Friday, September 27, 2013

Galloway's Book on Running

Galloway's Book on RunningGalloway's Book on Running by Jeff Galloway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've heard a lot about Jeff Galloway - mostly from people that go to all the incredible runDisney races. He speaks at these events. I know him because he is a big believer in the Run/Walk interval method. How it can keep you feeling strong, & actually improving time if you let your body 'rest' a bit while running.

I was actually hoping for some more info on that, while there was a few pages dedicated to the issue. But still gave 4 stars because it is packaged FULL of info. How to start running, the different ways to train, training plans for 5k, 10k & half marathon - even plans for your goal time. I especially loved the details of what to wear for every 10 degree different in weather. I always get confused about that. There was even a chapter for women runners & running after 40. Ouch.. me... but good to know I'm not alone in getting slower. Doesn't mean I can't stay strong & healthy. Maybe just not as speedy. Heck, I've never been speedy so no big loss :)

If you are wanting to run & need some info to get started, this would be a great book. If you are a runner already, this has a lot of info you already know... but its always good to review.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Fault in our Stars

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Late in the winter of my 17th year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over & over, ate infrequently & devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death"


Hazel Grace. 16 years old & living with thyroid cancer that had gone to her lungs. We meet Hazel as she's going to a Support Group in the "Literal Heart of Jesus". She sits next to her friend Isaac with cancer in his eyes. Before long, Isaac bring his friend, Augustus to the support group. Augustus had Osteosarcoma & had lost a leg with his cancer.

You'd think its a depressing book, which it does have its moments where it tugs at your heart, but you see how it is to live young with cancer. How families that love you live with it.

Augustus & Hazel develop a relationship even though Hazel doesn't want to be a "grenade" to Augustus by destroying everything around her when she leaves. Gus has other thoughts on that idea.

Hazel has one book she reads over & over again because she can relate to the young girl who has cancer in the story. The way the books ends, Hazel wants to know more. Once she has Augustus read the book, & he too becomes enthralled in it, they just want to know more about the characters after the story ends...

A "Cancer Perk" is to have a wish fulfilled. Hazel, already using hers on a Disney trip, is shocked when Gus uses his to go on a trip across the ocean to meet the author. Not the trip you would expect... horrible & sweet all in one.... people not being who you'd expect, things happening that make you remember young love, & news that is revealed that will break your heart...

I loved Augustus so much... the way he thought & said things. The way he felt about Hazel. The way he would say, "Hazel Grace". The way he told her he loved her. He was the perfect love for our main character.

I loved the side characters - the parents of Hazel & Augustus. Isaac, who ends up having another round with cancer & the devastating way he has to handle it. Even the author that Hazel has longed her life to meet.

We know how this book is going to end, but you don't really know... all I can say is your heart gets a little torn because you love these characters... but you learn a little bit about life, & how to look at it. How life continues on.

In the end, I felt like Hazel... I want to know more at the end... how the characters carry on... what does the next year look like for them all?...the signs of a good book.

My favorite line of the book: "What a slut time is. She screws everybody"


I do, Augustus. I do.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without FearFearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear by Max Lucado
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"You would have liked my brother"

I love Max Lucado... I also love any book on the study of Fear in the Bible. Why? Because I'm a fearful person. Anxiety gets the best of me at all times. Worry? That's my best friend.

So I try to flood myself with books on scripture & fear. "What Women Fear" is another one of my favorites I just finished reading not too long ago.

When I saw this on sale in Amazon for my Kindle, I jumped on it... pretty much like the cover of the book.

I'm never disappointed with Max Lucado's writing, his illustrations, the way he brings Scripture to life.

I'm just thankful for the highlight feature on my Kindle... If I had the book in hand, I'm sure it would be glowing yellow.


"Amen William. And Amen.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

First Phone Call from heaven

The First Phone Call from Heaven: A NovelThe First Phone Call from Heaven: A Novel by Mitch Albom

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

On the day the world received its first phone call from heaven, Tess Rafferty was unwrapping a box of tea.

I was very lucky to get this book to review it before it is released.

I'm a fan of Mitch Albom's books anyways, & this one did not disappoint.

People are getting phone calls from heaven - some from family members that have passed away. Children, sisters. Even an employee is getting a phone call from someone he had to fire. Are the phone calls real? The world wants to know when wind comes that the phone calls are happening. Is this the proof everyone needs to see that Heaven is real?

We follow the people who are receiving the phone calls & also a man, Sully, as he comes back to the town of Coldwater Michigan to try & get his life back in order.

I don't want to give anything away... I just know I loved the book.
Its sort of a mystery novel, but also just a touching novel.
I actually logged quite a few quotes from the book on Goodreads because it was just so well written in areas.

I also love the little points that are made about the telephone & Alexander Graham Bell & his wife. It was put in so subtly but made the book have an extra touch of something special.

So the record goes, Mitch Albom still ranks for me....

We call out; we answered. It has been that way from the beginning of belief & it continues to this very moment where, late at night, in a small town called Coldwater, a seven year old boy hears a noise, opens his eyes, lifts a blue toy to his ear & smiles, proving heaven is always & forever around us & no soul remembered is ever really gone.

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Friday, September 6, 2013


DeenieDeenie by Judy Blume
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"My mother named me Deenie because right before I was born, she saw a movie about a beautiful girl named Wilmadeene, who everyone called Deenie for short"

I grew up reading Judy Blume ... loved her stories... & wanted to go back & read some of them again. See if she was everything I remembered.

I actually didn't read Deenie growing up so this was a new story to me. The story of a 7th grader who is beautiful. So beautiful that her mother is sure she will be a model one day. But something is wrong with Deenie.... she is discovered to have scoliosis. Her spine is growing out of shape.

To a middle school girl - this is devastation. Having to wear a brace? For 4 years?
Deenie is surrounded by her friends Janet & Midge but everything is always so dramatic in middle school. Almost feels like life could end.

It was funny to read back & see the dated things in the book. When Deenie finds out what she has, she runs to her encyclopedia to find the answers... that made me laugh. Yes, I'm back in the 80's again :)

& the memory of what being young felt like again... "Maybe we'll make the Olympics together"... oh the dreams you have with your childhood friends.

One thing I remembered reading this about Judy Blume's style - she's very open with teaching young readers about sexuality. Topics that young readers would never talk about in open, but maybe find they're not alone by reading it in a book made for them.

I zoomed through this book... less then 24 hours... makes me want to get more of the Judy Blume books & relive my childhood again.

Daddy called me at 11:30 & as I got into the car he asked what was in the shopping bag. I told him, "Something I thought I might need for the party, that I didn't need after all"

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013


GreyhoundGreyhound by Steffan Piper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"The skin across my face was taut & smooth like plaster"

We start off meeting Sebastian Ranes as he is packing to leave his home in California & head to his grandparents home on the other side of the country.

His mother & her boyfriend take him to a Greyhound station in the middle of the night & send him on his way, on his own to travel 2,575 miles.

The book documents his journey as an 11 yr old as he travels. The people he meets, the stops & what happens at each one, the one person who befriends him & help him along the way, even giving him some life advice & helping him grow up a little.

The book wasn't great, it wasn't bad either. It was interesting. To imagine riding on a bus for 3 days straight & knowing all the while that your mother 'dumped' you for yet another boyfriend & you were in the way.

Marcus Franklin ends up getting on the bus about 2 stops into Sebastian's ride & they fast become friends being the back seat riders. Sebastian then has someone to look out for him... & look out for him is definitely needed in areas where strangers have horrible intentions & family abandon Sebastian again at various stops where they promise to check on him.

Its definitely not a must read... but it was a good read to pass time.

& will definitely make you go back to your memory bank of Daryl Hall & John Oats songs :)

"The last person I thought about before I fell asleep was my friend, Marcus Franklin"

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