Amazing Book

I just finished the most recent book I have been reading called Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight.  It is a serious page turner (or finger swipper if you are reading on a kindle like me)!

ameliaThe book is about a single mother who’s young daughter jumps off the roof of her school.  The story follows the mother trying to discover if her daughter’s death truly was a suicide, the daughters story leading up to her death and the mothers story around the time of her daughter’s conception until all three of these plots come together as one in the end.  The story is beautifully crafted and wonderfully surprising.  I literally couldn’t stop reading it.

If you are looking for a book to drag you in and hold on, this is the one you are looking for.  I spent the past two nights up way to late reading it and I honestly wish it wasn’t over.

HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend!!

Perks of Unemployment

I warn you that my nerd is coming out in a big way today.  One of my favorite perks of unemployment at the moment is being able to read ALL . THE . TIME .  In the past week I have read 3 fabulous books that I will not hesitate to say should make it to your summer reading list.  I will recap in the order I read them.

The Maze Runner

maze runnerThis is one of my little brother’s favorite books and after he told me I had to read it and I found out it is going to be a movie in the fall, I added it to my list.  It is another teenage, dystopian novel where the first few chapters you are thinking, “what the heck, this is so strange.”  But then you let all that go and just have to keep reading to figure out where in the world this could be going.  Basically, a teenage boy finds himself in the middle of this maze, without any of his life memories and all these strange boys surrounding him.  He and the boys are on a mission to find the way out and things just get weirder from there.  And of course, the end leaves you on a major cliff hanger so I already have the next one on hold at the library!

The Sandcastle Girls

Sandcastle GirlsThis one is the book we chose for our book club this month/two months.  The author says repetitively and it is so true, the book is about the genocide you know next to nothing about.  It is about the Armenian genocide in 1915 and is fascinating and devastating all at once.  It kind of makes me sick to think too much about it.  Did you know 1.5 million people died in this genocide, yet it is nearly never talked about.  I have to admit the story didn’t grab me from the beginning (though I was very preoccupied with my current life situation and was getting distracted while I was reading) but about half way through I started to see where it was going.  A young girl from Boston is basically viewed as wild and unruly so her father takes her on an aid mission to help the victims of the genocide and bring aid.  The story is about her meeting all sides of the tragedy from the soldiers, the natives and victims themselves.  It was a wonderful, and tragic story.  Definitely worth the read!

Necessary Lies

necessary liesI have to start with the fact that Diane Chamberlain is one of my favorite authors of all time.  I literally read this book in a day and a half.  I couldn’t stop reading it!  I don’t think I have ever read a book by her that I wasn’t thrilled with!! This book takes place in the South (North Carolina) in the 1960’s.  It follows the story of a recently married woman who is new to social work and one of the families she is servicing.  The main topic of the story: Sterilization of mentally handicapped, epileptic and basically poor people on welfare that they could essentially “neuter.”  The terrible part, this really happened…UNTIL 1975!!  How unbelievable is that.  Of the three I would recommend reading this first, but I just finished it so I am especially fired up about it at the moment.

All these books were fantastic and I would highly recommend any one of them (all very different from one another though).

Have you read anything awesome that I can add to my “unemployment reading list?”

Finally Human

After being laid up for the past three days I was so relieved to wake up a real human again today.  I still have a little residual sneeze/cough and stuffy nose but I could actually function in society today.  Tuesday was the worst, I was maybe awake a total of 2 hours; I couldn’t even read because my eyes hurt so bad.  It was THE WORST!!

The extent of my last few days (except Tuesday when even this was too much).

The extent of my last few days (except Tuesday when even this was more than I could handle).

I finished Labor Day yesterday and am anxious to watch the movie.  It was a really good book, though a bit odd.  You just have to leave your judgements at the cover because this is quite a strange family and an equally bizarre story.  It was quite good though and I flew through it.  I have another book by her on my list called After Her.  Hoping to be equally pleased.

laborday

With days of doing nothing behind me, I was rip raring to work out today (and really just get outside).  However, I had squandered the beautiful spring days that were Monday-Wednesday and came back to life just in time for 95 degrees, no breeze and like 99% humidity.  YAY SUMMER!  I got in a little less than four miles (I figured I should still take it easy after being so ill) and I was sweating like a pig when I was done.  Before my run, I got in a little yoga flow too because I was getting impatient for it to (sort of) cool off.  It was actually a really challenging video (at least for me) and had me sweating a good bit.

I made the executive, in my thoughts smart, decision to restart my six week goals next week.  After missing two days this week, the last thing I need to do coming back from illness is over load the next few days trying to make up missed miles and push ups.  What is life without changing, and re-changing plans.

Hope you have had a good few days!!  Finally feeling up for the beach tomorrow, can not wait!!

Swap It Out Sunday

I have had the most peaceful Sunday finishing my book while sitting on the porch, enjoying a naked run through town (it was freakishly quiet, just birds chirping) and now watching The Masters and getting some studying done.

2013-04-14 10.47.22

The book I finished was called The Memory Thief by Emily Colin.  I enjoyed it a lot even though it included a lot of supernatural elements that I usually don’t care for.  The main character Maddie’s husband dies in a climbing accident that he promised to come home from and even after death he tries to keep his promise through another man, Nicholas.  It was a very entertaining story and I flew through it!

Memory Thief

For this week’s swap it out Sunday I was trying to find a safe food to avoid doing something drastic while at amusement parks, county fairs, carnivals, etc.  A go to for these in my family was always a funnel cake, but now it seems you can pretty much deep fry anything: snickers, Oreos and even cheesecake!

fair food

With all of these insane treats around you, with very few options around to even try to make a good decision I found the best alternative I could come up with!

Funnel Cake: 760 calories/ 44g fat

Fried Snickers: 444 calories/ 29g of fat

Fried Oreo: 232 calories/ 14.4g of fat

Kettle Corn (not to be confused with carmel corn): Various results in my research but ~115 calories and 8 grams of fat in 2 cups

So there you have it, your best bet is definitely the kettle corn.  The best thing about this is that its salty and sweet and you can eat a good bit for a lot fewer calories than any of the other treats!

Ordinary Day

Sometimes the most ordinary day can be the greatest day that you just really need.  I can pretty much recap the whole darn thing in 3 minutes.  Got up and had a late breakfast, hung around and read my book, went for a run and then hit up Friday afternoon Yoga.  So simple, yet so blissful!

Here is a picture of my new favorite IT band stretch:

Back straight, fold from the hips and enjoy!

Back straight, keep feet flexed, fold from the hips and enjoy!

I got a FREE Starbucks drink today (Venti Skinny Cinnamon Dolce…yummm!!) and took a nice casual walk to go get it after coming home from yoga.  Nothing is better than free starbucks, I mean really.  Then for dinner we had a nice big bowl of veggies that I made into a stir fry to convince Casey it was worth eating without having meat in it.  So delicious and healthy!

good dayAfter dinner, I finished my book, Sea Change by Karen White.  I have to say it wasn’t my favorite of hers.  It ended so great but pretty much the whole book I really didn’t know where it was going.  I am soooo glad I finished it and I really ended up enjoying the story so I urge you, if you read it, just go with it and I swear it will be worth it in the end.  My beginning opinion too could have been due to the fact that I was reading it one chapter at a time due to everything going on for the past few weeks.

I am so excited too now because I can go back and finish Divergent.  I can’t remember if I shared this or not but I was about 30 pages from the end a few weeks ago and I had borrowed it from the library on my kindle and the darn thing got taken back at like 2 o’clock in the afternoon.  I thought I would have until the end of the day to finish it, but apparently not.

I am always up for book recommendations if anyone knows anything awesome?!

Another Great Book: Divergent

Quite a while ago, a friend of mine recommended The Hunger Games to me.  Two chapters into the first one I texted her and said “This is strange, why did you make me read this?”  Two chapters after that, I promptly apologized.

If you share my love of The Hunger Games Triology, I highly recommend Divergent.

divergent

This book is very Hunger Games-esque but you don’t have to worry about a repeat of the same story.  It has a very different plot line but with all of the action that makes it relevant for all readers!

Best part?  Well, I always think its the best part but then I am usually disappointed… it is going to be made into a movie coming out March 2014.  Until then, I have already put Insurgent (the second in the series) on hold at my library and am anxiously awaiting it’s arrival!

Open Book Tests

Well I learned a valuable lesson today, just because a test is open book doesn’t mean you shouldn’t probably study a little bit.  Whoops!  Hopefully it turned out okay but I spent the afternoon decompressing.

I came home and finished my book (Come Home by Lisa Scottoline) and am now willing to officially recommend it.  The book moved fast and forever had me guessing, which is my favorite type of book.

For the rest of the afternoon, I went for a swim, rode my bike around downtown doing errands and then came home and baked scones for a few hours.  We have a banquet type lunch on Monday so I had to make A LOT, good think I love doing it.

Casey went out with friends for the night so I ordered some terrible take out (sometimes you just have to), watched the most recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy (I love that Mr. Feeny has been on it lately) and for the remainder of my Friday night I’m going to start my new book, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein recommended to me by my friend Allyson.

Always welcome book recommendations if anyone has some good ones!