Read Whatever You Want

“Girl, you’re so white!”

A young black girl told me this during middle school. I was minding my own business reading Stephen King’s It on the bus. I remember looking at this girl like she was out of her mind.

Clearly, she was. As far as I know, reading doesn’t magically change a reader’s skin color.

This may seem like trivial chatter but similar situations keep popping out throughout my life as an active reader. I’ve been ridiculed for various reasons for reading romance novels (aka “bodice rippers”), comic books, children’s books, and more. Sometimes, it’s just books in general. It doesn’t stop!

Good thing I don’t give a hoot. Reading’s fun! It’s one of life’s many treasures.

It’s Cool to Read

If you ever feel ashamed for reading books that bring you joy, don’t. Never let people take that kind of happiness away from you. You can read whatever you want!

Besides, there are many strong benefits to reading including increased creativity, memory, and empathy.

My mind’s eye receives new visions as soon as I read a new book’s first sentence. I love the euphoria surging through my entire being when I read.

You Read? LOL

What’s the deal with people poking fun at readers anyway? You express your passion for reading and you’re ridiculed as a “nerd”?

What? Why!?

Is staring at the sun better? Playing Russian Roulette? Who knows.

I’ve read an interesting article about reader’s shame between men and women. What I took from the post: Women face more reader’s shame than men. On the other hand, men only face reader’s shame when they’re caught reading an ultra-feminine book (whatever that may be).

I’m a completely chill woman with no problems telling folks what I’m currently reading or the fact I read for pleasure at all. I won’t lie about reading spicy erotica or mystical occult knowledge.

Just Read.

You do you. Your bibliophilic freedom is infinite.

Bump the haters and find your book tribe. There are always people in the world who share the same passion for books as you do.

I repeat: read whatever you want.

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(Pic Source:  Tumblr)

Have you unfairly faced reader’s shame? Feel free to share your story in the comments section below.

Manga Update! *July 2017 Edition*

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I have a pretty short list this month due to the lack of new manga discoveries. However, I did create a list of interesting titles I found while I was hanging out at Barnes & Noble.

About 95% of them are not found in any libraries near me (boo). Looks like I’ll be ordering serious inter-library loans in a next couple of months!

Here’s the latest on the manga I’ve been reading so far:

Updated Manga

  1. Black Clover by Yuki Tabata
  2. Fairy Tail by Hiro Mashima
  3. Haikyu!! By Haruichi Furudate
  4. Magi by Shinobu Ohtaka
  5. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-Kun by Izumi Tsubaki
  6. One Piece by Eiichiro Oda

You’ll find the fully updated manga list here.

(Pic Source: MyAnimeList)

Got any recommendations for next month’s manga update? Feel free to comment below!

My June 2017 Book Haul

So psyched summer’s finally here! It’s one of my favorite seasons for reading. I feel like I get more reading done now than any other time of the year.

Here’s what I’ve read as part of my book haul for June 2017:

Comics/Graphic Novels

Isadora Duncan: A Graphic Biography by Sabrina Jones (4/5 stars)

Image result for isadora duncan a graphic biography goodreads

 I glanced at the book cover on display in the library’s graphic novel section and thought, “Who’s Isadora Duncan?”

Isadora was a dancer ahead of her time. She didn’t care if she caused a commotion dancing onstage barefoot wearing a sheer chemise. Eventually, people grew to love her for it.

Sabrina Jones captured Isadora as a vibrant, adventurous woman who shared her creative dance techniques with the rest of the world. She had dance schools in Berlin, Paris (closed during WWI), and Moscow.

Want more info about her? Check out the sites below:

  1. Isadora Duncan
  2. The Isadora Duncan Archive
  3. Lori Belilove & The Isadora Duncan Dance Company

Recommended for readers into:

  •  Famous dancers
  • Graphic novel biographies
  • Isadora Duncan

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur v.2: Cosmic Cooties by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare (3/5 stars)

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I read the last volume of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur last year and was quite impressed.

For those who don’t know, Lunella Lafayette is a nine-year old super genius (still in elementary school for some reason) who fights crime with a ferocious red T-Rex from another dimension. The idea alone made me stick with this comic.

Lunella discovers she has Inhuman genes. The galactic Kree empire created the Inhumans to further expand their military and scientific agenda. However, the Inhumans had plans of their own and fought against their creators. Now, the Inhumans are enemies of the Kree.

In this volume, Lunella tries to get used to her strange Inhuman quirks while the Kree plans to capture her and send her back to their planet.

Recommended for readers into:

  • Leading female characters
  • Marvel
  • People of Color (POC) in comics
  • Sci-Fi comics

Adult Non-Ficton

Accidental Genius by Mark Levy (4/5 stars)

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This is one of those writing books you can refer to just in case you’re stuck with a hard case of writer’s block. Mark Levy’s greatest tip in this book: just write.

Seriously, write whatever the heck you want and worry about the editing process later. Don’t let perfectionism stop you.

Recommended for readers into:

  • Creative writing
  • Overcoming writer’s block
  • Writing

Blogging for Dummies (the 6th edition) by Amy Lupold Bair (3/5 stars)

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Thought about blogging for a while but afraid you might screw up in the process?

Blogging for Dummies is a great book for those who need a serious head start in the blogging world.

The author covers the basic” blogging 101” concepts:

  1. Blogging platforms: Tumblr, WordPress, Blogger, etc.
  2. Creating blog posts
  3. Creating self-hosting blog sites
  4. Gaining traffic
  5. SEO

Recommended for readers into:

  • Blog site development
  • Blogging

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy (4/5 stars)

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If you want any valuable tips on being a successful person, take it from Darren Hardy, former publisher of SUCCESS magazine.

The Compound Effect is a master plan of smashing goals one step at a time. That may be writing every day, taking that five am jog three times a week, or reading a new book every week of the year.

The takeaway from this book: consistency and focus are the roots of success.

Recommended for readers into:

  • Productivity
  • Successful habits

How the Secret Changed My Life by Rhonda Byrne (4/5 stars)

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This book was a great reminder how the Law of Attraction (LOA) can truly work for people (for believers only). I’ve been reading The Secret series since the first book came out.

The Law of Attraction states whatever you focus on manifests into physical form. Good advice: think pleasant thoughts. If you want to have a million dollars, focus on that instead of your empty pockets.

However, you simply can’t sit in a room, think about money for ten seconds, and money instantly falls into your lap.

Action is a step in the Law of Attraction process. A few testimonies in How the Secret Changed My Life reveal how they’ve manifested their wishes through action. One guy pretended he was singing onstage with Stevie Wonder and he won a contest just to do that.

Take in mind how people used the Law of Attraction in this book.

The book’s worth reading, but I wouldn’t say it’s worth buying unless you absolutely must collect every book Rhonda Byrne has ever published!

How the Secret Changed My Life is recycled material from the The Secret with a dash of newly added material, and testimonies you probably can find from The Secret website.

If you’re curious where the LOA idea came from, check out The Kybalion. I’ve created a review about the book.

Recommended for readers into:

  • The Law of Attraction
  • Positive thinking
  • The Secret

How to Start a Home-Based Blogging Business by Brett Snyder (3/5 stars)

How to Start a Home-based Blogging Business

Brett Snyder provides decent tips on maintaining a blogging business including blogging routines, taxes, and setting up corporate structures for your blog (self-proprietorship, LLC, etc).

This book is a must read for those who want to move up from personal blogging to a major online blogging business. However, don’t let this book be your only book for setting up your blogging for e-commerce. This book did great, but I felt like it was only a tip of the iceberg.

There’s always more to learn.

Recommended for readers into:

  • Affiliate programs
  • Blogging
  • Blogging for monetary value
  • Online businesses

The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco (5/5 stars)

The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime!

I instantly purchased my own book after reading the library copy! I loved the Millionaire Fastlane that much! MJ DeMarco taught me what it takes if I want to earn millions while I’m still young and full of energy.

According to DeMarco, people are grouped into three categories: sidewalkers, slowlaners, and fastlaners.

  1. Sidewalkers: Always broke and solely dependent on people to give them money
  2. Slowlaners: Depends solely on a full-time job working for somebody else for money.
  3. Fastlaners: Build their own money systems through multiple active and passive streams of income.

Seriously, I felt like a multi-millionaire after gaining the knowledge from this book!

Click here for my review on this book.

Recommended for readers into:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financial books
  • Having a millionaire mindset
  • “How to Be a Millionaire” books

And that’s a wrap for June 2017!

(Pic Sources: Amazon & Goodreads)

Have you read any books above? Any recommendations for July 2017?

Feel free to comment below.

 

 

Manga Monday #22: “Maid-Sama!” by Hiro Fujiwara

 

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Maid-Sama! by Hiro Fujiwara is a shojo manga about a high school girl who secretly works at a maid café and falls for the most popular boy in her school. This story appears to be like any other ol’ typical shojo story but this one has a tiny twist: the female protagonist doesn’t care about the boy (until later).

Seika High class president Misaki Ayuzawa only cares about maintaining stability in her wild, mostly-male dominated school. It only has become co-ed until recently. Misaki’s distaste in men originates from her father abandoning the family while she was very young. To take care of her sick mom, Misaki serves customers in cute maid outfits after school to keep up with the bills.

Soon-to-be love interest Takumi Usui is the first person from Seika High to discover Misaki at her job.

The shojo manga I’ve read in the past always tend to be about a girl who falls in love with a guy, goes through a serious of obstacles, and finally lands a happy ending after an enduring test of love. Maid-Sama! takes on these familiar scenarios and flips it around a bit.

Throughout the series, Misaki and Takumi slowly form a deep relationship despite the craziness happening all around them. From time to time, Takumi saves Misaki’s maid identity from being uncovered while Misaki tries to figure out her true feelings for Takumi and keep their relationship alive. Takumi may be popular and rich, but he has some dark secrets of his own.

If you’re a big fan of shojo manga, I’d recommend this series. It’s a good one I haven’t read for a while.  I’m not finished with this story yet and I pray it has a fulfilling ending.

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The last kind of shojo manga I want to read is the love interest dying and the main character moves on with a sad smile on their face. Seriously, I read a series like that and I cried out of anger and sadness for the rest of the day.

(Source pics: Tumblr: Maid, Fireworks)

Comment below if you’ve read this manga or you have some shojo  series you’d like to share! 😉

Booksellers for Hungry New Age Readers

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For those who don’t know right now, I love reading books on occult/esoteric studies, ancient aliens, and lost civilizations. Besides purchasing from Amazon and searching through libraries, it’s hard to find exclusive New Age booksellers especially if you don’t live in a major city.

That tiny New Age section at Barnes & Noble rarely helps.

For those interested, I’ve listed a few New Age related booksellers like Lllewellyn Publications and Inner Traditions/Bear Company that may satisfy your cravings. The books listed along with each bookseller I’ve either reviewed, read in the past, or added to my “to-reads” list.

1. Adventures Unlimited Press

2.  A.R.E Press 

3. Hay House

4. Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

5. Llewellyn Publications

6. New Page Books

7. Summit Lighthouse

8.  Weiser Books

I hope all of the new age readers out there find the books you want!

(Pic Source: Tumblr)

If you know any booksellers or cool New Age books, feel free to comment below!

13 Helpful Freelance Writing Tips from the Renegade Writers

Full-time freelance writers Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell created The Renegade Writer filled with useful tips for beginners and the experienced. These tips break the old-fashioned freelance writers’ traditions involved with SASEs (Self Addressed, Stamped Envelopes), query letters, and more.

I’ve read this book out of curiosity and found myself interested in a bit of freelance writing. This could be a new writing venture worth exploring.

Here are the thirteen helpful tips from reading The Renegade Writer:

(Note: this refers directly to writing articles)

1. Ideas are Everywhere!

Articles consist of a specific topic, keying in on the audience’s needs and/or curiosities. You can find inspiration online, magazines, books, and anywhere else where content is created. If you’re a frequent blogger, check out your most popular posts. These post topics may become articles for major publications.

2. Start With 300-500 Word Shorts

Start small.

Start writing 300-500 word content and see what it takes you from there. The more consistent you are writing them, the easier it’ll be when you start writing bigger articles your audience and publishers crave.

3. Don’t Isolate Yourself Only Writing What You Know

It’s okay to write on a subject outside your normal boundaries. What you may discover may end up in your list of favorite topics for writing. Plus, an editor may assign you to a subject you know little about.

Be prepared to do some research!

4. The More Research, the More Assignments

Part of freelance writing success is having an infinite supply of assignments benefiting your writing experience. Increasing your willingness to research expands your writing opportunities.

For example: If you’re known specifically to write about hiking in the Appalachians, you can expand your writing researching flora and fauna of the region, hiking hotels, best Appalachian summits for stargazing, and outdoor cooking recipes. Start hiking around the world and write about your discoveries in the foreign mountain regions.

Go beyond writing the usual articles like “How To Survive the Appalachian Trail Avoiding Psycho Bears and Wacky Mountain Hermits”.

5. Connect With Other Writers

Meet with other freelance writers, learning and sharing writing tips. You can find them on various Facebook groups, LinkedIn, and your local area via meetup.com. You’ll never know what valuable information you may receive. Better yet, it’s a great way to make new friends! 🙂

6. Network With Editors

Congrats for meeting a major publishing company editor! Tell them about yourself, your works, and you may end up with your first writing gig.

7. Create Many Articles for Many Publishers

Please don’t write one article expecting it to be the holy article of all articles and send it to only one publishing company. Keep writing and submitting!

8. Just Do the Query Letter

Query letters can be difficult, but you have to go through it. The more letters you write, the easier it will be. Show editors darn good reasons why they should consider you as their “go to” writer.

9. Show Off Your Writing Track Record

In some cases, you may add some info about your previous writing publications related to the article in your query letter. Don’t write a hundred page epic about it or it’ll end up sent to the editor’s epic shredder.

10. Send Query Letters Via E-Mail

This is a modern approach to sending editors your query letters. At this day and age with technology, people barely have time for snail mail. Make sure your publishing company accepts query emails.

11. Triple Check Your Query Letters

Make sure you query letters are sent to the right editor, right department, right company! Don’t send your query letter regarding your “30 Freaky Kama Sutra Positions” article to Parenting magazine when it was supposed to be Cosmopolitan.

And always check your letters for grammar, punctuation, and etc.

12. Request Gallery Proofs

Gallery proofs are editorial reviews of articles right before they’re published for the entire world to see. You want to know about any changes made in your articles.

13. Get Your Money

Make sure you get paid. Check out the publishing company you’re writing for is legit.

*~*~*~*~*~*

Need more tips? Purchase your copy of The Renegade Writer now and check out the site. Hope these tips will give you better insight into freelance writing!

(Pic Source: The Renegade Writer)

Comment below if you have read this book, you know any freelance writing books you’d recommend, or share your personal freelance writing experiences!

 

The Millionaire Fastlane Review

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The Millionaire Fastlane is one of the best books for aspiring entrepreneurs I’ve read so far this year! The title appears scammy but the book covers clearly authentic material.  The book was an immediate reliever after reading the unsettling Automatic Millionaire. Author MJ DeMarco offers a “no BS” guide to the millionaire lifestyle of your dreams. Take note: it’s a long path of dedication and hard work.

DeMarco began his self-made millionaire journey after his encounter with his dream car: a Lamborghini. What surprised him even more than the car was the owner, a young inventor. DeMarco thought if the young man could afford a Lambo, he could too. He built and sold a highly successful limousine directory website and the rest was history.

The Millionaire Fastlane is a wake up call to readers to take a leap of faith, acknowledge their own power to create money, and work like it’s nobody’s business. DeMarco states there are three paths of wealth people take: the Sidewalk, the Slowlane, and the Fastlane. Sidewalkers are always broke, Slowlaners depend on retirement wealth, and Fastlaners build money systems (multiple passive incomes, businesses, etc).

Here’s a closer look at the three:

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Sidewalkers

  • Complete consumers
  • Dependent on people to give them money all the time
  • Look rich but completely broke
  • Sometimes steal
  • Scheme people for money
  • Spend their entire paycheck on crap on payday then complain about not being paid enough

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Slowlaners

  • More productive than the Sidewalker but still tend to consume useless liabilities. Even go into debt for it.
    • Example: Going into credit card debt for a rarely used boat
  • Hoping to earn millions through a decent full-time job with low to average pay with an annual 1% salary increase
  • Returning to college (and further debt in the process)  for an advanced degree in hopes of receiving a higher paying job
  • Working for an employer for forty-five years and contributing money for a 401k in order to retire rich (if they don’t die first)

 

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Fastlaners

  • Complete producers
  • Creates businesses
  • Own multiple streams of passive income

 

This book shatters the old beliefs about becoming a millionaire. There’s no age or career requirements to be one. The only tools you need are your ideas, passion, and commitment.

Now, DeMarco states passion alone isn’t enough to gain ultimate wealth. I was confused by this statement until he presented an example of a woman’s passion for art. She was so enthralled with art that she opened up an art gallery/cafe. The business shut down a few months after it opened. The problem: it didn’t answer to people’s needs.

If you can figure out how your passion can solve problems, you have a successful business!

I loved how DeMarco pointed out the difference between being “interested” in creating a business and being committed. The person interested in making a business would only work on the idea for an hour a day twice a week while the committed one works seven hours a day, seven days a week.

The committed individual will go farther financially than the interested one. Staying committed is part of the millionaire fastlane process.

The Millionaire Fastlane has done a great job guiding readers out of the outdated financial beliefs that wealth is only reserved for the naturally talented and retired old folks.

Please read this book along with other “millionaire” books you may find and see which ones you should keep. Not long before I’ve created this review, I purchased my own copy. The notes I’ve written down from my previous library copy wasn’t enough. I had to have a copy of my own because I know for sure I’ll be reading it again and keeping it as my personal strategy guide.

(Pics: Getty Images *via Bustle* and Tumblr *Sponbebob skelelton & Great Gatsby DiCaprio*) 

Comment below if you’ve read this book or have any related book recommendations!