July 2021 Reads

Hi friends! Happy Monday! How was the weekend? We spent lots of time in the pool (the girls “fell in” on purpose in their pajamas each morning and spent pretty much the rest of each day in the water) and I caught a couple of great weights workouts at the gym.

I also spent some time packing and getting everything together for a lil family trip before school starts. I’m looking forward to spending some time together and enjoying the Happiest Place on Earth. 😉 I’ll definitely report back with the adventures!

In the meantime, I thought I’d share mu book picks for July. It’s still challenging to hit my goal of three books per month – working hard behind the scenes on content, launches, and Fit Team updates – but managed to make it happen. I didn’t end up reading a fitness or wellness-related book this month because there wasn’t anything that piqued my interest, but Game Changers kind of hit the wellness and personal development box at the same time.

July 2021 Reads

Here’s what I read in July:

Rose Code

I’ve read a couple of Kate Quinn’s novels (The Huntress, The Alice Network) and this was my favorite of the three. The book follows the story of three friends who are recruited to work as cryptographers breaking German military codes during WWII. They’re sworn to extreme secrecy about their job and what it entails, and one friend, Beth, discovers a traitor in their department. I didn’t know anything about Bletchey Park before reading this novel, and have been intrigued by the various roles women played during the second World War. The basis of the story and main characters are based on real people, and if you like historical fiction, I highly recommend it. 9/10 would recommend.

From Amazon:

1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart.

1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter–the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger–and their true enemy–closer…

The Midnight Library

I read this book in two days, which pretty much never happens anymore. I was SUCKED IN and it’s been a long time since I’ve been this engrossed in a story. It explores the idea of second chances and how the tiny actions and decisions we take can completely transform the course of our life.

Here’s the Amazon synopsis: 

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting blockbuster novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

This is easily my favorite book I’ve read all year so if you’re looking for something new to completely breeze through, highly, highly recommend. 10/10

Game Changers

I was really looking forward to listening this one on Audible, particularly because I like Dave Asprey and I enjoy listening to his voice. 🙂 He’s easy to listen to and I usually appreciate his perspective on things. (Some of his philosophies could be considered a little *out there* but I’m a believer in taking what you need and deleting the rest. For example, he uses a small dose of nicotine for longevity and that’s something I’d never choose to do.) I was very bummed to discover that he only reads the intro to each chapter and the rest is narrated by a… narrator guy. I don’t know why but it’s so hard for me to listen to and pay attention to professional narrators. Sooooo I listened to this one on double-speed lol.

The book includes tips from interviews with over 450 experts in various fields, along with “laws” for becoming smarter, faster, and happier. I did get a few great tips from this book, but I liked Super Human even more. I give it a 7/10.

From Amazon:

The bestselling author of Head Strong and The Bulletproof Diet answers the question, “How can I kick more ass at life?” by culling the wisdom of world-class thought leaders, maverick scientists, and disruptive entrepreneurs to provide proven techniques for becoming happier, healthier, and smarter.
When Dave Asprey started his Bulletproof Radio podcast more than five years ago, he sought out influencers in an array of disciplines, from biochemists toiling in unknown laboratories to business leaders changing the world to mediation masters discovering inner peace. His guests were some of the top performing humans in the world, people who had changed their areas of study or even pioneered entirely new fields. Dave wanted to know: What did they have in common? What mattered most to them? What made them so successful—and what made them tick? At the end of each interview, Dave asked the same question: “What are your top three recommendations for people who want to perform better at being human?”

After performing a statistical analysis of the answers, he found that the wisdom gleaned from these highly successful people could be distilled into three main objectives: finding ways to become smarter, faster, and happier. Game Changers is the culmination of Dave’s years-long immersion in these conversations, offering 46 science-backed, high performance “laws” that are a virtual playbook for how to get better at life.

With anecdotes from game changers like Dr. Daniel Amen, Gabby Bernstein, Dr. David Perlmutter, Arianna Huffington, Esther Perel, and Tim Ferris as well as examples from Dave’s own life, Game Changers offers readers practical advice they can put into action to reap immediate rewards. From taming fear and anxiety to making better decisions, establishing high-performance habits, and practicing gratitude and mindfulness, Dave brings together the wisdom of today’s game-changers to help everyone kick more ass at life.

So, tell me, friends: what’s the best book you’ve read so far this year? Any health or wellness books you love that I could add to my list for August?



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  1. Jenny Share on August 2, 2021 at 8:18 am

    Absolutely one of the best books I’ve read so far in 2021. It’s SO GOOD and SO HOT! Read this book…you’ll love it.


  2. Laura on August 2, 2021 at 9:18 am

    Thanks for the recommendations! I just finished “The Lost Apothecary” last night after seeing it on your blog – read it in two days! Here are a few books I’ve loved this year —

    All the Light We Cannot See (WWII historical fiction)
    A Gentleman in Moscow (If you liked “A Little Princess” when you were a kid, you’ll probably enjoy this story!)
    Nine Women, One Dress (a fun, mostly light book)
    Leaving Church (a memoir)

    I’ve also really enjoyed all of Joshilyn Jackson’s books. I think “Gods in Alabama” is probably her most well-known novel, but all are wonderful! (“The Girl Who Stopped Swimming” kind of freaked me out, though, and you may want to skip it since you just got a pool – haha!).

    • Fitnessista on August 3, 2021 at 9:57 am

      thank you so much for these recs – i’ll definitely add them to my list
      i’m glad you liked the lost apothecary!

  3. Alicia on August 2, 2021 at 10:50 am

    You should check out this miniseries if you can: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2275990/

    It is about Bletchely Park and is really good!

    • Fitnessista on August 3, 2021 at 9:57 am

      ohhhhh i’ll definitely check it out. thank you!

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