It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? & Weekend Update (7/27/15)

July 27, 2015 It's Monday! What are you reading? 18

I got a lot of reading done last week (for me, at least) and it felt SO good! I’ve also been on a pretty decent stretch of great books…with only a few duds here and there.

I mentioned last week that I would be collaborating again with Anne Tollett (from Hanover Avenue, formerly Anne Tollett Home) on a White Knight Bedroom. Well…the Big Reveal is up on Anne’s site today…hop on over to check it out! I’ve chosen ten books to be featured and Anne has explained what exactly a “white knight bedroom” is. I’ll be talking about the bedroom’s books here on Wednesday.

I finished reading…

Go Set A Watchman, Bull Mountain

Go Set A Watchman
 by Harper Lee (July 14, 2015)
Not a fan of this one as a finished book, but it was definitely an interesting read if you think about it as a “historical artifact”. I shared my spoiler-free thoughts last week.

Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich (July 7, 2015)
Loved this book and stayed up way too late blowing through the final quarter! Criminal family in the North Georgia mountains, high body count, fast pace…good stuff! I’ll be sharing my thoughts in an upcoming review.

Affiliate Link: Buy from Amazon

I’m currently reading…

Days of Awe, Lauren Fox

Days of Awe
 by Lauren Fox (August 4, 2015)
Initially, this one was a bit of a letdown coming off of Bull Mountain, but I realized pretty quickly that the situation was more complicated than it appeared at first glance…so, I’m all good now at almost halfway through.

Next up, are…

Everybody Rise, Best Boy

Everybody Rise
 by Stephanie Clifford (August 18, 2015)
I heard Clifford speak at BEA‘s Hot Fall Fiction panel and loved what she said about how meticulously she researched (she’s actually a journalist) this story about a girl in her twenties trying to fit in with the Upper East Side of Manhattan crowd. This is her debut novel.

Best Boy by Eli Gottlieb (August 24, 2015)
This story told from the perspective of a thirty-three year old man with autism caught my eye because I loved Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Weekend Update

Running N Reading Weekend Update Link-Up
I’m linking up with Tara at Running N Reading’s Weekend Update.

I just completed my third week of training for the West Point Triathlon on August 16 at the United States Military Academy. This race is a half mile open water swim, 12 mile bike ride, and a 5K run and I’m using an abbreviated version (7 weeks instead of 13) of this training plan from

My Week Three Observations


I’m having a dilemma with the swimming. I mentioned last week I’d gotten bitten by sea lice and they were back at it again this week. My original bites are healing, but I’ve now gotten new ones. And, when I took my bathing suit off on Friday, three small bugs fell out (I’m assuming these are the lice?). Do I continue with this open water training and power through the lice? My pool is only open from noon – 9 pm, which doesn’t work with the hours I’m able to train, so that’s not an option. 

I could feasibly just ditch the swimming and wing it on race day (I just have a couple more weeks to go), but is this incredibly stupid? Or should I just soldier on and tough out the sea lice? I have been using a mixture of half vinegar/half water after my swims and washing/drying my swim gear on hot per the Internet’s instructions!


Both my bike workouts this week were part of bricks. Each biking segment was 35 min long and I kept my avg mph above 15 for both workouts (15.4 and 15.2)! That’s an improvement over last week’s highest avg mph of 14.9. Baby stepping improvement going on here – yay!


I ran three times this week: two 35 min runs and one 20 min run on the tail end of a bike/run brick. I like to change things up, so I made my first run into 9×400 at 8:00/mile pace with a half mile each warm-up and warm-down. For the second run, I did a half mile warm-up, a 5K at pace (I ran a 26:27 outdoors), and another 3/4 mile warm-down.

So, about the brick run…I see why it’s called the brick. Because your legs feel like bricks after riding the bike! Or maybe it was more like running through quicksand! It took a good 5 minutes to feel remotely OK and the entire first mile to feel kind of normal. Despite how I was feeling, I was surprised to see that I wasn’t running as slowly as I felt (Mile 1: 8:56, Mile 2: 8:39, Last 0.30 Miles: 8:33 pace).

Questions for triathletes out there: any tips for surviving that bike/run quicksand feeling? And, any advice for my sea lice problem? 

18 Responses to “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? & Weekend Update (7/27/15)”

  1. Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home

    I’m itching just reading about the sea lice. I never even knew about them…altho some of the small lakes around here have little biting insects we call “chiggers”. Maybe they are brothers from a different mother? I have no answers for repelling them tho…

    Great week of training, and some good books for me to check out! I’m addicted to the Kindle Daily Deals, and I have 4 books in my iPad waiting for me…

    • admin

      Icky! However you cut it, these things are gross! I did read online that the sea lice are the spawn of jellyfish…

  2. Pat @ Posting For Now

    Good luck with your triathlon! (I would skip the swimming prep – and go for it on race day – it sounds like you are in great shape.) I loved the White Night page! What a great website and affiliation. It is a lot of fun. You books look great. I will look forward to your reviews. Have a great week.

    • admin

      Thanks so much! Hanover Avenue is fantastic and I’ve loved the collaboration! I’ve decided to try to join the early morning swim session at my pool – 6 am start time!

  3. Kelli

    Ick, the sea lice would be creeping me out. I’ve done a lot of open water but haven’t experienced this particular treat. Half mile isn’t that long of a swim. Wing it if you have to, although I would try to find a pool of some sort to swim in once per week, even if it is a small pool and you are limited to drills instead of lap swimming.

    • admin

      They’re awful! And itchy! I ended up joining our pool’s early morning swim, so I’ll be going around 6 am twice a week. No more dead lice for me!

    • admin

      I’m happy to say it’s gotten a lot better…I’m enjoying the snarky humor! It’s so different from Bull Mountain, so I think that’s helping 🙂 I’m with you on the bouncing back!

  4. AmberBug

    Can’t wait to see what you think of Bull Mountain… I’m still debating about that one (it doesn’t really fit into my ‘like’ list but so many people have been raving about it).

    I tried “Everybody Rise” and I was not gripped enough, maybe you can convince me I made the wrong decision to put this one down… or the right one?!

    Is sea lice a common thing? Sounds so uncomfortable. 🙁

    • admin

      I’ll probably post my Bull Mountain review next week, but it was a fantastic page turner! And – to be honest, I read the first few pages of Everybody Rise and wasn’t super thrilled, but that was awhile back and I’m going to give it another shot. But, I’m definitely not going to power through if it’s not working!

      I heard about some people getting sea lice at our beach last summer, but it was new to me before that!

  5. Kelly

    I’m way behind on blogs, so this is the first I heard of your triathlon training–awesome! Is this your first? I am so intrigued by tri’s, but many things scare me off…I feel like running is a relatively simple sport to figure out, but tri involves so much bike gear, and transition details, and not getting killed by other swimmers, and now of course SEA LICE (add that to my list!)…haha. I admire anyone who goes for it!! Good luck! 🙂

    • admin

      Yes..technically! I’ve done an indoor sprint, but this will be my first outdoor with all the gear, etc. And – the gear was definitely the most intimidating part for me! But, it’s actually been easier than I imagined…we’ll see what happens on race day 🙂

  6. Tara @ Running 'N' Reading

    This lice situation is a new one for me; however, I’m not a swimmer and definitely know nothing about open water swimming, other than what I hear from Jonathan. I may have to ask around about this, though – ha! I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this; definitely think you are race ready, if you want to forego the torture – GAH! You’re doing great with your training. I never knew why they were called “brick” workouts, either, until Jonathan started triathlon training and then I heard all about it. I’m going to have to look for Bull Mountain; you’ve sold me! I’m really enjoying Days of Awe; I’m just over halfway and I really like it, so far.

    • admin

      I pulled the trigger and joined the early morning swim at our pool….so, I’ll be switching over to pool starting tomorrow morning at 6 am! I much prefer open water, but not when it’s infested with sea lice! My bites are finally healing now, so I think we’re in the clear. I got enough open water training under my belt to be ok on race day, I think.

      Yes to Bull Mountain – I think you’d really like it! I finished Days of Awe today…solid 4 star read for me.
      Sorry to see Wkd Update go on hiatus, but I’ll keep sharing my tri training updates in my It’s Monday, What Are You Reading posts…probably more condensed!

  7. Kathy @ Kathy Reads Fiction

    Bull Mountain has turned out to be my favorite of the year; I loved every angle in that book. Best Boy is on my list to watch for next month; it really looks like one I could drown myself with.

    • admin

      Wow! That’s great! And I loved Bull Mountain as well – one of my favorites of the year…not sure it gets the top spot, but definitely up there! I’m hoping Best Boy pans out – I love the premise!

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