Travel, Writing

Travels with Kayla: In Search of Funds for Furry Friend

In my twenty years on this earth I’ve read hundreds of books. One of these ¬†titles was Travels With Charley: In Search of America, a short memoir written by John Steinbeck. In high school, The Grapes of Wrath turned me off. I never picked up another book written by this famous author after reading it in American Literature. ¬†If it hadn’t been for the recommendation from the lovely man behind the counter at Re-Read Books in Edmonds, Washington, I would have looked for or found¬†this hidden gem.

But man. I’m so glad this book made its way into my hands. It has reminded me¬†to never stop dreaming, learning, traveling, and living. Even if I did suffer from a life threatening seizure that nearly killed both me and my dreams. ¬†Life will have an abundance of trials.(I know what you’re asking “why will no one stop telling me this?!”) The answer my friend, is because very few people go through life without them. Don’t view this negatively. Hard circumstances, hard people, hard questions have grown me and will undoubtedly grow–if you allow them.

Steinbeck embarked on his journey across America so that he could adequately write American Lit. And besides, who doesn’t love a good road trip? I’ve begun a a quest of my own. The best part is that like Steinbeck, I’m meeting a lot of cool people along the way. Unlike Steinbeck, I’m starting out without a dog. Unfortunate for me, but I’m making friends along the way and they all want the best for me. They’ve donated their time, skills, and finances. For that I am grateful.

Hop on the bandwagon with me!

Huge shout out to http://www.ericfossphotography.com/  and my friends at WSU, CWU and U of I.

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Blog Series

Stay Classy With These Classics

When I was in middle school, I decided that I would attempt to read one-hundred fiction classic books¬† by the time I graduated from high school. It’s about the nerdiest feat I’ve ever *almost* accomplished. Frankly, I was annoyed that-aside from an eight grade literature class- my teachers never assigned enough books for my liking. I’ve read plenty, and yet, when people ask me for a recommendation, involving any genre, I have a brain freeze and I mumble out something like, “Great Expectations is good.” Only I didn’t say I started the book two or three times before reading it all the way through.

I’ve decided to do a series of lists, both fiction and non-fiction. These will be divided into about three posts. Here is the first:

 

1. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

2. Robinson Crusoe  by Daniel Defoe

3. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

5. Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan

6. The Call of the Wild by Jack London

7. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

8. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Agatha Christie

Aside from the Nancy Drew books,¬†I’m¬†not too excited about mystery novels. Then, in eight or ninth grade, my literature teacher assigned our class And Then There Were None. I’m a big fan.

9. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

10. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

11. Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

12. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

13. Shakespeare by Bill Bryson (not a classic, but  related to the topic of Shakespeare)

14. Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare

15. Richard III by William Shakespeare

16. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

17. Love’s Labour’s Lost by William Shakespeare

18. Hamlet by  William Shakespeare

19. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

20. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

21. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

21. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

22. Pride and prejudicee by Jane Austen

23. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

24. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

25. Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz by Frank L. Baum

26. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper

27. Our Town [Play] by Thornton Wilder

28. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan  Rawlings

29. Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

30. Animal Farm by George Orwell

31. The Pearl by John Steinbeck

32. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

33. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

34. The Crucible by Upton Sinclair

35. The Chosen by Chaim Potok

36. Black Like Me (non-fiction) by John Howard Griffith

37. Belle Prater’s Boy by Ruth White

38. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

39. The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells (Not to be confused with The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

40. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’engle

41. A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L’engle

42. Billy Budd by Herman Mellville

43. A Separate Peace by John Knowles

44. The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

45. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

46. A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansbury

47. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephan Crane

48. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

49. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

50. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

51. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

52. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

53. 1984 by George Orwell

 

Short Stories:

“The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe

“The Gold Bug” Edgar Allan Poe

“The Celebrated Jumping Frog” by Mark Twain

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber

“The Gift of the Magi” by O’Henry

“The Cap and the Anthem” O’Henry

“An Unfinished Star” O’Henry

“Enchanted Profile” by O’Henry

“The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant

“An Appointment With Love” by Sulamith Ish Kishor

“An Experiment in Misery” by Stephan Crane

 

You’re probably thinking, wait, only fifty-three books? That’s not exactly close to one-hundred. Unfortunately, I was not smart enough to write all of these down. Many, recalling from memory. This post will continue to be updated.

 

Is there a classic not on the list(s) above that you recommend? Comment down below.¬† If I receive enough feedback, I’ll¬† create a post from your recommendations for other subscribers to see!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Writing

10 Summer Reads

It’s amazing, really, that considering all the books I’ve read, I haven’t already compiled any reading lists!¬† So, without further ado, I give you ten of my personal faves:

Top 10 Summer Reads to check out! Tweetable

1.¬† Hotel¬† on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. I highly recommend this book. I’m not the best critic, but I remember absolutely loving this one. Also, if you doubt my credibility, it’s a New York Times Bestseller. If you’ve been a reader of mine for any amount of time, you may have noted this fact: I’m a total nerd. ¬† I’d honestly be somewhat surprised if you have not seen or heard of this title. It’s received a lot of attention from various newspapers, magazines and even schools. Bonus: it’s set in Seattle!

2.¬† Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Total classic. Ladies, I do hope you’ve indulged yourself in this book at some point in your life. If not, this book is for anyone.¬† I read it as a child, however, I’ve read it numerous times.

3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Twenty, thirty years down the road, I have no doubt people will still be talking about this story. If you’ve only seen the movie and you are wondering if the book is worth your time, let me be the first to tell you that it’d be a waste of time not to. Readers of historical fiction, inspiring characters, and Southern humor will adore this page-turner.

4.Packing Light: Thought on Living Life with Less Baggage by Allison Vesterfelt. This book blew me away. The risks Allison  took in her book to make this grand adventure happen, has significantly encouraged me to see risks as opportunities, and not scary giants. Follow her journey as she travels to all fifty states and discover what she learned about Packing Light. Learn more about Allison here.

5. Love Does by Bob Goff. There are very few titles I’d consider re-reading. However, Love Does¬† is one of those rare treasures. If you are somewhat new to my blog, or a first time visitor, you may have missed my more detailed¬†review of this particular book. This book is for the world-changers, the doers, and non-fiction lovers.

6. Rooms by James L. Rubart. It’s not everyday that the opportunity arises for me to support local authors.¬†Roomsdefinitely grabbed my attention. It’s very unique in that it didn’t quite fit many of the popular story plots. In a nutshell, the story is about one man and one soul-searching journey as he finds God after years of living the “good life.” A series of uncanny¬† events causes leads him to serious introspection.

7. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. I didn’t know how much I loved murder mysteries until I discovered this stupendous author.

8. As Waters Gone By by Tina Bustamante. This book is one of hope and redemption. There are no other two words which better fit the bill than these. Except maybe grace and love. I love Tina. She put her heart and soul into this book and the result is beautiful.

9. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday. Every once in a while, I unearth a gem in a secondhand bookstore  such as the one Torday has brilliantly written. While I may not know much about fishing, I walked away from these precious pages with a little more faith in humanity. And an increased respect for fish and fishermen.

10. The Vow: The True Events that Inspired the Movie by Kim Carpenter and Krickitt Carpenter. One word: wow. I can tell you right now, had I read this book prior to seeing the movie, I would not have paid money to see the Hollywood film. This here is the real deal.

 

Did I leave out any must-read in 2014 titles? Share your suggestions in the comments below!

 

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Writing

“Packing Light” Giveaway

I’ve decided it’s about time I do my first giveaway. The timing is appropriate because I have just created my first Facebook Page: Kayla Bonar, Writer. I can’t think of a better way to promote.

1 “like”= one entry

1 “share”= 2 shares

New subscribers= 3 entries

The winner will be announced on my Facebook ¬†page and Twitter one week from today (4/26). ¬†If you “like,” share, or subscribe but are NOT, interested in being entered into the drawing, please indicate on my page so that I know not to enter your name.

It took me all of about ten second to decide on the perfect giveaway book. “Packing Light” by Allison Vesterfelt is fantastic read. I read it recently and it has significantly influenced my writing habits. This book played a huge role in my decision to finally make the decision to create a page dedicated to my blog content. At one point during the book, Vesterfelt was challenged by a friend to finally start calling herself a writer. For so long, she had made up excuses. She objected that she’d never been published, let alone ¬†receive a paycheck by writing.

I more often than not, we create a ceiling for ourselves. Let me unpack this statement for you. I strongly believe that what we call our “9am-5pm”¬†jobs are, in reality, ¬†a very small part of what really defines us. Or maybe you are a college student like me and have only dabbled in odd jobs and define yourself as a student and nothing more.

However, my guess is that¬†¬†in your free time you love to write or read or create or play music. BUT, this isn’t how you make your living. Does this mean you aren’t a writer, creator, or musician? I hardly think this is the case.

I’ve decided it’s time I stop making excuses.

-Kayla Bonar, Writer

P.S. Who will you be today?

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Writing

Empty Shelf Book 14: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Title: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Author: Rebecca Skloot

What’s it about:¬†This book is about the immortal life of the HeLa cell line, grown¬†¬†from an African-American woman who died of cervical cancer in the fifties. Henrietta Lacks cells were the first human cells to be immortal. When Lacks was operated on at John Hopkins hospital, her cancerous cell tissue was taken without her consent.

Why did I read it:¬†This book was part required reading material for my¬†Women’s Studies class I’m taking this quarter. I don’t like the class so much, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning about ¬†Lack’s story and her incredible contribution to science.

Favorite idea:¬†In the book, Skloot writes about two of Henrietta’s adult children seeing their mother’s cells for the first time. When discussing genetics and DNA, a researcher at Hopkins explained¬†¬†“They [the HeLa cells] all look the same–they’re just clear until we put color on them with a dye. You can’t tell what color a person is from their cells.”

Where you can buy it: here.

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Writing

Empty Shelf Book 14: Rooms

Title: Rooms

Author: James L. Rubart

What’s it about:¬†When Micah Taylor inherits a mansion in Cannon Beach from a long dead uncle who he has never met, he’s not quite sure what to think. After stepping out of his comfort zone, Taylor decides to visit this mystery house. In the house, he encounters rooms which force him to face bits and pieces of his painful past-and the faith he thought he had abandoned for sure.

Why did I read it:A friend recommended it to me and I thought “why not?” It’s probably something I wouldn’t have chosen for myself, but I’m glad I read it nonetheless.

Favorite idea:¬†“Despite the unanswered questions and being within miles of where his heart had shattered, he felt at peace.” This feeling resonated deeply with me.

Where you can buy it: here

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Writing

Empty Shelf Book 12: The Pursuit of God

Title: The Pursuit of God

Author: A.W. Tozer

What’s it about:¬†The Pursuit of God is about just that: pursuing God. Tozer discusses how we can get pursue a closer relationship with God.

Why did I read it: Tozer is an awesome theologian.

Favorite idea:¬†“We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit.” This is absolutely beautiful. God want us to pursue Him so badly.

Where can you buy it: Right here. 

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Empty Shelf Book 11: Blue Like Jazz

Title: Blue Like Jazz: Non-religious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

Author: Donald Miller

What’s it about:¬†Christian Spirituality.¬†Miller talks about a variety of emotions, such as depression, loneliness, relationships, love, finances and etc. I feel like it’s so, so relevant to young adults. He talks about all of these issues from personal experience which makes it even easier to read.

Why did I read it:¬†I’ve heard so many good things about this book. From youth pastors, favorite authors and peers. I love Miller’s honesty and transparency.

Favorite idea: I underlined something in every chapter of this book, but my favorite idea is this:¬†“I think Christian spirituality is like jazz music. I think loving Jesus is something you feel, I think it is something very difficult to get on paper. but it is no less real, no less meaningful, no less beautiful.”

Where you can buy it: (and I highly recommend you do)

How to Join the Empty Shelf Challenge: join

You should really, really, really read this book.

-Kayla

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Bible, Writing

Mark it Up!

I don’t know about you, but…

I write in my Bible.

A lot.

I mark it up.

Maybe it’s simply because I love annotating and post-it notes, and highlighters and journals and gel pens.

Maybe not.

God gave his word to US to devour and share and hide in our hearts.  How incredibly blessed we are with this gift?!

We need to SOAK IT UP.

We need to make it personal.

“A bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.”

Charles Spurgeon

Our Bibles can’t stay on our nightstands collecting dust.¬†I realized how important making our Bibles personal when I left my Bible at church on Sunday. I could have borrowed a Bible or used one of numerous others lying around my room and house, but there is something about the bible we use on a consistent basis that helps us dive into the Word with a profound eagerness. In my bible I’ve written prayers, scrawled in the margins, asked questions and made comments. It’s practically a journal.

I’m resolving, TODAY, that I’m gonna be in the word more, because frankly, I haven’t been too appreciative lately of the fact that God gave it to ME to use! I look to everything else except what’s right in front of me, readily available. Aside from giving himself to me Jesus has given me the truest form of wisdom to be found.

“…he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Hebrews 11: 6

Will you resolve to seek Him as well?

-Kayla-

I appreciate your feedback! Comment below and tell me what you think (:

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Blog Series

I Love to Read

I’m starting with Into the Wild¬†by Jon Krakauer.

In fact, I’m already over forty pages in. (This fact is also proof that I’m having trouble adapting to the Kindle format). Convenient? Yes. Prone to wander while “reading?” Possibly. The book by Krakauer hasn’t been something I’ve been¬†aching to read for a while. I signed up for a non-fiction writing class that ended up being cancelled. In other words, it was on the forefront of my mind.

I could have waited until January 1st to make an official resolution to read more books, but then I ran across Jon Acuff, author of Start, and his Empty Shelf Challenge!. I thought, why not get my foot in the door now?

P.S.

Once cleared, a photo of my empty shelf will be on my Pinterest account under a board called The Empty Shelf Challenge.

What will you read?

Kayla

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