Why is Crazy Rich Asians Important? Here are 5 Reasons to Read the Novel.

It’s already crushed tons of records over the last month, but Crazy Rich Asians shows no signs of slowing down its box office domination yet.

The mainstream rom-com has become the biggest summer hit in this genre since 2015. Why all the buzz? Why is Crazy Rich Asians important? Well, it’s significant for two reasons. In the first place, Crazy Rich Asians is the first Hollywood studio film with an all-Asian cast in over two decades.

Not to mention, it’s an opportunity for us regular folk to indulge in the lush, over-the-top fantasy lifestyle of the mega-rich.

How can you pass that up? It’s pure, fun escapism.

If you haven’t had a chance to catch the movie, go see it! Meanwhile, you should also check out the bestselling novel by Kevin Kwan. If you enjoyed the movie, you’ll love reading the books. Just be warned: they’re highly addictive.

If you aren’t familiar with the novel yet you probably want a little backstory, right?

The plot follows a young couple, Nick and Rachel. They’ve been dating for two years in the States, but Nick wants to bring Rachel to stay with his family in Singapore for the summer. When they arrive in Singapore, Rachel discovers her boyfriend is crazy rich.

Here are 5 reasons why you should read Crazy Rich Asians (and the rest of the trilogy).

 

1. RICH CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

There are a bazillion characters to keep track of in this book. But they’re highly entertaining! Nick comes from a huge family, but as you get further along in the book you start to recognize everyone by their personality and how they’re all connected.

The novel digs deeper into the character development–it really fills in those gaps that weren’t fleshed out in the movie. While I personally enjoy Nick and Rachel’s love story, his family members are what make the story hilarious.

 

2. YOU’LL GET SUCKED IN BY THE DRAMA

If you think your family is out there wait until you meet Nick Young’s circle of relatives. They’re unwelcoming toward Rachel, to say the least. Nick’s family believes she’s in it for the money– they refuse to accept her because she’s an American. This leads to a whole lot of drama and entertainment from everyone.

And if you have trouble keeping up with the zillion characters in his family? There’s a family tree to help you follow along.

 

3. PEEK INTO ANOTHER CULTURE

The author, Kevin Kwan, includes snippets of Malay language throughout the book. This is one reason why I highly recommend the print version of this novel: He offers translations via footnotes throughout the book. On the Kindle version, these notes can appear of out of order.

Not only is the book rich with language, but you get to look at another culture. One that I didn’t previously know much about. Crazy Rich Asians lets you imagine the beautiful landscapes, mouth-watering food, and designer clothing of the wealthy elite in Singapore.

 

4. RICH AND DESCRIPTIVE DETAILS

Crazy Rich Asians paints an impressive portrait of opulence and culture. Seriously, you’ll be dying to taste all of the food he describes. You can see the exotic, vivid landscapes come to life across the pages. The glitz of luxury makes this book the perfect escape.  

 

5. IT’S AN EASY AND LIGHTHEARTED READ

Whether you need a break from the whirlwind of school or just want to read something amusing, this novel is a breeze to get through. You could easily read this in a day. Between the fantasy and drama, I couldn’t put it down.

It’s perfect to take along as a vacation read or you can save it for a rainy Saturday. And once you finish? Trust me, you’ll have questions. It gets even better with the sequels, China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the movie while it’s still in theaters and grab a copy of the book today!

Why Are College Textbooks So Expensive?

Why Are College Textbooks So Expensive?

Are you sick of tired of paying hundreds of dollars for a textbook you might only crack open once all semester?

Yeah, I thought so.

We all know textbooks are expensive by now. That part doesn’t really come as a surprise to us anymore. On the other hand, that awareness still doesn’t ease the sticker shock of adding up your book costs for one semester.

So why DO textbooks cost a small fortune? Let’s find out.

 

Why Are College Textbooks So Expensive? 

According to the College Board, the average college student in a four-year program pays $1,250 per year on textbooks. That’s a serious obstacle for students who are already dealing with rising tuition costs.

Why Are College Textbooks So Expensive?

The American Enterprise Institute also investigated the rising prices of textbooks. They found that the cost of recreational books, like novels, has gone down.

While college textbooks have gone up nearly 200%. Who’s to blame? There are a number of factors.

 

College Professors Level of Awareness

Professors frequently assign book titles without considering how much the text cost the students…or how much their students will actually USE the books that semester.

It’s not that professors are out to get us. They just might not be aware of how expensive the book really is–or they don’t think about the price at all.

Book publishers pressure educators too. They have sales reps that come onto campus and push the latest edition, bundled with software. At the end of the day, you professor really has no reason to keep the costs of their book down.

In this case, we have to educate our professors as well.

Ask them at the beginning of the semester (or prior to the start of it) if you REALLY need the latest edition of the textbook–or if you can get through the semester with a used copy. Explain to them that you want to do well in their class but the cost of the textbook is holding you back.

 

Book Publishers Want Profits

Publishers play the main role in driving up book costs.

Did you know there are only 5 major book publishers that run the textbook market? That’s right, 80% of the market is controlled by these 5 textbook publishers.

And they’re hungry for profits. They bundle textbooks with software and unique codes that forces students to buy the latest edition.

These traditional publishers don’t make money off you purchasing used books–so they do everything in their power to make those older editions “out of date” and useless.

Why Are College Textbooks So Expensive?

Campus Bookstores Markup Retail Prices  

Your campus bookstore wants to make money too. Book publishers are hungry for profit…but so are universities.

Campus bookstores usually mark the retail price of a textbook up by 25-28%. Depending on how much your book costs, this markup can be significant. That means a $200 textbook becomes $250 at the bookstore.

Look closely at your college bookstore website. You’ll probably come across a pricing policy section that explains what their current markup is.

However, this isn’t to vilify your campus bookstore. It costs them money to run the bookstore–they have overhead like paying their employees. To be honest, many campus bookstores are owned by Barnes & Noble anyway.

 

It Depends on Your Field of Study

Information changes rapidly depending on what field you’re studying. If you’re in a field like medical or science? They’re constantly discovering new information and the textbooks have to be updated as a result.

However, if you’re studying a field like math, you’ll find the information doesn’t really change. With this in mind, you can most likely get away with an older textbook version.

 

Search via Textbook Nova

Fortunately, the internet is changing the textbook industry. Website search engines like ours–TextbookNova.com–can save you money.

Search for your assigned text via the ISBN. The ISBN is the bar-code number for the textbook; it should be 10 digits or 13 digits. Why is this so important? Well, it lets you know that you’re getting the right version/edition of the book.

Once you’ve the right textbook, you’ll see options for buying it full price, used, or renting it (usually the cheapest). If you want to go with a used edition, you can price compare multiple price range options based on the condition of the book.

 

What’s Next?

All in all, today’s textbook publishing model and the rising costs won’t last. It just isn’t sustainable. Open-sourced material is spreading online and the internet has given students far more options for price shopping.

The more we understand about why we’re paying so much for a textbook, the more can do to influence the current system.

 

7 Good Beach Reads for Summer 2018

7 Good Beach Reads for Summer 2018

Ready to escape the “real world” this summer?

Whether you’re prepping for your next beach vacation or headed to your friend’s backyard pool, nothing beats resting by the water with a good book in hand.

We’ve rounded up some brand new releases (and a couple of classics) to take along with you this year on summer vacation.

Let’s take a look at some of the best summer reads of all time.

 

1. The Perfect Couple – by Elin Hilderbrand

7 Good Beach Reads for Summer 2018

Elin Hilderbrandoften referred to as “The Queen of the Summer Beach Read”is releasing her latest novel just in time for your summer break this year.

The story starts out with your typical wedding season in Nantucket. But right before the ceremony starts? The soon-to-be bride is murdered and suddenly everyone in the wedding ceremony has become a potential suspect. Hilderbrand’s new book has it all, from mystery and suspense to romance.

 

2. The High Season – by Judy Blundell

7 Good Beach Reads for Summer 2018

Looking for a book full of laughs? Judy Blundell’s new release is packed with both drama and entertainment.

(If you’re an Elin Hilderbrand fan, you’ll probably enjoy unwinding with this book as well.)

The story follows Ruthie Beamish, a divorced mom with a house in the Hamptons. She rents her beach house to guests each summer so she can continue to afford her beloved home.

Meanwhile, a new guest arrives this year that threatens to steal Ruthie’s entire lifeincluding her friends, family, and ex-husband.

 

3. The High Tide Club – by Mary Kay Andrews

7 Good Beach Reads for Summer 2018

This book became an immediate New York Times bestseller when it was released last month.

Are you intrigued by scandal and tales from the glamorous era of dinner parties in the 1940s? You’ll definitely want to take this one along with you on your next trip. Nothing beats the fabulous stories from this bygone era.

Mary Kay Andrews is known for her great summer beach reads, and the story of Josephine Warrickthe eccentric 90-year-old heiressis no exception.

 

4. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine: A Novel – by Gail Honeyman

7 Good Beach Reads for Summer 2018

Eleanor Oliphant doesn’t care who it isshe doesn’t want to socialize with anyone.

And she’s perfectly okay with that.

The protagonist of Gail Honeyman’s novel is a relatable character for anyone who has ever felt like they’re the epitome of awkward moments or saying the wrong thing.

Reese Witherspoon is a huge fan of this one! You’ll notice she recommended the novel for her book club pick, but Reese loved it some much she’s planned to turn it into a major movie release.

 

6. When Life Gives You Lululemons – by Lauren Weisberger

7 Good Beach Reads for Summer 2018

Remember the hit The Devil Wears Prada? Lauren Weisberger authored the infamous book that became the wildly popular filming starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway.

She’s back this summer with her latest book…and it follows one of Lauren’s favorite characters from The Devil Wears Prada: ex-assistant Emily Charlton.

Emily has moved on from the world of Vogue to run a PR firm in Hollywood, but she’s run out of clients and needs to sign a new one. Fast. Except after she signs up to represent A-list supermodel Karolina, Emily discovers her latest client is full of shocking behavior and scandal.

 

7. Surprise Me – by Sophie Kinsella

7 Good Beach Reads for Summer 2018

Ever felt like you’ve been in a relationship rut? That’s what happens to Sylvie and Dan.

They’ve been married for 10 years when they start to realize their relationship has is sliding down the slippery slope of TOO comfortable territory.

Fearing they’re at the beginning of a boring marriage, Sylvie and Dan decide to start surprising each other. This light-hearted novel is packed with silliness and humoronce their little surprises start to backfire.

 

7. Tell Me Lies – by Carola Lovering

7 Good Beach Reads for Summer 2018
Excited to finally break free from the home where she grew up, Lucy Albright decides to embrace the wild rollercoaster ride of college life.

It’s everything she had been hoping for…but things quickly turn chaotic when she meets Stephen DeMarco.

They fall for each other fast. However, Lucy knows he’s hiding something. What could Stephen’s big secret be? You’ll have to take this book with you to find out.

Photo: by rawpixel

8 Essential Cookbooks for Busy People

8 Essential Cookbooks for Busy People

You’re busy.

We’re all busy.

And it’s tough to find the time to cook. Personally, the last thing I feel like doing after coming home from work is making a big dinner–but I do want to eat! And this often leads to takeout or convenience meals that probably aren’t that healthy….

(They’re probably not even that tasty to be perfectly honest.)

Wouldn’t it be great if you could cook a delicious dinner AND still have time left to enjoy the rest of your evening?

I’ve tested out recipes from multiple cookbooks in search of quick and healthy recipes that can fit into any lifestyle. Want to stop letting your busy schedule get in the way of cooking? Here are 8 must-have cookbooks for multiple healthy diets.

The Easy 5-Ingredient Ketogenic Diet Cookbook: Low-Carb, High-Fat Recipes for Busy People on the Keto Diet by Jen Fisch

8 Essential Cookbooks for Busy People

You’ve probably heard the keto diet is all the rage right now. Whether you’re already eating a low-fat, high-carb diet or you’re interested in trying it out, this cookbook is an excellent place to start.

I’ve tried the keto diet before, but I didn’t last long. It seemed too difficult and expensive to me. When I wanted to give it another shot this year I spent hours researching the internet. Nothing on the keto diet was consistent!

That’s why I recommend this essential  cookbook for easy healthy eating. The recipes I tried were all easy to execute and full of simple ingredients–meaning going keto doesn’t have to break the bank after all.

 

One Pan & Done: Hassle-Free Meals from the Oven to Your Table by Molly Gilbert

8 Essential Cookbooks for Busy People

Let’s face it. Cooking means cleaning up dishes…and that’s a chore most of us can’t stand doing. The less dishes, the better!

I’m constantly on the outlook for recipes that only need one dish. One-pan recipes are my personal favorite because they’re awesome for lazy, healthy home-cooking. Why? All you have to do is prep the food and wait while it transforms into a delicious meal inside your oven.

 

The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Easy and Wholesome Meals to Cook, Prep, Grab, and Go by Toby Amidor

8 Essential Cookbooks for Busy People

In a perfect world, we’d be able to prepare dinner every night. But we all have different schedules. Work, family, and other commitments seem to come first. If you know you don’t have the time or energy to fix food everyday, this is for you.

Meal prep recipes are the perfect meals on the go. This cookbook is jam-packed with useful meal prep advice. It includes: over 100 recipes for any meal, weekly grocery shopping lists, and instructions for freezing and reheating your prepared meals.

Those instructions turned out to be even more valuable than I thought. My first meal prep ended up with freezer burn and I spent forever microwaving a frozen dish…

Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck (Thug Kitchen Cookbooks) by Thug Kitchen

8 Essential Cookbooks for Busy People

The vegan Thug Kitchen cookbook hit the #1 spot in the New York Times Bestsellers back in 2014–and it continues to be wildly successful today.

This cookbook is accessible to everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner cook or a pro in the kitchen. Based on the popular Thug Kitchen blog, you’ll find mouth-watering recipes for the plant-based diet inside the cookbook. Even if you’re not vegan.

The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor by Gina Homolka

8 Essential Cookbooks for Busy People

If you follow food blogs at all, you’ve probably come across Skinnytaste. If you haven’t? Prepare to fall in love with this cookbook.

I’ve tried tons of recipes from her cookbook and not a single dish has been disappointing. Gina takes her favorite meals and “lightens” them up to make them healthier–but you’d never know it from the flavor.

She even has a recipe for chocolate brownies made from black beans. I was skeptical, but they were rich and yummy…with no hint of beans! My coworkers gobbled them up and were in disbelief when I confessed the primary ingredient was beans.

Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day by Leanne Brown

8 Essential Cookbooks for Busy People

Leanne Brown crafted this cookbook for people on a strict food budget. Namely, those who have to survive on food stamps for $4 per day. However, the book is a must-have for healthy food in ANY kitchen.

Whether you’re a college student, young adult, or feeding a family on a tight budget–this book will change your view on how to prepare healthy, flavorful meals. Even better? For every book purchased, one gets donated to a family in need.

The Simply Vegan Cookbook: Easy, Healthy, Fun, and Filling Plant-Based Recipes Anyone Can Cook by Dustin Harder

8 Essential Cookbooks for Busy People

Check out this excellent starter cookbook. It’s for both the new vegan and the longtime vegan who is looking to make a simple recipe. In fact, you don’t even need to be a vegan to enjoy the benefits of adding in a plant-based meal into your rotation.

Me? I’m not a vegan. But I do like to get extra veggies into my diet (and buying veggies can save a little money!) This simple vegan cookbook can be enjoyed by everyone.

The Whole30 Fast & Easy Cookbook: 150 Simply Delicious Everyday Recipes for Your Whole30 by Melissa Hartwig

8 Essential Cookbooks for Busy People

Look no further for healthy food recipes that you can get on the dinner table fast. Nearly all 150 recipes in this cookbook can be made in less than 30 minutes. The Whole30 diet can be time-consuming, which is why Melissa Hartwig set out to create this recipe guide. She made recipes where the ingredients are easy to find and quick to make.

The six best travel books

This may nоt be уоur typical list of travel books but these books inspired me to расk my bags and visit distant lаndѕ. Whеnеvеr you are in need of inspiration, you can pick any of these books uр аnd get mоtіvаtеd to travel and explore all over again!

Travels by Michael Crichton

The ассlаіmеd author chronicles his travels as a young student as he battled the mаnу сhаllеngеѕ travellers today don’t have to contend wіth. Hіѕ jоurnеу takes him up Kilimanjaro and around the world with both laughter and tears.

Eat, Pray, Lоvе bу Elizabeth Gilbert

Before it was an inspiring movie this was аn іnѕріrіng book. You can literally taste the delicious Italian food аnd fееl thе spirituality as the protagonist seeks “the meaning of life” on a jоurnеу through Italy, Indіа аnd Bаlі. The book hаѕ great descriptions of the foods she tries and the cultures ѕhе еnсоuntеrѕ.

 

Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson

This іѕ juѕt оnе оf Bill Bryson’s entertaining travel books. It’s one of those books whеrе уоu find yourself laughing out loud, even if you’re reading on the bus! The аuthоr has a hilarious sense of humor and always ѕееѕ the funnу ѕіdе of foreign cultures and sites. Anоthеr of Bryson’s great books іѕ Smаll Island which takes a quirky look at Britain.

The Sun Also Rises by Earnest Hemingway

I wonder hоw mаnу trаvеlеrѕ have gone to the Pamplona’s running of the bulls because of this book. I certainly would wаnt to. Hemingway’s classic tale of the bullfighting aficionados conjured up the ѕоundѕ, ѕmеllѕ and spirit of this unique Spanish festival.

The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux

Having bееn forced tо read Theroux’s The Mosquito Coast at university, which put me off ever trаvеllіng tо Cеntrаl America, I then discovered his other nоvеlѕ. Theroux travelled by train from the UK to Japan and his account of this jоurnеу became a сlаѕѕіс travel book. His 4 month trip took him on many of thе mоѕt famous rail routes in the world including the Trаnѕ-Sіbеrіаn Railway. He went on to write оthеr grеаt train journey books.

Babette’s Feast by Isak Dinesen

OK so thіѕ іѕn’t аn obvious travel book choice, as it focuses on food, but the setting and the dеlісіоuѕ Frеnсh fооd described in the book inspired me to visit Dеnmаrk. Bаbеttе arrives as a refugee in a remote village on Jutlаnd, Denmark. 14 уеаrѕ later she wins the lоttеrу and dесіdеѕ to spend all her winnings on preparing a French fеаѕt fоr the аuѕtеrе and modest community. Incredible French flavors and austere Danish lаndѕсареѕ ѕееm like a world away.