The Happy Runner by David and Megan Roche – 5 Stars
Ugh, I can’t tell you how much I LOVED this book. And these authors. They cracked me up.

The Happy Runner is divided into two halves. The first half covers the philosophy behind The Happy Runner and the mental aspect of running. The second half delves more into the training aspect of running.

Dress Your Best by Clinton Kelly and Stacy London – 4.5 Stars
Fans of TLC’s What Not to Wear are vary familiar with Stacy and Clinton. They bring their timeless advice to book form! The book is broken down by body type and then within each type by height (petite, average, tall). They even have a section for men.

You can skip right to your body type and height, but it’s worth it to flip through the rest of the book. Helpful and universal tips are scattered throughout.

I really liked this book but knocked off half a star because all of the looks were very similar. The weekend looks included many items I would wear to work, not going out to lunch with friends. The book’s focus is mostly on dressing for your body, not necessarily about your personal style. I think you can take the tips and find items to fit your style. I wish there had been a little more info on finding your style, although I get that wasn’t the book’s purpose.

Now I am rethinking my 4.5 stars. Maybe I should update to 5!

Start Ugly by David duChemin – 5 Stars
Some creatives struggle with starting. We have many ideas and often feel overwhelmed and don’t do any of them. I may speak from experience.

duChemin’s Start ugly isn’t revolutionary. We all know what we should do, but often we fail. This book is well written and organized. It’s inspiring and beautiful.

I felt refreshed and ready to start after reading it. It’s one that will stay with me and be read every few years. It is a relatively easy read and could be powered through, but I recommend taking your time. I would read a chapter and soak it in. I’d think about what I just read.

The Grand Canyon and the Southwest by Ansel Adams – 5 Stars
What can I say except beautiful black and white landscapes interspersed with quotes from Adams. I studied each photograph. I took my time and soaked in his genius.

I also wondered how he got to some of these spots. I have been to a few, and they were challenging with a modern 4-wheel drive truck. I cannot imagine doing it in a 1940s vehicle!

Also, they included letters he wrote. This was a pleasant surprise, as I assumed it was all photos. It was fascinating to read his thoughts and what he had done each day. I learned a bit more about his life and travels.

The Michigan Murders by Edward Keyes – DNF
I tried to get into this book, but I just couldn’t. The writing was dry and overly detailed. The author changed the names of the victims and the murderer. I do not understand why, since all of this info is available to the public.

I also didn’t like how the author described the victims. He focused too much on if he thought they were attractive or not. It wasn’t like height, hair color, etc. It was more like “she wasn’t considered conventionally pretty”. Like it matters if she was pretty or not? She’s a murder victim, not a prom queen.

What did you read in February? Any good ones?

Categories: Books


Jenna Volden has a degree in business and has spent the last 10 plus years working for others. She believes it is time to start her own photography and writing business. She enjoys running, coffee and helping others achieve their goals. Gluten-free foods are a lifestyle, not a choice, for her due to celiac disease. She is currently based in Phoenix, Arizona.