What Black Panther’s Minority Representation Means to Me


By Sabine Joseph Yes, it’s that serious. The premier of Black Panther in my little Town of Miami Lakes was as glamorous as the one for Hollywood’s hottest stars and most acclaimed critics. Excited viewers who arrived early had to be kept outside behind velvet rope to prevent the theater from becoming an overcrowded fire […]

via The Importance of Black Panther’s Minority Representation — The Harbinger



I was watching Supergirl when Cat Grant (arguably my favorite character), played by Calista Flockhart, gave our heroine some words of wisdom. Ms. Grant is a strong-minded character who always doles out good advice, but this time her words stuck with me.

Dive.  You are standing on the shore, afraid to dive into new waters.  And you’re afraid because you don’t want to say goodbye . . . Now you are standing there, looking out at your options.  The icy blue water, the fast flowing river, or the choppy blue sea.  And they all look very appealing to you because you’re dying to go for a swim.  But you know the water is going to be cold and the journey is going to be hard.  And when you reach the other side you will have become a new person, and you are scared to meet that new version of yourself.  Now, we all get used to our own personas and used to our own comfort zones.  But trust me, in order to live we must keep daring.  Keep diving.

Cat Grant, ‘Supergirl’, 2×1 “The Adventures of Supergirl”

I think the sensory language is what got to meI could see myself standing on a shore contemplating my choices; feel the fear in my throat as I edged closer to the water, inching ever nearer to a new life and a new me; feel icy daggers in my skin after I finally took the plunge into the cold, deep waters of the unknown. It was a situation I’d been in before, though at the time I never thought much of it.

As she spoke, I realized that I have been many different people in my short lifetime; I’m not even the same person today as I was yesterday. I know that the reason for this is the experiences I’ve had and the choices I’ve made. I’ve been at the edge of the water so many times: sometimes I was at the edge of  a puddle that I’d happily stomp and splash in, and other times I’d stand before a vast ocean, terrified of who I’d be when I reached the shore on the other side.

What I learned as I listened was that I can’t let the fear of who I may become consume me. I can’t stand still at a crossroads and I can’t sit by the edge of the oceanI have to make a choice. The path I chose or the plunge I take may frighten melife-altering decisions often dobut nothing, not fear nor any other force, can alter the fact that the decisions must be made in order to live life.

Literacy Week

I’m a bit late for Literacy Week, but I was doing a sort of art project for it during the past week and I found some quotes from some of my and my classmates’ favorite books and decided to share them.


It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist


When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist


There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist


Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist


We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share.This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist


I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist


And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower


So, I guess we are who we are for alot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”

― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower


I think that if I ever have kids, and they are upset, I won’t tell them that people are starving in China or anything like that because it wouldn’t change the fact that they were upset. And even if somebody else has it much worse, that doesn’t really change the fact that you have what you have.”

― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower


It’s strange because sometimes, I read a book, and I think I am the people in the book.”

― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower


Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”

― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye


I am always saying “Glad to’ve met you” to somebody I’m not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though.”

― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye


So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”

― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie


Life is a series of pulls back and forth… A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. Most of us live somewhere in the middle. A wrestling match…Which side win? Love wins. Love always wins”

― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie


The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”

― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie


Well, for one thing, the culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own. Most people can’t do it.”

― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie


Outside, she knew, the sky was speckled with stars. How could anyone number them one by one, as the psalm said? There were too many. The sky was too big.”

― Lois Lowry, Number the Stars


And I want you all to remember—that you must not dream yourselves back to the times before the war, but the dream for you all, young and old, must be to create an ideal of human decency, and not a narrow-minded and prejudiced one. That is the great gift our country hungers for, something every little peasant boy can look forward to, and with pleasure feel he is a part of—something he can work and fight for.”
― Lois Lowry, Number the Stars


I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! ― When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”

― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”

― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge

I’m a huge fan of Gilmore Girls and Rory Gilmore is basically everything I want to be. I stopped watching the show a while ago because Dean, the perfect boyfriend, built Rory a car and professed his love for her and she replied with, “I love . . . the car.” At that point, it became too much and I stopped watching the show, but I know that I’ll get back to it because the characters are so wonderful and the show brings me great joy. As of now, however, I’m still avoiding it, but as my friend Jennifer has recently gotten incredibly invested in the show, we’ve been discussing the books that Rory has read. I found out on Friday that she started the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge and because I’m always looking for something new to read, I’ve decided to start it too. I haven’t really made a New Years resolution so I suppose this will be it: by the end of this year, I would like to have read at least 12 of the books on this list. Ideally, I’ll read more than 12 books on the list, but I’ll use this goal just as a start. I’m posting the complete list now and I’ll cross titles off as I progress. I won’t be reading in order because following a set order is boring and I’d much rather be exciting instead.

1. 1984 by George Orwell
2. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
3. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
5. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
6. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
8. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
9. The Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
10. The Art of Fiction by Henry James
11. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
12. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
13. Atonement by Ian McEwan
14. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
15. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
16. Babe by Dick King-Smith
17. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
18. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
19. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
20. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
21. Beloved by Toni Morrison
22. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney
23. The Bhagava Gita
24. The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
25. Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
26. A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy

27. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
28. Brick Lane by Monica Ali
29. Bridgadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
30. Candide by Voltaire
31. The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
32. Carrie by Stephen King
33. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
34. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
35. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
36. The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
37. Christine by Stephen King
38. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
39. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
40. The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
41. The Collected Stories by Eudora Welty
42. A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
43. Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
44. The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
45. Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
46. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
47. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
48. Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac
49. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
50. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
51. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
52. Cujo by Stephen King
53. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

54. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
55. David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
56. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
57. The Da Vinci -Code by Dan Brown
58. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
59. Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
60. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
61. Deenie by Judy Blume
62. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
63. The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx
64. The Divine Comedy by Dante
65. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
66. Don Quixote by Cervantes
67. Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
68. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
69. Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
70. Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
71. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
72. Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
73. Eloise by Kay Thompson
74. Emily the Strange by Roger Reger
75. Emma by Jane Austen
76. Empire Falls by Richard Russo
77. Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
78. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
79. Ethics by Spinoza
80. Europe through the Back Door, 2003 by Rick Steves

81. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
82. Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
83. Extravagance by Gary Krist
84. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
85. Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
86. The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
87. Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
88. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
89. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
90. Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
91. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
92. Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
93. Fletch by Gregory McDonald
94. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
95. The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
96. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
97. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
98. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
99. Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
100. Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
101. Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
102. George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
103. Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
104. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
105. The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
106. The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo

107. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
108. Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
109. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
110. The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
111. The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
112. The Graduate by Charles Webb
113. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
114. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
115. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
116. The Group by Mary McCarthy
117. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
118. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
119. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
120. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
121. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
122. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
123. Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
124. Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
125. Henry V by William Shakespeare
126. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
127. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
128. Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris
129. The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
130. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
131. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
132. How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer                                                                                 133. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
134. How the Light Gets In by M. J. Hyland
135. Howl by Allen Ginsberg
136. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
137. The Iliad by Homer
138. I’m With the Band by Pamela des Barres
139. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
140. Inferno by Dante
141. Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
142. Iron Weed by William J. Kennedy
143. It Takes a Village by Hillary Rodham Clinton
144. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
145. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
146. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
147. The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain
148. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
149. Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
150. The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
151. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
152. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
153. Lady Chatterleys’ Lover by D. H. Lawrence
154. The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal
155. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
156. The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield
157. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
158. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke                                                                                     159. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
160. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
161. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
162. The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
163. The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
164. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
165. Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
166. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
167. The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
168. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
169. The Love Story by Erich Segal
170. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
171. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
172. The Manticore by Robertson Davies
173. Marathon Man by William Goldman
174. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
175. Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
176. Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
177. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
178. The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
179. Mencken’s Chrestomathy by H. R. Mencken
180. The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
181. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
182. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
183. The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
184. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

185. The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin
186. Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
187. A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
188. Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
189. A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars
190. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
191. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
192. Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
193. My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath by Seymour M. Hersh
194. My Life as Author and Editor by H. R. Mencken
195. My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest
196. Myra Waldo’s Travel and Motoring Guide to Europe, 1978 by Myra Waldo
197. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
198. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
199. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
200. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
201. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
202. Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
203. New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
204. The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
205. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
206. Night by Elie Wiesel
207. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
208. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan
209. Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
210. Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski

211. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
212. Old School by Tobias Wolff
213. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
214. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
215. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
216. The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
217. Oracle Night by Paul Auster
218. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
219. Othello by Shakespeare
220. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
221. The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
222. Out of Africa by Isac Dineson
223. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
224. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
225. The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
226. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
227. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
228. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
229. Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
230. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
231. Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
232. The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
233. The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
234. The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche
235. The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
236. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
237. Property by Valerie Marti

238. Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon
239. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
240. Quattrocento by James Mckean
241. A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
242. Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers
243. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
244. The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
245. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
246. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
247. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
248. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
249. Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
250. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien
251. R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
252. Rita Hayworth by Stephen King
253. Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert
254. Roman Holiday by Edith Wharton
255. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
256. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
257. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
258. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
259. The Rough Guide to Europe, 2003 Edition
260. Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
261. Sanctuary by William Faulkner
262. Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
263. Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller by Henry James
264. The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum

265. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
266. Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
267. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
268. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
269. Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
270. Selected Hotels of Europe
271. Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 by Dawn Powell
272. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
273. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
274. Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
275. Sexus by Henry Miller
276. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
277. Shane by Jack Shaefer
278. The Shining by Stephen King
279. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
280. S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton
281. Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut
282. Small Island by Andrea Levy
283. Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
284. Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers
285. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
286. The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
287. Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de Burgos
288. The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
289. Songbook by Nick Hornby
290. The Sonnets by William Shakespeare
291. Sonnets from the Portuegese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning                                   292. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
293. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
294. Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
295. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
296. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
297. A Streetcar Named Desiree by Tennessee Williams
298. Stuart Little by E. B. White
299. Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
300. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
301. Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
302. Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
303. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
304. Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
305. Term of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
306. Time and Again by Jack Finney
307. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
308. To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
309. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
310. The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare
311. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
312. The Trial by Franz Kafka
313. The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
314. Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
315. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
316. Ulysses by James Joyce
317. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath
318. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

319. Unless by Carol Shields                                                                                                                         320. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

321. The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers
322. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
323. Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
324. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
325. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
326. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
327. Walt Disney’s Bambi by Felix Salten
328. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
329. We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel Sinker
330. What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 by Richard Nelson Bolles
331. What Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
332. When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
333. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
334. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
335. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
336. The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
337. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
338. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
339. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

So far I’ve read 7 out of the 339 books on this list. I’ve been exposed to some of the other books through the Literature textbooks used in my English classes and I’m really excited to read them in their entirety. At the moment, I’m reading Pride and Prejudice along with two other books, so I suppose that’ll be the first of my 12 books for the year. I’m hoping to have at least 2 books done by the middle of March and then to speed read to catch up and get back on schedule for the rest of the year. This is somewhat of a daunting task when added to all of the other ones I’m juggling, but it’s one that I find incredibly worthwhile.

Cyrano de Bergerac

I watched the film adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac in class recently and as Cyrano was dying he said words that I think almost everyone feels are true. Here they are:

“My life’s work
has been to prompt others
and be forgotten.
Remember that night when Christian
came to your balcony?
That moment sums up my life.
While I was below in the dark shadows
others climbed up
to kiss the sweet rose.
It’s only fair.
I say, as death has me in its hooks
C has genius
and Christian was handsome.”

There were a million beautiful words and quotable moments in that incredibly long death scene alone and throughout the whole movie, but when these words were said my class had an audible reaction and I felt the power too, so I chose to share them.

Tuesdays With ____________

I was recently assigned to read the novel Tuesdays With Morrie for my English class and I fell in love with it, as I do with all of the novels my teacher assigns. After the class finished the novel, we had a discussion— arguably my favorite part of class— on the book’s central topic, the one that no one ever wants to approach: death. Several students shared heartbreaking stories that gave insight into their lives as well as life in general, and the whole class grew closer because of it. Because of the fact that I happened across it this morning, that we watched the Tuesdays With Morrie movie today in class, and that it happens to be a Tuesday, I have decided to share what was on my mind that day, a little paragraph that my teacher told me to call Tuesdays With Sabine.

I think about death a lot. I think about what I’ll have accomplished by the time I die and if it’ll be significant. I ponder over whether if I died the next day or 60 years into the future if I’d be able to say that I accomplished everything I set out to do. I wonder what will happen to my possessions. Will they be distributed to my loved ones, or will they remain undisturbed except for the occasions when my mother blows the dust off of them and cries as she remembers me? I think about my funeral. Who will be there? Who will speak? What color will the casket be, and what type of flower will lay on my grave? I wonder if I’ll have a grave at all. Sometimes I think that I want my ashes to be turned into fireworks so that I’ll go out with a bang. Other times I think I want to be turned into a record of all my favorite songs so that even when I’m gone I’ll still bring music. And sometimes, I consider becoming a tree so that I’ll grow and be a useful source of air and wood, but then I think of how many dogs will try to mark their territory on me and I think better of it.

There was more to the paragraph, but not much. I didn’t get to finish it, but I began to write about my family and friends and how I’d react to their deaths. It would have been nice if I’d completed my thought, but now as I’m typing this my eyelids are drooping and my body is begging me to sleep. Maybe one of these days I’ll continue this thought, probably on a Tuesday, because after all, I’m a Tuesday person.


Law of the Jungle


I wanted to share this poem because I read it in the book I’m currently obsessing over, The Moral Instruments: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. In the paragraph following the poem it was mentioned that the poem was by Rudyard Kipling, but I didn’t make the connection to “The Jungle Book” until I watched the 2016 film. At first, I thought I wouldn’t enjoy the movie because of the fact that all of the animals would be CGI, but I was proved wrong after watching it. I thought that it was a wonderful adventure and it made me look forward to reading the book (once I get through the towering stack of books already waiting for my attention).


Recently, I was assigned to read Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken and I absolutely fell in love with it. The book is outside of my comfort zone so I may not have read it had it not been assigned to me, but it is a truly inspirational story, so I’m assigning all of you to read the book, and if you’ve done so already, re-read it (you know you want to). My teacher told me not to watch the movie – mostly so that I’d actually read the book instead of trying to skate by on only what was in the film – but also because he found it terrible, however, I decided to judge for myself. I was a good student and read the book (though with  little time to spare before my quiz), and watched the movie immediately after. While I thought it was a good movie, I felt that it didn’t quite measure up to the book.

I expected this, as book-to-movie adaptations are almost never satisfying. As an avid reader, I know all too well the excitement one feels when their favorite book is being turned into a movie and the immediate disappointment after seeing that the story was completely changed for the screen (looking at you Percy Jackson). While the movies can be enjoyable, they’re just not the same.  You can see it, but you can’t feel the story because only an author has the power to craft their story in such a way that you get transported to their world  – whether it be magical, dystopian, utopian, their version of the future, or factual accounts of the past – and into the lives of its characters. Images on a screen simply can’t achieve that.

This was my problem with the movie. I’m usually upset about inaccuracies, but this wasn’t the case (though several events were omitted), it was the fact that the movie lacked the emotional depth of the book. As I was reading his story, I felt a connection to Louie, as I do with all beloved characters. Because of this, the book was an emotional rollercoaster.

Sometimes I thought oh my God, he’s going to die. Even though I knew it wasn’t true, my heart pounded in my chest and I almost couldn’t bear to read on because I was convinced, this is it. But of course, it wasn’t, and I was relieved for a fraction of a second until I saw that he had been thrust into another life-threating situation the sentence after.

Most times I was like his mother, constantly worried about his well-being. I wanted to knit him a sweater and send it through the pages to keep him warm, or better yet, reach through the pages and back in time to take him out of the situation entirely.

My concern was like water in a tide, washing over me in waves and then subsiding, but always there. In those moments where the waves had subsided, I was filled with a mother’s sense of pride. I was so happy when Louie became a runner because of how hard he worked to achieve his goal and overcome any obstacles. During the war, he kept pushing beyond the point where his body should have failed him and his spirit should have shattered, and all I could think was that’s my boy. And finally, after the war came his true test of character and strength, and he did not fail. He released himself from his mental prison, found it in his heart to forgive the men who captured and tortured him for so long, started Victory Boys Camp for at-risk boys that were just like him when he was their age, and finally achieved his goal of running at the Olympics is Japan.

Lastly, in rare times, there were happy moments when everything else disappeared, and I smiled. There was no water lingering, waiting to crash into me again, because I was no longer on a rocky shore, I was home. In those times there was no war, it had been melted away by the warmth and coziness of home, love, and family. In his youth, before the war and the ever-present threat of death, Louie was a delinquent, and not only did I find reading about his adolescent exploits thoroughly enjoyable, from the descriptions I saw qualities that I knew would be the reason he survived the war. During the war, despite its ugliness, there were times I smiled and I felt that Louie probably did too, a bright and optimistic smile that shone through the darkness. Of course, Louie and I were both happiest when the war was won. My heart leapt with joy when Louie came home, fell in love with Cynthia (whom I personally thought was perfect for Louie), had kids, and finally achieved inner peace.

No one’s life story can be told in two hours, especially not a story as eventful and inspirational as Louie’s. The best we can do to really understand what he went through and who he was is to read the book, and even that’s not enough.You can’t really know what Louie experienced without having experienced it yourself, and being there for other important times in his life that shaped him that he may not even have remembered, but the use of words to describe his thoughts and feelings throughout his ordeal is far better than a film. The movie was just a series of events in Louie’s life, and the events aren’t what make the story all that it is. The story is so inspirational because Louie suffered through the most atrocious acts of cruelty and endured far more than his body and mind should have been capable of, and after all of it, when he had every reason to be spiteful and set on vengeance, he showed kindness and was able to love. Louis Zamperini is the epitome of resilience and the strength of the human spirit, he was and always will be, unbroken.