I Was Busy Thinkin' Bout... Books.

Aug 9, 2017

Happy freaking National Book Lovers' Day, everyone! Ok, there's way too many invented holidays out there, but this one holds a special place in my heart. Why? Because after a decade+ of books just not being my thing, I have become their ultimate devourer. Seriously - flashback to 1st grade in Romania where I got a summer reading list of 100+ books and read a grand total of 1 (bless you, Wizard of Oz). As a kid, I absolutely refused to give reading a chance... to my mother's absolute disappointment. 
When did I become a reader? When I started craving and enjoying me time. When I realized I wanted to be a writer/journalist and the only way to be a good writer is to be a good reader. When I came to the conclusion that I had wasted an upsetting amount of time not being intellectually curious and seeking out voices different than my own. 
This is a post of redemption. There are so many strong words out there that are waiting to be picked up. My "to read" list is inflating by the minute, but for now - here I am, sharing some #appreciation for the books that shook me in the best and worst of ways. Hope you'll give them a chance. 
Stephen Chbosky - The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Full disclosure: I saw the movie before I read the book... and it was the most moving thing I'd ever seen, so I just had to delve into the original source. 

Rupi Kaur - Milk and Honey
Her words are swords, I swear. I love her poetry. It's simple, uncomplicated and not a guessing game. So highly recommended!

Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale
Again, I saw the show before reading the book, and more than anything, I was curious about how true the show had stayed to the book. Verdict: pretty impressively true. 

Jeffrey Eugenides - The Virgin Suicides
This book got me through high school. 

Jeffrey Eugenides - Middlesex
Another amazing book by Jeffrey Eugenides. Love his rich storytelling - there's no real climax to this book, but delving into the life of its main character was mesmerizing. 

Kelly Williams Brown - Adulting
Incredibly funny and incredibly helpful. 

Jessica Knoll - Luckiest Girl Alive
Came across Jessica Knoll's piece in the Lenny Letter and it really sparked my curiosity for the book. I could not. put. this. book. down. 

Anne Helen Petersen - Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud
One of my most recent reads, recommended by NPR and yours truly. One of the few non-fiction books that managed to keep my interest from the very beginning to the end. 

Emma Cline - The Girls
If you're into cult stories, this is your book. 

Ashley Graham - A New Model
Loved reading about Ashley's beginnings. My favorite part? It's not a story about how modeling helped her see herself and her body in a new light blah blah blah - homegirl knew she wanted to model and was feeling herself to begin with!

Brandon Stanton - Humans of New York
I love love LOVE HONY and what it stands for and enjoy supporting such an awesome endeavor. 

Brandon Stanton - Humans of New York Stories
See above. The evolution from photos to stories was so natural and necessary. 

F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
My favorite classic and the only book I've ever re-read 2 times. Also probably the only book on this list that was completely destroyed in its movie version. Thanks, Baz!

Diane von Furstenberg - The Woman I Wanted to Be 
An amazing look into my favorite designer's life. Unapologetically lived and unapologetically written. 

Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Crime and Punishment
My second favorite classic, but damn, Fyodor, way to ruin it with the ending. 

Hope this will inspire y'all to pick up a new book (And don't forget to smell it. We really take these things for granted.) What are some of your favorites? I'm always seeking out new recommendations! 

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