August 2021 Reads – The Fitnessista


I set a goal to read at least 3 books per month and am still going strong. Sharing a recap of what I read in August and if I’d recommend these!

Hi friends! How’s the day going? I hope you’re having a lovely morning so far. I’m heading to the kiddos’ school for a bit and then taking content photos with Kristi later today.

For today’s post, I’m sharing a recap of the books I read in August! I set a goal at the beginning of this year to read at least 3 books per month, and without having this solid, super-specific goal, there’s no way it would have happened. (I think having accountability through the blog has made a huge difference, too!) I feel like I’m juggling more than ever right now work-wise (Fit Team, blog, podcast, videos, nutrition clients, personal training clients, Beautycounter) but reading is something I truly enjoy as a hobby. This goal has really encouraged me to stick with it and carve out time, even though it would be a convenient thing to delete from my routine.

Here’s a recap of my August picks!

Malibu Rising

I received this one in my Book of the Month subscription and was wondering if I was going to like it. The author is one hit (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo) and one miss (Daisy Jones and the Six) for me. I had no clue what I was getting into, but decided to give it a whirl, and absolutely enjoyed it. I ended up reading it in two days because I was so immersed in the characters. I don’t feel like a lot *happens* in this book, but the character development and backstory, alternating between two eras, made it worthwhile to me. 8/10 would recommend.

From Amazon:

Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.
The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface.
Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind. 

Broken (in the best possible way)

I love love LOVE Jenny Lawson, and remember listening to her book “Let’s Pretend this Never Happened” and laughing so hard I was crying. I listened to this one on Audible, too, and ended up feeling a little bit meh about it. I just didn’t laugh at the funny parts, and the sad, more profound parts, made me simply feel sad instead of finding comfort in relating to her. Some of the portions about her experience with depression were triggering for me (and I’m so thankful she’s sharing her story with others to remove the stigma associated with mental health diagnoses), but I think it was compounded by everything going on in the world. Perhaps I would enjoy more in another time, but it was a bit too much for me right now.  5/10 would recommend.

From Amazon:

As Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken (in the Best Possible Way), Jenny brings listeners along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreaking and hilarious anecdotes along the way.

With people experiencing anxiety and depression now more than ever, Jenny humanizes what we all face in an all-too-real way, reassuring us that we’re not alone and making us laugh while doing it. From the business ideas that she wants to pitch to Shark Tank to the reason why Jenny can never go back to the post office, Broken leaves nothing to the imagination in the most satisfying way. And of course, Jenny’s long-suffering husband Victor – the Ricky to Jenny’s Lucille Ball – is present throughout.

A treat for Jenny Lawson’s already existing fans, and destined to convert new ones, Broken is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter when we all need it most.


Grow Wild

I received this book from Katy Bowman’s publicist (I still can’t believe Katy was on my podcast!!!!!!!!) and was so excited to dive in. This book gives real-life examples of how to cultivate a family lifestyle centered on movement. Kids are moving so much less these days, and I’m always looking for ways to add more movement into our lives and make it fun.

This insightful book (with beautiful color photos!) includes tips for movement stacking, spending time in nature, proper footwear, gardening, cooking activities, seasonal activities, furniture and home additions to promote less sitting and more movement, learning, etc. I feel like it’s easy to be overwhelmed when you’re looking to change up your lifestyle in any capacity, but this book includes so many easy habits and tips that you can continue to build. 10/10 would recommend.

From Amazon:

From biomechanist and bestselling author Katy Bowman comes her eagerly anticipated guide to getting kids―from babies to preteens―and their families moving more, together, outside.

Our kids are moving less than any other generation in human history; indoor time and screen time have skyrocketed. As adults and kids turn more to “convenient,” tech-based solutions, tasks that once required head-to-toe use of our muscles and bones can be done with a click and a swipe. Without realizing it, we’ve traded convenience for the movement-rich environment that our physical, mental, and environmental health depends on.

Parents don’t know what to do!

But there’s good news: While the problem feels massive, the solution is simple…and fun!

Grow Wild not only breaks down the ‘big ideas’ behind movement as a nutrient, it serves as a field guide―how to spot all the movement opportunities we’re currently missing.

Learn to “stack your life” for richer experiences that don’t take more time:
Set up your home to promote more movement, naturally

Dress for (movement) success

Add snacktivities to your meals

Plan dynamic celebrations

Create a dynamic homework space

Bring nature into your home and play

And much more!

Bowman, a leader in the Movement movement, has written Grow Wild to show where movement used to fit into the activities of daily life and more importantly, how it can again.

The perfect companion to Bowman’s bestseller Move Your DNA, Grow Wild provides practical, everyday, nature-rich ideas on how to let kids move their DNA while doing things they’ll love.

So tell me, friends: what did you read in August? Any showstoppers? What should I add to the list for September?




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