March’s Reads

As I mentioned last month, I have been on a classical literature kick, something very unusual for me. I think the romance and history of London is getting to my head and changing my book preferences! That being said, here are reviews of some classics that have now become favorites of mine. However, towards the end of the month, I went back to my old ways and picked up a book on economics. Now that class is over for me I needed a source for a daily dose of knowledge!

Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood-

If you read my post about the books I read last month then you know I absolutely adored “Madonna in a Fur Coat” (and have been recommending it to everyone that asks for a book suggestion). When I finished reading it and returned to Daunt Books looking for my next few books to read, I asked a worker for books similar to it. She recommend me this book as well as the next one, “Marie”.

The Daunt Books employee told me that this book would give me a deeper insight into the burlesque clubs and war scene of 1930s Berlin that “Madonna in a Fur Coat” touched on briefly; and that it did. The characters in both novels are very similar, which is why I enjoyed this so much. While this classic more so introduces you to an array of intricate characters rather than a dramatic plot, I found it very captivating. If you enjoy Berlin’s history and characters with many different layers, give this one a read.

Marie by Madeleine Bourdouxhe-

This book was recommended to me because the main character, Marie, has a very similar attitude to ___ in “Madonna and a Fur Coat”. Both are women trapped in a lifestyle they don’t necessarily wish to be living. They both possess strong thoughts on men and their particular relationship with them. In this book, Marie struggles between the deep love she has for her husband and her desire to be her own person. Her actions say one thing and her thoughts say another.

Marie Madeleine Bourdouxhe review

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates-

Another classic, this novel tells the story of a couple living together in the suburbs of New York. Unlike most couples in the suburbs, Frank and Gloria never wished to live there or to have a family. They often fight with one another over the plans for the future and their children, both hoping not to sink into the comforts of living a “perfectly normal” life. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel because I can personally relate to the trap that suburbia can put on one’s ambitions. Afterall, I am a girl who loves the city!

Zero to One by Peter Thiel-

This book is quite unlike the others from the month of March. “Zero to One” discusses the evolution of technology and the important roles entrepreneurs play in this future. It analyzes the aspects that make certain companies successful and others unsuccessful. If you have a love for technology, economics or entrepreneurship, you will love this. I personally liked it because its points contradicted the points made by some of my favorite authors in some of my favorite books, one of those authors being Malcolm Gladwell. I always find it interesting when authors argue against the points made by well-known economists.

march 2017 book reviews

If you have any recommendations on books you think I should read, please leave them below! Check out January’s Reads, February’s Readsand be sure to look out for April’s Reads, coming soon.

Hidden Gem of London: Daunt Books

Literature has been a major theme of my new year. After all, I did set a resolution to read a new book each week, which I will be filling you in on at the end of each month. Naturally, I am always looking for a new book to pick up and dive into next. 52 books is a lot of books! Can you even name that many books you have read over the course of your life? I’m not sure I even can.

bookshop6

I stumbled upon Daunt Books one day after venturing off of Marylebone Road where my University’s campus is situated. The surrounding area is bustling with small cafes, boutique shops, and, of course, this fabulous book store.

Best London Bookshop

The first thing I was attracted to was the large window in the back of the store, lined on both sides by upstairs railings. In this room, each bookcase showcases a different country and travel guides to visiting that country. The perfect shelves to browse while planning a European adventure! I must say, the atmosphere is truly unlike any Barnes and Nobles at home (sorry!).

Best London Bookshop

Aside from the unique beauty of the store, each book itself is a true work of art. I was able to find some of my favorite books lining the shelf, all of which had cover art that I had never seen before (Michael Lewis’s books included). Despite popular opinion, I am a firm believer of judging a book by its cover. The outside is an art entirely separate from the words inside the pages, and it deserves to be treated that way.

As an art and book lover, I highly recommend stopping in this shop while venturing through the neighborhood of Marylebone in London. Not only can you find an endless amount of inspiring and well-written literature but also individual works of art in the form of cover pages.

Discover more gems of London with me by following me on here, InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

A Modernistic Feminist

The word feminist. What does this mean to you? Do you think of a raging hippy woman wearing a white t-shirt where her nipples peak through? Or do you think of a well-polished woman like Sheryl Sandberg, taking over the tech industry one idea at a time? The word feminist often has more negative associations to its name than positive ones. I know I have argued with my mother over exactly what this word means. She instantly thinks of the first example I named while the second comes to mind for me and many other women of the younger generation (or at least I hope).

I am a huge supporter of feminism and everything that it stands for. I am always trying to explain to people, like my mother, what exactly feminism means nowadays, or what it should mean. The exact definition of feminism according to Google is “someone who supports the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of political, social and economic equality to men.” Don’t we all want to be treated, respected and paid equally to the male gender? So why doesn’t every woman want to call herself a feminist?

DSC_0309

It is ashame that women automatically think of the radical feminists that were at a peak in the 60s and 70s, for it is the modern age and that is simply not what should come to mind anymore. We should be thinking of women like Sophia Amoruso, Jessica Alba, Emma Watson and Malala Yousafzai. These women have all broken the stereotypes of women by creating multimillion dollar companies, sharing their opinions on inequality with younger generations, and breaking cultural expectations.

DSC_0321

While I believe everyone should be a feminist and that many more women are opening themselves up to the idea of embracing the title, Google Analytics has shown that the talk of feminism was at an all-time high in 1998 (also the year Time released its famous cover with the title “Is Feminism Dead?”) and has been declining ever since. Why do you think this is? Are we third-wave and fourth-wave feminists digressing in the feminist movement or are we simply tackling the issue in different ways?

I personally believe the way we women dress is a huge part of feminism, not only on a large scale but on a personal scale. Today’s society makes it a difficult choice in deciding to wear what you want or wearing what others will take you seriously in. I often have found that I am degraded and turned into an object when I go out in something as simple as denim shorts or a crop top.

This is still a huge issue in today’s society; men often blame women’s attire for the reason they are cat called or sexually assaulted. I should be able to wear what I want without being degraded or blamed for encouraging this behavior.

DSC_0315

Fashion is a large aspect of the feminist movement whether you realize it or not. Do I wear clothes that people will take me seriously in, even if that isn’t expressing who I am? Or do I wear an outfit that I feel good in and showcases my artistic views? Fashion is an artistic expression and the struggle with feminism in today’s society often restricts that.

In this look I incorporate pieces that are sophisticated and timeless with trendier pieces that show off my playful personality. Something as simple as the slits in the side of this sweater are a way of showing a little skin while still remaining conservative. Aritzia is one of my favorite places to shop for just this reason; they combine business-like pieces with trendier, sexier items that allow you to show off certain parts of your body.

DSC_0276

Accessories are always the perfect way to show off your personality through what you are wearing. I have been loving the Fendi Monster trend, and while I can’t afford the actual monsters, I have been able to find ones similar to it at small vendors like those in China Town and at flea markets.

I am currently reading a classic novel, The Second Sex, written by Simone de Beauvoir, which discusses the history of the female race and how the sex came to be viewed as inferior to men. At one point she says, “The body is not a thing, it is a situation: it is our grasp on the world and our sketch of our project.” What we put on our body expresses who we are and leaves our mark on the world. It is so important that we wear what we want and the feminism movement is progressing in a way that just might allow us to be able to do this without being devalued or judged in a certain way.

From Ancient Caves to Coatis, Come With Me to Riviera Maya

Picture yourself walking down a wooden pathway covered with iguanas and coatis just to see the clear blue waters and white sand at the end. There are few things I love more than traveling to a new place… Even if that means surviving a 3 hour flight at 6am with a crying baby and a toddler constantly kicking into the back of my seat. While these experiences are unsettling in the moment, they are a large part of the long journey you take to reach your final destination; in my case, Riviera Maya, Mexico.

Mexico9

This vacation was unlike my usual tropical adventure to the Bahamas with my extended family and my trusty wing women (my cousin). I used this trip as a time to wind down, tan my pasty skin, and educate myself with a few nice books. My favorite read from my time in Mexico was Dataclysm by Christian Rudder. This book analyzed the different statistics collected about the users of OkCupid, a popular dating website. If you love numbers and have a strong interest in what separates genders and races, or maybe a strong fascination with Tinder like myself (we will save those stories for another time), give this book a read. It quickly became a new favorite over the course of the vacation.

Mexico8

Along with books, fashion, and traveling, I have a huge love for animals (even unfamiliar ones with big bushy tails). Mexico was crawling with all sorts of creatures I had never seen before, like this adorable coati. While my mother ran the other direction from this species, I was drawn in and of course wanted to play with them. So naturally I tricked the coatis into believing I had food in my hand, which led to this picture. Who knew I could double as a wildlife tamer?

Mexico5

The most magical thing that I experienced in Mexico was the underground caves buried in the jungles. I was lucky enough to get the chance to explore one of these caves, swimming in and out of its different coves. It was eye-opening to see structures older than the entire human population. In some cases you could even see ancient footprints moulded onto the bedrock of the cave’s water. While there was one point where I almost drowned into the depths of a dark underwater hole, I would recommend this activity to anyone traveling to Mexico. And if you’re worried about not being able to swim, my mother survived and let me tell you, she really CAN’T swim.

Mexico7

As writer Pete Hoeg once said, “Traveling tends to magnify all human emotions.” This trip not only relaxed me and opened me up to the history of a different culture, but it inspired me. It inspired me to take the road less traveled by and push myself into new adventures, like growing this blog. Follow me on my journey not just to different countries, but in living through my 20s. Your 20s entails discovering who you want to be and what you want to do with the rest of your life. It involves the biggest transition of your life, moving from college to the real world; in my case the Big Apple. Whether it’s a Tinder date from hell or a promotion at my first real job, I hope to incorporate my life into these weekly fashion and lifestyle posts. Until the next adventure…Adios mis amigos.