Stories from a South African comedian

Over the weekend I had the honor of seeing The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah participate in the Signature Lecture series at Michigan State University.

This lecture was such a great experience. Noah was interviewed by a professor at MSU and was asked questions about his experience as a black comedian, growing up during apartheid, and advice for students.

One of the questions he was asked was what differences he noticed between racism in South Africa and racism in America. He talked about how complex and structured racism in South Africa had to be because the minority was oppressing the majority there. However, the funniest and most serious thing he mentioned was comparing racism to McDonald’s. It’s mass-produced, everywhere, and they have the same “menu” with only some differences between regions.

In addition to the topics I mentioned above, Noah talked about how comedy is his tool and the world’s tool to process reality and tragedy. He talked about how comedians are the ones who question the government and society and how in oppressed societies, comedy is the first thing to be outlawed.

Not only did Noah have some really important things to say, but he was incredibly well-spoken. Listening to Trevor Noah made me really think about the topics he broached which led me to a lot of questioning.

I am so grateful I got this experience because Trevor Noah is incredibly funny and witty. He is smart, well-spoken, and seems like a truly good person.

Earlier this year I listened to his book in audio format and it was great. I highly suggest listening to his book, Born a Crime, because his narration adds a personal touch that you might not get with reading it. However, whatever format you consumer his book in, it is such a great read and you should definitely read/listen to what he has to say.

Books, books, and more books.

So I’m sure it comes as no surprise to hear that I have some pretty awful book buying habits. If I looked at my bank account and sorted by how much money I spent on books this year, it would be appalling… which is precisely why I don’t do that!

However, buying books is one thing that makes me incredibly happy. Holding a brand new book that holds an amazing story brings me an amount of joy that I don’t experience on a day to day basis. So, that is why I have some pretty terrible habits.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has this bad habit (raise your hand if you’re terrible about buying books!) and I try to cut back, but sometimes when I go on independent bookstore adventures I can’t help myself.

Last night my awesome, favorite friend, Alisa, took me to Schuler’s Books in East Lansing before we saw Trevor Noah give a lecture at Michigan State University. I was in absolute awe at how amazing this store was! It’s huge and full of new and used books galore. It has a really cute café with places to sit while you peruse their huge selection of books.

I love supporting independent bookstores. My absolute favorite is Literati in Ann Arbor. It’s a very cozy store which great recommendations and adorable old typewriter in the basement. They also have a really cute café next door to the shop. Literati also hosts a ton of live events with author signings and readings. It’s, honestly, the perfect place. If you ever find yourself in Ann Arbor, Michigan, you definitely need to visit Literati!

Some other independent bookstores everyone bibliophile should visit in their lifetime are Strand and Powell’s. Both of these stores are HUGE and are such a good place to visit if you ever find yourself in New York or Portland.

And, finally, let me tell you about the books I got! I went in with one book I had to buy and left with four… that’s the power of an amazing independent bookstore.

The first book (the one I had to buy), was Heather, the Totality by Matthew Weiner. Matthew Weiner is the creator of Mad Men and that is one of my favorite shows so when I found out he wrote a book, I had to get my hands on it! This book is pretty short (only 144 pages) so I’m expecting it to be a very quick read and am excited to get into it.

The second book I found in Schuler’s used books section. It was a hardcover copy of Friend Request by Laura Marshall. I had been going back and forth on this book for quite some time since I’m usually hesitant about thrillers, but finding the hardcover of this for more than half off definitely helped me make up my mind!

Second to last book was a signed copy of There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins. I’ve been seeing some pretty great reviews of this one on bookstagram so when I saw Schuler’s had a signed copy, I had to grab it! I love signed books and have been dying to read this one.

The final book I grabbed was Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I am so excited about this book because I’ve heard nothing but good reviews on it and the format of this book is so fun. I love books that include diagrams and pictures and documents in them to enhance the story. I think this one will make an appearance on my December TBR list!

What do you guys think about my haul? Read any of them? Got an recommendations of independent bookstores I should check out? Let me know in the comments!

Gotta get down on Friday… or maybe just curl up with a book.

After my Thursday, I am so grateful for how my Friday turned out. It was a calmer day at work and I ended up working from home in the afternoon so I could sign for a package I was waiting very patiently for.

Working from home is always great because I get to wear comfortable clothes and spend time with my dog (she’s incredible, by the way). I also just feel a lot more comfortable on my own than I my desk (#justintrovertthings). All of my fun work stories aside, I found today really relaxing.

My package did arrive safely and I’m now the proud owner of an iPhone X! Yes, I am typing on it right now and it’s glorious. My old phone was giving me so many problems (from my battery draining too quick to that really fun “I” glitch) so I decided to upgrade. The screen on the X is my favorite thing. It’s huge and will be great for reading ebooks.

Next positive thing about today is that my boyfriend and I saw Murder on the Orient Express tonight. It’s always really fun to go out with him and I was really excited about this movie. It was good, definitely worth a watch if you like mysteries!

The most exciting thing about today though is that the picture above was shared on an Instagram account that features pets and Book of the Month Club books. Scout gave me the hardest time with this picture, but she always manages to look the cutest. I thought that was pretty cool that it was shared, but then they credited me a free book to my BOTM account! This means next month I can get two books for the price of one. It’s a book lovers dream!

Free books, a new phone, and a date night? What a happy Friday.

For the rest of the night I’m going to bury myself in An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson. It’s my current read and it’s quite a bit of fun. Rook is a little terrifying, but I have a huge crush on him. Click here to read more about the book!

I hope everyone had happy Friday’s and is reading something great! Tell me about all of it in the comments.

My dog is cruel (not really).

The best and worst thing your pet can do to you is make you comfortable during the work week.

This morning was so hard because my dog was cuddled up next to me which made me warm and comfortable. This led to me not wanting to get up for work and being very sad when I finally had to get up. Don’t get me wrong, I love cuddling with my dog. It’s probably the time I’m at my happiest, but having to leave is painful. It was even more painful because my boyfriend gets to hang out with her all day since today was his day off.

Today has been a crazy day at work. From a presentation to technical issues with our automated email programs, I’ve been running mental laps all day. Not to mention I had to deal with airport traffic so my sister could visit my mom and her future school in Memphis. This crazy day is making me really look forward to when I can go home, put on some pajamas, and get back in bed with my dog to relax.

I’d really like to finish the book I’m reading right now (What the Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel of Cosmic Horror by David Wong) because it’s hilarious and I want to get to a good start on this month of reading. I’ve loved this series (John Dies at the End) quite a bit. David Wong writes some of the most bizarre books I’ve ever read, but they’re also some of the most interesting books I’ve read. He has a very smart sense of humor and does a great job of making his characters come to life. If you like funny, sci-fi books, Wong’s books are definitely for you!

I’m also currently reading The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane since I received an electronic ARC from the published Skyscape and Two Lions through NetGalley for review. It’s pretty good so far! This book follows the story of Clementine Haas, who finds herself with a case of complete case of amnesia from a plane crash that she is the sole survivor of. Clementine feels lost and in exchange for her forgotten life begins a new one with a complete stranger, Kieran O’Connell.

I’m really looking forward to finishing both of the books and letting you guys know all about how they are and how you should probably read them, but for now… I have to get back to my day at work and hopefully finish it without going crazy.