Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Stronger, healthier, faster

I went to Banana Republic yesterday to buy some shorts. They had tons of really cute ones that weren't too short and some that were even on sale. I had the little girl with me so knew I wasn't going to have much time to really try on much. I picked up a pair, held them up to me and thought they looked the right size. Took them back to the changing room with me along with some other items. 

This is when I took a look at the size. 8s! Pulled them on and they fit! What? The shorts I came in wearing were 12s. Of course, they have been fitting a bit baggy and I did need to put on a belt to hold them up. I should have known. The thing is, I knew I was smaller, but not that much smaller! Woohoo.

More incentive to keep going to Body Back classes, running and doing those 12 Minute workouts.
I should probably keep up with the eating healthier, too. Seems to be working. 

At this time last summer, before I started my first Body Back Session, I was unable to run a mile, I was 15 pounds heavier and definitely not as strong and healthy. I had high blood pressure, too. A year later, I can run a 5k and I am running a half marathon the end of July. I say running, probably more of a walk/run but my only goal is to finish within the 3 hour limit. I think I can do that considering that I can do 6 miles in a little over an hour.


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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Night at the Symphony

The hubby and I went to the Symphony last night, the last performance of this season's subscription. It was pretty amazing. It wasn't just the normal performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, it was a full on production incorporating movement around the stage and hall, lighting and video. The soloists did not just stand while the sang and sit when they didn't. They walked and kneeled and watched the choir or concertmaster as they performed, they interacted with the boy's choir. We absolutely loved it. A great ending to our season. Can't wait to see what we will get next season.

I have included this short clip of Michael Tilson Thomas's description of his reimagining of this daunting piece. Enjoy


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 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Going on Hiatus...kind of

Hi all,

My last (requested) book review will be posted next month and then I am going on hiatus for a bit. Not sure how long it will be for, but I am ready to read books from my TBR pile and our Book Group picks without having to try to fit them in between review books. 

I will still be around, however, blogging about other things- my current TBR books, book group, knitting projects, life. I have a lot of things coming up that I would like to spend time on... a half marathon, the little girl starting TK, turning 40!

Hope you stick around.






Happy Reading!
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Thursday, June 4, 2015

SF Half Marathon

Back in January, I told a friend I would do a half marathon with her. Back then it sounded doable. Six months to train and get myself able to at least run part of it and finish in the allotted time. Well, I should have known that, being a bit of a klutz, it wouldn't be that easy.

Since beginning my "training", I have made my feet and ankle ache to the point of being barely able to walk, I have fallen and given my leg the worst road rash, and now I have thrown out my back. The back was not done running, though. It was done in the shower while shaving my legs. 
Seriously.

I think running (and shaving) are a bit too dangerous for my clumsy self. What do you all think?

Unfortunately, there is no backing out now unless I am totally broken at the end of July. I have a friend flying in from Texas to join me on the course! We may be walking instead of running, though. Can you imagine the damage I could do to myself on the hills of San Francisco?

Ack!
Happy Jogging! (Ha)
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 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

The Appetites of Girls by Pamela Moses

The Appetites of Girls by Pamela Moses
416 pages, Paperback
Published June, 2015 by Berkeley

Source: From publisher for review

About the Book

A wisely-observed and beautifully-wrought debut novel, Pamela Moses’s THE APPETITES OF GIRLS (Berkley Trade Paperback; June 2, 2015; $16.00) traces the lives of four young women—college roommates—as they find strength to overcome struggles that have defined them since adolescence and eventually grow into the women they are meant to be. Told from each woman’s distinct vantage point, their interlocking stories revolve, subtly and compulsively, around food and the dangerous preoccupation with body image that so often shapes women’s perceptions and actions from an early age. This “terrific novel…exposes and illuminates the ways in which women use food as a proxy weapon in battles with others and themselves,” says Martha Moody, bestselling author of Best Friends. “And, most hauntingly, it shows how even young women with clear advantages…must struggle to recognize and accept their own intrinsic powers.”

An intimate baby shower for Ruth reunites the former roommates and provides the narrative springboard for each woman’s girlhood story and the memories that have shaped her since. Plump and self-doubting as a child, Ruth is raised by a mother who uses food as affection as well as control. Opal longs for attention from her nomadic single mother and determines to achieve it by imitating her mother’s use of feminine wiles with men. Francesca grows up in a Park Avenue penthouse with a mother obsessed with appearances; and Setsu, adopted as a toddler from an orphanage in Japan, shows a rare talent as a violinist but is too ready to sacrifice her gifts to please a jealous older brother.

When the four women are assigned as suitemates at Brown, they seem to come from different worlds. But from their friendship—which grows discordantly at times and tentatively at first—Ruth, Opal, Francesca, and Setsu find strength to triumph individually as well as together.

“An important book for our times—and for our friends, daughters, and ourselves” says Sarah Pekkanen, author of The Best of Us. As it delves into the complex relationship between woman and food, this impressive debut novel explores deeper issues about the challenges all women face as they navigate through life.

My Review

I have to say, I always enjoy a good coming of age story and one about girls who meet in college, and their lives after, has always interested me. So I was very interested and excited to read The Appetite of Girls.

I enjoyed the way Moses introduces the girls- through their childhood experiences and hardships (usually with their mothers) that will influence them later in life. They are so different and yet they become the best of friends as roommates in college.

The writing and the story pulled me in. It was so easy to get sucked into these girl's lives and root for them. A great summer book. 

About the Author

Pamela Moses grew up in New Jersey.  She attended Brown University and received a master’s in English from Georgetown.  After graduating, she moved to Manhattan to teach English at a girls’ school.  She now lives outside New York City with her husband and two children.  The Appetites of Girls is her first novel. 

For more information about the book and author visit her WEBSITE.



Happy Reading!
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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Imaginary Things by Andrea Lochen

Imaginary Things by Andrea Lochen
400 pages, Paperback
Published April 2015, Astor+Blue Editions

Source: sent for review by publisher

Do your kids have imaginary friends? Did you as a child? 

This book follows a young single mother and her son as they try and adjust to a new life in the country with family that are helping them out. While there an unexpected occurrence happens. One that seems impossible and kinda crazy. 

Having just dealt with her son's father being diagnosed bi-polar, Anna thinks she may be losing it when she starts seeing her son's imaginary friends come to life. Are they dangerous? She doesn't know, but she worries for his safety. 

I really enjoyed the magical feel of this book. Not knowing what was real or imagined made for a little suspense mixed in with a very nice story about family, love and figuring out the real and imagined dangers in our lives.

About the Author

Andrea Lochen is the author of two novels, IMAGINARY THINGS and THE REPEAT YEAR. She earned her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan. She teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha and lives in Madison with her husband and daughter.



For more information about the book and author visit her WEBSITE.



Happy Reading!
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 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Vote for Remi by Leanna Lehman



About the Book
Fiery US government teacher Remi Covington is relentless in her desire to impart the genius of the democratic process to her students. Her so-called “academically challenged” high school seniors sometimes find her enthusiasm more than a little annoying―so, in an effort to teach her a lesson, they execute a brazen, high-tech, social media blitz touting her as the newest candidate in the upcoming US presidential race. Much to everyone’s surprise, Remi plays along with her students’ ruse―and in a nation weary of politics and career politicians, she unexpectedly finds herself the darling of the American public. 

As the campaign takes on a life of its own, Remi is forced to confront a myriad of long-held social biases and cultural clichés, and realizes she isn’t quite the woman she thought was. Vote for Remi is about a would-be a presidential candidate who, despite being all wrong―the wrong gender, the wrong party, and certainly the wrong social status―discovers that she might be exactly what America needs: someone with a passion for doing what is right.

About the Author

Leanna Lehman is the author of quirky political fiction novel, Vote For Remi (She Writes Press). She worked in the education field for six years, and specialized in developing online educational programs that assist at-risk teens. She lives in Fallon, Nevada, with her rescued dog Henry Higgins, and spends her free time painting, hiking, snowboarding, camping, and traveling to the coast. She found her passion for writing while undergoing chemo therapy in 2008-2009, when she began journaling her experience.

For more information about the author and the book visit her WEBSITE.

Giveaway

If you would like to win a copy of Vote for Remi, leave a comment on this post. 
I would love to hear what your campaign slogan would be if you were running for President! (But not necessary to enter.)

Giveaway is open to US residents only. 
You have until June 3rd to enter. 


Happy Reading!
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Lost in Translation, Part 2.

I am currently reading The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, a science fiction novel that has been translated from Chinese. While reading, it made me think of my previous post about what may get lost in translations. Was I missing some important things?

I found this article (really a review) about the book's translation and found it very interesting. By keeping the book translated as close to the original writing, did the translator actually make it less accessible to English readers? Would US readers enjoy it more if it had been Americanized? I have a feeling there would not be agreement from readers on that point. 

I for one don't feel books should be "dumbed down" or "Americanized" to make it more palatable for readers. However, I do understand that publishers would do that to sell more books. 

What are your thoughts?

Happy Reading!
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 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Day 1: Bout of Books

Time to get my reading groove back. (I hope.)
Bout of Books 13 begins today.

Here is what I have to read this week:

 eBook selection:

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Lui (book club)
Imaginary Things by Andrea Lochen (review)
The Appetites of Girls by Pamela Moses (review)
The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley (review)

In Paperback:

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn 



Daily tracking

Monday 5/11

Currently reading: The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Lui
Percentage read today: 9%
Total read: 9%
Books finished:

Notes: This book was selected for my book group which meets on Wednesday. I need to get this read now. It is not what I usually read, and am finding it difficult to get into. Here's to finishing on time...or at least get closer than 20%. *ebook, started with 20% already read before today

Tuesday 5/12

Currently reading: The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Lui
Percentage read today: 7%
Total Read: 16%
Books Finished:

Notes: Ack. Not enough read before falling asleep! 36% read. Not going to have this read before tonight. May have to miss anyway since I am not feeling well. 

Wednesday 5/13

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Thursday 5/14

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Friday 5/15

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Saturday 5/16

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Sunday 5/17

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