fewer = better for me, always, and any books about careers or jobs u recommend?
so i have lately been inspired and my goodreads - linguaphile and bibliophile friends have been so fantastic in helping me obtain more clarity with things, thank you all so much! goodness knows what or where i would be without you all.

i realized that, i want, i truly DESIRE to have, fewer books on my to-read list so i can have memorable text-reader experiences. i remember i even took a class on hermeneutics and connecting to texts as a reader, in college, and that was so valuable, sadly i have not done a good job of reflecting on what i learnt in this class.

how does one relearn how to savour and treasure the experience? i realized, reading 100-200 books for the rest of my life, if that meant i would enjoy them, i would take that any day over worrying about 1000 books like i am now, so silly really! my rational mind knows this but my stubborn emotions and idealism are pushing me to worry about all those titles and books i wont get to. but how does that matter, IF for example, i do get to all of them but dont remember anything!!

so...a part of me feels this sense of joy as i think i have stumbled upon something important. but i am still feeling fuzzy about what to make of this, what to DO about this really. so im going to try and just sit with this haze and wait a few days, maybe the clarity would arise on its own.

the other thing is if i were more fulfilled with my work, giving back somehow to the community in a way that is in line with my strengths, i would probably be worrying less and giving less energy to the books and worries.

i think there are many personality psychology books and inventories out there....what do you all recommend, have you read anything that helped you with job searches or getting clear on vocational pursuits?

EDIT / PS: i meant to say, ideally nothing too long but any books that have some quizzes, inventories, things like this would be great! dont worry, i wont count this as as "book" on any list. :-)

Ellen - My Point...and I do have one
I cannot for the life of me, remember the last time I read a book that made me laugh so much! It was so embarassing, like I was out in public drinking coffee and laughing and people must have been like, what a silly goose of a foreigner! Does anyone watch her talk show? Or reruns of her past sitcom, I do not think I have ever seen any episodes. I think its time to start :-)


Fairly or unfairly we are judged by the way we look. And more often than not, we are the ones who are judging ourselves.

Doesnt it seem that when you look in the mirror, the tiniest imperfections seem huge?

You can tell a lot about a person by looking at the things that scare her or him. Sometimes what a person fears is actually the thing that they desire. For instance if somebody is afraid of ice creme it could mean that they desire ice creme.

The only thing that scares me more than space aliens is the idea that there arent any space aliens. we cant be the best that creation has to offer. I pray we are not all there is. If so, we are in big trouble.

I do believe that most animal testing is improper. If you want to test cosmetics, why do it on some poor animal who hasnt done anything wrong?

I realized even at an early age that, the real beauty of pets is that they love you unconditionally. All they would like in return is a bit of attention and some food. And the food doesnt even have to be that good. It could just come out of a can.

( Did he really say this? )

To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge – Henry David Thoreau.

how to stay motivated or attentive with audiobooks?
hi all,
so i find that i really need and want to make use of audiobooks, to help me read more efficiently. and certainly its good for my eyes!

how do you get started? i know, its quite silly to ask. but i am simply not used to it. i am a strong auditory person, as in, i love languages so i listen to language podcasts all the time. but i find that listening to a book is different and i feel like i may not retain or understand what i hear.

The Comfort of Strangers
I normally do not read books like this. It was like..a very interesting, contradictory experience because if I let myself think too much about the actual story, I would probably honestly make myself ill...but McEwan writes so beautifully and I have forgotten that. The only other books I have read, Atonement, Amsterdam and Saturday were so long ago.


The hard mattress, the unaccustomed heat, the barely explored city were combining to set loose in her sleep a turmoil of noisy, argumentative dreams which numbed her waking hours.

The marijuana which would enhance that delightful moment when they stepped out of the hotel lobby into the creamy evening air.

When she was still a conscientious punctual schoolgirl alive with a hundred ideas for self improvement, she kept a notebook in which every sunda evening she set out her goals for the week ahead. these were modest, achievable tasks. it comforted her to tick them off as the week progressed. to practise cello, to be kinder to her mother, to walk to school to save the bus fare. she longed for such comfort now, for time and events to be at least partially subject to control.
she sleepwalked from moment to moment...

English is a beautiful language, full of misunderstandings.

The setting sun cast a rhomboid of orange bars against the bedroom wall.

If you love someone, would you do anything for them? Would zou let them to anything TO you?

If you are in love with someone, you would even be prepared to let them kill you if necessary...

The farthest stars of the Milky Way were visible, not as a scattering of fine dust, but as distinct points of light which made the brighter constellations appear uncomfortably close.

The very darkness was tangible, warm and cloying.

As if finding themselves reborn through an unexpected passion, they had to reinvent themselves anew, name themselves as a new born child, new character, or a sudden intruder in a novel is named.

A subject was best explored by taking the opposing view, even if it was not quite the view one held onself. A considered opinion was less important than the fact of opposition.

They stayed close, unable to break away for a minute, as though they feared that solitude, private thoughts would destroy what they shared.

Define Normal
I remember seeing this at my local library last winter, and wanting to read it. I think I related and could empathize better as, lately I feel that teaching is not the best vocational fit for me. As much as I have done so and with all the experiences I have had overseas, I feel this strong drive for peer or student counseling. I think I get caught up in the idealistic webs of the perfect or dream job, and then the ideal life outside of that. I am starting to feel that, ( and as much as I hate to admit it maybe ) there is more integrity and character, more value and personal honour, to having a job that is more suitable to ones strengths. Now, I am not saying in anyway that I would make the perfect school counselor, but I think I would make a better counselor than teacher. And i am lazy, and I hate planning for classes, and I am crap with discipline and classroom management, and the list goes on. and also I am a psych nerd and love to talk about sociology and issues that are relevant to social and emotional inteligence among students.


In a way, this book had some interesting surprises and twists turns that made it a good read.

Some excerpts and ideas I found valuable.

.What is the use of talking about things you cannot change?

.What is your definition of normal?
you know. someone with family, friends. happy and healthy.

you have goals and dreams. things you want to do with your life. you dont waste it. you dont waste yourself.

you never really know people. not really.

you cannot feel responsible for everyone in the world.

what is the one thing in your life that you regret?

prelude a l'apres midi d'un faune - ah, such a beautiful piece by Debussy!

so, now i pose to you dear readers, your thoughts and ideas. what does it mean to be normal. does this even exist, this vague and ambiguous concept? is it something we all should strive for?

in all honesty, DO you think you judge people on their appearance, maybe even if only at first? why do you think this is? why is it so hard for us and why is it so easy for human nature to make predilections based on what we see in others, in outward appearance?

why do you think we have such a hard time embracing and appreciating differences in others? or is this changing - has it changed for the better, anywhere in the world? all over the world?

caffeine content or taste of coffee with ice?
its monday which means, oh holy bats and batmans how i need caffeine kick times infinity.

i am just wondering if anyone knows the science of it...does adding ice to hot coffee or espresso dilute it? in flavour and-or caffeine content? just so i know whether i should drink hot or cold coffee today.

- also, just wondering what foods contain magnesium. i take a supplement but i feel like i need more. all i think of at the moment is greens?

community for health, sweet toothe destruction?
As ludicrous as it sounds, I fear it is absolutely impossible to get rid of my sweetness threshold. I have heard of so many people doing the 21 day sugar detox and my problem is, how on earth do I actually LIVE a sugar free life, even for one day?? I of course do not want to cheat. but its like, if I feel nippy, or want to chew something but there isnt time for actual food or drink, I resort to things like candies, hard candies or soft or cough lozenges which I need quite a bit of, as I lose my voice lol or have a sore throat.

I need support, I need and would so appreciate some help with really kicking this sugar. The worst part is even when I try, I make all sorts of dumb mistakes or I forget to specify that I do not want something sweetened. and wow, I thought I had it really bad for sugar!

The students I teach, they literally pour sweetened condensed milk from the tube directly into their mouth, along with the sweetened whip cream ( which I am told is not the same as whip cream at a cafe. the latter being good because it is fat, but no sugar. which is what I need. )

I hope this is true anyway. I dont care, I will eat cream all day if thats what it takes. I hear fat fills us and keeps us sustained longer than sugar which obviously would explain why I eat something like even a mere chocolate granola bar, seemingly healthy, but Im hungry like an hour later.

Is there a community I could join that is also supportive of giving up sugar, following a lifestyle such as this?

And just for the record...whipped cream IS better than ice creme, right? In that the former DOES have less sugar? I was arguing this with a friend lol. She thinks its the other way around.

The Dorito Effect, the surprising new truth about flavour
i would highly recommend this to anyone wondering, why do i eat the things i do, why do i have cravings, and why in heck am i so totally lacking in willpower and self restraint that i can not even bypass the ingestion of x y z for even ONE day? i learnt a lot. even really obvious elements that i should know inside and out. i blame the information technology era we live in and perhaps my own crap long term memory. maybe its time to up those omegas. bring on the sardines?


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Isla and the Happily Ever After, and starting on goodreads
I think and hope that goodreads will simplify my life and the craziness that has been my life with reading.

Ironic I know. but my close friends, friends on here, heck even my mom, well all of you know how difficult this is in psychological and simply existential aspects.

if the reading experiences are not authentic and of quality, then certainly they are affecting the quality of my own life. and what is the purpose to all of this mayhem and misery, do we not all owe it to ourselves to enjoy reading as deeply as we can!

so. i still would say that the best one out of these three was lolas story. but it was really lovely to read about the experiences of isla and especially when she and josh were creating these really lovely memories in barcelona.


(its a drawing of us, in this cafe, Kismet. in this moment. )

I smile up at him. "Its beautiful. But what comes next?"

"The best part." And he pulls me back into his arms. "The happily ever after."

Sigh. Like Isla, I Need to become the most patient and forgiving person that I know.

And I loved how she portrayed Sagrada Familia...so much is happening, that the overall style defies categorization.

Ah, Europe! beautiful precious stones on a necklace of rainbow diamonds, please never change except for the better and the safer. i dont ever want to leave you!

Is 435 too many?
yay! Got it down to this number. Considering it was at 550 last week, that is progress...although i would be far happier with a 300 something number.

but what do you all think, is this possible to accomplish - reading this number? i simply do not know how to cut anymore books out! ahhhhyiiii. like every single one of them on my list is something i want to read.

at the same time what i am always aware of, is that i am not a superhuman genius who can store all the ideas from every book i read, ever so readily and draw on this knowledge whenever i wish. it would be nice if life worked that way. but i remember Orhan Pamuk writing this in one of his essays, that he doesnt read as much as he once did, or that he reads fewer books because to really know and remember content of a book in quality requires a diminished quantity and i would have to agree with that.

part of my problem and the reason this list is so long, is series books and novels by the same author. when i find an author i like, i want to read everything by them. so of course, naturally, this makes the list so long.

on my list the series is only listed once, rather than taking the series apart and listing each book separately. i know, this is kind of cheating...

but i figure, if i dont like the first book for a series, i most likely wont read the others.

anyway, this was success in some way, i think. and some of my friends have 600 or 700 books on their TBR list, so i guess this is not absurdly excessive!

going to go read more books, haha. :-D


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