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Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Road to Success

My entire life, one thing has been drilled into my head - get an education and you can succeed.

I personally believe that taking advantage of any and all opportunities to make yourself a more intelligent person is the best way to give yourself the tools for success. Therefore, today I'm going to share one of the best ways to make yourself smarter while enjoying yourself - read.

























Do it often, and find books that challenge you and make you question what you believe.

In my opinion, there are handful of books that everyone needs to be somewhat familiar with and be comfortable talking about due to their heavy references in today's society. For example, there was an entire episode of Modern Family that was a parody of The Godfather, and had I not been familiar with the story, I would have never picked up on it.

The first book that I feel is mandatory to be familiar with is The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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That notorious red "A" is commonly seen today, and in my opinion the "A" on ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars" is a reference to this novel.

The second book is The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

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Last week, my brother had a friend stay at our house for spring break. When he left, my dad immediately said, "He's just like Holden Caulfield!"

My mom looked at him and said, "Who?" After we both explained, she ran upstairs to grab my copy and now she's almost done with the book (WTG, mom!). Plus, in terms of being an actual good story, not just a literary classic, this is one of my favorites.

The final book is Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

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Now, before you cringe and run away (believe me, I did), hear me out. I hated this book when I read it. Absolutely hated it.

I was bored and confused, and had no idea what was going on. But, after sitting through almost two months of class on it (yes, we spent almost two months on it in AP Lit. That's how much is going on in this book), I was absolutely amazed at how much I had missed. There are so many modern references to it (like this Audi commercial) that I can now understand because of reading this book. Plus, any adult today will be automatically impressed if you have read and are able to discuss Moby Dick.
I find that as I get older, more adults are surprised when people my age still read difficult literature. I'll admit that I really only read this stuff when I'm asked to (aka, school), but it has actually helped a lot outside of school so far.

Last week I even held a conversation with my esthetician about The Scarlet Letter about the role of Pearl (Hester's daughter) in the book because she was playing Hester in a local play. I call getting my eyebrows waxed while brushing up on my American literature some awesome multitasking, no?

There will be more posts on this topic to come! Again, these are personal opinions of mine, and by no means dictate whether you or someone you know is successful or not if they have or have not read these books; they are simply personal recommendations based on my experiences.

xx, Victoria
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Thoughts? I want to read them!
xx, Victoria