January books

Hi friends! Hope you’re having a great night <3 LOVE all your Winter Shape Up Week 2 check-ins. Keep ’em coming!

Switching gears over here from fitness to something a little different: books!

I’m not sure how it happened, but I actually read last month. Reading is one of my favorite things to do, but it’s also towards the bottom of the priority totem pole. I’ll often set aside some time before bed with my Kindle, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. My current, lofty goal is to read two books per month, but I also have a goal to work on going to sleep earlier; we’ll see which ones wins πŸ˜‰Β 

Here’s what I read in January:

Jan books  1 of 1

Baby Whisperer for Toddlers

I picked up this book at Bookman’s looking for some advice on what to do when Livi gets in a “NO” mood or throws a tantrum. I wish I would have read this sooner, especially since the original Baby Whisperer book was a lifesaver for our family. It helped us to get into a solid routine and helped Liv to sleep through the night (wahoo!). I also had invaluable tips on feeding, sleep and what to do in specific situations. I can already tell that the toddler version is going to be the same type of vital resource. There are a lot of wonderful tips on a variety of toddlerhood experiences (skipping naps, potty training, tantrums, etc) as well as unique situations like air travel tips. Just like the original version, the author uses an acronym to help parents remember the steps they should take. In the toddler book, it’s H.E.L.P. (Hold yourself back, Encourage exploration, Limit and Praise).

By reading this book, I became aware of a few counterproductive habits despite the best intentions. For example, when we’re at the playground, I’m always an arm’s distance away from Liv in case she needs a little help. The author explains that the child won’t be able to learn how to solve problems on their own if we’re there to do it for them. It’s best to hold back, observe, and help when/if the child needs assistance. I also like that the author discourages shaming and spanking which are two discipline strategies that I am vehemently against.

The beauty of the Baby Whisperer books is that they’re well-organized and easy to review. I have it in my nightstand drawer and will skim over certain parts throughout the week. Similarly to the first book, this one also gives strategies according to your baby’s unique needs and personality. For example, “angel” babies need a different approach than “grumpy” babies.Β 

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

I absolutely loved this book. It has tons of amazing tips (especially helpful if you work in marketing or social media), and it breaks down the best practices for the major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr). The author, Gary Vee, is kind of a smart ass (in the best way possible), and I really liked his witty comments and honest critiques of major companies’ social media strategies. The premise of the book is that different types of storytelling works for different platforms; you need to know how to use this to your advantage. I found the Pinterest section very helpful, since I’m known for late-night pinning sprees, and I don’t usually pin new photos (I’m a notorious re-pinner). I highly recommend it.

Eat That Frog!

I listened to this Brian Tracy audiobook while doing steady state cardio.

Side note: Β I really enjoy listening to audiobooks, but they’re on the pricey side to download. For this reason, I usually only purchase ones that I intend to use as a resource and occasionally revisit. I’m not sure how many times I’ve listened to “The Psychology of Achievement,” which I have on CD (Brian Tracy also has a pleasant calming voice). When we lived in Valdosta and I spent a lot of time driving back and forth between Orlando, Jacksonville, and Valdosta; I would frequently borrow CD audiobooks. You can get them at the library, or you can borrow them from Cracker Barrel (random, I know) for like 99 cents per day. Amazing.

Anyway, back to Eat That Frog! I needed a little kick in the productivity pants. I’m usually pretty good at making a list and cranking things out, but i knew there were areas that could be prioritized and streamlined. This book provides useful techniques for both. The title refers to doing the worst task first. You want to “eat the frog,” knowing that’s the worst thing you’ll have to do all day and get it over with. I also liked the tips on giving yourself breaks to come back refreshed and more productive.Β 

So the list for January reads is a little dry, but they were all enjoyable πŸ™‚ I’ll definitely have some fluff in February.

What did you read last month? Anything you really loved?

Also, if you listen to a book on audio, do you count it as “reading” the book? Would you say, “Oh, I read that!” or “I listened to that on CD.” I always feel like I need to specify for some reason πŸ˜‰

Hope you enjoy the rest of your day!



*New post on the Fashion page


Post Navigation:


  1. Jessie on February 4, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    I read the Power of Habit and and almost done with Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’m trying to read 2 books a month this year as well, summer time seems to be my best reading time. Can’t wait!

    • Fitnessista on February 4, 2014 at 11:33 pm

      LOVE summer reading πŸ™‚ what did you think of gone girl?! INTENSE

      • Cristal on February 5, 2014 at 12:48 pm

        Did u see Ben Affleck is going to be the husband in the movie, Gone Girl??

        • Fitnessista on February 5, 2014 at 12:48 pm

          NO. omgggggg

  2. Lindsay on February 4, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    The Pima County Public Library has downloadable audiobooks you can borrow – check it out!

    • Fitnessista on February 4, 2014 at 11:32 pm

      wahoo! i had no idea

  3. Christine @ BookishlyB on February 4, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Audible isn’t bad- it’s $15 bucks a month for a download, and I think you get one or two free when you join.

    This past month I read seven books (I don’t watch TV much, plus reading is my without a doubt my hobby): The Snow Child (loved), The Longest Date (was sent from the publisher and did not enjoy), The Girl Who Played with Fire (better than the first, but still mediocre writing), The Awakening (great classic), Five Star Billionaire (fantastic), Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (holy agenda!), and The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got There (I’m a teacher, so it’s interesting to see what the rest of the world does).

    Happy reading πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on February 4, 2014 at 11:30 pm

      awesome list! i LOVED ina may’s book. will definitely re-read during my next pregnancy πŸ™‚
      hope you have a great week!

      • Christine @ BookishlyB on February 4, 2014 at 11:42 pm

        I’m currently pregnant and am super open to a natural birth or one with an epidural- I just felt at the end of that book that you’re doing it wrong if you’re doing it with drugs (which would be a fine policy, if we weren’t talking medical intervention, haha). I did appreciate some of the birth stories, though.

    • Kathy on February 5, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Totally agree that an Audible membership is great if you are going to listen a lot. It makes each download less $$. I like to listen on dog walks or long drives and so this has been a good way to do it for less!

  4. Christy L. on February 4, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    I love audiobooks! I have subscribed to Audible.com for years, and I feel that the membership price is really reasonable (a download a month for $15 ish.

    Also, since you are military, another great resource is the Navy e-library. You can access it through the NKO website— https://www.nko.navy.mil. You can borrow both Kindle and audiobooks there.

    • Fitnessista on February 4, 2014 at 11:28 pm

      perfect! thank you so much πŸ™‚

  5. Laura L on February 4, 2014 at 9:50 pm

    I just finished Stephen King’s 11/22/63. It was amazing. I could hardly put it down. Not typical King horror at all though

    • Fitnessista on February 4, 2014 at 11:28 pm

      ohh, i’ll look into it!

      • Amy on February 5, 2014 at 12:49 am

        I read 11/22/63 a few months ago and it was one of the best books I have read in years! Such a great story. You won’t be disappointed. It’s length was a bit intimidating at first but once I was a few chapters in I didn’t want it to end.

  6. Georgia on February 4, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    I loved this post! I think it’s also comical that all mothers I know of kids at this stage (my oldest is a little older than Livi) are looking for books. This is SUCH a challenging stage… My daughter comes up with things I can’t believe.. right now it’s a pitiful, “Please don’t goooooo!” at each bed time. And you know what? It works!

    Anyway, I’m reading Parenting with Love & Logic and just bought Love and Logic for Toddlers. I’m desperate for some new strategies since the peaceful little girl seems to disappear from time to time. πŸ™‚

    Happy Parenting!
    p.s. after you mentioned it I bought BW for Toddlers too. I don’t know why I hadn’t since the baby one was also great for us.

    • Fitnessista on February 4, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      haha it’s so true! some of the things that happen blow my mind.
      so many people have recommended “love and logic”– definitely going to read the toddler version next. thank you!

    • Cristal on February 5, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      I’m also currently reading the Love & Logic book. The other day my daughter didn’t want to pick up her toys and I opened the book right at that moment and read the vignette in the book!

  7. kirsten on February 4, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    I love audiobooks! I definitely count them as reading. I use downpour.com, it’s 12.95 a month and you get one audiobook from them for that price (similar to audible, which I used to use, but $2 cheaper/month.)

    • Fitnessista on February 4, 2014 at 11:24 pm

      awesome! thank you

  8. Ashley Bible on February 4, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    If you download the Media Overdrive app and add your state’s online library, you can check out audio books for free!!

    • Fitnessista on February 4, 2014 at 11:24 pm

      i’m so excited! i’ll definitely do that

  9. Mari on February 4, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    I really enjoyed this post! I’m always looking for books to add to my list of books to read and I’ll definitely be adding Eat That Frog! to my list. I’m currently reading a book named Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar. I randomly heard the author discussing this new book on TV and it really got my attention because I’d never heard about this story before. It is about a group of college aged hikers who went missing after going on a hike in Russia in the 50’s/60’s and the mystery surrounding why they never came back home. There is still a lot of confusion and suspicion about what really happened to them so I’m almost done and am completely fascinated by the story. It’s an easy read and super interesting so I highly recommend it! Also, I’m so glad that you mentioned that you’re against spanking. That is something that happened to me a lot as a child and it really had a negative effect on me in terms of confidence and feeling confused as a child since it seemed like such a violent thing to do to a child. I know that everyone has different opinions on that issue but it’s something that I do not understand and do not agree with at all.

    • Fitnessista on February 4, 2014 at 11:36 pm

      i’ll definitely check that out! thanks for sharing <3
      i'm always careful about what beliefs i discuss on the blog, but that's one i'm happy to share. i'm not ok with physical punishment in any form. how can you teach a kid not to hit if you hit them? also, how can you teach them to respect and trust you if you don't respect them? makes no sense to me. it breaks my heart that you had to experience that as a kiddo πŸ™
      hope you enjoy the rest of your week <3

  10. julie on February 4, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Just finished reading Gone Girl. A pretty well written book up until the final 1/4. Then it was all down hill. I dont regret reading it, but I can’t say I enjoyed it. At least they got Neil Patrick Harris for the movie!

    • Fitnessista on February 4, 2014 at 11:37 pm

      the end was SO BIZARRE

  11. Eva on February 5, 2014 at 12:36 am

    I write a book blog so this is right up my alley — my number one recommendation for people is to read The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher — it’s the first book in a three book series and the series is my absolute favorite – unlike anything else I’ve ever read!

  12. Laura @FitMamaLove on February 5, 2014 at 12:49 am

    When I saw the title of the post, I was about to question how you ever have time to read with all you do! But now I see that you don’t actually, haha. I never have time to read anything anymore even though I love it. Especially since I started blogging, it mostly just read blogs. Rarely even watch anything on TV anymore either! I downloaded Donald Miller’s latest book a few weeks ago and still haven’t gotten around to it. πŸ™

  13. CourtStar @ StarSystemzFitness on February 5, 2014 at 2:06 am

    I love Brian Tracy and am a HUGE fan of audiobooks, I see NOTHING wrong with them and consider them as reading the book #samesame I really would love to sit and mark up a book such as his but I just don’t have the peace and quiet and I honestly believe doing cardio and listening to the book is better then never listening/reading it at all! Have you tried audiobooks.com? For $15.00 you get a book a month and audiobooks has it all! Great blog post <3 Lots of Love C

  14. Julie on February 5, 2014 at 2:08 am

    I can only listen to self-help books or something like that read by the author. I prefer reading nonfiction/fiction when there are characters because they never sound like I imagined. The voices take away from the images in my head.

  15. Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork on February 5, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Wow! You read a lot of non-fiction/information-based books. That’s impressive! Because I usually only read before I go to bed, I like to go off into a fiction world, which helps my brain shut off for the night (instead of thinking about “real” things). But, one of my goals for the new year is to read more in general because I love it so much! These books sound great! Thank you for sharing!

    Still trudging along on the second Game of Thrones book (A Clash of Kings).

  16. Christine @ www.idratherbesweating.com on February 5, 2014 at 7:50 am

    I am definitely going to check out The Baby Whisperer for Toddlers! I have a 20-month old. I wasn’t very fond of the “What to Expect” books. I know they are highly praised but for me, not very helpful. I did like the “Your Baby/Toddler Week-by-Week” books. When taking my daughter to the playground , I make sure not to be a “helicopter parent” and hover. At first it was weird for me to just let her do her own thing and have me sit back but I know she likes that feeling of being independent and every-now-and-again she will look over at me and give me that “look” saying she needs help with something!
    Right now, I am reading “Wild”. I am late jumping on that bandwagon but I am hlafway through and love it! Kind of like “Eat, Pray, Love” but more raw I guess you could say!

  17. Elizabeth @ Positive Change on February 5, 2014 at 8:29 am

    I love to read as well. Last year I made a goal to read a book a week. I had a lot of time on my hands and it worked out okay, but I felt crazy half way through the year! πŸ™‚
    This year I don’t have as much time so I am reading 1-2 books a month. Much more manageable! Last month I read a Mary Kay Andrews book, she is one of my favorite girly authors and Pride and Prejudice (Classic!)

  18. Aisling on February 5, 2014 at 8:32 am

    I loved Gone Girl and 11/22/63. Am currently listening to Dr. Sleep by Stephen King, the follow on to The Shining and am loving it (although it can be a bit spooky on my early morning walk/runs).

    I, like eveyone else, would like to dedicate more time to reading but find audiobooks (audible.com) a great way to enjoy books. I generally listen while I run and it makes me want to get out there and exercise!

    Wild is on my “to read” list too.

  19. Emma on February 5, 2014 at 8:50 am

    As an elementary teacher, I can tell you that many educators consider reading to be more than just reading regular print books, it just means making meaning from a “text”. That can mean art, movies, audiobooks, just about anything! Which is reassuring to me because I have a super long commute so most of my (fun) reading these days comes from audiobooks.

  20. Emma @ Life's A Runner on February 5, 2014 at 9:01 am

    I started reading The Cuckoo’s Calling after Christmas – I still haven’t managed to finish it yet, though.

    I am one of the biggest bookworms you will ever meet, so thank you for this post! I’m always looking for new and interesting things to read. πŸ™‚

  21. Kara H. on February 5, 2014 at 9:21 am

    I’m going to check out the Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. I’m in a marketing positions and could use some new pointers.

    The only audio books I listen to are Harry Potter. Jim Dale = Amazballs, Seriously… Amazing

  22. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on February 5, 2014 at 9:51 am

    I read the first two books in the Divergent series. If you liked The Hunger Games I really recommend this!! It has a similar tone and is really good. I also read The Spectacular Now. I was a little disappointed since I had heard such good things about the movie, but it was a decent enough read.

  23. Alex @ Kenzie Life on February 5, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I started reading Mindy Kaling’s book as well as Daniel Khaneman’s book “Thinking Fast and Slow”. He’s the only psychologist to have won a nobel prize in economics. I hear about him a lot in my psyc classes so I figured it was time to read the book πŸ™‚ Mindy’s book is hilarious though and I love it so far.

  24. Alissa @ Eat Clean Beauty Queen on February 5, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Last month I read the book Obsessed by MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski. It details her and her best friend’s mutual obsession with food over the course of their lives and how it has affected their lives and careers (despite both obsessing over food her friend is overweight and Mika is a size 2). I LOVED it so much I got a group from my boot camp together to do a book club review!!

  25. Michelle on February 5, 2014 at 11:03 am

    I’ve been saving tons of $$ by getting audio books & eBooks from the library!

  26. Chrystal J on February 5, 2014 at 11:29 am

    I read “The Demon in the Freezer” by Richard Preston. I’m mildly obsessed with any book about viruses or outbreaks. I know, weird.

  27. Katie @ running4cupcakes on February 5, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I totally count listening to audiobooks as reading. . .and I agree with getting them from the library. LOVE the library – most awesome place ever!!

  28. Megan @ The Skinny-Life on February 5, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    I love books and it’s my dream to become a writer (ever since I was a little girl). But between blogging, my real (paying) job and working out I have very little time to read books. I spend a lot of time reading other bloggers such as yourself πŸ™‚ and my health & fitness magazines for inspiration. I wish I could quit my job and just blog, but probably just a dream.

  29. Kathy on February 5, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Loved Obsessed by Mika Brzezinski too. Very well done. For “serious” books I am recommending the last one I read, “Turning Pro” by Steven Pressfield, to everyone who will listen. SO great. Great practical thinking for so many aspects of our lives. Will be reading it again. I had it on the Kindle and just added the actual book to my permanent collection.

    Another all time favorite is “Four Agreements” (in the serious category)

    For fun, I just finished “Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morton – read it because someone told me I’d like it due to my love of Downton Abbey. It was very good. Now I’m starting “Winter’s Tale” by Mark Helprin – it’s about to come out as a movie and I’ve heard the book is fun.

  30. Lizz on February 5, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    I’m loving audiobooks for cardio lately, I’m sort of sick of my music and I feel like I’m being doubly productive. I’m powering through the Divergent series right now. I usually say I’ve read a book I’ve actually listened to, unless it’s with my equally nerdy friends who also use Audible all the time.

  31. Eileen on February 5, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Just finished Jo Jo Moyers book “Me Before You.” So good! Reading some of her others now (The Girl Left Behind… good, but not as good as me before you.)

  32. Liz on February 5, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Hi Gina! Great post.

    Have you heard of RIE parenting? I just read about it (granted, in Vanity Fair) and I’m very curious about your opinions, especially since from what I can glean it’s pretty different from parenting behaviors suggested in your summary of The Baby Whisperer for Toddlers.

    • Fitnessista on February 10, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      no, i haven’t! will look into it

  33. Kelly on February 5, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Heads up….the author’s name is Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary Vee is his twitter handle. Just wanted to make sure he got proper credit. πŸ™‚

  34. Shaina on February 6, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Last month I read the back of my eyelids. πŸ™‚ yay for the third month of pregnancy haha.

    I’m currently on Chapter 3 of The Baby Whisperer for Toddlers and love it! Next up will be the Dr. Sears Discipline Book and rereading Ina’s book. I can’t focus on nonfiction lately for some reason. I feel like there’s so much information out there I need! <— weirdo

  35. Jody on February 6, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    I’m currently reading Bossypants by Tina Fey and am listening to ‘Lone Survior’ by Marcus Luttrell. My local library uses Overdrive and it has apps for mobile devices. Once I discovered that I’ve been tearing through audio books on my commute to work, usually about 30 minutes each way). In January I listened to “Lean In” and then “Thunderdog”. Check with your local library, see if they have something you can use on your phone for audio books. I’m loving it!

  36. Cassie on February 6, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    I’m working on Ahab’s Wife right now… I’m a fiction junkie.

  37. Bethany Sanchez on February 10, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    The Goldfinch is quite long, but beautiful and gripping and soaked in gorgeous language. State of Wonder was also quite excellent. I also love the new La Porte- Desire Map. A must for anyone seeking conscious growth and manifestation- 5 stars xo

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.