Review: Norwegian Wood

Title: Norwegian Wood

Author: Haruki Murakami (Translated by Jay Rubin)

Publisher: Vintage Books

Publication Date: September 12, 2000

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Rating: 4 Stars

Dear fellow Babblers,

This is going to be my first book review in quite a few months, my last being an ARC review of The Museum of Us close to four months ago, back in March. The reason being, I’ve been traveling and going through some serous personal and academic changes and self discovery, resulting in the majority of my energy being directed to myself and away from the book blogging community. I have been back in Los Angeles for a little over a week now and will remain here for the next couple of weeks before I fly across the country to New York in preparation of a masters program that I will be starting in September. I’ve been settling back into a calm, translucent life in my parents’ home, back in my childhood room of tower-high books and stuffed care bears all around me. It’s a luxury to be able to walk up and down my shelves and choose whatever I am in the mood of reading, unlike during my travels that I read whatever I could manage to get my hands on, or whatever was the cheapest and least had the least ridiculous cover.

I returned to the United States in low and glum spirits and I was a bit hopeless as to figuring out a way to cope as I’ve never been a girl good at coping and have always been rather hopeless at hoping. Books have always been my way of momentarily caging my sadness or sorrow which is exactly what I fell back on this time around. With the joy that I could finally for the first time in over a year pick a book off of my own shelf I chose a novel from my favorite contemporary author, Norwegian Wood by the legendary Haruki Murakami, and here is what I thought…  Continue reading “Review: Norwegian Wood”

Update | I Have Seen. I Have Done. I Have Thought

Dear fellow Babblers,

To be back in the blogosphere. This is almost too much. I have forgotten how to come back to my keyboard so the fact that I’m here now writing even this much out is already too much. The thought of writing a post! But what fear that creates in me! Who will read? Did anyone even notice I was gone ? What’s changed amongst book reviewers lately ? What’s everyone been reading ? Are we still hung up on Adam Silvera or is there already someone new ? And writing to y’all ? What can, should, do I even do I give a life update that no one really even cares about? I mean, come on, I’m not Selena Gomez here. Well hey, I’m supposedly a book reviewer, right ? So why not write a book review ? Yeah, no. And why ? I really just cannot. There are too many thoughts, feelings, meaningless intentions pulsating in that dark and shallow corner in the back of my mind. I just cannot focus on critiquing any sort of thematics, language, or structure of the world spinning in another writer’s mind. So if this post is not a banal life update or a sophisticated book review, what is all this nonsense doing floating on your screen trying to get across ? Not even I, the thoughtless scribbler behind all of this can give a clear, to-the-professor’s-point response. All I know is I’ve missed writing. I’ve missed interacting with other bloggers. I’ve missed pouring my heart into my keyboard. Being away has brought me back. Fear has kept me away, but nostalgia has lead me back. What I have seen, done, thought in the past three months not writing, whether it be on this platform or another, is what has lead me to discover that writing is one of those hobbies, obsessions, outlets – call it what you will – that give me my spirit, soul – life…

…And so here, for this post is what I have seen, done, thought in the past three months of not writing:  Continue reading “Update | I Have Seen. I Have Done. I Have Thought”

Wanderings: Morocco |

Dear fellow Babblers,

I’ve been gone from internet connection for quite a while now. I recently took a fifteen day solo trip back to Morocco. My first time visiting the country was back in December/January and I fell in love. You can read more on my initial Moroccan vibes here. From the delicately infused tea with just the right amount of sugar, to the maze of endless medinas to the kind and helpful, sometimes aggressive and flirty natives, Morocco is a place unlike anywhere else in the world.  Continue reading “Wanderings: Morocco |”

ARC Review: The Museum of Us

Title: The Museum of Us

Author: Tara Wilson Redd

Publisher: Random House/Wendy Lamb Books

Expected Publication Date: June 26, 2018

Genre: YA, Mental Illness

Rating: 4.5 Stars

I received an ARC copy of The Museum of Us by Tara Wilson Redd in exchange for an honest review. Thanks goes to NetGalley, as well as Random House/Wendy Lamb Books for this advanced copy which is expected to be released on June 26, 2018.

Dear fellow Babblers,

Sometimes, well, often I find myself sitting at my kitchen table, walking down the street, laying in bed, riding in an airplane without really being “there.” I slip away from reality for moments on end, dreaming about far off places, worlds, and possibilities. I get a sort of idea in my head and just like that become obsessed with dreaming it to life. A lot of my time is spent in these fantasies that it is very easy for me to lose my grasp of reality. That being said, The Museum of Us by Tara Wilson Redd is a book that instantly speaks to dreamers like me. It is a spell binding story of the dangers of becoming so absorbed in the world of fiction that life outside of it appears almost meaningless by comparison.  Continue reading “ARC Review: The Museum of Us”

The Fictional Family Book Tag

Dear fellow Babblers,

Today is the day I bounce up and down off the walls like the Mexican jumping bean my mother has raised me to be. And this is all thanks to our dearest Laura Beth at Hot Shot Headlines. This lovely gal has tagged me in the infamous (…just go with it) Fictional Family Book Tag. The last time I was tagged or nominated for anything was all the way back in Novemeber so y’all should understand my giddy excitement to get down to it. Laura Beth’s blog is always my go to because it not only includes thorough book reviews, but also super interesting commentary on events and news of the day. The Queen mama AKA creator of this tag is Marill at Books and Ravens. So enough of my jibber jabber, and gets see what unlucky characters ’bout to be a part of my gang.  Continue reading “The Fictional Family Book Tag”

Review: The Stolen Child

Title: The Stolen Child

Author: Lisa Carey

Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Publication Date: January 12, 2017

Genre: Adult Contemporary, Fantasy

Rating: 3 Stars

Dear fellow Babblers,

A novel written of Irish folklore, The Stolen Child is a novel where desire meets fate and love meets betrayal. The synopsis is what intrigued me as I’ve never read a book on Irish myths so I figured this would be a wonderful read to not only enjoy but also learn something from. There is a lot of magical realism here, much of it quite dark and a bit creepy at times. I won’t say that I didn’t enjoy, but it’s not something I would pick up again or really recommend. The story itself was unique and well written so there’s nothing that should keep me from giving it a full five stars and pushing it in all my buddies’ faces. It just wasn’t my thing; there were quite a few quirks of the story that made me cringe and put the book down more than once.  Continue reading “Review: The Stolen Child”

30 In 7 Years

Dear fellow Babblers,

I turned 23 just a couple of weeks ago, on February 28. I think it’s safe to say that I’m no longer a teenager but I don’t think I’m ready to call myself an adult quite yet. It’s hard to believe that my “kid” life is already behind me, as there’s so much I had in mind to do before even turning 20. Looking back, I think I was trying to grow up too fast. I was forgetting about the little things in life, the excitement that simple days could have become if I had only lived a little bit more in the moment, and had been willing to love myself instead of marking myself with so much spite.

I don’t normally celebrate holidays, including my birthdays, but something about turning 23 ticked in my mind. I’ve been turning over my life in my mind the last few weeks which have lead me to write this post.

I’ve grown a lot emotionally, mentally and spiritually in the last year alone, overcoming several milestones between academics, professional and personal life. This year. No, the next seven years. I’m giving myself to accomplish all these things. This list gives me life to look forward to – something to work towards, to be willing to change for, to be open to take risks over. Welcome to my next 7 year long adventure.

  1. A Hot Air Balloon Ride
  2. Skydiving
  3. Paragliding
  4. Swim in the Mediterranean (or swim anywhere for that matter)
  5. Travel Through Thailand
  6. Speak French Like A Native (I’m still shy to speak due to my accent, but I’m hoping that I’ll eventually get over this fear)
  7. Own a cottage home in Aix-en-Provence and grow my own garden (my childhood dream has always been to move to the south of France and own my own little cottage and tend to my garden during the week and bike to the city center every Saturday to sell some of my extra flowers that I grow)
  8. Camp in the Sahara
  9. Go backpacking in Central America
  10. Donate blood without feinting (I have the worst fear of needles and blood in my skin. Even the sight of my own blood leaves me sick for hours)
  11. Spend a day watching movies with my mom (I can’t call up any memory of me just sitting at home, spending time with my mom, so this pow-wow is definitely overdue)
  12. Rock climbing
  13. Write a collection of short stories
  14. Run through a meadow
  15. Open up to people more (It usually takes me a while to get comfortable with people and by the time I do they are usually annoyed by me and disappear)
  16. Climb up a tree
  17. Go to a concert
  18. Get a fifth tattoo
  19. Watch the sunrise from a rooftop (I’ve seen plenty of sunrises but never have I got up early, gone up to a rooftop and waited out the last few ours of darkness for the sunrise)
  20. Take a flower arranging class
  21. Dance at a rave
  22. Get high before class (would be fun to be a rebel every once in a while)
  23. Run a marathon
  24. Find the perfect little black dress
  25. Attend a tea tasting 
  26. Find a pearl in an oyster
  27. Send a message in a bottle (pretty cool for someone, anyone out there across the ocean to know I exist and have a voice)
  28. Learn to play the violin
  29. Tell my mom how thankful I am that she is my mom (now living far away from my mom it’s tough sometimes thinking back to everything she’s done and the life she’s given me, not really ever showing her or acknowledging my love for her)
  30. Fast for a 7 days (I keep holding off my seven day body cleanse…)

Yours Truly,

All The Little Loves of My Life

Dear fellow Babblers,

I’ve been having a pretty banal past few weeks. Just a usual cycle of comings and goings. I’m taking a month long break from traveling and am going through wanderlust withdrawl. It’s Monday but the day of the week doesn’t really mean much to me as I’ve fallen into my own sort of circadian rhthym that doesn’t seem to fall in with the rest of the world. I’m in between choosing from four different masters programs, am planning out my upcoming trips (a return to Morocco coming soon!), all the while making ends mean with my part time teaching job.

With all the changes happening in my life, this morning I got around to thinking about love. And why did this idea wake me up? Because although I’m often sad or desperately seeking solitude, there is so much in life, in my life that I can say that I love, and so I thought I would share my concept of love to give sleepy Monday some hope.
Love is something delicate and fragile. It can happen unexpectedly when that special someone walks into your favorite Starbucks. It can be destroyed unknowingly leaving your breathless and unwilling to trust again. Children, spouses, partners, single swingers all carry a spark inside of them where love grows and glimmers with time. That special someone or something that makes our life our treasure, a treasure that we share by being.  Continue reading “All The Little Loves of My Life”