Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: Crazy Rich Asians

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Happy What I’m Reading Wednesday! My newest read was Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. I picked this one up on the Vineyard when I got Hope Never Dies a few weeks ago. I saw this on the shelf and knew I needed it. I really wanted to see the movie once I saw the commercials with Ken Jeong in them!

I absolutely adored this book! It brought me back to middle school when I was reading the Clique books but on a whole new level! Massie Block’s chauffeur has nothing on the Young family’s Gurkhas, lady’s maids, and private jets. The characters in this book really are crazy rich and it transports you into a whole new world. It also feels slightly Gatsby-esque being centered around the biggest wedding of the century- sorry Will & Kate and Harry & Meghan!

This book follows Rachel Chu (not of the Taiwanese Chus) to Singapore where she meets her boyfriend, Nick Young’s family. While they’ve been dating for awhile, Rachel does not know too much about Nick’s family. She’s in for quite the shock when she finds out just how crazy rich the Youngs are. Rachel then navigates how she can fit into this world that seems a lot farther away than NYC.

My favorite part of this book was towards the end, it seems like the story is wrapping up but Kwan throws in a few more plot twists before he ends it. With the way the story ended I cannot wait to get started on China Rich Girlfriend. 

Just a warning, at first the book can be a little much. You are introduced to a whirlwind of characters and there are several narrators. Personally I think that just adds to the story, it truly feels like you are Rachel, being thrown into this complicated family. You learn more about the inner workings of the clan by being able to learn about Nick Your and his many cousins, aunts, and childhood friends.

The Young’s world is very intriguing and I promise if you pick this book up you won’t want to put it down!

Happy reading!

xox,

Marissa

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Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: The Last Lecture

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The Last Lecture is a book Professor Randy Pausch wrote to go along with the lecture he gave at Carnegie Mellon. In fact, that’s how I came across this book. One of my assignment’s for my Healthcare Language class was to watch this excerpt Pausch gave on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

After watching the video and learning he was a former Disney Imagineer with a motivational message I texted my mom telling her how interesting it was. A few days later I got an email from the post office at school and when I went to pick up my package my mom had sent me a copy of his book! I started reading it during the school year but set it aside because finals got the best of me.

I was happy to pick up The Last Lecture as soon as school was over and the rest of the book did not disappoint. Pausch shares his wisdom through stories of his experiences throughout his life.

While I won’t tell you every piece of advice he gives readers one of my favorites was: “Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted” (chapter 39).

If you enjoyed Tuesdays with Morrie you will definitely enjoy The Last Lecture. So what are you waiting for, go pick it up and let me know what you think!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: Summer at Tiffany

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It’s almost time to hit the beach and do I have the perfect book for you! I read Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart on a trip to Boston a few weeks ago and it was so good I finished it on the train ride home!

This memoir follows Marjorie as she leaves her small hometown to work in New York City for the summer. She travels to the city with her sorority sister Marty and together they work as pages in the Tiffany store on Fifth Avenue. The story starts just before the end of WWII and the only reason the girls got the jobs as pages was because all the young men were enlisted at the time! Marjorie and Marty were the first girls to work on the floor at Tiffany’s.

The book is filled with their adventures- everything from dating midshipmen to seeing Judy Garland walk into their store on her honeymoon. If you want to experience the magic of NYC in 1945 this is the book for you! It’s such a fun and quick read it would be perfect for lounging on the beach.

Let me know what you think and feel free to leave any recommendations in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: Shutter Island

IMG_9671During finals week I drove out to Wilbraham, MA to go to their library’s book sale. I picked up a few different books that I hope to read throughout the summer. I mean how could I resist it was $2 for a whole bag!

The first book I picked up was Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane. I had seen the movie when I was in high school and was mind blown. Not only did the movie star Leonardo DiCaprio, the ending is crazy.

The book is about Teddy Daniels, a U.S. Marshall that goes to find a missing patient at a mental hospital. He and a partner travel to an island in Boston Harbor and have quite the adventure. I do not want to give too much away but the book plays with the idea of not being able to trust the narrator. A similar idea to  Still Alice but in a different setting.

If you enjoy puzzles and mysteries this is definitely the book for you. There are so many twists it’s bound to keep you guessing. And if you like anagrams and codes keep a pen and paper nearby!

If you are looking for a thriller to take to the beach with you I would definitely recommend this! If you really want to feel immersed in the story, wait until Hurricane season…

Once you are done with the book, go rent the movie! It’s not on Netflix or Hulu right now but it is 100% worth the $3.99 on Amazon. I mean who can pass up watching Leo for a few hours…

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Photo from the NY Times

Let me know what books you guys are reading in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

 

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: The Art of Racing in the Rain

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At the beginning of all of my posts from now until December 31st I will be including a link to my Dressember fundraising page. I will also be sharing facts about modern day slavery. Today’s fact: It’s not all men, in 30 % of countries that reporter the gender of traffickers it is women who make up the larger portion of traffickers (information found here).

Here is the link to my fundraising page if you want to join me in helping exploited women experience freedom.  Part of Dressember is just starting the conversation, but another large part is raising money to help Dressember’s partners carry out rescue missions. Just $200 dollars helps with the immediate needs a woman has when she leaves a trafficking situation. Whether or not you make a donation, start the conversation!

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Just a little background on how I got this book first because I think it is the coolest story ever. My family and I were walking around Boston and I saw a Little Free Library. I had seen one before while I was driving but I had never got the chance to visit one so I had to stop this time. It was so adorable and it was modeled after the children’s book Make Way for Ducklings. You can see the full library here.

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Now I am on a quest to start a Little Free Library but that’s a story for a later day.

Now onto the book! There are a lot of lessons we can learn from dogs and Garth Stein lays them out for you in The Art of Racing in the Rain. 

This book takes you through Enzo’s life with his family. I loved how the book is told through Enzo’s point of view. He tells it like it is and although sometimes it was too honest for my liking, I still loved it.

I do not cry at books or movies but if I did, I definitely would have shed some tears at the end. If you are looking for a feel good story this is it. The ending of this book had one of the most satisfying endings I have ever read.

While there are certain parts of the plot that seem unnecessary, the thoughtfulness in the storyline more than make up for it.

Here is my favorite quote from the book: “You should shine with all of your light all the time.”

Happy reading!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: The Sun and All Her Flowers

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At the beginning of all of my posts from now until December 31st I will be including a link to my Dressember fundraising page. I will also be sharing facts about modern day slavery. Today’s fact: Sex traffickers often get women to join them by promising a glamorous job in a new and exciting country. By separating the women from their families it easier to take all of their documents and force them into trafficking.  (information found here).

Here is the link to my fundraising page if you want to join me in helping exploited women experience freedom.  Part of Dressember is just starting the conversation, but another large part is raising money to help Dressember’s partners carry out rescue missions. Just $200 dollars helps with the immediate needs a woman has when she leaves a trafficking situation. Whether or not you make a donation, start the conversation!

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So in an effort to relax after studying for finals all morning, I started, and finished reading The Sun and All Her Flowers. This is somewhat of a sequel to Milk & Honey but you do not need to read them in any certain order.

The same friend that got me Milk & Honey for my birthday had me for our Secret Santa so she definitely knew the perfect present.

I was not as amazed by The Sun and All Her Flowers as I had expected to be. There were so many poems in Milk & Honey that caused me to stop and think a little more but I did not have the same feeling with this one. It took me a little over an hour to read it and I was expecting it to take a little longer for those “oh wow” moments.  Don’t get me wrong I still thought it was great and there were poems that really resonated with me but I think that some of the “newness” to this style of writing had rubbed off. To me it seemed like some of the poems in this book were similar to poems in her first book with different words. I think part of that is just the simplistic style of Kaur’s writing.

Just like Milk & HoneyThe Sun and All Her Flowers is broken up into sections. The sections are wilting, falling, rooting, rising, blooming. I wanted to share my favorite poem from each section with you guys just like I had done last time.

Wilting

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Falling

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Rooting

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Rising

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Blooming (here’s a bonus one because this section was my favorite!)

Kaur is definitely an amazing writer and I have said before, I admire her openness to let millions of people into her lives. The best part of this book for me was that it addressed different themes. Prior to receiving this book I did not think too much of it, I had assumed it was about the same topics she had already addressed.

The theme that really stuck out to me is immigration. It seems like recently a lot of people in the U.S. have forgotten that unless you are 100% Native American, you got here through immigration at some point. In the spring I will be doing an Alternative Spring Break trip focusing on the refuge population in my area and I am so excited to learn more about it. The Sun and All Her Flowers started teaching me about that already, it explains the life of an immigrant in a few short lines scattered throughout the book.

Another theme that I loved was feminism. Kaur ties this theme in with her culture and I think she does that beautifully. She writes about her mother a lot and she also includes all of her other female ancestors. I think that is a really cool way of looking at feminism.

If I had to pick my favorite section I would pick blooming. That’s the section that I had dog-earred the most pages and it is one I will reread if I am never needing a little inspiration.

I would definitely recommend this book to a friend, especially if you have read Milk & Honey. I think it gave me a deeper understand of Kaur’s family history and dynamic. Although it did not leave me as speechless as I had hoped, I think it was a great read.

If you want to read my reviews of Milk & Honey you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

If you have any book recommendations leave them in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

 

Uncategorized, What I'm Reading

What I’m Reading: Tuesdays with Morrie Pt. 2

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At the beginning of all of my posts from now until December 31st I will be including a link to my Dressember fundraising page. I will also be sharing facts about modern day slavery. Today’s fact: Sex trafficking is a major contributor to the spread of HIV.  (information found here).

Here is the link to my fundraising page if you want to join me in helping exploited women experience freedom.  Part of Dressember is just starting the conversation, but another large part is raising money to help Dressember’s partners carry out rescue missions. Just $200 dollars helps with the immediate needs a woman has when she leaves a trafficking situation. Whether or not you make a donation, start the conversation!

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This post is long overdue but I have been going back and forth on how to present my thoughts. This is such a good book and it is one I plan to read over and over again.

Tuesdays with Morrie is one of my favorite books I have ever read. It gave the same honesty that Still Alice gave but this was a true story. In an effort to hold onto the memory of his old professor, Mitch Albom recorded the meetings he had with Morrie so you know all the quotes in there are truly Morrie’s words.

Something that I did not realize before reading was that Morrie had ALS. This is close to my heart because I have run the Sharon Timlin 5k every year for the past few years. While I love running through Hopkinton (the town where the Boston marathon starts), and meeting Mike Timlin and whoever his star guest is, my favorite part of that race is reading the posters they have that give you a look at people who also had ALS.

There are a lot of life lessons thrown in here that I think are important to hear multiple times. I do not want to give too much of the story away so I will be sharing some of my favorite life lessons instead…

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Now, I never usually highlight in books, not even in my college textbooks. I do not like to “ruin” books but I highlighted every life lesson I thought was important in this book. Anything that spoke to me I highlighted, I think there were a ton of great lessons in this book and I do not want to lose them down the road. This gives me the freedom to go back later on and flip through quickly if I need a simple reminder. 

Happy reading!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle, Style, Uncategorized

A Day in Boston

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At the beginning of all of my posts from now until December 31st I will be including a link to my Dressember fundraising page. I will also be sharing facts about modern day slavery. Today’s fact: Slaves are the cheapest they have ever been.  (information found here).

Here is the link to my fundraising page if you want to join me in helping exploited women experience freedom.  Part of Dressember is just starting the conversation, but another large part is raising money to help Dressember’s partners carry out rescue missions. Just $200 dollars helps with the immediate needs a woman has when she leaves a trafficking situation. Whether or not you make a donation, start the conversation!

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My family and I took a trip to Boston the day before I had to head back to school after Thanksgiving break. It’s one of our favorite places to go so I figured I would give you a rundown of what we did.

Our first official stop was to get tickets to the Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker for New Year’s Eve.  But on our way we found a Blackbird Doughnuts. I got the cinnamon roll donut and it was so good!

Then we made another unplanned stop…

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We found a Little Free Library! This was the first time I had ever been able to stop at one, I think I may have seen one driving down the Cape. I stopped and picked up a book called The Art of Dancing in the Rain, you guys will definitely be seeing a post up about that once I finish writing the second part for Tuesdays with Morrie!

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Then we finally reached the Ballet! I’m a little sad that I wasn’t able to look in some of the studio spaces (I know not to step on the marley with my street shoes!) but it was still social just to be in the building where they rehearse.

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After that we headed over to the Park Plaza hotel to make reservations for New Year’s Eve! I guess it’s been awhile since my sixth grade chess club days because my Dad and I were playing in the lobby and he beat me… in three moves.

We finished our day with dinner in the North End and a trip to Faneuil Hall/Quincy Market to see the Christmas tree! I can’t wait to share our NYE adventure with you guys!

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Outfit details:

Earrings: Carolyn Blue Earrings from Starfish Project

Sweater: Vineyard Vines, here is a similar sweater with lots of color options but they don”t have any sweaters this color this year!

Vest: Printed Quilted Puffer Vest from J.Crew Factory

Jeans: Jeggings from Primark, before you judge the jeggings as long as you wear a longer top the world will never know!

Socks: Banana Republic Factory Store, here are some similar ones

Shoes:  8″ Bean Boots from L.L.Bean