Tag: Books

My 5 Favorite Books

My 5 Favorite Books



Almost all of the books I love to read are fiction-based. These types of books open up my imagination and take me away from reality. Especially with fictional books, characters are given unique personalities and the story plot can be fun, mystical, and suspenseful. I enjoy this very much because I get to visualize the story as I read along.

Harry Potter Series (J.K. Rowling) I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan! Despite the series actually containing 7 books in all, I decided to combine all the books together here. I love the way J.K Rowling develops each distinct character and creates a sense of endless, mystical fantasy that keeps readers reading. Her style of writing is phenomenal as it is easy to read and follow along; anyone who is capable of reading can understand the story. The morals of the stories are so pure and full of heart. All in all, the Harry Potter novels are good books I highly recommend to read or even reread!

The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Brain Selznick) This has been a favorite book of mine since grade school because of the novel’s art and the style in which the book was made. When people say that pictures mean more than 1,000 words, this novel says it all. More than half of the book is composed of full-page illustrations that help the reader visualize the story the way the author wants them to see it. The story is heartbreaking, heartwarming, and so engaging to read. Those who have seen the wonderful movie version of this novel know I what mean by this.

Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) Steinbeck never fails to disappoint us through his stories. Grapes of Wrath is a longer read than most of his other books, but it takes us into the time of the American Depression and Recession through a particular man and his family. The readers will be able to experience what it was like to live at that time and realize all the difficulties and struggles people had to face. Steinbeck’s diction is well suited for the time period and his format (splitting the story up by section) is quite different and interesting.

The Canterbury Tales (Geoffery Chaucer) There are many short stories of different wacky, funny, sickening, and lovely characters; some stories will really make you laugh! The animations of the stories (claymation videos on YouTube) are fantastic to watch after you read the stories. Despite the text to be written in Middle English, I think readers can still read and understand the text just fine.

Never A City So Real (Alex Kotlowitz) This is a novel I read with my friends from DePaul University from a class pertaining to Chicago History. This novel is all about Chicago and is written to point out many hotspots of Chicago (20-30 years ago). There is much emphasis on the urban lifestyle, different neighborhoods with different cultures, famous restaurants (like Manny’s), notorious gangs, and more. After reading this book, you will definitely be more aware of Chicago’s past history and see the city in a more interesting way!

The Best Birthday Present EVER

The Best Birthday Present EVER

Did I get you excited? Well I should warn you that I am a big literature nerd, so I may be too excited about this.

But, in my opinion at least, I got my roommate the best birthday present EVER. I found a website that lets you order your favorite books and replaces the main characters names with your own names. If you are thinking to yourself that this is in no way the best birthday present EVER then I am sorry to disappoint you. But for everyone else who thinks think is as cool as I do, how awesome right???

My roommate is a big reader so this is a perfect for gift for her. I ordered “Little Women” and got to change the names of six characters to whatever I wanted them to be. I switched the names of Jo, Meg, Beth Amy, Laurie and Mrs. March. The four girls became Kelly, MC, Cat, and Mary (the birthday girl and our other roommates), Laurie became Leonardo DiCaprio 🙂 and Mrs. March became Nancy (the birthday girl’s moms name). The book arrived not even a week after I ordered it and I can hardly wait a week to give it to her.

The website also has books such as “Pride and Prejudice” “Peter Pan” “Treasure Island” and “The Wizard of Oz.” You can put any name you want in any of these and more! Obviously, I think it is very very cool. I can’t wait to give my roommate her book and see how she likes it.

The personalized book. Notice the "starring Kelly Cahalin" 🙂
School’s (Almost) In For the Fall!

School’s (Almost) In For the Fall!

I have been lacking incredibly in the blog department these last few weeks, shame on me. But I am back now with… well, not too much to blog about. YET.

These past few weeks have been calm as I wait for school to approach, which, by the way, classes begin in two and a half weeks.

One of the coolest things I’ve done since I last blogged is I went to the Anberlin concert at Taste of Lincoln Avenue. Since none of my friends were free that night, I ventured out on my own to see my favorite band perform, even though I wasn’t very enthusiastic about going alone earlier in the day. My excitement began to rise though once I arrived, and by the time they appeared on stage, I was ready to scream, sing and dance to every song, which is exactly what I did.

For anyone who has never seen Anberlin perform, make it a life goal to go at least once. This was my third time seeing them and they disappoint. They’re energetic, charismatic, and oh so talented. And guess what? Their new album drops in October, meaning they’ll be back in Chi-town this Fall! Of course I’m going to be there.

Other than Anberlin, I’ve been relaxing and getting ready to go back to school. I still have several weeks, but I’ve already gone shopping for my school supplies and bought most of my schoolbooks. I’m even reading one of them right now to get a little head start (no comments on my nerdiness- it’s going to be a tough semester).

I am both excited to start school, but at the same time, I’m really sad that summer is starting to come to an end. Soon winter boots will replace my sandals, and my fun reading books with textbooks, but now isn’t the time to complain. It’s time to get myself (and everyone else) psyched for the upcoming semester, so I’m going to focus on the positive aspects and events of this upcoming Fall.

To start, I’m enjoying the idea of doing a little back to school shopping, and not for books and classroom material. Now is the time of the year for me to use the excuse that I need some new clothes because I love starting the school year off with a bang.

Another thing I’m looking forward to is coming home and having something to do other than just watch reruns of TV shows. Homework may not be at the top of my fun list, but I’m actually excited to begin writing papers again.

These are two small things I’m looking forward to, and for next week I’ll come up with several more. Let’s get pumped!!

The Lending Library

The Lending Library

Sorry for having fallen off the metaphorical map these past few weeks. Even though I’m having an awesome time living in RoPo this summer, I haven’t really done anything that I felt was quote unquote blog worthy.

There’s just been a whole lot of working (see: the double shift, from 3 pm – 7:30 am, that I inadvertently worked last Thursday night) and a whole lot of crying on my bed while watching Supernatural.

At least with the group in which I roll, that doesn’t seem to be too out of the ordinary. After the fairly stressful spring semesters my friends and I all seemed to have, we’ve been cherishing this free time to obsess over new TV shows and books on a daily basis. Fortunately for my friends, I have a real life Netflix for books (aka an actual library) right in my apartment.

Le glorious library

And yes, those rows are double stacked.

When I moved out of my mom’s place, I took EVERYTHING. And I mean, EVERYTHING. This included what accounted for over 50% of my possessions – my books.

This summer, my collection of novels, which range from the teen vampire fiction I read in 6th grade to the Sufi poetry I read last year, has become its own sort of library for anyone who enters my apartment.

Once my friends started borrowing my books at a steady rate, I decided I needed a system to keep track of where everything was going. Luckily, one of my best friends had me bought this a few years ago.

I've yet to start adding due dates!

My friends all know that before any book of mine is leaving this apartment, they better be signing it out.

And in the meantime, while my favorite books are being recycled amongst my friends, I’ll stick to my bed and staring at Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki‘s glorious faces.

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

The new book series that everyone is raving about, “The Hunger Games,” by Suzanne Collins, is an exciting alternative to those of us who do not enjoy the sappy love story of “Twilight.”

Set in the future in a post-apocolipitc world, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, along with 22 other children between the ages of 12 and 18 are thrown into an arena where they are forced to fight to the death.

“The Hunger Games” is suspenseful and can be violent and gruesome at times. It also, however, contains a love story that draws in the females who are not already hooked. There is not a single person, male or female, that I’ve talked to who has read the books and not fallen in love with the trillogy.

Although it is classified as a young adult book and technically my friends and I are no longer included in that category of literature, “The Hunger Games” has managed to capture our imaginations in a rare way.

Not surprisingly, Hollywood caught onto this craze early in the game (pun intended 😉 )and “The Hunger Games” movie is coming out in late March. With Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth in the leading roles, the movie is sure to be just as awesome as the books.

So, in your spare time I highly recommend heading to the book store, or whatever online site your tablet connects to, and purchasing “The Hunger Games.” They are an easy read and I promise you will not regret it!

My copy of "The Hunger Games"