Book Review: Big Magic

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img_8402Title: Big Magic
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Genre: Non-Fiction/Self-Improvement
Publisher: Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House LLC
Format: Hardcover

Summary
Set in 6 parts, Big Magic showcases the  demeanor, habits and path we need to adopt in order to live our best creative lives. It talks about squashing the voice in your head that says you can’t, facing fears and accepting the things you love. At the end of the day, it’s about living with more mindfulness and intent.

Review
For some reason, this was a really tough book for me to get through. While I appreciated the sentiments of living a creative life and the 6 “stages” of achieving that, I felt that a lot of the book was just repetition of what had already been said which made it drag on. I could only sit and read this book in short amounts of time. That’s not to say I didn’t highlight some key parts that really struck a cord with me, but as someone who has read Eat, Pray, Love more times than I can count, I really wanted to love this book and just couldn’t muster it. Her Big Magic podcast on the other hand? LOVE! Again, good in small doses, but just too much otherwise.

Rating
2 Stars

Book Review: Illusion Town

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img_8401Title: Illusion Town
Author: Jayne Castle
Genre: Futuristic Romance
Publisher: Jove/Penguin Random House LLC
Format: Mass Market Paperback

Summary
On the planet of Harmony, Illusion Town is known for its casinos, hotels and bright lights. It’s the Las Vegas of the world after the Curtain closed from Earth, a town of the past in the future. Hannah West, with her dust bunny companion Virgil, own a small store specializing in crystals and is known as “the finder of lost objects.” When a relationship with a client, Elias Coppersmith, turns personal, things turn adventurous to say the least. After waking up married, with no recollection of how they got there, Hannah and Elias must navigate the alien catacombs and their personal pasts on the path to answers.

Review
While written with Castle’s unique flair for drawing in the reader to this new futuristic world of Harmony and continuing on a storyline of some of the most powerful families in this new world, I felt the book started too quickly, without the usual scene setting of some of her other works. On that note however, it does draw you in immediately and makes for a quick read. The continued use of dust bunnies and their cute eccentrics ways, creates an enticing humanism in a world filled with paranormal tendencies. You’re left wanting to discover other parts of Harmony and learn more about the paranormal talents of the humans who survived after the Curtain closed.

Rating
3 Stars

Forced Rest

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After a fantastic few months of training and racing, plus facing my fears of gators and swimming in the open water of Florida lakes, my hip decided to be a pain and flare up a bit. For those that might be new to my history, I had FAI (+some other stuff) hip surgery almost 3 years ago now. From what I’ve discovered, read, spoken to people and doctors about is that it’s not uncommon for post-FAI surgery people to have some flare ups from time to time. If you continue working on strength, body alignment and safe training those flare ups should begin to become few and far between though. And that’s definitely the case for me.

So about 1 1/2 weeks ago I went on a “rest” period from the repetitive motions of running and biking and the focus returned to strength for core and glute activation…and of course swimming!

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The plan was to remove any pain or lingering discomfort from my hip (meaning avoid anything that causes it to flare up) and then add back biking and running one at a time, slowly and conservatively with my coaches guidance. In the big picture, this is nothing. I want triathlon to be a life long sport for me. There will be tons of other races and training days in my future, right now though my hip needs some rest.

Unfortunately, something terrible happened and I was forced into a complete rest for over a week. Last Saturday afternoon I was involved in a severe car accident. Finally, today I was able to do a basic strength workout, minus the weight…so basically I moved, but boy did it feel good to move again! I look forward to slowly and surely getting back into the triathlon groove!

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