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

Empty Shelf Book 17: Love Does

Photo by Kayla Bonar

Photo by Kayla Bonar

Title: Love Does

Author: Bob Goff

What’s it about: Love Does. Does what? Loves how? Loves who? Loves what? These are the questions which have been lingering on the the forefront of my mind. I challenge you to read this book and be inspired to love more and love harder. There is no doubt in my mind that if you accept this challenge, your world will be rocked in some way.

Why did I read it: My sister entered and won a drawing a few months ago and this book was included in the package she received. I’d heard of the book previously, and was excited to read it first! I’d recommend purchasing this one, I frequently found myself underling and marking up the pages.

Favorite idea: “That’s one of the things about love. It doesn’t recognize boundaries and never obeys the rules we try to give it” (213).

Where you can find it: here

Also! All proceeds from the book are donated to Restore International’s Leadership Academy in Uganda.

 

Have you read the book? What did you like most about it?

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Blog Series, Writing

Something For Sunday

photo: jeff kubina, creative commons

photo: jeff kubina, creative commons

 

On the weekends, I enjoy sharing articles I’ve read online during that week! I’ll never share anything that’ll take you hours upon hours to read–unless otherwise noted. Happy reading!

5 Inspiration Writing Quotes¬†by¬†Writer’s Circle

If you’re a writer of any kind, these are motivating, must read quotes from the experts.

Keep A Diary by John Berendt

This is a fantastic *short* piece on how to turn a diary into a story. If you hear “diary” and immediately think of your little sister’s Hello Kitty notebook, this little quip is for you. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge advocate for blogging, but it’s certainly better to write for yourself than to not write at all!

Writing Your Story Could Be the Most Important Thing You Ever Do by Claire De Boer

Everyone should keep an account of their life story. If you’re anything like me, then this is a task which is difficult, especially if you plan on being consistent about it. I found Claire’s own experience in writing¬†her¬†story to be both useful with the technical details of writing a memoir, but also the the personal, roller coaster side of your story. ¬†This is something to read regardless of whether or not you have any plans for a book in your near future.

Facebook Basics

I am very very very glad I found this easy to read, simple, overview of Facebook for Business. Similar to everything else, Google has millions upon millions of “solutions” or “how to” suggestions. Obviously, I couldn’t read all of them and had to start somewhere. If you’re thinking about starting a page for your blog or book or business or whatever, it’s definitely worth a look into. With a whopping ’65’ likes, I’m not the best individual to model after, but I’m learning! I still have a lot of work cut out for me.

 

Before you go…

Read anything exceptional articles this week? If so, share below!

 

-Kayla

 

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Empty Shelf Book 15: Packing Light

Title: Packing Light

Author: Allison Vesterfelt

What’s it about:¬†One country singer, one blogger, one road trip, and whole lot of adventure.

Why did I read it:¬†I stumbled across Branden Harvey’s “Story Portrait” of Allison a while back. I think that was my initial introduction to this wonderful author. More recently, I noticed that I followed a lot of people on Twitter that were sort of in the same circle. ¬†Not long after that, I decided to follow her on Twitter and read her book. ¬†I absolutely loved it. She’s so raw and transparent.

Favorite idea:¬†“The problem with rules is that they don’t protect us like we think they do. Sometimes they don’t protect us because we don’t follow them, sometimes they don’t protect us because we become obsessed with them, and sometimes they don’t protect us because they were leading us in the wrong direction all along. Some rules are ill-advised, and we just keep following them blindly.”‘

Where you can buy it: Packing Light: Thoughts on Living Life with Less Baggage

Final thoughts:

I do hope you read this fantastic book, regardless of whether or not you enter the on Facebook. (Giveaway details can be found here).

-Kayla

 

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“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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Something for Sunday

Hey there! Here are some cool articles I read throughout the week. In case you missed  my first weekend reading list, just click the link. Enjoy!

How Can You Make Your Weekends More Awesome? by Eric Barker

Make the most of your weekend! This is an article full of great methods (backed by science) which just might help you to enjoy leisure time while not being completely lazy. Psst! With all good things comes some measure of hard work.

Happiness Is Not the Goal by Tyler Ward

I found this article on happiness very interesting. The idea that we spend so much time prioritizing happiness that we forget to be happy is intriguing. Key thought: Tyler writes, “The key to finding happiness is to not let it guide you. It’s electing a better, more meaningful guide in life that will create a reason to be happy.”

29 Ways to Stay Creative by TO-FU

This is a super cool 2 minute video. Got a creative block? Looking for some fresh ideas? Check this.

Creative Faith: Living and leading with an artist’s heart¬†by¬†Cole NeSmith

This is a longer read available at¬†Noise Trade, but if you have an hour or so, it is most definitely worth your time. I love NeSmith’s approach to creativity, faith, and how the two are intertwined.

 

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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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Empty Shelf Book 13: My Sister’s Keeper

Title:¬†My Sister’s Keeper

Author: Jodi Picoult

What’s it about:¬†A lot of things. Ethics, morals, family dynamics. But mostly two sisters who love each other a lot. ¬†Kate has ¬†acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). Her younger sister Anna, is her cure. She’s been a part of Kate’s treatment since birth. But now that she’s thirteen, she’s not so sure she wants to keep contributing to her sister’s well-being. You’ll have to read the book to discover how she navigates her way down this messy path.

Why did I read it:¬†First of all, I read this lovely novel because It’s been on my “To Read” list for years. Secondly, I love meaningful fiction. Picoult is a lovely writer and this book really tugs at your heart-strings.

Favorite idea: ¬†“It is so easy to think that the world revolves around you, but all you have to do is stare up at the sky to realize it isn’t that way at all.”

Where you can buy it: here.

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