Blogger Book Club

Anyone up for joining my Blogger Book Club? I’ve been wanting to join one for ages, but I never can make the schedule. And we can all make the schedule here, right? I mean, I’m sure we’re all reading the same things anyway; The Help, Twilight, The Hunger Games, etc…
Besides, I need something new to read while I lay on my dock,
on that pond in my backyard,
in my black dress and red shoes,
lookin’ all fancy and hot and whimsical and stuff. ; )

I’m talking a FUN Book Club. Where we read light/funny/romantic/sarastic/inspirational chick books. No deep/depressing/dark/I was abandoned by my family/ I was kidnapped/I was kept in a dungeon and raped repeatedly-type books. (I swear, I’m so pissed that people raved about the Kite Runner. I hated that book. Different day, different post for that one… )

So what do you guys think? We pick a book, once a month (maybe on the 1st?) and then we discuss it on the last day? And when I say “discuss” I mean, I’ll post a photo of the book cover and we can all write our comments of love/adoration/disgust? (And if y’all are as into Google+ Hangouts like I am, we can have a group video chat about it?! You can have up to 10 peeps in one “Hangout”)
I’ll start. First Book of the Blogger Book Club:
The Hunger Games (Book 1)

(because I’m already reading it and I think everybody else has too)
It’ll be a good first book in this trial run.
And we’ll have it read by the time the movie comes out!
Thanks, Bridget for reminding us about the movie!
Who’s In?!
photo 1 via
photo 2 via
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Book Buzz: I Love You, Ronnie

So we all know how great of a romance Ronald and Nancy Reagan had. It spanned decades! And throughout their entire relationship he wrote her letters. This book was written by Nancy and includes a lot of the many letters/cards/drawings he wrote for her. From the time they first started dating, all the way up until he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He would write to her from movie sets, send telegrams (telegrams!) from train stations, even write notes from across the same room. It’s completely and utterly adorable.

I’d heard about this book when it came out a few years back but never remembered to buy it. Then a couple weeks ago, I saw it on the coffee table at my client’s house and immediately grabbed it. “Can I borrow this?!” We’re book buddies, so it wasn’t as creepy and weird as it may sound. I read half of it on the plane to LA that weekend and the other half this week. SOOO good.

In other book news: many Borders stores are closing (sad) and there’s one near my house that’s displaying all their “Store Closing: Sale” banners (not sad). It’s sooo hard not to drive over and buy 30 books right now! But I’m trying to have some control. Because I’ve started all of these, pictured below, and have yet to finish any. So not like me. I’m a “I started it, I have to finish before I start another one” kind of reader. It’s that sense of completion thing, I imagine.
When I do finish all these above, what should I look for when I go on my store-closing-shopping-spree? Any suggestions? I hear Water for Elephants and The Hunger Games are both good but I’m wanting to borrow those instead of buy them. It’s times like these I kinda wish I had a Kindle… I don’t really want to lug all these to NYC this weekend but I don’t know which one I want to take!
top image via
middle image via
bottom image via me.
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Book Buzz – The IMPACT Plan

If you’re ever in need of motivation, inspiration, or a swift kick in the tail to get you going, this is the book for you.

My friend and colleague (he’s on a WAY higher level than me, but he’s still technically my colleague), Todd Durkin has written this book and for once, while reading a fitness/life book, I agree with EVERYTHING in it. There’s not a page in this book that I find hokey, misleading, or untrue. Even if you’re not trying to get in shape, or think you know all there is to know, you’ll gain something from reading this book.

Todd Durkin is one of the best presenters/trainers in the world. Despite his numerous awards under his belt, his allure comes from his personality and aura. He’s trained the last two Super Bowl MVPs, many other pro athletes, every day Joes, soccer moms, the elderly, the young… you name it, he’s trained them. Whenever he speaks at a conference or trade show, I make a bee-line for the room. His presence, his enthusiasm, his work ethic, his success is enough to make you want to be a better person/professional within ten minutes of taking his class/session.
In this quick read, Todd discusses the methods of getting your body in it’s peak physical condition, as well as your mind. I already know how to do this, but just reading this book makes me want to jump up and better myself. It’s weird, but even his writing gets me amped. If you’re trying to make a change in your life, for the better, this book will help you get there. He’s all about “Getting Your Mind Right” and can help you with several different steps that will lead you to a happier, more fulfilled, more successful way of living. This book, complete with a 10 week program, is full of physical exercises, mind exercises, nutrition info, recipes, etc. It’s COMPLETELY worth every penny. Add it to your library, baby! Buy it here.
Me and Todd at the TRX Instructors’ Summit in San Francisco a couple weeks ago:

iPhones in dark restaurants don’t make for the best photos… but whatev. TD is amazing.
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Book Buzz – Philippa Gregory

I’ve been getting a TON of reading done on my millions of plane rides lately and I LOVE it (the reading, not the flying)! Do you ever go through periods where you’ll read everything under the sun, never leave the house without a book, and then go a month of two without reading ANYTHING? December was my month of not reading anything… I don’t even know why I was so busy… it’s not like I was Christmas shopping or anything (waited until the day before Christmas Eve to start).

Anywho… Do you know of Philppa Gregory?! If not, you should. She writes the best books. She’s had a couple small series but my favorite books of hers are her historical novels of the Tudor era. Ever see the movie “The Other Boleyn Girl”? With Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johanson? That was her book. She’s written tons. From The Virgin’s Lover (the story of Queen Elizabeth and her lover/advisor Robert Dudley) to the one I just read, The Other Queen (the story of Mary Queen of Scots) Philippa Gregory just ropes you in and holds on to you until the very last page… or the last beheading, either way. Not only are they very intriguing but they’re historically (factually) correct as well. This is important for somebody who actually almost double majored in history because she was so obsessed with it. . I didn’t finish the major though because… well … it’s not like you can do a whole lot that degree other than teach history… which was not my plan. I always end up googling these people after I read the book to make sure she wasn’t just makin’ ish up. She doesn’t (except the dialogue, of course), it’s all true!

A list of some of her books (at least the ones I loved):
The Red Queen
The White Queen
The Constant Princess
The Other Boleyn Girl
The Boleyn Inheritance
The Queen’s Fool
The Virgin’s Lover
The Other Queen
The Wise Woman
The complete list can be found here at her website, arranged in order of century. My faves are the ones from the 15th-17th centuries. I wasn’t super excited about the ones from the 18th and haven’t read the ones from the 20th yet. But let me know if you have… I might give ’em a whirl.
So if you’re looking for some good reads, these should hold you over for a while.
image via
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Book Buzz! Racing in the Rain

The Art of Racing In The Rain. I read this book yesterday. That’s right. Yesterday. Started it in the morning, finished it by the end of the night. That’s how good it is!

I’ve heard about this book from a few people; my sis-in-law, Bridget, (at least I think it was Bridget) etc. Everybody said how good it was, especially if you’re a dog person. And especially especially if you have a dog.
This story is told from Enzo’s (the dog’s) point of view on the eve of his death. Yes, it’s emotional, but well worth the read. He tells the story of his life living with his owner, a racecar driver, and family. This book is so well written and confirms my theory that my dog REALLY understands what I’m saying to him and all the events going on around him. Yes, he’s still an animal, but he understands human actions and emotions. Maybe you don’t agree, but maybe you do. : )
I even let Tango sleep in bed with me last night because I felt even more connected to him that I did before… Until he eventually got over not having any room and left for his spacious and warm kennel. Fine Tango, fine.
But if you’re looking for something wonderful and a fast read, pick it up! Amazon has it for $1.88! And even better, your Public Library has it for free! Which is better. Unless you’re like me and can’t possibly find a way to return it on time, in which case your $5 late fee might be more… Happy reading!
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Book Buzz – The Secret Life of Bees

I’m so behind the times here! I know I’d heard of this book from a couple different girlfriends, but there’s also an entire movie I knew NOTHING about! Where have I been? Putting it on my Netflix queue today.

I read this book this past week and absolutely loved it. It was almost as good as The Help, if not as good. If you’ve got girlfriends, a fantastic group of mothers/aunts, this book will nurture and warm you… and maybe make you shed a tear or two. And if you’re without a mother (like the main character) and wish to have a great group of girlfriends, you really NEED to read this.
It’s set in South Carolina in 1964, and centers around a young girl, Lily, and her quest to find out who her mother was and discover her own place in the world. I don’t want to give anything away about this book so just read it if you haven’t. (I found it on Amazon for $3!) And then let your girlfriend, your mother, your sister, your aunt, your cousin borrow it. Then discuss.
Let me know if you have any suggestions for me! I’ve got a couple more to get through, but am always on the lookout for the next few good ones!
Happy Wednesday guys, we’re almost done with this week!
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Book Buzz – Committed

So I finished Committed, by Elizabeth Gilbert on the plane this past weekend and LOVED it. Everybody that’s been married, getting married, or thinking that maybe, one day, they’ll be married should read this book.

Side note – If you’re about to get married, like in the next couple days or so, don’t start reading it unless you’re sure you can finish it before the Big Day. Some parts can make you freak for a second, but you’ve gotta finish the whole thing to get it.

Anywho, this book is kind of like the sequel to Eat ,Pray, Love. If you haven’t read that, you can still pick this up, no problem. But you kind of appreciate her story more if you know what she went through prior to getting to this place in her life.

As somebody who never saw myself actually getting married, I identified A LOT with the author of this book. There are a ton of things you have come to peace with in order to get married, or at least I did… Especially when you’re super independent. And partially just very stubborn and used to running your life without interruption. Oh, I always love fairy-tale romances and could watch chick-flicks every day of my life, but the real thought of getting married just never seemed to be one of those things I actually thought would happen. But I’m VERY happy with my hubs and VERY glad I’m married now.

So now that it’s getting colder out, grab a blanket and get cozy with this guy (the book, I mean). This is a quick read and sure to make you laugh. And maybe cry a little bit at the end… if you’re a sap like me.
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Five Reasons Today Rocks

~I’m off to Texas this weekend to teach another awesome 8-hour TRX Training Course, so I’ll catch up with you guys on Monday! Happy Friday!
Here are 5 reasons today rocks:
1. One of my clients had a 5 week assessment today. She’s lost 4 pounds and 6 and a half inches so far because she works hard! She does what I tell her, she gets results. YES.

2. The St. James Court Art Fair is this weekend and I’m going with my mom later! This is an art event that brings all kinds of artists from all over the country to Louisville every first weekend in October, every year. I’ve missed it for the past 4 years and CAN’T WAIT to go again! And I get to hang out with my mom. Double Score.

3. Committed, the book I’m reading is REALLY good. I’m flying this weekend. I need a GOOD book with me when I fly, because flying freaks me the heck out. And I do a lot of flying. If the book sucks, I start thinking about my plane falling out of the sky. GOOD BOOKS ROCK.

4. The Inner Strength Bootcamp Happy Hour part-ay is tonight!!! All of our past, present, and maybe future bootcampers get the chance to mingle and have fun whilst smelling and dressing nice. I may not be recognizable tonight.

5. I get to hang out with my husband tonight! We haven’t seen a lot of each other lately because I work late every night with classes/clients and have been out of town the past 6 weekends in a row. So tonight, we’re getting fancy for the party and I get to show him off (because he’s awesome) to all my bootcamp pals. – photo by 927 Photography. duh.

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Book Buzz – I’ma read.

Sooo, I got a little Amazon-happy last week and ordered 5 books… Why would I order so many at once? Because I’ve been flying out of town every weekend. And I’m a flying scaredy cat, so I need distractions. And my wish-list has been growing. And ALL of them were under $10!

What did I get? Weeeeell, let me tell ya:

Cutting for Stone
by Abraham Verghese
The Secret Life of Bees
by Sue Monk Kidd
Committed ‘A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage’
The sort-of-sequel to Eat,Pray,Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Instructions for Living Someone Else’s Life
by hilarious author, Mil Millington
and One Fifth Avenue
by Candace Bushnell
SCORE. I’m happy. And reading. Like, right now so I’m gonna put the computer away. I’ll let you all know how they turn out!!!
Photograph: Janis Christie. Photograph: Getty Images
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Book Buzz – The Help, Eat Pray Love

You know when you’ve become so busy, the thought of simply lying on the couch and reading for 30 minutes sounds like ECSTASY? I’m there. Here are two of my faves from the ones I’ve read so far this year. LOVED this one.

The first is The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. It’s one of the BEST books I’ve read in a while. Set in Mississippi in 1963, it shows how life was for white women and the black housemaids that waited on them hand and foot, with no respect. This book covers this life from the viewpoints of 3 different women. Two black housemaids, and one white woman who wants to help change everything. I loved this book from the first paragraph. Funny, heart-breaking, and endearing. I finished it in about 2 days. Then, I mailed my copy to my bff, and ordered copies for my mom and aunts online so that they could all read it and we could then discuss.

I know, I know. I’m sure I’m the last woman in the world to read Eat Pray Love, but I was working around to it. It’s about this woman, Liz (the author) and the fact that she’s just discovered she hates her life, doesn’t want to be in her marriage anymore, gets a divorce, but then she’s all alone and has no clue of what she wants as her world crashes down around her. She heads off, alone, to travel the world for a year and hopefully find the answers to all her life’s questions. (Seemed a bit high-maintenance for me, but I went with it anyway.) Loved it.
I’ve had a few groups of girlfriends go to see the movie since it’s been released, but I held out until I was actually able to finish the book first. There’s something about just leaving everything behind and venturing out on your own to see what you’re made of. It doesn’t always have to mean you’re going crazy and have lost control of your life but it can be an adventure. I didn’t move across the world or anything, but I moved, by myself, to San Diego… a week out of college, with all I could fit in my car and $800. I made it work. Lots of people have. I don’t regret it at all and hopefully neither does anybody else.
So find a good read this week/weekend and post up for a bit. Take a moment for yourself, even if it’s only 30 minutes. And then let me know if you’ve got any good suggestions for my next one!
Marilyn image via – the marilyn monroe collection
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