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 | Workout Motivation

Welcome to the final Tuesday of August 2015!

It sounds completely crazy, but August is just about finished. September starts next week, and fall will soon be on the way.

I adore everything about fall, but I tend to let myself slip out of my workout routine during the cooler months. There’s warmer food and less sunlight, both of which make me want to stay under my blankets long term.

As motivation this week, I have a roundup of links to inspire your next workout. There’s ideas for new moves, new outfits, and post workout snacks. Working out should be fun – if it feels like torture, find a new routine.

Tuesday Tidbits | Workout Motivation

→ Over at Lauren Conrad’s blog this week, there’s a great post about exercises targeting under-worked muscles.

Photo from laurenconrad.com

→ Even though I’m happy to say I’m starting to become a fitness lover, I still have days where I try to come up with excuses for skipping a workout. The Every Girl has responses to the most common excuses, and how to avoid them.

→ I absolutely adore this outfit from the ladies over at A Piece of Toast! I basically live in my Nike shorts, but the Zella leggings look comfortable, cute, and more fall appropriate.

A-Piece-of-Toast_NordstromActive_140130-6

Photo from apieceoftoastblog.com

→ Sadly, so many people don’t seem to understand the rules for etiquette at the gym. It’s not hard – first and foremost, just remember to be aware of other people’s personal space! Women’s Health Magazine has an article this week that delves further into how to avoid being a jerk at the gym.

→ POPSUGAR has a fantastic list of post-workout snack ideas. It includes some of my favorites,  mainly cheese and cracks and protein shakes!

 

Enjoy the rest of August!

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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!

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cannon beach oregon

To Do List | Tourist-y Portland Top 5

After 5 months of settling into our new city, we are more than ready for some visitors to show around!

In just under two weeks, my biological and adopted sisters (Chelsea and Chelsea, or Chelsea Squared) will be coming to visit. Chelsea #2 helped us move back in February, but exhaustion and limited time didn’t leave much room for exploring together. The girls will be here for just under a week. A few days after they arrive, we will be joined by my dad and step-mom. After the long weekend, we will be off to Las Vegas for nearly another week. My current state of unemployment comes in handy here, as it leaves ample time for showing guests around town and hopping on a plane shortly after.

I have tons of things to do, see and eat on our agenda. The list, of course, includes some “tourist-y” items. When I lived in Vegas, I had a handful of tourist hot spots that I took guests, even when I’d lived there long enough to be jaded by cliches myself. With Portland, we’re still very new and exploring ourselves. Some of the to-dos are things we’ve seen before, and some we’ve saved specifically to experience with our visitors.

rose photo

Also mildly excited to show off our revamp of our itty bitty back yard to someone!

TO DO LIST: PORTLAND TOURIST SPOTS

Food | I honestly could make a full length list of all the food venues we will be visiting! Portland is becoming a major foodie destination. I have some tried and true spots we’ll be sharing with our guests, including Salt & Straw, Voodoo Doughnut, Kyra’s Bakeshop, Maki Sushi and Pastini Pastaria. We will all be trying out Mac! Mac and Cheesery together for the first time, and I’m hoping to maybe try some of the food carts downtown as well.

Powell’s City of Books | Any excuse I can find to head over to Powell’s, I will take! My little sister, Chelsea #1, is about to start her master’s degree in creative writing. I’m planning to find the shelf that her book will some day sit on and take her picture there.

International Rose Test Garden | Kevin and I visited this amazing place a few weeks ago. The trip was a bit rushed thanks to some minor dehydration, and I would love to go back and take another trip through. And guests to the Rose City can’t leave without seeing some roses!

Drinks at Departure | I’ve heard a lot about this hot spot with a view at the Nines Hotel downtown. What better time to find a new favorite drink than with visiting friends and family?

Oregon Coast | With the ocean so close to Portland, there’s no excuse not to experience your feet in the sand. I’m not sure whether we will be heading to Tillamook or Cannon Beach yet. Tillamook also has the Tillamook Cheese Factory, and Cannon Beach is a cozy, fun little beach town.

I better take advantage of the house cleaning time I have now!

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Tuesday Tidbits: Career Search Tips

Now that Memorial Day Weekend is done, it’s time to launch back into the week! As many of you know, for me, this currently does not mean going to a 9-5 job.

The 1 year anniversary of graduating with my master’s degree has come and gone, and I am still without employment in my field. Granted, a good portion of that time was dedicated to planning for and eventually executing a move away from Wyoming, and I haven’t been idle the whole time! I’ve been doing freelance and volunteer work, both of which have grown my portfolio and helped me continue  to fine tune my skills.

As I push on in my career search, I’ve come across some great advice in various places on the internet. I’ve also had plenty of opportunity to discover what absolutely does not work, and some things that do help on the job hunt. This week’s Tuesday Tidbits post is dedicated to some awesome career search related content!

What I’m Loving This Week: Career Search Tips

→ One of the biggest challenges I face before relocating was letting employers know that my out of state address wasn’t going to be a hindrance, that I was ready to relocate, and I wanted this particular job. Careerealism has a great post on  tips for achieving this.

→ Unfortunately, in my job hunt, I’ve had a few major disappointments where I had awesome interviews, progressed until the last round of hiring, and then did not get the job. DailyWorth (one of my FAVORITE websites) has a fantastic roundup of why this happens.

→ In order to build my network out here in Portland, I have been working on scheduling informational interviews with PR agencies and professionals in this area. My second one is tomorrow afternoon! This Forbes article has advice for setting these up.

→ For my fellow PR young professionals – check out the PRSA’s entry-level employment center.

→ Fellow blogger Bernandine has a recent post that really resonated with me. I’ve been feeling a bit hopeless about my career, and her post on remembering that this state is temporary was the boost I needed.

→ And a little sweet kitty face never hurts morale, either:

cute cat

Detective Mittens “DM”

 

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