Category Archives: Books

Book Review: The Wait by Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin

Before I get into my thoughts about the book “The Wait”, I want to share the background on why I chose to read this book. For a few months… actually a few years now.. God has been dropping the subliminal hint that maybe I should consider celibacy in dating.

After numerous heartbreaks, I decided instead of dating society’s way, I might as well try it God’s way and see how I felt. Sure, why not?

So I pursued my personal relationship with God. It was a testing time, but it was rewarding. I learned a lot about myself. I learned about  my worth as a woman, my worth as a person. God’s love filled my heart. His love healed my past emotional wounds. It was empowering, to be in love with how God made you, and be content with what God gave you. 

Then God placed my boyfriend into my life. The ultimate test, because in a short amount of time we went through a lot of crap together. I met my boyfriend at a stage where he was coming back into his faith. God really pushed us away from each other because we weren’t ready, but we’re both so grateful for everything we went through. It makes you think some people are content with hurting you– you can say this hurts me and they won’t change. While others will acknowledge hurting you and make the effort to change– because a person’s heart is what’s most important. My boyfriend will say that I pushed him closer to God. But God did that, not me.

My boyfriend and I learned that we live on God’s time, not our time. We want it now. God says later. That’s why patience is important. Now that God brought us back together, we’re stronger than ever– with friendship and Godly love being the foundation of our relationship. My boyfriend and I are “waiting”– to respect and honor God, and respect and honor each other. We push each other towards God, and it’s really amazing.

I was really excited to read this book because celibacy is NOT easy, AT ALL, no,no,no, no, no, so I needed a testimony– I wanted to feel inspired by reading Megan Good and DeVon Franklin’s story.

I was definitely inspired in a lot of surprising ways!

 

IMG_1575

Book Review: The Wait

The Wait: A Powerful Practice for Finding the Love of Your Life and The Life You Love by Meagen Good and DeVon Franklin, gives readers so much more than I expected. The media of course focuses on the celibacy thing, and that’s a huge part of it and why it works. Yet there are more powerful messages in this book. The book is an easy read, I read it in a day. I appreciate how vulnerable the authors are, it is not all good times and happiness, but they talk about what they struggled with as well. The book is real and raw. I loved reading it! I even gave a copy for my boyfriend to read. He enjoyed it too!

Four things I love about this book:

  1. This book is not on about waiting for sex, but waiting in general. Patience. Something our generation lacks (me included). We are a generation of instant gratification. The book touches on patience with your career, with finances, and yes patience in dating. Our generation thinks love is instant, but it’s not, it takes a while for you to get to really know someone. So we shouldn’t rush it. We can rush it with the wrong person and be stuck. For life. Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce but the majority of marriages today are couples under the age of 25 and/or couples who get married after only dating for a few months. Many things fail because we rush into with without understanding it.
  2. Relationship advice. DeVon makes a claim that marriage fails because we don’t date the right way. The book offers a lot of great relationship advice. If your goal is to be married one day, it offers great guidance on how to know if you and the person you are dating are compatible enough for that next step. It offers insight on what exactly should we really be looking for in a life partner.
  3.  It has a guy’s perspective. I think men are criticized more for being celibate because society often defines a guy’s manhood on sex. This ideal that real men pursue sex constantly, how can they live without it? That’s kind of insulting to think that a man has no self-control? I digress. In the Wait, there is a whole section where DeVon speaks to the men. If women, money, power status makes you a man– you will fall as soon as one of those things falls. DeVon pokes at the insecurities of men in society today, and helps men overcome them and be more empowered. He gives a real definition of what it is to be a man. Clearly, a lot of men in my generation need to take notes.
  4. Empowered my decision on celibacy. Yes I am a Christian honoring my body for God, but the book made me feel very empowered in my decision and also very badass! If I can do this. I can do anything!

My grade: A-

IMG_1950.JPG

IMG_1949.JPG

 

Book Review [A Book For Creatives]: “Show Your Work!” by Austin Kleon

IMG_1580

Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon is a quick read, you can probably sit down and read it in an hour. However, don’t let the size fool you, this book is filled with a lot of great informationfor creatives trying to make a living out of their art. Show Your Work gives tips for the “starving artist”; it also is a great guide for people who are passionate entrepreneurs. The book is inspirational, but without the fluff, it is very to the point. The chapters are two or three pages long, with drawings and photographs, which makes reading the book go by so much faster. Definitely a must-read for creatives, or anyone who is passionate about branding themselves and starting a business. It is not a necessarily a step-by-step road to success guide, somethings will apply to you and some may not. Yet, the book is like a great pep talk, Kleon gives 10 easy tips on why and how you should share your art with the world. Kleon really understands the struggle of creative artists, because he is one. Reading through the book, I often said to myself, “How did he know I was thinking that?!”.

I will definitely keep Show Your Work on my bookshelf and refer to it often as I try pursue my side passions. It is also a great book to give as a gift to a fellow creative!

My Grade: A+

 

Book Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

IMG_1031.JPG

Room by Emma Donoghue is a book that will capture your heart. You have to be soulless to not feel something after reading this book. It’s a story about a five-year-old boy named Jack and his mother “Ma”, who have been living in a small room with no contact to the outside world. His mother was kidnapped and has been living in this room for seven years long before Jack got there. In her captivity she finds purpose as Jack’s mother. The mother and son relationship is the basis of the book.

Donoghue decided to write the entire story from a five-year-old’s perspective, making the plot less tragic and more inspiring. There are thrilling moments in the story, which makes the book a page turner. However, it was Jack’s innocence and growth, as a character in his circumstance, that intrigued me as a reader.

I recently saw the movie and I loved it! Go Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay! The book does have more twists and turns than the movie though. I’m guessing for sake of time since the movie is two hours long. I would read the book before or after seeing the movie.

I give the film adaptation an A+.

I give the book an A++.

Book Review: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

 

IMG_1032

Bad Feminist is a collection of essays by Roxane Gay. Her essays are a combination of personal accounts and crafty critiques on our culture. Gay’s arguments are smart and witty. Although I do not agree with every point Gay made in her book, I still value her opinions. I couldn’t put the book down, I was so interested in what Gay had to say.

Gay’s humor in the book is a plus. It also makes her stories relatable. I lost count at how many “GIRL, I FEEL YOU” moments I had reading this book. Gay is a great writer. She engages the reader in her personal accounts to the point that you feel that you are right there with her. In her critiques, she highlights the great strides women have made in our culture while also seeing the opportunities the feminist movement misses. Gay writes these essays not only as a woman, but as a woman of color. That alone is refreshing.

Bad Feminist also made me put a lot of thought into the word feminist. A word that is both powerful and soft.  There is a need for the feminist movement in terms of equality, and reminding society how AMAZING women are, in a world that often puts women second. Yet the feminist movement often leaves out the injustices that occur with women of color. There is a lack of understanding and therefore a lack of effort for racial injusitce. Feminists should focus on race more. Inequality is inequality, don’t focus on one and dismiss the other injustices. A tech entrepreneur once told me, “Being a woman and being black is like a double unicorn. I have to push twice as hard for my breakthrough.” This is why I think Gay’s book is needed today. It’s a different kind of book–not only for women but for men also. It was more relatable to me than any episode of Girls on HBO could ever be.

I give the book a B+.

 

 

#SoulfulSunday: Book Recommendation 📖💛

#100DayProject Day 7 is dedicated to author/poet/entrepreneur Alex Elle. (For more on my project check to my Instagram page).

Blessed rising! ☀️ Just a #SoulSunday book recommendation: Words of a Wanderer and Love in my Language poetry books by Alexandra Elle. Writer to writer, she’s great and her words are healing. 💛 

Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 6.24.49 PM

7 Fun Books to Give As Gifts

1. The Nice Handbook by Ruth Peterson. For that friend who needs to be nicer but just doesn’t know how or where to start. This book gives tips with good deeds and little ways you can make a difference everyday.

Unknown

2. The Hungover Cookbook by Milton Crawford. For a friend (or roommate) who always seems to find the kitchen and turns into a chef when they’re drunk. This book may help them not burn down your kitchen.

Unknown-1

3. Finish This Book by Keri Smith. For the writers (or aspiring writers) this book includes fun writing exercises and fill in the blanks to get creative juices flowing. Unknown-2

4. Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith. Another book by the same author as above. For creatives. This book is filled with engaging excercises—posting pictures, drawing, writing, ripping pages. Great way to get in the creative mood. (This can be a good gift to self). This book is also available in Spanish. Unknown-3

5. The Little Book of Yoga by Norah Isaacs. I have a lot of friends who want to get into yoga but the yoga mat that I gave them from Christmas last year is collecting dust (hey mom that one was about you). This book explains each yoga position clearly with diagrams, it even explains how to meditate correctly, so they won’t feel too lost or intimidated next time they step into yoga class.Unknown-4

6. Tequila Mockingbird by Tim Federle. For your friend who loves tequila and appreciates literary humor (hey roomie). This book features drink recipes paired with witty commentary on history’s most beloved novels—the book also includes food recipes, drinking games, and whimsical illustrations. Let your friends be drunk AND fancy.

Unknown-5

7. The Mac + Cheese Cookbook by Allison Arevalo. A book with recipes that includes my favorite food, mac & cheese?! YES PLEASE. Well, it doesn’t have to be mac & cheese, but a cookbook filled with recipes about the person’s favorite food is always a good idea! Happy stomach, happy life.

Unknown-6

Why every woman should read #GIRLBOSS

#STARTED

IMG_3484
Day One: Got my book in the mail through Amazon.com. Look how excited I was.

 

I turned the last page of #GIRLBOSS last night and thought, why did it have to end?! YEAH, IT’S THAT GOOD.

The book is written by Sophia Amoruso, founder/CEO of Nasty Gal. An e-commerce site founded by Sophia in 2006 that has skyrocketed into a billion dollar business.

IMG_5167

Grade:  A+

I laughed, I cringed, I smiled, but most importantly I gained valuable advice from a self-made woman.

Sophia’s story inspires you, but it’s her transparency and honesty that make the book so great. It’s easy to brag about how awesome you are (because Sophia is pretty awesome), but it’s admirable that she chose to be vulnerable and open about the “not so great “ things she has done in life. Not everyone has experience as a shoplifter or hitchhiker growing up, but I’m sure we can all relate to Sophia when it comes to having not so proud moments that have kicked us in the butt.

Sophia helps you appreciate your mistakes and the journey you’re embarking on.

It’s not easy, but it will be worth it.

IMG_9803

IMG_5908 IMG_2310

With  personal stories, business advice, inspirational quotes, and the ins and outs of being a CEO, I was engaged throughout the entire book and could not put it down. I felt like I was hearing a big sister tell her horror stories on her journey to success.

Sophia Amoruso, you are my big sister.

I am proud to declare myself a #GIRLBOSS in the making. I will always keep this book by me to motivate me on my journey to success!

IMG_0422

5 Books to read on Your Self-Love Journey <3

Below are some of the books that I’ve read on my self-love journey. Reading is where I get most of my inspiration and insight. Some are recommendations from friends who are also on the same journey. I picked my top 5.

If you’re planning a reading list this summer include some of these! Click on the picture to buy it on Amazon.com!!!

$T2eC16JHJGYE9nooiMQmBSY0wRS(8!~~60_12

1. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom                    Don Miguel Ruiz

Agreement 1: Be impeccable with your word. Agreement 2: Don’t take anything personally. Agreement 3: Don’t make assumptions. Agreement 4: Always do your best.

I read this book while I was in California doing some “soul searching”. Recommended to me by my friend Jamie, I loved it so much I wrote a blogpost on it. Check out my full review.

IMG_4466

2. The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are                                                                                      Brene Brown

I have so many notes in my book, and so many of these pages highlighted that I don’t even know where to begin. I might have to write a post just for this book! Brené  Brown has dropped so much wisdom on me. This book has changed my life. If you only buy one book on this list, buy this one.

IMG_2353

3. YOU are a BADASS: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life                                                                                                       Jen Sincero

We all need a kick in the a** sometimes, and this book inspires you in the most blunt and clear throat way. But Jen does it in such a witty and clever way you can help but admire her for it. In this refreshing how-to guide, Sincero gives us chapters, such as “Fear is for Suckers” and “Your Mind is Your B*tch”, full of hilarious inspiring stories, life-changing insights, easy exercises, and the lots of swear words.

IMG_9760

4. The Path to Love – Deepak Chopra

A quick read with a deep message. This book provided me with so much great insight about what love is and what it isn’t… at a time in my life when it was critical for me to know.

IMG_6309

5. The Way To Love: The Last Meditations of Anthony De Mello Anthony De Mello

The title of this book should really be “The Way to Be Free.” Anthony “Tony” de Mello was a Jesuit priest who had a good understanding of the human heart. It is a short read and it leaves you wanting more. This book tore my heart open. I highly recommend it.

***Honorable Mentions***

MoreBooks_website

Man Repeller: Seeking Love, Finding Overalls – Leandra Medine

IMG_1657

A witty Leandra shares her story from her catholic high school days through college and eventually marriage. Sharing her ups and downs balancing relationships and her wardrobe while on her journey to  becoming one of New York City’s top fashion bloggers. I am a personal fan of her blog Man Repeller, a blog she started because her friend would always tell her the way she dressed repelled men, and that’s why she’s single. Genius! Later we find out that her now husband was attracted to how confidently she wore those overalls and grandma harem pants.

IMG_7214

Mrs. Right – Tony Gaskins

 I had the honor to meet life coach and author Tony Gaskins when he came to speak at Columbia University. A former college athlete and ladies man, Tony shares with women how his wife got him to settle down. Furthermore he shares with women the men’s “game”. Yes, they do just want to sleep with you. Find out how to get more from them.

3f8454bca9101006ba9bf1466f5a102b_400x400

Still Breathin’: The Wisdom Teachings of A Perfectly Flawed Man                         Brenden Dilley

“Life is not about perfection. It’s not always about making the best decisions. Life is about love, relationships, success, empathy, and humility.”

Dwyane_Wade_A_Father_First

 

A Father First: How My Life Became More Than Basketball             Dwyane Wade

Great book for the men to read on what it means to be a real man.

 

IMG_9784

 

The Mastery of Love  Don Miguel Ruiz                    I read it in Spanish. My mom bought it for me to help me deal with heartbreak. It helped.

 

IMG_8579

 

Reinventing The Body, Resurrecting the Soul – Deepak Chopra

Here is another book by Deepak Chopra. All his books are amazing.

 

 

 Poetry Book

alex_booksm

Words of A Wanderer – Alex Elle

This book is filled with original poems and quotes by Alex Elle,  while she was going through her self-journey phase.  Relatable, heartfelt, and revolutionary. I met her at a book signing in Brooklyn, she is just as beautiful as her words.

Fiction

503af6a3_life-of-pi-book-cover

Life of Pi – Yann Martel

Book of Quotes

IMG_1367

The Complete Live and Learn and Pass It On – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

People ages 5 to 95 share what they’ve discovered about life, love and other good stuff.

_____________________________________________________________________

reading3kidread One of my NYU writing professors shared this tip with me on becoming a better writer: “Always have a book in your bag wherever you go. Read a couple pages on the train, waiting at a doctor’s office, or whenever you find yourself with extra time. Nurturing that creative side of your brain is essential to your writing.”

Happy Reading.