The Unpretentious Reader

Monthly Archive: March 2016

5 apps I’m loving

And just like that, March is halfway over. I didn’t mean to let so much time pass between blogging, but it just sort of happened. While I wasn’t blogging, I did read Carry On and ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. I’d say it was different than anything Rainbow Rowell has ever written, but in a really good way. I can’t wait to see what she writes next!

This post, however, isn’t about books (GASP). I just wanted to pop in and talk about a few apps I’ve been really digging lately!

 

1. Poshmark

Poshmark

My friend Olivia turned me on to this app and I’m officially obsessed. Poshmark provides a way for people (mostly women, let’s be real) to sell new or used clothing, shoes, accessories, handbags, etc. They take a small percentage off the top of anything you sell, and if you’re buying, you pay a flat $6 shipping rate which isn’t terrible when you’re getting a pair of $15 Franco Sarto heels, NOT THAT I WOULD KNOW. I decided to start selling some of my own clothes and shoes that have just been collecting dust so I can feed my shoe habit. It’s a really cool way to pare down your closet, make a little money on the side, and buy gently used (or even new) stuff from other sellers at a huge discount.

If you’re interested in joining, sign up with the promo code JKZAW and you’ll get a $10 credit to immediately purchase something!

 

2. Agar.io

Agar.io

This app was a total product placement on the latest season of House of Cards but I don’t care. It is super fun and addicting, albeit a little stressful. I play it in short bursts, and it’s not the type of game you can look away from, so playing and watching TV doesn’t work well. Basically, you start out as this tiny circle, and you eat all of those colored dots to grow bigger. The bigger you grow, the slower you move. As you get bigger, you can start to eat other bigger circles (which are actually other players) and so on. Really fun game – but I would suggest only playing when you’re connected to wi-fi. The few times I’ve tried to play without wi-fi have been sluggish/laggy because there are so many other players connected.

 

3. Afterlight

Afterlight

Everyone has their favorite photo editing app, and mine is Afterlight. I love this app and use it for 99% of my iPhone photos. It’s easy to use and has a ton of filters, but my favorite part is the actual photo editing tools it also provides – things like adjusting contrast, saturation, high/mid/low tones, clarity, and more. It easily connects with your social accounts so you can upload straight from the app, or save the image to post later. I know there are a ton of good photo editing apps out there, and I’ve used a number of them – but Afterlight continues to be my favorite.

 

4. Audible

audible2

This is more of a service I’m loving rather than just the app, but whatever. My blog my rules. I signed up for Audible recently, which if you’ve been living in a cave and don’t know, is an audiobook-listening service by Amazon. I’m not sure if I’ll keep it long-term (it’s a teeny bit pricey) but for right now it’s been really great. The app remembers the place where you stopped listening last, even if you close the app or open from the web application. The sound quality is great, and browsing available book titles to purchase is really easy – but the one downside is that you can’t actually purchase audiobooks within the app. I have no idea why, but I find this so annoying! They do make it fairly easy to purchase a book on Audible’s site, though, and downloading the purchase to the app is pretty seamless.

 

5. Snapchat

snapchat

Yeah, yeah, I know. Snapchat isn’t new. But I’ve been really digging it lately! I follow some friends plus a few bloggers, and I especially love the story feature. It’s a fun way to share snippets of your day with friends (stuff I wouldn’t deem “important enough” to post on Instagram, necessarily, but still want to share with people). There are so many creative ways to use the tool, though, in addition to just sharing random stuff with friends. I’ve seen people use it to do quick and dirty product reviews, or “report on” something that’s happening to them or around them live, or whatever. It’s fun!

If you’re on Snapchat, you can find me by searching the username “emilylikestacos” OR by opening the app to the camera and scanning my snapcode:

Snapcode

Book review: Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town

Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town

Premise

Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild, Under the Banner of Heaven) meticulously reports on a number of sexual assaults that occurred at the University of Montana over a period of 5-ish years, and focuses on how the cases were handled both in court and by the city’s attorneys and police force. Nonfiction told in narrative-style, Missoula is both eye-opening and sobering.

Thoughts

Everyone should read this book.

I repeat – everyone should read this book.

Because what happened in Missoula, Montana is not an anomaly. It’s the city Krakauer chose to write about, sure, but rape is an epidemic happening nationwide. Krakauer cites study after study, statistic after statistic, leaving the reader with just one thought: “How could anyone NOT see this problem? How could anyone deny this is happening?”

The author explores the many common misconceptions about rape and its victims, and casts light on the fact that rape cases are simply not treated the same as any other case. Rape victims are asked questions such as, “Do you have a boyfriend?…because sometimes we get girls who have cheated on their boyfriends and don’t want to admit it.” I kid you not.

The reality is, false rape allegations make up 10% or less of total allegations. Meanwhile, a whopping 80% of rapes are estimated to go unreported to police. 80%. Krakauer explores this phenomenon, and provides example after example of why victims might choose not to go to police. At one point, he cites a study where participants were asked varying questions, and I can’t remember the exact details, but basically a number of young men ended up self-identifying as rapists without even realizing it. In other words, you could’ve asked these men if they had ever or would ever rape another person, and they would have answered noeven though their survey answers indicated otherwise. That is terrifying.

The overwhelming message Missoula sends is that we MUST do better as a society. We must advocate for victims, we must default to believing victims until proven otherwise, and we must protest laws that destroy what little progress has been made. Even my own state is about to vote on a bill that would limit the role of victim advocates in sexual assault cases. Why? I have no idea.

Missoula is essential reading. It’s extremely difficult, and it won’t feel good – but it’s absolutely essential.