Saturday, March 17, 2012

The World of Downton Abbey

The World of Downton AbbeyThe World of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Normally I do not buy books that go along with television shows or movies, but with Downton Abbey, I could not help myself. The book is beautiful - the pictures are exquisite and the artistry makes me want to step back into the world of Mary and Matthew. The writing is not magical, but I am so in love with the show I just did not care. If I had a coffee table, this book would be on it. You need to love the show to love the book, but let's be honest, who can help but love Downton Abbey?!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Butterfly Project

At 28, it is rare to find anything written on my hands or arms, but today I have a butterfly inked onto my right wrist in honor of the Butterfly Project. This project is dedicated to helping cutters find another way to deal with their anxiety and depression and a way for people to show their support of kids dealing with this issue. The idea is that when you feel compelled to cut that instead you are supposed to draw a butterfly on your wrist. As long as its there (you're not supposed to wash it off), it is a reminder of the people who love you, support you, etc, etc.  The butterfly is also supposed to be a sign of support and willingness to help if ever someone needs anything.

I know the girl that told me about this project yesterday is not a cutter. She is happy, well adjusted, and driven, but I know she knows people who are cutters. And maybe after our conversation and me letting her draw a misshapen butterfly on my wrist, she'll come to me if ever she finds out about another student hurting him/herself....

Around the same time that I was having this conversation, a student at Ygnacio Valley attempted suicide during their 6th period class. Classmates quickly came to the aid of this student and saved their life. My assumption, because the details have not been released, is that the student cut themselves. It's devastating and alarming to think of anyone being so lost and so depressed - especially someone so young.  I know that the superstition surrounding a sharpied butterfly can't change the deeply rooted issues that drive someone towards cutting and suicide, but if it helps one kid ask for help, it's more than worth it.

The Night Circus

The Night CircusThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have to admit that I was skeptical about this book. I don't really get into the whole circus scene, and a book based around a circus that appears magically on the outskirts of town and is only open at night didn't sound like a strong enough premise to hold my attention. That said, this book was thoroughly engaging after I got past my bias. 

I can’t say that I loved the writing style overall, but I loved the intrigue, the wonder, and the anticipation that accompanied the Le Cirque des Reves (The Circus of Dreams) and the challenge between two unsuspecting performers. The imagery Morgenstern uses is what drew me in page by page. I hope that this book becomes a movie – there is so much possibility, so much artistry that I can’t wait to see put on screen.

P.S. I Love You

P.S. I Love YouP.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It's not very often that I don't finish a book that I've read a couple hundred pages into, but life is too short to read bad (or simply underwhelming) books. Judging by the book edition I own, you know that I bought this book years ago after falling in love with the movie version of P.S. I Love You. But obviously years later, I still cannot will my way through this book. Watch the movie. I promise, it's better than the book.

PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death, and God

Brevity is the order of the day. So long story short, I love PostSecret. I think the power of the images and succinct phrases and sentences is fantastic. This collection of PostSecret is focused on life, death, and God. Some of it is abrasive. Some of it is so honest that you’re uncomfortable reading it. And therein lies PostSecret’s brilliance.