I read, I write

Reading and Writing – they are two of my greatest strengths skill-wise and my biggest hobbies. I’ve been trying to do more of them recently.

What I’ve been reading

I love books – physical, print books. They can’t be replaced. Which is why I have been reluctant about reading eBooks, Kindles, Nooks, etc.

But, I gave in and started using eBooks.com. I don’t have a nifty tablet reader, so I buy the books and download them onto my computer to read them in pdf format. I have bought two books so far, and have finished one.

Book #1 – The Help by Kathryn Stockett

I usually don’t read fiction books – non-fiction tends to be my genre of choice. But I am so glad that I deviated from my usual preferences to read this book.

Oh. My. Gosh. It was so good.

The Help is set in early-1960s Jackson, Mississippi. It tells the story from the perspective of three narrators: Skeeter Phelan, a recent college graduate and aspiring journalist; Aibileen, a maid who has lost her son to racial violence; and Minny, another, younger maid with several children and an abusive husband. Skeeter’s childhood friend, Hilly, introduces a law called “the home help sanitation initiative,” which makes houses with African-American maids required to build separate restrooms for the maids to use. Frustrated by this initiative, and the racial prejudice in Jackson, Skeeter sets off to write a book in which she interviews African-American maids to get a tell-all perspective on working for white families. The good, but mostly the bad.

Aaaand the story goes from there. There are a couple of other sub-plots, but I won’t give those away. You’ll have to find them out for yourself.

A movie adaptation of this book comes out next month, and I am DEFINITELY going to go see it! I love Viola Davis, Emma Stone, and Bryce Dallas Howard – they all have starring roles. I have high expectations for this film and I hope it meets them. The trailer looks good enough.

Book #2 – Game Change by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann

Here is where I return to my love of nonfiction. Game Change is written by two journalists, and is about the 2008 Presidential election. It was made from a compilation of interviews from several people involved in the election – from low-level staffers to the candidates themselves (according to the book). I’m not very far into it yet, but it has sucked me in and hooked me already. My boyfriend is farther into it than I am, and he says he wishes there were books like this for every election. I wish the same thing. The candor with which this book is written is truly unique.

And, being the government nerd that I am, reading this book makes me wonder what’s going on in the playing field for the 2012 election…which I am excited for. This book has reminded me that anything can happen.

…oh yeah, I also made a GoodReads account!

Magazines

[I have issues. HAHA-get it? :P]

Confession: I have a magazine addiction. Every time I go to the store, it’s hard to check out without a magazine. I love the articles, attractive layouts, alluring pictures…everything. And then there’s the fact that each month (about) there’s a BRAND NEW one! New stories, new pictures! I can’t get enough.

I don’t want to admit how much I have spent on magazines recently. Actually, I’d rather not know.

BUT, I realized how my love for magazines was growing, and progressively draining the cash from my pocket. So I’ve come up with a plan to help that…

I’ve decided to only pick a couple of titles (maybe 2-3 that I like to read the best, this will be hard) and buy online subscriptions to them.

I have already done this with Shape Magazine. I’ll buy one, *maybe* two subscriptions more. I’m considering Reason Magazine and/or Texas Monthly.

After I do this, I will try my best to refrain from buying magazines off the stand. Online editions are cheaper, and more environmentally-friendly than buying them at the store every month. Plus, you receive them sooner.

What I’ve been writing

SPEAKING of magazines, I have been contributing to “On the Record,” a student-run summer magazine here at UNT. The most recent issue, which is all about Denton jobs, came out on Friday. You can pick it up in several locations on campus and around Denton, or you can read it online here. I am particularly proud of my “Brewing the American Dream” article, on page 25.

I’m still doing my best to contribute to ntdaily.com as well.

While trying to write my articles and keep up with deadlines, I’ve been learning a lot about time management, dealing with stress, and trying to not be so hard on myself. Fun things, yes… I know I will emerge from this experience a better, more well-rounded person and journalist.

Now I’m going to stop blogging so I can continue my reading and writing exploits.

Peace and Love,

Song of the Day: Pick up the Pieces by Average White Band

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