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

Oh August, what a month you were. I read a lot, went back to my high school to say hi to a few people, and felt the beginning of college creep closer and closer. I also wrote a lot, which was a refreshing change from July. But without further ado, here's a closer look into what my August was like: 



Swan by Mary Oliver
When I was thirteen years old, my mom took me to see Mary Oliver at a poetry reading. At the time, I didn't really like poetry all that much, and I couldn't see the point of going to watch someone read their poems out loud (oh, young one, how much you will change...). I went anyway, and even though I didn't totally understand everything that she was saying, I liked how Mary Oliver read her poems, and I liked how simple yet deep they were. A little while ago, I got this book of her poems. I read in a only a couple of days, and I once again was astonished at how simple yet deep her words are. Mary Oliver is able to reach the deepest part of the reader's soul, and through that she brings peace and comfort. Just like nature does. 

I recommend this book for: Lovers of poetry, espcially poetry about animals, nature, and finding the beauty in everyday things. 
I don't recommend this book for: Those who prefer poetry that is obviously deep. For you I recommend Give Me a God I Can Relate To


In Conclusion, Don't Worry About It by Lauren Graham
Back in April, I read Talking As Fast As I Can, but when I was buying that book, I discovered that Lauren Graham had another book coming out that was specifically written for high school graduates. Being a soon-to-be high school graduate, I preordered the book. I got in April, but it had been sitting on my bookshelf until a couple of weeks ago. Like in her memoir, Graham uses her words to encourage, to make others feel less alone, and to let them know that whatever happens, it was supposed to happen that way. It's only around 40 pages,  This book is full of little tidbits of wisdom, and pocket-sized comfort for bad days. 

I recommend this book for: The new high school seniors, the class of 2018, and anyone else who just went through a giant life change. 
I don't recommend this book for: Those who are looking for something longer (if this is you, I recommend Talking As Fast As I Can), or who don't like Graham's writing. If this is you, but you still want something inspirational in the form of a memoir, try Bossypants


We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Back in December, my teacher who also ran the book club recommended this to all of us. The way she described it made it sound interesting, so I kept my eye out for it. We Were Liars is a a book that attacks the image families present to other people, and it does it a mysterious way. This book doesn't feel like a mystery at first, but after the first two parts, you quickly start to realize that not everything is as it seems. If you like mysteries, I'd definitely put this on your list. 

I recommend this for: Fans of Celeste Ng. The writing is similar, but still distinct enough that each author has their own voice. 
I don't recommend this for: Anyone who doesn't like mysteries. If you still want a fiction book that you can get lost in, try To Kill a Mockingbird


I took this picture from their  Facebook Page

I took this picture from their Facebook Page

Bayside Church
I was raised in Seventh Day Adventist schools and churches, and had never gone to a church of another denomination for a service. But a couple weeks ago, Annaliese asked me if I wanted to go to a non-denominational church with her. She said the music was good, and I'd been trying to find something to do on Sunday anyway, so I said yes. It was one of those mega churches, so there were lots of people, and there were drums and lots of lights, which I didn't see much of in church growing up. I actually really liked it. Since it was non-denominational, there was less theology and more Jesus, which I think is what church needs to be anyway. 

My High School
The school I graduated from has an alumni football game at the beginning of every school year. I was never on the football team (or any team, for that matter), but a few of my friends were, so I went to watch them and to see some of my other friends who are now Juniors and Seniors. It was a bittersweet experience for me. I loved seeing people I hadn't seen since June, but it was definitely strange to go to my high school campus and know that I won't be back for a really long time. They've already started school, and some things are different. I'm happy for everyone that is still there, but it's certainly a weird experience to know that your time with the school is now over. Still, seeing people was really good. I'm going to miss everyone very much, and you can bet that I'll be trying to get a few of the seniors to join me in Washington ;-). 

This month was a good one. I used the motivation I'd regained to write a bunch of future posts for my first quarter of school. I read a lot, started writing in my journal again, and did a couple really good things with really good people. I know that at the beginning of the summer I superstitiously thought August would be the worst month, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I have throughly enjoyed the month of August, and I hope all of you can say something similar. Here's to September, who knows where I'll be this time next month.