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About Me

Hi! I’m Sylvia. I’m a 20-something nursing student with a love for knowledge, caffeine, and my orange cat.

He responds to Cat.

I got my love of reading from my dad. As a kid, we would go to the library together and load up as many books as the library allowed us to check out. He’d arm himself with nonfiction reads, and I with my arsenal of whodunnits and choose-your-own-adventures. My taste in books nowadays stray in every which way. When I’m not reading textbooks (which seems to be ALL the time), I turn to Netflix and my nook of books ūüôā

Come talk to me in the comments! You can also contact me at sylvianguyen00@gmail.com

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It’s My Birthday, and I’ll Read if I Want To

** This is a belated post; I meant to publish this last month!

It’s my birthday month! I will be tackling a reading project to celebrate. The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City, NY. It covers the usual variety of journalism such as healthcare, sports, politics, and food. It also has a section of the bestselling fiction and nonfiction books in the nation, ranked by genre and format. I came across Hawe’s List, a website that has been compiling each year’s best-selling hardcover nonfiction and fiction books (dating back to 1931). I thought, what better way to celebrate my birthday than to read books from the month and year I was born? Specifically, the week of December 1992 that I was born in.

From this list, I will be (attempting) to read 5 novels that interest me and review them accordingly. Ideally, I would like to read all of them, but there are 30 books on the list and only 1 of me. Plus, some are a part of a series, and I don’t plan on starting a project within a project! It’s going to be difficult narrowing down which books I’ll read because the majority of these do not interest me whatsoever. Here’s to new adventures!

This is the list of fiction and nonfiction books I plan to choose from. Please give me recommendations if you have read any of them!

Splurging on Stationery

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If you know me at all, you know that I’m a sucker for stationery. I couldn’t resist snatching up these sweet cards the other day at a local paper shop in town. I also stumbled across this floral padfolio clipboard, which would be super handy during my clinical rotations. And of course, I had to add in a couple of Gelly Roll pens — y’all, do yourself a favor and buy some of these delightful pens; they are so smooth to write with!

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

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I purchased this book immediately after I devoured The Martian Chronicles by the same author. Unfortunately, it left me feeling disappointed and empty. Like The Martian Chronicles, this book is also a short story collection, but I picked it up thinking its contents wouldn’t mirror TMC.¬†The Martian Chronicles was essentially about mankind’s colonization of Mars; the stories within all had a space-related theme. What I wanted out of The Illustrated Man was to be filled with the same fascination I had after finishing the former, but to be truthful, I found myself burnt out on topics about rocket-men. If I had wanted another space-themed story, I would have sought that particular genre out! Don’t get me wrong — would still recommend The Martian Chronicles to everyone I know. I just thought that this new collection would have a different theme, to show that Bradbury is diverse in his story-telling.

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Perspectives

 

A woman’s decision to stop eating meat lends to¬†grave repercussions in her home life.

A boy writes letters to an anonymous person detailing his year growing up as a freshman in high school.

The more I hold off on writing reviews on these books, the more I think¬†about how much they are alike (or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself). The Vegetarian¬†follows Yeong-hye, a young woman living with her husband in South Korea. Due to a nightmare, she abruptly decides to stop eating and cooking meat in her home. Her husband, who is used to a quiet, obedient wife, is shocked and tries to discourage Yeong-hye from completing this endeavor. Her husband is not the only one affected by her choice. The book is told through three perspectives: her husband’s, her brother-in-law’s, and her sister’s. All three document Yeong-hye’s mental deterioration as she continues to break away¬†from what is considered ‘normal’.

Meanwhile, Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower¬†is told in the perspective of a 15-year-old boy named Charlie. The epistolary novel begins when Charlie is entering high school as a freshman. Charlie is incredibly shy and sensitive, which makes him a great candidate for being a ‘fly-on-the-wall’. He details the interactions he has with his friends Sam and Patrick as well as people’s interactions around him. The book has several of the usual awkward, cringe-y scenes found in coming of age novels. Some parts made me chuckle as I remember what it’s like to be a young teenager; others made me sympathize for Charlie. The book contains examples of great character development. You are with Charlie from the start of his high school career and get to see how the events circulating his life help shape his growth.

My experience with The Perks is much more tame than The Vegetarian. Yeong-hye’s husband is the most misogynistic SOB I have ever read in literature. I understand that it is common in most cultures that the man is always the head of the household and that the wife is expected to be “seen and not heard”, but reading his segment made me want to hold his head underwater until he lost consciousness — it was so infuriating how much he treated her like she was beneath him.¬†I also cannot emphasize this enough: marriage does not mean consent. Trigger warnings, y’all.

I thought The Vegetarian was very smartly laid out. You seldom get to hear from Yeong-hye’s point-of-view, yet you are able to learn about her through three different people. In Charlie’s case, Charlie is observing the people around him, and they are unaware (much like Yeong-hye) as to how they affect¬†Charlie’s life.

Overall, I gave Kang’s translated work and The Perks¬†‚ô•¬†‚ô•¬†‚ô•

 

25 Bookish Facts About Yours Truly

  1. I do not own a bookshelf. All of my books are found stacked in desk drawers, night stands, and my TV cabinet.
  2. The genre that I adored when I was a kid was mystery.
  3. Paperbacks > hardbacks
  4. I gravitate towards historical fiction, science non-fic and fiction, memoirs, books about social issues, 19th and 20th century classics, and general nonfiction.
  5. I try to read the book first before watching the movie. Sometimes I just can’t help it.
  6. One genre that I haven’t read is Western. However, I did pick up¬†The Sisters Brothers¬†by Patrick Dewitt once and really liked what I read.
  7. I refuse to read most horror books.
  8. I seldom listen to music when reading.
  9. The earliest memory of me being able to read is before preschool.
  10. I can only fluently read and write in English.
  11. My go-to snacks to eat when reading are grapes or a bottle of juice. I should definitely consider substituting for a bottle of wine, though…
  12. Two authors whose books I want to read in its entirety are Truman Capote and Shirley Jackson.
  13. I’m definitely a night reader.
  14. My reading goal for 2016 is 30 books, and I am currently halfway through that goal.
  15. I never dog-ear books. I prefer using tabs.
  16. I got a Kindle for Christmas one year and told my mom to return it.
  17. I truly wish I had more friends in real life that enjoy reading the same sort of books that I do.
  18. One of the best books I read last year was Rebecca Stead’s¬†When You Reach Me.¬†
  19. I always toy with the idea of being a children’s picture book author on the side.
  20. I am currently reading a smattering of things that you can always find updated in the widget on my blog.
  21. I acquire my books through several places: online РBook Depository, Thrift Books; in person Рpublic library, local bookstores (both independent and chain).
  22. I prefer reading on a sofa because it is sooooooo comfortable.
  23. Reading on my bed results in an hour-long nap.
  24. I haven’t attended any book events… yet.
  25. I tried to do a Youtube channel dedicated to book reviews, but that didn’t go so well. I think I am much¬†more comfortable with blogging. ūüôā

Share some facts about yourself!