Fiction

Dear 21 year-old Me,

This summer in your life is the most rocky. You are in a perpetual state of panic and stress, you feel almost electric under your skin, you feel like you are two steps away from exploding. The world is against you, and you are walking this world alone with tortoise-shell glasses perched atop your pretty little nose and five inch Louboutins under your feet.  Damn, you are so strong in your mindset and confident in your public presentation yet so fragile in the art of understanding yourself that it almost constitutes an acute oblivion. But you don’t know it.  Because you’re always right, and the world is wrong.  And everything in your life is somehow wrong at this point.  Everything is broken. Absolutely everything.

You are young, you are reckless, and most of all, you have lost: you have lost your job and I hate to break it to you, but you are about to lose the relationship that you’ve been frantically trying to save in a few weeks.  You are in what you consider to be hell on Earth: you are a 21 year-old precocious banker in San Francisco who is simultaneously trying to mend your failing two-year relationship.  Let’s be frank, you fucking hate San Francisco.  The thought of those two words sour in your mouth.  You hate it so much you commission a shirt at the beginning of your San Fran stint that declares this antipathy against the land flanked by the notorious Golden Gate bridge.  And then at your end of your summer you commission another shirt, this time somehow even more acerbic, in loopy cursive in the form of rope that underlines that hate.  I fucking hate San Francisco.  Your anathema is swelling and alive; you might as well compose a diatribe against it and submit it to the Los Angeles Times, because the seething emotion on that subject would compel someone to publish it.

But this summer is a turning point for better times, believe it or not.  And I know you won’t.  Twenty-five year old me has little sway over these deep-set thoughts in your mind -you wouldn’t take this advice even if it floated in a bottle right to you with a silk ribbon on it as you sat along the Santa Monica beach wondering where you went wrong.  You are exhausted, you are overwhelmed, you are slowly spiralling and you think this is just a lull but everybody else can see that you’re plummeting to rock-bottom.  So I won’t give you advice, because you won’t take it, but I’ll recount the lessons that you soon learn, in case that will prod you to see things differently.

Love finds you again.   The months after San Francisco are tough even though you put on a smile and laugh through it; you will become lost, you will become defeated.  But I promise that in a year, love finds you.  It starts right as San Francisco wraps up, surprisingly, with a text to a house party from an individual whose invitations you frequently decline.  But for some odd reason (or no reason at all), you decide to go this time. And there at that house party, you strike up a conversation with a stranger who is so different from you and profoundly bewilders you, and who just so happens to own a Tesla X that you were considering buying.  So he offers to take you for a test drive around the block, and in the following weeks, you keep thinking about the conversation and how kind and brilliant he is.  And when love finds you again, you’ll barely recognize yourself.  And that’s a good thing -it’s the perennial vestiges of growing up as you learn that a relationship takes work together, to ponder your long-term ambitions and the person you want to become, and learn that the act of challenging each other can be rewarding.  Not everything is a fight, Kayla, and that will be a lesson that takes so so so long for you to learn: not everything becomes won or lost.  You can only build or stop building.

Oh, and as some valuable advice, disclose that you broke your arm in Vietnam instead of lying about all injuries for two weeks out of embarrassment.

You are not invincible. There are so many days when you want to save the world, but you fall into bed thinking that you haven’t done enough.  Yet you’re completely exhausted and the guilt weighs incredibly heavy on yourself.  It’s okay to disappoint people, you know, especially yourself.  It’s okay to take a break even when people consider you to be their source of strength, and you don’t have to try to please others or impress them.  When a reporter tells you that you need to set a better example for young girls who want to follow into your footsteps, you will tell her that women aren’t perfect and that this is the way that you have decided to champion women’s representation in professional sports.  And even when you occasionally ponder whether or not this was the best answer, please know that there is no better answer in this unchartered territory; you are at the forefront, this cause’s inherent and unwilling leader, and you will make mistakes, but that’s a good thing.  We can’t always be the heroic feminists that we wished had been there when we were growing up,  and know that this doesn’t make you mediocre, this doesn’t make you apathetic, this doesn’t make you lazy.  It most of all doesn’t make you incompetent.  It makes you human.  So get some rest, kid.  You’ve got your heart in the right place, and I’m proud of what you have achieved even if it’s not the moon and more.

Cherish your years in hockey. It goes by in a blink of an eye, even if it doesn’t feel like it on the days that all your friends are posting pictures of their New York escapades, you’re sitting on your balcony alone facing the CN Tower and missing home.  And even though you laugh at me now about this, you get to play sports for a living and so few people get to say the same thing!  The friends and support network that you build in Toronto are indispensable and you don’t appreciate it until after you leave.  So go out with the boys for drinks and dinner more often, and savour the white and blue veraciously. It’s a surreal experience with its own set of challenges.

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how i know i will have made it

1. i fly first-class and don’t have to make budget compromises to do that

2. i get to swim in a bath house in budapest

3.  i experience cape town. i climb the tabletop mountains.

4. when people think of me, the first that comes to mind is kind

5. i show up in a magazine or newspaper in the society pages

6. if i get married, i plan a wedding that i’m proud of.

7. i sit in a sailboat and bask in the sunshine.

8. i read a book in martha’s vineyard.

9. i trespass on backyard beaches in the hamptons.

10. i master French.

11. i give a talk on any topic at a conference.

12. i forgive.

13. i fall in love at least once.

14. i learn from it at least once.

15. i read regularly.

16. i learn to be less bitter.

17. i become a source of strength for my friends.

18. i learn to dress well.

19. i remain healthy.

20. my family remains healthy to the best of my ability.

21. i am successful in my career, and become an icon in my field.

22.  i smile everyday about something that’s happening in my immediate life.

23. i take risks. i learn not to be so afraid of moving on, letting go.

24. my house is tastefully decorated

25. i help the environment.

26. i am confident in my decisions.

27. i am thoughtful in my direction.

28. and to be continued and to be refined….

what i wouldn’t give to tell you that this ends well,

to stuff some optimism in you in these trying times

to try your hand at something other than typing out heartbreak

arms across your chest preparing you for the blow.

what i wouldn’t give to tell you what i don’t know.

man, i don’t know.

god, i don’t know.

 

what i would give to not regret

what i would give to sleep soundly

to sleep early

to sleep with the promise of a new fresh day

to sleep without desperately hoping for a new fresh different day

to sleep knowing that you are out of my reach

but i won’t stop reaching for it anymore.

i’m sitting here with a warm fragrant candle beside me, the heater on, and a magazine huddle to my chest, and i am in the mood to write.

there was a strange boy in my dream, and i loved him. and maybe i have these dreams because of the book that i had just finished. maybe one day i will meet him. or maybe one day you’ll come back. and tell me where i went wrong and give me a second chance. it’s so much to ask, i know. but I’m trying to dream big.

sadness is aging me. and it’s difficult… i don’t know if this sadness is superficial. i just feel like i’m leading this ordinary life when i’m more than that. i feel like i could do better. i feel like i am invincible but haven’t dared to test that out.

there are so many words i have left unsaid, so how do i go collecting them now? they’ve fallen into the air, been carried away by breaths sucked in, and cries heard out loud. they are scattered and everywhere like the strands of hair that have left my head and now occupy these streets, these trees, this water, this world.

tell me how to find myself.

after olivia gatwood

I bought her book and absolutely loved it.  So I wanted to try my own fingers at crafting a poem, an ode. An ode for something about which I should feel ashamed.

This is an ode to falling in love too easily.

I want to write an ode to all the times
that my friends said I fall in love too easily.
Told me that love shouldn’t be held so loosely,
like a drunk New Years toast with a stranger,
like a genuine smile flashed at passerbys.

Michaela says that I am 24 and I should know better.
You are so young, she says,
why would you choose one so early
when you could browse so many more with the swipe of a finger?
Lynn says that I am a dreamer,
unrealistic in what boys this age want,
fantasising about a type of love that no longer exists.
And Rachel?
Well Rachel thinks I am pathetic,
because I try to find patterns in a world of entropy,
I want something to tell me this was meant to be.

But what Michaela, Lynn, and Rachel don’t get
is that some of us want to watch our own demise.
To ride bikes around the neighborhood in 2 km loops
thinking of everything and nothing at the same time.
To shed tears early to start the early onset
lines on our face that will undeniably appear with time.
We want to fall out of love
so that afterwards we understand what we have lost.

There is nothing quite like going on a walk alone
that never feels that lonely,
because every man in a plaid dress shirt reminds me of him,
the poster for that festival reminds me of his stories,
the cologne on the man in front of me reminds me of his scent,
the sound of playing frisbee at the park reminds me of his laugh,
and every loose shoelace is just another promise undone.

Halfway through this poem,
I realize this is no ode
to falling in love to easily.
Instead, this is an ode to falling in love with you.

And to tell my friends that they were right,
I was young,
I was a dreamer,
and you were everything I needed,
at the right time, at the right place,
to tell me that I had made a grave mistake.

Placing my heart in your palm
was a dangerous task
and I was a fool in flying colors.
And I was stupid, yes.
I could have saved myself months of grief.
I shouldn’t have ever fallen in love with you,
I didn’t have to be that naive.

But then where would this ode have been?
What’s a shoelace if it can’t be retied?
What’s a heart if it can’t keep beating?
What’s a memory if it never happened at all?

advice from jan 16, 2016

  1. Think about what value do you bring to others? as opposed to “what value does this person have for me?”
  2. look into what are THEY passionate about? And follow up about it!
  3. Never force relationships.
  4. Work hard at what I’m doing now
  5. Get recognized for being a hard worker and a good person.

ten things i learned this past week

1. in venting, i’m looking from strength not sympathy. i heard this from a woman standing in line behind me for the bus, and it resonated with me. and i find that i always feel guilty complaining about my life or disclosing something that has upset me, and for the longest time, i always felt like i had to follow up with a “i’m sorry for venting” disclaimer to my friends, when really, that small phrase puts everythign into perspective.  that woman looked uncannily like Jayme Dee and she seemed so wise, and I wish I had spoken to her more.

2. Travelling has made me more appreciative of my city and of my life. it’s not perfect… my life is not perfect. not at all and this fact has been a great source of my frustration. but i… I somehow learned to love what I have through my visit elsewhere.  That I am here, I have stability, I have a life I can carve here to make my own.  I don’t know if I want to stay here forever, but I know that right now, I need to live in the moment and appreciate it for what it is

3. Life has been a whirlwind and i’m finding it hard to fully understand it. and i have headstrong and maybe it’s a weakness but it’s also a strength. and i will plough through this adversity. maybe i won’t come out of this whole, but i’ll come out of it. and i will become resilient, i will repair myself, i will become stronger.

4. I don’t know how i ended up here in my life but i’m determined to get out of this hole and get to the top.  I am not complacent and not being happy with where you are in life is not necessarily some character flaw like all these hedonist viral articles on Facebook always hark.  I expect more from myself, I know I can do better.  And I won’t stand here enjoying this view when I know it could be more beautiful.  I will not settle.

5. I still haven’t figured him out. I still think about him despite the months that have passed.  And I’m not sure why I still care.  I have tried to find this… these answers… but to no avail. I miss him.  I am afraid of the person that I am when I think about him.  Is that odd? Is that scary?

6. Growing up and aging has been taking a toll.  It’s hard.  You can’t control it but you want to slow the hands of time, even reverse it sometimes.  Oh the things I could have told myself.  Oh the things I would have done differently.  I don’t regret anything you see, but there are so many things that I would have done differently.

7. This world does not accommodate American Dreams.  There is privilege unspoken and it permeates everything.

8. I want to write more. I love poetry. I wish I knew more formal teachings of poetry.

9. I want to travel yet I need to save money. And it’s funny how I haven’t seemed to navigate the lines of whether I value material things over experiences or the other way around.

10. The world loses some of its lustre as you get older.

2017 Book List

  1. The Sell-Out – probably the best book I will read in 2017 and it’s only March.  This book was hilarious and so poetic; I was laughing so hard reading it on my commute to work.  It also hit on some serious themes masked in its satire, which I really didn’t catch when I read it.  Like it was top of mind, but I wouldn’t make the connections until I went online and dug a bit further into what I was reading.  I would highly recommend it.  I think it has a powerful message about racism in America, how racism isn’t dead, how we don’t live in a post-racial society and will never do that if we dismiss race relations as a characteristic that has plagued American politics, history, geography, the development of cities, and identity.
  2. The Boy is Back – I think I’ve outgrown Meg Cabot at this point. I absolutely loved All-American Girl as a child, and still occasionally think about certain parts of the book nowadays.  But this book… I think I’m drawn to books like Dedication… this book wasn’t dedication. I found the love quite contrived; it could have been better if Cabot had described their young love more, made you understand why she loved him before. Because… 10 years and you’re still in love with your high school sweetheart? A bit of a stretch.  But I wonder if I’m drawn to this type of story because I’ve always wanted it to happen to me… like this feeling of redemption, of loss and separation that finally merges again through a chance encounter, and turns everything upside down.  I suppose I liked the ending in that I didn’t expect the reveal of who was the culprit behind the parents’ financial demise.
  3. We Could be Beautiful – I’m also drawn to Upper East Side books, although I really should stop frankly, only because the underlying message in all of them is that life is fancy but it isn’t that fun.  There is always this lingering loneliness that the protagonist has.  In this case, I think I learned more about how people can come into big fortunes… like $80,000 monthly deposits from someone’s will?  This is old money at its best.  I actually read the ending before I finished the book because I hate mysteries and want the conclusion, so I had a different perspective of the book as I read it.  I think there were certainly hints of William’s shadiness throughout and just how much he lied through his teeth. It made me wonder if I could discern people like this… basically a sociopath… if I encountered one.  I think I have good intuition especially when it comes to dangerous or uncomfortable situations.  And then I kept wondering if I was a high-functioning sociopath but it didn’t fully make sense, because I do occasionally have empathy and can express/feel anger quite acutely. Didn’t understand why they had to give him the money in the end just so he would “leave them alone”. Like she couldn’t call of the wedding and she could give him the baby? It was useless at that point.
  4. I’ll Give You the Sun – I really liked this. It made me cry. It made me think about young love, it made me think about we grow up and change, and how good people make bad decisions. I loved Noah’s imagination and the vivid colours he could see… his imagination was at times like mine, and I appreciated that.  I loved how a boy can make you rethink everything about yourself, make you overanalyze, make you fall in love… and I needed to hear that.  That when this had happened to me, I wasn’t the only one.  And I loved Jude. And Brian. And their Dad. And their Mom. It made me appreciate my family more. It made me realize that people change, that life is unfair, and it’s okay.  And you can’t hold it all in your palm… it will spill over like sand… but it happens. And it’s okay. It’s okay. I promise.
  5. Never Sometimes Always – Another Alsaid Adi book… I always like the idea of the book, and then when I actually read it, I realize why I dislike his books, which is exactly how I would describe his chronic case of manic pixie dream girl fixation.  Two girls fight over Dave, the oblivious boy-next-door type, and all he ever describes the girls are how untouchable and dreamy they are even though they’re imperfect.  The idea of the story… that two friends do everything that they’d forbidden themselves to do all of high school is so promising, but the execution is so gross that I cringe thinking back to it.  Some girl forgives Dave because he hooked up with another girl in front of her, and then when that girl realizes that Dave doesn’t truly love her, she says “he’s yours” and they’re both okay with it.  In what fucking world.
  6. The Conspiracy of Us – just give me the twist already!!  It’s promising but the way that the characters fall in love so quickly is not believable. I like the premise of this story.  Will continue to borrow this from the library.
  7. American War – About a black-Latina girl named Sarat whose status as a social outcast makes her susceptible for radical doctrine, and fuels her struggle to discern good from evil and absolute truth. She considers herself to be great through people who manipulate her along the way, and sees herself as the sole powerful saviour in the second American Civil War. I liked it… I liked that all the characters had depth and that you really sympathised with the complexity of family love, sacrifice, pride, hope, and hopelessness.
  8. The Unexpected Everything – About a girl with a single dad who is a well-known politician in DC, whose campaign is rocked by scandal and subsequently walks dogs for a summer job because she has an internship rescinded.  I ended up speed reading the end of it, because it was getting pretty boring. Wish they had discussed people’s outfits more, because I always find that to be a source of inspiration.  Interesting premise… a bit juvenile, but i like the overarching message that life doesn’t need to be planned out, and if you do that, you might miss out on the unexpected. Also I think the theme that things are always changing is good.  That change is hard, but you have to learn to embrace it.  But you can’t just move on too soon, that it takes time to adjust.
  9. The Way She Wears It (Dallas Shaw) – Apart from the thought that “does every white fashion illustrator write books or something?!”, I really liked this. I want to experiment with more colour, prints, and textures in my wardrobe. I want to start wearing more accessories like jewellery.
  10. The God of Small Things – So beautifully written and the most vivid imagery, like how dampness climbs into someone’s pants and makes a home.  Just so beautiful… and what a beautiful story. I like the way it’s told, and I was thinking of the symbolism, like the river and act of swimming across and against the current, and how this represents societal and cultural norms, which are corrected once Velutha dies and their family is split apart), and how Chacko’s broken planes are never the fault of the maker.  And I learned so much about Indian storytelling, myths, politics..
  11. Hotels of North America – I had to put this book down so many times, because I found it so intense and poignant, or more so due to the discomfort of reading about frustrations and thoughts that I’ve had myself… Even though this book chronicles the unraveling of an investment banker turned trader turned motivational speaker as he goes through a mid-life crisis and carefully reveals the undoings and yearnings of his life through hotel reviews, I found so many commonalities with my own trials and tribulations.  The book is about falling from grace, and how slow, painful, uneventful, yet so tiring this is, and how we lead lives that we find mundane and how we would want so much more, but we make compromises for other people, we desperately try to save our relationships.  How lonely we are sometimes.  How we are full of regrets that don’t dawn on you until it’s too late.  And it made me want to travel, made me want to stay in some dilapidated inn or hotel (not a motel, thank you), and bask in the hardships, in the cruel realities of American life, in forcing me to stare at myself in the mirror and wonder who I have become, where I am going, and what being in transit, staying at a hotel, means to me.  I think this book was more profound than what I could glean from it as a first pass.  It is so beautifully written and I am so glad I found this book.
  12. Always and Forever, Lara Jean – Lara Jean doesn’t get into UVA, her first choice school, and she is also having relationship problems with her boyfriend Peter.  I started to hate Lara Jean by the middle of the book because she is such a goody two-shoes and she’s not always right, but I guess that makes her human. She decides to head to UNC Chapel Hill in the end.  I liked the idea that not all advice is good advice; that maybe for other people, leaving for college with a boyfriend is a good thing, but for others, they could be the exception.
  13. Between the World and Me – I thought this was okay, but I think that my friend’s telling me that she stopped reading this because she found Ta-Nehisi Coates problematic did certainly colored my reading of this.  But I think it should still be read, regardless of how you feel about him, because people could (and do) change and I think as long as you have that lens on where you are cognizant of certain short-sightedness, then you can be an effective critic of this book.  The book is constructed as a letter to his young son, and recounts Coates’s life, his education, the people who have influenced him, and the murder of a friend/acquaintance that had propelled into his work in racial politics, police brutality, and identity.  You know, I think reading this book and then hearing about the KKK rally was great timing, because even though I don’t support the KKK in any way, I think they should have been allowed to protest in Charlottesville.
  14. Map of Fates (A Conspiracy of Us novel) – quick novel to read, and I like that it isn’t too easy of a read when it comes to vocabulary. I find Maggie Hall the author to be quite an intriguing person because she had done business school and then became a writer, and I really like the idea of switching careers, that nothing is stable, that everything can be in flux if you really want to toss it to the wind.  I think love triangles are overdone, so I wasn’t a big fan of Avery suddenly liking Stellan.  And it’s interesting to see where the book goes now that they know that their blood union releases a virus into the world.  And will also be cool to uncover the secret identity of Avery’s mom, who is actually part of the Circle.
  15. The Curated Closet – I skimmed this because the text was so boring. I liked skimming this because it helped me affirm that I am happy with the way I buy clothes though I should be more cognisant about buying things on sale.  And that I don’t want to do a capsule wardrobe because my wardrobe is not built like that haha.
  16. The Evening Road – I really liked this book! I found it on the Financial Time Summer Books recommendations, and this was just fantastic.  There was great writing (not as great as Hotels of North America) and the character development is exquisite.  I read this review of this book that pointed out that Laird employs a clever literary device to make the reader feel complicit with Ottie Lee, and I thought it was so brilliantly done.  You start to admire Ottie Lee because she is strong and assertive against the three alpha males that join her in their trek to the Marvel lynching, and so complex where you know she has so many regrets and how complicated her marriage is (that she married the boy that her rival liked just to spite her, and she genuinely loves him, but they have fallen out of love, and you wondder if Ottie ever truly loved him even if she sees them as a team in how they make ends meet), how people are not perfect and we shouldn’t give them a free pass when they do something terrible even if we think we love them (like Leander, like Bud, like Pops).  And the book doesn’t talk much about the actual lynching, and I think that is such a good stylistic device.  That the book is more about the life, revelations, and chaos that happens all around the town through these women’s stories.  And isn’t Calla Destry like Ottie Lee in so many ways?  She too is strong, won’t take any shit from the boys, and is seeking her own version of redemption.
  17. The Fall Guy – Really good suspense, but idk there was something about this book that i did not like but i can’t seem to put my finger on it. Premise is that this guy named Matthew is struggling financially, so his cousin Charlie who is a wealthy banker offers to host him for the summer. Matthew is in love with his wife Chloe although he’d never act on it, but he soon realizes that Chloe is having an affair and goes out of his way to confirm his suspicions.  In the end, he ends up killing the guy in a freak accident. I guess I didn’t really like the character of Chloe, and although the writing is decent, it moved so slow at certain parts.  And there were some parts that didn’t feel believable.
  18. And We’re Off – First of all, written by someone who recently graduated from college (what?!).  I didn’t really like it, but it certainly lives up to the hype that it’s a story as if the Gilmore Girls embark on a European adventure.  It was a fun book and I totally sympathized with the main character and just how ridiculous her mom was being following her around Europe, making her see the things that her mom wanted to see, and how she felt rather incompetent at her art camp.  I didn’t really like the story, because I didn’t like the main character and couldn’t relate to her… it was YA after all.
  19. The Hate U Give – absolutely stunning for a YA novel.  The characters had so much depth (the most depth of any YA novel I’ve read and I read a lot of those), and her voice was so raw and very realistic. You understand why she is outraged, and you realize how complex and loving her neighborhood is even though so many outsiders will dismiss it as “the projects” or the “ghetto” but this really shows you that it’s the people not the infrastructure that make a place a home.  And I think it’s so good for kids to read this book and understand what to do when someone dismisses racism, when someone expects you to take an insult as a joke, who has no respect for you.  Because friends aren’t forever and some people aren’t worth the effort staying friends with.
  20. The Ends of the World – Maggie Hall – part of the Conspiracy of Us trilogy. It was okay, I think Stellan’s character was burgeoning but then stopped short so that was disappointing. It’s interesting because I thought the author made their love believable as possible (barring the fact that she’s a 17 year old teenager who has met a guy for about a month).  I liked the plot and the twists, but wish there had been more hints about double agents etc because I think it made some of the twists seem very unbelievable. I think I liked how a girl saves the world, just like in The Passage. And I like how the love triangle is very brief and thing settle down because otherwise it would have been even more formulaic than it already was.
  21. Reservoir 13 – Beautiful, so serene, not the fastest read, but maybe I needed it.  I didn’t need it in a desperate, gasping-for-air way that some other books have rendered me, but I needed this.  This is a story about grief even if it is supposed to be about a girl who goes missing.  This is a story about how life moves, how things go in a circle, how they repeat, how they break off, how we fall apart, how we move on, how tragedy chips away at us when we arrogantly think that it hasn’t split us in two.  It’s a story of endings that don’t tie up, it’s a story of musings as endings.  It’s a story about how time flies by, how we cope, how we live, and how we die.
  22. Once and For All – Sarah Dessen – I liked this one better than Saint Anything. I think this book reminded me somewhat of The Truth About Forever, but the voice was refreshing enough that I enjoyed it.  I imagined Ambrose like Ansel Elgort, all sway and easy charm, which I could see could grate your nerves just a little bit. I liked how the book seemed to capture the voice of Generation Z so well, and I think I really liked Ambrose as a character. I think I see a lot of myself in Louna where she thinks that love comes once and that’s the only chance you get, that she’d rather be safe than sorry, that she would rather settle than take a dive where the stakes are high, that she has spent so much of her life consumed in grief and loss and feels that she needs to tip toe in order to truly move on.
  23. The Spider Network – Eye-opening, riveting, and so entertaining! What an awesome read! It breaks down the Libor scandal and focuses on the supposed ringmaster, Tom Hayes.  I respect how the book questioned Tom Hayes’ sentence, and poses the question of whether you as a reader think he should have been guilty.  It was a great read on how corruption and self-interest are endemic in finance, how small the world of finance really is, and how injustice is rampant and even prevails when a supposed mastermind banker goes to jail for 14 years.
  24. The Golden Passport – Great book, honestly.  I didn’t finish it though, but I did skim through all of it to read about its infamous graduates, its current President, the issues of sexism, the case for and against the case-learning method, and how the school refused to help the book’s author. The injustices that HBS has committed and just how corrupt and hypocritical the institution is left me exasperated and unwilling to finish the book.  I just… I have a lot going on in my life and the last thing I wanted to learn more about was this shitty school that lives in its own picturesque globe and expects everyone else to ogle it.

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That’s the problem with history, we like to think it’s a book—that we can turn the page and move the fuck on. But history isn’t the paper it’s printed on. It’s memory, and memory is time, emotions, and song. History is the things that stay with you.

Paul Beatty, The Sellout