So Many Books A Week!

in Book a Week

How’s your “Add, Not Subtract” Week going?  I love that so many of you are participating in this philosophy this week – it’s all about adding healthy things in, not worrying so much about taking unhealthy habits out.


So far, so good.  I feel like this mindset is so positive that it never feels like a chore – and little efforts count, too.  I’m pretty busy with work this week and haven’t had a lot of time to make it to the gym for intense workout sessions (sadly), but I have managed to go on a one 2.2 mile run (my favorite loop) and lots of walks with the kids. 


When I walk with the kiddos, I do a ton of walking lunges!  This is one of my favorite workout “tricks” – it really takes the intensity of the walk up a notch and allows me to squeeze in some strength training.  

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Haha. Claire’s face!


Other little changes – lots of water.  Isn’t it amazing how much better you feel when you make an effort to hydrate? And (slightly more) sleep.  BOTH of the children entirely slept through the night last night, which was a miracle.  Claire has fallen into a pattern of a 4:30 AM nursing session, which I cannot seem to get her to drop, and Henry was acquired that toddler habit of coming into our bedroom one…or two… or three times a night.  Ugh.  So an entire night of uninterrupted sleep was blissful! 


And now…


Book a Week


Reading 52 books this year is probably not going to happen.  I’ve accepted that my New Year’s Resolution is not going to be “completed,” BUT I am proud to say that no matter what my grand total is, I will have read more books this year than any other year!  I haven’t done any Book a Week reviews lately because I’ve had 5 or 6 books “in progress” at the same time.  I’ve never read books like that – it just kind of happened because of the nature of many of the books.  I recently wrapped up three – here they are!


Week 24: Humans of New York


This is a photography book – I absolutely love the Humans of New York Facebook page.  This is the first HONY book, and you can tell how the longer interviews were still evolving in Brandon’s mind.  Most of the book is photographs with single sentence or two ‘mini interviews’ with some of the subjects.  Not the longer interviews you see today (which are so popular and I love).  I really loved the book, and some of the photos and blurbs really did move me to tears, but it doesn’t have the same emotional impact as the FB page currently does.  There’s a new HONY book coming out in October, and it promises longer interviews, so if that’s what you love about HONY, I’d say to hold out for that.  But still, this is a beautiful book, fun to flip through, and would be a great coffee table or guest room book!


My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.   Amazing, but I was left wanting more.


Week 25: A Mom’s Guide to Practical Baby-Led Weaning


This book is written by my friend, Brittany of A Healthy Slice of Life!  I bought it after Claire was born because I wanted to refresh my mind on Baby Led Weaning (a style of feeding where you let babies self-feed instead of using purees).  Brittney is well-known in the blog world for her creative kid meals, so I was excited to read this book.


This book is GREAT for someone who wants to be introduced to the concept of BLW.  It’s rather short, but the information is concise and well-written.  It gives a lot of information on how to get started with basic BLW principles and answers many of the common questions and concerns about the method.  I think this would be an ideal book for a new parent or would be a nice shower present in conjunction with some baby bibs and sippy cups!  I wish it had more recipes, but I know that you can find that at Brittney’s blog!


My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.  For what it is (an introductory guide), it’s perfect. I would be even better if it had more recipes or more information about transitioning BLW for older babies.  I liked that it was written by a mom who uses the method with both her kids, as it felt really relatable. 


Week 26: Orphan #8


Here’s a fiction book that I just read!  This book was HAUNTING and SCARY and really engrossing.  Here’s the Amazon plot summary:


In 1919, Rachel Rabinowitz is a vivacious four-year-old living with her family in a crowded tenement on New York City’s Lower Eastside. When tragedy strikes, Rachel is separated from her brother Sam and sent to a Jewish orphanage where Dr. Mildred Solomon is conducting medical research. Subjected to X-ray treatments that leave her disfigured, Rachel suffers years of cruel harassment from the other orphans. But when she turns fifteen, she runs away to Colorado hoping to find the brother she lost and discovers a family she never knew she had.

Though Rachel believes she’s shut out her painful childhood memories, years later she is confronted with her dark past when she becomes a nurse at Manhattan’s Old Hebrews Home and her patient is none other than the elderly, cancer-stricken Dr. Solomon. Rachel becomes obsessed with making Dr. Solomon acknowledge, and pay for, her wrongdoing. But each passing hour Rachel spends with the old doctor reveal to Rachel the complexities of her own nature. She realizes that a person’s fate—to be one who inflicts harm or one who heals—is not always set in stone.


My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.  The reality of life for the orphans in the 1920s was so scary, so terrifying, and so disturbing that I almost stopped reading – super trigger-y, especially for a mom of a little baby girl.  But I’m glad I plowed through because the end of the book was great – there’s a big plot twist that is unexpected but satisfying.


What have you been reading?  How’s Add, Not Subtract Week going?  Anyone else working on their New Year’s Resolutions?



  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More September 2, 2015, 8:46 am

    I love the idea of doing some lunges on your walks! I’ve been trying to add in more walks lately just to give me a break from sitting (and applying for jobs LOL) all day. I usually put some podcasts on in my ears but should add in some lunges or squats or something that will further help loosen my muscles and get in that extra little bit of fitness!

    I’ve been reading the 21 Laws of Leadership and even though I’ve only been reading about a chapter a day, it’s actually a really easy and fast read. I’ve really been enjoying it!

  • Erica {} September 2, 2015, 8:53 am

    I love walking lunges! Those and squats are probably my two favorite things to do right now (especially super pregnant since I’m carrying around an extra 35 pounds they feel like weighted squats and lunges!)

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed September 2, 2015, 9:04 am

    Ehhhh so far I’ve been adding too much wine haha, but today I made a salad for lunch and packed a bunch of fruit! I think I’m going to hit the gym tomorrow night (for the first time in a month since I’ve been injured) and I’m looking forward to lots of walking this weekend while I’m at the beach!

  • Kristin September 2, 2015, 9:21 am

    I love your book/week reviews because it opens my eyes to many books that I wouldnt have even found otherwise. The negative is my book list is getting longer hahaha.

  • Amanda September 2, 2015, 9:51 am

    My grandpa was an orphan in the 1930’s. He went on to join the military, become a police chief and is now the owner of a restaurant. He’s inspirational! I’m going to have to read this book and talk to him about it.

  • Sagan September 2, 2015, 10:42 am

    LOVE the add, not subtract concept! It can make such a difference towards implementing healthy habits. Such a positive way to look at it all 🙂

  • Haley September 2, 2015, 12:55 pm

    I don’t if anyone else has had issues, or if it’s just my computer. When I go to, it reverts back to your 8/18 post; and doesn’t show any new posts. I have to actually type in /2015/09 to see recent posts. If it’s just me, feel free to ignore me! 🙂

    • Caitlin September 8, 2015, 11:28 am

      Have you tried clearing your cache?

  • Lauren @ Oh Hey, I Like That! September 2, 2015, 2:13 pm

    I had no idea that there was a HONY book! I have just been following them on Facebook!!

  • Erin @ Her Heartland Soul September 2, 2015, 2:28 pm

    I suck at lunges but I feel good about myself after doing them!

  • Hilary September 2, 2015, 5:21 pm

    I actually am mostly adhering to my NY resolutions!!! I’m also trying to do a book a week with the pop sugar 2015 reading challenge. I’m most likely going to finish in the 30s but I’m still going strong. I also swore off Pop for a year. I could have done better but I’m generally proud of my effort. And I’m tryingn to make more plans with friends. This one is soooo hard for me. I know i come across as a little lame but I just hate to make plans but I find that I don’t get to see my friends that much if I don’t.

  • September 3, 2015, 6:26 am

    I love Humans of New York! I’ve also been trying to drink lots of water this week

  • Lisa September 3, 2015, 9:07 am

    Thanks for the note that the Orphan 8 book is trigger-y. Since having my son (he is 15 months) stories about children – in the news, novels, social media – just rip my heart in a way they didn’t before. I never thought to describe it as a trigger, but it totally is. Needless to say, I think it will be a while until I read that book!! And and LOVE HONY. The recent stories about slave labor in Pakistan were rough to get through but wow. The stories Brandon shares are so inspirational.

  • Grace @ Diary of a Running Snail September 4, 2015, 8:05 am

    Orphan #8 is on my list of books to read! In waiting for a copy at the library. Thanks for the review – now I’m even more excited to read it!
    Add Not Subtract Week has been okay. I have definitely added in more water and the greens are better some days than others. I have been waking up earlyafy so I just make sure I stay in bed for a while after:)

  • Erica Sparky September 4, 2015, 9:40 am

    Oh I might check out Orphan #8! I read a similar book this year called “Orphan Train” that I really enjoyed – again very sad and haunting about a girl orphan from NYC who moves west during the Depression on an Orphan Train. ultimately a wonderful ending but getting there was tough.

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