Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Current Read: Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford

Happy Reading!

Fit4Mom's Body Back

I just finished another session of Body Back with Fit4Mom. It is an 8 week session that includes two bootcamp-like workouts a week, nutrition guidance and meditation. A full body overhaul, if you will.

I have been taking these sessions pretty regularly for the past two years. The workouts are really great and a lot of fun when surrounded with other moms. Even better- I have seen results! 

I have lost over 15lbs. This might not seem like much for 2 years, but I find that losing slower is helping me to keep it off. However, what I am most proud of is the changes made in my strength, endurance and speed.

I couldn't run a mile without taking many walking breaks. I have now broken a 10m mile. I could't do more than a few push ups. I now can do 20+ in a minute. I could barely hold plank for a minute. I have held it for 3min.   

On to the next session!

Happy Wednesday!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Up All Night

We have all gotten very little sleep. Running on fumes here.

The little girl was up vomiting almost every hour from 8pm to 2am. Poor little thing. She was miserable and I feel like a zombie. Up munching on a bagel and having a cup of coffee while she finally sleeps, the poor girl. 

While up last night, I did finally finish reading Armada by Ernest Cline.  Have to say, I did't enjoy it as much as Ready Player One. It didn't have the same feel to it despite the inclusion of the SciFi pop culture references. It was a bit predictable and not as fun.

Alright, back to bed I go. For a little while, at least. I doubt the little girl will be asleep for much longer. 

Happy Napping!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Armchair BEA Day 5: Wrap-Up

Armchair BEA

Armchair BEA has come and gone. Always fun visiting new blogs and reading everyone's posts. 

In case you missed my posts this week, here they are, all in one place for you to peruse if you like. If not, at least go enter the giveaway. It's a good one, I promise. :)

Thanks for another great year. I love participating in BEA from my armchair at home.
Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Armchair BEA Day 4: Surviving Fictional Worlds and a GIVEAWAY!

Armchair BEA
My book group just read Paolo Bacigalupi's The Water Knife. 

Have any of you read this?

It takes place in a not so distant future where climate change has really taken a toll on the US. Hurricanes and rising ocean levels on the coasts, unending drought in the southern states. States are fighting for water rights. Nevada is a dustbowl. Cities with water (heavily controlled and rationed water) are inundated with refugees from areas with no water. Northern states have closed off their borders to keep the people out.  

It is a very sad and scary look at what could happen if something is not done now to prevent it. It is so believable that this fictionalized look at our future is somewhere I would not want to find myself. 

Conserve water! Lower your carbon emissions! 



Would you like to read this book? 

Leave a comment below and let me know what you are doing to save the Earth for future generations.  A winner will be randomly selected to receive a copy of The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi. You have until Friday, May 20th to enter. US only.

Happy Reading!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Armchair BEA Day 3: Beyond the Books and Blogs

Armchair BEA

When I started MariReads 9 years ago all the books I read and reviewed were my own purchased physical copies. When I started getting requests to review books they were sent to me in the mail. Real hard copies. Things are a little different now. Most of my review reading is now done with ebook copies on my Kindle through NetGalley

I do buy physical copies, but not as many these days. Smaller house means less room for my many bookshelves of books. In fact I lightened our load of books by donating boxes of them to our library. 

Painful, but necessary. 

I have started listening to audiobooks which I didn't use to do. I have enjoyed them, especially when I am out for a run or walk or for long drives on my own. Always looking for suggestions for new audiobooks to listen to. Have any?

My book obsession has escaped the confines of my house and blog and into a real life book group. 

Some friends and I started getting together a few years back. We read fun, light reads mixed with some nonfiction and popular lit. We lost some member and decided to merge with another friend's book group. It has been a lot of fun getting to read a much more diverse group of books. By that, I mean, more SciFi. :) We have some big time SciFi readers in our group. It's definitely expanded my reading. Surprisingly, it still doesn't overlap with my hubby's SciFi books. 

If you are on GoodReads, you can check out my book-group bookshelf list to see what books we have read.

Happy Reading!

Current Audiobook: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
This is what I have been listening to this month on Audible. Really enjoying this. I don't know if I would have guessed it was written by JK Rowling had it not been revealed, but knowing it was her I can definitely here her in it. So good at setting the atmosphere and making the characters real and relatable. 
Happy Reading!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Armchair BEA Day 2: Books and Blog Aesthetics

Armchair BEA

Books: Do you judge a book by its cover? Tell the truth. :) I know I do.  

I am a sucker for a beautifully designed cover. I have to say that my favorites are children's books that use an illustrator, because they have read the book and the covers reflect that. Think Harry Potter. The US Scholastic versions. Those covers are the absolute best in my opinion.

Blog: Well, I have to admit to being lazy when it comes to "branding" my blog.

I started this site for me really not expecting others to read it. I just wanted a place to keep track of the books I read and share my thoughts on them. I like to think that my reviews are still short, simple and conversational accounts of what I liked and disliked. I never wanted them to be too wordy or long.

The blog itself has changed looks a little bit over the years. I have kept the same banner photo, though and my same generic title of MariReads, but I think changing them at this point, 9 years later, would be silly and unnecessary.

Content has changed a little over the years. I used to have a separate knitting blog, but decided to merge them into one since I stopped blogging as much about what I was knitting. I also became a mom and started sharing more about that part of my life. And lately I have been trying to live a more healthy lifestyle so some of those changes have made it on to here, as well.

So, somethings changes, somethings don't. But I am still here sharing for those who would like to follow along with me. 

Happy Reading!

Armchair BEA 2016

Armchair BEA

Only a day late. I can still join in on the festivities, right?

Well then, lets backtrack a bit to Day 1 Introductions.

Hi, I'm Mari here at MariReads. Mostly books and book related stuff here, but I do throw in other things I am interested in- Knitting, music, exercise and nutrition and the occasional product review. I am a stay at home mom, former PK teacher so that sometimes sneaks onto the blog, as well.

The books I most enjoy are fiction- mysteries, historical and thrillers are my faves. My IRL book group has me reading and enjoying more Sci Fi books than I ever thought I would. NonFiction is still a struggle for me.

Looking forward to meeting new bloggers and catching up with those I have been following for awhile. 

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Readers Workout: May I Begin Yoga Challenge

I am very new to these Instagram monthly challenges when it comes to exercise, but this one just seemed right for me at this time. I have been doing boot camps and running but had completely stopped doing yoga which I really enjoy. This was a great way to get back into it. 

The #MayIBeginYoga2016 challenge is hosted by @BeachYogaGirl and @KinoYoga. It's a great beginners series, and also great for experienced yogis. I am especially loving the videos that KinoYoga puts out each day with a 10 minute practice that incorporates the previous days' poses and the new one. 

Great way to start the day.



Friday, May 6, 2016

Kiwi Crate

Was wondering if anyone has used Kiwi Crate subscription boxes with their kids. 

I just ordered our first box hoping it will be a fun thing to do with the little girl over the summer. She loves activities and crafts, so why not make them a little more educational and science related, right? 

If you have tried it, I would love to know what you think. Were they worth the cost? Are the materials you need all included? Are the activities engaging enough for a 5 year old?

I will be sure to let you all know what we think once our box arrives and we have had a chance to play with it. 

If you would like to give it try, too, here is a link you can use to get $10 off your first box. Full disclosure, it gives me $10 back as well.  

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
384 pages, Hardcover and ebook
Published May 2016, Berkeley
Source: From the publisher for review, NetGalley


In a split second, Jenna Gray's world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . . 

My Review


I really liked the way this story was told. It is a bit hard to get into it without giving away the big reveal, but just know that it had me completely believing something else and not understanding why there was so much fear and suspense. It had me nervous reading and not totally getting why that was. 

It is a good mix of family drama and loss, police procedural and thriller. Really quite good. Can't wait to read her next book.

About the Author

Clare Mackintosh spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander. She left the police in 2011 to work as a freelance journalist and social media consultant, and now writes full time.

Clare’s debut novel, I Let You Go, was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller for 12 weeks, and was the fastest selling title by a new crime writer in 2015. It was selected for both the Richard and Judy Book Club and ITV’s Loose Women’s ‘Loose Books’, and has been translated into almost 30 languages. It has sold more than 500,000 copies to date.

Clare’s next book, I See You, will be published in July 2016.

Happy Reading!