Book Review: The Lovely Bones

I picked up The Lovely Bones at a Borders going out of business sale for $3 about a month ago. I was always a little hesitant to buy the book because I thought the subject matter was too depressing. For those that don’t know, The Lovely Bones is told from the point of view of a 13 year old girl who was brutally murdered. She looks down on her family and friends on Earth as they attempt to grieve and also find her killer.

I started it the night I got it and I’ve yet to finish. Normally, I am a fast reader and usually have to pace myself to not finish the book in a matter of days. I’ve never not finished a book, even if I really disliked it.

The plot of the book is definitely bold and innovative. I think the main reason I don’t like The Lovely Bones is because of the author, Alice Sebold’s writing style. Something about it doesn’t mesh well with me. There are so many characters; the book jumps from one to the other so abruptly I have a hard time keeping track.

I am really disappointed as I’ve heard great things about this book. There was even a movie based off of it.

I will give it my best try to finish reading it, but I can’t give any guarantees.

I also picked up Passages: 24 Modern Indian Stories at the Borders sale. It contains work by Jhumpa Lahiri (my favorite author), Vikram Seth, Salman Rushdie, and so on..I am always interested in reading works by Indian authors, so I can’t wait to start it.

Has there ever been a book that you just couldn’t finish? What book was it and why?

Fall is Approaching

The days are getting shorter, the air feels cool and brisk, and the leaves are changing colors. (True confession time: I’m a member of the “I will go out of my way to step on a crunchy leaf” group on Facebook.)

The onset of Autumn is best welcomed with a warm, cozy home-cooked meal. The Indian meal of chole fits that exact description.

It’s one of the easiest Indian vegetables to make; all that is needed is garbanzo beans and a simple to make gravy. Here is a recipe.

The tandoori naan is courtesy of Trader Joe’s, and I love having a side raita (yogurt) and onions.

Also, I have to share my new favorite soda (also thanks to Trader’s Joe): Organic Blood Orange Soda. It’s similar to orange soda, yet tastes fresher and an added bonus: it has less preservatives.

Do you have a favorite recipe that you make in the fall?

Road trip Essentials

Having traveled from the Bay Area to LA numerous times, I like to consider myself a pro at it. I can pack in a mere few hours, we have set rest stops that we hit along the way, and the six hour drive breezes by.

Here are my road trip tips:

  • Wear comfy clothes. In the summer I stick to capris or shorts because Central California is HOT.
  • Bring a pillow and a blanket to help you catch some zzz’s (when you’re not driving of course).
  • Pack your iPod and headphones for solo music time and burn CDs for when you are driving (The rule is that the driver gets to hear their preference of music.)
  • Reward yourself with some good road trip food.

  • Books and magazines help pass the time.
  • Once you arrive to your destination, treat yourself to some frozen yogurt. You deserve it!
What are your road trip musts? I’d love to hear them!

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potato fries are my current food obsession, as you can see here. Well, I am happy to report that they are actually very easy to make at home!

I asked my friend Anjali, who runs the a healthy food blog called The Picky Eater and she suggested that I use this recipe. (However, instead of cooking spray I used olive oil.)

Sweet potato fries pack more of a punch than french fries and are simple to prepare- perfect for an impromptu dinner party.

For a dipping sauce, I mixed ketchup and Sriracha together because plain old ketchup simply doesn’t cut it anymore.

Matchbook Magazine

Magazines have been a way of life for me. From Seventeen and Teen Vogue and now to Us Weekly and People, I always love reading them. But lately, I’ve noticed that while it does give me my fill of celebrity gossip, I am left unsatisfied.

That all has changed when I discovered Matchbook Magazine. Matchbook Magazine is a monthly online magazine that features recipes, home decor, book reviews, fashion spreads, as well as interviews with inspiring women. Each issue comes out on the first of the month.  It has something for every young adult.

While I do love ogling at fashion spreads, I also equally enjoy reading book reviews and memoirs from amazing women worldwide. It’s great to have a magazine that caters to my varied interests.

Their tagline From lipstick to letterpress, gelato to grossain, and Paris to Peru consider us your field guide to a charmed life really hits the nail on the head.

Now to find a way to own everything that has ever been featured on Matchbook…that’s a whole other story!

Friday Favorites

Why do weeks before a long and fun weekend always seem to drag? Whatever the reason, this has been a good week: I’ve posted in my blog every day! It feels great to be writing again, especially about things that interest me as well as having my own little space to be creative in any way I wish.

Labor Day always signals the end of summer for me, despite being done with school. I’m headed out of town tomorrow and I’m excited for one last summer hurrah.

And now to borrow from one of my favorite bloggers, Cupcakes and Cashmere on this Friday, I will be sharing pictures about things that have made me happy this week.

Have a wonderful long weekend!

My first Essie nail polishes: on the left is Turquoise and Caicos and the right is Cute as a Button.

Sweet potato fries baking in the oven. Recipe to follow next week.

My Pikake Lei candle makes my room smell wonderful and transports me back to Hawaii.

My trinity bracelets that I picked up in New York earlier this year. They taught me that  a little contrast is always good.

There is no better afternoon pick-me-up than a cup of ginger chai and banana nut bread.

Stay hungry, stay foolish

Last week, when news of Steve Jobs’ resignation hit the internet, it was safe to say everyone was in a state of disbelief. It certainly felt that way here in the heart of Silicon Valley.

As an owner of two Apple products, an iPhone and a Macbook Pro, I was saddened to hear the news. But what first came to mind was his Commencement Speech given at Stanford University in 2005.

It was a little bittersweet to hear the speech again, especially since it looks like his cancer has worsened.

Here are my favorite parts. They hit close to home when I first heard the speech and even now, months later:

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.

You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

Here is a full transcription of the speech.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Have a great day!