I am a graphic designer, originally from Orlando, Florida. In late 2007 I moved to Richmond, Virginia where I work remotely for an Orlando based company.
In late 2009 early 2010 I started living a more healthy life by exercising and counting calories. So far, I have lost over 180 pounds.
so I ran almost 8 miles in almost mud run conditions today… this was not the original plan… that’s just what happens when you think you are on one trail and actually are somewhere completely uncharted by google… it was fun though!
have you ever had that ”I really want to write a memoir about how I lost 180lbs but have no idea how to start something like that…” kind of feelings?
Book: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
Author: Cain, Susan
Reason it made the list: As someone who leans pretty heavy on the introverted side of the scale, by the end, this book became an anthem of sorts. I often found myself nodding my head in agreement with an audible “yes!” at random moments throughout the book.
Favorite Quote: “There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”
Other Notes: If you have a spare 20 minutes I also highly recommend Susan’s TED talk linked here.
Book: The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Author: Selznick, Brian
Reason it made the list: This book is such a work of genius. Integrating both beautifully written literature and pages of gorgeous visual art that read like storyboards this book blends two of my favorite things.
Favorite Quote: “Even if all the clocks in the station break down, thought Hugo, time won’t stop. Not even if you really want it to. Like now.”
Book: Let the Great World Spin
Author: McCann, Colum
Reason it made the list: I picked this book up really out of my intrigue over the Philippe Petit, the real life tightrope walker who walked between The Twin Towers in the 1974. The book has little about Petit himself but the event was more used as a tool to tie multiple stories into one beautiful piece of literature. I am not known for being the fastest reader, but this book took me even longer to read than normal because I found myself rereading entire sections for the fun of it.
Favorite Quote: “…in the real world, when he looked closely into the darkness he might find the presence of light, damaged and bruised, but a little light all the same. He wanted, quite simply, for the world to be a better place, and he was in the bait of hoping for it. Out of that came some sort of triumph that went beyond theological proof, a cause for optimism against all the evidence.”
Book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Author: Rowling, J.K.
Reason it made the list: I know. I know. I am behind the times, right? As an adult, one regret I have is that I didn’t enjoy reading until I was in late high school so I missed the opportunity to grow up with the Harry Potter books like so many of my peers were able to. And then, being contrary by nature, I thought I was too “cool” to read that “pulp-fiction.” I know now that I couldn’t have been more wrong. At the end of 2011 my wife and I started reading the series together and within the first couple chapters of the first book it was clear that J.K. Rowling really did a brilliant job creating a wondrous world for us to enjoy and explore. Deathly Hallows tied the entire series together quite nicely.
Favorite Quote: “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and above all, those who live without love.”
Other Notes: Since my wife and I read this together, we often listened to the audiobooks while reading along with our own separate library copies of the book. There are two versions—that I know of—the British version read by Stephen Fry and the American version read by Jim Dale. While I am a huge Stephen Fry fan and loved his reading of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I can only account for the Jim Dale version. I am sure both are magnificent, but I can only speak from personal experience that Jim Dale’s reading was very enjoyable!
Book: Catching Fire
Author: Collins, Suzanne
Reason it made the list: Again, I realize how “behind the times” I am but Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Game series is quickly becoming another one of my favorites. Plain and simple it is beautifully written, engaging and a great satire that will keep you thinking for weeks. As I type I can’t help but calculate how many pages I have left of my current book so that I can dive into reading the last book of this series.
Favorite Quote: “I’d like to walk away too, but she grips my hand so tightly I would have to pry off her fingers, and I don’t have the strength for that kind of cruelty.”
Other Notes: While not a substitute by any means, I must say that the first Hunger Games movie was one of the best book-to-movie transitions.
Book: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Author: Bradley, Alan
Reason it made the list: Ok, so to be honest this one is cheating. As of when this was written I have yet to have fully completed this book but it was nearly impossible for me to leave this one off the list. The first in the series told by the perspective of a charming, insightful, and chemistry obsessed eleven-year-old girl (Flavia de Luce), this book is a light hearted and witty read.
Favorite Quote: “If there is a thing I truly despise, it is being addressed as dearie. When I write my magnum opus, A Treatise Upon All Poison, and come to Cyanide, I am going to put under Uses the phrase Particularly efficacious in the cure of those who call one Dearie.”
So I am working in the office today instead of at my home office. There is a life size cut out of Legolas from Lord of the Rings on top of the desk in the far corner of the room. His eyes line up to where they are constantly watching me. I feel as though if I spend too much time on facebook or tumblr today I can expect arrows to start flying in my direction.