January’s Book and Bike Break Down

Catch up on what Mandi’s reading and how may miles she’s riding!

Hi friends! I didn’t forget about you – I just needed a break from the weekly posts for a minute there and that lead me to my decision to switch to a new format here. Instead of one post per book, this year I’m changing it up a bit and lumping a month’s worth of books together so I don’t clog your inboxes and because, well, my time is a wee bit limited with another little at home.

And also, just for fun, I’m going to share an update on my 2020 goal (ride 2020 miles on a bike in 2020) each month in the same post.

From this was born… the Book and Bike Break Down.

Let’s get to it!


Books

1. A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardson (legal thriller)
This was our January Book Club pick and one I nabbed for free from my local library’s Book Bingo event. I was honestly excited for anything but historical fiction given the many historical fiction novels I read last year, so I went in really optimistic. I can’t say that it disappointed – I was en route to at least 4 stars until I rounded the corner toward home and felt like it kind of fell apart at the end. Like, why build and build if that’s it? 3.5 STARS

2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (fantasy)
How late is too late to jump on the bandwagon? We’ll say I inherited the entire HP series from my in-laws and I’m finally getting to it now. I’ve never had an interest in reading HP. My mom read the third book to me as a child and it scared the bejeebers out of me so I never cracked one open again until approximately 22 years later. Now that I can handle it, I’m kind of surprised it did as well as it did. Book one read fast – it’s a children’s book – and it really seemed mostly cutesy fantasy with very little depth. Sorry HP lovers. 2 STARS

3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (fantasy)
Like, why did I read book one? Because they entire thing is summed up in the first ten pages of book two. And was book two not just a repeat of book one with minor tweaks to the plot? If Voldemort just keeps coming back in various forms in each book I’m not sure I can stick this out to the end. 2 STARS

4. The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland by Rebekah Crane (young adult)
I bought this one as a Kindle daily deal because it looked cute and cute it was. First, it’s set at a summer camp in Michigan and I’m fairly certain it’s the exact same one I grew up attending – at least that’s all I could picture when I read it. Similar to Extraordinary Means, teens with “problems” are sent away to a place where they’re to deal with their problems together. I think that’s a really unique environment for a writer to tackle, but int his book, too, I loved it. There were laugh-out-loud moments and moments where I was on the brink of tears. All-in-all, it’s a feel good, young adult read. 4 STARS


Biking

Ok, so my goal is to ride 2020 miles in 2020 on a bike. I specifically use the word “a” in there because I’m including my stationary bike as well as my actual bike given the fact that I live in Michigan and get a not-so-solid five months of outdoor riding.

2020 miles in a year means approximately 5.5 miles/day. Obviously, I will do more or less depending on each day’s schedule to allow myself time off here and there, but my current status?

212 miles.

I won’t lie, my knees feel a little too 30 for this right now, but I’m hoping that is something that’s going to get better as my body gets used to this. (Right?)

Oh, also, a stationary bike is a great place to read a book…

Hope you had a great January!