Spring/Summer 2019 Reads

It’s been a while since I last posted about the books I’ve read but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading whenever possible! Below is quick recap.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer – This was cute. I’m a little surprised it won the Pulitzer Prize but it was lighthearted and funny. Lesson: Be who you are and don’t always fight things because they may be meant to be.
Rating: 3.5/5

Maid by Stephanie Land – Not a huge fan of this one. I get it that it’s really hard working as a single mother without a degree or family support and the system is broken in supporting those people but it seemed like a sob story I’ve heard before. Rating: 2/5

For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt – It was your typical psychological thriller. It was a quick read and entertaining enough but nothing too deep or unique. Rating: 2/5

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides – Another psychological thriller but I liked this one more. It definitely twisted unexpectedly at the end. Rating: 3/5

Why You Eat What You Eat: The Science Behind Our Relationship with Food by Rachel Herz – I don’t read a ton of non-fiction but I really liked this book. It was interesting to me. I took a bunch of notes and key takeaways, so I’ll do a separate post on this one. Rating: 5/5

Old Baggage by Lisaa Evans – I bought this book when I was in London because I really like British humor. It was a cute book and had enjoyable, strong women protagonists with personality. Rating: 3.5/5

Normal People by Sally Rooney – I LOVED this book. I felt like I got to know the two main characters and the whole time I was rooting for timing to align and for them to be together. Rating: 5/5

Circe by Madeline Miller – I liked mythology in high school so I figured I’d give this one a shot since it was high on the best seller list and I also surprising really enjoyed it. I got pretty into it and sped-read through it. Rating: 5/5

Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak – It was another psychological thriller but of the other two above, I like this one the most. The first half or even three quarters of the book was really good and I didn’t want to put it down, but then it lost its momentum and the ending was only so-so. Overall still a good book though. Rating: 4/5

The Winter Sister by Megan Collins – I’m pretty sure my mom loaned me this one that she got from Book of the Month club. It is a thriller but personally I thought it was a little slow-going and somewhat uneventful. Rating: 1.5/5

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen – Hmm I guess I’ve read a lot of psychological thrillers lately though it’s not my fav genre. This one was actually pretty good but it did seem to draw on a bit towards the end. Rating: 3/5

Recursion by Blake Crouch – I loved Dark Matter by this author so I was really looking forward to this one. I still really liked it though it dragged on a bit at the end. I lent it to Kevin to read since he likes Sci-Fi, but he wasn’t impressed. He said it was too much like a combination of 2 or 3 other plot lines we’ve already seen like Edge of Tomorrow with Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. Rating: 3.5/5

Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson – I listened to this one on audio book while we were on a rattling bus for hours at a time in Madagascar and I really enjoyed it. It made me feel motivated to go running and to push myself hearing about all of the studies and personal stories Hutchinson covers throughout the book. Overall it’s a great book on pushing the body to its limits and how a lot of it is mental strength. I know with science it’s all about experiments and theories but that’s the main thing I didn’t like about the book; a lot of the conclusions were like it worked for this person but not proven for everyone kind of thing and I personally love firmer conclusions/takeaways. Rating: 4/5

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – Wowzers. This book was a lot. In more than one way. Not only was the book super long (814 pages to be exact), but it was filled with so much trauma. It was heartbreaking reading it (I literally had a pit in my stomach half the time) and the author did an excellent job of unpacking what happened to the main character, Jude, in his youth and integrating the reader with his very tight-knit group of friends. Despite being a heavy read, I highly recommend it. At one point I did think that the continuing tragedies Jude faced were almost too far-fetched (or maybe he’s one of the most unlikely people out there), but overall still a great novel. Rating: 5/5

Harvard Business Review’s 10 Must Reads On Managing Yourself – My She Runs It mentor recommended this one. Not all of the articles were relevant but overall I’m really glad I read it and I think I took away some valuable lessons/insights. I think almost anyone could take away some good nuggets of info from it so, Rating: 4.5/5

Where did the first half of the year go!?

The beginning of 2019 started off with a bang with a lot of traveling. I spent the first few weekend traveling, and things never really slowed down from there. I’ve been trying to write this damn blog post for months now. Seeing as it’s almost July now, I’m just going to do a summary of what I’ve been up to.

After my awesome holiday in the Amazon (which already feels like a lifetime ago), I started the New Year with a work sales summit in Orlando the end of January, a trip to London, Vegas, and work trip to Philly. I also had a work trip in LA.

Highlights of LA – Kev and I visited both Y7 studios in Melrose and Silver Lake, we ran 5 miles up Griffith Observatory, went to the LA County Museum of Modern Art (LACMA), and had brunch at two amazing spots, Crossroads and Little Pine. I of course had to balance a lot of work out with some indulgences, so I had ice cream at Salt & Straw and Kiddos Creamery which were both delish.

A few weeks later in February, Kev and I spent President’s Day weekend in Aspen with friends. We had a blast skiing. On April 4th Kev and I celebrated our 2-year anniversary and he took me to see To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway with Jeff Daniels. It was SO good.

We celebrated my 31st birthday in Mexico. It was just for a long weekend but it was a blast. We stayed at Mi Amor, a Colibri Boutique Hotel. One day we went scuba diving and one day we explored old ruins.

Over Memorial Day weekend I visited my family in Michigan. It was nice because I got to have dinner with my immediate family to catch up, my dad and I played golf one morning and I went running at the newly redone High School track with my mom, and we celebrated my grandpa’s 88th birthday with the extended family at the lake.

The beginning of June we celebrated a friend’s birthday in Sea Island, Georgia. It was my first time to Sea Island and I LOVED it. He rented a cabana at the adult-only pool one day and we had two nice 3-course dinners. We stayed at The Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club, a luxury 5-star resort. Not only was our room huge, they brought large fresh baked cookies by our bedside every evening. One evening we also did a boat ride that left at The Cloister and I’d love to stay there next time.

We’ve also been enjoying the city while we’re in town. We went to a few vegan festivals in the city and tried new foods and products, we’ve been trying out new fitness studios including Precision Run, SolidCore, Barry’s Bootcamp, and Hackd, and 4U Fitness, we went on a graffiti and street art tour in Brooklyn with Graff Tours, and I took Kev to a show at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn to see Cillian Murphy in Grief is the Thing with Feathers which was weird but his performance was great.