Workouts + Goodreads

in Book a Week


Last week, I broke out my indoor bike trainer so I could start riding the bike again!  Wahoo!  I haven’t been on my bike in forever, so it felt really good – minus my sore butt – to clock not one, not two, but THREE indoor rides.  (I don’t have a real block to prop up my front wheel so I always just use a hardback, hence the Harry Potter in the picture above.)


I also registered for this year’s big race over the weekend.  I’m doing an Olympic triathlon in Asheville in August with my friend Brandi (SO fun to have a friend to train with and travel to races with!).  It’s called Lake Logan and it’s a 1500 meter swim, 24 mile bike, and 10K run.  I did the race back in 2011 and had a blast.


Obvioooously, my goal for this race is to beat my 2011 time.  I need to work on my bike more than anything.  Biking is ALWAYS my weakest sport.  Good thing I have LOTS of time to prepare!


Monday:  Rest

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: 1 mile walk + 1 mile walk with Henry in the backpack and Claire in the stroller

Thursday: 35 minute indoor bike

Friday: 3 mile run

Saturday: 30 minute indoor bike

Sunday: 3 mile run + 20 minute bike (not back-to-back, unfortunately)


Switching gears (see what I did there?) to reading – so many of you recommended that I get on that I signed up!


If you’re on Goodreads, let’s be friends!  Here’s my profile link.  I’m loving how easy it is to rate and review books in the Goodreads dashboard, and it’s great that the program automatically makes recommendations for you.  So far, I’ve been choosing my Book a Week books based on comments on the blog, but maybe I’ll make a few selections based on what Goodreads thinks I should read.


Speaking of Book a Week…


This week, I read Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer.


First of all, before I do my review, I’ve realized through this project that I lean heavily towards reading non-fiction books (no surprise, really, I majored in Creative Non-Fiction).  I haven’t read a single fiction book so far this year!  Next week – I definitely need a fiction book (any recommendations?).


Second of all – this book was really, really good!  It’s a first-hand account of the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster, where 8 people died trying to summit the world’s tallest mountain.  The author, Krakauer, was summiting the mountain on assignment with Outside magazine and wrote this book about half a year after the disaster.  As a result, it’s raw – Jon’s grief (and survivor’s guilt) is palatable throughout the book.  But the most interesting part about this book is how human ego and error played a serious role into the disaster.  Many small things (and a big blizzard) tipped the scales out of favor for so many of the climbers.


The topic was engrossing.  I found myself putting it down constantly to pick up my phone and do more research on topics like the Eight Thousanders club, the Death Zone, and the outrageous percentage of climbers on these 26,000 feet + mountains who die attempting to summit. 


Why do I rank it 4 stars instead of 5?  I think Jon is an incredible reporter who really injected human emotion into the story BUT he struggled a bit with scene-setting.  Like I said, I kept picking up my phone, and half the time I was watching YouTube videos of Everest summits because I could not picture what was happening in the book.  He got better at this towards the end (when emotions really started to run high for Jon), but it would’ve been better to have this element throughout.  Definitely watch a few video clips on YouTube if you read the book – it gives you an awesome perspective on what the climbers saw!


My Review:  4 out of 5 stars.  A great adventure book that really makes you think about the human ego. 



  • Katie February 4, 2015, 8:18 am

    I read Into Thin Air many, many years ago and I loved it — so suspenseful! I’m currently reading Cutting for Stone and it’s such a beautiful book. I’m living in Zambia right now working in the health sector, so I feel like I can relate to it. Highly recommend, if you haven’t read it yet.

    • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork February 10, 2015, 1:47 pm

      I loved Cutting for Stone! A very different choice for me, but I’m glad I went outside my “comfort zone,” so to say. Enjoy.

  • Mary February 4, 2015, 8:20 am

    I’ve heard great things about the Lake Logan race – happy training! And just FYI – Lake Logan is not in Asheville. It is in Haywood County (west of Asheville) outside of Waynesville in Canton, NC. You should check out downtown Waynesville – it’s a charming mountain town!

  • Amanda February 4, 2015, 8:40 am

    Still Alice! I read it earlier this week…read it in a day!

    • Anderea February 4, 2015, 10:42 am

      Ditto to Still Alice – great book! Also enjoyed The End of Your Life Book Club, by: Will Schwalbe.

    • Julie February 4, 2015, 10:45 am

      I loved this book! Even tho it’s fiction, the writer is an alzheimers researcher so it reads very much like a non-fiction book, & contains a lot of useful information about alzheimers. I think you’d love it, Caitlin!

  • Sarah February 4, 2015, 8:41 am

    Into Thin Air is my favorite book! They made an IMAX movie about it that you should check out – definitely brings the scenes to life!

  • Adrienne February 4, 2015, 8:47 am

    My parents live in Asheville now which means that Lake Logan would be perfect for me. I’ve been wanting to do one for years now since I’m a swimmer and have done marathons and a cycling century. Hmm. You may have to add me as an online training buddy!

  • Kathrin February 4, 2015, 8:54 am

    ‘Into Thin Air” is on my to ready list. I am also heavily leaning towards non fiction right now.

    Fiction reads that I can’t recomment enough are:
    600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster
    I capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

  • Katie February 4, 2015, 8:55 am

    Jon Krakauer is one of my favorites. If you haven’t read his Under the a Banner of Heaven, it’s my favorite. I also enjoyed Into the Wild which is a bit more popular than the former, as it was made into a movie.

  • Mary February 4, 2015, 9:03 am

    These aren’t new books, but I recommend Replay by Ken Grimwood, Dive From Clausen Pier by Ann Packer, and In the Time of the Butterflies (based on true life events of sisters from the Dominican Republic during the Trujillo dictatorship) by Julia Alvarez.

  • Lauren February 4, 2015, 9:07 am

    I’ve been really into Appalachian-rooted fiction lately. My favorite is Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver. She’s also written a non-fiction (but still beautifully-written, prose-like) work, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life,” that I’m sure you’d love! I wrote a sustainable ag creative thesis with this book as my central theme during my senior year of college. Anyhow, check them out! Great reads!!

  • Kelly February 4, 2015, 9:12 am

    Hi – I would recommend either Bel Canto!

  • Nicole @ Broken Road Creative February 4, 2015, 9:19 am

    I love you, Caitlin, but using an HP book like that makes me queasy, lol. #potterhead

  • Hope February 4, 2015, 9:31 am

    I read that so long ago I hardly remember it, but I definitely thought it was good. I majored in history and definitely tend toward non-fiction. Reading the incredible Guantanamo Diaries right now, but I read The Goldfinch this year and found it entertaining fiction.

  • Jill D February 4, 2015, 9:36 am

    Fiction – The Yonahlosse Riding Camp for Girls – I also love I Capture the Castle – it is a classic and if you like Downton Abbey I loved the American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin.

    Non fiction – The River of Doubt by Candice Millard is the story of Theodore Roosevelt’s trip down the Amazon – Excellent!

  • Kristy B. February 4, 2015, 9:36 am

    One of the very best fiction books I’ve read in recent history is “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” by Maria Semple. It was SO engrossing and clever, and it’s got a bit of a weird mystery aspect that makes it really hard to put down.

  • mindy @ just a one girl revolution. February 4, 2015, 9:42 am

    I just read All the Light We Cannot See and absolutely LOVED it. I put up my review the other day:

    • Kim L. February 4, 2015, 11:24 am

      Loved this book too! I hesitated to recommend it to Caitlyn since it was so long : )

      • Caitlin February 4, 2015, 12:06 pm

        haha yeah i have to steer away from really long books 🙂

  • Jamie February 4, 2015, 9:52 am

    Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout! So good!

  • Ashley February 4, 2015, 9:58 am

    I love your book reviews!! I hope that joining Good Reads won’t stop u from reviewing here (in favor of doing so there). I’m currently reading a fiction book called The Circle. It’s about a mega Google-esque type company that’s basically approaching total monopoly status. I’m typing one handed on a tablet so this is super nut shell overview. It’s 500 pages, so a bit on the long side but very interesting and thought provoking so far about the benefits and downfalls of technology. Not non-fiction, but you could see it becoming a reality in our technology-driven world. Very 1984.

    • Caitlin February 4, 2015, 11:02 am

      Read it and lovvvvved it

  • Jessica February 4, 2015, 10:20 am

    Love goodreads! I suggest Life After Life by Karen Atkinson for your next fiction read. SO GOOD! I’m an average-speed reader and I read it pretty quickly (with 2 toddlers). Also, if you read the Go Fug Yourself blog, they have a goodreads group with a ton of good discussions on book recommendations.

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats February 4, 2015, 10:21 am

    oh gosh, I love goodreads! As long as you keep up with adding books into it, it’s such a great way to keep track of what you’ve read, as well as what you want to read.

  • Jessi February 4, 2015, 10:26 am

    I want to read this book now! I’m curious, did you stumble across anything about the controversial part of the book when you were doing your browsing about the Eight thousanders, etc? Apparently there’s been some debate about what Krakauer writes about one of the other guide’s in the book – a Russian guide who wrote another book in response I think. I just remember hearing about the debate a couple years ago.

    I LOVE these book reviews. They are seriously motivating me to read more. I love reading but I feel like I never make enough time for it.

  • Courtney! @ Redefining Athlete February 4, 2015, 10:32 am

    I think you would like The Storied Life of AJ Fikry! It is a pretty short book though.

    Also, for anyone reading I absolutely recommend The Defining Decade. It is about making the most of your 20s (and applies to early 30s too!) Practical advice that isn’t froo froo spiritual crap or for the power hungry career-driven.

  • Rachel February 4, 2015, 10:38 am

    It’s an oldie and you might have already read it, but since I am just back from a trip to an African country I always have to recommend The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. It’s fiction but historically accurate and gives, in my opinion, a very accurate portrayal of the western colonization of Africa and the disastrous aftermath still affecting the continent today.

  • Ellen February 4, 2015, 10:39 am

    Into Thin Air is a good book! I am still promoting Posion Wood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver or Love in the Time of Cholera my two all time favorite books!!

  • Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine February 4, 2015, 10:54 am

    Goodreads is the greatest! I can’t believe you just got on there!

  • Malinda February 4, 2015, 11:19 am

    I read Under the a Banner of Heaven, also by Krakauer. It was fascinating, you should add it to your list for this year.

  • Kim L. February 4, 2015, 11:21 am

    Some fiction suggestions- The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, Where Did You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister, The Paris Wife by Paula McClain, Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters, Last Letter from Your Lover by Jo Jo Moyes (anything by her!), Tell The Wolves I Am Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain. Hope that gives you some ideas : )

  • Rachel February 4, 2015, 11:41 am

    You should watch the Everest IMAX movie. It is amazing and helps you picture the events (

    For fiction, I recommend Poisonwood Bible, The Scorpio Races (YA), and Where’d you go Bernadette.

  • Kristin February 4, 2015, 11:53 am

    I’m trying not to cry that a book is being abused so. But I’ll definitely be your friend on GoodReads. Just yesterday I bought Neil Gaiman’s new collection of short stories, Trigger Warning. So, that’s what I’m about to dive into.

  • Bec February 4, 2015, 11:59 am

    The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman! Super fast read. Amazing writing.

  • Christy February 4, 2015, 12:09 pm

    How about The of tale of the time being? I really loved it and especially knowing the Japanese culture, it defnitely struck a chord with me.

  • Jacquelyn February 4, 2015, 12:10 pm

    If you haven’t already read The Secret History by Donna Tartt – READ IT! It’s one of those books where I didn’t want it to end!

  • m February 4, 2015, 12:17 pm

    I see Lullabies for Little Criminals is on your recco list- I would definitely recommend that one! So good! I also think you would love Eleanor & Park (so touching) and Fruit (personal fave book about a kid growing up in a small town. So funny and touching).

  • Jennifer February 4, 2015, 12:49 pm

    As a dog lover, if you haven’t read The Art of Racing in the Rain you MUST! For your next non-fiction try The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. It is non-fiction that flows like fiction. And I can’t believe that I’ve NEVER heard of her remarkable and unbelievable story!

  • Julia February 4, 2015, 1:33 pm

    Read Rules of Civility!

    • ksw February 7, 2015, 1:15 pm

      YES! I just finished that book and was about to recommend it. It was one of the most well written books I have read in a long time. His turn of phrase is so incredible that I would re-read sentences over and over and couldn’t get over how well he could string words together to make them sound that awesome.
      Definite read especially if you are a 1930 -1940’s maniac like I am – LOL

  • Danielle February 4, 2015, 1:40 pm

    If you’re a fan of non-fiction, I highly recommend “The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace,” and “The Other Wes Moore.” Both are interesting perspectives on the cycle of poverty, the impact of drugs, and how success is elusive when society seems pitted against an individual. Amazing books.

  • Carolina John February 4, 2015, 2:16 pm

    Back to Lake Logan huh? You know they do a half there now. It’s a really, really good half. really fun. I’ll be sure and let you know if I go back to LL this year.

  • c cohen February 4, 2015, 2:48 pm

    nonfiction: Second Suns: Two Doctors and Their Amazing Quest to Restore Sight and Save Lives.

    And, just to be technical, Everest is the highest point on earth, but from base to summit, it’s not the tallest mountain.

  • Lorie February 4, 2015, 3:25 pm

    If you are looking for more books to add to your list, check out author Liane Moriarty! She writes relatable, easy-to-read fictional stories, and I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve read from her. I just finished The Hypnotist’s Love Story, and have also enjoyed The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies. She makes her characters believable and really develops their personalities, and, though they are by no means ‘mysteries’
    , there is always some missing piece of the puzzle that you, the reader, are anxious to find out. Makes for a quick 3-day naptime read to check another book off your list!

  • Jennifer M February 4, 2015, 4:55 pm

    I have been reading a lot this year so far too and have also been reading a lot of nonfiction. I read A House in the Sky because of you and that story was unbelievable. This week I am trying some fiction and am giving Stardust by Neil Gaiman a try. Just started it so can’t really recommend it on my own, but am reading it because so many people recommended that author to me.

  • Liz@NovelRunner February 4, 2015, 6:44 pm

    I LOVE Goodreads. I added you as friend. 🙂 I also prefer nonfiction, since that’s what I write (I have an MFA in Creative Nonfiction, too!) It’s really inspiring to see you tackle reading a new book every week, all while being a super mom. I could never juggle all that! (I’m STILL reading Not That Kind of Girl!)

  • Rebecca @ Bring Back Delicious February 4, 2015, 6:49 pm

    Haha yeah I can relate to the sore butt after the first couple bike rides, but then you’re good to spin for hours and hours and hours. Well, maybe not that long. 🙂

    I used to watch LOTS of Netflix when I was training for an Ironman on an indoor spin bike. I had to use the spin bike that was closest to the wall to reach a power outlet to charge my phone 🙂

  • Elisabeth February 4, 2015, 8:26 pm

    I joined Goodreads in 2010 & have been addicted ever since! I don’t finish anything without immediately updating my status on there…ha. I read Into Thin Air back when it first came out & it’s one of my favorites – I’ll read/watch anything about Everest, K2, etc.

  • Katie sB February 4, 2015, 8:57 pm

    I love goodreads!

  • Anne February 4, 2015, 9:46 pm

    These have been some of my favorite fiction books in recent years, ones that stuck with me and that I didn’t want to end:
    Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Zazen by Vanessa Veselka
    Nevada by Imogen Binnie
    Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
    A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

  • Kim February 4, 2015, 9:50 pm

    Hello! You actually inspired me to do my own book a week challenge so I thought I would share my favorite fiction book so far.

    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I thought it was a rather beautiful post-apocalyptic story that had an intriguing story line and some interesting characters. Happy reading! 🙂

  • mary February 4, 2015, 10:04 pm

    Hi Kaitlin,
    I noticed from your previous picture of your bike/trainer that it seems like you have your regular tire on your rear wheel. You may want to invest in a trainer tire ( you can get your local bike shop to put one on – they are tough to get on) if you’re going to be doing a lot of riding indoors through the winter. These tire are way thicker and will withstand the heat generated from the flywheel of your trainer. You can use a standard tire but will wear it out very quickly and risk ruining it. I used a regular tire my first indoor season and completely wore my new tire down. Hope you don’t mind the unsolicited advice. 🙂

    • Caitlin February 5, 2015, 8:26 am

      Yes !! I definitely need one. 🙂

  • Paula February 4, 2015, 10:42 pm

    Good reads is the best! Welcome 🙂
    As for a fiction read try ‘The Invention of Wings’ (Sue Monk Kidd) – I loved it!

  • Charlie February 5, 2015, 6:33 am

    I need to get a bike trainer- I’m too nervous to get out on the roads at the moment as it’s so wet and icy!

  • Zoey February 5, 2015, 5:25 pm

    Nonfiction book recommendations: Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. Also Strength in What Remains also by Tracy Kidder. Both are excellent inspirational fascinating books.

  • Jen February 5, 2015, 8:41 pm

    “calling me home,” “Me before you ,” and “The art of hearing heartbeats” are three fantastic books I have read lately.
    I love reading your reviews too!!

  • Krista February 6, 2015, 7:28 am

    So glad you liked Into Thin Air – I read it a few years ago and absolutely loved it. I’ve actually enjoyed all the Krakauer books so far – hope you’ll find time to read one of his other books too!

  • Kristen February 6, 2015, 7:58 am

    Not that you aren’t swimming in book recommendations 🙂 but I just finished ‘The Roundhouse’ by Louise Erdich and it was AMAZING. I loved it. The reviews call it the Native American ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. It has some great commentary on race relations and the treatment of women. It really made me think and weighed on my mind for several weeks after I finished it. That is my measure of a good book!

  • Jasmine February 6, 2015, 7:44 pm

    The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

    So so so SOOOOO good. I read it in 12 hours! Could NOT put it down.

  • Amber February 7, 2015, 8:41 pm

    If you loved Into Thin Air, you might also enjoy Touching My Father’s Soul by Norgay. He was with the IMAX crew filming the Everest movie that same year, and has a great perspective on the tragedy.

  • Christina February 8, 2015, 8:40 am

    I’m reading The Girl on The Train and really enjoying it. A suspenseful thriller…

  • Alisha February 9, 2015, 4:48 pm

    I realize I’m a little late to this, but if you need a fiction book to read I loved “Where’d You Go Bernadette” by Maria Semple. I thought it was hilarious and crazy.

  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork February 10, 2015, 1:45 pm

    I read this book over 15 years ago now and remember really liking it. I read another of his books, Under the Banner of Heaven, which is about Mormonism, that I found absolutely fascinating. I liked that one even more if you’re looking for another good non-fiction. Granted, I listened to this book, so the reading experience may be different.

  • Sarah February 12, 2015, 1:22 am

    I’d also recommend Krakauer’s “Under the Banner of Heaven.” It’s nonfiction about the history of mormons, and it’s fascinating. I also just finished “The Bone Clocks” (fiction) by David Mitchell and it was totally amazing. Epic. One of those books that leaves you feeling empty when you finish it, because you miss reading it every day.

    • Sarah February 12, 2015, 1:26 am

      Also anything by Atul Gawande (all nonfiction). He’s a wonderful author and writes about various aspects of medicine in America. Very accessible writing.

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