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17 Beautiful Quotes from Louise Erdrich

Happy Birthday, Louise Erdrich!

If you’ve never heard of Louise Erdrich, allow me to introduce you.

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Author of more than 20 novels (!), Erdrich writes about the Native American experience. Her more popular books include Love Medicine, Tracks, The Beet Queen, The Bingo Palace, The Round House, and my personal favorite, The Painted Drum.

If you haven’t checked out any of her novels, I highly suggest you do. Filled with beautiful language and prose, Erdrich’s books help give meeting to the things we can’t seem to put into words.

Want a little taste? Here are 17 of her most beautiful quotes, in my opinion anyway!

17 Beautiful Quotes from Louise Erdrich

“Our songs travel the earth. We sing to one another. Not a single note is ever lost and no song is original. They all come from the same place and go back to a time when only the stones howled.”
The Master Butchers Singing Club

burning love

“Right and wrong were shades of meaning, not sides of a coin.”
Love Medicine

wilderness

“Getting blown up happened in an instant; getting put together took the rest of your life.”
LaRose

that is all

“But then as time passed, I learned the lesson that parents do early on. You fail sometimes. No matter how much you love your children, there are times you slip. There are moments you can’t give, stutter, lose your temper, or simply lose face with the world, and you can’t explain this to a child.”
The Beet Queen

round house

“When we are young, the words are scattered all around us. As they are assembled by experience, so also are we, sentence by sentence, until the story takes shape.”
The Plague of Doves

red convertible

“The moonless sky was a rich, wild, blackness of stars.”
The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse

painted-drum

“He despised his body for its boring hungers, reflex anger; its petty, obliterating rage. But now he’d become detached. He regarded his body with a tender regret. It was the thing his spirit had to haul.”
Shadow Tag

live our destiny

“We do know that no one gets wise enough to really understand the heart of another, though it is the task of our life to try.”
The Bingo Palace

glorious

“Our love is a hurting delicacy, an old killer whiskey, a curse, and too beautiful for words.”
The Antelope Wife

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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I’ll Be Gone in the Dark Book Review

Sometimes when I can’t sleep at night, I’ll jump on Reddit or StumbleUpon (remember that one?!) and research true crime mysteries. Maybe it’s the years of watching Law and Order: SVU, maybe it’s my recent obsession with the podcast, “And That’s Why We Drink”, or maybe it’s just my love of all things mysterious, but there’s just something in me that loves reading about murder and mayhem.

The first true crime story I remember being obsessed with was the JonBenet Ramsey murder. I was 12 when the face of JonBenet exploded all over the magazine covers. Back in 1996, the Internet wasn’t what it was today…so the only “research” you could really do was to dive into People and Us Weekly for the latest updates on the case.  Now I could spend hours combing through the 234,000 search results you get when you search JonBenet’s name.

As you can imagine, the internet is now filled with “volunteer detectives” and true crime sleuths who want nothing more than to help catch a predator. There are chat rooms, podcasts, forums, even in-person meet-ups of people who spend their lives looking through old evidence and articles, searching the internet day after day, hoping they’ll find the missing piece that will put an end to the madness.

Most of them don’t find much…maybe a new photograph or an article buried deep in the world wide web…but once in a while someone does find something. Once in a while, someone has a thought, an inkling, a wild out-of-the-blue idea that creates a ripple effect and opens a whole new door that authorities and investigators didn’t even know was there. Once in a while, a curious and dedicated journalist helps put a murderer behind bars.

Image result for ill be gone in the dark book cover

In the 1970s, California was terrorized by a mysterious and violent predator who committed more than 50 sexual assaults and 10 murders. He never revealed his face to his victims, making him near impossible to ID. People started calling him The East Area Rapist and The Original Night Stalker before true crime journalist, Michelle MacNamara, penned him the Golden State Killer.

In her best-selling book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, McNamara dives deep into the case of the East Area Rapist, pouring over police reports, talking to victims, and spending endless hours in chat rooms and forums talking to other civilians who were just as obsessed with this man as she was.

When he was active, the East Area Rapist was a young, athletic man. He always wore a mask and would blind his victims with a flashlight so they wouldn’t be able to see his face. While he favored suburban couples, he also attacked single women, feeding on their fear. He often entered the homes of his victims before attacking them, stealing meaningful family photos, wedding rings, diaries, or letters. He would then attack them when they slept, often tying up the male while assaulting the female, talking to them in a guttural whisper. It wasn’t until later that he transitioned into murdering his victims…then, maybe once he felt the authorities closing in, he disappeared.

Some people thought he moved to another country or joined the army. Most people thought he died…maybe just to ease their own fear that he might return. But McNamara knew better…she knew he was still lurking in the shadows…and she wanted nothing more than for him to pay for his crimes.

In I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, McNamara gives readers an intimate and sometimes graphic portrayal of what it was like to be in California at that time. Through powerful interviews with victims and the lead investigators at the time, McNamara tries diligently to piece together the pieces of this insane puzzle, hoping somehow, somewhere, she’ll find the missing piece that will help the world sleep a little easier.

Michelle McNamara was working on I’ll Be Gone in the Dark while she suddenly passed away on April 21, 2016. Her book was finished and published posthumously by her close colleagues and husband, Patton Oswalt, in February 2018.  In a powerful and bone-chilling part of the book, McNamara talks about the possibility of using genealogy sites like Ancestry.com to better track him down. Ironically, this would be the exact way detectives would track down Joseph James DeAngelo, The Golden State Killer, almost two years TO THE DAY that McNamara passed away.

Like I’ve said, I’ve always been fascinated by true crime stories. I think there’s something ingrained in all of us that enjoys the thrill of the unknown…and maybe the possibility of finding the one piece everyone has been looking for. For McNamara, it was more than just a passion, it was an obsession. She went beyond scoping Wikipedia.com…she completely and utterly submersed herself in this story – and it shows. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is bound to become a classic in the true crime genre, if it hasn’t already. It’s proof that we can all make a difference in this world – proof that sometimes it takes another pair of eyes to see what we’ve been staring at this whole time – proof that with the right amount of determination and passion and strive, even a woman who just gets a thrill out of browsing Reddit and StumbleUpon for interesting stories to read about can completely and utterly change everything.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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Top 10 Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

One cool day in 1830 in the state of Massachusetts, a group of friends got together to discuss new ideas in philosophy…you know, as friends do. Hinduism, Buddhism, and other Asian and German religions were making their way to the United States, and several Americans – including this group of hooligans – found their ideologies quite interesting.

Inspired by the beliefs surrounding the power of the individual and personal freedom, this group of friends created the Transcendentalist Movement, led primarily by one Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Emerson, along with his friend Henry David Thoreau, brought to life a movement that encouraged writers and poets to embrace these new-found Eastern philosophies in their work. Both Thoreau and Emerson wrote extensively about the importance of solitude and nature, while Margaret Fuller, who wrote Women in the Nineteenth Century in 1845, was and is thought to be one of the founders of modern day feminism.

The Transcendentalist writers became important influences for other poets and novelists like Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and Louisa May Alcott. Emerson himself was also thought to influence Friedrich Nietzsche, often thought to be one of the best writers of all time. Though the transcendentalist movement only lasted a few decades, its core ideas still influence political activists, environmentalists and people interested in alternative religion.

Today just happens to be Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 215th birthday. In honor of his work as a poet, lecturer, writer and philosopher, here are 10 of my personal favorite Emerson quotes.

emerson-main

Top 10 Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

EMERSON1“The earth laughs in flowers.”

EMERSON2“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”

emerson3“It’s not the length of life, but the depth.”

emerson4“I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”

emerson5“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

emerson6“People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.”

emerson7“For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”

emerson8“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

EMERSON9“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”

emerson10“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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The Portable Obituary Book Review

Whether you’re as beautiful as Grace Kelly, as talented as Mozart, or as rich as Cornelius Vanderbilt, nothing can save you from death.

Image result for michael largo

It’s the great unifier, the one thing we all have in common. The rich and famous die…the poor and unknown die. It’s terrifying and nerve-racking and sometimes quite unexpected…but maybe there’s some strange, weird comfort in knowing how those before us met their Maker, so to speak. Maybe knowing how Elvis died, how Bob Marley, Billie Holiday, Henry Ford, Marilyn Monroe, Babe Ruth, Thomas Edison, and Ernest Hemingway all passed will help us cope with our own mortality, or at least will give us some insight in what not do to in order to prolong the time we have left.

In his morbid, yet ironically entertaining book, The Portable Obituary: How the Famous, Rich, and Powerful Really Died, author Michael Largo explores the life and death of more than 1,100 famous people (and animals), diving deep into how they died and what actions in their lives lead them to that point.

Ranging in scope from Jesus to Louis Armstrong, The Portable Obituary covers a wide variety of celebrity. Actors, actresses, singers, dancers, and sports heroes are all mentioned, as well as inventors, writers, artists, and presidents. The book is organized alphabetically, with random black and white photos peppering the pages (though the photos lack description, which ended up being confusing in some places).

Similar to his other books, The Portable Obituary can be used as a reference guide or read cover to cover. Each celebrity gets about a 1 to 2 paragraph installment, so reading it cover to cover actually goes pretty quickly. And if you’re worried about it being too dour, Largo does put in little quips and fun stories to help lighten the mood.

If nothing else, this book is a fascinating look into how many musicians die from alcohol abuse and how many celebrities die within weeks of their birthday. It’s ironic to see how the inventors of such fun things as bubble gum and popsicles met such sad endings…and how careless practices in filming locations led to several actors and crew members developing deadly cancers.

From gun shots to gluttony…car crashes to cancers, The Portable Obituary is an interesting, albeit depressing, look into what made our late icons what they are today – dead!

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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Bookworms – This is the Book Subscription You Need in Your Life

One of the suckiest things about being a literature major was that reading became all work and no play. I’ve always loved to read and bookstores have always been some of my favorite places to go when I need to wind down, but since graduating from college, teaching myself to “read for fun” again has been a bit of a challenge.

Read Matthew Perry GIF

I had some luck with books on tape, espeically since my commute to and from work was clocking in at about an hour each way…but since I’ve moved closer to work, it’s harder to get into the audiobooks now…and I certainly can’t listen to someone reading to me at work when I’m trying to write copy about cupcakes and cake decorating (I know, my job is SO hard!).

Like any English or literature major, I have shelves and shelves of books that I’ve purchased at some point in my life but never actually read. Most of those books are just outdated now…or have been spoiled for me thanks to the Internet…THANKS, INTERNET. But they look so pretty on my shelf!!

beauty and the beast books GIF

So I guess the long and short of it is – I need better book recommendations. I know I’m never going to go back and read Pride and Prejudice again or try to read Catch-22 for the 3rd time…I just need to own up to the fact that I need and require some new, juicy, contemporary fiction (or nonfiction) that will rekindle my love for the written word.

In doing some research on Goodreads, I came across a site called “Book of the Month“. While I was hoping this site might better fine-tune my personal book selections based on what I already love and hate (does that exist? If not, someone get on that because I’d be all over that), this site does bring you the option to get up to 5 carefully chosen books a month in a fun subscription box that is sure to make your day a little brighter!

Image result for book of the month subscription

Depending on the money you’re willing to spend, you can get one or more books a month – most of which are new or soon-to-be released fiction titles that are selected for very secret and specific reasons. And if you don’t end up liking it, they’ll replace it…for FREE.

The thing I like about this Book of the Month subscription is that you can skip a month if none of the books appeal to you or if, like me, you’re probably still working through the book you got last month.

They also help highlight reasons you may or may not like the book with these fun little graphics:

botm2

You could even gift this subscription service to a friend, sister, mom, grandma or just for yourself! You have the option of paying by the month or just forking up the 150 bucks for the whole damn year (which equates to about $12.50 per book).

If you have a reading goal in 2018 or are just looking to check out some new fiction without the overwhelming stress of browsing Barnes and Nobel, I highly suggest you check out Book of the Month. I plan on subscribing this month, so let’s be book buddies!

Also, here’s a little sneak peek of the April selections…

botm1

Happy reading!

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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How Many of the Greatest Books of All Time Have You Read?

So I recently stumbled upon an amazing site called thegreatestbooks.org…which is exactly what you think it is. Want to know the greatest books of 2000? The Greatest Books of 1900? The Greatest German Novels of the 20th Century? It’s all waiting for you!

While browsing around this site, I found a list of the greatest books of all time. ALL. TIME. I was a little skeptical about this list because they’re not really that open about how these lists are curated, but from what I could find, they reviewed more than 100 “best of” book lists from a variety of sources, then created an algorithm to determine how many times a particular book appears on a list…thus this greatest list is born.

Now this ultimate list is pretty cumbersome. I stopped after 5 pages, but it keeps going and going and going…there are actually more than 2,000 books on this list!

As a fun little Friday activity, I’ve gathered the top 100 books on this ultimate list to see how many we’ve all read! My score was pretty pitiful (I’ve only read 27 of the top 100)…but to be fair, I’m really not one for the classics…

BEST-BOOKS-OF-ALL-TIME

You can download your spreadsheet of the top 100 books here! Leave a comment below and let me know what your score is!

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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10 Awesome Detective Novels

A little more than 170 years ago, Edgar Allen Poe’s story, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, first appeared in Graham’s Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazine. The story described the analytical power used by one Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin to solve a slew of murders in Paris. Thus, the first detective story was born.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue also inspired the creation of perhaps one of the greatest literary detectives of all time, Sherlock Holmes. He first hit bookshelves 46 years after Poe’s story and set into motion one of the most read literary genres ever.

Often filled with chilling and complex stories, clever and witty humor and strong characters that seem to come to life before your eyes, detective novels are a great go-to solution for a summer beach read, a vacation read, or just a quick and exciting story to help pass the time.

If you’re looking for a great detective novel, here are 10 awesome ones to get you started!

10 Awesome Detective Novels

detective-novels

The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson

The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon

And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami

In the Woods, Tana French

Booked to Die, John Dunning

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, P.D. James

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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