Book Review: Running by Natalia Sylvester

Hello everyone,

Today’s review is on Running by Natalia Sylvester.

Mariana Ruiz is a fifteen-year-old Cuban American who’s father is a Senator for the state of Florida. However, he’s now got his sights set on the White House, and as a result of his running for president, Mariana’s life is invaded by campaign managers and the press, nothing is private anymore and that bothers her a lot. As she tries to work through the invasiveness of her father’s campaign, she starts to learn that she might not know everything that her father stands for, and when she learns that his unwillingness to act on a specific bill is starting to have nasty effects not just on the environment, but people within her community. She faced with the decision whether to just ignore what is going on, or should she try and take a stand, even if it could have a negative affect on her father’s campaign?

Running is a great novel that explores the idea of teenagers starting to explore politics and activism, and learning about how they can still have a voice and take a stand, even if they can not vote yet.

Throughout the novel, we see Mariana, who loves her father and wants to stand by his side, but her feelings start to change when he starts to become a different person from the man that she knows him to be. When it seems like he is allowing the press, and his campaign manager, to invade their home and personal lives, she starts to get a little annoyed, especially since whenever she talks to him he tells her to get over herself and that she needs to think about his constituents. She tries to work through her feelings, as well as what she is being told to do by those around her. Then just as her family (and their home) is about to be featured on prime time tv, she decides to run away to a place that is safe, the home of their housekeeper (Gloria).

However, her actions have negative consequences on Gloria, especially when her personal life comes under scrutiny. And soon, Mari’s dad, and his sleazy campaign manager start to believe that Gloria and her girlfriend have filled Mari’s head with ideas, especially concerning her dad, that are causing to her to act out and question everything her dad stands for. However, nothing could be further from the truth, the only thing that they do is encourage Mari to do her own research of her father’s platform and decide for herself whether she can truly support him. Her thinking is further challenged by a fellow student who engages with her in conversation about her father, as well as discussions about the environment.

Then Mariana discovers that her dad passed up voting on a bill that allows for sewage to be dumped into the aqueduct that provides water to the community, this especially becomes an issue when people start getting sick from the water. Mariana is shocked because her father seems to always care about the environment, but she learns that his passivity on this issue has to do with the fact that this bill benefit some of his biggest campaign donors. When she tries to confront him on the issue he downplays it and tries to convince her it was a necessary evil, but that he will try to make a change. However, she realizes that she got played by her politician father and decides to join a walkout with her fellow students, even if it means that her dad will receive bad publicity just before the Florida Primaries.

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, I believe that this novel can be an important read for teenagers to realize that they can still have a voice, even if they are not able to vote. It stresses the importance of still knowing what is going on politically, especially since some of the same issues are the ones that they will have to deal with sooner or later. It also stresses the importance of thinking for yourself and developing your own opinions even if they are different from those of your parents – and even your peers.

The novel also explores the idea of hypocrisy, and the invasion of privacy. One of the biggest issues that Mariana has to deal with is the fact that she has always viewed her father as her hero, but she discovers that he is a hypocrite and starts to view him in a different light. Mariana comes into her own and learns to stand up for what is right, even if it means standing up against her father. It was also interesting to see her mother, who supports her husband, but also encourages Mariana to do the right thing, even if it might mean that her husband’s campaign is destroyed in the process.

Writing style wise, I enjoyed Natalia Sylvester’s writing style, my only complaint is that she jumps to scenes in the past and it sometimes took a while for me to realize we were in a scene in the past, and also when we jumped back to the future. However, that is a minor issue compared to how good this novel is. 4/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

First Line Fridays #51 – Christmas in Winter Hill by Melody Carlson

Hello everyone,

Welcome to another installment of First Line Fridays hosted by Hoarding Books.

Christmas in Winter Hill by Melody Carlson

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“Krista Galloway didn’t usually second-guess herself, but as she slowed down the U-Haul truck on the outskirts of Winter Hill, she was assaulted by some serious doubts.”

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

First Quarter Wrap-up

Hello everyone,

This is going up later than I intended to, but I thought it would be fun to share a wrap-up of what I have read in the first quarter, as well as some statistics of what kinds of books I have been reading so far this year. I am also doing this instead of a wrap-up at the end of the year of all the books I read in the year because it will be long, and also I just want to try something different. However, I will still have a wrap-up at the end of the year, it will just be for the fourth quarter and then my stats for the year.

For this wrap-up, I have it divided by month, with a section for monthly statistics, and then at the end I will have a section of statistics covering the whole quarter.

January

  1. Past Forward Episode 14 by Chautona Havig
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2. Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts

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3. Soaring Earth by Margarita Engle

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4. Past Forward Episode 15 by Chautona Havig

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5. One Piece Vol. 21 by Eiichiro Oda

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6. Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 3 by Hiromu Arakawa

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7. The Tinderbox by Beverly Lewis

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8. Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green

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9. The Answer Is… by Alex Trebek

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10. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

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11. Disciplines of a Godly Woman by Barbara Hughes

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12. Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos

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13. Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

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14. One Piece Vol. 22 by Eiichiro Oda

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15. City of the Plague God by Sarwat Chadda ( DNF’d @ page 100)

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16. One Day in December by Josie Silver

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17. The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis

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18. Court of Swans by Melanie Dickerson

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19. The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson

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20. The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

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21. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado

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22. Assassination Classroom Vol. 19 by Yusei Matsui

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23. Assassination Classroom Vol. 20 by Yusei Matsui

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24. Assassination Classroom Vol. 21 by Yusei Matsui

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25. The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

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Total Books Read: 25 books

Total Pages Read: 6500 pages

Any DNFs?: Yes, 1.

Shortest Book Read: Past Forward Episode 15 by Chautona Havig – 74 pages

Longest Book Read: Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green – 481 pages

Least Favorite Book: Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green

Favorite Book: Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos

February

  1. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
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2. Dearly by Margaret Atwood

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3. Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

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4. One Piece Volume 23 by Eiichiro Oda

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5. Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

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6. Delia and the Drifter by Melody Carlson

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7. Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy

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8. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

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9. The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate

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10. When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

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11. Conversation Peace by Mary A. Kassian

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12. Do Christians Need the Ten Commandments? by Phylicia Masonheimer

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13. Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery

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14. Dearest Josephine by Caroline George

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15. Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 4 by Hiromu Arakawa

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16. Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 5 by Hiromu Arakawa

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17. Fullmetal Alchemist Volume 6 by Hiromu Arakawa

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18. Blackout by Candace Owens

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19. Into the Dark by Claudia Gray – Did Not Finish @ page 100

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20. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Scwab – Did Not Finish @ page 220

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Total Books Read: 20 books (2 DNFs)

Total Pages: 5260 pages

DNFs? : Yes, 2 books.

Shortest Book Read: Do Christian Need the 10 Commandments? by Phylicia Masonheimer – 16 pages

Longest Book Read: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo – 417 pages

Least Favorite Book: When No One Was Watching by Alyssa Cole

Favorite Book: Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo and Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

March

  1. Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer
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2. Ten Words to Live By by Jen Wilkin

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3. Sing in the Sunlight by Kathleen Denly

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4. Avatar the Last Airbender – The Promise Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang

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5. Avatar the Last Airbender – The Promise Part 2 by Gene Luen Yang

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6. Avatar the Last Airbender – The Promise Part 3 by Gene Luen Yang

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7. Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price

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8. Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

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9. Eat Joy edited by Natalie Eve Garrett

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10. The Purple Nightgown by A. D. Lawrence

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11. Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett

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12. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett – Did Not Finish @ page 101

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13. Bookmarked for Death by Lorna Barrett

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14. Heart Pressed by Melissa Wardwell

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15. The Sea in Winter by Christine Day

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16. Bookplate Special by Lorna Barrett

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17. Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

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18. Bookshop by the Sea by Denise Hunter

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19. Chapter & Hearse by Lorna Barrett

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20. Recovering the Lost Art of Reading by Leland Ryken and Glenda Faye Mathes

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21. Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge

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22. Sentenced to Death by Lorna Barrett

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23. Murder on the Half Shelf by Lorna Barrett

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24. Matchmaker’s Best Friend by Kari Trumbo

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Total Books Read: 24 Books (1 DNF)

Total Pages Read: 5872 pages

DNFs?: Yes, 1.

Shortest Book Read: Avatar the Last Airbender – The Promise Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

Longest Book Read: Sing in the Sunlight

Least Favorite Book: Recovering the Last Art of Reading

Favorite Book: Pride and Premeditation, The Purple Nightgown.

First Quarter Statistics

Total Books Read: 69 books

Total Pages Read: 17632 pages

DNFs?: Yes, 4 books.

Shortest Book Read: Do Christians Need the Ten Commandments? by Phylicia Masonheimer – 16 pages

Longest Book Read: Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green – 488 pages

Least Favorite Book of the Quarter: Confessions of a Curious Bookseller

Favorite Book of the Quarter: Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos

No. of Re-reads: 7 books (10.1 %)

No. of Adult Fiction: 36 books (52.2 %)

No. of Young Adult: 20 books (29 %)

No. of Middle Grade: 9 books (13 %)

No. of Comics, Graphic Novels, and Manga: 10 books (14.5 %)

No. of books published before 2020: 40 books (58%)

No. of books published in 2020/2021: 29 books (42%)

No. of books from the library: 42 books (61%)

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Recent Reads Vol. 5

Usually my recent reads are for books I have recently read, but for some reason, I have forgotten to share my thoughts on the first three books in today’s installment, so I decided to include them today.

The first book I recently read a couple months ago is Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado. While this was not one of my favorite books I have read this year, it is still an important read for teens who have been ridiculed for most of their lives due to their weight. Even though Charlie and I are different individuals, I still related to her and her struggles a lot. A lot of the conversations her mom has with her about her weight were heartbreaking, and in some ways triggering because it reminded me of all the times my mom had discussions like that with me as a teen — honestly, I’m still dealing with issues regarding body image and food because of them. I really wish that a book like this had been around when I was a teen, because most of the books with fat main characters back then were all about them losing weight so they could finally be happy. insert eye roll here. Books like Fat Chance, Charlie Vega are important because they give those of us who are fat hope that there are people out there that will accept us as we are( based on personal experience, there are more than you know!) and that it is okay to love our bodies even if they are considered “imperfect” to a lot of people. There are a few things that I didn’t like about the book, but that was more based on personal preference and taste.

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The next book that I read a couple months ago is Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo. It is a novel in verse following Camino and Yahaira, two girls who live completely different lives – one in New York City, the other in Dominican Republic. Their lives are drawn together after a terrible plane crash happens and their father was one of the passengers, and as a result they discover each other and that their father had two families, and trying to deal with not only the tragedy of his death, but the secret that was hidden from them. Overall, I did like this novel, there were a few elements I didn’t like, but I did enjoy that we get a glimpse of what life in the Dominican Republic is like.

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The last book I read a couple months ago was Dearly by Margaret Atwood. It is a short collection of poetry on a variety subjects, from seemingly personal topics to environmentalism to zombies. I did really enjoy this collection, even though there are subjects and ideas that I know I disagree with the author on, however it was still a fun read in spite of that. It was also a quick read and only took me a couple of hours to complete.

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A more recent read is an audiobook that I listened to, Chapter & Hearse by Lorna Barrett. This is the next installment of the Booktown Mysteries and this time Tricia is trying to figure out who might be behind the explosion that destroyed the history bookstore, killed the store’s owner and injured Bob Kelly, Angelica’s boyfriend. Plus Tricia must deal with a stalker, and figure out who would want to sabotage Angelica’s book tour for her new cookbook. This was an interesting installment in the series, and the author did a good job of planting several red herrings as to who the culprit might be, but I still was not expecting it to be who it was! I found my self hooked and trying to find excuses to keep listening until the end. While not as good as it’s predecessor, this installment was a good addition to the series.

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This last recent read is a hard one to review, because it sounded right up my alley, but I’ll admit that I did not read the synopsis fully other wise I would not have had such high expectations for it. Bookshop by the Sea by Denise Hunter is set in a little seaside town in North Carolina. Sophie Lawson is about to open a book store, however, at the wedding of her younger sister she runs into her high school sweetheart, Aiden Maddox, who broke her heart right when her family was falling apart. After the blessed event, and an unforeseen accident, Aiden offers to stay and help Sophie get the store ready for it’s grand opening, but will a natural accident prevent that from happening? I honestly was not a huge fan of this book. The concept was cute, but I found both characters annoying, especially their reluctance to properly communicate with each other. They often acted like teenagers instead of the adults that they are, and when one confronts the other on an issue the other completely freaks out and the confronter also loses their cool and storms off. I’m all for second chance romances, but honestly I felt like the characters had more growing up to do in order to be with each other, and said growth seemed to happen too quickly. Also, Sophie’s family was irritating, and it was hard to believe that her sister had enough maturity to be married with some of the stuff she does…and her brother is worse! I did love the setting, and I loved the side characters we get to meet in the community, and I wish there had been more focus on them. So while I didn’t like this book, I didn’t completely hate it either, it did have a few redeemable qualities that kept me reading on. Thank you to Thomas Nelson and Edelweiss for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts.

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Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

The Workout Diaries: April 19th – 30th

Photo by Ryan Baker on Pexels.com

It’s been a while since I have had the time to keep up with The Workout Diaries, but now that I am done with grad school, I definitely have a lot more time to do so. Even though I stopped posting updates, I have been working out fairly consistently still. I am still doing the elliptical, have met some goals, and a few weeks ago I went on an over one mile walk, which I enjoyed, but unfortunately I also got a bad case of plantar facitis. My right foot had a lot of pain, but thankfully, after staying off of it for a couple of days and getting some inserts for my shoes, I haven’t had another flare up. I also got to see my mom last week and we went walking for just over a mile, and then we also went to a few museums together where I did a lot of walking and I didn’t need to take as many breaks. I have also found that I don’t need to lean on a cart as much when I am at the grocery store.

Monday, April 19th

It has been over a week since I was last on the elliptical, and I was not sure how that would affect my workout, but I had been doing lots of walking. I hopped on the elliptical, put on my audiobook – Book Clubbed by Lorna Barrett – and started my workout. In the beginning I was feeling a little bit of a burn, but once I got into a rhythm it felt good. Usually I stop after 0.75 miles or 21 minutes, but I was still feeling pretty good, so I decided to keep going until I hit the 25 minute mark. Once I got to the 25 minute mark, I was still feeling good and saw that I had a short distance to hit the 1 mile mark, so I kept going. I finally hit a mile, which was one of my goals that I have been striving to hit for the last two months of this journey! However, once I hit a mile, my legs still felt good, and I saw that I had about 2 minutes until I hit the 30 minute mark, so I kept going. I did stop at the 30 minute mark, because even though I felt like I could keep going, I did not want to completely trash my legs because I want to be able to hit a mile again tomorrow. My next goal is to do at least mile on every week day for the next 30 days. If I do more, great!

Tuesday, April 20th

Today I was determined to make it to a mile again, although I had some doubts whether I would be able to make it or not. My upper legs were a little sore and my arms too. However, I decided to just see how far I could go before my legs felt like trash. Today’s workout on the elliptical was definitely a bit more harder and I found myself having to push myself to keep going. While I had some pain in my thighs, I decided to just keep going. I definitely went at a slower pace than yesterday, but I still it a mile in under 28 minutes! After I hit a mile I decided to stop there for today, if I wasn’t hurting I probably would have tried to go to 30 minutes but again, I want to be able to do a mile again tomorrow. One weird thing is that I noticed my watch said that my heart rate was below fat burning zone for the majority of my workout, which is weird because I was working hard and had to the sweat to prove it. I don’t know if it is just a glitch with my watch or if my heart rate does tend to be below zone sometimes even if it feels like I am working hard – it is definitely something to keep an eye on.

Wednesday, April 21st.

Today’s workout was a little disappointing for me, but I know there are going to be days like this. I could definitely feel the burn a lot more in my legs and it took a lot for me to keep going until I hit the 0.75 mile mark. I decided to keep going until I hit about 25 minutes to finish, but I was a long way off from a mile and my body was tired and I knew that if I wanted to get off the elliptical without collapsing because my legs felt like Jello I needed to stop there. While I did not hit a mile, I am trying to think of the positives such as I pushed through for as long as I could, I managed to go about 0.8 miles, and I managed to workout for 26 minutes when it seemed like I would have a struggle making it to 20 minutes. I also found that my pace was a little slower too, even though I was putting in as much energy as I could. But tomorrow is a new day and with it a new opportunity to try and hit a mile again. I’m not going to let this discourage me and get in my head. And maybe I need to play around with the resistance and incline if my legs feel tired from the start.

Thursday, April 22nd

I didn’t hit the mile marker today, and that’s okay! I tried to, and I even had the resistance on the elliptical at a lower level, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference. Once I hit about the 15 minute mark I wasn’t sure whether I could make it to 20 minutes, let alone 25 minutes. But you know what, I did it. I made it to the 25 minute mark, and I managed to do about 0.85 miles. And I am proud of that! Sure, I would have loved to make it to a mile, but I also want to do so in a way that doesn’t completely destroy my body, or my drive to keep at it. Eventually, I will be able to do a mile consistently every day, but this week just wasn’t the week for that to happen, and that’s okay, I just need to keep going and eventually I will get there. Yes, it would be nice if this week had been the week, but I also need to be proud of the fact that I got moving, and I still did well, especially since when I started this journey I hadn’t done much exercising! I just need to keep persevering and not beat myself up because I am not yet where I think I should be. It’s a journey and sometimes journeys are slow.

Monday, April 26th

I ended up taking a break from the elliptical on Friday, mainly because my legs had been bothering me, especially at night and I kept waking up in the middle of the night thinking I was getting a charley horse. I also was just feeling really tired. However, today I was back at it! I exercised for 30 minutes and managed to hit the mile mark! It felt easy getting to that point, however, as I discovered last week, it seems to be easier to hit a mile when I have had a break for a couple of days than doing it day after day. We shall see if the same rings true this week.

Tuesday, April 27th

I did not sleep well last night, but I tried not to let that stop me from working out. I found myself feeling antsy and I got to it. I hopped on the elliptical and it seemed to be fine, however I found after I made it 10 minutes in I was already feeling it in my legs and I wasn’t sure if I could make it through the rest of my workout. I managed to keep going to the 25 minutes mark, about 0.8 miles, and decided that I needed to stop there. About an hour later I worked to the dumpster to throw out some trash, which is the first time I’ve walked there in a while. And honestly it was a lot harder on my legs that I expected, mainly in my shins, but I made it, and it was about a 0.25 mile walk there and back. I know it’s not far, but it’s still something. I’m going to try and do that some more, however, I do think I should have waited a few more hours to walk to the dumpster because maybe I wouldn’t have had the pain in my shins. I will keep an eye on it in case it gets worse.

Thursday, April 29th

I took the day off from the elliptical yesterday because my thighs were feeling stiff, and I knew I would need to “keep up my strength” for when I cleaned my shower because it would involve kneeling and squatting at times since I was doing a deep clean. It ended up being the best decision. But today I was back, and although I was still feeling some soreness in my thighs, I did an easy session on the elliptical. My pace was slow, but I still got a workout and I was in fat burn mode for most of my workout. I managed to go for 20 minutes, and to complete 0.5 miles in that time. I honestly don’t feel like I could have done anymore than that, not without hurting myself. Tomorrow I plan on going as hard as I can, rather than the leisurely pace I went at today.

Friday, April 30th

Today I ended up doing another slower workout on the elliptical. I don’t know why but my upper legs have been feeling pretty stiff and that’s been impacting how hard I am able to go because I’m also trying to avoid hurting myself. I did another 20 minute workout and managed to go for just over half a mile. I really hope that next week I can get back to working at the intensity that I am used to. But it’s also important for me to be aware of my body and listen to it too.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Previous Workout Diaries Posts:

A May TBR of sorts (What am I getting myself into?)

Hello everyone,

Welcome to my May TBR…sort of. Okay, this is more me announcing the read-a-thons I want to take part in this month, as well as some of the books I want to read to complete the challenges. Whether I actually accomplish progressing in any of these read-a-thons is to be determined…although right now I am determined. If I am somewhat successful, I will do a wrap-up/update post on how I did in each read-a-thon.

I have three read-a-thons that I want to participate in this month (yes, you read that right, three).

The first read-a-thon I am participating in is the month-long May the Force Read With You which is being hosted by YouTubers Breakeven Books, Noelle7pages, Coffee over Apples, and Max Books. Here is Breakeven Books announcement video if you are interested in finding out more about the read-a-thon.

So I can either start as the Light Side and the Dark Side, but I have to complete the prompts on the one side before moving to the next side. There are also prompts under the Neutral side that can be used in place of one of the prompts for either side. I am hoping to complete both the Light side and the Dark side, but I am going to start with the Light side first. Each book you complete also means you move up in rank, so for the Light side I will moving from Jedi Youngling, to hopefully Master of the Order if I complete all five prompts. Here is my tentative TBR for the read-a-thon to complete the prompts:

Jedi Council – Sequel or a book in a series. Even though I’m already a couple hours into it, I will continue to listen to Poisoned Pages by Lorna Barrett. It is book 12 in the Booktown Mystery series.

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Force Spirit – a book with paranormal elements. I don’t really have any books I can use to complete this challenge, so I will be using one of the prompts from the Neutral side instead.

Force Sensitive – A book where a main character has a special ability. I have a couple of options for this one including One Piece Vol. 26, Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 7, or The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill.

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Healing – Read a book from your favorite genre. This is a tough one because I don’t really have a favorite genre, but right now I have been obsessed with cozy mysteries, so I might read one of those. Some options include Lending a Paw by Laurie Cass, On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle, The English Breakfast Murder by Laura Childs, Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke, Dial M for Murder by Miranda James, or A Killer Edition by Lorna Barrett.

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Knowledge – Read one of the oldest books on your TBR/Shelf. Another tricky one, only because I have quite a few books that are the oldest on my TBR and shelf. Several options include Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller, Dear Reader by Mary O’Connell, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, The Light Between Oceans M.L. Stedman, The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill and The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen, or Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern.

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Cleansed – A book with a white cover. I will be using Prairie by Chautona Havig to complete this prompt.

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If I complete all five of the Light Side prompts, I will then move to the Dark Side, here are the prompts and the books I plan on using to complete them.

Rule of Two – Read a book from a duology. If I don’t use Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller for the Knowledge prompt, I will use it to complete this challenge.

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Lightning – A book under 350 pages. I will probably read any of the cozy mysteries I mentioned above, or The Inn at Hidden Run by Olivia Newport, or Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys.

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Force Vision Manipulation – A book with political intrigue or royalty. I can’t think of a good fit for this prompt, so I am going to do another Neutral prompt instead.

Force Vision – A book set in the past or future (sci-fi or historical fiction). I will read Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas which is set in 1936.

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Seduction – A Romance Book. I will use The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren.

Corrupted – A book with a black cover. This is a little tricky, but I have a couple of options: Lost Stars by Claudia Gray, The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon, or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (my copy is in a bind-up of all 7 novels, and the cover is black).

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The second read-a-thon I am planning on taking part in takes place from May 16th – May 22nd is the Disney Read-a-long hosted by Tiny Book Dragon. Here is the announcement video for that read-a-thon:

Since this is taking place in the middle of May, I will be using books I am reading for the May the Force Read with You read-a-thon to complete most of these challenges. Here are the prompts and my tentative TBR for the Disney Read-a-long:

Queen of Hearts – a book with a heart on the cover or in the title. To complete the prompt I will be reading The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren which has a pixelated heart on the cover.

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The Robinsons – a book about family. I will use The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis to complete this prompt, or Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Raya and the Last Dragon – I will either read Go the Distance by Jen Calonita, The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser, or Under the Magnolia by T. I. Lowe.

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The Enchantress – A book you bought because of the cover, or avoided because of the cover. This is a difficult one, because I don’t really read a whole lot of books based on their covers. However, if I were to pick one it would be Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery which I got the specific box set because of the covers.

Read a book set in the same country/city as your favorite Disney movie. This was a little harder since I have several favorites. However, I decided to go with Tarzan since it’s set in Africa and I want to pick up The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith which is set in Botswana. This might be a little bit a stretch, but I’m going with it.

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The last read-a-thon I am taking part in is the Do The Thing a Thon hosted by Ashley from A Frolic Through Fiction. It will be running from May 24th-May 30th. And the main objective is to just work on your reading goals for the year, especially those that have been neglected. Here is the announcement video:

Since this read-a-thon is subjective, I decided to refer to my 2021 Plans and Bookish Goals post for inspiration. One of the first goals that caught my eye was to read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee which has been on my TBR for a while, and I’ve never read it, hence the reason it was one of my goals for the year. So I am going to pick it up for the read-a-thon.

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Next, another one of my goals was to complete 5 series. So far I have only completed 2 this year. There are several options for this goal, however, the one series I could easily complete during this read-a-thon is the Harry Potter series since I only have one book left. I am going to attempt to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling.

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The last goal that I want to work on during this read-a-thon is to complete my reading experiments – the ones that I’ve posted about, and ones that I am working on and keeping secret for now. Some options for this goal include: Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas, Rainwater by Sandra Brown, The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows, The Inn at Hidden Run by Olivia Newport, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, and/or The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss. This is only a small sample of what I could read, there are others too!

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Well, these are my super ambitious reading plans for this month. Whether or not I can make a lot of progress remains to be seen. I think I can easily read at least 10 books, but other than that I don’t know. If all goes well, as in I get through at least half of these books, I will post an update at the end of the month.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.