The Pursuit of Life

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Life on the Road | June Digest

Olympic Marmot, Olympic National Park, Hurricane Ridge, Washington

Hey Marmot, you’ve got something in your teeth! ūüėČ

¬†How on Earth is it July already?! ¬†We‚Äôve been on the road for 4 months now, and still loving every minute ‚Ķ okay maybe not loving it when the rain‚Äôs been pouring on us for a bit, but we will take some rain if it means lovely waterfalls, rainbows and bright sunny days come afterwards! ¬†We are now embarking on the part of the trip that I have eagerly anticipated the most –¬†Alaska!¬† But for now, here is the tally of facts and figures from the last month –¬†June 10th through July 10th:

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Jon Krakauer, Missoula book

When an individual is raped in this country, more than 90 percent of the time the rapist gets away with the crime. ¬†With the current discussion about sexual assault, punishment (or lack thereof), privilege and college campuses, especially in light of the recent appallingly weak sentencing of the Stanford swimmer who raped an unconscious woman on campus, this is a book that should be at the very top¬†of everyone’s reading list. ¬†I hadn’t heard of¬†Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town when it was published in 2015, but in following the Stanford rapist case I read a quote by Jon Krakauer, one of my favorite authors, and wondered why they would be interviewing him for this story. ¬†And then I discovered his book and thought I’ve got to read this, it’s so relevant right now and he’s a great investigative author.

Missoula is a non-fiction book that discusses sexual assaults that occurred between 2010 and 2012 at the University of Montana, a huge, public, football-obsessed university (not unlike the University of Florida, where I went to school) located in the small town of Missoula, Montana. ¬†Krakauer investigates these sexual assaults and the responses to them by the police department, the university, the county attorney’s office and the public. ¬†And he paints a disturbing picture that is unfortunately probably not an outlier in the way that sexual assaults are handled in college towns, and¬†one can only imagine¬†in other facets of society as well.

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Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Emperor of All Maladies is a book that should be on everyone’s shelf. ¬†Sure, it’s a long one, non-fiction and filled with pages and pages of text about a pretty scary thing that we will all encounter: cancer, the Big C. Scary as it may be, we should all understand so big a foe – the whole bit about knowing your enemy certainly applies here. ¬†This book is a wonderful roadmap to understanding the enemy – it is written with knowledge as well as empathy and describes an extremely complex, oftentimes unfathomable disease in about as layman’s terms as possible. ¬†Most importantly, The Emperor of All Maladies¬†is extremely informative,¬†but also humanistic and relatable. ¬†With one in two men and one in three women bound to personally hear a diagnosis of cancer in their lifetimes in the United States, of course we can all relate. ¬†This is something that we will all experience, so pay attention people!

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the pursuit of | a life fully lived



People often talk about living life to the fullest. ¬†It’s one of those phrases thrown around casually and nonchalantly, a generic mantra to live by. I have lately been thinking about what it really means to have a life fully lived. ¬†Perhaps it’s the new year, or the alarming number of friends who have loved ones with newly discovered illnesses this month, or just a time of transition for me. ¬†Whatever it is, it’s been weighing on my mind.

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The Pursuit of a Good Book | The Martian


I’ve just finished¬†The Martian, by Andy Weir. ¬†I’ve started another book club. ¬†It’s an addiction. ¬†I love to read and to talk to my friends and so book clubs are really my jam. ¬†When work permits, of course. ¬†This new book club has only has two members so far – me and one of my¬†smart, funny coworkers who loves the nerdy books that I do. ¬†We are being selective in our membership. ¬†One of the most important factors to consider when contemplating joining or forming a book club is the kinds of books the other members like to read. ¬†One ill-fated book club years ago with a friend (who shall not be named to protect her street cred) chose as the inaugural book Sweet Valley Confidential, which is a sequel ten years after the Sweet Valley High books ended.¬†¬†And that was the beginning and the very quick end of that book club. ¬†I’m looking for a little bit more substance, a little less silliness. ¬†So we decided to start with¬†The Beak of the Finch and¬†follow it with¬†The Martian. ¬†I’m about halfway through the Beak. ¬†That’s a kinda dry, super factual, interesting but not page-turning book about Darwin and Natural Selection.

The Martian, by Andy Weir, however, I finished in a weekend.  A friend let me borrow it and I devoured it page by page.  It is a story of an astronaut stranded on Mars and his struggle to survive.  I came THISCLOSE about 50 times to flipping to the back to find out what happens to him in the end.

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The Pursuit of a Good Book: The Girl on the Train

Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.

‚ÄďFrederick Douglass

I love to read. ¬†It is my favorite activity and has been for as long as I can remember. ¬†I love books of all genres – fiction, nonfiction – as long as it’s well written and covers an interesting topic, I’m in love. ¬†I have found that personal recommendations are the best way to form a reading list and pick up a new book. ¬†There are¬†certain friends in my life who without fail recommend wonderful reads and so when they mention that they enjoyed a particular book, I immediately go find it. ¬†On the other hand, I have sometimes been seriously let down by books that I picked up simply because they were on the NYT Bestseller List or recommended on the Amazon Kindle list of bestsellers (ahem, 50 Shades). ¬†I have definitely learned that just because a book is on display at the bookstore does not mean you’ll love it. ¬†Or like it. Or even want to finish it.

So when I’ve read a book that I love, I tell everyone about it – whether they want to hear it or not – I just can’t help myself. ¬†And so on here the blog I’ll be sharing from time to time some thoughts on books that I’ve read recently or not so recently, and perhaps these personal recommendations will be of use to you.

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