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Resolution Reading & Reviews

For the past few years, I have chosen to make new year’s resolutions that are attainable, enjoyable, and capable of lasting throughout the year. This year’s resolution: to read more!


I hear a lot of people say that they used to love reading as a kid, but eventually fell out of the habit of reading for pleasure. I definitely fall into this category and go through spells where I either read nonstop for a week or don’t read anything for about a year, unless it is for school. 


So, this year I set a goal to read 26 books and to make time for myself to do something I enjoy every day, even if only for 15 minutes. 


Here is what I read in January:


All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

This novel exposes the reader to a beautiful, yet heartbreaking love story that stays with you. Twisting expectations and uncovering a reality different from most, this novel asks tough questions and invites you to take a new perspective on the strangers you meet. The characters are so intricately developed that I still find myself pondering their conflicts even weeks after I finished the book. Hint: I finished this book in 48 hours— could not put it down!


Favorite quote: “I could have told him there was no sense in rushing toward being dead. It would find you soon enough, and before it did there were pleasures to make your heart hurt less.”


Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

I was super excited to read Talking to Strangers when it came out. Malcolm Gladwell has been one of my favorite authors since I first read Outliers in high school. His ability to connect history, social phenomena, and political issues that seem unrelated draws me to his writing time and time again. Looking at the stories of Sandra Bland, Brock Turner, Jerry Sandusky, Sylvia Plath, and Bernie Madoff, Gladwell explains, “what we should know about the people we don’t know.” If you enjoy learning about how we as humans communicate and explore the topics of spies, cultural norms, psychological experiments, and recent political events, then this book is for you. 


Favorite quote: “To assume the best about another is the trait that has created modern society. Those occasions when our trusting nature gets violated are tragic. But the alternative- to abandon trust as a defense against predation and deception- is worse.” 


“The Waste Land” and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot

Poetry regularly gets excluded from my rotation of genres, so I made a point to read more this month. While I often struggle to immediately understand most poetry, I still enjoy reading (and  listening) to the ways the words band together to form a beautiful story, saturated with metaphors and meaning. These works by T.S. Eliot address topics of war and trauma, and love and uncertainty. They were written during World War I and have lasted as Eliot’s masterpieces. 


Favorite quote: “Do I dare? Do I dare disturb the universe?” 

Lauren Kinder is a senior at Saint Louis University studying communication and marketing. She is passionate about St. Louis, social justice, storytelling, strong coffee, and singing in the car.
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