would you rather? (with books!)

I stole this from The Book Journal and just had to do it. Feel free to take it and fill it out for yourself!

 

1. Would you rather read only trilogies or only stand alone novels?

I prefer stand-alone novels. I get a little nervous when trilogies and series suck me in for book after book, leaving me waiting for the next one’s publication date. Torture!

large-12. Would you rather read only male or female authors?

Both! Geez, how could someone choose? There are so many great male and female writers.

3. Would you rather shop at Barnes & Noble or Amazon?

I’m obsessed with my Kindle and spend 34% (my economics-major boyfriend calculated) of my income on books and ebooks.

4. Would rather books became films or TV shows?

I can never follow TV shows, so I’m going to say films.

5. Would you rather read 5 pages a day or 5 books a week?

5 books a week – the more, the better!

6. Would you rather be a professional reviewer or an author?

One day I’ll finally find the time and motivation to write my own novel. I should probably be more proactive about that….

large7. Would you rather read your favorite 20 books over & over or only read books you’ve never read before?

I love starting new books.

8. Would you rather be a librarian or a bookseller?

I’d love to be a bookseller.

9. Would you rather only read your favorite genre or every genre except your favorite?

Oh, this one is tough. I think I’d have to choose to read only my favorite genre.

10. Would you rather read only physical books or ebooks? 

While I’m a huge fan of physical books, I love the way I can carry an entire library with me wherever I go with my Kindle.

 

(images from weheartit.com)
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the purge

DesignNo, I’m not referring to the horror movie – this is about something far more awful and frightening. Every so often, my neat-freak boyfriend designates a “Cleaning Day,” an entire 24 hours devoted to tidying up around the apartment and getting rid of anything we haven’t used in a while. As a shopaholic and natural hoarder (seriously, it runs in my family), I can’t help but get a little panicky when I’m asked to throw things away. So the conversation with my boyfriend goes kind of like this:

Me: “I can’t do this.”

Him: “Yes, you can. Let’s start with this – which clothing items don’t you need?”

Me: “I need everything.”

Him: “Okay…Which clothing items don’t you wear anymore?”

Me: “I wear everything.”

Him (holding up sequin-covered top and dark blue wrap skirt): “Even this belly dancing outfit you bought on a whim?”

Me: *nods solemnly*

I wish I were naturally this neat

I wish I were naturally this neat

Okay, so maybe that belly dancing costume was an impulse buy. And maybe I’ll never get around to taking dance lessons or using my indoor trampoline or figuring out how to put on those outrageous fake eyelashes I bought. But for some reason, it’s still super tough to get rid of things. I LOVE shopping and I love things. I get a thrill out of receiving a package from Amazon because it’s like a gift from my past self to my present self. Nothing lifts my mood on a bad day quite like buying myself a little something.

Shopping has never been a problem for me, though, because I always stay within my budget. The only issue now is that there’s barely any space left in the small apartment I share with my boyfriend and my dog. The closets are full and there’s not many places we can put new things (even though we’ve gotten creative with our storage options.) So when it comes time to clean up the place, I know I’ve got to let some things go. And to be perfectly honest, a lot of the things I’ve accumulated fall neatly under the category of junk.

What my apartment would look like if I had my say

What my apartment would look like if I’d had my say…

So why do I hoard “junk”? I think that at the heart of hoarding is an anxiety that there will come a time when you’ll actually need and use the “junk.” The problem is that usually that time never arrives, and you’re keeping all that crap for no reason. As someone who has struggled with anxiety issues before, I’m perfectly aware that letting go of irrational beliefs and the anxiety associated with them is extremely freeing. So for the sake of being freed and relieving my home of pointless clutter, I decided to put together a list of five things I don’t really need in my apartment. Here goes:

1. Magazines – I’m a total magazine hoarder because it just feels weird throwing away all that information, you know? I have no problem getting rid of flyers and receipts, but magazines sometimes have content that’s worth revisiting and rereading. In the olden days, this may have been a legitimate reason for keeping glossies forever, but the beauty of technology means that now most major publications are also posting their content on their websites. So goodbye, magazines!

2. Shoeboxes (and all pretty boxes, really) – I have a ton of boxes from ShoeDazzle (you know, the hot pink boxes all their shoes come in?) and perfume boxes

3. Business cards – I used to keep these in an ever-growing messy pile, just in case I need people’s contact info in the future. But now I just save the number and email in my phone and throw out the cards.

4. Books – I am a HUGE bookworm and a believer that you can never have too many books. That said, I’m also aware that there’s only so much space in the apartment. Enter the Kindle, my favorite way to download ebooks and carry an entire library around with me everywhere. And those books I own that I know I’ll never read? I donated those, and now my bookcase no longer looks like it’s going to topple over from the excess weight.

5. Clothes I know I’ll never wear – Okay, so maybe I did keep the stupid sequined belly dancing top, but there’s definitely a lot of clothes hanging in my closet that I didn’t even know I owned. So everything I was 100% sure I’ll never wear again (or even once, since some stuff still had tags on them) went to my sister and to charity.

Voila! My apartment is now free (or at least freer) of clutter and junk!

 

(Images from weheartit.com)
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media monday – lauren scruggs shows off her many prosthetic hands

Remember the news story of the tragic accident last December when a young model and fashion blogger lost her left hand and eye after walking into the propeller of a plane? Well, just shy of a year later, Lauren Scruggs has released a memoir about her experience and recovery. Still Lolo: A Spinning Propeller, a Horrific Accident, and a Family’s Journey of Hope is now in bookstores, and I plan to read it as soon as I get my hand on it. Since I was born without my arm, I can’t imagine what it’s like for someone just a few years older than I am now to deal with such a huge change.

In the video above, Lauren talks a bit about each of her prosthetic hands and what they do. She has everything from a hand specifically designed to help her do push-ups to a swimming hand with a paddle attached to the end (which I would LOVE to get, if anyone has any information on that).

I hope Lauren’s indomitable spirit inspires you on this Monday morning as you start the week after a nice, long Thanksgiving break!

 

Peace,

Caitlin Michelle

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the irresistible charm of one-legged young men

Hi again! I’m so sorry for the hiatus; I was crazy-busy with midterms and work and all that other fun stuff. Anyway, I am now on Spring break. And it actually feels like Spring! The weather is glorious and classes don’t start again until Monday, which means that I have more time and energy to invest in my absolute favorite pastime – reading! For those of you who don’t know, I’m a HUGE bookworm. If it were up to this English major, I would spend every day at home in my pajamas devouring all the books on my ever-growing To-Read list. Of course, I don’t get to choose which ones I read for school. And while I love the classics and the odd/obscure novels the professors pick, I also like to give my brain a rest and indulge in some literature geared towards young adults. Speaking of YA fiction, has anyone else noticed the recent trend in teen books? Two YA novels currently on the bestsellers list feature love interests who happen to have one leg.

Trailer for The Hunger Games movie, which hits theaters March 23rd

Okay, so maybe the word “trend” is a bit strong. It’s still too early to tell whether or not it will take off with other authors. But judging from the huge fandoms dedicated to these two books and the upcoming movies based on them, bipedal boyfriends might just become a thing of the past (unless, of course, their second leg is a prosthetic.) In case you haven’t heard about these dreamboats (do we even use that term to describe hotties anymore, or is that just my mom’s influence rubbing off on me?), allow me to enlighten you. In The Hunger Games, author Suzanne Collins creates a post-apocalyptic society that holds an annual competition where randomly selected people (all under the age of 18) must fight to the death in a specified arena; the sole survivor is then pronounced the winner. The protagonist is Katniss Everdeen, a teenaged girl who starts to fall for Peeta Mellark, her former neighbor and biggest threat in the Games. Now I’m sorry if this spoils a part of the story for anyone, but Peeta eventually loses his leg to a bad infection. So for the next two books (yes, The Hunger Games is a series!), he wears an artificial leg. And now oodles of young girls are in love with his baker-next-door charm and boyish good looks. If you don’t believe me, check Tumblr.com and run a search for his name. While you’re at it, you can also look up “Augustus Waters.”

Book trailer for The Fault in Our Stars

Let me start off this next book description by saying this: The Fault in Our Stars is my favorite book. Ever. MY FAVORITE BOOK. Did you get that part? It’s pretty rare for a bibliophile to single out just one book as a favorite, especially if said book has only been available in stores (and online) for less than three months. That should be a testament to the awesomeness that is the author John Green. I’ll be honest – I have a huge literary crush on the man. After all, he created Augustus Waters, the smart and thoughtful boy who lost his leg to cancer and knows how to make a girl swoon. If someone can make you fall hopelessly in love with a fictional character, he/she has mastered the art of writing fiction. Sorry if I sound sort of pathetic, but I closed the book with a sigh and a tear and a wish that Augustus were a real person. I also made my boyfriend and my best friend read it, and I’m pleased to announce that they were equally impressed by it. So if that’s enough of an incentive to read the novel, go for it! I highly suggest you do. Plus, Green manages to infuse so many deep insights and literary allusions into the novel that you might even discover a new truth about your life. Ah, the transformative power of literature! But I digress….I just get really excited about books like these!!!

This pic includes the whole Hunger Games series AND The Fault in Our Stars!

And you know the best part about The Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars? They don’t focus so much on the characters’ disability. Instead, Peeta and Augustus are depicted as whole and attractive young men with the same human thoughts, desires, emotions, and weaknesses as anyone else. Their one-leggedness has nothing to do with the way they win over their girlfriends and essentially save the day. How cool and revolutionary is that – characters whose disabilities are really just part of them and don’t define them or symbolically represent a deeper issue in their personalities? It’s a big step up from The Odyssey‘s blind seer Tiresias or A Christmas Carol‘s pitiable Tiny Tim. I mean, Peeta and Augustus take the old disability trope of the poor little cripple and flip it on its head. And now, millions of readers around the world are falling in love with their genuine personalities and general hotness, regardless of how many limbs they possess. So if anyone reading this post just happens to be an established or aspiring YA fiction writer, take note of this: giving a character a disability is NOT going to make him or her any less awesome or relatable. If the success of The Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars is any indication, your book might even end up on the bestsellers list.

Peace,
Caitlin 🙂

Note: If you’d like to check out The Hunger Games and/or The Fault in Our Stars, I’ve listed them (with links) under the “books i recommend” page on this blog.

All images found on either Tumblr or Google Images

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