Showing posts with label Tuesday Topics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tuesday Topics. Show all posts

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Mini Book Reviews; August 2023

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I received an ARC of Happiness Falls from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I received a copy of Don't Forget to Write from Amazon First Reads.

If anything, I read books with really good covers this month! I definitely picked Old Flame based on the cover and, yes it was worth the read. Actually, everything I read except for Happiness Falls was great. The pre-release hype for Happiness Falls was big and I fell for it. Interestingly, this book got great reviews and I just don't get it. If you've read it, comment below and let me know what you thought about it. 


Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Brooks Hype Fest 2023 recap

Disclaimer: As a member of the Brooks Run Happy Team, I received a trip to Brooks Hype Fest and Brooks running gear. This is my recap of the event, but all my opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.

After my experience at last year's Brooks Run Happy Camp, I didn't know how Brooks could top it, but--spoiler alert-- this year they did better by a long shot. The organizers said they took all our feedback from last year to make this year an even better experience. They also changed the name of the event to Brooks Hype Fest, which I just realized as I was writing this, as a way to tie the event in with the launch of their new Hyperions. All the RHT members were receiving a pair at the event but had to work for it, as I'll share below. 

Let's get to the recap!


Monday, July 31, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: July 2023

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of The Many Lives of Mama Love from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my review. This post has affiliate links.

What a great month of reading! Last month, I complained that I couldn't find much good to read. Well, that all turned around in July. For one thing, all my library holds came in at once. What to do? When this happens, I usually prioritize which book I'll get through the quickest, to get one off my list. Sometimes I have to return one to the library and get back on the list. Fortunately this month, I had a week off work plus I was traveling, which gave me a lot of downtime to read. 

Although I do admit to watching Cocaine Bear on one flight. I couldn't help myself and it was entertaining. 

Anyways, I read 7 good books this month, and August is starting off on the right foot as well. Two of them, The Seed Keeper and The Many Lives of Mama Love, were 5 star reads for me. The rest garnered a 4 star rating. Let me know if you find anything interesting here!


Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Race Recap: Leadville Silver 15 mile trail race

About 6 months ago, the leader of Trail Sisters Chicago Northwest asked me if I wanted to join her for Leadville Silver. She was planning on running the 50 mile race but told me there was a 15 mile option. Several of the other women were considering it as well. Since I'm writing this recap, you know what I decided. I asked my youngest son if he would be interested in running with me and to my surprise, he said yes! My oldest son and his girlfriend also joined us for a fun weekend in Colorado.

Monday, July 3, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: June 2023

 Disclaimer: I received an ARC of La Vie, According to Rose from Amazon First Reads. This post contains affiliate links.

After my first book this month, I fell into a slump. Is it just me or are a lot of the new releases lately kind of a slog? After reading several books this month that were highly reviewed and wondering what I was missing, I decided to dig into my TBR and found an absolutely delightful romance story. I ended the month with another backlist book that was recommended by Erica and it was a winner. 

I did have 2 DNFs this month. After making it to the 50% point with both, I called it quits. I just can't waste time reading a book that doesn't draw me in. There are too many books out there for that!


Monday, June 5, 2023

Race Recap: Chicago 13.1

Disclaimer: Because I wanted to share this recap in a timely manner, I did the unforgivable and screenshotted some of the photos taken of me on the course. I plan on buying the digital version when MarathonFoto sends a coupon

Last year was the debut of BOA's Chicago 13.1 race. The course route follows Chicago's 26 mile boulevard system, which runs through multiple neighborhoods throughout the city. The boulevards are lined with stately homes and beautiful parks. While the boulevards are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, many of the parks along the boulevards are individually listed as well. Many of the neighborhoods around the boulevards have fallen by hard times, but for the most part, the parks are well-maintained and serve as anchors to the communities.

In spite of my increased mileage on trails, I was interested in this one. I couldn't fit the race into my schedule last year, but this year I was in! With my goal race--Leadville Silver 15 miles--on the calendar for July, I made the Chicago 13.1 a 'training race' and didn't make a finish time goal. I vowed to have fun and soak it all in!

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Earth Day 15 mile trail race

I ran this race a year ago and after being humbled and beat up by the hills, I vowed never to run it again. Yet, here I was, lined up for the 15 miler again. It's funny how time can dull the memory of pain. I knew what to expect and I was wiser this time. I had my fueling plan in place. I had logged lots of hilly miles on the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin. It was cold and it was windy, but I figured the trees would provide shelter from the wind. I wore one of my Inknburn fleece pullovers and my Brooks Moment tights. My plan was to run the three 5.2 mile loops consistently and not let that last loop crush me as it did last year.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: April 2023

Disclaimers: I received an ARC of If We're Being Honest from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

April was a really good month for books for me! I read a prerelease novel, 4 new releases, and while waiting for library holds to come in, I dug deep into my TBR for an old selection from Reese's Book Club. All good reads, but my favorite book of the month was the last one I read--Adelaide was recommended highly by another book blogger. I almost didn't read it, but I am so glad I did. It was one of those books that got me in the feels. If I'm being honest, there's not a bad book here!


Monday, April 10, 2023

Book Review: The Longest Race by Kara Goucher

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Regular readers of this blog know that I do a lot of running book reviews. Because I do so many running book reviews, most of the books I review are gifted to me by the publisher. I found it odd that ARCs of Kara Goucher's new book were not available and that there weren't a lot of prepublication reviews. I decided it would be worth purchasing and after reading it, I understand why she kept her book quiet until publication day. 

It's quite a read. I'm going to do my best to share my thoughts about The Longest Race without spoiling it for people who haven't read it yet. Runners who follow Goucher know a lot of her story, and it was nice to read it from her perspective. But some of what she shares in the book she hasn't shared before. It's a cautious tale for young women with lofty running goals. 


Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: March 2023

Disclaimer: I received a PRC of Choosing to Run from the publisher and NetGalley. This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. 

I started March's reads with a winner! Des Linden's memoir was compelling reading. While I waited for some library holds to come in, I hit the backlist for Share Your Stuff. I'll Go First, which had great reviews. I didn't love it and eagerly opened my first library hold, Stone Cold Fox. I could not put it down and it kept my heart pounding! Big Swiss was hilarious. Just hilarious. But it might not be for everyone. Speaking of everyone, Pineapple Street is the must-read of the moment. I found it to be just ok. Another popular read right now is Maame, which I enjoyed. 

I read a 7th book this month as well, but I am going to do a full review on the blog. Kara Goucher's memoir, The Longest Race, gave me all the feels. I could not put it down. I have a lot of thoughts on this one and will share my post next Tuesday. Stay tuned for that!

Monday, February 27, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: February 2023

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of  Commitment from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my review. This post contains affiliate links. 

In books as in life, you win some, you lose some. I read 2 disappointing books this month. Both of them were quick reads, so I stuck it out, finishing them both. There was a big, fun surprise on my TBR from 2020 that had me asking myself why it took me so long to pick it up. Last but not least was Jenna's pick for January, a book that started out meh but made me smile as I read the last lines. I love when a book redeems itself! 


Monday, January 30, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: January 2023

Disclaimer: I received ARCs of Central Places and On the Savage Side from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

What a great start to another year of reading! Instead of being overwhelmed with library holds all coming in at once, I was able to pick and choose what I wanted to read without rushing through them all. I was lucky to read a hot newish release by Barbara Kingsolver, an author whose epic novels never disappoint. NetGalley has been very generous this month, offering limited time reads that I didn't have to apply for. One of them was by Tiffany Daniel, another author who I am familiar with and who also never disappoints. Interestingly, both the Kingsolver and Daniel books were very different variations on the same theme, poverty and opiate abuse in rural Appalachia. Do yourself a favor and read both. Not only will they make you count your blessings, but they both will give you a lot to think about. 

The other three books were also excellent. I hope this is the pattern for the rest of 2023!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Race Recap: Frozen Gnome 10k

Recently, I ran my 3rd Frozen Gnome 10k on the local trails at Veteran's Acres Park in Crystal Lake, Illinois. In 2021, I ran this race virtually, on the course, and returned in 2022 for the live event.  This has become one of my favorite trail races--I love the location, the distance, the swag, and the fact that it is in January! The race organizer puts on great events and I was excited to rerun it!

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Mini Book Reviews: December 2022

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

I wrapped up 2022 with a total of 77 books read. I don't set reading goals--that's just too much pressure! Reading books is one of my guilty pleasures and I don't want to feel bad if I can't get through one to meet a goal. It's hard enough when all my library holds come in at once and I only have a few weeks to read them all!

Everyone has been posting their favorite reads and after reading so many books, I can remember only a handful of them. Tops on my list are Lessons in Chemistry, followed by Unlikely Animals. These 2 books checked all the boxes--they grabbed me within the first couple of chapters, I didn't lose my interest, I didn't want to put them down, and they've stuck with me for a long time after finishing them. The characters were interesting and quirky. The stories weren't clich├Ęd. And they were different.  A couple of other books are worth mentioning as well: What Could Be Saved, Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance, Remarkably Bright Creatures, Carrie Soto is Back, Hurricane Girl, Now is Not the Time to Panic, and Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow.

I also read a few non-fiction books, most of which were really good. Non-fiction November gave me an excuse to explore some books that were on my TBR but just couldn't find the time to read! I continue to refer back to Next Level, which validated and educated me about how to train after menopause. It's also on sale for kindle for $2.99 right now! Other favorites include Good for a Girl, Corrections in Ink, Solito, and Running While Black. 

This is just an observation of mine, but it seems to me that many of the books I read this year were unnecessarily long. I don't mind a long book if the story cannot be condensed--in fact, I'm reading an amazing one right now--but there's nothing worse than reading a book that just meanders on and on. Just get to the point! It reminds me of a hair stylist I used to go to who took an hour to cut my hair but mostly spent her time fluffing it. Chop chop! Good editing is a must to make a book crisp and interesting.

Over the holidays, my sister and I were comparing favorites and it was a good reminder that not everyone likes to read the same thing. Multiple times this year, I read highly recommended books only to be disappointed. People always ask me how I find the books I read and mostly, I pick books that are recommended by a couple of the book bloggers I follow. I hope that you will find a couple here that you might like!


Saturday, December 3, 2022

Holiday Gifts for Runners

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I was gifted the Fluid Running System. I was also gifted Born to Run: The Ultimate Training Guide. I was gifted items from Pens and Paces in exchange for sharing them with my readers. As an ambassador for Brooks Running and RoadiD, I receive complimentary gear. These are all items I own and love. All opinions are my own.

Every year, I post a holiday gift list for runners. Sometimes I include items I'd like to receive but this year, I'm featuring items that I own and love. Everything has been tested by me. Hopefully, you'll find something here that will make your runs better and more fun.

So what's on my gift list? I'd love plane tickets to do some traveling. I've got some fun plans for the upcoming year that I'm hoping come to fruition. Continued good health is always a wish, too! What's on your wish list?


Monday, November 28, 2022

Mini Book Reviews: Non-Fiction November 2022

Disclaimers: I received copies of books from Brooks Running, Amazon First Reads, and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

After my reading slump last month, I made the decision to declare this month Non-Fiction November! I later found out that NFN is really a thing in the reading world. And here I thought I starting something. No matter, this was an enjoyable diversion and a good reminder that I need to read more non-fiction. I picked a variety of books and enjoyed them all. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be Solito. Hopefully, you'll find something here that you'll want to read!

Monday, October 31, 2022

Mini Book Reviews: October 2022

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

I've been in a bit of a reading slump this month. I've found myself struggling to get through several books that were actually very good, and even DNFing one that just didn't grab me. You know how much I love to read and this has troubled me. Interestingly, an article in this month's Bookish newsletter addresses the reading slump and gives suggestions to help break out of one. One of the tactics, changing genres, is exactly what I plan to do for November! I've got a few nonfiction books on my TBR and have declared it 'Non-Fiction November'. Hint hint, that's what I'll be doing next month. Does anyone want to join me?

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Mini Book Reviews: September 2022

 Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

This month, I read 5 really good books. They were all books that I couldn't breeze through, full of great writing and were completely immersive stories. They were also longer than the books I've been reading lately. It made me wonder if these authors used the downtime of the pandemic to pen some really excellent reads! Whatever the reason, I can't pick a favorite this month, so you'll just have to read my reviews and decide for yourself. I also have to comment even though I'm not a fan of Good Morning America, they are picking some really good books for their book club! I've already got this month's selection queued up on my Kindle!


Monday, September 19, 2022

A Runner Looks At 60

Where did my 50s go? It feels like I just agonized over this, but here I am, on the cusp of another decade. These milestone birthdays do get more painful. I'm just going to say it: turning 60 is messing with my head. I've never felt my age and I don't now, but over the past couple of years, I've noticed a change in how others see me. When I look in the mirror, I don't always recognize the old person looking back at me. I don't see myself as old and when people comment that I 'look good for my age' or some other similar statement, it always makes me pause. As do comments like "are you still doing that (running)?

It's as if I've crossed into some taboo territory where women of a certain age are supposed to disappear. If I was a man, would people say things like this to me? Will women ever overcome the stigma of aging? 


Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Recap: Camp Run Happy

In addition to my excitement of being part of the Brooks Run Happy Team this year, I was invited to attend Camp Run Happy in Park City, Utah! This was the first year a live camp would take place and the team was ready for it. Over 100 team members from the US and Canada were in attendance. As you can imagine, it was an incredible experience. I wanted to share some, ok a lot of photos, as well as some of the highlights of this very short trip but very fun trip.