Books I read in June

This was a really good month of reading: I finally ventured into 50 Shades of Grey territory, read a wonderful novel that all runners (and people in general) should read, and most will probably be my favorite books of the year...

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen
A wonderful story of perseverance and acceptance.  It's a very emotional, and yet fascinating, journey the main character goes on after she loses her leg in an accident and learns to embrace her new life.  This book is not just for those who love to run, or run/ran track in high school (I certainly didn't) but I certainly identified with this excerpt!
"That's the funny thing about running.  The deceptive thing about it.  It may seem mindless, but it's really largely mental. If the mind's not strong, the body acts weak, even if it's not." p. 155 
Loved this book.

50 Shades of Grey by EL James
Ummmmm... what to say!?  I knew going into this that it started as Twilight fan fic and that was painfully obvious to me as I was reading.  It was a fast read, and I wonder if that's because she used a similar storyline and a number of similar scenes as another author's work?  The other thing that really drove me nuts was (much like Stephenie Meyer) she overuses phrases in the most annoying way: there was altogether too much 'smouldering' 'whispering' 'murmuring' 'oh my!' 'peeking through lashes' 'pants hanging from hips' going on.  Much like there's just way too much 'dazzling' going on in Twilight.  That aside, I SO wanted to know how things were going to unfold and, well, it was some fun SMUTTY reading for sure!  Of course she leaves it on a cliffhanger and now I'm just going to go ahead and read them all.  If you liked Twilight and you have an open mind/healthy attitude toward sex, it's certainly a fun read and don't knock it before you try it.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
This book really surprised me; I thought it was going to be a very descriptive, atmospheric historical novel set in pre World War II NYC, with a little Sex and the City vibe to it.  It was all of these things, and so much more.  It was witty, funny, sophisticated and gut wrenching at times.  Only problem was that it took about half way through the book for that 'can't put down' feeling to come to fruition.  But once it did, I was hooked.  So, if you're reading it/decide to read it, just give it some time - it'll grow on ya.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I don't think there's anything more that I can say about this book that hasn't already been said on the back cover: luminous, pitch-perfect, romantic, a triumph.  It's a devastating and yet wonderful read.  John Green's writing is almost TOO good.  This is the second book of his that I've read (Looking for Alaska is another great one) and I love the interaction/dialogue between his characters, but I can't help but feel that NO ONE talks like that in real life.  At the same time, that's why I love his books.  The characters are like witty superheroes that put thoughts so beautifully into words and say all the things we wish we could say.  I hardly ever highlight passages from books, but Green's are (to use a phrase from the book) lit up like a Christmas tree.  A few of my favorites:
"As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once."
And all of the passages on infinity were a revelation:
"It seemed like forever ago, like we'd had this brief but still infinite forever."
"You gave me a forever within the numbered days"

These would probably make more sense in the context of the book, but I wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone, especially the last pages of the book: all are one big highlight. 
If you're looking for the meaning of life, this book has got a lot of answers.  One of the best books of the year, if not THE best.


  1. I love how your blog covers so many topics- from running (the obvious!) to food to books to kids- that's life!
    I was obviously reading too fast as I went through the first paragraph of this post and thought you were saying 50 Shades is a wonderful novel that everyone should read... oh brother! I couldn't believe you would write that so I went back through and saw I read wrong... geesh! Anyway, my goal is to read the trilogy this summer!

    1. haha! yeah, that could be misconstrued! er, yep, that's why I say 'most' will be on my best of the year :)

      yeah, I know the blog title is running driven, but I've always been a fan of just 'lifestyle' blogs and I have lots to say about lots of things!