Monday, March 28, 2016

Meeting the Author of my Favorite Book: Markus Zusak

Hello, everyone!

Happy belated Easter! I had a wonderful day celebrating with my family as we do each year. I hope that you all enjoyed the holiday as well!

Today I am so excited to share with you an experience that I had just a few weekends ago. I met the author of my favorite book: Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief.

I don't know if you beautiful readers have read this novel, but if you haven't I am just going to say that this is the kind of work that can be life-changing to read. It certainly changed my life.

In writing this novel, Mr. Zusak created a masterpiece. This book divulges into the very essence of the human soul by examining the life of a young, German girl during the Second World War. It is told through the eyes of an uncharacteristic narrator: Death. I do not want to go too much into summary, as I don't want to spoil anything. All I want to say is if you have not read this book, you are definitely missing out. This is a must-read.

Anyway, back to the point. It is the 10th anniversary of this book's release, and Mr. Zusak was doing a tour across the United States in celebration. He came to the DC area, and I jumped on the opportunity immediately. My mother and I drove the 40 minutes it took to arrive at the school, and what occurred in the next few hours I will be sure to always remember.

Before he signed books, Mr. Zusak gave a presentation on some of his stylistic and structural choices regarding the book. Not only was he very kind and open to any questions and constructive feedback, but he was also extremely funny. Watching him speak on the stage was completely magical. When you are watching the author of a piece that impacted you as deeply as The Book Thief  impacted me, one can only describe the experience as otherworldly. 

After he finished speaking, Mr. Zusak sat down to sign books. The wait itself was about an hour and a half, but we met some very kind people in line which made the whole experience even better. When it was my turn to finally see and speak to Mr Zusak, I started to shake. Let me tell you, I was terrified. It's a very surreal experience to finally see and stand in front of someone who has had such a major impact on your life. I was shaking so badly that my pictures are unfortunately terrible.

The fact of the matter is that I was able to say exactly what I needed to say after a brief hiatus in which I froze. I made a joke, and he laughed. Then I thanked him. I thanked him for creating a work so seemingly real that I felt myself in the town in which it took place. I thanked him for creating characters with such depth that they made me cry for hours after I finished the novel. And finally I thanked him for changing my view of the world.

Then he looked up and smiled. That moment of solidified eye contact makes me cry a little reflecting on it. He thanked me for reading the book and keeping the characters alive. That in and of itself is something that I will never ever forget. 

All in all, this day definitely goes down as one of the best so far. I don't know if I will ever stumble across paths with Mr. Zusak again, but this whole experience was perfect. I couldn't ask for anything better.

Do you guys have a favorite author?
Have you met him/her?
Have you read The Book Thief?

I hope that everyone has a fantastic beginning of the week! Cheers xx

Sunday, March 20, 2016

New York, New York

Hello, everyone!

For the past week I have been on Spring break, and it has been absolutely wonderful. It's amazing what you can fit into a week if you plan everything out beforehand. I could go on and on about everything that I did, but two of the places I went stand out the most. Today I'm going to write about New York City, but another day I will tell you all about meeting the author of my favorite book in DC.

New York City, where to begin? I have been to NYC more times than I can count. My parents were firm believers in making sure that we were cultured as children, and as a result we went to many, many different places. NYC has so many things to see and do (for adults and children), so it is definitely one of my favorite cities.

This time, I went to New York with two of my friends who had never been before. I made the critical mistake of deciding to take the train up on St. Patrick's Day, which brings an additional two million people into the city. It was a very interesting experience.

We managed to see the Empire State Building, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, a bit of Central Park, the New York Public Library, and lots of shops on 5th Avenue. The problem that arose was that 5th Avenue was blocked off because of the St. Patrick's Day Parade, and as a result it was very difficult to navigate. So if you plan on showing people around, don't go to NYC on a big holiday!

Here are some pictures:

One day I would love to take a historical tour around the city and see some of the old bars and mid-century places that would have been popular at the time. I think that the history of big cities is particularly fascinating because so, so many people have passed through these areas over the years. It's really incredible to think about.

That's all I have for now. I have a lot of homework to catch up on before tomorrow. I hope everyone is doing well!

Have you ever been to New York City? What did you think of it?

Cheers. xx

Monday, March 7, 2016

Nancy Reagan: A Style Tribute

Good morning!

Yesterday, Nancy Reagan passed away at the age of 94. She was a wonderful woman who definitely embodied the spirit of America. As a tribute to her, I am going to go through some of my favorite outfits that she wore over the years. May her beautiful soul now rest happily in peace.

Source: Today
It is a well-known fact that Ms. Reagan loved to wear red, and she definitely wore it well! This red lace dress is so classically beautiful and flattering in every possible way.

Source: Ronald Reagan Library
Look closely at the detailing on this white dress. Simply exquisite. 

Source: Vanity Fair
I love this outfit because it is fairly casual, yet Ms. Reagan still looks extremely put together. Also, the colors navy and white just play with each other so perfectly. 

Source: New York Times
Accessorizing at its finest. Ms. Reagan did a spectacular job making a rather simple outfit interesting and inspiring by adding a hat, scarf, necklaces, and chic flats. 

And to conclude with one of my favorites:

Source: Buzzfeed
This dress is an absolute stunner. The red already captures your eyes, and then the white pattern on the dress makes your eye linger for that extra second. I also love the subtle slit in the front and the play with the off-shoulder look. What an elegant pick by Ms. Reagan.

Nancy was a beautiful woman inside and out. We are lucky to have been graced with her lovely presence for the 94 years that she was with us. Now she can happily rest alongside her beloved for eternity.

I hope everyone is having a good start to the week!