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English Reading Reflection #4

During this period of 4 months (October 2020 to February 2021), I have read a total of 5 works of fiction for English. These 5 works of fiction are If I Die Before I Wake, An Abundance of Katherines, When Breath Becomes Air, Fangirl (which I abandoned), and 15:17 To Paris.

Out of these 5 novels, When Breath Became Air had the most impact on me because the story focuses on a man who struggles with living and continuing his life while having cancer, and uses his limited time left on Earth to reflect on living and do the most. My grandfather had also struggled with cancer and suddenly passed away last year, and that had a huge impact on me. Also, when the man reflected on about his life, it made me think about my own. I used to think the time I had was unlimited, however, I now realized that you never know what might happen, and I should use the most of my time using all the resources I have access to, to make an impact on this planet.

The story that contained the most creative use of language was If I Die Before I Wake. This story focuses on a man who fell into a coma because of a climbing accident, and the story is from his perspective. If I Die Before I Wake uses a lot of imagery to help explain to someone, who’s never been in a coma, to understand how it feels to be in a coma. This story also uses some confusing, urgent type of diction to represent the feeling the main character had during his coma.

Out of the 5 works of fiction I have read so far, When Breath Becomes Air might be the most useful work of fiction for me to write a literary essay on because When Breath Becomes Air has had the most impact on me, and has a meaningful interpretation. Using the interpretation I have on When Breath Becomes Air and the impact it had on me, I believe When Breath Becomes Air is the best work of fiction for me to write a literay essay on.

I am currently reading 1984 by George Orwell, a well-known dystopian novel. This book is challenging for me because there is some advanced vocabulary, and the topics talked about may be controversial and hard to understand and interpret, however I will still try to continue to read 1984 because since this book proves to be a challenge for me, I would like to try and read more advanced books to expand my vocabulary and explore new genres of stories.

Start of 2021 Reading Reflection

Since October 2020, I have read 4 books so far – If I Die Before I Wake, An Abundance of Katherines, When Breath Becomes Air and Fangirl. I have finished all 3 books except for the last book ‘Fangirl,’ which I abandoned on page 191 because there were some parts in the story where the main character reads her own fanfiction, and it wasn’t interesting for me to read. I also abandoned the book because I did not like a few of the characters’ personalities, which was bothering me.

My overall impression of these 4 novels is that they are all written in extreme detail, and these four novels all mention some sort of sensitive topics that might people uncomfortable. For example, in the novel ‘If I Die Before I Wake’, there is mention of death and other triggering topics , and that might make someone uncomfortable. I would suggest for readers should stay careful.

Out of these 4 novels, I liked When Breath Becomes Air the most. The story follows the life of a neurosurgeon struggling with lung cancer. The main character and the author himself, Paul Kalanithi questions life, death, and everything between them, and as a neurosurgeon himself, he tries to explain his own disease to the readers. After reading the book, I realized that I cannot take life for granted, as you never know what might happen the next day, the same as how Paul didn’t realize how quickly lung cancer was spreading. The story showed me how dying people might look at life and struggle along the way. Overall, I would recommend When Breath Becomes Air, and I hope other readers get to seek inspiration from this novel also.

If I Die Before I Wake – Reflection

If I Die Before I Wake, written by Emily Koch, is a realistic fiction story that talks about a man, Alex, who is in a coma from falling while climbing and has to try to figure out what caused him to fall and try to protect his loved family and friends. The story is mostly set in the hospital, where Alex resides. Since this story is written in first person (Alex’s point of view), you only understand what Alex’s thoughts and experiences are. The author has made the main characters believable by letting us read their thoughts and using extreme details to make it seem as though the reader was in the same room as the characters.

Throughout the story, Alex often mentions that he regrets doing this certain activity with his loved ones, or taking delicious food for granted. This has made me think about how I sometimes may be taking life for granted, how I need to stop procrastinating doing one thing I’ve been wanted to do for a long time but keep on putting it off, or how I need to stop taking my privilege for granted. Also, at one point in the story, Alex talks about how he wishes he was nicer to his sister and listened to her more. Their relationship reminds me of my relationship with my siblings, and how sometimes they may seem annoying. Since I am the oldest sibling, I should act as a better role model and sibling towards them.

I would definitely recommend this book to other readers; however, this story touches on sensitive topics, for example:  kidnapping, stalking, medical subjects, and sexual desires. Otherwise, this story is very emotional, and it really makes you think about life and not how everything is as simple as it seems.

Vegan Cheese Omelette – Food Chemistry

My design challenge wanted me to make an omelette using a recipe that doesn’t have dairy. I used a vegan cheese recipe to use instead of normal cheese. The similarity between the two omelettes were that the omelette part was the same since I didn’t change the omelette. The difference was the cheese, the normal cheese was solid so I could put it in the omelette but my vegan cheese was liquid and I couldn’t put it in my omelette. There weren’t any different chemical changes, however a physical change was that the omelette tasted different. The vegan cheese omelette was more sour.

The design challenge also asked for the meal to be able to be pre-made and re-heated. Since the vegan cheese is liquid, the cheese could just be put into a container. The omelette could just be reheated like normal.

If I could change something about my new recipe, I would try to find another vegan cheese recipe that tastes less sour and isn’t that liquidy.

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