Posts Tagged ‘Goodreads.com’

This cartoon really does capture how I’ve been while on this two week vacation.  In fact, there was a bit of confusion the other day over some plans with my sister because I had no idea what day it was.  Not that I don’t have access to a million calendars or anything, but sometimes it’s nice not to even look.

I have to say, I really used this Winter Break to refocus myself, which I needed. I was really burnt out physically and emotionally right before it began.  I knew I needed to really center myself and think about the way I wanted to live out the rest of the school year.  I figured a few things out, and hopefully I’ll go into tomorrow and the remainder of my work year with a calmness that I didn’t have at the outset.

I also used the break to get back on track in terms of exercise and working out.  I’ve come up with a good plan for fitting more intense workouts into my workweek, and I look forward to taking on that challenge beginning tomorrow.

It’s so nice having this extra day off.  I need a bit of a transition before I have to go back to reality (work).   Since it’s Monday, it’s time for Friend Makin’ Monday (FMM).

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Goals for 2012

Being that it’s January 2nd, I’ve already written at length about my goals for 2012, which you can read in their entirety here. I’ll highlight just a couple of them for you:

#3.  I will make time for working out 5-6 days a week, even when I’m stressed out and exhausted. Life is filled with frustrations sometimes, but I won’t let that excuse become an obstacle anymore. I will look at working out as “me time,” a time when I’m doing something so good for me and my health. Because I love moving my body once I start doing it, and I love the sense of accomplishment I get from it afterward even more.

#4.  I will meet Scale Warfare over the summer in Vegas. She and I are still working out the details of when, but it WILL happen, and I cannot wait.

#6.  I will read more books in 2012. I’m an avid read, but this year I only read 26 books in all of 2011, which is unacceptable. I know the problem is that I am online too often, especially before bed when I used to read. So beginning tonight, I am going to put the iPhone down and make sure I read as I go to sleep. I also want to set aside at least 1 hour per weekend and devote it to reading. I love TV, but there has to be more of a balance, especially because I have tons of amazing books just waiting for me on my Kindle.  I’m currently reading 3 books: Hunger Games (a gift from my friend, Ani), Big Boned (I really like this series by Meg Cabot), and The Life You’ve Imagined (ScaleWarfare and I are reading this one together). I’ve challenged myself to read 30 books in 2012, and if you’d like to follow my progress and see which books I’m reading, you can become my friend on Goodreads.com.

Now it’s your turn…have you set goals for 2012?  Don’t forget to go back to Kenlie’s blog and link up.

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in #WEverb11. Each day gives a new prompt, each of which is a chance to reflect and look forward.

December 13: Read

What article or book changed your outlook on an issue or life? Contributed by Melinda.


As many of you know, I was completely devastated when I lost Lulu in March of this year. A few weeks after her death I read A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron, and it helped me heal like nothing else could. Here’s what I wrote about the book in my Goodreads review:

I started A Dog’s Purpose right after my 1-year old dog Lulu was hit and killed by a car, and I have to say that reading it has really helped me get through her death and the loss and emptiness that has come with it. The book is told from a dog’s perspective, and it actually gave me a lot of insight (even though I know it’s fiction). The author consulted with lots of dog behavior experts, including Cesar Milan, and so I think he was able to capture life from a dog’s perspective perfectly.

It has so much to say about what life is really about and that we should appreciate all the simple pleasures and quite moments because we’re experiencing each of them for a reason.

This book is for anyone who loves dogs, and it has truly offered me a huge amount of comfort.”

What I didn’t write at the time is that the book’s premise is that dogs are reincarnated to continue their purpose on earth. So, while one dog might be killed unexpectedly or before their time, they get “another chance” to fulfill their true purpose as they come back to earth with all the knowledge they had in their first life. In the book, the main character (the dog) comes back as many different breeds, each time learning a bit more about what his true purpose is.

It may sound weird, but in many ways, I think that Lulu helped me find Sofi. Sofi was born four days after Lulu’s death, and something drew me to her breeder’s webpage. Sofi also seems to have an innate wisdom about her; she’s definitely a much smarter dog that Lulu ever was. Not that I think Sofi is Lulu reincarnated; I just think that because of Lulu and all that I learned about being a dog owner from her, I was better able to train Sofi. Although Sofi really did start off much smarter. Plus, just look at this cutie:


In any case, this book was the perfect thing for me to read at the time, and it did help me deal with a really significant loss (and guilt associated with it) that I was experiencing.

What have you read that completely changed your point of view?


If you’d like to join in on the daily writing prompts, go to WEverb11, sign up for the email notifications, and join us! Or follow along on Twitter using the #WEverb11 hashtag!

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Bella Reads is going to be an occasional series on this blog. I’m an avid reader and usually have a few books going at once, but Bella Reads will focus on those books that I think are spectacular, and worth recommending.To see everything I’m reading, become my friend on Goodreads.com.

I discovered Therese Walsh through a Facebook writers’ giveaway, and although I didn’t win, I was drawn to her novel based purely on its title.  It drew me in, just as the novel did, once I turned the first page.

I loved this book! One of the few in recent memory that earned 5 stars from me. I like to think of myself as a discerning reader who isn’t easily impressed, so 5 stars isn’t an accolade I give freely.  I enjoy most books that I read because I don’t buy books I don’t think I’m going to like, but I don’t LOVE many.  This is one of the ones that captured my attention from the start.

Smart, suspenseful, and romantic, Last Will tells the story of the bond between twins and what happens when that sisterhood is threatened. Moira and Maeve Leahy share a secret language and can feel each others emotions and physical states, but they couldn’t be more different; their mother made sure of that.  Teenage jealousy takes a wild turn in this novel and no one’s life will be the same again.

Vivid imagery, strong character development and a plot with just enough twists & turns to keep the reader highly engaged, Last Will is beautifully written. Throughout my reading of the book I was impressed with Walsh’s diction, metaphors, and overall tone. Again and again I imagined what it would be like to visit Castine or I reminisced about my time in Rome.  She definitely knows how to set a scene, hold your attention, and make you wish the book would never end.

Therese Walsh is a gifted writer. I highly recommend this novel. You won’t be disappointed.

Want to know what else I’m reading? See below…

On the bookshelf:

What’s your latest “must read” book?

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Good Enough to Eat, by Stacey Ballis, is one of those rare books that you want to truly savor as you read because you never want it to end. This book was so much more than just a good read to me. It was substantial, meaningful, and important. It was so profound that I wish I would’ve written it.

It tells the story of Melanie Hoffman, who before we ever meet her has lost half her body weight – 145 pounds. Not only that, but she’s left her job as an attorney to open cafe that serves healthy, delicious food. Along the way, Melanie has external and internal conflicts that lead her to realize that losing weight was only the beginning – it’s finding out who she is in the world that is going to be the true test of her character.

The main theme of this book is independence, with every nuance that that word can hold. What it means to be single for the first time in a long time; what it means to have financial independence; what it means to live independent of your past demons; what it means to be in a relationship (romantic, friendship, and familial), yet retain your own sense of self. What it means to be free of the fat that has been holding you back from living your life.

Ballis captured what it’s like to be an obese person. Even though Melanie is a normal-sized person on the outside, her mentality is still that of someone who faces challenges with her relationship to food on a daily basis. When conflict occurs, Melanie thinks about eating – mashed potatoes, mac ‘n’ cheese – those comforting foods that are so easy going down but oh so difficult to deal with the next day when you realize that you’ve (once again) lost control.

It was at those times when Melanie was reflecting with her life coach/nutritionist Carey (how can I get a Carey?!) that I actually found myself learning some difficult truths about myself. These sections gave me insight into my own struggle with my weight, and made me come to several realizations that will help me on my path towards healthy living/losing weight. Many of the quotes in the book made me stop and contemplate my own relationship with food and think about how I can strive to interact with food in a more healthy, “normal” way.

There was so much in this book that I cannot recommend it highly enough. I enjoyed it from soup to nuts and cannot wait for Stacey Ballis’ next novel.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

View all my Goodreads.com reviews

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Today’s post isn’t weight-loss related, but I know you’re going to love it anyway.

I’ve loved reading book since I was a very young girl.  My father was a huge reader of pulp fiction detective/crime novels, and my mom loved the classics (Rebecca, Jane Eyre, etc.). Since elementary school I have always had a book in my hands, and more often than not two or three.  Even when I was a crazy dot-com’er who worked from 8am-11pm on a daily basis. Even when I was in graduate school full time and teaching full time and had tons of other educational materials to read or write about.  And especially in the summer when I have a lot more leisure time to fill my mind with the stuff that dreams are made of.

As I mentioned a while ago, I have so many books on my bookshelves that I know how books all around my bedroom – on the top of the dresser, stacked on the nightstand, etc.  One of my summer projects is to go through my shelves and only keep those books that I really and truly LOVE; the rest I’m donating to the library. Because of this over-population of books, I decided that I’d like to try the Kindle.  I’ve always been somewhat opposed to digital books in theory; they don’t have that same paper-page-feel or inviting-book-smell.  They seemed cold and awkward.  The Kindle seems different, though.  It seems to have been made by people who love reading, because it is as much like a real book as any digital display can offer.  Plus it does have some pretty cool features, including a built-in dictionary, so you can look up a word super quickly.

Which leads me to announcing that my parents love to spoil me rotten on my birthday.  They bought me the Kindle (along with a cover and gift certificate for some books) and because my mom is just like me and can’t keep a present in the closet, I was able to open it last night.  (Two weeks and a half weeks early).

OMG!  I absolutely love the Kindle.  I haven’t played with it too much, but it seems to have a really user-friendly interface that works in an intuitive way.  Plus, the cost of most of the books is $9.99 or less, which is a $2 savings per novel (with the way I read, that’ll really add up).  I also like the fact that the device can hold so many books at one time, making it perfect for vacations, poolside, or when waiting for appointments.  The one thing I’m noticing is that it’s a bit slower than I expected (spoiled by the iPhone) in terms of using it to search for new books.  The lag time isn’t bad, but it’s not instantaneous like the iPhone is. Once you decide on a book to purchase, the book arrives immediately, which is cool.  I tried this two ways – buying directly from the Kindle and then buying on the Amazon site.  Each way delivered the book instantly to the Kindle. (Woot for no waiting!). The only other negative thing is that not all book are available on the Kindle as soon as they are published.  (Although lots are). Hopefully as more and more people buy the Kindle, the wait time for new releases will decrease. The pages on the Kindle look exactly like the pages in a real book – you get to choose the size of the font you want, but basically, the pages are exactly as if you had the paper novel in your hands.  I love that!

So what kind of summer reading post would this be if I didn’t include some of the books I bought last night?  I figured that some of you might also share my love of reading, and you might be interested in a few new titles to add to your own summer reading collection:

Anthropology of An American Girl by Hilary Thayer Hamann.

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman.

Smart vs. Pretty by Valerie Frankel.

The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan.

Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman.

The One That I Want by Allison Winn Scott.

And these are just the beginning.  I have a ton of other books on my “to read” list.  Some of them weren’t available yet on the Kindle (patiently waiting), and I waited on the others, because I only want to spend so much at one time on books, ya know?  I found these titles in a variety of ways.  Some are by authors I’ve liked in the past, some are recommendations from Amazon, and some I found through Jen Lancaster’s (an author I truly love!!) newest list of summer reading.  She’s doing a different genre every day this week, so make sure to check out her blog. You can also follow all the other books I have recently read or plan to read by going to my Goodreads page. I don’t write a review on every single book I read, but I do have my thoughts on many of them.  If you’d like, add me as a friend on there so you can keep up with my reading habits all the time.

In addition to these Kindle books, I’m also reading a few other books for my honors American Lit class (I figure if I assign them summer reading, I need to read it too, right?).

What’s in your book bag?

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