Creativity Inc. by Amy Wallace with Ed Catmull (2014)

I hate anyone who tries to tell other writers how to write, who pretends to know the exact elements that a story “must” have. Anyone who thinks that there is a clear formula or clear method of creating a story is diluted.

Creativity Inc. was recommended to me by a good friend years ago, but I only got around to reading it this holiday season because of my New Year’s resolution to read and watch things that people recommended to me (as opposed to putting it off for weeks, months, or years). And hey, the title was about unleashing creativity, not work-shopping a story. How bad could it be?

It was phenomenal.  … More Creativity Inc. by Amy Wallace with Ed Catmull (2014)

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling (1997)

What I find interesting about my history with Harry Potter is that every time I read the series, it seemed to change. I had different opinions, enjoyed different parts, and noticed different things about it. Perhaps that will always happen with every book I reread, perhaps it will stop happening when I stop growing, or perhaps it’s a quirk of the series itself.

But what did I think of it this time, reading it just before my junior year of college? … More The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling (1997)

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932)

Originally published 2/27/2016. Lead image via Wikipedia. 5 STARS You may have heard the phrase “Brave New World” before. It’s from Shakespeare. And a character in Brave New World doesn’t just happen to say it; he actually quotes Shakespeare all the time. This was, once again, a book I was required to read in English class (though … More Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932)

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis (2017)

Casually combining chocolate and dragons, as children’s books should.

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart follows the story of a young dragon named Aventurine who is turned into a human by a “food mage” who tricks her into drinking cursed hot chocolate. Once a human, her dragon family no longer recognizes her so she has to join human society and get an apprenticeship, which she chooses to do at a “chocolate house.”

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this book to kids and even teens, but I’m not too certain if it holds up for adults.  … More The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis (2017)

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn (2017)

I’m not sure whether to call this “Girl Power: the Novel” or “PTSD: the Novel.”

The Alice Network is a historical fiction novel telling the combined stories of Charlie Sinclair and Evelyn Gardener, who both lost a close, spirited friend to the cruelties of the two world wars. They team up in search of Charlie’s missing cousin, Rose, and in the end discover that their experiences were quite similar, embrace independence, and finally hunt down the person who wronged them both.

Now, I don’t think you should read this book. … More The Alice Network by Kate Quinn (2017)

Epigenetics (2012) and Game Theory (2008)

Originally posted 1/3/2016. Lead images from Amazon.   5 STARS and 3 STARS (respectively) So the full titles of the books are: Epigenetics: How the Environment Shapes Our Genes by a professor named Richard Francis and Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life by Len Fisher. These are both non-fiction books, so I won’t exactly be focusing … More Epigenetics (2012) and Game Theory (2008)

MoneyBall: The Art of Winning and Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (2003)

Moneyball is not what I expected it to be. I expected it to be a depressing account of how math and machines are slowly going to stamp out our individuality, but the narrative I read was quite different. It was about merit triumphing over appearance, about strategy outdoing wealth, about brain beating brawn, about overlooked young rookies finally being given a chance. It’s one of those untold, hope-inspiring stories of a quiet revolution happening right under our noses. … More MoneyBall: The Art of Winning and Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (2003)

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (2008)

Originally posted 4/13/2016. Lead image from Amazon. 5 STARS The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins I never noticed before, but those little dark circles in the background of Hunger Games and Catching Fire are broken on Mockingjay. It’s still  RE-READ SEASON  (re-posted from back in January) and still going well! The Hunger Games series is also better than I remember! In fact, … More The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (2008)

Experiencing Architecture by Steen Eiler Rasmussen (1962)

This semester, I’m taking a course called Architecture and Society (ARC 308). The professor, Dr. Larry Speck, has a reputation for causing students to switch their major to architecture. So far, I can certainly agree that the class has been important to my intellectual development, so to speak, and has opened my eyes to several interesting … More Experiencing Architecture by Steen Eiler Rasmussen (1962)