Books From My Closet

"I Love Books The Way Some Girls Love Shoes"

Why Would Anyone Read About Lincoln?

Hello Dear Followers,

downloadThe title of this post was asked of me recently, and I laughed. Simply because why not read about President Abraham Lincoln?  He was one of the most influential presidents in our nation’s history.

But he was also a good man.  You can tell that by the moves he made while he was president, you can tell that by the way he stood at 6’4” tall, you could see it in his face.  He was good man who wanted to do good for this nation.

He was humble, he was romantically melancholy, the kind that made you want to spend time with and find out what was going on in his head to see who he was and what he thought about regularly.

So why not read about President Abraham Lincoln? Don’t get me wrong, historical books about dead presidents isn’t always what I choose to read about, but I truly love history, particularly Civil War history, so I am always wanting to know more about this time.

As I have been reading I am finding myself thinking of the movies I’ve seen during this era like,  “Glory” or “Gone with the Wind,”  “Little Women,”  and lastly “Lincoln.”

I remember seeing “Lincoln” and at the end of the movie as he headed to the theatre I started to tear up, because I knew he was going to die.  Oh how I would have loved to have seen him as president, I am sure it would have been remarkable.

Is there a historical figure you would love to learn more about?

Until next time…


Killing President Lincoln

Hello Dear Followers,

I have chosen my next book!  I am so excited about this! I am reading “Killing Lincoln” by Bill O’Reilly.  For years I have wanted to read this book because I just love LOVE Civil War history and President Abraham Lincoln.  When I saw “Lincoln” in the theaters I had just about started to cry knowing this man was going to be killed as if he were my president.

Biographies and autobiographies always intrigue me, I want to know about people’s lives, how they lived it, what made them tick what they loved, what they lost. All of it.  I hope you will join me as I go along this journey into a different time and place as we read the ending of life for such an extraordinary man.

Until next time…


How Wild It Was to Let It Be

Hello Dear Followers,

WildI FINALLY finished “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed.  It only took like half a year! Haha.  Anyway, I wanted to share some of my final thoughts on the book, before I move on.

I thought the book overall, was decent.  I admit, I found myself bored at times, often expecting more than what was actually revealed.  I had a hard time separating her from author Elizabeth Gilbert’s “get away from life and find yourself” journey in “Eat, Pray, Love.” I had to keep remembering these were two different people with two different life experiences.

But what tied these two women together was bravery.  Stopping their lives for however long and doing something extraordinary that only most of us talk about doing.

Cheryl’s excursion seemed more rigorous and less romantic. It was dirty, it was hard and it was at times damn near impossible.  But that’s life too isn’t it?  Life isn’t always going to be this romantic journey, it’s going to be tough and sometime damn near impossible. She had to really work through her shit.  And I mean work.

I often thought about how I’d be if I did this, deciding to leave my life for several months and go on a hike, I don’t think I could do it.  I hardly feel I survive in the everyday monotony let alone surviving in the wilderness.  I was never a good Girl Scout.  🙂

Through out the book I kept waiting for her to meet her man, again…comparing her to Elizabeth Gilbert in “Eat Pray Love.”  Who did meet her man, who did have sex as she found herself in a foreign place.

This didn’t happen here, while Cheryl had urges and needs to be loved and joined by a man, it only briefly happened towards the tail end of the book.  I was so happy, but it left me wanting more.  I wanted her journey to end with her finding love, real love.

But maybe just the journey alone was enough, and it was everything after her hike through the Pacific Crest Trail that would lead her to where she needed to be.

Life is like that, sometimes you have to work through your shit, whether it is through a hike, or some other soul searching journey to get to the other side.

I recommend this book, I do. I think it’s for anyone who is really going through some stuff right now that really needs inspiration that whatever you set out in your life to do can be done.

Until next time…


Choosing the Right Book…

Hello Dear Followers,

Last night I was reading some of the final pages of “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, (not finished it yet..almost done!) and I began to think about my next book choice.  For months I had one book in mind, was so sure about it.  Until last night.

What made last night stand out? Nothing really. But I think my needs changed. And right now, I am looking for an escape.  And this book may not be it. No biggie.  A few days ago, two friends recommended two different self-help books, while I have both on my to-read list, I think I need a fictional novel.

Let me dive into someone else’s life while I try to figure out my own.  Have you ever felt this way before? Not knowing which book to choose?  Here are some things to think about:

  • Pick a book based on what you are feeling. Intuitive reading I like to call it. What does your heart and mind need at this moment? Does it need some help? And are you willing to listen? Choose a self-help book. Are you in love? Choose a good love story.  Let your feelings decide.
  • Are we going with classics, older contemporaries or the latest book trend?  Several people in the past have said to keep your blog engaging, you should be reading what is popular, I don’t know that I completely agree with that.  I think people appreciate books they haven’t heard about in a while, or books they have never heard of at all.  For example, right now I am sure everyone is reading a few of the following: “Big Little Lies”  or “Handmaid’s Tale” or they are re-reading “Fifty Shades Freed”.  Why not stay away from what is popular for a bit, return to these books when the popularity has dimmed a bit.
  • What genres are your favorite?  Do you tend to go back to old standbys or are you willing to branch out and try something new?
  • What you loved before, you may not love now.  I have a ton of books on my shelf that has me questioning, “What was I thinking when I bought this?” Which is sad, because my books are my treasures.
  • Reading is for enjoyment, so it’s important to choose a book you will actually enjoy and want to recommend to someone else.

Until next time…

My Own Physical Exhaustion

Hello Dear Followers,

It’s pretty late right now, but after a few weeks of not writing or sharing a blog post with you, I thought I’d hop on for a moment.

I am in the middle of reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, and she is now deep in her hike in Pacific Crest Trail.  She’s now talking about the physical toll this hike is doing to her, and all I could think was, I could never do this much physical labor on my body, or take a hike.. exercise.. whatever.

But I realized as I went on reading that I had. Ok, so maybe not the same as Strayed had, but her account brought me back to 2005.  This was the year I left working retail to work at a spa and salon…( okay, so you’re probably wondering how on earth there is a similarity.)  Trust me there is.

I had gone through some terribly depressing times then, anxiety ridden,  angry, sad… you name it.  And working in my hometown’s mall, just wasn’t helping any.  I always saw someone I knew!  And all I wanted to do at the time was getting away from seeing people I didn’t necessarily want to see.

This is when (by the Grace of God) I got a job a salon and spa in a town away.  I didn’t work as a front desk girl either, I worked as a spa attendant.  I worked folding laundry, washing laundry, serving food, cleaning the spa and salon.  This was unlike anything I had ever done or ever dreamed of doing.

It was physically challenging, I was on my feet five days a week, constantly cleaning, washing, folding etc.  It was physically draining.  But what did it do for me?  It helped me work through my shit.  Work through the intensity of the pain I was feeling at the time.  I found a new part of me, and one that was coming back to life as time went on.

I was eating a lot again, ( I hadn’t eaten properly in months),  I was sleeping (because I was exhausted) and I was thinking of better things than before.  It was my life saver.

Now, you’re probably still wondering what the comparison is, well it’s the working of the body to calm the mind.  And I think by what I am reading of Strayed’s account, this is exactly what she is doing, she’s on a new path (no pun intended)  as was I during that period in my life.

When you are in this state, it is so important to find your outlet, whether it be a hike in the woods or some other meditative exercise. I did.

Until next time.

Take a Hike… Why Don’t Ya?

HikersonknifesedgeHello Dear Followers,

I finished part one of “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed  and I have a mixture of thoughts about all that has happened so far.  As I mentioned in my last post, the over-arching theme was “survival.”

I still believe that to be true about this woman, who suffered such a great loss that she decided she was going to work through this loss by taking a hike.. for 3 months!

As I had read on past the point that she had lost her Mom, I read about what lead her to want to hike the trail and I began to become judgmental,  I didn’t mean to.  I had to figure out what was making me judge this woman’s journey,  what made her leave everything she knew behind to hike a huge trail when she’s never hiked before.

At one point I found myself saying, “But is she nuts?” Take a trip to Europe, lay on an island for three months, but I had to stop myself and realize, this wasn’t my journey to take and it was clear she had to work through some pretty tough stuff and what better place than on a hiking trail.

In the midst of my judgement, I often found myself  saying, “Another aimless wanderer.” And I couldn’t grasp it. I wanted to, but I couldn’t.

When “Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert did her soul searching expedition, I thought “Wow, that’s brave, I want to do that.”  Leave everything behind and just go and figure stuff out, figure life out.  I felt this way for a number of years, she became my idol.  I can’t seem to relate to Strayed in the same way.   I don’t understand why she wouldn’t stay and help her family get through this difficult time?

I also don’t know her nor do I really understand her loss.   Again, her journey.

In my judgment I also find curiosity, how is she going to make it through? What will she learn from the experience?

Have any of you been on a soul searching journey that took you to exotic places like the Pacific Crest Trail or somewhere else in the world?  What did you learn from it?  Where did you go and why?

Please feel free to comment in the comments section below! I’d love to hear more stories like this.

Until later…

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One Word: Survival

Hello Dear Followers,

I have begun reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed.  So far, so good. It’s a memoir which tells the story about how Strayed embarked on a hiking trip through the Pacific Crest Trail which is a 1,100 trail which spans the states of California / Oregon / Washington, USA / British Columbia, Canada. She started this journey in 1995 in an effort for “self-discovery” after losing her mother.

I found the story to be very fascinating, brave and eye-opening, because here is this young woman embarking on a journey she has never embarked on before (this reminds me of another woman I have read... let’s see if you can guess who I am thinking about, they’re friends too!).

So the first chapter, the one word that kept circulating throughout my mind was – SURVIVAL.  This word is ingrained in this woman’s DNA. She has had to know how to survive since she was a young girl, through many trials her family faced.  Whether it was poverty, an abusive father, and later a sick mother. Survival didn’t begin when she decided to take this trip, that is definitely for sure.

Is survival always that hard like Cheryl’s? No. Survival can be simply dealing with our own inner demons that get claw their way into our minds on a daily basis, and waking up every morning is survival.  Our lives however, aren’t meant be survived, they are meant to be lived.

Anyway, I plan to continue on after I finish this post with “Wild” if you are joining along with me, or have read the book already, please feel free to chime in!

Until next time…


“And I Love That” – Kyle Cease

Hello Dear Followers,


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I just finished the book “I Hope I Screw This Up” by Kyle Cease.  I was reading this for a Facebook book club I am part of.  I thought overall the book was pretty good,  however it didn’t move me like other “self-help” books have in the past. I am not sure why. I found it hard to take him seriously, maybe he made too many jokes or put too many pictures in his book.

One thing however stood out. He said whenever you have a fear-based thought add “And I love that” to the end of the sentence.  I just about started laughing hysterically. Because it changes the thought entirely.  It makes the thought easier to bear and puts a different spin on fear.

I also took part in some of his exercises where he asked readers to name their assets, the things they loved in life and that was heartwarming.

I think if you are looking for a light read that is both helpful and humorous, I do recommend this book.

Finally Finished American Wife


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It’s late and I just finished “American Wife”  by Curtis Sittenfeld. I have been reading this book for almost three years now.  I am not sure if it was my lack of focus, my disinterest in the story past page 62 or what, but I finally finished it.

Ok, that’s a lie, I didn’t truly authentically finish it.  I skimmed the last 30 to 40 pages and said, “That’s it I’m done, I can’t take it anymore.”  No offense to Ms. Sittenfeld, I think the story was great, but honestly it was just too long for a story that had so many dull moments.

I think the premise of the story was great, I really do,  a fictional/non-fictional story about the life of Laura Bush,  excellent story.  You got a good look at life as a First Lady, the fictional life of Laura Bush, but the author talked way too much, to a point where I forgot what she was talking about when she would recapture a memory from 200 pages ago.

A lot of my friends (those who read anyway) believe that if you are this dissatisfied with a book, you should just quit reading it.  The idea of that bothers me, because I feel that every book we open should be completed entirely.

However, I just couldn’t anymore.  It kept me from reading other books or at the very least enjoying them because I felt guilty for not having finished this one.  So at this ungodly hour of 1:33 a.m. I have decided I am finished.

I don’t think she is a bad author, I just think she could cut her stories down a bit, a lot less talking.


Until next time!

Smart or Beautiful?

lovewarriorHello Dear Followers,

Over the years, my best friend and I have had several conversations ranging in various topics, in one of our conversations, I had asked what I thought was rather a simple question, “Why can’t people just be themselves?”

She answered immediately with, “Do you know how fuckin’ hard that is to do?”

I replied, “No, I don’t.” Because I didn’t.  I didn’t know because I was always myself.  Maybe it was pure ignorance, but I just didn’t know how to be anyone else.

She then said, “Well, I guess you have had a higher sense of self.”

I began to think at that point, whether there had been a time I wasn’t myself. But I couldn’t think of a one.

I recently began reading “Love Warrior” by Glennon Doyle Melton.  A book that everyone (including the author) is calling “a book about marriage.” I suppose that is true, I just haven’t gotten to the marriage part yet.

I am in the beginning, where the author talks about who she was growing up or rather who she wasn’t.

She talks about how in her younger years she was always considered beautiful by those who came in contact with her.   As I was reading this, several things she said struck me and it’s this:

“When strangers admire me, I practice returning their attention. I understand that beauty is a form of kindness. It is for giving away and I try to be generous.”

She goes on to say that her parents tried to instill balance in her life by telling her she was smart as well.

“I’m an early reader, and at four, converse like an adult.” “But soon I realize that smart is more complicated than beautiful….”  “I begin to understand that beauty warms people and smart cools people.” 

Let me preface this by saying, I am smart. Always have been, somewhat absent minded, but smart just the same. I grew up loving to read, I enjoyed history and studying people and the world around me. Beautiful wasn’t a word I would exactly use to describe myself.

As I have gotten older, I embraced all of these “smart” aspects me and accepting that I wasn’t physically beautiful.  Sure, I have physical traits that I love, but I was never completely happy with it all.

People reading this might say things like, “Beauty only runs skin deep.” or “Think more of yourself, Daniela.”

I never wanted to play the dumb blonde to get noticed, I never knew how to flirt or if I did, I didn’t use it.  I loved that I loved to read, I loved that I knew I thought differently than most girls my age, but does this get the attention of the opposite sex?  No. You hardly get noticed.

Glennon goes on to talk about how she became someone else as she got older, having a “representative” of sorts, getting involved in things that could destroy anyone.

Anyway, I think this is an excellent and easy read, definitely worth diving into.  While this is one of six books I am reading right now, I will definitely get back to you with more thoughts as I continue on with this book.

Until next time…








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