Books I've Read & Places I've Loved: October 2017

First of all, IT'S MY 18TH BIRTHDAY!!! Second of all, wow October went by fast... that was kind of insane, actually. I did something every weekend this month, from my school's fall festival to the Junior/Senior retreat, I was very busy and I LOVED it. I finished my reading goal and got to visit some new places, and all in all, I'm very happy with how this month turned out. 

BOOKS I'VE READ

the sun and her flowers by rupi kaur

Earlier this year, in February to be exact, I read milk and honey, which was Rupi Kaur's first book. I loved it, and when I discovered that she was writing another one, I was excited for the day when I'd get to read that one as well. Earlier this month I was walking around Barnes and Noble with my grandmother, and I turned around to be greeted by a display of the sun and her flowers. I hadn't realized that it had already been published, so I promptly picked it up and finished it within the next couple days. I love Kaur not only for what she writes about, but how she writes it. There is a lot of criticism for how she writes because people say it's not really poetry and is simply poetic sounding sentences, but I think she's brilliant. Poetry has no boundaries, restrictions, or rules, and that's one of the things that makes it (and Rupi Kaur) so great. 

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The Captain's Verses by Paublo Neruda

You all know I'm a total sucker for bilingual poetry books, and this one was no different. I read it in just under two days, and it was one of those books where you find something to love on every page. I read another collection of Neruda's poetry earlier this year (in May...? I think.), and I loved that one as well. When looking over the books I've read while being seventeen, I honestly thought there would be more poetry than otherwise, but it was pretty equal, with 8 books of poetry and 9 novels/others. I loved all the poetry I've read this year, but whenever it's a bilingual copy I tend to love it even more. 

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Give Me a God I Can Relate To by Blythe Baird

Last week, I was driving to school with my mom (because I still don't have the coveted driver's license) when I got a text from Annaliese. She told me to come find her when I got to school because she had something for me. I was already running late for Book Club, but I made a detour for the library where I was handed a wrapped present with a bow. I went to Book Club and spent the whole time staring at it, waiting for the next class period when I could meet with Annaliese to open it with her. When I found her, she laughed and said I could have opened it without her, but we still sat in the hallway as I opened it. Inside was this book, and I finished it last Tuesday (see? I told you I'd be better at reading than I was last year.) There was a lot in this that I couldn't relate to, but I still found myself underlining the majority and dog-earing the pages I loved the most. I'm very glad this was the last book I read while being seventeen. 

PLACES I'VE LOVED

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Dixon Corn Maze - Dixon, CA

For my school's first SA "banquet" of the year, we went to the Dixon Corn Maze, which just so happens to be in the 2014 Guinness Book of World Records. We ate Chipotle in the parking lot and ran through the corn maze and got lost on purpose. When one of my friends accidentally locked his keys in his car with another one of my friend's homework inside, we all waited in the parking lot some more. It was a great way to spend a Sunday, and it was refreshing to spend time with people I love without the stress of school on our shoulders. 

(pc) Annaliese 

(pc) Annaliese 

Leoni Meadows - CA

Yup, I went back again, but this time for the annual Junior/Senior Retreat. I went last year, and if I could pinpoint the time when last year changed around for me, that weekend would be it. I'm very glad I was able to go again this year because I was able to bond with some of my favorite people even more. From sleeping on the top bunk, to getting up at six a.m., to staying up past midnight having deep conversations with amazing people, it was a great weekend and I'm so happy I went. 

October was one of the good months of the year so far. I went to a lot of place, saw a lot people, and did a lot of things. I read three really good books, and, you know, I turned eighteen. I'm very thankful for this month, and I hope the rest of the year follows in it's footsteps. 

Books I've Read & Places I've Loved: February 2017

"Books I've Read & Places I've Loved" is a series where I talk about, yup, the books I've read and the places I've loved in a particular month (my titling skills are exquisite as we all know ;-)). 

We've made it to the end of February! If your month was anything like mine, it wasn't necessarily busy, but it felt long. This is around the time of year where I tend to feel stuck and want to do something new and exciting. I went through the typical period of wanting to cut my hair, but instead of deciding against it I just went ahead and did it and now I have roughly seven inches less of hair than I did at the beginning of the month. Even though this month felt extremely long, I was able to find some ways to make it feel exciting through the books I read and the unordinary places that I visited. I hope you all had a great February, and that March will be wonderful as well!

BOOKS I'VE READ:

milk and honey by rupi kaur

After writing my last poem, I went looking for some poetry collections to read to gather some more inspiration. I wasn't able to relate to everything that is written about in this book, but I still found it extraordinary. Sometimes extraordinarily heartbreaking, but still extraordinary. One of my favorite poems is one called "grounded" and it reads: "most importantly love/ like it's the only thing you know how/ at the end of the day all this/ means nothing/ this page/ where you're sitting/ your degree/ your job/ the money/ nothing even matters/ except love and human connection/ who you loved/ and how deeply you loved them/ how you touched the people around you/ and how much you gave them" This book is split into four chapters: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing. The last chapter was definitely my favorite, but I found my self underlining phrases all the way through. I highly, highly, highly recommend it. 

Rainbow in the Cloud: The Wisdom and Spirit of Maya Angelou

This little book is a collection of quotes from Maya Angelou's essays, poems, books, and interviews. It's not long, only a little over 100 pages. I read in on a Tuesday evening when I didn't have much homework and was feeling a little anxious and just a little off. I've had this book since I was fourteen, but had only read the first section. I'm guessing I stopped reading it around the time I moved and never picked up again until now, two moves later. Over half of it is now underlined, and there are small green post-it notes scattered around the pages to mark quotes I loved to much to only underline. I have a feeling that this will be a book that I will often return to. 

PLACES I'VE LOVED:

A Nursery Somewhere I'd Never Heard Of

This nursery was soooo wonderful to visit. I love flowers, and being surrounded by them on every side was really lovely. Being there made me want to buy all the seeds and start my own garden, but then I remembered that I'm not the best gardener and may end up killing all the plants in the process, so I decided against it. It was still so nice to be around flowers and the coy fish in a small pond were pretty cool too. 

The Petco Near My House

So... I didn't get a picture, but this place was most definitely a favorite of mine this month. One of my best friends came to visit me last week, and while she was here we walked to the Starbucks near my house, and then across the street to the Petco. We walked around looking for fish, which we unfortunately did not find. Eventually, I bought some guinea pig treats (because why not), and then we talked to the cashier for a few minutes. She was really nice, too. It was a simple place, and it's a simple story, but it all really made my night.