Book Review | Leave Your Mark – Aliza Licht

leave your mark by aliza lichtLeave Your Mark by Aliza Licht

Book Finished: August 2015

Rating: 5/5


This book was a breath of fresh air, right when I needed it the most.

Written by one of the most influential women in fashion and social media, Aliza Licht, this book covers how to launch your career, what challenges to expect along the way, and how to utilize social media platforms to their full capabilities. Licht was the voice behind the well known Twitter account @DKNYPRGIRL, which provided an anonymous look into the world of fashion public relations. The account was a major game changer in terms of what it means to be a brand on social media, and set the standard for engagement and interaction techniques.

As a PR girl myself, Licht is someone I greatly admire, even if my main interests aren’t in fashion. I’ve interacted with her on Twitter before, and she is approachable, kind, and engaging. She mentions in the beginning of the book that she is very interested in being a a mentor, and publishing her book was a major part of that goal. In my current job search, I’ve been able to network with some wonderful women in the Portland area, and was able to add Licht to my list of mentors after finishing her book.

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fall 2015 reading list

Reading List | September 2015

Welcome to September – my favorite month of the year!

Not only is this month home to my birthday, it’s the kick off for fall, the holiday season, and a fantastic time to focus on reading and books. September 27th is the start of this year’s Banned Books Week, an event I’m particularly passionate about.

Banned Books Week was created by the American Library Association to draw attention to (and hopefully prevent) literary censorship. Each year, the event encourages you to read books that have been challenged or banned and includes a list of the previous year’s most challenged books. The purpose is to ensure the future of free exchange of ideas, and remind us that censorship can be dangerous.

I fully support your right to read whatever you choose. Reading opens new worlds to you, boosts your creativity, and makes you a more understanding person. There may be books out there that I don’t have any interest in reading because of the content, but that certainly doesn’t mean I should be able to keep others from reading them. Parents should put age-appropriate limits on what their kids read (based on research of the books in question), but they should never have the ability to keep others’ kids from reading whatever they and their families choose.

The challenges to books on the ALA’s list each year include complaints that the books are “anti-family,” not age-appropriate, “satanic/include witchcraft,” and “anti-authority.” Again, if someone doesn’t want to read books of this nature, that’s fine – but it should scare you that people out there want to make sure you can’t read them either. Typically, the challenges seek to remove the books from libraries or schools. Even worse, this list frequently includes books you probably consider classics; the Harry Potter series, Catcher in the Rye, Grapes of Wrath, and To Kill a Mockingbird have all made the list previously.

I challenge you to read a banned book or two this month. Whether it’s Harry Potter, 50 Shades of Grey, or the Anarchist Cookbook (actually a book I plan to read when I’m able to find it), read away! Encourage the youth you know to read and read frequently. Stand up against book challenges in your community, and support your local library. Books represent the voices of all of us, even those we disagree with. My reading list this month includes a few books on the ALA’s list, as well as some new releases (and maybe this will at long last be the month I get to read Girl on a Train!)

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Tuesday Tidbits: Literary Links

Welcome back to Tuesday Tidbits!

As is apparent from my frequent book reviews and reading lists on Intrusions of Beauty, I am an avid reader. My parents helped cultivate this from an early age, and reading has expanded my world, mind, and soul. It has helped turn me into a lifelong learner and introduced me to new and challenging ideas. If the only thing I accomplish in my life is turning a few people into readers, I will be fulfilled.

This week’s Tuesday Tidbits is focused on book news, products and discussion. I’d love to hear what you’re reading, and share what I’m reading with you!

Tuesday Tidbits: Literary Links

If you haven’t set up an account already, I HIGHLY recommend starting a Goodreads account! It’s very helpful to track what you’re reading, start a reading challenge, and get recommendations for new books based on what you’ve liked in the past.

BookRiot, an internet hub for all things books, recently posted this fascinating comparison of US vs. UK editions of book covers.

go set a watchman

Photo courtesy of BookRiot.

Jeff Kinney, the author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, recently opened a bookstore. It saddens me to see more bookstores closing, so I am completely on board with a trend of authors opening their own stores! You can take a look around the store in this video at the New York Times.

John Green, author of many YA books like The Fault in Our Stars, has built a massive internet following over the years. This longer read from The New Yorker looks at how that came to be.

The Millions has a list of the most anticipated books releasing in the second half of 2015. There’s several on here I have definitely added to my list, in particular Not on Fire, But Burning by Greg Hrbek. It comes out in September, so I’ll be looking for it at my local library.

not on fire but burning

Have a fantastic, book-filled week!

intrusions of beauty

Book Review | Social Media for Social Good – Heather Mansfield

nonprofit social mediaSocial Media for Social Good by Heather Mansfield

Book Finished: May 10th, 2015

Rating: 5/5


Though we’ve never met or even spoken, Heather Mansfield is an old friend of mine.

While putting together my literature review for my thesis in the fall of 2013, I had difficulty finding books that focused on research related to nonprofits and social media. My adviser suggested I look into “best practices” books and how-to guides instead. There were only a few titles available, and one that was repeatedly recommended as “the” guide for nonprofits – Social Media for Social Good by Heather Mansfield.

Over the next 5 months, I skimmed through, read and re-read, stared at, and fell asleep on top of this book more times than I can remember. It helped shape my eventual list of best practices that I put together from my research.

Now that my thesis has been done and defended for some time, I thought it would be interesting to go back and read through Mansfield’s work again, this time in the eyes of a professional rather than a student.

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Book Review | Beautiful Wreck – Larissa Brown

viking romanceBeautiful Wreck by Larissa Brown

Book Finished: July 1st, 2015

Rating: 4/5


If you glance at my growing library, you won’t find too many romance novels nestled there.

Sure, a lot of the fantasy and YA fiction I read features romance; but it’s not often the central axis of the stories I choose. I also don’t prefer romantic “chick-flicks” at the movies – I tend to get bored.

This book had enough of the fantasy and mystery I enjoy that found myself thoroughly wrapped up in Ginn’s drama. And why aren’t we featuring Vikings more often in literature and movies right now? I am convinced this is a severe oversight.

I picked up this book for free at my local library as a gift for signing up for their summer reading program. The synopsis on the back caught my eye, featuring Vikings, virtual reality, and time travel.  I was pleased to find when I got home that it’s a signed edition. A nice bonus!

The book only briefly introduces the main character and her world. Jen is a young, lonely developer in futuristic Iceland working for a company centered on realistic virtual environments. People here are so far removed from the past that they’ve essentially adopted full-time cosplay in their daily lives. Which might actually be kind of fun. Jen doesn’t have any true friends or relationships, but does seem to like her work developing the dialogue and voices for Viking characters in her virtual reality. Continue reading

Book Review |101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide – Melanie Mathos and Chad Norman

social media for nonprofits101 Social Media Tactics for Nonprofits: A Field Guide, by Melanie Mathos and Chad Norman

Book Finished: June 8th, 2015

Rating: 3.5/5


I skimmed, re-skimmed, and more thoroughly read this book several times over the course of my thesis research. In that perspective, it was fascinating to complete a literature review of what experts said, and then see the similarities and discrepancies of what those in the mental health nonprofit community said about the tactics that work for them. Now that I have my research complete, and was able to read this book again, it was an interesting look at how traditional media tactics carry over into new media.

Published in 2012, one review I came across of this text said simply, “does what it says on the tin.” That’s a pretty honest review of this book. It does have the promised 101 tactics, but they are found in smaller, easy to consume tidbits with occasional research backed notations. There isn’t much scientific reasoning given for a lot of that tactics, but there doesn’t have to be.

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Reading List | June 2015

I can’t believe it’s already June!

This means it’s already time for one of my best friend’s wedding, I’ve lived in Portland for 3 and a half months, and I’m ready to share my third monthly reading list on this blog.

The past month brought a few bumps in the road when it comes to reading. I haven’t been able to complete my May list yet. Part of this is due to my inability to get my hands on a copy of The Girl on the Train. I love having the library so close to home, but unfortunately, the book is still very popular. There are near 400 copies across the entire metro library system, and the wait list is still massive. As of this morning, I am number 531 on the waiting list. It’s going to be a while before a copy gets to me.

So, as soon as I am able to actually read it, you can expect a review here. This month’s list is a bit smaller while I continue to work on catching up for May.

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Book Review | Make Your Creative Dreams Real – SARK

spring reading list 2015

Make Your Creative Dreams Real by SARK

Book Finished: June 5th 2015

Rating: 5/5


It may have taken me about 12 years to actually finish this book, but I have nothing but praise for it. I LOVED this book.

I picked this book at Barnes and Noble around 2003. I can’t remember now what drew 13 or 14 year old me to the book; likely the colors and the prospect of starting high school and then college soon after. I started reading and do remember enjoying the content, but it may have been a little more than I had the capacity to work on at that period of my life. Over the next 12 years, eight moves, two college degrees and six states, quite a bit changed for me. I looked at this book often, wanted to continue reading it and just never did. Now that I’ve settled in Oregon, and books that had been packed away for years came our of their boxes, I came across it again. It was finally the right time in my life.

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Book Review |Social Change Anytime Everywhere – Allyson Kapin & Amy Sample Ward

nonprofit social mediaSocial Change Anytime Everywhere by Allyson Kapin & Amy Sample Ward

Book Finished: June 3rd, 2015

Rating: 4/5


I had the opportunity to read a good deal of what’s available book-wise in the realm of social media and nonprofits during my thesis research. When I recently began a volunteer social media project for a local nonprofit, I looked to those same resources. I found some familiar titles, and searched for more recent information. Though not “recent,” it seems I missed this book in my research before. It may not have added anything groundbreaking to my particular research (more books aren’t necessarily better), but as a how-to manual, it’s a great read.

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Book Review | Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

jane eyreJane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Book Finished: May 10th, 2015

Rating: 4.5/5


It feels extremely weird to me to try to review a literary classic.

Despite being an avid reader, I have a pretty long list of classic books I haven’t gotten to yet. This past month, I was able to cross another one off the list – Jane Eyre.

I’ve previously read Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice, both set in the same era. While I did enjoy those reads, I thought both Heathcliff and Mr. Darcy were unbearable. With Jane Eyre’s Mr. Rochester, I finally found a Victorian gentleman I approved of. Jane is much more interesting than the women featured in the other novels, and was rooting for her throughout.

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