Category Archives: literature

Review: How to Win Friends and Influence People

Want to be a better person? This is like the how-to guide.

How to Win Friends and Influence People - novel by Dale Carnegie - cover image

Dale Carnegie just blew me away. I finished the book this morning and I am about to pass it on to my dad. It’s like common sense, but better. I want to personally thank him for making such a helpful book! I can imagine the principles he dictates working wonders in every area of my life.


Hands Down, the Best Books I’ve Ever Read!

  1. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
    “I knew,” he continued, “you would do me good in some way, at some time: I saw it in your eyes when I first beheld you; their expression and smile did not strike delight to my inmost heart so for nothing.”
  2. White Fang, Jack London
    “As he piled wood on the fire he discovered an appreciation of his own body which he had never felt before…It fascinated him, and he grew suddenly fond of this subtle flesh of his that worked so beautifully and smoothly and delicately. Then he would cast a glance of fear at the wolf-circle drawn expectantly about him, and like a blow the realization would strike him…”
  3. The Call of the Wild, Jack London
    “It was his introduction to the reign of primitive law… The facts of life took on a fiercer aspect, and while he faced that aspect uncowed, he faced it with all the latent cunning of his nature aroused.”
  4. Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
    “Rand’s fourth, longest, and last novel… she considered it her magnum opus in the realm of fiction writing.”
  5. The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
    “If you were in love you’d want to be broken, trampled, ordered, dominated, because that’s the impossible, in the inconceivable for you in your relations with people. That would be the one gift, the great exception you’d want to offer the man you loved. But it wouldn’t be easy for you.”
  6. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
    “Feminine weaknesses and fainting spells are the direct result of our confining young girls to the house, bent over their needlework, and restrictive corsets.”
  7. Quo Vadis? Henryk Sienkiewicz
    “Riches, glory, power are mere smoke, vanity! The rich man will find a richer than himself; the greater glory of another will eclipse a man who is famous; a strong man will be conquered by a stronger. But can Cæsar himself, can any god even, experience greater delight or be happier than a simple mortal at the moment when at his breast there is breathing another dear breast, or when he kisses beloved lips? Hence love makes us equal to the gods.”
  8. Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen
    “They walked on, without knowing in what direction. There was too much to be thought, and felt, and said, for attention to any other objects.”
  9. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
    “‘And I pray one prayer–I repeat it till my tongue stiffens–Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you–haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always–take any form–drive me mad! Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!'”
  10. Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
    “I told them I wasn’t giving up until my dogs did.”
  11. The Awakening, Kate Chopin
    “It sometimes entered Mr. Pontellier’s mind to wonder if his wife were not growing a little unbalanced mentally. He could see plainly that she was not herself. That is, he could not see that she was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we would assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.”
  12. East of Eden, John Steinbeck
    Steinbeck: “Everything I’ve ever written has been practice for this.”
  13. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
    “I kissed her and saw that her eyes were shut. I kissed both her shut eyes. I thought she was probably a little crazy. It was all right if she was. I did not care what I was getting into.”
  14. Sense & Sensibility, Jane Austen
    “It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy;– it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.”

College Candy: Single. And My 3 Roommates Aren’t.

Here’s a link to the latest College Candy article I’ve written:

Comment! Hope you enjoy it!


Should You Become A Vegetarian?

I have to admit – I have been asking myself this question all day.

After last night’s reading of Skinny Bitch, without even finishing the book I feel as if my taste for meat, or “flesh” as Rory and Kim so eloquently put it, has changed. My Lean Cuisine tasted like crap! Not to say that pre-packaged and flash frozen dinners are not supposed to taste like crap, but this was different. The chicken felt rubbery – like it wasn’t supposed to be in my mouth. Like chicken, my favorite of all meats, was not meant to be ingested. It’s all Skinny Bitch‘s fault.

The Case against Meat

Rory and Kim claim that we are not supposed to eat meat. Since I am of a Mediterranean background, I do not think that this can be true. I might also add that my Nonna and Sitto would not like knowing that their kibe, grape leaves, and tripa are not appreciated. Or, for that matter, are not even supposed to be in their beloved granddaughter’s stomach. In three chapters, Rory and Kim break my grandparent’s hearts (not literally): “The Dead, Rotting, Decomposing Flesh Diet.” “The Dairy Disaster.” And last but not least, “You Are What You Eat.”

So what could possibly make me re-think my perfectly happy, carnivorous self? Read and ponder. These are only SOME of their arguments concerning the evolution and design of human beings. I refuse to go into the details of the animal farms. You’ll have to buy the book yourself to get that little joy (…not).

“Imagine yourself trying to run after an animal, catch it, and kill it using your bare hands, fingernails, teeth, and jaws. Not only would you look ridiculous, but you’d probably get your ass kicked, too. And even if you were successful, envision yourself eating the kill without the aid of an oven and silverware” (43).

“Our alkaline saliva is not meant to break down animal flesh; carnivores have acid saliva, perfectly designed for the task” (43).

“And hydrochloric acid, essential for digesting carcass, is secreted in very small amounts in our stomachs. However, the stomachs of carnivores have ten times more hydrochloric acid than ours” (43).

Rory and Kim come to the conclusion that “Genetically and structurally, we are designed to thrive on plant foods” (44).

Thus far, this seemingly shallow book has taught me some radical facts about the food industry in America and the way food interacts with our bodies. So if you want to be a Skinny Bitch or you’re wondering about the benefits of being vegetarian, this book advocates exactly that!

Skinny Bitchin’ in a Flat World

So I finally ordered my Skinny Bitch copy and it arrived today! I literally read 100 pages of it before I forced myself to put it down. (Hello, 6:30am wake-up call…) I’ve got some great suggestions and ideas from it, though.

More about health, diets, and vegetarianism to come for sure.

I also read 50 pages in The World is Flat. Crazy book – very enlightening. I’m waiting for an actual plot of some sort to start. It hasn’t really allowed me to fully appreciate the book yet.

Quote of the day:

“Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.”

-Albert Einstein

It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You WANT To Be

I’m reading this book for my Creative Processes class. Boring? Think again.

I would recommend reading It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be to pretty much anyone who wants to be successful in their chosen field. It’s not a very intense read – I’ve just been flipping through pages that look interesting.

Here’s an excerpt from a chapter entitled “My Finest Hour”:

“I remember the moment vividly.

My feet seemed not to touch the pavement and I thought, ‘I am going to be fired for these pictures.’

Would I rather be fired for having done them or not be fired having not done them?

There was no doubt in my mind. I would rather be fired.

Those few seconds on 74th Street were my greatest moment in advertising.

When I got back and showed them to my partner he thought I was mad.

Fortunately the client loved them. ‘This is art,’ he said.

They won every award there was to be won.

The sad conclusion is the client got fired.”

That was almost all of the chapter right there. He (Paul Arden) makes his point in the title of the chapter and gives you inspiration and wisdom in just a few sentences.

My Latest Read

The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way by Bill Bryson

Even if I wasn’t a Professional Writing major and even if I didn’t like learning about languages and cool stuff like that, I would STILL love this book. It’s insane! English, I mean. If you want to be the cool person who knows a shit ton of random facts, try this on for size. In this excerpt, Bryson is talking about the word “set”:

“Superficially it looks a wholly unseeming monosyllable, the verbal equivalent of the single-celled organism. Yet it has 58 uses as a noun, 126 as a verb, and 10 as a participial adjective. Its meanings are so various and scattered that it takes the OED 60,000 words – the length of a short novel – to discuss them all.”

How freaking cool is that? In just the first 71 pages, I’ve learned where English came from, who brought it there, and how words are created. We speak it everyday – it’s pure ignorance to not want to know where it comes from. I read this book while I was on the elliptical and barely paid attention to the time going by…

Call me a loser, but I’m actually really looking forward to Chapter 14. The topic is swear words 🙂