Recent Reads


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I like to read, and then tell you about it. Here are some books i’ve read recently and my own personal opinions on them, which carry a ton of weight I promise.


I am Malala


I read this mostly on a train over the course of a day. Everyone has heard of Malala Yousafzai, the young Pashtun woman who was shot on her way to school in Her memoir is informative, and offers a glimpse into a world I knew little about. She has read both the Twilight series and Stephen Hawking. She spoke of both her love for her country and hope for change. She had a very honest and straightforward way of writing.
The Road 
Woah, heavy. This post-apocolyptic story is another book I read in a short span while stranded at the airport. It is very well written and I kept at it, but it did drag in parts. I ultimately found the ending unsatisfying, but maybe I’m just not intellectual enough for it.
On the Road
I’m pretty sure my title as a hipster is secure with my praise of this book. The whole story, which tells of a 20-something wanderer in the time when hitch hiking was ok, felt like a novelization of a Radiohead song. It’s ultimately a coming of age, personal-development story, told in a fast-paced and conversational manner. It seemed like it appropriately captured young people’s restlessness and sense of wandering, but if I knew people who acted like this in real life I’d probably hate them. I intend to read If This Isn’t Nice What Is by Vonnegut next.
I am the Messenger
I loved The Book Thief, so I had high expectations for this book, and was not disappointed. It’s the story of how an insignificant man becomes significant, and how everyone has a struggle inside of him or herself that others can’t see. Markus Zusak is a beautiful story teller, and you will stay up late reading this one.
This is my friend from school’s favorite book. I like it a lot too, though not quite as much as Catch 22. It’s ultimately an anti-war tale, although it seems to say that war is inevitable. I liked how seamlessly the time skips occurred and the switch from science fiction back to Billy’s life.
The Queen’s Fool
Not my favorite novel of Philippa Gregory’s. It tells the story of a Jewish clown in the Queen’s court in the aftermath of the Spanish Inquisition. It sounds exciting, but I put it down and came back to it a few times. It dragged in parts, and I’m beginning to think that if you’ve read on Gregory novel, you’ve read them all.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
I bought this about two weeks before Maya Angelou’s passing but did not read it until she was gone. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on her work. The way she writes is so captivating and reader friendly, but also conveys some hard truths that only come from experience. I now plan to read her entire canon of work.
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Nope. Not even attaching a cover. I had a thing for this author in middle school and probably read This Lullaby five times. I ordered this for the sake of a palette-cleanser between books for class, and it was just so fluffy. I actually read it, then read about half of it again before realizing I’d already read it before. That’s how non-substantial it was. Sorry middle school Caitlin.
So happy reading friends. I have several books which are stacked higher than my bed I hope to get through eventually.
What are you reading right now?

Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon


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I ran my first half marathon Sunday and loved it! I had a blast, and was already thinking about where I should run my next one on the car ride home.

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We drove up the day before and ate at Park Grill, conveniently located under the bean.

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Then we headed to the Renaissance Blackwater hotel, which was beautiful, accommodating, and reasonably priced (though I did book in January, and we only had one bed). After a quick nap, we headed to the Navy Pier.

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The original plan had been to eat at Bubba Shrimp Co, but rather than wait for two hours we went to Kapi’s next door. It was Italian, and totally delicious. I ate my weight in goat cheese.

The next morning I got up at about 4:30, consumed my banana, peanut butter, and coffee coconut water, then walked a block from the hotel to the start. It was my first race, so I wanted to be early, and I was not the first one there by any stretch of the imagination. However, next year I’m sleeping in a bit more.

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Once there, the corals were easy to find, as were the pacers. We crossed the start line a bit after seven. I stuck with the 2:30 pace group until about the 15K mark, then pulled ahead a bit. I ended with a time of 2:28:47.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the race, but I heard complaints that there weren’t enough bands. I dunno, I can honestly say it was the best race I’ve ever run.

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After the finish and lots of water, we went back to the hotel after it was pointed out that I may need a shower. Thanks guys.

Then we ate brunch at Yolk, where I had some of the best bacon of my life. There was virtually every breakfast food you could think of there, and the coffee was delicious (which is the deal breaker, really). I 100 percent recommend.


Then we went home. I am a little disappointed that we could not have stayed a bit longer in Chicago and seen some sights, but work schedules and money called us back. It’s nice to sleep in your own bed after a long day anyway

It was a fantastic experience, and I cannot wait to run again. Any suggestions on the next city/race?


Link It Up

I know I’m a terrible blogger who doesn’t post enough. I have plenty of excuses too. Last week I was watching my nephew by day, studying by night. This week I’m in overdrive getting caught up from last week and preparing to not be in town this weekend because


(wait for it)


my half marathon is Sunday.

If you are a praying or vibe-sending type, it would be much appreciated if kind thoughts were sent my way. Me. A stranger. On the internet.

Have a great weekend!

Kendi Everyday gives some sound advice on what to pack for a European adventure.

I’m late to the party, but Cheryl Strayed’s column Dear Sugar is the best. Unfortunately, she stopped writing them in 2012, but there are over one hundred articles here, and this one is my favorite so far. Or maybe this one.

A great post from Cupcakes and Cashmere on Networking for Introverts.

A woman was judged “too fat to run” so she went out and ran anyway.


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