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May 2024 Reads – The Fitnessista

Sharing the books I read in May and if I’d recommend adding them to your collection. 

Hi friends! How are you? I hope that you’re having an amazing morning so far. I’m back from Dallas – I’ll have my first post about the Biohacking Conference live tomorrow! – and the kids are at camp today. It’s a full morning of podcast interviews and then I’m hopping on the Peloton in a bit.

For today’s post, I wanted to share a list of the books I read last month (and in April!). I haven’t had as much time to read lately, but I’ve been trying to make time, since I have about 12 books in the queue right now.

I’ve been doing an exciting mentorship through EquiLife and also studying for the High Performance Health Certification (my code is FITNESSISTA if you’re interested in checking it out).

I managed to read a few books over the past couple of months and wanted to share the goods here! I would love to hear what’s on your summer reading list if you’d shout it out in the comments!

May 2024 Reads

Just for the Summer

Justin has a curse: every woman he dates finds her soul mate immediately after they break up, and thanks to a Reddit thread, this is now widely known. When a woman with the same issue contacts him, they devise a plan to date and then break up to cancel out their curses, hoping to find their true loves afterward.

I’ve been a huge fan of Abby Jimenez for a while, and couldn’t wait to read this one. It did not disappoint! Her books are the perfect mix of witty banter and heartwarming romance.

9/10.

From Amazon:

Justin has a curse, and thanks to a Reddit thread, it’s now all over the internet. Every woman he dates goes on to find their soul mate the second they break up. When a woman slides into his DMs with the same problem, they come up with a plan: They’ll date each other and break up. Their curses will cancel each other’s out, and they’ll both go on to find the love of their lives. It’s a bonkers idea… and it just might work.

Emma hadn’t planned that her next assignment as a traveling nurse would be in Minnesota, but she and her best friend agree that dating Justin is too good of an opportunity to pass up, especially when they get to rent an adorable cottage on a private island on Lake Minnetonka.

It’s supposed to be a quick fling, just for the summer. But when Emma’s toxic mother shows up and Justin has to assume guardianship of his three siblings, they’re suddenly navigating a lot more than they expected—including catching real feelings for each other. What if this time Fate has actually brought the perfect pair together?

Funny Story

Funny Story

Daphne’s life takes an unexpected turn when her fiancé Peter realizes he’s in love with his childhood best friend, Petra. Left in Waning Bay, Michigan, Daphne starts anew as a children’s librarian and proposes a roommate arrangement with Petra’s ex, Miles Nowak. Daphne and Miles, despite their differences, form a friendship and devise a plan to post misleading photos of their adventures together. This unexpected camaraderie develops into something deeper, complicating Daphne’s new beginning.

I usually love Emily Henry, but I didn’t love this one. I kept waiting for *something* to happen. It was a little spicy, but the storyline left me feeling bored.

5/10

From Amazon:

Daphne always loved the way her fiancé Peter told their story. How they met (on a blustery day), fell in love (over an errant hat), and moved back to his lakeside hometown to begin their life together. He really was good at telling it…right up until the moment he realized he was actually in love with his childhood best friend Petra.

Which is how Daphne begins her new story: Stranded in beautiful Waning Bay, Michigan, without friends or family but with a dream job as a children’s librarian (that barely pays the bills), and proposing to be roommates with the only person who could possibly understand her predicament: Petra’s ex, Miles Nowak.

Scruffy and chaotic—with a penchant for taking solace in the sounds of heart break love ballads—Miles is exactly the opposite of practical, buttoned up Daphne, whose coworkers know so little about her they have a running bet that she’s either FBI or in witness protection. The roommates mainly avoid one another, until one day, while drowning their sorrows, they form a tenuous friendship and a plan. If said plan also involves posting deliberately misleading photos of their summer adventures together, well, who could blame them?

But it’s all just for show, of course, because there’s no way Daphne would actually start her new chapter by falling in love with her ex-fiancé’s new fiancée’s ex…right?

The Women | May 2024 ReadsThe Women | May 2024 Reads

The Women

In 1965, twenty-year-old nursing student Frances “Frankie” McGrath, inspired by the idea that women can be heroes, leaves her sheltered life in Coronado, CA to join the Army Nurse Corps and serve in Vietnam, following her brother’s path.

As inexperienced as the soldiers around her, Frankie faces the chaos and destruction of war, forming deep, yet fragile friendships. Upon returning to a divided America, she confronts angry protesters and a country eager to forget Vietnam. “The Women” highlights the sacrifices and bravery of women in war, with Frankie’s courage and idealism defining her era and shedding light on the often-overlooked contributions of female veterans.

As someone who didn’t know very much about Vietnam, this was really eye-opening for me. I didn’t know how Veterans were treated upon their arrival, and it was heartbreaking. I’m a huge fan of Kristin Hannah and have read almost all of her novels, and this was definitely in the top 3 for me.

10/10

From Amazon:

Women can be heroes. When twenty-year-old nursing student Frances “Frankie” McGrath hears these words, it is a revelation. Raised in the sun-drenched, idyllic world of Southern California and sheltered by her conservative parents, she has always prided herself on doing the right thing. But in 1965, the world is changing, and she suddenly dares to imagine a different future for herself. When her brother ships out to serve in Vietnam, she joins the Army Nurse Corps and follows his path.

As green and inexperienced as the men sent to Vietnam to fight, Frankie is over-whelmed by the chaos and destruction of war. Each day is a gamble of life and death, hope and betrayal; friendships run deep and can be shattered in an instant. In war, she meets—and becomes one of—the lucky, the brave, the broken, and the lost.

But war is just the beginning for Frankie and her veteran friends. The real battle lies in coming home to a changed and divided America, to angry protesters, and to a country that wants to forget Vietnam.

The Women is the story of one woman gone to war, but it shines a light on all women who put themselves in harm’s way and whose sacrifice and commitment to their country has too often been forgotten. A novel about deep friendships and bold patriotism, The Women is a richly drawn story with a memorable heroine whose idealism and courage under fire will come to define an era.

Learn Spanish for VacationsLearn Spanish for Vacations

Learn Spanish for Vacations

We’re headed to Spain this month, so I’ve been trying to practice Spanish as much as possible. My mom’s side of the family speaks Spanish, but growing up, I’d always respond in English. I also minored in Spanish, but we spent so much of the time studying Spanish, but not actually conversing, so I’ve never felt super comfortable speaking it, even though I understand it perfectly.

I’ve been working with a Spanish tutor this year (one of my goals for 2024!) and have been listening to as much Spanish as possible, through podcasts and music. I liked listening to this one on double speed on Audible just as a refresher for the most important phrases for travel.

I highly recommend it if you have any Spanish-speaking travels coming up!

9/10

From Amazon:

Do you get frustrated when you’re on vacation and you can’t make yourself understood? Or maybe you’d like to be appreciated by the locals and your family for making an effort? Maybe you don’t want to come across as that guy who thinks everyone should speak English? If any of these apply to you, then keep reading….

I was that guy once. We went on vacation to Costa Rica, and in the more remote places we went, not a single person spoke English. I ended up miming things to bemused locals or saying English words really slowly, and I felt really dumb. By the end of the trip, I vowed I wouldn’t put myself in that situation again. So I decided to create vacation phrasebooks. I speak fluent Spanish, so on one of our vacations there, I wrote down every phrase I used. What I said in the bakery, at the hotel, etc. They are all in this book.

In large parts of South America or Spain where they don’t speak English, the reception you get in the restaurant if you say “Buenas tardes, ¿tienen una mesa para 4 personas, por favor?” instead of mumbling in English, is night and day. Imagine how you’ll feel coming back from the market having bought some good stuff, speaking nothing but Spanish, with your family looking at you in a new light.

In this audiobook, you’ll learn:

How to order a beer like a local.

What people will ask you at the car rental check-in.

How to book a table for dinner.

What the waiter will definitely ask you

How to ask for a late checkout.

What people will ask you in supermarkets.

How to not get lost.

How to ask for the Wi-Fi code (hint: it’s not “Wi-Fi code”).

And much, much more!

So tell me, friends: what’s the best book you’ve read so far this summer?? What’s next on your list?

Summer vacation plans?

xo

Gina

Find more book recommendations here.

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