Friday, May 6, 2016

What Am I Reading 2016: May Releases

Ahhhh May. Season of new beginnings, of new growth, of new awakenings. Now as we move through May -- my ruling planet of Mars and Mercury are both in retrograde so I have ben feeling the reading slump and communication is slump and well just slump. But I plan on taking May by the proverbial bootstraps and change my reading outlook! I need to get back into my reading game. So many books to read...so many books coming out this month that I am excited for...speaking of which....lets get this show on the road!

New Book Releases for the month of May
1: A Court of Mist and Fury (Book 2 in the Court trilogy) by Sarah J. Mass
As far as I am concerned -- I am the real life Belle. I have an expansive library that is constantly growing plus I have a sexy Beast at my side. So when Sarah J. Maas decided to do a modern retelling of the classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, I immediately jumped on board. I added this sequel to my wish list in January -- that is how excited I am for this series. This sequel was released on May 3, 2016. Here is the book description: The stunning sequel to Sarah J. Maas' New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses. Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court--but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.
Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future--and the future of a world cleaved in two.
With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

2: The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman
My favorite author is AT IT AGAIN but this time with a nonfiction book that studies a myriad of topics! My fangirl of his work can not contain myself! This book is set to be released on May 31, 2016. Here is the book description: An enthralling collection of nonfiction essays on a myriad of topics—from art and artists to dreams, myths, and memories—observed in #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman’s probing, amusing, and distinctive style.An inquisitive observer, thoughtful commentator, and assiduous craftsman, Neil Gaiman has long been celebrated for the sharp intellect and startling imagination that informs his bestselling fiction. Now, The View from the Cheap Seats brings together for the first time ever more than sixty pieces of his outstanding nonfiction. Analytical yet playful, erudite yet accessible, this cornucopia explores a broad range of interests and topics, including (but not limited to): authors past and present; music; storytelling; comics; bookshops; travel; fairy tales; America; inspiration; libraries; ghosts; and the title piece, at turns touching and self-deprecating, which recounts the author’s experiences at the 2010 Academy Awards in Hollywood. Insightful, incisive, witty, and wise, The View from the Cheap Seats explores the issues and subjects that matter most to Neil Gaiman—offering a glimpse into the head and heart of one of the most acclaimed, beloved, and influential artists of our time.

3: The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight
Who would have thought a book trailer who hook me as much as this book did??? This book was released on May 3, 2016. Here is the book description: From the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia comes a fast-paced teen series where one girl learns that in a world of intrigue, betrayal, and deeply buried secrets, it is vital to trust your instincts. It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help. Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself. This time it’s different, though. Instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice but to ignore her gut instinct and go with him.
But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning? In this breakneck tale, New York Times bestselling author Kimberly McCreight brilliantly chronicles a fateful journey that begins with a single decision—and ends up changing everything.

4: She Poured Out Her Heart by Jean Thompson
This book is very relatable in the sense of my relationship with my bff Veronica. So because of that - I knew I instantly wanted it and am excited for its release! This book will be released on May 31, 2016. Here is the book description: Tracing the complicated friendship of two very different women who meet in college, She Poured Out Her Heart is a novel of remarkable psychological suspense, crafted by National Book Award finalist Jean Thompson. The night that Jane and Bonnie meet on a college campus sets them on paths forever entwined. Bonnie, the wild and experimental one, always up for anything, has spent the past two decades bouncing between ill-fated relationships, while Jane’s seemingly perfect life, perfect husband, and perfect children have all but materialized out of a fantasy. But these appearances contradict the quiet, inescapable doubt Jane feels about her life. One night, in the middle of her own Christmas party, she steps outside into the snow, removes her clothing and shoes, and lies down in the backyard. When she is discovered, nothing is the same for anyone. As Jane begins to have visions and retreat into a private inner world, Bonnie finds herself drawn inevitably into an affair with Jane’s husband. Thompson’s mastery of complex emotion begets a novel of desire and the nature of love—who we love, how we’re loved, and, most important, that we reach urgently and always for a higher love, regardless of our circumstances. She Poured Out Her Heart is a finely wrought, haunting story of female friendship and deception, and the distance in between.

5: Please Don't Tell by Laura Tims
Who doesn't love a good murder mystery thriller? THIS WOMAN SURE DOES! This book will be released on May 24, 2016. Here is the book description: Debut author Laura Tims writes an intense and utterly gripping contemporary YA tale perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars. Joy has done everything to protect her twin sister...including murder. Joy killed Adam Gordon for what he did to her sister, Grace. At least, that’s what she thinks happened. Now Adam can’t hurt anyone ever again, and her sister can be free from the boy who harmed her.
But someone else knows what Joy did, and they’re going to out her as a cold-blooded killer if she doesn’t expose the scandalous secrets bubbling just below the surface of her mundane town. As the demands escalate, and she finds herself falling for Adam’s half brother, Joy must figure out the blackmailer’s identity before everything spirals out of control.

6: Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danier
I love books that I can relate to as well as learn from. This book has both. This book will also be released on May 24, 2016. Here is the book description: You will develop a palate. A palate is a spot on your tongue where you remember. Where you assign words to the textures of taste. Eating becomes a discipline, language-obsessed. You will never simply eat food again.These are the words that introduce us to Tess, the twenty-two-year-old narrator of Sweetbitter—and you will never again read a debut coming-of-age novel as stunning as this one. Shot from a mundane, provincial past, Tess comes to New York in the stifling summer of 2006. Alone, knowing no one, living in a rented room in Williamsburg, she manages to land a job as a “backwaiter” at a celebrated downtown Manhattan restaurant. This begins the year we spend with Tess as she starts to navigate the chaotic, enchanting, punishing, and privileged life she has chosen, as well as the remorseless and luminous city around her. What follows is her education: in oysters, Champagne, the appellations of Burgundy, friendship, cocaine, lust, love, and dive bars. As her appetites awaken—for food and wine, but also for knowledge, experience, and belonging—we see her helplessly drawn into a darkly alluring love triangle. With an orphan’s ardor she latches onto Simone, a senior server at the restaurant who has lived in ways Tess only dreams of, and against the warnings of coworkers she falls under the spell of Jake, the elusive, tatted up, achingly beautiful bartender. These two and their enigmatic connection to each other will prove to be Tess’s most exhilarating and painful lesson of all. Stephanie Danler intimately defines the crucial transition from girl to woman, from living in a place that feels like nowhere to living in a place that feels like the center of the universe. She deftly conjures the nonstop and purely adrenalized world of the restaurant—conversations interrupted, phrases overheard, relationships only partially revealed. And she evokes the infinite possibilities, the unbearable beauty, the fragility and brutality of being young in New York with heart-stopping accuracy. A lush novel of the senses—of taste and hunger, seeing and understanding, love and desire—Sweetbitter is ultimately about the power of what remains after disillusionment, and the transformation and wisdom that come from our experiences, sweet and bitter.

7: Summer Day and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins
Now I will admit my preferred reading genre is young adult with a mix of paranormal murder mystery, but sometimes I need a good love story to get me by. This book is simply that. This book will be released on May 17, 2016. Here is the book description: Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom.Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

8: The Fireman by Joe Hill
The son of Stephen King. Need I say more about my excitement? This book will also be released on May 17, 2016. Here is the book description: From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of NOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman. The fireman is coming. Stay cool. No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe. Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child. Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged. In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.

Well there you have it! Now let me go conquer my Mountain ToBeRead so I can add these lovely titles to it!

Friday, April 1, 2016

What Am I Reading 2016: April Releases

Okay first of all...I owe my readers a apology. I am deeply sorry for not having a March Releases + To Be Read blog in March as some real life stuff happened as well...there weren't really a lot of books I was excited about in the new releases of March. So for that, I apologize. But I am back!

Here are the April releases I am excited about as well. I am still catching up on my books from March in terms of what I am reading.

New Book Releases for the month of April
1: The Star Touched Queen by Rouhani Chokshi
I have been digging a lot of the fantasy books lately that center around royalty and this book is no exception. Plus it has an element of astrology and I am a daily horoscope reader so this works perfectly. This book is set to come out on April 26, 2016 and here is the book description: Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you're only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire...
But Akaran has its own secrets -- thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.
A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.

2: Always the Bridesmaid by Lindsey Kelk
Now I will admit...I have never officially been in a wedding but I have been invited to a lot of them and this book description is so relatable to me. While I am in a great, loving relationship with the man I do consider the love of my life and the one for me -- I do not think marriage is in the cards of life for me but you may never know. Can not predict the future. This book is set to be released on April 5, 2016. Here is the book description: The hilarious new summer bestseller from Lindsey Kelk, bestselling author of the I Heart series.Everyone loves a bridesmaid - except Maddie, who’s perpetually asked to be one. Everyone loves a wedding - except Maddie’s best friend, who’s getting divorced. And everyone loves the way Maddie’s so happy behind the scenes - except Maddie herself. One best friend is in wedding countdown while the other heads for marriage meltdown. And as Maddie juggles her best chance at promotion in years with bridezilla texts and late-night counselling sessions, she starts to wonder – is it time to stop being the bridesmaid?

3: Don't Get Caught by Kurt Dinan
Admit it...we all love a good prank war. Also as soon as I saw that this was comparable to The Breakfast Club -- I was all in. Plus this is another book that is very relatable to me. This book comes out on April 1, 2016. Here is the book description: 10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. -Chaos Club. When Max receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him? After all, he's Mr. 2.5 GPA, Mr. No Social Life. He's Just Max. And his favorite heist movies have taught him this situation calls for Rule #4: Be suspicious. But it's also his one shot to leave Just Max in the dust...Yeah, not so much. Max and four fellow students-who also received invites-are standing on the newly defaced water tower when campus security "catches" them. Definitely a setup. And this time, Max has had enough. It's time for Rule #7: Always get payback. Let the prank war begin. Oceans 11 meets The Breakfast Club in this entertaining, fast-paced debut filled with pranks and cons that will keep readers on their toes, never sure who's pulling the strings or what's coming next.

4: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
It seems that the trend of taking classics and giving them a modern retelling is not going away any time soon. Honestly -- that is alright with me. This book is set to come out on April 19, 2016. Here is the book description: From the “wickedly entertaining” (USA Today) Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of Prep and American Wife, comes a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. A bold literary experiment, Eligible is a brilliant, playful, and delicious saga for the twenty-first century.
This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.
Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.
Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving. Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, Eligible both honors and updates Austen’s beloved tale. Tackling gender, class, courtship, and family, Sittenfeld reaffirms herself as one of the most dazzling authors writing today.

5: Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw
I am a fangirl. Through and through. i am a DC more than a Marvel. I am a nerd, geek, whatever slang you want to use. So when I heard about this book and how I could relate -- of course I am excited. This book is set to be released on April 19, 2016. Here is the book description: Cross Veronica Mars with MTV's Daria, and you’ll get Scarlett Epstein, the snarky, judgmental, and often hilarious star of Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here, a witty and heartwarming novel that’s perfect for fans of David Arnold’s Mosquitoland and Kody Keplinger’s The Duff. Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online community of fanfiction writers, world-class nobody at Melville High. Her best (read: only) IRL friends are Avery, a painfully shy and annoyingly attractive bookworm, and Ruth, her pot-smoking, possibly insane seventy-three-year-old neighbor. When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, her subjects aren’t the swoon-worthy stars of her fave series—they’re the real-life kids from her high school. Scarlett never considers what might happen if they were to find out what she truly thinks about them...until a dramatic series of events exposes a very different reality than Scarlett's stories, forever transforming her approach to relationships—both online and off.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

25 Bookish Facts About Me

Hey there faithful readers! I thought I would write a blog this time discussing more about me. You know...the bookworm that has a mountain to be read but continues to buy books and make wish lists. Anyway...here we go!

1: While I do like the look of a hardcover book, I much prefer to read paperbacks. Even if a new release that I am excited about comes out -- I will either purposely wait until it is in paperback or order them from the Book Depository as they normally get paperbacks before the United States since they are a United Kingdom based company.

2: If I am in the zone, I can read 75 pages an hour.

3: I have embarrassed myself in front of one of my favorite authors (Rainbow Rowell) at BookCon last year. I went to tell her a story and instead...well...lets just say Dani had another Ric Flair moment. Those that know me well, know that story.

4: I need to schedule my reading time. Most of the time it is at night.

5: My favorite genre to read is science fiction/fantasy as well as young adult.

6: I will not start a book series until all of the books in the series are published; therefore I do not have to wait! I recently did this with The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer.

7: I have not read any books in the Game of Thrones series. I also do not plan to.

8: While I do enjoy young adult -- the dystopian trend in young adultneeds to STOP!!

9: I will buy any book if it is set in New Orleans, New York City, or Boston.

10: I do not lend out books unless your name is George or Veronica. Simple as that. I will give books away though.

11: I am not a fan of mass market paperbacks. I am near-sighted to begin with and the font is so small that I have to actually put the book as close to my nose as possible to be able to read it. Um, no. I do not have time for that. I will spend the extra money for the actual size paperback and enjoy it.

12: Cup of tea + book = How I usually read.

13: I am not a fan of e-books. I rather have the physical book in my hands with the smell and the turning of the pages and the paper cuts.

14: For the most part -- I buy most of my books online.

15: While I absolutely love to read, I have no desire to write my own book. Journaling, this blog, wrestling characters, role playing games, copy editing -- that is all of the writing for me. I am not an active creative writer. I will use what I read to find inspiration for my other geeky fandoms.

16: One of the biggest struggles I have with being a bookworm is when I get new books -- WHERE THE HECK AM I GOING TO PUT THEM ON MY SHELVES?

17: I have still never listened to an audiobook. My plan was to try Audible for a month but just never got around to it.

18: I have absolutely no problem giving book recommendations to complete strangers while I am out and about. Even if I see them pick up a book that I know I like I will tell them "YOU WILL LOVE THAT BOOK! IT IS SO GOOD!"

19: I do not believe in having too many books.

20: I really love when the book that I am reading mentions pop culture references that I can identify with. Just brings me closer to the book.

21: I will never get tired of books set in a school or have paranormal activity/characters in them.

22: I will always be sad that I never received my acceptance letter to Hogwarts.

23: I always take the dust jackets off of hardcovers when I am reading them. They annoy me and I always seem to rip them or mess them up.

24: I still read children's picture books; even if it is not for work.

25: Whenever I am traveling, you will catch me browsing the airport bookstore but will not buy anything from there as the books are way overpriced.

Well there you have it. What are some bookish facts about you? Leave them in the comments below!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Time to Be UnCool -- I Actually Love Valentines Day

I know..I know...it is all cool and hip to bash Hallmark holidays, like Valentine’s Day for example. You know, the whole they’re “cheesy, contrived, made-up occasions” routine. Or if not bash, at a minimum ignore them and flaunt your ignoring of them as much as possible.

So I’m going to fully own my uncoolness here by declaring that I love Valentines Day.

I embrace and hold onto this holiday fully. Why do you ask? Because life is too full of things to not celebrate, like sickness, natural disasters, career disappointments, overwhelming to-do lists, horrid traffic and people who cut you off in traffic. So when there is a chance to celebrate something, anything, I’m there. I don’t care how made up it is. And if that makes me appear all puppy dogs tails and rainbows and unicorns (Its a New Day...yes it is!) so be it.

So maybe giving someone a little white teddy bear with a red shiny heart chocolate box attached to it is not the truest expression of genuine love. I get that.

But you know what is? Not-hate.

In this tumultuous world of constant negativity -- we need so much more not-hate. If we could all take a day and give each other little teddy bears with chocolate-filled hearts, we would spread so much not-hate.

And you know what people do when they feel not-hate?

They express not-hate towards others. They help each other. They empower each other. They solve problems, fix up schools, invent cures for diseases, discover new planets, and a way to get there without traffic. People who feel not-hate also don’t cut you off in traffic; they’re the ones waving you through as you cut them off. They don’t mind because they feel not-hate, because someone, I hope, probably gave them a little teddy bear for Valentine’s Day and therefore had a smile on their face.

A few weeks ago, as I am sure yours was too -- my various social media feeds were filled with Powerball stories. They all said the same thing: Some people might win a ton of money, but don’t be jealous, they won’t be happy anyway because money doesn’t make you happy. Truth, right there, money doesn’t make you happy. Neither does reading endless articles about how money won’t make you happy.

Instead, I want more articles in my feed about a woman who races across town to get her friend’s favorite flowers for Valentine’s Day, gets to the flower shop as it’s closing, but the owner lets her buy a bunch anyway.

I want scientific studies about the average size of smiles people experience when given a teddy bear with a chocolate-filled heart attached. I want my various social feeds to be filled with photos of 95 year-olds having romantic dinners and 5 year-olds exchanging Valentine’s. I seriously can not wait to see this in the classroom that I work in; even though there is a lot of hostility at this present moment.

Give me more Instagram or YouTube videos where the husband attempts to make scallops for the first time because they are his wife’s favorite.

I say lean into Valentine’s Day. Really go for it.

Text your friends an overwhelming number of heart emoji.

Write a card to someone you like or love -- and there are plenty of hip Valentine’s cards to be had, so you can keep your coolness and spread non-hate, bonus! The one I love the most is getting an extra special card but due to circumstances beyond our control, it will be a while before he will receive it. That is alright though. It does not matter the time when you give your loved ones a gift as long as you do it with the right intention!

Send a box of books and literary trinkets that you know will make your nerdy BFF swoon.

Buy someone a teddy bear with a heart-full of chocolates.

Because you never know when your cheesy “Hey, happy Valentine’s Day, haha!” text is the very thing your friend needs, the very thing that helps them feel less lonely on a day when the world seems cruel and hope is hard to find. Or if your card makes someone smile, or gives them a break from feeling pain, sadness, boredom, or worry.

Thing is, it’s all just about love. Isn't that what it is all about?

This whole thing, our whole crazy world, with our overwhelming to-do lists and worries, our fears, and our achievements, it’s really all just about the love. All love, not just romantic love, although that one is nice too.

And the best way to get it is to give it. To be reminded that you’re not alone, that there is someone in your life to whom you’d like to send a heart emoji, or a “Let’s Ignore Valentine’s Day Together” card, or a $5.95 small teddy bear with a red heart full of chocolates attached to it.

I know I want one :)

Happy Love Day everyone. Here is a teddy bear with a red heart just for you -- my faithful readers.

Friday, February 5, 2016

What Am I Reading 2016: February Releases + To Be Read

Ahh the month of love...and what better than thing to love this month than books! Here are the February releases I am excited about as well as what I am reading in the month of February.

New Book Releases for the month of February
1: The Vegetarian by Han Kang
Lets just rewrite and reboot and reimage classics now! Well some of the writing in classic novels can be daunting so I can complete understand why to do this. This book was released on February 2, 2016. Here is the book description: A beautiful, unsettling novel about rebellion and taboo, violence and eroticism, and the twisting metamorphosis of a soul
Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams—invasive images of blood and brutality—torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It’s a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home. As her husband, her brother-in-law and sister each fight to reassert their control, Yeong-hye obsessively defends the choice that’s become sacred to her. Soon their attempts turn desperate, subjecting first her mind, and then her body, to ever more intrusive and perverse violations, sending Yeong-hye spiraling into a dangerous, bizarre estrangement, not only from those closest to her, but also from herself. Celebrated by critics around the world, The Vegetarian is a darkly allegorical, Kafka-esque tale of power, obsession, and one woman’s struggle to break free from the violence both without and within her.

2: Find Her by Lisa Gardner
Do you ever have one of those books that despite the content it just speaks to you? Well this particular book did just that when I read the description. To top it all off, it is set in Boston -- one of my favorite cities to visit and has a connection with someone dear to my heart. This book is set to be released on February 9, 2015. Here is the book description: Flora Dane is a victim. Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure. Flora Dane is a survivor. Miraculously alive after her ordeal, Flora has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life, working with her FBI victim advocate, Samuel Keynes. She has a mother who’s never stopped loving her, a brother who is scared of the person she’s become, and a bedroom wall covered with photos of other girls who’ve never made it home. Flora Dane is reckless. . . . or is she? When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime—a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him—she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? And with her firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior, could she hold the key to rescuing a missing college student whose abduction has rocked Boston? When Flora herself disappears, D.D. realizes a far more sinister predator is out there. One who’s determined that this time, Flora Dane will never escape. And now it is all up to D. D. Warren to find her.

3: Wreck and Order by Hannah Tennant Moore
Another book that just spoke to me. This book is set to be released on February 9, 2016. Here is the book description: A boldly candid, raw portrait of a young woman's search for meaning and purpose in an indifferent world. Decisively aimless, self-destructive, and impulsively in and out of love, Elsie is a young woman who feels stuck. She has a tumultuous relationship with an abusive boyfriend, a dead-end job at a newspaper, and a sharp intelligence that's constantly at odds with her many bad decisions. When her initial attempts to improve her life go awry, Elsie decides that a dramatic change is the only solution. An auto-didact who prefers the education of travel to college, Elsie uses an inheritance to support her as she travels to Paris and Sri Lanka, hoping to accumulate experiences, create connections, and discover a new way to live. Along the way, she meets men and women who challenge and provoke her towards the change she genuinely hopes to find. But in the end, she must still come face-to-face with herself. Whole-hearted, fiercely honest and inexorably human, Wreck and Order is a stirring debut that, in mirroring one young woman's dizzying quest for answers, illuminates the important questions that drive us all.

What I am Reading in the month of February
1: Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince
I am a self admitted tomboy. I hated Barbie and I still do. My brother is one of my biggest influences and if he enjoys it, I probably do too. Yes I do wear makeup from time to time but in all honesty -- I would rather be in sweats with my hair up and playing in dirt. So when I saw this my heart palpitated. Here is the book description: Growing up, Liz Prince wasn't a girly girl, dressing in pink tutus or playing Pretty Pretty princess like the other girls in her neighborhood. But she wasn't exactly one of the guys either, as she quickly learned when her Little League baseball coach exiled her to the outfield instead of letting her take the pitcher's mound. Liz was somewhere in the middle, and Tomboy is the story of her struggle to find the place where she belonged.Tomboy is a graphic novel about refusing gender boundaries, yet unwittingly embracing gender stereotypes at the same time, and realizing later in life that you can be just as much of a girl in jeans and a T-shirt as you can in a pink tutu. A memoir told anecdotally, Tomboy follows author and zine artist Liz Prince through her early childhood into adulthood and explores her ever-evolving struggles and wishes regarding what it means to "be a girl."
From staunchly refuting anything she perceived as being "girly" to the point of misogyny, to discovering through the punk community that your identity is whatever you make of it, regardless of your gender, Tomboy is as much humorous and honest as it is at points uncomfortable and heartbreaking.

2: The Judas Goat by Robert B. Parker
One night while talking to my love I said that I was in the mood for a good detective story. Therefore this was recommended. I have had this book on my shelve for a while so about time to dive into it. Here is the boon description: Spenser has gone to London -- and not to see the Queen. He's gone to track down a bunch of bombers who've blown away his client's wife and kids. His job is to catch them. Or kill them. His client isn't choosy. But there are nine killers to one Spenser -- long odds. Hawk helps balance the equation. The rest depends on a wild plan. Spenser will get one of the terrorists to play Judas Goat -- to lead him to others. Trouble is, he hasn't counted on her being very blond, very beautiful and very dangerous.

Friday, January 8, 2016

What Am I Reading 2016: January Release and To Be Read

Everyone knows that I am a bookworm.

A major, major bookworm.

So much so, I decided to start a new monthly feature on this lovely blog last year. I had a lot of fun researching and looking up books that I found interesting, writing book reviews, bringing hype to new releases that I am excited about, and just reigniting my love of reading. Plus it is a hobby/interest that brought my love and I closer together. At the beginning of the month I will do a releases that I am excited about as well as what I am reading in the current month.

So as John Dargo would say...enough of this palaver...LETS GET THIS SHOW ON THE ROAD!

Here are the releases that I am most excited about in the month of January:

1: Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
This book has received a lot of buzz via book tubers on YouTube as well as various magazines. Once you read the description, I think you will see why. This book was released on January 5, 2015. Here is the book description: In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles, but years from home. And she's inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she's never heard of. Until now.
Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods-a powerful family in the Colonies-and the servitude he's known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can't escape and the family that won't let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, his passenger, can find. In order to protect her, Nick must ensure she brings it back to them-whether she wants to or not.
Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods' grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home forever.

2: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Another book receiving a lot of buzz. You would think with the content matter it would not but stories of this nature should be told from other perspectives as well. You will understand once you read the book description. This book was also released on January 5, 2015. Here is the book description: 10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve. 10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class. 10:03 The auditorium doors won't open.
10:05 Someone starts shooting. Told from four perspectives over the span of 54 harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

3: The Ex by Alafair Burke
We all have that ex in our life. You know what I am talking about. Plus, what is it with me and psychological suspense/true crime thrillers lately? Oh yeah...lets blame the love of my life for getting me into them! This book is set to be released on January 26, 2016 and yes it is already preordered. Here is the book description: In this breakout standalone novel of suspense in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on a Train, a woman agrees to help an old boyfriend who has been framed for murder—but begins to suspect that she is the one being manipulated. Twenty years ago she ruined his life. Now she has the chance to save it.
Widower Jack Harris has resisted the dating scene ever since the shooting of his wife Molly by a fifteen-year-old boy three years ago. An early morning run along the Hudson River changes that when he spots a woman in last night’s party dress, barefoot, enjoying a champagne picnic alone, reading his favorite novel. Everything about her reminds him of what he used to have with Molly. Eager to help Jack find love again, his best friend posts a message on a popular website after he mentions the encounter. Days later, that same beautiful stranger responds and invites Jack to meet her in person at the waterfront. That’s when Jack’s world falls apart. Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defense lawyers. When she hears that her former fiancĂ©, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide—and that one of the victims was connected to his wife’s murder—there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is who would go to such great lengths to frame him—and why? For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, to absolve herself of guilt from a tragic decision, a secret she has held for twenty years. But as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. The man she knew could not have done this. But what if she never really knew him?

4: Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz
When I read the description, which you will in a second, one word came to my mind -- ALLENBERRY. Why do you say that dear Dani? Lets see...tranquil place, someone goes missing, possible murder, trying to a solve a crime, as well as love. Yes. Sign me up. This book is set to be released on January 19, 2016. Here is the book description: When Sarah Merson receives the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the most elite prep school in the country-Sanctuary Bay Academy-it seems almost too good to be true. But, after years of bouncing from foster home to foster home, escaping to its tranquil setting, nestled deep in Swans Island, couldn't sound more appealing. Swiftly thrown into a world of privilege and secrets, Sarah quickly realizes finding herself noticed by class charmer, Nate, as well as her roommate's dangerously attentive boyfriend, Ethan, are the least of her worries. When her roommate suddenly goes missing, she finds herself in a race against time, not only to find her, but to save herself and discover the dark truth behind Sanctuary Bay's glossy reputation. In this genre-bending YA thriller, Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz, Sarah's new school may seem like an idyllic temple of learning, but as she unearths years of terrifying history and manipulation, she discovers this "school" is something much more sinister.

What I am Reading in the month of January

Dani needs some laughs in her life right now. With a lot of stress/issues going on in my life at the beginning of the year I need to smile. Badly. Granted, I do have a lot of things in my life that make me giddy and smile especially going to a town where the Governor lives and kill some zombies but more laughter in my life is needed. So here is what I am reading this month.

1: Girl Walks into a Bar...by Rachel Dratch
This falls into the same vein of Bossypants by Tina Fey and Yes, Please by Amy Poehler which I enjoyed. So this will definitely bring the smiles. Here is the book description: The former SNL star recounts the adventures and unexpected joy of dating and becoming a mom when she least expected it—at the age of forty-four. Anyone who saw an episode of Saturday Night Live between 1999 and 2006 knows Rachel Dratch. She was hilarious! So what happened to her? After a misbegotten part as Jenna on the pilot of 30 Rock, Dratch was only getting offered roles as “Lesbians. Secretaries. Sometimes secretaries who are lesbians.” Her career as a female comedian at a low point, she suddenly had time for yoga, dog-sitting, learning Spanish—and dating. Dratch reveals the joys and terrors of putting herself out there in a quest to find love and then becoming a mother in an undreamed-of way. With riotous humor, she recounts breaking the news to her bewildered parents, the awe of her single friends, and romance and coparenting with her baby-daddy, John. Filled with great behind-the-scenes anecdotes from Dratch’s time on SNL, Girl Walks into a Bar . . . is a funny book with a refreshing version of the happily-ever-after story, full of sensitivity, candor, and plenty of comic relief, as only Rachel Dratch can tell it.

2: Granted does not fall in the humor genre but I need to catch up my Walking Dead graphic novel reading. That will also be done this month.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Goals and the Mantra of Choose to Chill

Some questions I asked myself while I wrote my 2016 goals list were as follows.

1. What am I bored of?
2. What do I want more of?
3. What can I let go of?
4. What would give me peace of mind?
5. What am I devoted to?

Here are my personal answers.

1: I am bored of compulsively jumping to the wrong conclusion and letting my paranoia get the best of me. People get busy. People sleep. People have lives outside of their computers and smartphones. Just because it is not an immediate response does not mean that they love me any less. Also I am still bored of checking my Facebook to see if what I have posted or shared have been seen or commented on. I need to employ the fuck it attitude back into my life and enjoy myself more.

2. Like last year -- I want more spontaneity in my life. I live my Monday through Friday life as a routine -- wake up, talk to my love as he is going to work, get ready for work, go to work, come home, so on and so forth. I am a creature of habit and if that habit is broken, things go haywire, i.e. getting called to do coverages for Pre-K or the person I work with being absent because she chose not to work that day. Now just because my Monday through Friday life is a routine one does not mean my weekends should be. If something just comes up -- I will learn to say yes more, as long as it is reasonable.

3. Toward the end of the year, I can say that my "on duty" status became less and less. So I am glad that I let that go. So for 2016 I will continue to let go of the feeling that I always need to be "on duty" and that if one of my friends is mad, he or she will become glad again. Sometimes I need to learn to say no and that if I am having my own issues; that I can not be there 24/7. It also works both ways -- if I am having my own issues, which I do, I need to know that I can depend upon my friends and believe me I do know who is there for me.

4. I think learning that just because my friends or family do not message or text or call me all the time does not mean that they do not love me. That will give me peace of mind. For some strange unbeknown reasons, I got it into my head that unless my phone is "blowing up", that I am not loved. Things/shit happen to people all the time. As long as I hear from them, I should be fine. The only thing I will say is that I am tired of the constant initiation I need to do or the lack of attention I receive. If I took the time out to send you a message say hello, get back to me somehow. Do not leave me hanging. That is a pet peeve of mine.

5. I am still devoted to writing more blog posts as well as devoted to using natural remedies and food to keep me in remission from rheumatoid arthritis. Except for some aches and pains here and there, I have stopped taking Humir as of September 2015 and I am doing great.

With that being said, here are my 2016 goals. I do not say "resolutions" as I feel that word already will lead me into failure world.

Dani’s 2016(Two Thousand and Sexin!) Goals

Starting: January 1, 2016
Ending: December 31, 2016

(If in bold it means that it has started and in progress. If it had a line through it it is complete)

1: Read 52 books (0/52)

2: Watch 100 movies (0/100)
3: Using the 1,001 Ways to Live in the Moment book — post a positive quote every day on Facebook (started on 12/28/2015)

4: Keep a positivity journal. Write down every time something happens to me that makes me feel good — a friendly comment, a gift I get, unexpected luck, etc. At the end of the year I will have a journal of positivity and happy memories.

5: Start my day with a positive thought. Utilize my 2016 Happy Notes calendar and Today is a Great Day calendar for this.

6: Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. 

7: Only use $500 dollars a month cash for fixed expenses and fun. If I use the American Express card for anything — it comes out of that allottment.

8: Complete a A-Z Author Challenge.

9: Save up to $60,000 dollar by December 31, 2016.

10: Do not get so paranoid or think you did something wrong if George does not get back in touch with you right away.