Books I've Read & Places I've Loved: April 2018

Oh my, April, you brought so much good with you. From the musical performances, to a spring banquet and music tour, I'm so thankful this month was what it was. I read many amazing books (some poetry- finally!), did some awesome things, and went to some really cool places. Here are the books I read and the places I loved this month! 



Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
I've mentioned Gilmore Girls a few times, but I don't think I've ever fully expressed just how much I love it. Her book goes through her journey to where she is now, and also chronicles her experience on Gilmore Girls, as well as Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Reading this book felt like I was talking to her directly, like were just sitting on a couch and she was telling some of her favorite stories. 

I recommend this book for: Anyone who is a fan of Gilmore GirlsParenthood, or Lauren Graham. 
I don't recommend this book if: You don't like any of the above or if you aren't a fan of memoirs. 


Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
After four months of being in a musical preparation class, I made my way back to book club. This is the first book I've read since being back, and I finished it in two days. The writing is easy to read, but the story is incredibly deep. It's easy to get lost in, and that's one of my favorite feelings. 

I recommend this book if: You like poetic writing, internal monologue, and a hint of mystery that unfolds throughout. 
I don't recommend this book if: Rape is a trigger for you. 



My school's gym (again)
April brought the end of Pirates of Penzance, and while there were moments when I couldn't wait for April 8th, once it actually came around I realized how much I was going to miss this musical and all the people who helped make it what is became. Everyone pictured in the photo above affected my school year in a positive way, and I couldn't possibly be more thankful for them. 

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The Carmichael Public Library
On the Tuesday after all the musical performances ended, I found myself reading one of my poems to a group of people at a nearby library. Since I'd be preoccupied with the musical in the days leading up to this, I didn't really have time to be nervous. But around 5:00 on that Tuesday, the nerves set in. I was really, really worried about how it would go, but luckily I wasn't the only one who had never done an open mic before, and that definitely helped. The open mic went really well, and I'm glad I can check this off my bucket list before going back to do it again. 

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John's Incredible Pizza
This picture was taken in a photo booth at this year's SA spring banquet. If I'm being honest, this night wasn't my favorite considering it was from 11:00 pm - 1:00 am, but there were still some moments that I loved. Taking pictures in the photo booth with Annaliese was one of them, as was walking around in a long, green dress so I could look like Morgan la Fay (the theme was to come dressed as something that begins with the letter M). 

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Monterey Bay Kayaks
Over my final music tour, I seemed to do less singing and more unrelated activities, one of which was kayaking in Monterey Bay. I have a fear of water, and that fear is even bigger when it comes to the ocean. But I still went kayaking, and I'm very happy that I did. Annaliese was my boat buddy, which made things feel a lot safer for me. I wouldn't be surprised if I wound up kayaking again in the near future. 


The Bay Area
Just in general, being the Bay Area for five days (ish) was really nice. Getting to walk down Pier 29 and eat strawberries, seeing the San Francisco symphony, and singing at Grace Cathedral were all incredible moments from this month. I love the Bay Area, and I've found that I seem to love if even more now that I've moved away. Returning to a place you lived (or lived near) makes you appreciate the ordinary beauty in it, and ordinary beauty is something I strive to see everyday. 

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Santa Cruz
I've said before that I grew up near the beach, but for some reason I always forget how much I miss it until I'm back with the sand and the waves. On the last full day of our music tour, we went to two beaches. The picture above was taken at the first beach, and I spent most of my time running through the waves and taking pictures with some of my favorite people. Being on the beach again after being away for so long was definitely one of my favorite things from this month. 

April was a really good month. Towards the end I started feeling more stress than necessary, and I was fairly anxious all month, but overall it was still good. I went to a lot of good places and met some really cool people. The books I read were easy to get myself lost in, and that allowed me the chance to escape from my daily stresses and anxiety. May is looking like it'll be really hectic, but part of me is still looking forward to it. I hope you all had a good month of April, and hopefully May will be wonderful as well.