Tag Archives: reading

Lil Red’s Book Club: YOU Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: YOU Edition

Hi! A handful of months ago, the Lifetime series, YOU, turned into a phenomenon once the premiere season was added on to Netflix. I absolutely jumped on the bandwagon and enjoyed the smart, sexy, and oh so creepy episodes staring a Mister Penn Badgley as the super stalker Joe Goldberg. I admit that I was caught up in all of the excitement of chit chatting about it with friends in person and on Facebook that I didn’t even know the show was derived from a book! Shame on me.

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Book Depository Image

Usually, I always prefer to read the book before watching the show or movie that it’s based on. But, when it came to YOU, I did things backwards. I finished the book a week or so ago and I enjoyed it even more than the TV series, which is pretty common. However, I will say that the show did an excellent job of keeping close to the book, minus a few liberties and I definitely appreciated that.

YOU tells the sickening saga between obsessive Joe and oblivious Beck, a customer who he met one time at his book store. The book is told completely from Joe’s point of view, which was really interesting. If you watched the show, you know he was a total creepazoid. But, reading all of his perverted and violent thoughts as he narrates his story created a bone chilling sense of disturbia.

Desperate to get close to Beck, Joe plants himself in just the right places to run into her or just watch her from a distance. As he discovers more about his dream girl and falls deeper into his obsession, he is willing to eliminate or do anything that stands in his way of the relationship he so desperately wants.

Set in bustling New York City, such a highly populated location, you can literally feel the spine tingling sense that somebody is watching you through the massive crowd. Joe locked his sights in on Beck and through master manipulation and deception hones in on the girl of his dreams, which becomes a nightmare for her.

YOU was a book that I could not put down, which surprised me, because none of the characters are particularly likeable. Joe was a psychopath, Beck was a downright horrible person despite Joe’s fantasizing about her, and all of Beck’s friends were nightmares in their own right. But, the story line and the expert writing of Caroline Kepnes was so intense that none of this mattered. Because the story was told by Joe, you got an intimate peak into his twisted brain and it felt impossible to not keep turning the page to find out what he was going to do next.

I rate YOU with a ten out of ten. It was delightfully reminiscent of one of my favorite books, The Collector, but it still felt original and fresh. It was horror and suspense and it really tuned into the modern world of cyberstalking gone horribly wrong. I have the sequel on hold at the library and cannot wait to get it so I can see how Joe works himself out of the dilemmas that he created in YOU as well as all of the creepiness to come!

Did you watch or read YOU? What were your thoughts about the book or series? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Perfect Liar Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Perfect Liar Edition

Hello! Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, but it comes and goes in waves. Sometimes, I read ravenously and devour three books in one week. Other times, I can go a month without sinking my teeth into a new book while preferring the background noise of a movie before falling asleep. Right now, I am in a nonstop reading mode and have enjoyed a few page turners which includes The Perfect Liar.

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I pretty much exclusively read horror and thriller/mystery books. I love suspense and secrets and a well done who done it. The Perfect Liar definitely fell into the suspense category with the basic plot being the unraveling of big secrets between husband and wife, Max and Susannah, which began to reveal itself after ominous notes were left on their door.

The book shifted in perspective between Max, a self made artist and Susannah, a widow and stay at home mom from her previous marriage. I prefer books that are told from multiple points of view, because it keeps the pages turning as you want to read all different sides to the story once one character reveals something. Despite an uninspired story line in The Perfect Liar, it was an easy read because of the perspective change in each little chapter.

I can’t say that I would recommend this book because I genuinely enjoyed it. However, I would recommend it if you just want something to fill up some free time. I didn’t hate the characters, but I didn’t like them, either. And, in comparison to some of the other family secret based books out there, The Perfect Liar left a lot to be desired. I like when I don’t see the surprise in the book coming and, if you read this one closely enough, you can definitely figure it out on your own without the grand reveal.

I am going to give The Perfect Liar a five out of ten. This is more because I was able to finish it within two afternoons and it was insanely readable. But, if you’re looking for a book with more substance to it, then I would skip over this one, for sure.

What is the last book that you have read? What book are you working on reading now? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Nurturing Your Inspiration Is A Vital Requirement

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Nurturing Your Inspiration Is A Vital Requirement

Nurturing your inspiration is a vital requirement if you hope to continually enjoy your best creative self from year to year. Remember that creativity is a fire to be kindled, not a pool that continually refills no matter how you encourage it. Many people think that reading books, watching movies or television, and even playing story-driven video games are simply efforts in pure recreation. However, are they really? Consider what you are doing during this time. You are intellectually absorbing a story, emotionally feeling through the methods the medium is using to present its ideas to you, as well as serving as a way of connecting with narratives that may not be present in your life.

This is why stories and recreational entertainment will always be a powerful tool for inspiration. For example, no good writer has ever managed to write an amazing book without being skilled in the art of reading or understanding the narrative elements that help a book come to full fruition. Every painter can list their favorite paintings. Even some of the best stories known are inspired projects. For all of the incredible writing and extremely polished narrative arcs of the Harry Potter series, even JK Rowling herself has credited the New Testament and Joseph Campell’s ‘The Hero’s Journey’ as helping her formulate the basis of her efforts.

It’s likely that you understand the need for inspiration. But how can you find it in the world around you? Are there methods of helping you attain this without difficulty, or do you need to work at it in order to kindle your levels? Well, not entirely. Consider the following:

Live Theater:

Live theater offers the power of presenting us a story in a dramatized fashion and, as such, can be tremendously useful to see the full visceral and creative power of a story. In order to make the most of this experience, you need to stay present, and also know what to look for in the first place. Heading to the theatre can be an absolutely essential experience for many people, but not enough people head to the shows that aren’t mainstream. The theatre can completely transfix you in thought, show you a story with more intimacy than a movie or TV series ever could, and inspire you with the creative beauty and excellence of actors and dramatists in their prime.

Go to a hit show, like Sleep No More in order to feel sustained, or find your favorite theatre practitioner and decide to view many different plays in their style. Some of the best shows, such as Sleep No More, are adaptions of some of the most famous plays of all time, such as Shakespeare’s Macbeth. There are reasons stories such as these have survived for hundreds of years, and they deserve your attention. This historical performance and memorable peak that is presented to you can really inspire you. How could it not? Heading outside of your comfort zone and to a show like this could be the first bedrock of inspiration you consider applying to your life.

Biographies:

Literature can teach us many things. It can serve as a means of not only shaping the world around us by depending on it artistically but can help us learn the lessons of a period, become intimate with a setting, or understand human nature through both fictional and real-life vessels documented with beautiful language. If you rarely read, you are sorely missing out.

However, instead of insisting that you read Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky in order to feel inspired, sometimes nurturing your own motivation and creative interest on a personal level can be best achieved by reading the biographies of those who you most respect. From people who have managed to turn challenges into beacons of positivity such as Michael J. Fox, or historical figures that spearheaded a movement such as Mary Wollstonecraft, biographies have the power to help us feel and think as a person who we admire.

You might find biographies that inspire you to work out, help you through an injury, or to help you manage loss. Remember that you are human too, so connecting to others through this personal yet private experience can help kindle your inspiration.

Personal Achievements:

Of course, finding inspiration needn’t come from others. Sometimes, you should look to yourself for this. Remember, it’s likely that you are much more amazing than you think and have completed many great achievements that your modesty will not allow you to celebrate. Remember your best self, because this is who you are underneath everything. Understanding this and reminding you of it can help you bring that side of you out more often, and can generally help you feel more comfortable using that side of you to conduct most matters of your life. If you make this effort, you are sure to experience inspiration.

With these tips, you are sure to feel fueled and nourished from day to day as a more inspired individual.

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Keeping Yourself Entertained On Vaca

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Keeping Yourself Entertained On Vaca

Are you one of the lucky ones heading abroad on your vacation this year? Whether you’re on the road, in a hotel, or on a cruise, there can be moments, particularly after a long day of exploring, when all you want is to settle down and relax. An evening in the hotel with Netflix or a good book can be just what the doctor ordered after you’ve been on your feet all day sightseeing. But staying entertained and ensuring that you don’t run out of things to do while you’re abroad isn’t quite so easy as when you’re at home. Here are just a few ways that you can make sure that, even in your downtime, you’re fully fighting the boredom blahs:

Don’t Rely On Books: If you love to get a jump on your summer reading list while on vaca, books can become far too cumbersome. Whether you read while you travel, relax by the pool, or just as you go through life, it might be time to invest in a bit of a technological helper. Rather than packing a book a day into your luggage, a Kindle is a cheap, lightweight, and easily transportable alternative. With literally millions of books to choose from, all accessible online, you’ll never be caught short without a book again.

Keep Some Entertainment Downloaded: Sometimes WiFi is obscenely slow, and sometimes *gasp* you just can’t connect at all. The worst thing in these situations is to have no backup plan. Keeping a few shows downloaded onto whatever device you’re using can be a real lifesaver in moments of boredom. Netflix has options to download now, as do many other video hosting sites. And be sure to double check that your Spotify Premium account is up to date before you set off so that you can still access all of your favorite music, even when WiFi isn’t an option.

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Netflix Is Your BFF: When you need some reassuring familiarity and an evening to yourself, it’s all about Netflix. Whether you’re entertaining young ones or just chilling on your own, being able to get a few of your favorite shows online is essential. While Netflix, ordinarily, won’t work abroad, using a VPN enables you to bypass that. Check out securethoughts to find out exactly how to do it. Then, all of your favorite shows are just a button-push away.

Portable Chargers Are Everything: We rely so heavily on electronic devices in this day and age, from smartphones to laptops and tablets to Kindles, that it’s not surprising that portable charging devices are growing in popularity. When you’re in an airport or hotel room, chances are that you’ll have access to power, but when you’re on the road, public transport, or walking around the city, it could be a bit more tricky. Keep a fully charged portable power supply in your handbag all of the time, and you’ll never find yourself caught with the power out again.

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Is your device fully charged??

Traveling the world doesn’t mean that you don’t want a few moments of R&R every now and then, and if they take the form of your favorite books or TV shows, it’s always best to be prepared. Happy traveling!

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Summer Fun Checklist

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Summer Fun Checklist

It may not always seem like it, but the time of year that it is can make a huge difference in a person’s life. Winter and autumn can be difficult sometimes because of things like seasonal effective disorder. How early the sun rises and sets is enough to have an effect on people’s moods (I know it does for me!). As another example, people look at the New Year as something of a new start, and it is a time when they try to grasp that opportunity.

Summer is no different. If you are in college, especially, the break from the academic year represents an opportunity to improve yourself (or simply to bask in laziness for a few weeks). That may mean that you go traveling and experience the wonders of another culture or you may decide, instead, to stay closer to home and participate in some volunteering or work experience to better prepare you for your post-graduation job search. For people who work, it is a chance to go on holiday. However, you may just want to stay at home and relax. For some people, the perfect summer day is taking a book to a local park and sitting under a tree until it gets too dark to read.

If you are thinking of making the most of the summer this year, you will need to start preparing now since it is so nearly upon us. Here are five things that you need to make sure of before you set off on whatever plans that you’ve made:

  1. If you are hoping to leave the country, you should book your flights exactly eighteen weeks before you intend to travel. Research has shown that airline websites offer the cheapest prices at those times. Otherwise, you need to check that your passport is still valid. And do not forget your visa! There is nothing worse than getting somewhere only to be sent back again right away.
  2. Depending on where you’re going, you will need to make sure that your wardrobe matches. If you are heading to some tropical paradise, you’ll need a bikini or swimming trunks. Do not forget your sunglasses and the most important thing of all: sun tan lotion. Nothing ruins a vacation quite like a nasty sunburn.
  3. Personal grooming is crucial, too. If you are looking for the best razor for the bikini area, you need to make sure that you get one with which you are comfortable. Otherwise, you should remember that in different climates you will need to have products for your hair and skin. If you are not used to hot weather all year round, you may quickly find that your lips crack or your skin becomes a little dry. Thinking ahead and packing precautionary lotions or ointments is the smartest thing to do when you’re jetsetting to a new place.
  4. You should always take a book with you just in case for surprise waits before appointments or lunch dates, but it is never more important than when you are on holiday. They are not called ‘beach reads’ for nothing!
  5. No one forgets a camera anymore since they do not forget their phone but to get the best pictures, you should think about a camera with film. It costs more but the photos are better. Also, why not take a notebook along so that you can better remember the holiday when you get back?

Nothing makes pre-vacation planning easier than a good old fashioned checklist. Make yours, check it twice, and you’re off!

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New Tattoo Excitement!!

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New Tattoo Excitement!!

Heyyy everyone and happy Hump Day! So I am wicked excited for Saturday the 20th at 1 o’clock in the afternoon because I have a tattoo appointment!! I was planning to get a new tattoo for my birthday in June, but I saw that the artist who I am going to is running a percentage off special in May so I figured that I might as well get it now and save some money on it. It has been literal years since my last tattoo. Jeez Louise, I think it might have been back in 2014. Yikes!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I don’t want more tattoos because I want a bunch. But, when I started college in 2014, I didn’t exactly have money to just throw around on extra things like body mods, clothes, and accessories because they were just extra and text books are no joke. But, now that I’ve been graduated since the end of 2016 and am actually making money instead of constantly spending it on college related fees, I feel pretty okay about getting a TREAT YOSELF/early birthday tattoo!

So what am I gonna get, you might ask? Take a looksee:

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If you aren’t familiar with the book The Little Prince, then you are missing out because that’s where these drawings are from! I plan on getting the first image of him flying with the birds on my side but I want him dressed in the clothing from the second image. The birds are going to go up onto my back and probably end close to my bra line. Then at some point, I’ll work in a quote en francais as well as the horizon line at the end of the book. AHHHH!!

For those of you who don’t already know, The Little Prince is one of my all time favorite books. It just is. I could read it every day until I die and never tire of it. I think that it is so beautiful and every time I read it (which is quite frequently), I fall even more in love with the words and imagery scattered like petals throughout the pages. I am super excited to get my undying adoration for this book commemorated in tattoo form and it has been a long time coming because I’ve wanted this done for five-ever.

May 20th can’t come soon enough and I have a feeling that I will be in the tattoo chair quite a lot this year! How’s that for some New Tattoo Excitement?! Who plans on getting a new piercing or tattoo soon? What is your favorite tattoo or piercing that you have? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Yearning for Learning: Why You Should Never Stop Studying

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Yearning for Learning: Why You Should Never Stop Studying

Regardless of what stage of life you are currently at, learning is something that you should always be doing. A lot of people think of studying as something that is just for kids or young people at college, but the truth is, is that there are a whole range of advantages that will open themselves up if you commit your life to learning. As well as being a more well-rounded person, you will also constantly be developing new skills that you never know when will come in handy.

Whether you have lessons in something, take an online college course with Find Your Context, or study independently, here are just a few of the reasons that you should commit to lifelong learning:

You Will Become Happier: Studying can be very hard and frustrating, but there is nothing like the feeling that you are actually getting smarter. Even better, is when you can start putting these skills into practice and impressing people with what you have learned. There is nothing like reaching a goal that you have set for yourself, so you should make sure that you are constantly striving for bigger and better things. Having something to work towards is a great way to focus your mind and give you the feeling that you are always accomplishing something. Personal development should get you on the fast track to inner peace and happiness.

You Will Become Irreplaceable at Your Job: If you can show that you bring valuable new skills to your company, you are much more likely to impress your bosses. Not only will this keep you in your job role, but you should also start jumping to the front of the queue when it comes to promotion time. If you do decide that it is time to move onto new pastures, the more skills that you have, the more likely it is that you will end up landing yourself the job of your dreams. The rapid rise of technology means that more people are becoming replaceable; continual learning ensures that you won’t be one of them.

You Will Become More Cultured and Knowledgeable: If you stop learning at a certain point, that is exactly where you will become fixed. A person who is well-read and has numerous different skills finds it easy to carry a conversation on a whole range of different topics with ease. The more you learn, the more avenues of your mind you are opening up and the more well-rounded you will become as a person. Rather than making it seem like you are trying too hard to impress people with your knowledge, people will naturally start turning to you as a source of wisdom and excellent conversation.

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You Will Become More Passionate: The pursuit of knowledge is a major passion in itself, but the more you learn about different topics, the more passionate you will become about them. You may even end up discovering things that you love that you would never have thought of before. Try to be broad with your learning so that you don’t become too fixed on a single area and you will truly get the most out of expanding your horizons.

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