Summer Book Challenge: May Reads


I love to read, but sometimes it just falls to the sideline when I get super busy. My “to read” pile keeps getting bigger and bigger and I really need to get through it before I buy more books. Enter the Semi-Charmed Summer 2014 Book Challenge. I gave you my preliminary list a few weeks ago, but  of course I already changed half the books I was originally going to read. Too many books, too little time.

I was able to finish 4 books in the month of May. Three of which I read on my one week vacation in Belize and Guatemala. I am half way through my 5th book that I will probably finish on the plane tomorrow to New Orleans for a work conference. I just love my job! Have I mentioned that lately?

Cholesterol Clarity: What the HDL is Wrong with my Numbers? By Jimmy Moore with Eric C. Westman, MD (241 pages)

I first heard about this book through Vinnie Tortorich’s podcast, America’s Angriest Trainer. If you haven’t heard of that podcast then you are definitely missing out. Everyone thinks that high cholesterol is bad for you and causes heart disease. But, did you know all that information is based on bad science? Fat is good for you and so is cholesterol! Moore, along with his team of medical and science experts, present a convincing case of why cholesterol is good for you and your heart. I read a lot about science and nutrition and much of the current recommended nutrition is based on bad science. At times the book dragged on a bit and if you’re not familiar with medical and science terms than it could be slightly confusing to read. However, if you are currently taking statins and your doctor says that you have high cholesterol then I highly recommend you read this book. Heck, all doctors and medical professions should read this book and the studies that support the theory that cholesterol does not cause heart disease.

Category: Freebie (5 points)

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (415 pages)

I really wanted to like this book, but it fell short for me. It is written well and I like how Flynn alternated character viewpoints in telling the story. But, it just wasn’t there for me. The story revolves around Amy Dunne going missing on the day of her wedding anniversary and her husband, Nick, being the prime suspect. I won’t give away the ending, but the story certainly takes an interesting and nontraditional twist. This book is going to be turned into a movie with Ben Affleck and released on October 3rd. I’ll be interested in seeing how they film the movie and if the ending will change. I doubt I will see it in theaters, but most definitely will rent it on Redbox.

Category: Book being adapted into a film in 2014 (20 points)

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling (219 pages)

I love Minday Kaling and The Mindy Project. I think she is a comedian genius. Have you seen her Harvard Law Commencement Speech? Pure Genius! I really enjoyed this book. Mindy portrays herself as a normal person, not some fancy Hollywood scarlet. She talks about her childhood as the fat girl who people made fun of growing up in Boston. She is Dartmouth educated and lived in NYC for a while before she was hired as a writer for The Office. The book is an easy read and funny. I would recommend this book if you’re looking for a fun beach read.

Category: Read a pair of books with antonyms in the title (30 points) – Paired with Lean In, which I’m reading next

Reading on the beach in Belize
Reading on the beach in Belize

How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter by Matt Kepnes (of (254 pages)

Now that I have a job where I can afford to travel more, I’ve been planning every holiday, long weekend, and my precious 10 days of vacation a year around exploring the world. I just booked my ticket to Ponta Delgada, Portugal for Thanksgiving break! I’m a big fan of Nomadic Matt and his travel blog. He’s been traveling the world on a budget for years now and has valuable advice for the budget traveler. The book is geared more towards a travel newbie. I’ve been reading his blog for a while now and knew some of the stuff in the book. However, I did learn some new things. I think this is a great book for any relatively new traveler looking to travel long-term as well as short-term on a budget. It would make an excellent graduation gift!

Category: A book written by a Blogger (25 points)

What are you reading this summer?


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