know how it ends. It was just a little too slow for me and not climatic enough. Maybe after a little while I’ll return to finish the book, but for now I’m really enjoying The Art of Racing in the Rain. 

Some of my favorite reading quotes

I really enjoy reading, it is so relaxing and can take you into so many different worlds. I love when other people love to read as well. I always enjoy quotes, too. So I like to find quotes that are about reading. Here are some of my favs.

  1. We read to know we are not alone.-William Nicholson
  2. Sometimes, you read a book and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can’t tell people about, books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like betrayal. -John Green, The Fault in our Stars
  3. What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.- J.D. Salinger
  4. A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.- William Styron
  5. You get a little moody sometimes but I think that’s because you like to read. People that like to read are always a little f***** up.- Pat Conroy
  6. Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.- William Faulkner
  7. In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.- Mortimer J. Adler
  8. There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book.- Josh Jameson
  9. Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.- Maya Angelou
  10. Great books help you understand, and they help you feel understood.-John Green

Super excited!!

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So earlier this month I applied to contribute the magazine Chicago Innerview for their Lollapalooza issue and I got accepted! I’m very happy that I have gotten this opportunity. I was starting to lose hope about finding different freelance writing jobs, then suddenly in one day I received 3 opportunities. Hard work does pay off, you just have to be patient!

The Fault In Our Stars

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The Fault in our Stars by John Green was the book that got me back into reading a year or two ago. I had heard so much about this book and the movie was already out on DVD before I got around to reading it. It was the first book I had read just for fun in quite a few years. Being a Liberal Arts major in college I was assigned many books to read for class, so I never really had time to read a book just to enjoy it. I really wanted to watch the movie, but I told myself I had to read the book before I could see it. I was so glad I did that. This book was such a great read. I had to force myself to put it down because I didn’t want it to end too soon. There were other times where I was reading it and what I had just read I had to set the book down and just pause on the last sentence I read because it was just so good.

The story is about Hazel Grace and her cancer that was supposed to kill her, but a medical breakthrough occurred that is prolonging her life so she calls herself a ticking time bomb. Her family makes her go to a kids with cancer support group to try and make her feel better and not so alone. She doesn’t really like being there in the place the support group leader calls the “literal heart of Jesus”, but she does it to make her mom happy. She has her life all planned out, to just live her days until the cancer finally takes her. Until one day a new face appears in the support group, Augustus Waters. He was cancer-free, but he was there to support his friend who just found out he will become blind because cancer has taken both of his eyes. He talks to her as she waits for her mom to pick her up. He took her by surprise, as he stuck a cigarette in his mouth in front of her, a girl with an oxygen tank. But when he didn’t light it and told her it was just a metaphor, by not lighting the thing that could kill him, he had charmed his way into her life.

He makes Hazel love life again and gives her the confidence to do things she didn’t ever see herself doing before. This story makes you want to live life to it’s fullest, because in reality none of us know when we are going to die, so take full advantage of the life you are given. I loved this book, it was such a genuine story. You will laugh through this book and you most definitely will weep. It’s one of those books that while you aren’t reading it, you wish you were and once you are reading it, you don’t want it to end. When you finish it, it will stay with you. John Green’s writing style is wonderful and really speaks to the reader. It is an all around wonderful book.

Books, Books, Books…..

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There are so many books that I have been wanting to read for a long time, and the list keeps growing and growing. I am currently reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I really like this book, it’s a slow, intense build-up of events and begs not to be put down. It’s definitely a page turner.

I decided to put together a list of some of the books I have been wanting to read. There are many more than just this list but this is some that I would like to read before the end of the year. If anyone has read any of them let me know what you think of them! I would love to hear what other people have to say about them!

  1. The Art of Racing in the Rain
  2. Where She Went (the sequel to If I Stay)
  3. After You (the sequel to Me Before You)
  4. What I Had Before I Had You
  5. Eleanor & Park
  6. Maybe One Day
  7. I Let You Go
  8. The Girl You Left Behind
  9. Someone Like You
  10. Gone Girl
  11. We Were Liars
  12. A Monster Calls
  13. A Man Called Ove

This is just a few of the many books I want to read, and pretty much every day I find more books that I want to read sometime soon. So many books, so little time! Like I said, if anyone has read any of these books feel free to comment about what you thought of them!

The Almost Moon

The_Almost_Moon_(Alice_Sebold_novel)_cover_art“The Almost Moon” is the second book I have read by Alice Sebold. I read “The Lovely Bones” a few years ago, and truthfully I wasn’t that impressed by the book. I thought it was interesting, but a little boring and had a very unsatisfying ending. I suppose that gives it a bit more of a feel of how real life missing person cases end, but I was hoping for a little more vibrant story telling. In my copy of “The Lovely Bones” however, there was an excerpt for “The Almost Moon”. The first line in this book really grabbed my attention, the whole first chapter did really. “When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily”. That first line got me very interested in this novel and I knew I had to find it to read it.

Well, now I have read it and I did like it more than I liked “The Lovely Bones”, but it still wasn’t really my taste of story telling. The writing style to me was a little dry, but the overall story is what kept me interested. The story follows Helen, the daughter of an elderly woman with dementia, as she kills her mother and what happens after. Throughout the book, we learn about Helen’s childhood and how her mother treated her and the rest of the family. It highlights the sad and true effects of aging and diseases such as dementia. The reader learns more and more about Helen’s present day life as well. We meet her good friend Natalie and find out they both work as nude models for the nearby university’s art classes, Helen’s ex-husband and their daughters, and other various characters.

Helen keeps the secret of killing her mother to herself for the most part, but she does tell her ex-husband almost right away. He proceeds to talk her through what she should and shouldn’t do if she wants it to look like her mother died on accident.

The story flips back and forth between Helen’s present life and childhood frequently, and we find out that her mother was a model at one time. It also becomes clear her mother’s mental state was deteriorating during Helen’s childhood. There was also a time when Helen was young that her mother was a witness to a terrible car accident involving a young boy and she ended up being hated by the town, which only made things worse for the family.

As the story goes on, the reader sees Helen make bad decision after bad decision. The book made me feel frustrated and sad but it did keep my interest, I had to find out what was going to happen to Helen and her family. I did enjoy this book overall, I thought it was a very unique story. It also portrayed family life and how every family has their struggles. It shows the reality of diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, and how those diseases truly take a toll on everyone involved.  It also showcases how mental illness can change a loved one and how it affects their family and those closest to them. It’s an impressive read with a fascinating story.

Misplaced

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“So what are your career goals?”, the interviewer asked me. I sat there and thought and honestly didn’t know how to answer his question. The job I was interviewing for was a temporary position, so being asked such a heavy-weighted question threw me off. When I realized I couldn’t come up with an answer, I started thinking about my life and the choices I’ve made up until now.
I’m 24, took 5 years of college, and landed a job at a school as an aid. The two other aids I work with didn’t have any education past high school and are significantly older than me. The job paid decently, but the other staff members liked to point out how I’m over qualified and under paid and how I could do so much more with my young life.
I had been sort of bummed with the job, considering I probably could do so much more and something more satisfying. Then when I was in the interview for the temporary position, it really hit me. I started to feel like I wasted 5 years of my life, 5 years of something I should have gained from, 5 years worth of money down the drain. I became pretty depressed and wondered how I could have let this happen. How could I have gone through all this school and still not have found something I really wanted to do? I thought school would have helped me find my passion in life.
I realized what I had really wanted to do seemed a little far-fetched for where I live, which is in a small rural area in Indiana. I wanted to write. Even if it was just for a newspaper or magazine I always thought it’d be fun to be able to write for money. I wanted to find a career that’d I love, not something that I was doing just to make some money to make it by, bouncing from one odd job to another. I still feel a little lost, but who doesn’t feel that way from time to time.

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