Book Recommendations

Hi! Long time no see. This is a super random post, but I’m putting it out there anyway.

If you know me, you might know that I like to read. Thing is, I don’t do it all the time. What happens is I suddenly get the urge to read, read a ton of books really fast, and then get sort of burnt out.

During a study abroad trip in South Africa two summers ago I probably read 15 books in two months. Last summer I read 9 massive books in a matter of weeks. I read really fast and I get sucked in easily.

That being said, a couple of weeks ago I got the itch to read. I had also been wanting to go to the new Central Austin Library and renew my library card so it all lined up well. Side note: the new library is bangin. Like next time anyone comes to visit, we are going there. Insane.

I put out a request for books with strong female characters. Always on the hunt for inspiration. I got really good recommendations and then looked for more books here and here.

So today I’ll share what books I’ve read since that day I was issued a new library card in April!

  1. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

    Hi. Do you like historical fiction? Do you like France? What about WW2? Do you like badass female heroes? Do you like crying when you read? Excellent. Here’s your book. Seriously, it was phenomenal. It made me want to eat baguettes and jam. It also made me want to curl into a ball for a little while. Humanity can be horrific, but it can also be indestructibly brave and vivacious. Read it.

  2. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

    Okay, this one was interesting. A rebel militia vs government army war-torn country full of innocent people seeking to flee. What better way to do that then through secret doors that take you elsewhere around the globe. I know, sounds science-fictiony silly, but it’s not. A commentary on refugees, discrimination, social inequity, and more. It’s a book that makes you think. And makes you feel a little lost and homesick as you sit in your own living room.

  3. It’s What I Do by Lynsey Addario

    A memoir. Of an incredible, driven, all around badass photojournalist. Uh, remember this in 2011? Yeah, she was one of those reporters. Addario is on a relentless pursuit of the truth which honestly left me raw and inspired. I bought two disposable cameras after reading it. Am I going to become a photojournalist? Not a chance. But I needed to take pictures. The way Addario recounts different encounters with people and cultures all around the world is uplifting and honest. I deeply appreciated hearing the story from an actual witness’ eyes.

  4. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

    Okkkaayyyy. This was a novella that followed a trilogy that I read last summer. Read the trilogy first, obviously. It’s awesome. And cute. And hardcore. Read them all. Apparently it’s sort of a retelling of Hades and Persephone and also Beauty and the Beast. That being said, this is not a traditional retelling of anything. There are Fae and other creatures and magic and such involved, which frankly sometimes turns me off from books, but not this series. ALSO SJM wrote another series that is better and even crazier in my opinion. It starts with Throne of Glass. You like strong female characters? Celaena Sardothien. Go, read it.

  5. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

  6. The Mime Order by SS

  7. The Song Rising  by SS

    I’ll just say this upfront. Apparently this is going to be a 7 book series. As you can see, only 3 are out. It sucks. The waiting, not the books! Alright, let me paint a picture for you: Dystopian London, goes by the name Scion, teeming with regular of people and clairvoyants. Scion hunts down clairvoyants for being “unnatural” due to their connection with the aether aka spirits. If you’re like me, you might read that and think yeah not so sure how I feel about that. Well, get over it. Turns out, it’s awesome. Lead character, Paige Mahoney, is also incredible. This is the first dystopian fiction I’ve read in a while that isn’t a blatant rip off of Hunger Games and all that jazz.

  8. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    People. This is maybe a 1 hour read. Don’t make me tell you twice. Go read it. Do you have a woman in your life? Are you a woman yourself? Do you live in a world with women in it? Default yes, so you have to go read it. I don’t care if you disagree with every single word in it. Just go read it. Why? Because words are powerful and are you a little baby that’s afraid of power? I hope not. Prove me right and go read it.


So there they are! The 8 books I’ve read thus far. I have two more books at home to read:

Caucasia by Danzy Senna

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward.

I’ve got two books waiting at the library for me to pick up, too:

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W Durrow.

The only other books I have on my list are:

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah


SO PLEASE! If you have any recommendations, HMU.

Thanks for reading this random post. You rock. Bye.

The Universe.

I get a letter from the Universe every morning when I wake up. It’s pretty awesome and I’d highly recommend signing up for the email! (Google: Letter from the Universe.)

“There is not one person on the entire planet, Juliana, better prepared to help and love others in all ways and rock their own life path and dreams, than you. All that you’ve been through has created the perfect storm of possibilities for their imminent and inevitable manifestation. 

There’ve been no accidents or mistakes, Juliana, only guts and genius. 

Yeah, guts – 

    The Universe”

Marathon Wednesday

Good morning!

I’m sitting in good ole Greg last minute studying for my exam at 9. Honestly, it should be insanely easy, but it’s the first test so YOU NEVER KNOW!

Wednesdays are my longest day of the week, but I’m ready.

Guys, MY MARATHON IS THIS SUNDAY! My IT band seems to be doing just fine and I’m finally running again tonight! Holllllaaaaaaaa.

I’ve been getting lots of sleep and eating lots of food and my energy levels are through the roof, so I’m expecting a really good time!

Alright alright, I really ought to finish reading through my notes again, but…


P.S. Here’s something that made me laugh pretty hard:


Starbucks Thoughts

I’m currently sitting in the Starbucks in the Union drinking my soy coffee frappe feeling like I’m 14 again…

Seriously though, the smell and noise and music of Starbucks immediately transports me back to junior year of high school when I’d go there after school with my friends. We’d sit and chat and do homework and it was so easy and peaceful and nice.

Life is so good now, but it’s still fun to reminisce!

I have Stats, Spanish, and a team workout left today before I head home.

How’s your Wednesday going?

products that rock!


So I’m on my way to school at the moment and I decided to write this!

First off, I’m not really a materialistic person. I don’t like to spend big money unless it’s for adventures (plane tickets, bungee jumping, etc) or tri stuff (running shoes, bike, tri suit).

However, I’ve been reading a few blogs where they write about their “favorites” so I decided to somewhat do the same!

So these are some things that I really enjoy and/or really work for me!

My Thermos. Okay, I seriously love this thing and bring it with me everywhere (school, car, office)! It is an awesome midnight blue color and it legitimately keeps my coffee hot which is much appreciated. Not to mention, it works even better for cold drinks which is really cool too!

These Reebok leggings. Fun fact: I’m wearing them right now. They’re kinda sorta compression leggings but they’re so comfortable and make my aching muscles feel great! When I do long runs in them muscle fatigue is so minimal!

Butt’r. Hahaha I don’t actually use it for that unless I’m going to do a long ride. Guys, honesty is the best policy. 😉 I do use it for running though! Sometimes my legs and arms chafe on runs! Friends and family reading this: it may seem weird but it’s the truth!

Viva La Juicy. I’m pretty sure I’ve asked for this for Christmas for the last 4 years! I LOVE the way it smells. So fruity but not sickly sweet. My favorite perfume I’ve used by far!


These Burt’s Bees facial stuff. This stuff legitimately works for me. It’s the first time I’ve used face wash/moisturizer that actually works and doesn’t dry my face out! I wash and moisturize my face twice a day and I’ve noticed a difference in not only the clearing up of my face but also the overall complexion! Wooooo!

Okay, that’s it! Sorry if any of the pictures are terrible quality. I took them all with my phone and have not yet mastered how to make the iPhone take the best pictures it can. Also, what is good lighting? 😉

Any products you love?



Hello hello!

Long time no writing…

Honestly, I’ve been busy in the weirdest of ways. During break I wasn’t super busy, but what I did need to do was very time consuming. And now school has started and I’m interning and training for the marathon and enjoying life and Austin, so this blog has kind of been put on the back burner.

I’ve got quite a bit of stuff to do today, but tonight I’m going to write up a Virtual Coffee Date (maybe hopefully).

No matter what, have a wonderful Thursday! It’s raining here, but I’m okay with that. We had the most beautiful weather of all time earlier this week and Texas could definitely use the rain! 🙂


Much love,

The Beauty of Rigatoni

I just wanted to show all of you this beautiful meal I’m having right now…



Organic rigatoni with Newman’s Own Tomato & Basil sauce and sautéed onion, asparagus, zucchini, and mushroom. And spinach with olive oil and some crazy good vinegar on the side.


Off to Bastrop to trail run after this!

October & Ramblings

Happy October friends!
This month is so wonderful!
Normally Texas actually begins to transition into fall, there’s pumpkin carving, and Halloween! 🙂

I just finished breakfast and now I’m actually drinking a cup of coffee at home because I woke up 30 minutes before my alarm. I could be taking this time to study for my Genetics midterm on Thursday, but clearly the best way to abate stress is to just procrastinate…

This weekend I am headed home for the first time all semester and I am excited! The weather is supposed to be insanely nice in Magnolia, so I’m going to attempt a 50 mile ride and a 10 mile run. Heyyyooo brick. Other than that, I want to carve a pumpkin and just straight up chill. This semester has made me the busiest I’ve ever been in my life, so I really need a weekend to unwind.

Going to Kerrville for my triathlon was the perfect vacation for me and I came back to Austin feeling really refreshed, but going to Magnolia will be my chance to go on a lazy vacation.

Last night, there were so many cops and even a helicopter surrounding my apartment complex! We locked all the doors and such, but I still have no idea what was going on…

Also, yesterday was such an amazing day! There was a minor hiccup of just plain ol’ negativity, but I took my girl T-Swizzy’s advice and shook it off. Yeah, I got down to that sick beat. Hahahahaha, man I’m funny. #not

Nonetheless, the rest of my day was freaking awesome and I ran into one of my insanely awesome coworkers on campus which was definitely a day brightener!

Today I have classes, three hours of Genetics office hours (to hopefully help me wrap my head around it), and then a swim!

The fact that it’s October makes up for it though 🙂


P.S. My dad’s birthday is tomorrow!