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. 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 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.