November 2017 Miles and Pages

November 2017 Miles and Pages

What an exciting month! As I look back over the events of November, I have to admit that it was a fulfilling month in many ways; in the spirit of the holiday I celebrated, I feel very thankful for the connections I've made over the past few weeks, both in person and online, and I'll be looking for ways to continue throughout the upcoming months. 

Now that it is the first of December, it's time to review some of my adventures! 

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November Running

  • 124 miles
  • 1024.6 for 2017
  • Richmond Half Marathon, on November 11 (recap here!)
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November Cycling

  • 18.64 miles - only one outdoor ride this month but, thanks to a Black Friday sale, that may be changing (I finally have some cycling tights to brave the cooler temps!)
  • 889 miles with Dottie for 2017
  • 1 indoor cycling class
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November Strength/Cross Training

  • 3 barre classes (including one with dogs - THE MOST FUN EVER)
  • 2 weeks of Body Boss Pre-Training (a program that I heard about, thanks to my friend KIm)
  • Countless PT exercises (bridges, bird dogs, clamshells, fire hydrants, blah, blah, blah)

November Reading

Audiobooks

Craig and Fred by Craig Grossi - I cannot say enough good things about this book and it is one of the two books I recommended most this month. I stumbled upon it while searching a list of new releases at Audible and, since I'm a huge sucker for feel-good stories with dogs, I couldn't resist. I've purchased a couple of copies of this one for holiday gifts and I've become somewhat fanatical about it. 

Unqualified by Anna Faris - I'd been on the library hold list for this one for several weeks and it just happened to become available to me during Nonfiction November - perfect timing! There were moments when I found myself distracted but, for the most part, this was a highly entertaining listen (Farris is the narrator) and her self-deprecating wit (one of my musts for what makes a nonfiction title a favorite) kept me laughing. 

Nomadland by Jessica Bruder - This title landed on my list after a thought-provoking review by Susie at Novel Visits; I have to say that this was equal parts educational, entertaining and disturbing. The number of individuals who are living in this rather hidden, underground tribe is quite alarming and the ways in which they manage to survive and take care of one another are worth the listen/read. 

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot - This title, which I'd read years ago, served as a powerful kickoff to Nonfiction November; as a healthcare professional, my perspective on this story is much different than it was the first time around. No matter your background, this is a must-read; in a world where our healthcare system is constantly under manipulation by a number of different factors, acknowledging our history helps us to understand how/why patients and families make the decisions they do. 

The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan - WOW! Until I read Kiernan's most recent release (see below), this would have been my favorite book of the month. It's no secret that I love WWII history (check out my WWII book pairing post here), but this would make for fascinating reading even for those who aren't big history lovers. Living in a world of secrecy, while also coming of age and navigating young adult relationships, makes the characters in this book seem more near to fiction; I couldn't put this one down. 

Code Girls by Liza Mundy - Another sparkling, well-researched account of WWII history, this time about the young women who were recruited from their colleges and communities to assist with code breaking, I enjoyed this one but not quite as much as The Girls of Atomic City; you can read more of my thoughts here

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart - I had high hopes for the sophomore effort from the author of the YA bestseller We Were Liars; when this one became available to borrow from my library, I decided to take a little break from nonfiction and give it a try. Unfortunately, I was pretty disappointed; the story started off with a bang but, as it happens sometimes with suspense novels/thrillers, I quickly figured out where this story was headed and was not very pleased with the outcome. 

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen - A quick and, thankfully, successful return to nonfiction reading followed with a recommendation from Catherine at The Gilmore Guide to Books; I feel pretty certain that I highlighted half of this book. Quindlen tells it like it is, from a transparent female perspective, and it was just what I needed; a remarkably refreshing read. 

The Last Castle by Denise Kiernan - As I mentioned earlier, Kiernan's The Girls of Atomic City would have been my favorite book of the month...until I read this one. As a teenager, I visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina; it is stunning and learning more about the people behind the walls, as well as the historical events leading up to and following its construction, felt magical. Kiernan is a top-notch researcher but, most important, she takes what she's learned and creates a captivating story. 

What Else?

As I mentioned in the first paragraph, I enjoyed making lots of connections over the month; by traveling to Virginia for the Richmond Half Marathon, I was able to spend some quality time with dear friends and members of my Oiselle running team and I met Sarah, of Sarah's Book Shelves, for the first time. 

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In addition, my participation in Nonfiction November allowed me to connect with some new-to-me book bloggers and revisit some with whom I'd not recently been in contact. I'm hoping to continue by participating in some of the A Month of Faves posts this month! 

I recently finished watching season 2 of Stranger Things and WOW! Now, the waiting begins again. Sigh.

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My fantasy football team is currently in first place in the division; time to kick it up a notch for the playoffs and hope that my players can stay healthy.

Speaking of healthy, my left side is bothering me more than I'd like; I've just found a new PT who specializes in some really groovy functional testing and we are reevaluating the root cause of my problems/injury. More updates to come! 

I'd planned to run one more race before the end of the year, the CASA Half Marathon; due to the aforementioned situation, I'm not quite sure how this will pan out. I've decided that I'd rather run healthy than race, so it's going to be a game day decision. 

How was your month? What are you looking forward to in December? 

New Week, New Book: 12/4/17

New Week, New Book: 12/4/17

Nonfiction November 2017: New to My TBR

Nonfiction November 2017: New to My TBR