Book Review and A Workout

Hi everyone :). HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

I hope you all had a great weekend! I still can’t believe that it snowed here….in October. Craziness.

Anyhoo, this weekend I didn’t really have much hw to do so I decided to read a book for fun for the first time since August. As I’ve mentioned before, I LOVE  to read but I don’t really have the time to do it in the midst of school, so it was really nice to do that this weekend.

I read the new Nicholas Sparks book “The Best of Me”. I absolutely loved it! I had a really hard time putting it down which is why I was able to finish it in less than two days haha.

I am a fan of Nicholas Sparks in general, but I thought this particular book was a really good one of his! There were a lot of surprises throughout it and the mixture of love, loss, violence, intensity, and family dynamics made for a really great read. I would read this book again in a heartbeat. Here is the description from the Nicholas Sparks website:

The Best of Me is the heart-rending story of two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. Now middle-aged, they’ve taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world. When they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made, and ask whether love can truly rewrite the past.

This storyline seems like it will be familiar, but Nicholas Sparks wrote it in a way that wasn’t. There are several twists in the end that you don’t expect. All in all, I thought it was fabulous and definitely one of my favorite novels of late!


So even with the craziness of my schedule last week I was able to fit in workouts, but they didn’t exactly feel the best because I was so tired haha. This weekend however, I was definitely able to get in a couple of good workouts and that made me happy!

On Saturday I did cardio and for the first part I completed this 20 minute interval workout:

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And yesterday morning I completed a total body strength workout. I did two exercises that I haven’t done in a while and they are definitely causing some soreness haha.

Plie Squat: This works your inner thighs more than a traditional squat.

Body Bar Paddling: This works you back, shoulders, and arms. You can complete this sitting or standing. If you’re sitting on a ball you will be more likely to engage your core!

I love throwing in some exercises that I don’t normally do. It’s nice to challenge my muscles in new ways :).

Hope you all have an awesome Monday!



What is the best book you’ve read lately?

What is your favorite strength training exercise?


About In Sweetness and In Health

I'm Lindsay! I'm a 23 year-old graduate student in occupational therapy. I love all things health and fitness related and this blog will document my life as I learn to really love myself, try to stop worrying so much about my body, and truly take advantage of all the sweet things that life offers us.

Posted on October 31, 2011, in Books, Intervals, Lifting, Workouts. Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. Happy Halloween!

    I actually need a new book to read ; )

    I was reading Good Housekeeping mag last night, and they had some book pics I wrote down, I will let you know what bool I read next ; )

    Have a great day! xo ❤

  2. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance

    You little speed reader, you 😉 Unfortunately, I can’t even remember the last book I read. With school reading on my plate, the last thing I want to do is pick up something else to skim. But hey– I’m about to graduate so maybe it’ll come back soon 8)

    By the way, LOVE the idea of the bar paddling!

    • When will you be graduating?? And the bar paddling is so much harder than you think it will be! I only used a 15lb bar and my back/arms/shoulders were killing me!

  3. I love Nicholas Sparks’ books – they always keep me hooked, and I can never put them down! I haven’t read or heard of this one yet though, so I might just have to go get it. 😉

    I love plie squats – they always make me sore right in the area that I’m not a fan of my legs. I also love deadlifts. Ever since I tore my ACL several years ago, I emphasize working my hamstrings even more because I learned they’re such a huge component of helping to prevent knee injury.

  4. Last summer I read about 8 Nicholas Sparks books in a row and was sooo over him by the end of it hahaha… but I want to pick this one up! I saw it at Barnes and Noble the other day and it did look interesting. Another favorite of mine is Safe Haven… I read that one in about 2 days like you did with the best of me! I am currently reading World Without End by Ken Follett (sequel to Pillars of the Earth) and it is sooo so good!

    Great workout too! I use your workouts quite often m’dear, so keep em coming 🙂

    Anddd what did you think of the show last night?!

  5. The only books I’ve been reading are my textbooks! This one sounds really good 🙂

  6. That book sounds good actually. I can see myself liking that. One Nicholas Sparks book that I didn’t really enjoy was The Notebook! So weird, since I always always always like the book better than the movie, but in the case of The Notebook, I really liked the movie better! Maybe it’s because I watched it first.

    Best book I’ve read lately is Room! Definitely could not put it down.

    I am totally trying out that paddling move next time I’m at the gym. I love the idea of that.

  7. My fav book lately was The Violets of March by Sarah Jio. So so good!

    Just catching up on weekend blog reading and I loved your stretching post! More, please! Maybe it will make me actually stretch! 😉

    Oh, and you know I hate to strength train, but the one move I do like is a straight arm kickback for the triceps. It hurts so good!

    Happy Halloween!!!

  8. That book sounds awesome! And those squats look like a thigh killer! Haha. In a good way:) I recently read One Thousand Splendid suns and LOVED it!

  9. I love Nicholas Sparks as well! I’m reading “The Rescue” right now-such a good read. I will definitely take your recommendation and read that next!

  10. For strength training I love doing calisthenis-I feel stronger when I lift my own weight rather than dumbbells 🙂

  11. Love that paddling on a ball move! I am going to use it in the class I am instructing tonight 🙂

  12. I am not a big Nicholas Sparks fan, but this book does look pretty good. I’m currently reading an awesome “nerdy” book called “What Einstein told his Cook.” Its a combination of food science and cooking. I highly recommend it.

  13. Must put that book on hold at my library. I”m having mre time to read these days and forget about my favorite authors. LOVE Nicholas Sparks and this one does sound so good!

  14. I put that book on hold at the library! I can’t wait to read it!! I LOVE NICK SPARKS! 🙂

    but my best recent book is… Karen Kingsbury’s Leaving. (it’s part of a series) She is my FAVORITE author!

  15. Kim @ Eat, Live, and Blog

    I love all of Nicholas Sparks book and that one sounds like a good one! I must check it out soon! 🙂

  16. I LOVED The Help…like so many other people. I also finished the Hunger Games trilogy, so good!

  17. thanks so much for the book recommendation! the last one i read (which was a while ago..oops) was the help. loved it. my co-worker just put the princess bride on my desk so i might have to give that a try!

  18. I totally feel you on being tired during a workout from school!! I love plie squats, they’re awesome!

  19. I love having time to read for pleasure. I get to do it every morning since I work from 5am to 9am at the Y and it’s pretty quiet at that time. I just finished Food Revolution and loved it, and The China Study before that. So many good books on my wish list too!

  20. ahhh I miss reading for pleasure… how was it? hahahah but seriously I am counting down the days until I can read a fun book again! Why am I in grad school again?

    My favorite strength exercise is tricep dips… they kill me every time but burn so good!

    happy belated halloween!!

  21. I actually can’t remember the last book I read from start to finish. LOL 😉

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