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 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.