Friday, December 9, 2011

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?/Carrots 'N' Cake Giveaway

When I was little, my parents briefly thought I had taught myself to read.

Turned out, I had simply memorized Eric Carle's masterpiece due to hearing it read to me over and over.

While I still learn best through hearing (in college I would record myself reading aloud study guides and then listen to them on CD in my car), I have, to the great pride of my parents learned to read for reals.

Generally, I am a classic fiction kinda gal.  My favorite authors are Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, J.M. Barrie, and C.S. Lewis.  I recently finished the first set of Shelock Holmes mysteries read by the brilliant David Timson, and consequently am excited for a certain film release next week.

However, since I began seriously working out in the last year or two, I have renewed my timid forray into "books not entirely made-up," otherwise called non-fiction.

What I have I found compelling thus far?  I'm pleased you asked.

Runner's World Guide to Road Racing

This guide contained everything a hopeful racer could want, including cross-training ideas, suggested training plans, and injury prevention/treatment tips.  The end of the book had a list of the best road races in the country for different distances, and even some fabulous races in other parts of the world.  I highly recommend this to anyone preparing for (or considering) a race. 

Kara Goucher's Running For Women

Honest and truly, this gal understands gals.  Her book is laid out in chapters, but the genius is that each chapter is broken up into tiny segments...often 4 or 5 to a page.  Her reasoning is that all women are busy, and she wants you to be able to get something useful out of the book every time you pick it up.  She shares advice on good nutrition for runners, how to balance motherhood and runnerhood, and ways to stay motivated in busy or frustrating seasons.  I highly recommend this for people who workout mainly for health and sanity.  Obviously as a world-class athlete, Kara has great tips on preparing for races, but she really focuses a lot on the benefits of running for the average Jane, and the emotional and physical roadblocks normal women face.

The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything

If you have ever felt confused or overwhelmed by the ever-changing plethora of fitness and diet rules, products, and trends, this is the answer you have been waiting for.  Charlotte Hilton Andersen throws pride to the wind and does the legwork for you...literally.  This brave (crazy?) lady tries everything from Crossfit to veganism to Jillian Michaels and reports on her success and failures with great honesty and hilarity.  I recommend this book for anyone trying to get in better shape...or just looking for a good belly laugh. 

I personally found her persistence in the face of clutziness extremely encouraging.

GIVEAWAY PRIZE - Carrots 'N' Cake: Healthy Living One Carrot and Cupcake at a Time

In her book, Tina Haupert makes the case for being healthy and the same time.  She's open about her own struggles with food, and willingly shares her simple tips for enojying the good things in life without going overboard.  She's also got some great business savvy for anyone interested in getting more serious with their blogging hobby.

I loved her book, and now you can, too!  Two ways to enter:

1. Leave a comment telling me about a recent non-fiction read you enjoyed
2. Share a link to this post on your facebook, twitter, or blog, and comment letting me know!

Winner will be chosen on Friday, the 16th.


  1. I just finished reading "Mennonite in a little black dress." It's really good! Very humerous and the author is extremely open about her life and struggle with finding herself again after her husband leaves her for another man. Good read- pick it up!

  2. I'm in the middle of the memoir How to Love an American Man by Kristine Gasbarre, which is pretty good.

  3. Well hello fellow Carrots and Cake reader! Saw your post on Tina's twitter. Anyway!
    A few months ago, I finished Born to Run and it got me so excited about distance running again. My love affair with running was waning a bit but after that, I remembered once again why I do it (for the pain, I mean, for the stamina and dedication it takes!). I could read it again and again! And I think even non-runners would find the book completely fascinating and maybe a little inspiring!

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  5. I just finished reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It's about the HeLa cells and the patient whose cells were used in major medical discoveries and are still used today. It's a controversial and really interesting read!


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