What I Read: July 2019

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice…

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Beach Bodies, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

I love the beach, but perhaps not for the exact same reasons that other people do. Yes, the sun and water and sand are all lovely. The sound of the ocean persistently crashing against the shore is indeed the most soothing of melodies. And salt water is really great for my hair. However, one of my favorite things about going to the beach, or even to a neighborhood pool, is witnessing the beauty and diversity in the forms of human…

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Little Gods; or, Why I Finally Deleted Pinterest

In my most recent Social Media purge, I finally deleted my account with Pinterest, the glorified visual Search Engine. I can’t even tell you how many Boards or Pins I had saved on there over the years, because it was too painful to even take a last look before making the final deletion. Now, the final straw proved to be political and moral reasons, which prompted me to permanently delete my account; their censorship and data-tracking practices weren’t something that…

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What I Read: April 2019

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice…

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What I Read: March 2019

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice…

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Breaking up with Social Media: The Aftermath

It’s been about two and a half months since I deleted my Instagram and Snapchat accounts, and I’m coming up on a year since I permanently deleted Facebook. For those who are curious, here are some of my observations from the post-social media world. First, I will admit that it was very hard to let go. I still miss being able to share pictures easily with all of my friends, and I miss seeing the pictures that others share (especially…

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What I Read: February 2019

Please note: I have intentionally decided not to include Amazon links (unless something is available exclusively on Amazon). Instead, if you are interested in reading any of the books I mention, I encourage you to check out your local library or independent bookstore. These places (and the communities around them) need your support, and they are generally quite willing to order any book if they don’t currently have it in stock. However, if Amazon is still the more practical choice…

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What Obsesses You?

“Until desire becomes obsession, you will never accomplish big things.” I don’t remember where I first came across this saying (it was probably Pinterest), but I’ve had it written down and pinned to the bulletin board over my desk for a few years now, and it continues to resonate. I’ve desired a lot of things over the years: to lose weight, to be more athletic, to bring in more money, to date more, to keep my bedroom clean for more…

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Praying Before Meals

“Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive, from thy bounty, through Christ Our Lord. Amen.” When I first joined the Catholic Church almost seven years ago, one of the biggest things that I had to get used to was formalized prayer. After all, I was coming from twenty-five years of not practicing organized religion in my life at all, and many of the forms and rituals of the Church were very foreign concepts…

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Breaking up with Social Media: Part Two

Lately I have found myself in many conversations with different friends from different areas of my life, all on the topic of social media and smartphone addiction. I wrote about this topic earlier in the year after I permanently deleted my Facebook account (which I have not regretted once in the ensuing eight months), but I’m definitely learning that old habits die hard. I may have broken the chains of Facebook, but apps like Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat were still…

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