Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Eat & Run

Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon GreatnessEat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"I was a shy kid with high blood pressure"

The story of Scott Jurek - the ultramarathoner...

I love stories like this. What they are thinking & how they are feeling. We even get to see Scott's turn into a vegan & how it effected his training.

The book really is a simple story - how Scott grew up in his family, his mom finding out she has progressive MS early in his life, a father who was sort of emotionally disconnected, & Scott who would seem to take care of a lot of his things himself.

Scott's journey into running when his plans had nothing to do with running. He was going to be a cross country skier. The training involved running & he found his body was suited for the road.

We go through many of the races with Scott, the wins, a few of the losses... It was just all interesting to me. 100 mile races, 150 mile races...
& I groan about 13.1 miles? :)

He ends every chapter with some advice on training as well as a vegan recipe. I love that part of the book more then anything.

It's not the best book out there, but it held my interest because running holds my interest. So you make the call for yourself if it would hold yours :)

"Every single one of us posses the strength to attempt something he isn't sure he can accomplish"




"You never know where that path might take you.

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Friday, July 26, 2013


Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw EmotionsUnglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Emotions aren't bad"

I've seen this book going around for awhile. It went on sale for a Kindle a few months back & I downloaded it... & forgot I had it.

Until I saw a friend of mine who was reading it, I remembered. She talked about how she would have to take each chapter & digest it... now, I know what she means.

I ended up writing down 5 pages of notes from this book. If it was in book form, I would have been a 'highlight queen' :)

I wasn't even sure what it meant by the word "unglued" ... oh, I know what it meant, but I know it can mean a lot of different things & wasn't sure the direction this book would take.

Well, if you've ever blown up at someone for some small reason - if you've ever held an emotion inside until it ate you up - if you feel like the world is falling apart because you're running late, or someone said something that hurt your feelings... then you know what it is to be unglued.

let me tell you - I'm there daily... I didn't realize how much I needed this book.

each chapter leads you into Scripture & reminds us of God's truth in situations... so not only did I write down all these pages of notes, I was a highlight queen in my Bible, writing down notes.

Good stuff.

I was also hot on Twitter with the hashtag #unglued ... I wanted to make sure I remembered this stuff

Now the key - applying it to life... that's always the hard part, isn't it?
Taking notes is easy

But now, I'm at least going into the next thing that makes me become unglued with a little defense.

Knowing to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Remember what is actually TRUTH & not made up thoughts or ideas (Phil 4:8)
& looking ahead & seeing God working in all things (Col 3:1-2)

In the end, we also see, becoming unglued or situations that can cause unglued reactions aren't a bad thing... God teaches us a lot about ourselves in these things... & gives us an opportunity to point to Him.

"And to discover through all this seeing - being unglued isn't all bad"

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Seriously,... I'm Kidding

Seriously...I'm KiddingSeriously...I'm Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"Over the last year or so since I decided to write this book, people have been asking me how I have time & why I chose to write it"

Oh Ellen... I have always loved her.
Have her other books as well... so I knew what to expect in her book. A lot of laughter, a lot of rambling, a lot of her.

Her books do come across just like her show. Maybe I've heard her voice for so long, I just hear the book in her tone & that's why it comes across to me as just Ellen. It would be interesting if someone who didn't know her read it & what they thought of it.

This book, I enjoyed, but like her other books, by the end, its getting kinda old to me. I know she's going to jump off topic, going to be a little scattered - & that's OK... she's funny... no doubts...
this book just needs to be read in small doses. Not all the way through.

if I read it a chapter at a time, it'd probably get 5 stars... but reading it straight through, it just isn't the same... I still enjoyed it though. No doubts.

I think I do this with most biographies though - people seem to get repetitive in their own stories. I guess if you sit & listen to someone for awhile, they tend to get repetitive... at least this repetitive had some laughs in it :)

A good break of anything serious... a good reminder to just sometimes read for fun

My favorite Chapter "The Secret of Life" ... Kale
That's it... nothing else :) I think I laughed at that way longer then I should :)

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & ParkEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"He'd stopped trying to bring her back"

Eleanor & Park... the story of two odd teenagers, who don't really fit in anywhere else & who are quite opposite from each other... & how they fall in love with each other.

It isn't your ideal first meeting. Eleanor, already looking differently with red hair & freckles, a little on the heavier side. The perfect attributes for kids to make fun of. She is the new kid on the bus & can't find a seat. After everyone shuns her & won't allow her to have a seat, Park greets her with a harsh tone & just tells her to sit down, letting her share in his space. It takes weeks for either one of them to even speak the first words to each other... but once they start sharing their thoughts on the comics that Park brings on the bus, their friendship starts.

They see they are from two different backgrounds. Park is a Korean who has an ideal family. A mom who is a beautician that works from home, a dad who is in the military & a younger brother. Eleanor comes from a home where she & her 4 siblings share a room, & a bathroom that is in the kitchen & a step father who is abusive & cruel. Her mother Sabrina has to sneak to stash any extra food for the kids or change to go to Goodwill to get them clothing.

Eleanor knows everyone makes fun of her & knows she's different... so when Park becomes her friend & then they realize the relationship is deeper, she's not sure how to handle it.

It's a sweet story of falling in love for the first time. The innocence of it. The nerve tingling moments of those first kisses, the time that holding a hand makes it feel like the world is stopping.

Park will do whatever it takes to protect Eleanor - from the bullies in the school, to the people on the bus... to the step father that Eleanor is afraid of.

I won't give away the ending, but as most things of young love, there are struggles.

I was rooting for this couple who seemingly felt perfect together. I wanted to read a happily ever after & wait for the next book of their college years... but you can see from the first sentence of the book (the first sentence I wrote) that it probably wasn't going to end with a rainbows & butterflies.

But what is young love if it's not a learning lesson & memories tucked into a heart that holds them forever...

I just really loved this book.

I loved Park - the way he was protective over Eleanor... I loved his family who supported him & just was the 'cool parents'

I wanted to scream at Eleanor's mother for being so naïve & idiotic in ignoring what she was doing to her children. I ached for the bullying Eleanor had to endure because she was different then the others.

At the end of the book, I felt like my heart had gone through a first love breakup ... I didn't want the story to end... I just loved these two kids....

A happily ever after ending? ... you decide :)

(if you don't want to know anything about the story - don't read any further)

Favorite Lines:

Park: "I don't like you... I need you"
Eleanor: "I don't like you Park... I think I live for you.... I don't even think I breath when we're not together"

Park: "You're my favorite person of all time"

Park: "Yesterday happens"

LAST LINE: "Just three words long"

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Solomon's Oak

Solomon's OakSolomon's Oak by Jo-Ann Mapson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

"In 1898, in Jolan, California, not far from the Mission San Antinio de Padera, Pennsylvanian Michael Hallorgan set out to cross the Naccimento River during Spring thaw."

I probably should have liked this book more then I did... I just couldn't get into the story.

We have Glory Solomon who owns a farm that has the most beautiful oak tree. Her husband who recently passed away, Dan, built a chapel right under the tree. To earn money since his death, Glory started having weddings on her farm. That's how she meets Joseph Vigil when she needs an emergency photographer while he's passing through taking pictures of this odd Oak tree.

Having been Foster parents when Dan was alive, Glory is brought a young girl, Juniper, that needs a place to stay. Not able to turn her away, she has a soft heart for this young girl who she remembered in the news when her sister went missing & her mother took her life afterwards & her father ran out on the family.

Coicendence has it that Glory trains dogs that she saves from the shelter... & one happened to be the dog that was with Casey, Junipers sister, the night she went missing.

The story intertwines all three of these people - Juniper, Glory & Joseph, who is a retired policeman... as well as intertwines Glory's dogs - Edsel, Dodge & Cadillac...

Sounds like a great story - right?

I'm not sure why I couldn't get into it like I should. Maybe because the chapters were quite long - maybe because the print on the Kindle couldn't get situation right? Maybe it just wasn't the time I was supposed to read it...

I'll probably revisit this one down the road & see how it goes again...

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