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Suggested by my sib, Jenna, I ordered If You Feel Too Much by Jamie Tworkowski. By reading the title, I knew this was going to begin and end in tears- color me sensitive.

If You Feel Too Much is a collective of stories about moments, holidays, people, feelings- I’m 100% sure there will be a story that you will resonate with. Life, death, love, happy, sad- it’s all there, it’s real and raw. I admire you, Jamie, for being so vulnerable so publicly. It is one facet of bravery that I have yet to open the door to. I might have cracked and peeked at it, but being that vulnerable…woof.

If you’re into “feeling the feels,” this is your book. It really did make me think about how I am with people and my own story. If anything, this book is a reminder. A reminder that you’re alive, you’re not alone and thank God everyday when you get to walk through life with incredible people. Thank those incredible people, especially.

Quotes, quotes, quotes:

Love is a thousand things, but at the center is a choice. It is a choice to love people.

You have made known your request for a hundred different yesterdays, but the sun keeps rising on this thing that has never been known…Today is the best day to live.

We are not perfect. We are not machines. We make mistakes. We need compassion. We need grace. We need help sometimes. We need other people.

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So I read a lot of John Green books. He’s one of the few authors I make an exception for because I generally read nonfiction booksTL; TR.

You get to book 4 of John Green, and you kind of know how it goes. You would think that I would get tired from reading the similar patterns.. John Green never ceases to surprise me with the careful and meticulous research he puts into every book he writes. Maybe this is why I read them. They are fictional, yet the research is so real- it’s close to nonfiction. Or maybe I just like to read them. Every book has a lot of research background, right? Right.

Anyhow, An Abundance of Katherines goes along the same lines of boy-likes-girl, girl-likes-boy, high-school-drama-esque. There’s the underage drinking, road trips and general store hangouts. But there are other things that come into play, like a Theorem. The Theorem that theoretically predicts the longevity of a relationship. And other things like shooting guns, visiting warehouses and a pink mansion. Your typical young adult novel.

What I loved about An Abundance of Katherines, and maybe love is a strong word…I thoroughly liked this book is that it’s not just about teenage love drama. It never is. John Green books are always reflective with not just your boy-girl relationships, but relationships with people around you in general. As I usually do, here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book (sorry if this gives any spoilers!):

What matters to you defines your mattering.

Do you ever wonder whether people would like you more or less if they could see inside you? But I always wonder about that. If people could see me the way I see myself- if they could live in my memories- would anyone, anyone love me?

You’re not boring. You’ve got to stop saying that, or people will start believing you.

The future will erase everything- there’s no level of fame or genius that allows you to transcend oblivion. The infinite future makes that kind of mattering impossible. But there’s another way. There are stories.

What has this book taught me? Go on a road trip.

tltr whatever you think think the oppositeFinally, another book I can add to this category (re: Too Long; Thu Reads). Although I’m still reading it, I know I will finish it in two seconds-there are only 136 pages. When I became aware of this book, I had no idea what it was about. All I knew was: 1) it should be on my reading list and 2) it’s apparently awesome. I took the plunge and bought [the print] copy! It’s full of pictures, so I think print copy is the way to go.

How would I describe this book? It’s a little bit of inspiration, a little bit of history, a little bit of advertising, and a little bit of humor. Rightly so, because author Paul Arden is a former executive creator at Saatchi & Saatchi.

Preface: The pictures go better with the words, but here are little snippets from the book:

Trapped. It’s not because you are making the wrong decisions, it’s because you are making the right ones. We try to make sensible decisions based on the facts in front of us. The problem with making sensible decisions is that so is everyone else.

Call yourself an artist. How you present yourself is how others will value you.

Even a bad idea executed is better than a good idea undone.

It’s better to regret what you have done than what you haven’t.

Some of these statements and stories are daring, but isn’t that what risk and life is about?

Former name: Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull** with Amy Wallace
**Ed Catmull is the President of a company called Pixar Animation and Disney Animation.

TLTR Creativity Inc

Of course when I found out that this book was coming out, I pre-ordered it. The timing was fitting as it was released in the midst of my “Be Remarkable” campaign…and yes, I just finished it. While it’s management-heavy information, it gives you insight into Pixar Animation company culture. A culture that I personally aspire to work in one day. That place is still an enigma and sprinkled in magic, but Ed Catmull shares some of the company’s intricacies and how they came to be. Spoiler Alert: It’s not easy, and it requires an effort from both management AND employees. Notes Day? Very Interesting and unheard of. Even the way they structured the Pixar Campus- it’s very strategic and purposeful. Dull at times, because I’m not a manager, but insightful.

This is one of my favorite quotes, among others. I geeked out every time Pete Docter is mentioned.

If you’re sailing across the ocean and your goal is to avoid weather and waves, then why the hell are you sailing? You have to embrace that sailing means that you can’t control the elements and there will be good days and bad days and that, whatever comes, you will deal with it because your goal is to eventually get to the other side. You will not be able to control exactly how you get across. That’s the game you decided to be in. -Andrew Stanton

There are little golden nuggets like this that show you the kind of thinking that is floating around at Pixar. It’s very inspiring, and makes a lot of sense.

Extra Book Notes:

  • “Art challenges technology, technology inspires art.”
  • Humility. “Only when we admit what we don’t know can we ever hope to learn it.”
  • When I read the Afterword, which is about Mr. Catmull’s history with Steve Jobs- I teared up.
  • The emotional IQ this company, woof. Have you seen UP?
  • Welcome all ideas.
  • “Candor” is the buzzword of this book.
  • To be in a room with John Lasseter for a pep talk… I bet John Lasseter is the Coach Taylor of animation.

Sidebar: Pixar just announced that Toy Story 4 is in the works and is set to be released in 2017. I also read that Rashida Jones is a part of the writing process, INTERESTING. I love her.

Let me paint a picture of what it looks like when you graduate college: someone pushes you off a ledge and you land in a large swimming hole.
If you’re lucky, they’ll tell you “good luck.” But as you swim for air and reach the surface, no one is around.

JUST KIDDING. Sort of. Sometimes graduating (esp. when you don’t come out with a job offer), can be daunting, exhausting, and a little confusing. It was…and still is for me. I feel a little lost, down, and confused. And I’ve been waiting for this book since the announcement of its existence. I needed a guidebook and damn, the word “GUIDE” is in the title! (Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-Up)

GG_TLTR

Travel advice (make sure you have deodorant),
Hangover advice,
“Walk of shame” advice,
“How to make friends as an adult” advice,
Interview advice (put on some deodorant),

ADVICE! And anecdotes so I don’t feel like I’m the only dummy feeling the things. Grace Helbig is a dummy right there with me! Since “How to Be a Classy Drunk,” I have joined the Internet crowd and accepted her as my awkward older sister. When I met her IRL, I knew I had to get the book. If I didn’t, I felt like a bad friend. You know? (Team Internet would know.)

For those who don’t know who a YouTuber is, where the f– have you been? Regardless, you’re probably a 20-something girl/boy who needs some real advice…and real laughs. Who doesn’t like to laugh? Let me try and convince you with some golden advice (excerpts from Grace’s Guide):

Wrap yourself up in a blanket and roll around the floor like a human taco. (Re: How to deal with anxiety)

Macachos: Mac ‘n’ cheese nachos. (Hello Grace? Thank you.)

A good one that has hit home for me is: As long as you didn’t visibly piss or poop yourself, it was a GREAT interview. Move on. It sounds superficial and “duh-duoy,” but the search is hard and it can feel defeating. This statement puts it back into perspective and helps me move on.

Also, margaritas can cure all of the struggles. And always, ALWAYS pack deodorant.

For my chums who don’t have the funds to buy the book (I understand): support and watch her YT Channel: It’s Grace. REAL LAUGHS.

GG_Collage

Does she know, or does she know?!

GIRLBOSS

I’m extending the “Too Long; Thu Reads” category to books from now on. You could label this is a book review, but it’s more of a book summary with notes and thoughts. …Wait, did I just define “book review?” Whatever, go with it.

I just finished reading #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, CEO and founder of a little company called Nasty Gal. It’s just an online fashion retail store that’s known to all millennial girls and some big-time businesspeople, no big deal. With release (May 2014) of #GIRLBOSS and general badassery, she’s been the talk of the town. She has that story: girl steals stuff, girl starts eBay store, girl turns into CEO and girlboss of her own multi-millionaire company. Typical, right?

As some book reviews have mentioned, it’s not much of an entrepreneurial book and I agree with that. It can be paired with one, but it’s not an entrepreneurial book on its own. This book is more of a memoir/guide/motivational tool/straight-talk-type book. Sophia shares her personal story- slip-up’s, steals, victories, and all. She’ll get real with you (i.e. KNOW yourself before going into an interview, shitty jobs can teach you something, hone your craft). And at the end of each chapter, there’s a portrait of a girlboss like Leandra Medine, blogger of Manrepeller or Jenné Lombardo, founder of the Terminal Presents. They also share their story, how they find themselves to be a girlboss, and share some advice like…

Get excited for the mistakes you’ll make.

Be humble. Never forget where you come from. And always be polite. Good old-fashioned manners can get you very far.

I respect Sophia, and I respect all of the girlbosses featured in this book. Sophia is a girlboss and she works damn hard to be a girlboss. This is something she conveys throughout the book. She thinks about her customers a lot, she pays attention to the details, and doesn’t take shit from anyone. I may or may not have geeked out because she references Malcolm Gladwell and Seth Godin. It’s clear she does her homework, and knows her stuff.

TL;DR? It’s a quick read, will sometimes feel like a slap in the face, and definitely fits the target of millennials (aka me).

The world loves to tell you how difficult things are, and the world’s not exaggerating…But difficult doesn’t mean impossible, and out of the bajillion of things in this universe that you can’t control, what you can control is how hard you try, and if or when to pack it in.

Stay awake and stay alive.

The holy grail is yours for the taking.

the beginning of everything

The thing about gold is that it easily tarnishes.

And after I read that sentence, I was sold on the book. The Beginning of Everything was everything I never thought I would like or read. It’s fiction, which is “red flag” #1. It’s in a high school setting, which is #2. Although now that I think about it, most of the fiction books that I do read…are all set in high school (with the exception of East of Eden).

Anyway, aside from the fact that this was a book I unexpectedly read…I also read it all in one day. And that’s one thing that I like about fiction books, they’re quick reads. There’s just something about not being able to wait.

So, The Beginning of Everything talks about personal tragedies.

Personal tragedies in the sense of the typical high school tragedies: boy steal girl, girl hate, high school romance, debate team drama, etc.
And then there are other personal tragedies specific to this book like self-esteem, death, trauma, and feeling like an outcast.

I wondered what things became when you no longer needed them, and I wondered what the future would hold once we’d gotten past our personal tragedies and proven them ultimately survivable.

Whether it’s that boy-steal-girl tragedy, or death-in-the-family tragedy, I think we subconsciously ask ourselves this. Personally, it took me a long time to get over the death of my grandma. When this tragedy proved itself to be survivable, I almost asked myself, “But how?” Almost feeling guilty of the fact that I survived emotionally, when in the literal sense, my grandma did not.

Doesn’t this sound like a real catch of a book? It really is. I really enjoyed it.

The book also quotes Mary Oliver, “Tell me what is it you plan to do/With your one wild and precious life?”

In this current chapter of my life, I ask myself this question in a variety of ways, practically every single day only coming to a very vague and ambiguous answer. And now I’m asking and wondering to myself, “This part of my life seems like it won’t end and it’s kind of terrible (It’s not that terrible). My new personal tragedy of this post grad life. But I know it will end, and I will survive, and then what?”