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Monthly Book Round-Up: March

I’m a bit behind on my book round-up. I always try to do this the first week in April, but with vacation and then just trying to get back into my routine, I completely spaced. And now it’s almost the end of April, and I’m just getting to it.

While spring is finally here (it took long enough!), March was definitely still cold and gross. We had a couple of nice days, but for the most part, it was just yuck. Which meant I spent a lot of time reading. Not as much as I have in the past, but I certainly enjoyed sitting on my couch and reading a good book. I read some books for work as well, so I’ll only be discussing the ones I read outside of work.

Here we go!

david macUnsplash // David Mac


Everything Beautiful Began After – Simon Booy

Synopsis (From Goodreads): Rebecca is young, lost, and beautiful. A gifted artist, she seeks solace and inspiration in the Mediterranean heat of Athens—trying to understand who she is and how she can love without fear. George has come to Athens to learn ancient languages after growing up in New England boarding schools and Ivy League colleges. He has no close relationships with anyone and spends his days hunched over books or wandering the city in a drunken stupor. Henry is in Athens to dig. An accomplished young archaeologist, he devotedly uncovers the city’s past as a way to escape his own, which holds a secret that not even his doting parents can talk about….and then, with a series of chance meetings, Rebecca, George, and Henry are suddenly in flight, their lives brighter and clearer than ever, as they fall headlong into a summer that will forever define them in the decades to come.

Verdict: I was kind of in the middle with this book. I loved the story concept. I thought the descriptions and detail in the book was good. But the book kind of let me down. I think I had higher expectations for it (even though it was a $.99 find!) because the reviews were pretty good for it, but I found it just to be mediocre. I didn’t love it, didn’t hate, but probably wouldn’t recommend it.


Leaving Time – Jodi Picoult

Synopsis (from Goodreads): For over a decade, Jenna Metcalf obsesses on her vanished mom Alice. Jenna searches online, rereads journals of the scientist who studied grief among elephants. Two unlikely allies are Serenity Jones, psychic for missing people who doubts her gift, and Virgil Stanhope, jaded PI who originally investigated cases of Alice and her colleague. Hard questions and answers.

Verdict: I’m a big Jodi Picoult fan. I always have been. And this one did not disappoint. Perhaps I enjoyed it more because I work in a field where I’m surrounded by spirituality, mediums, and so on, but this book really struck a chord with me and I couldn’t put it down. It was a bit different for a Picoult story, but a good one none the less.


Survival Lessons – Alice Hoffman

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Fifteen years ago, Alice Hoffman received a diagnosis that changed everything about the life she’d been living. Most significant, aside from the grueling physical ordeal she underwent, was the way it changed how she felt inside and what she thought she ought to be doing with her days. Now she has written the book that she needed to read then. In this honest, wise, and upbeat guide, Alice Hoffman provides a road map for the making of one’s life into the very best it can be. As she says, “In many ways I wrote this book to remind myself of the beauty of life, something that’s all too easy to overlook during the crisis of illness or loss. There were many times when I forgot about roses and starry nights. I forgot that our lives are made up of equal parts sorrow and joy, and that it’s impossible to have one without the other. . . . I wrote to remind myself that in the darkest hour the roses still bloom, the stars still come out at night. And to remind myself that, despite everything that was happening to me, there were still some choices I could make.

Verdict: If I was going through a health crisis, or knew someone that was, I would definitely recommend this book to them. I had gotten this book when it was on sale. I didn’t realize it was short (under 100 pages) and more of quick thoughts, not an actual memoir, when I bought it. But, I’m happy it was the first thing I’ve read by Alice Hoffman because now I know more about her personal story, and know that she is a phenomenal writer.


Life in Motion – Misty Copeland

To read more on this book, check out my book review that was posted for Sarah Ohm’s Blogger Book Club.


Life Among Giants – Bill Roorbach

Synopsis (from Goodreads): An exploration of lives touched by greatness and tragedy in equal measure, Roorbach’s latest novel traces towering Princeton graduate and NFL player–cum–restaurateur David “Lizard” Hochmeyer in his attempt to unravel the tangled conspiracy behind his parents’ murder in 1970. When his parents are killed in front of him at a restaurant, David believes the culprits are connected to his neighbor, the elegant ballerina Sylphide, whose rock star husband also died under mysterious circumstances, and with whom David has fallen heedlessly in love. As David trades a career in football for one in food, his sister, Kate, a tennis star with “tough girl” endorsements, slides into paranoia over their parents’ deaths. It is a soapy and thrilling indulgence, a tale of opulence, love triangles, and madness, set against a sumptuous landscape of lust and feasts, a sensory abundance that fails to mitigate the sorrows of David’s youth.

Verdict: I had a hard time with this book. The synopsis drew me in. It sounded so interesting. The premise was good, but it was almost too descriptive. And it bounced around quite a bit, which could get confusing. And I don’t get confused easily. Let’s leave it as this. There were parts I enjoyed. There were parts I just wanted to get through. And there were parts that were neither here nor there. Read if you wish. Perhaps you’ll like it more than me.


Help for the Haunted – John Searles

Synopsis (from Goodreads): It begins with a call in the middle of snowy February evening. Lying in her bed, young Sylvie Mason overhears her parents on the phone across the hall. This is not the first late-night call they have received, since her mother and father have an uncommon occupation, helping “haunted souls” find peace. And yet, something in Sylvie senses that this call is different than the rest, especially when they are lured to the old church on the outskirts of town. Once there, her parents disappear, one after the other, behind the church’s red door, leaving Sylvie alone in the car. Not long after, she drifts off to sleep only to wake to the sound of gunfire.Nearly a year later, we meet Sylvie again struggling with the loss of her parents, and living in the care of her older sister, who may be to blame for what happened the previous winter. As the story moves back and forth in time, through the years leading up to the crime and the months following, the ever inquisitive and tender-hearted Sylvie pursues the mystery, moving closer to the knowledge of what occurred that night, as she comes to terms with her family’s past and uncovers secrets that have haunted them for years.

Verdict: Another book I thought sounded pretty incredible. Thankfully I wasn’t as disappointed with this one. I always love a good mystery/ghost story, and was thrilled to get my hands on this one. While it was a mystery of sorts, it didn’t have as much of the paranormal aspect as I had hoped. But, it was a good story nonetheless, and I enjoyed getting lost in it.

I hope you enjoyed the March round-up! April’s will be here before you know it! Guess I better get reading 😉


(Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. By purchasing items via these links, I will earn a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay for said items.)

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Monthly Book Round-up – January

Since I seem to fail at doing individual book reviews, I’ve decided I’ll do a round-up of what I read the previous month. Just seems easier. I’ll be doing book reviews for the books I read for Sarah Ohm’s Blogger Book Club, but for the rest, it will just be a round-up.

As you all know, I read a lot. I love reading. I have since I was a child. I love escaping into a new world through books. The last few years, I’ve made the goal of reading 100 books. While I’ve come close, I haven’t quite reached that goal yet. So this year, I decided not to set a goal. Mainly so I could get remember why I love to read. That it’s not about reading as many books as possible, but enjoying the process.

I read 5 books in January. One of which was over 600 pages, but well worth the read. I’ve had some books on my Nook since last year that I wanted to read, so that’s what the month of January (and beginning of February) has been about. Here we go!

Monthly Book Round Up JanuaryGratisography


The Best of Me – Nicholas Sparks

Synopsis (From Goodreads): The Best of Me is the heart-rending story of two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. Now middle-aged, they’ve taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world. When they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made, and ask whether love can truly rewrite the past.

Verdict: I always love a good Nicholas Sparks book. I don’t like to admit it, but sometimes, you just need a good romance novel and a good cry. This one was good. The love story was reminiscent of many of his previous books, but with a really solid twist. I enjoyed it, and I really want to see the movie now.


 Summer House – Nancy Thayer

Synopsis (From Goodreads): After years of wandering from whim to whim, thirty-year-old Charlotte Wheelwright seems to have at last found her niche. The free spirit enjoys running an organic gardening business on the island of Nantucket, thanks in large part to her spry grandmother Nona, who donated a portion of land on the family’s seaside compound to get Charlotte started. Though Charlotte’s skill with plants is bringing her success, cultivating something deeper with people–particularly her handsome neighbor Coop–might be more of a challenge. As summer progresses, these three women–Charlotte, Nona, and Helen–come to terms with the decisions they have made. Revisiting the lives and loves that have crossed their paths and the possibilities of the roads not taken, they may just discover that what they’ve always sought was right in front of them all along.

Verdict: I didn’t really know what to expect with this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. I’m always drawn to anything that has summer, beach, etc. in the title and I figured the cold winter would be a good time to read it; let me escape to a warmer place. But what I discovered was a wonderfully written story of family dynamics, and I loved reading every minute.


Between the Lines – Jodi Picoult

Synopsis (From Goodreads): Delilah, a loner hates school as much as she loves books— one book in particular. In fact if anyone knew how many times she has read and reread the sweet little fairy tale she found in the library, especially her cooler than cool classmates, she’d be sent to social Siberia forever.To Delilah, though, this fairy tale is more than just words on the page. Sure, there’s a handsome (well, okay, incredibly handsome) prince, and a castle, and an evil villain, but it feels as if there’s something deeper going on. And one day, Delilah finds out there is. Turns out, this Prince Charming is not just a one-dimensional character in a book. He’s real, and a certain fifteen-year-old loner has caught his eye. But they’re from two different worlds, and how can it ever possibly work?

Verdict: Okay. I love Jodi Picoult. And I loved that she wrote a book with her daughter. And I thought the concept was so interesting, and totally different. And as someone who was always reading in middle and high school, I definitely could relate to Delilah (although, I wasn’t a loner.) But the idea of “What happens to the book’s characters when we close the book?” – incredible.


The Book of Life – Deborah Harkness

Synopsis (From Goodreads): After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches–with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

Verdict: I loved these entire trilogy. I loved the way this book wrapped up the trilogy. I wish she would write more books, not necessarily for this trilogy just in general. I want this trilogy made into a movie. Seriously, I loved it. And I’m not one to enjoy supernatural-type books. It’s incredible. If you don’t mind putting the time into it (each book is a minimum of 500 pages), then read them. You won’t be disappointed.


Fixed on You – Laurelin Paige

Synopsis (From Goodreads): Stalking and restraining orders are a thing of Alayna Wither’s past. With her MBA newly in hand, she has her future figured out—move up at the nightclub she works at and stay away from any guy who might trigger her obsessive love disorder. A perfect plan.But what Alayna didn’t figure on is Hudson Pierce, the new owner of the nightclub. He’s smart, rich, and gorgeous—the kind of guy Alayna knows to stay away from if she wants to keep her past tendencies in check. Except, Hudson’s fixed his sights on her. He wants her in his bed and makes no secret of it. Avoiding him isn’t an option after he offers a business proposition she can’t turn down and she’s drawn further into his universe, unable to resist his gravitational pull. When she learns Hudson has a dark history of his own, she realizes too late that she’s fallen for the worst man she could possibly get involved with. Or maybe their less than ideal pasts give them an opportunity to heal each other and finally find the love their lives have been missing.

Verdict: Okay. So, this is one of those books that I’ve had on my Nook since last year. I bought the entire trilogy for $1.99. I really liked the Fifty Shades of Grey series (even though I can’t really stand erotica novels), and I’ve read a few other series similar since. Mainly because they’ve been cheap. The first book in this series was… good. Enough for me to move onto the second. If your a romance/erotica fan,  you’ll enjoy this book. If you don’t, but liked Fifty Shades of Grey, don’t read it because you’ll be annoyed and disappointed.


And that is my January book round-up! Stay tuned for February!

(Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. By purchasing items via these links, I will earn a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay for said items.)

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I Read A Lot – Here Are My Favorite Books from 2014.

In the spirit of the 2014 round-up posts, I figured that since I’m always reading, it’s only proper for me to include my favorite books of 2014. Which, let me tell you, was quite the feat. I may not read as much as some of those book bloggers out there, but I read around 80 books this year so narrowing that down to my top favorites was pretty difficult.

Enjoy!


Top Books of 2014Unsplash

The Girl You Left Behind – JoJo Moyes: I started to get more into historical fiction right after I bought my first nook. I discovered JoJo Moyes in 2013 after reading ‘The Last Letter from Your Lover’ and instantly fell in love with her writing style. This book was no different. An incredible love story surrounding a painting of Sophie Lefevre (painted by her husband) set in Europe during the first World War, and then the book fast-forwards nearly 100 years later, intertwining the lives of two young woman who are determined the fight for the thing they love the most. This one grabbed me by the heart and wouldn’t let go.

Orphan Train– Christina Baker Kline: I could not put this book down. It captures the story of an unlikely friendship between a troubled teenage girl and a 91-year-old woman with a hidden past as an orphan-train rider. I don’t want to give too much away excerpt to say, if you haven’t read this yet, run out, or purchase it for your e-reader. You won’t be disappointed.

Reconstructing Amelia: A Novel– Kimberly McCreight: Another read I could not put down. This is a heart-wrenching read but so well-written and just an incredible story in which a single mother reconstructs her teenaged daughter’s life through e-mails, text, and social media, after she receives a call that her daughter has committed suicide while at school. I can guarantee you won’t put this one down either.

A Discovery of Witches– Deborah Harkness: I had this book sitting on my NookBook wishlist, well since I bought my first nook in 2010. I finally decided to buy it when I heard rave reviews of the entire series at work. While the book is long (like 600 + pages long), it certainly didn’t feel that way. Sure it took me a couple of weeks to read, but I didn’t want it to end! But I was in luck, since it’s the first of three books. I’m not a huge fan of vampires and witchy-type books, but this book had me from the first chapter. If you’re like me and stay away from the Twilight phenomenon (even though I hate to admit I’ve read those too), take a few minutes to at least read a sample. I promise you, you will not be disappointed! I’m even holding off on reading the final book so the trilogy doesn’t end!

The Perfume Collector– Kathleen Tessaro: Again, I discovered a love for historical fiction in the last couple of years, and this was another that I utterly fell in love with. It brought into a world of glamour and mystery, along with sophisticated social circles in London and Paris in the 1950s. It’s charming and unforgettable, and something I would even consider re-reading. Which is rare for me. That’s how much I loved this book.

Stronger– Jeff Bauman: I’ll never forget the Boston Marathon Bombings. I may not have been in the city that day, but it certainly effected my life. For one thing, it seemed that everyone knew someone there that day. I knew several people attending, and watching. It also seemed that there was a small degree of separation between you and a person injured. Jeff went to high school with friends of mine from college. People I know well, knew him personally.  I wanted nothing more than to find a way to help those injured, but I all I could do was send healing thoughts. In that first week after the bombings, my mind was constantly on those injured. And even a year later, I thought about them often. This book chronicled Jeff’s life a little before the bombing, but more so after. And it was inspiring. Absolutely inspiring.

The Art Forger– B.A. Shapiro: I found this book as a cheap find on Barnes & Noble. I wasn’t sure what to think of it when I first got it, but wanted to give it a try since it’s set in Boston and the plot is based off the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist. I can easily tell you that this book quickly became one of the best books I had read in 2014, and that was back in July! It’s beautifully written, descriptive and with characters you will adore.

Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think– Brian Wansink: I love to eat. And I’m really guilty of eating when I don’t even realize it. I know, crazy right. But I’ll find myself snacking, when I’m not even really that hungry. It’s just something to do. This book really opened my eyes to how to eat, what I’m eating and the psychology behind it all. I’m definitely far more conscious about what and how I’m eating now!

Little Mercies– Heather Gudenkauf: I’ve raved about Heather Gudenkauf before on here. I love her. She’s easily one of my favorite authors out there right now. Her books remind me a bit of Jodi Picoult, they always discuss a really tough subject, but she approaches it with such care and concern. This book was no different than her previous. This book’s plot is based around a social worker who is a children’s advocate and has seen some of the worst cases in history. She’s a devoted wife and mother. But then one moment of distraction caused her entire life to shatter. Read this, and every other book by her you can get your hands on. She’s incredible.

Life After Life – Kate Atkinson: This was unlike any book I’ve ever read before. What I loved about this particular book was that just as a story was taking a turn for the worst, it ends and a new one begins. What I found was that as a particular story was about to end, there were times when I wanted it too. Was the story an uninteresting one? No, it was usually taking a turn that I didn’t like, or something really awful was about to happen. And when the story started over, I found myself relieved and breathing a sigh of relief that Ursula’s life wasn’t over and her life could continue again. If you get confused easily, this is not the book for you. But if you’re ready for an incredible read, buy this and move it to the top of your list for 2015.

Beautiful Ruins– Jess Walter: This was another one of those books that sat on my NookBook wishlist for a pretty long time. I had heard really mixed reviews (people loved it or hated it) and just felt unsure about buying it. When it dropped in price one day, I decided to pounce on it. And boy was I glad. I could literally picture everything happening in the book; the characters, the scenery….everything. Such a beautifully written story. If you’re like me, and have been hemming and hawing over this book, take my advice and go read it. If you love a wonderfully written story, then you won’t be disappointed.New Signature

 

 


(Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. By purchasing items via these links, I will earn a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay for said items.)

What I’ve Read Lately…

My goal on here was to start including book reviews. Obviously that’s gotten ahead of me and I’ve yet to include one. Well at least recently. So, I decided I would include a listing of some of the great books I’ve read recently.

If you weren’t aware, I’m trying to hit my goal of 100 books read this year. I’ve been very close in 2012 and 2013, coming just shy each year, but I’m determined to make my goal this year. Unfortunately, I’ve only read around 60, and with 4 months left to go, I’ll be trying to bust out as many books as possible. Stay tuned!

(Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. By purchasing items via these links, I will earn a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay for said items.)

Eryn’s Favorite Reads of 2014 (So Far!)

1. Me Before You: A Novel – Jojo Moyes: I discovered JoJo Moyes purely by luck with ‘A Last Letter from Your Lover’ last year, and instantly fell in love with her. Me Before You might very well take the top spot of the best book I’ve read so far this year. I won’t tell you much, except that it’s an incredible example of two people coming into each others lives and essentially, ‘saving’ each other. Except neither of them realized it. Read it. You will not be disappointed.

Me-Before-You-book-cover-Jan-12-p122Source

2. The Interestings: A Novel – Meg Wolitzer: This was one of those books that was appearing everywhere. It seemed like everywhere I looked, The Interestings followed me. Needless to say, the description sounded good, and the cover was lovely. So I bought it. And then couldn’t put it down. I love stories where they follow several different characters, and how their lives intertwine, and this one did not disappoint.

3.Orphan Train: A Novel – Christina Baker Kline: A 91-year woman who has a past as an orphan-train rider, and an 18-year girl who is just months away from being forced out of the child welfare system due to her age, end up meeting and learning about their similar orphaned pasts when the teenager is assigned to help her for a community service project. I could not put this book down. It’s a harrowing story written by a gifted storyteller, and brings light to something in our history that I did not know existed.

4. The Rosie Project: A Novel– Graeme Simsion: I had been eying this book for months on Barnes & Noble. The reviews of it were mediocre and to be honest, it just sounded… blah. I was wrong. From the second I started reading it, I was able to picture Don Tillman in my head. I could hear his voice in the book. I felt like I had jumped into the story. And thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this awkward love story.

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5. Reconstructing Amelia: A Novel – Kimberly McCreight: Heartbreaking, heart-wrenching, and completely amazing. No parent ever wants to hear the words ‘There has been an accident involving your child’, and even more so, to find out that you’re child has died. But this mother goes beyond her grief to find out what really happened after receiving an anonymous text that says ‘She didn’t jump.’ If you don’t read anything else this year, read this book.

6. A Discovery of Witches: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy)– Deborah Harkness: If you like a good romance, read this. If you like history, then you definitely should read this. If you like witches, vampires and demons, they you must read this. If you like all three, and haven’t read this, then you need to go buy it immediately. Along with the two that follow it.

7. The Perfume Collector: A Novel– Kathleen Tesoro: One of my fun Barnes & Noble finds. I’ll be honest. I had really low expectations, purely because I hadn’t heard much about it. Boy was I wrong, and pleasantly surprised when I had the hardest time putting it down. And I had such a book hangover when it was over. Also, I always thought I wasn’t a big fan of historical fiction. Turns out, I’m a huge fan. I love it.

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8. Where We Belong– Emily Giffin: I loved Emily Giffin’s Something Borrowed series, so I knew I would really enjoy this as well. Her ability to tell the story of a 30-something advertising exec in NYC who is stunned to find her biological daughter at the door one night, is remarkable. It’s a quick, easy read, and totally perfect for those last couple of summer days at the beach!

9. Handle with Care: A Novel– Jodi Picoult: Jodi Picoult is a master storyteller. And this was no different.

10. The Art Forger: A Novel – B.A. Shaprio: This was a surprise top book for me. It grabbed my attention when I saw it took place in Boston, and revolved around the art theft at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, but wasn’t super excited to start it. Well, this book quickly made me feel like an idiot for even THINKING that because I loved it that much. Couldn’t put it down and didn’t want it to end. Even if your not into art, you will enjoy this. It’s got theft, and forgery, and a wonderful love story.

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Sidenote: I had no intention of sharing book covers that all had a shade of red in them. Total coincidence.

I hope you enjoyed my top 10 round-up of some of the best books I’ve read lately. I’ll try to be better about posting reviews and such. And if I don’t, I’ll keep posting my rundowns of my favorites!

Happy reading.

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Feet, Activity, GF and Books – A Round Up

Well hi there!

I figured I would do a little update post today as opposed to a ranting post, a learning post or a post about someone else. I mean, this is after all a look into my world! I mean, I do the other posts because let’s face it, my life is pretty ho-hum every day. I have the same routine for the most part – get up, go to work, go to the gym/work out (if I don’t do it in the AM), eat dinner, go to bed and do it all over again the next day. Hence why I try to throw some different things in the blog!

Update time.

The foot: If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, then you would know that I’ve been fighting a foot injury since September ’13. I was diagnosed with metatarsalgia, a possible neuroma, and finally a stress fracture. After nearly 3 months a boot, and not feeling any better, I moved to see an orthopedic and began following a new treatment plan. He felt it wasn’t a stress fracture and just an overuse injury, and prescribed PT and orthotics. Since I can’t really afford orthotics, I bought regular inserts to help with the issue.

I’ve been in physical therapy for just about a month, and unfortunately, there is has been no improvement. We’ve tried stretching twice a day, heat, ice, ultrasound, elec stim and massage. I get temporarily relief day of, but then the pain comes back. Thankfully (or maybe not…) the pain has localized, and PT is thinking it’s a inflammation issue. I go back to the doctor next week and we can start working on the next steps. I REALLLYYYY don’t want to get into cortisone shots if I don’t have too, so I’m hoping he will suggest something else. I guess we will see! I mean, if he thinks it will help, obviously I’m going to probably do it.

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The view from my table this AM.

The good news with all of this is I haven’t been letting the pain keep from being active. I’m still going to the gym, but just doing the elliptical, arc trainer or bike, and still riding when I can (as long as the pain isn’t bad). I think at this point, if I couldn’t be doing something, I would be going crazy. And having the 100 Days of Active is keeping me motivated too!

And that leads me too…

100 Days of Active: So far…. I have completed, 4 days out of the 100. Thankfully I figured out that it was like 110 days to my birthday, so it gave me a couple of days to play with. Unfortunately, I was already negotiating my own goal on day 2…. but now I’m getting into my groove. Today will be day 5 with 104 days until my birthday! I was hoping to ride tonight, but with the foot pain pretty bad today, looks like I’ll be doing my laps at the grocery store with some pilates when I get home!

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Last night’s work out. My goal is always to do a 5K on the elliptical. I’ve been doing them in just about 37 minutes. Last night I did it in 35! (My HRM went a little longer than the workout!)

Gluten-Free: Two words that seem to be everywhere these days. And as of this week, I guess I can add it to the list of things about me too. Yep, I’ve gone GF. Well, I’m trying.  It’s only really day 1, since I ate a ravioli yesterday (and proceeded to die after),

After a lot of trial and error, it appears that I have a sensitivity to gluten. To the point that when I eat things with it, I pretty much feel like I’m dying. So I’m trying to stay away from it. Which is hard. Because I love bread, bagels, crackers, cookies, pizza, calzones, beer…. pretty much all things gluten. But I know if I really do have an intolerance, I’m only going to feel better. So that’s my focus. Thankfully, there are so many good GF foods and recipes out there now… it’s become so common that it’s easy to handle these days. I’m just completely overwhelmed right now, but hoping I’ll feel less that way as the days go on. I know my body already feels less bloated and angry. So that’s a win!

Last night's dinner - Tuna with sriacha, celery and tomatoes on lettuce with a dill pickle on the side!
Last night’s dinner – Tuna with sriacha, celery and tomatoes on lettuce with a dill pickle on the side!

eryn e photography: I never post photo business updates here anymore, but it is part of my world, so here you go. I’m excited for my 3rd year in business and I’m hoping this will turn out to be my busiest year yet. I’m already starting to book up, and I’m excited to expand my client base. Having said that, if you read this and are in the MA/NH/ME area, and are interested in having photos done, I’d love to chat with you! You can visit my website for more information, e-mail me, or leave me a message in the comments and I’ll get back to you. I’m also running mini-sessions on May 4th in Newburyport if anyone is interested (see flyer below!)

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E-mail me if interested and in the area!

Book Goal: I’ve read 18 books out of my 100 goal. I’m on book 19 now. If I keep this up, I’ll definitely make 100 books by the end of 2014. Check one more thing off of my bucket list. I’m currently reading ‘The Man Who Left‘ by Theresa Weir. If you ever want to keep up with things I’m reading, feel free to friend me on GoodReads! My goal on there says I’m behind, but it’s because a couple of books I’ve read I couldn’t find on GoodReads.

Alright, I think that’s good on the updates.

Have a wonderful day!

Eryn

Book Review Day!

I love books. Seriously, it’s a problem. I’m always reading. When I’m not reading, I’m usually editing photos from a recent photography session. When I’m not doing that, I’m either sleeping, exercising (when I’m not injured), and/or spending time with my fiancé. I’m pretty sure a good portion of my salary goes to books (and clothes!), but I’d say that’s a pretty okay thing to be spending my hard-earned money on!

Last year I read 83 books. My goal for 2013 is 100. I’m semi-on track, but let’s just say I need to cruise through about 40 books before December 31st. If this injury keeps up, I probably won’t have too hard of a time reaching that goal. One of things I’m most excited about with the reinstatement of the blog (one of many!) is book reviews! Maybe not always a review of sorts, but perhaps a quick “I’m reading :insert book name here:” or a “Just finished :insert book name here: by :author’s name: and it was ______”. Anyways, you catch my drift.

First up, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Gatsby-Cover(Source)

Now, I read this my junior year of high school (10 years ago!) and when it popped up on Barnes and Noble for like $.99, I couldn’t help but purchase and re-read.

In my opinion, “The Great Gatsby” may be one of the greatest pieces of fiction ever written. I loved it the first time I read it and enjoyed it the second time. The synopsis below was based off of the write-up on GoodReads.

Set during the Jazz era of America in the 1920’s,  the story focuses on Jay Gatsby, a wealthy, self-made millionaire,  who met Daisy Buchanan before leaving for World War I. The book takes place 5 years later after Gatsby returns, purchases a lavish Mansion in West Egg on Long Island Sound, directly across the sound from Daisy Buchanan’s home with her now husband Tom.  Daisy’s husband Tom is  a bully, yet extremely rich and Gatsby devotes himself  to the pursuit of Daisy.  To do so, he would throw lavish parties at his mansion and wait for her to appear.  (Source)

This book is just an oldie, but a goodie. It ranks up there with “The Grapes of Wrath” and “The Catcher in the Rye” for me. Every now and then, I love a good American classic and this one just hit the spot for me. I made me want to jump back in time to the good old days of Jazz, lavish parties and big fancy dresses. Since I was child, I’ve been mesmerized by that lifestyle and have always loved reading about it. Even now as an adult, I love visiting the mansions in Newport, Rhode Island because it reminds of an bygone era. I WISH we still had parties like that!

Anyways, despite enjoying it, I had moments where I felt it could have moved a bit faster. 3 ½ stars  in my book!

If you ever wonder what I’m currently reading, make sure to check out the ‘GoodReads’ side bar. I keep it as up to date as possible!