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Into the Mist with Audiobooks: Running With Audible

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It is a misty morning here in Alaska as I run through the streets and trails, and so far there has been a murder of a young school girl, and I’ve been getting to know Magnus fairly well, in fact, I would say we are becoming friends. Magnus is a man of mystery to most people, partly because he is a hermit and not many people want to get to know him, and partly because they care more about town gossip and make up false stories about him.

Although I am in Alaska, where it rains more than most places in the country, the man, and the murder mystery is happening in my head, actually to be more accurate in my headphones. As I continue to run the novel “Raven Black” by Ann Cleeves keeps my adrenaline thumping, making me more excited as I continue going about my path. The thriller novel set in the Shetland Islands in Scotland makes me wish I was solving each case with Detective Inspector Jimmy Perez, chatting with Magnus about ravens, and roaming around Scotland taking in all of the sites. The thought of solving a mystery half way across the world through an audiobook delights me, and even as I run I feel as though I am part of it.

Listening to audiobooks while running isn’t quite new, in fact, loads of people have been listening to audiobooks while they were running, lifting weights, or hiking; just to name a few. For me, when I am running I have found out that I cannot listen to music while I run because the music is more of a distraction than a helpful tool, whereas the audiobooks are more of a helpful tool for me. I can concentrate on the narrator, imagine the scenes playing out before me, and can even concentrate on my pace. While I am concentrating on all of that, I have completely forgotten how many miles I have logged.
The best thing about the audiobooks that I pick I can easily access them on my mobile, having already downloaded the app, making it easier to access them before I suit up for my morning jog. Not only that, I don’t have to listen to the same old boring music that seems to haunt the radio stations over and over again. I can listen to a novel for a couple of weeks in a row (if it is a lengthy one) and will never get bored, because the story is captivating, and keeps me up in the morning as I lace up my running shoes.

Many of you already follow my book club, which I am extremely thankful that you have joined, and so it is with great pleasure to let you all know that I will be hosting an audiobook book club for those who are runners, hikers, weight lifters, or any of the like. I think it will be fun to get people into listening to more audiobooks while they are engaging in activity, to make it more fun.

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Wild (Poem)

Curly hair that flows so freely,
as the sun dances upon her skin
kissing it ever so gently
as her soul and heart fly with the wind.

Her heart and soul jump on the waves of the wind
letting it take her where she is needed at that moment in time,
for she is no mere mortal
for she is a daughter of the wind,
daughter of the earth,
daughter of the sea,
she is meant to be wild
not grounded to the pavement with her two feet.

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Wanderlust Box (Poem)

A soul wrapped in a countryside box,
Placed with a bow made of a map on top.
Open the box and you shall see,
The bits and pieces that have scattered about,
Leaving the soul wandering for the rest of its eternity.

Poke some holes into the box,
Let it breathe,
Send it off,
And let the world shape it into who it’s supposed to be.
That is the only way we will ever know,
Who it will be,
Once they’ve reached the ripe age of ninety.

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Scent of Spring (Poem)


As I sit here
With the french doors open wide,
The see-through curtains try to escape,
As the wind try to whisk them away.

The smell of fresh cut flowers flow through,
At the same time,
The scent of the apple orchards fill the air.
The scents intertwined,
While I sit here
And lose track of time,
Giving this glorious morning
A brand new definition of true beauty.

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Book Club: February

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The novel that has been chosen for the book club is the elegantly written, The Girl Who Wrote in Silk, by Kelli Estes. This story has everything a reader would want in a novel; mystery, romance, history, and tragedy. This novel follows a young lady named Inara, who has traveled to her now deceased aunt’s island estate. While she roams about the estate, she finds herself in a part of the house that contains a hidden piece of fabric that is elegantly stitched together and has intricate details all over it. As Inara begins to take apart the hidden secrets it holds, Inara finds herself in connection with a young girl named Mei Lein, who had been driven away from her home a century before. Suddenly, Inara realizes that Mei has written stories inside the silk, and Inara has come face to face with a tragic truth, this truth shakes everyone in Inara’s family, including herself.

This novel is mesmerizing and captivating on every level, you can truly see through Inara’s eyes as you read the story. Your mind will want to know every answer to every question that will surround your head as you read, and you will keep reading it until you get all of your answers. Kelli Estes is a gifted author and deserves a standing ovation for this novel, for it is written wonderfully and the characters seem to come alive.

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Healing From the Core: Working out for the Bookworm

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As a bookworm (I refer to myself as a book dragon, but I digress), and a fitness enthusiast and coach, I try to make my workouts a lot of fun because I don’t want to make working out feel like a chore. And if it were a chore, I wouldn’t want to do it at all. That being said, I know a lot of bookworms out there who want to workout but don’t know how to go about it, because they are constantly wanting to read a book instead of working out (I used to be like this). After giving it some thought, I realized how to help other bookworms on how to incorporate books while working out and making it fun.

Running – While you are either running outdoors or indoors on a treadmill, grab your iPod, Mp3, or cell phone and download audible. Audible is a great sight for where you can get some amazing books as audio, you can listen to them while you run and still get into the story. Whenever I am running and don’t want to listen to music, I turn on my audible app and go to town with the running. I try to make it through at least five chapters of the story while I am running.

Wall sits- The exercise where you are pressing your back up against the wall with your legs bent and parallel with the floor is a great exercise as it is. Now grab your favorite book or any book in general, and begin the exercise. With the average novel, read at least two chapters and you will be done after that with that exercise.

Planks – When it comes to planking, you can go two different ways with this, you can either listen to an audio book or you can just read a normal hardback book. If you are going to use a hardback book, use a weight of some sort so when you are at a spot in the book where you need to keep the page kept down, it won’t keep flying up and making you lose your spot.

Bicep curls – Pictured above is a girl with her dumbbell and a book, which quite honestly is one of the coolest pictures I have yet to find. Holding the book in one hand and reading, while you do the curls with your other hand is easy yet hard at the same time. It is all about balance. Trying to steady the dumbbell with one hand, while you are trying to steady a large book takes a lot of balance, so keep that in mind when you are preparing yourself for this exercise.

There is a site roaming around on Google about workouts for bookworms according to their genre preference, and after looking at it and chuckling a little bit, I could definitely see that those specific workouts would be perfect for anyone who is into certain genres of the literary world. I will post the link down below to that site. Engaging a bookworm into exercise is a tricky thing, do to the fact that they already have amazing arms from carrying all those heavy books that they find at the bookstores (you should see how many books I will come home with at the end of the month when I go shopping for new books to read), however it will help them have a healthier body by engaging not only their mind, but the entire body as well. What will be pretty amazing is that when the bookworm is in their 80’s, reading a classic novel, and being able to knock out someone for trying to take their book (I do not condone violence, I just think that it would be funny).

Follow this link for exercises and bookworms: http://www.alexandrafranzen.com/2015/08/18/gym-rats-bookworms/

 

 

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Magic Between the Black and White Lines

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The ability to escape reality for just a few moments is very much real, for that is when an individual has their nose in a book and their mind is running rampant with the images the words portray to them. Nothing is more intoxicating than the words that lie behind the cover page, they are stories that all of us can relate to some extent at some point in our lives. And these stories let us escape far away from the cruel place we call reality.

Stories have been around for thousands and thousands of years, some are passed down through different families, while others are made up by an author and spread across the world, then it is told by others. And each story shapes us as individuals, making us grow in a sense of imagination and reality, a combination that carries us throughout life. Most people do not realize how powerful a book can be, they do not realize how the books help our imagination grow more and more, making us have a huge inner world that we escape to.

Ever since I was a child, I would always carry a book with me wherever I went, and would constantly be reading something new. This carried on into my high school years, college years, and now in my mid -20’s I still carry books with me wherever I go so I can have something to read. In fact, in my backpack right now, I have four different books, one that I am currently reading and the others that I will be reading right after it. Books are one of the most powerful things in this world, for the hold magic between each black and white line that runs through the pages. The magic of another world, the magic of being able to be a character from a novel for a short period of time. And currently I am the charater, Fereiba (you will learn about her next Sunday for bookclub). I get to be her in each chapter, and see what she is seeing through her eyes as I read each word, sentence, chapter. That is the magic that most people do not realize.

There is true magic in between those black and white lines that roam the pages of a novel, pick up a novel that you find fascinating and slip into the world.

 

Photo Credit: Ferdinando Scianna, 1997