The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler

If you saw on a goodreads last week, I recently read The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler.

 photo DSC04148_zpswghu3tfa.jpg

The book kept popping up on my goodreads feed. People were commenting how much it impacted them, how fantastic it is and the like.

Before this, I heard about The Vagina Monologues, in an almost mythical way, as one of the key artistic pieces of feminism. It sounded powerful. It sounded intense. It sounded intimidating.

I dedicated this year to reading more feminist books to learn about issues talked about all the time, issues never talked about and subjects that society has told us to be uncomfortable about. I wanted to hear opinions that align with my own and opinions that differ.

I wanted to understand feminism, women’s rights and what it means to be a woman today in the most wholistic sense possible.

The Vagina Monologues, or what I’ve heard of it at least, made me uncomfortable.

It was exactly what I was looking for.

 photo DSC04142_zps2nmqqmwy.jpg

I started the book on a lazy Sunday. Lounging around the house, elastic waistband clothes on, no makeup, smoothie in hand, sun streaming through the windows.

I finished it that day.

 photo DSC04144_zpsz3pinxdf.jpg

I. Loved. It.

Yes, it can be intense. Yes, it can be intimidating. Yes, it certainly is powerful.

The monologues range from funny to heart breaking. From young girls to older women. From women of sexual assault to women giving birth.

I think the mythical feature that I talked about earlier comes from the fact that the play (Ensler toured around the country performing the play and it soon became a massive political movement) uses the word “vagina” on every page, multiple times. Not to mention it’s printed in large bold letters on the cover.

Vagina is a word that people don’t use. It almost feels taboo. Even more, people don’t talk about vaginas. It can be seen as shameful to do so. In response, Enlser began interviewing women about theirs and it soon became a revolution.

The monologues then went on to inspire the V-Day Movement to stop violence against women. If you get a newer copy of the play, there’s tons of information about it in the back.

 photo DSC04146_zpsmyquq7th.jpg

Honestly, I loved the Vagina Monologues. It’s a book that I think is so incredibly important and I would highly recommend it to everyone – both men and women.

I’m a big believer that discussing topics like this is the first step in bringing about change and, believe me, there’s no shortage of topics to discuss in The Vagina Monologues.

 photo DSC04147_zps3cao2pcl.jpg

Have you read TVM yet? What did you think and what was your favorite Monologue?

Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari

My favorite part of the day is the morning. I wake up early, make breakfast and settle in at the table, reading, eating and enjoying a big mug of coffee. Everything’s quiet, the house is still and whatever craziness is in store for the day hasn’t happened yet.

 photo Modern Romance Aziz Ansari 4_zpsydhgsyjg.jpg

The past few weeks have been crazy so last week, I picked up Aziz Ansari’s book Modern Romance thinking I could use a little humor to start my days. As I’m sure you can tell, I’m a huge Parks and Rec fan. I think Aziz is hysterical in the show and I couldn’t wait to read his book.

 photo Modern Romance Aziz Ansari 3_zpsmsb3vytf.jpg

I’ll admit, I didn’t read anything about the book before I bought it so you can imagine my surprise when I started reading it and quickly found out it was not a comedy book or hysterical memoir. It’s a sociological look at romance in the 21st century.

 photo Modern Romance Aziz Ansari_zpscbix35ey.jpg

Aziz teamed up with a sociologist from NYU and interviewed people from all over the world about their romantic lives and takes a look at statistical information from online dating sites and apps.

He talks about everything from the changes in dating from our grandparent’s generation where geographical proximity was key to today when dating apps open up the world to us to find our soulmates.

 photo Modern Romance Aziz Ansari 5_zpsadtvukpy.jpg

He goes in depth about texting conversations, the history of online dating, what people look for in profiles and how picky we are and quick to judge others by the limited of information we initially share.

The most interesting chapter, I thought, was when he interviews people in other countries. The differences in dating in the U.S., Japan, Paris and Argentina are extreme.

 photo Modern Romance Aziz Ansari 6_zpsmzqz4wb6.jpg

While it’s not the laugh until your belly hurts book I thought I was getting (don’t get me wrong, there are definitely funny parts – come on, it’s Aziz Ansari, you know there had to be) I still really enjoyed the book.

 photo Modern Romance Aziz Ansari 2_zps9ehnnbp4.jpg

I thought it was completely fascinating and well worth a read.

Tell me, have you read it? What did you think?

The Little Paris Bookshop

Albus Dumbledore (one of my very favorite literary characters) said, “words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic”. In all honesty, I don’t know if I’ve read something that resonated with me more. In fact, I have an amazing print that I found on Etsy of this quote that I framed and hung above my reading chair in my old apartment.

Ever since I can remember books have been my home. No matter how bad I felt things were at any given time, I could open a book and escape into a different world if only for a few moments.

You can imagine my uncontrollable excitement then when I stumbled across Blogging for Books. I nearly broke my computer in my haste to register and scroll through the endless possibilities of choices to make my first selection.

My choice: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George.

 photo 62771D08-5F31-4605-AB93-24F7900E8B05_zpsafn2uxgc.jpg

Now, I’ll be completely honest with you: I knew nothing about this book when I selected it.

I’m a sucker for anything set in Paris (but come on, who isn’t?) and the phrase “literary apothecary” jumped out at me from the description. I was sold.

I’ve been purposely (and agonizingly) holding off reading it until I started my new job. I figured, the first few weeks are always stressful but what better way to unwind at the end of the night than a trip to Paris.

I envisioned a story full of quirky characters, cats, literary quotes and Parisian streets in the rain.

The book had all that but not in the way I was expecting.

 photo 8BF0C540-72E2-4C55-8F57-A6CFB6C54999_zps7hn1t1lx.jpg

The plot revolves around Jean Perdu, a literary apothecary (can you think of a better career title for you business card because I sure as hell can’t). A man going through the motions of his life but not living.

He owns a bookshop on a barge floating in the Siene where he recommends books like medicine for people to help them with where they are in life. Can’t sleep? Going through a divorce? Feel like life is boring? He’ll find the book you need. The book that will speak to you.

I don’t want to spoil anything, so all I’ll say is that Jean has a rude awakening one day and impulsively sets off on an adventure through France with his quirky sidekick, books and cats. See – it did have those few things I was hoping for.

 photo 3FBFAAE0-2599-4C0B-B3DB-8BA85CF3D76F_zpsrpvfkmwh.jpg

Now, what’s the book about you may ask (the plot of a book and what it’s about are completely different things)? It’s about love and loss. Picking up the pieces of yourself when you feel like your world has been torn apart piece by piece and the importance of living your life – not going through the motions but living each and every day.

What did I think? I loved it. Ironically, I think if I were to meet Perdu in real life, this is the book he would tell me to read for where I am in my timeline. I laughed. I cried. I reread passages because it felt like they spoke to my soul.

If you’ve ever lost anyone – a friendship that’s drifted apart, a bad ending to a relationship or losing someone to death, you must read this.

If you want a book that makes you think about your life and the path you’re on, you must read this too.

If you need inspiration to break out of your comfort zone and do something for yourself, get this book immediately.

It’s beautifully written and if you appreciate the beauty of a thought-provoking sentence, you’ll love this.

As a lover of words, let me leave you with one of my favorites:

” We are loved if we love, another truth we always seem to forget. Have you noticed that most people prefer to be loved, and will do anything it takes? . . . If only they loved with the same energy; hallelujah, the world would be so wonderful”

 photo 1040AC10-2EC9-4135-BC0A-5004BB436875_zpsqdgq6efz.jpg