In Love With the World: Notes

Overall: 2/5 stars. Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche is a Tibetan monk who goes on a 4 year wandering retreat in his thirties. What is a wandering retreat, you ask? It’s when a monk leaves their monastery to spend several years alone, stumbling around without aim and essentially living the life of a beggar. Monks already live an ascetic lifestyle (hours of meditation a day, no central temperature control), but these retreats really take it to the next level....

February 8, 2021

If Beale Street Could Talk: Notes

Overall: 4/5 stars. If Beale Street Could Talk is a love story told from the point of view of Tish Rivers, about her life and her lover Fonny Hunt, who is wrongly imprisoned soon after Tish becomes pregnant with his child. Tish has to persevere and work together with her family and Fonny’s to do all they can to get Fonny out of prison. They have no choice but to keep their spirits and resolve in tact in the midst of an unjust system and society....

February 8, 2021

What they don't tell you when you're applying to college

If you’ve grown up in an environment that values prestige and extrinsic accomplishments, applying to college is a major milestone. It’s the culminating event for years of effort: AP exams, extracurriculars, impressing your teachers for reference letters. All for a shot at getting that coveted acceptance letter in the mail. My own experience with college applications was as stressful as you’d expect. I was surrounded by peers who were thirsting for admission to a prestigious university and who felt the pressure to succeed from all directions....

January 31, 2021

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue: Notes

Warning: includes spoilers! Overall: 4/5 stars. What would life be like if no one could remember who you are? If after every interaction, the other person’s memory of you was completely erased. This is the life of Addie LaRue. She made a deal with an evil god that gave her “freedom”, except freedom means that no one ever remembers meeting you. She’s also immortal. Also, it’s not just that people can’t remember you, but objects can’t either....

January 17, 2021

40 Books in 2020

In February of 2020, I set a goal of finishing 40 books for the year. Before then, reading was never a habit I fully developed — I could never find the time or interest. But a few months after finishing college and starting a full-time job, I finally found an opportunity to add reading to my daily routine. First I developed a habit of spending my evenings after work in a cafe, bookstore, or library....

December 28, 2020