Seattle Loves Books

I have always heard amazing things about Seattle, but their public library might be the greatest thing about the city. My friend sent me this video months ago and I think I might be partially responsible for the thousands upon thousands of views it has gotten. Curiously, every time I watch it I’m at the edge of my seat wondering if it will actually work! Clearly I’m very, very simple ;)

The massive domino chain was created to celebrate the launch of the 2013 Summer Reading Program and could possibly have set a world record!

I’ve decided that next to reading them the next best use of books is this. Enjoy.

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Lena Dunham On Knowing Nora Ephron (And Our Relief That These Two Geniuses Met)

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”

                                                                                                            -Nora Ephron  

Is Lena Dunham the Nora Ephron of our generation?

After Mrs. Ephron died last month I wanted to write about her on this blog. Stupidly, I thought that night I would get in bed, reread some of her essays, get some inspiration and write a brilliant tribute. I wanted to, I thought I needed to, and I thought it would help me put into words why I admired her so much. Instead, I just sat there, stared at my computer screen and ultimately succumbed to reading what everyone else had to say about her on the internet.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve thought about her a lot. I read her works and I went on a mad hunt across Toronto to buy ‘I Feel Bad About My Neck’, a book I had read a few years ago but never owned. It wasn’t until I started rereading the book that I was able to BEGIN to articulate why I admired her so much. I was also able to understand how people like Nora, visionaries, wonder women, thinkers, shape our lives over the years in such subtle sneaky ways that we don’t even realize it’s happening until they’re gone and we feel the hole left in our heart and spirit.

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The Wise Words Of Dr. Seuss

My favorite Dr. Seuss book is ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go‘. It was given to me by a good friend when we graduated High School. Actually, she had written a short play about it which we performed for our final Drama class project.

I haven’t thought about that in so long! It was a great script. I have such talented friends.

The book has such a positive message and it came at a time when I had no idea of where I was going. I was heading to University, I wasn’t going to know anyone, I wasn’t sure if I had picked the right course of study. So many questions! Dr. Seuss has a way of shifting that fear into excitement for the future….and for that I am grateful! The book is never far from my sight and I try to share it with friends whenever possible.

It’s a great graduation gift for a student who is heading off into the world. It makes the adventure that much more exciting!

The picture below is another reason why we all love Dr. Seuss. His message is universal and one that we should be sharing with kids as early as possible. How incredible to see a small child holding this sign. Good job parents. Good job.

My Fantasy Home Library

There are few things I like more than books.  There are a few more things I like more than being alone….but not many!

All kidding aside, I really love books and one day will have a library in my home just like this. A loving family. A house on the beach. A library. The simple things.

Homework (Brain Food)!

I have a lot of work to do. This pile of books just keeps getting bigger and bigger, but I can’t stop buying more. I’ve been out of school for a while now, but I am a student of life and my homework is piling up!

In my defence, the top two books, The TV Writer’s Workbook by Ellen Sandler, and Screenplay by Syd Field I have already read. They just happen to be books I go back to a lot so I like to keep them handy.

  • The TV Writer’s Workbook is a book I bought when I was trying to teach myself to write a television script. This summer I got it in my head that I was going to write a television pilot. I’m almost done, and I think it’s pretty good! Anyone know anyone at HBO? lol…..anyway, I could not have even begun to write it without this book. Thank you, Ellen Sandler! Continue reading

A Letter To My Younger Self

Some say that wisdom comes with age. I am now a year older….so does that mean I’m a year wiser? That seems questionable. What I do know is that I have evolved. A year ago today I was still in recovery mode. Trying to get my life back to normal after a magical 8 months on the road with the West Side Story tour. I was trying to get my feet back on the ground, back to reality, and dealing with the usual fears that come with the end of one adventure and the beginning of….who knows?

In one year I have evolved from a heartbroken ingenue to a motivated go-getter, to a terrified creative type and finally ended up as a centred,  hopeful optimist (on a good day, or course)! All I’m trying to say is that I am a year older and I DO feel wiser, but not because I have more knowledge or more answers. I feel wiser because I have gone through a year’s worth of experiences that have informed me of the world, my life in it, and what I need to do to get through it in one piece. For that I am grateful.

Have you ever read the series of books ‘What I Know Now‘? I read them about 5 years ago and they have stuck with me ever since. ‘What I know Now’ is a collection of letters that well-known and accomplished women have written to their younger selves. The letters are a reminder that we all start out the same. Scared, foolish, lost, optimistic and hopeful.

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The Perfect Words of Julia Alvarez


 When I was a teenager I came across a book called ‘How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents’. It was able to capture how I felt being, essentially, an immigrants daughter. I was born In Lima, Peru but moved to Canada when I was 7. I actually turned 7 the day I got here. Epic.

I have had a pretty amazing life here. Never had to deal with any issues of racism or prejudice, but I definitely have felt different. It’s a feeling that I sometimes like. I like having a different background than the rest of my friends. I enjoy being able to live parallel lives…my life in Toronto and my life when I go to Lima. Those things have shaped who I am today. They have made me, well, me.

My struggles have been centred around trying to figure out where I belong. Where am I meant to be. Who was I meant to be. What if I had stayed in Lima and never moved? Who would I become?

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Give Yourself a Hand

I’ve been meaning to get some book lists on this blog for a while but I had so many books to look through the task seemed completely overwhelming! I am happy now to have narrowed down some choices, created some themed lists, and taken some pictures to go along with them.

This first collection of books are meant to give us all the little helping hand we need when we haven’t had the best year, the month has seemed off, the week has been too long, or simply when we’re having an off day.

I love reading these kinds of books because they combine two of my favorite things; reading about the lives and experiences of others, and the opportunity to reflect on my life and ways I can improve it. Each of these books had a big impact on my life and my relationship with the world. I hope they can serve all of you in the same way.

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I Might Have A Small Book Obsession

I’ve admitted before that I definitely judge a book by its cover. I enjoy beautiful design and packaging. It’s true. So when I first set eyes on this collection of Penguin Classics I concluded that I was going to have to get every book in the collection. Even if I had already read them. I didn’t care. I realized that they were not just gonna be good re-reads, but they were also going to be an amazing addition to any room or space! They are just so beautiful!

I have this thing with using books as decoration. I even own books about decorating with books. If there are books on the subject it makes me feel like I’m not alone. There are others like me. Other souls who see the beauty of books.

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Thank You Birds

Artwork by: Julie Comstock for teNeues Publishing Company

Look what I found at Chapters yesterday! Clearly my obsession with birds is not over. I have ‘thank you’ cards galore at my place but I couldn’t resist picking these up. The design is beautiful, artistic and kinda vintage. I love it.

My obsession with stationary and publishing houses is not over either. teNeues has some incredible collections of specialty books and stationary that tend to keep me on their site for far too long. You must check them out here.

You can never have enough ‘thank you’ cards. It’s a lovely way to let someone know you appreciate them and all they do for you. I never travel without them. On trips there are countless people who help me and deserve a beautiful token of thanks. Even at home there are always people who go above and beyond and deserve a little something.

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A Comedy Queen

“You have to go through the falling down in order to learn to walk. It helps to know that you can survive it. That’s an education in itself.”
– Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett
This is what a true Super Human looks like. Both her books are incredible. I just finished reading her latest one called This Time Together and I was blown away by her honesty, humour, heart and intelligence. A must read for anyone, and especially actors. Not only will it educate you on the past of the television industry, but also on how not to be a jerk! She is pretty special.

Nuts For Peanuts And All Their Wisdom

I found this post today while searching for all things inspiring. How lucky am I to have found this. So beautiful and inspring. Please check out Maria Popova’s website www.brainpickings.org it is brilliant!

Love Is Walking Hand In Hand: The Peanuts Gang Defines Love, 1965

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‘Love is being happy knowing that she’s happy… but that isn’t so easy.’

The Peanuts series by Charles M. Schulzendures as one of the most beloved cartoons of all time, partly because of Schulz’s gift for capturing the great, tender truths of human existence through remarkably simple, sometimes poetic, often humorous, always profound vignettes. Hardly does it get more profound and poetic, however, than in Schulz’s 1965 book, Love is Walking Hand In Hand — an utterly lovely tiny treasure, in which Lucy and Snoopy and Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang define love through the simple acts and moments of everyday life.

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Books Are Cool

For all those little bookworms out there. You’re on the right track.

Dallas Clayton – Definitely a Super Human

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I can never get enough of Dallas Clayton! Cannot wait for his books to be available in every bookstore! He’s an inspiration for all….just trying to make the world a better place by doing what he loves and spreading a positive message. Thank you, Mr. Clayton.

dallasclayton:

HEY EVERYONE!!! I just made a brand new book! It’s called The Greatest Writer Alive. I’ve been getting a lot of requests from all of my non-kid-having readers for a book of non-kid stuff, so here it is just in time for the holidays.

Check out the video above to hear me talk about it, or order a copy for you or a friend over at Very Awesome World. As always, you can read the entire book for free online.

Thanks so much! Very excited about this one, feel free to share!

Love, Dallas

What I Know Now About Success: Great Read

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GREAT READ: WHAT I KNOW NOW ABOUT SUCCESS

I have been reading the WHAT I KNOW NOW books for a few years now. I saw the first WHAT I KNOW NOW book, believe it or not, in an Anthropologie store. Another good reason why I LOVE that store!

Pretty much all three books, WHAT I KNOW NOW, IF I KNEW THEN…, and WHAT I KNOW NOW ABOUT SUCCESS, are compilations of letters written by well known women to their younger selves. In these letters they encourage their younger selves to persevere during difficult times in their lives and to find peace in the knowledge that everything turns out alright.

I cannot recommend these books enough. Not only are they so inspiring, but somehow you can relate to every single woman’s story. There is something so wonderful in realizing that you are not alone in your struggles and fears.

A must read. Click on the book to check out the website!