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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit

We, as humans, have a global problem with overconsumption without anticipating our consequences. It seems like many are trying to inform others about our actions, but nobody really wants to solve the problems. This book and I met through my AP Environmental Science class (APES for short). It was required reading over the summer, and I had some reservations about it. However, it is a very intriguing book.  The book begins with the narrator looking at an ad in the newspaper it says, “TEACHER SEEKS PUPIL, Must have an earnest desire to save the world. Apply in person.” The narrator is sure it’s a scam, but he goes to the address anyway. He is surprised to see that the teacher is not human, but a gorilla who is sitting behind a glass pane. Ishmael (The gorilla) is able to communicate telepathically. He shares his experiences with the narrator, as well as how one might be able to  “save the world”. The book keeps you interested with a unique and philosophical perspective that Ishmael has to offer. Daniel Quinn presents a book with a different way of thinking, and shines light on why humans act the way we do.

“With Man Gone, Will There Be Hope For Gorilla?”



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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

When I was in the 6th or 7th grade, I’d always reprimand myself for not reading great classics like Anna Karenina, or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Now that I've grown older, I now see that reading these types of classics was probably not a good idea. Thankfully I didn't  especially now learning the plot themes to Anna Karenina revolve around adultery, and death.

Now moving from Karenina to Jekyll. I had always been fascinated with Jekyll and Hyde ever since seeing them as animated characters on Arthur. Actually, watching Arthur as a child was how I learned of most historical people or things like  Edgar Allen Poe, the opera Carmen, Yo Yo Ma, Joshua Redman etc. When I saw Jekyll and Hyde, I was fascinated how they were actually the same person, one was normal, and the other was evil.

Finally, I took it upon myself to start reading the book, and I was nervous. I was afraid that the book wouldn't hold the same appeal as it did for me when I was a child. I was hoping that the language and the unfamiliar vocabulary wouldn't prevent me from truly enjoying the book the way it was meant to be. Often times I wish I could be transported to the era when a classic book was written and published by the author. If I was born into Shakespearean times, I wouldn't have to struggle to read Romeo and Juliet,  A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, or Macbeth! Anyway, after reading Jekyll and Hyde, I was pleasantly surprised, the vocab and the language was naturally unfamiliar, but the plot caught my attention more than the language did. I read The Strange Case with the same enthusiasm of reading a current, newly released book. When mom had to interrupt me, I had the same sentiments of being stopped at a really good part (No offense mom :D ). I really enjoyed it, even though I already knew what happened in the end.

I don’t judge a book by its advanced themes and motifs intricately threaded throughout the delicate web of the story, or base my opinions by psychoanalyzing the character’s interactions and cross-referencing said interactions to the conclusion of the book! If a novel has captured your attention, and kept it to the end (without too many distractions ), then it’s done its job. If a story has pulled you into the world within its pages, and makes you fall for the characters, then it’s a success. Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has undeniably proved his book as a classic for past and present readers!

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Funny Quotes!

These are some of my favorite quotes from books and authors. They are given to pick you up, to inspire, and maybe even give you a smile. Look over it and enjoy!

"True terror is to wake up one morning, and discover your high school class is running the country"
-Kurt Vonnegut
"And you ate without me"
"What? No, I didn't," Peeta says.
Oh, and  I suppose the apples ate the cheese"
"I don't know what ate the cheese..."
-Katniss from Hunger Games

"So when your're feeling lonely or sad, or bad, or blue. Remember where laughter's hiding..It's hiding inside of YOU!"
David Saltzman, Author of  The Jester has lost his Jingle

"Singer. He would be Singer, and surely he did  have a song to sing, a unique and sad and beautiful song, given especially to him."
Marion Dane Bauer, Author of Runt

“So light a fire!” Harry choked.
“Yes… of course… but there’s no wood!” Hermione cried, wringing her hands.
J.K Rowling

I hope you enjoyed it! If you like some of these quotes, feel free to make a comment below!

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Friday, January 25, 2013

A Peek into History

As you know, Black History Month is next month.  My little brother, Ezra,  was just telling me some information about the person  he's doing for a  school project. He brought me this textbook, Biography for Beginners: African American Leaders. Inside it, there was some information about Miles Davis, who was a jazz musician, and lived from 1926 to 1991. My brother brought this book to me, and we started reading it together, but soon he got bored and started to do other things. I started to read more... and more...and more.

There were so many people I didn't know much about, like Ossie Davids, Ruby Dee, Lorraine Hansberry, Walter Dean Myers, and Sydney Poitier.  There were people some I definitely knew, Duke Ellington, Madame CJ Walker, Zora Neale Hurston (her book is in my Bestsellers List), Denzel Washington (Love him!), Oprah Winfrey, and so many more.  I started to display my bookmonster qualities (Read the About Me page for this reference), and my brother attempted to forcibly  possess the book from me. In the end, I won, and gained a deeper appreciation for the African American leaders of the past and present.

Every single person starts out life innocent and pure. They have the choices to mold their life into what they make it to be.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stay on Top of Your Happy Reading!

Whenever I finish a book, I always tell my friends about it, then we discuss whether or not we thought the book was good. Then a few months later, we would discuss the same book again. Only this time, they would tell me that part two is coming out in a couple of months, or is already out. Inside I'm thinking, how do they always know that information before I do!! In the midst of my excitement with the new knowledge, I always forget to ask them how they do it!

Well, I found a website called Any New Books? With this website, you can submit your email address, click on your preferred genres, and they will hand select new book releases and send it to you! With that being said, I am extremely excited! Finally, I will be able to know what books are coming out soon!

Read more about Any New Books?

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Teamwork is what Works!

Recently I attended a game, and after watching it I realized how much teamwork is important.  If people are interested in accomplishing something as a group, then they need to be able to bring themselves together and do it. Having the right teaching, guidance, and support…can really do wonders for a person and the group they are involved with. The same thing goes for authors who are trying to get their book published. It takes a whole team of editors, publishers, and media specialists to create something beautiful.

PS: There is a book I’ve read as a child, called How a Book is Made by Aliki. It has really interesting information about the bookmaking process, and it’s shown in a way that makes it interesting for not just children, but older audiences as well.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Healthy Eating While Reading!

Reading books, magazines, or any written material may be intellectually stimulating for the brain, but let's face doesn't do much for you physically. It would be nice if somebody could create a super Wii type book that would allow us to burn calories while indulging ourselves into the love triangle of Bella, Edward, and Jacob. Unfortunately, technology hasn't progressed to that level yet. For the time being, here are some healthy tips and snacks indulge yourself in while reading.

  • Kombucha: Kombucha is a fermented tea that has a mixture of probiotics and antioxidants in it. It also contains, probiotic organisms, which is a living food, as well as a beverage. The health benefits of Kombucha are endless, it can help with skin conditions,  regulate diabetic, control blood sugar and cholesterol, ease pain from arthritis etc. To find more information about Kombucha to
  • Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are seeds packed with protein, and are a very good source of omega-3s. They are also very versatile and completely non GMO (Genetically Modified Organism). They can be used on your salad and yogurt. You can also integrate them into your pancake batter. Heck, if you're going through a bad break up, sprinkle some on your ice cream, you'll get over that person and get your daily vitamins at the same time! To find more information about Chia Seeds go to
  • Yerba Mate:  Yerba Mate is a tea drink that originated in Southern Latin America. It is steeped in antioxidants as well. It produces a natural caffeine that keeps you alert, but not hopped up with energy all day. You don't experience a crash, like you normally would with a product that uses artificial caffeine.  Yerba Mate also regulates weight loss and obesity, and has even said to contain cancer controlling properties. Read more about Yerba Mate 
What do you think of these super snacks? Or maybe you know some other snacks and drinks with healthy properties? Leave a comment, express your opinion, and let there be healthy reading!

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Friday, January 18, 2013

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

(Warning: May Have Spoiler Alerts)

If I've read a book, and it turns into a movie, it’s usually hard for me to watch it, just because I know what’s going to happen, or I’m sensitive to all the changes that they made in the movie. The first two movies of Harry Potter were good; the next 4 made me cringe, and the last two redeemed themselves, much to my relief.  When the trailers for the Hobbit came out, I was cautiously optimistic about it. I’ve had good memories about reading that book when I was a child; I remember the riddle exchange between Bilbo and Gollum, and being overjoyed when I found out the ring made Bilbo invisible. The book set a movie in my head; I can even distinctly remember feeling the heat rising around me, when reading the part where Bilbo entered the dragon Smaug’s domain! But I didn’t just read the book, I watched the movie. It was an old animated movie, which will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Anyway, after seeing the promos for the new Hobbit movie, I was hoping the filmmakers wouldn’t mess it up. Now that I’ve seen the Hobbit, I LOVED IT! It had the right action, adventure, and humor combined into it all at once. Not to mention, some of the dwarves in the movie are pretty cute, wasn't expecting that from dwarves! Not all of them are old and short; there is a variety of ages among them, which I really like. It provides diversity and gets rid of the stereotypical, mythical, ancient, squat dwarf.

The movie starts out 60 years before Frodo started out on his journey, Bilbo Baggins (His Uncle), writes about the experiences he’s had and sets the story as to why everything happened the way it did. Sixty years ago, Bilbo Baggins was 50 years old and young…what I wouldn’t give to grow to the age of 50 and still be called young, and enjoying the benefits of his home.  While living his daily life he meets the wizard, Gandalf the Gray, and a company of dwarves. They explain to him their mission, which is to travel to Erebor, their home, and take it back from a dragon (Smaug) who invaded it and drove them out. They needed a burglar who would be able to help them complete the task, and labeled Bilbo as one. Bilbo reluctantly agrees and the journey begins.

In the Hobbit, you still see the characters that appeared in the other Lord of the Ring movies. The obvious one being Gandalf (Ian McKellen), but others are Lord Elrond (Hugo Weaving), Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), Gollum (Andy Serkis), Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), and Saruman the White (Christopher Lee).

Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey absolutely lived up to my expectations and exceeded it, As well as paid homage to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. I hope others who are fans of the book, would enjoy the movie as well!

Have you seen the movie? Did you enjoy it? Do you think some of the dwarves are cute? If so, post your comments and tell us what you thought of it!

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Textbook Troubles

The next semester of college starts on February 4th, one day before my birthday! Even though it is only less than a month away, I have to think about getting textbooks for my classes. Last time I tried to get my books, I was able to get all except that darned English book! It drove me crazy, I must have gone in and out of that bookstore at least five times, with all the little things that kept popping up and preventing me from getting my book! Finally, I was able to pay for it and bring it with me to class. But this time, I hope to make only two trips to the book store, in and out!

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Booking towards Bookexpress

My friends and I went to the Yorktown Mall recently; we haven’t seen each other since we graduated from high school. When we finally saw each other it was just like old times!!! So anyway, we walked around the mall and we saw a little store called bookexpress selling books for 50% off!!! Of course we gravitated towards it and started talking about books we read over the years.

Before I finish this post, a little shout out to my home girls Elizabeth, Ayesha, and Urooba for always being with me throughout six long years of friendship and many more!!!!!

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What's Essential to You? A Scholarship Opportunity

Message to all college bound and college students out there, you've been working hard trying to get in college, or trying to keep up. Now you can get a break! Nordic Naturals is offering a What’s Essential 5,OOO dollar scholarship to a student.

You must write an essay, describing what are the essential components of the education that your generation needs to make a positive impact on the world?

The essay must contain a maximum of 1000-1500 words. The winning essayist will receive a 5,000 scholarship from Nordic Naturals, and a year’s supply of their omega-3 products. For more information visit the Are you the lucky stressed out student who could catch a break?

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Amazing Grades….How Sweet The Sound!

“The strategies in this book helped me go from failing to becoming a doctoral candidate today. Thank you!”
-Kathryn Langley, M.A. Doctoral Candidate at California School of Professional Psychology

If you’re a student, then I’m sure you have had some episodes where you would study hours for a test, feel confident in acing, only to wind up with a C. Or maybe, you get nervous befSAM_0306ore an exam, and can’t recall the information. Or perhaps you just want to find a way to cut your learning time, while still maintaining your GPA. As a recent high school graduate, I have experienced all of this, and more. It’s hard to do the things you love, while keeping up your grades for the future. While I got good grades, they weren’t always the grades I wanted. In Amazing Grades, different authors collaborate with each other to offer you tips about study skills. They say that old-school studying techniques like rereading each word of the chapter is no longer effective. Spending hours trying to memorize all the facts and information three days before the test can, thankfully, go down the tube. Many authors in the book provide a different perspective on the old study methods, and give students new ones as well.
But study methods are not the only things the book provides. It also gives off self-esteem advice, different memory and body boosting snacks, bullying advice, and ways to help you focus on your goals. Amazing Grades even offers advice about how the right type of music can help you with your studying. Unfortunately, they don’t offer what type of TV show is better for studying, and it would be nice if they could say the Big Bang Theory Smile.
Anyway, the TV is not point here, the point is, if you desire to become a better student, or maintain that perfect 4.0 GPA. Then take a look at Amazing Grades, because it truly is amazing.
“We dedicate this book to students of the world and value your ability to inspire others and yourself to greatness”
-Amazing Grades: Pat Wyman and 100 other bestselling authors and experts

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