Coming Up With This List Was Really Hard!

Happy Friday! 🙂 Phew, we made it! 

Today I’ve got a new installment of the 10 Day Challenge!

So far as part of the challenge I have shared my nine loveseight fearsseven wantssix places and five foods. Today I’m sharing four books that have an extra special meaning to me.


Putting together a list of fictional books that I love would have been crazy hard! I mean, if you take the Harry Potter series alone you’re asking me to pair down from seven books to just four, a fairly impossible task when each one is so damn good.

Instead I want to share four books that really mean something special to me. These are books I’m pretty sure you’ve never heard of ;).


1. Kristina & Adam’s Adventures in Paris and London

Surprise, surprise! This is one of my favorite books!


When Adam and I got home from Europe in September I immediately created this photobook through Shutterfly.

It’s got about 50 pages of my favorite photos from the trip in it. Pairing down the photos to use was so hard, I think we ended the trip with well over 500 photos in total!

This was my first trip to Europe and it was everything I hoped it would be and more.

Next year our big trip is to Thailand (more on that soon), but I am looking forward to visiting Europe again sometime!

2. The Night Before Christmas Voice Book by My Dad

When I was a little girl my dad used to read me The Night Before Christmas every Christmas Eve and then he would sleep in my room so we could wait up for Santa together.


I’m pretty sure he would fall asleep in the chair about 2 seconds after the lights went out every single time, but it was still a lot of fun!

A couple of years ago he recorded this voice book of our favorite Christmas story. When I played it for the first time I literally bawled my eyes out! Just thinking about listening to it right now is making me teary!

3. Grad School Thesis Binder

Okay, so this one is technically not a book… but for the purpose of this blog post let’s pretend it is!


This binder contains all of the most important academic papers I read to help me with my master’s thesis, a rhetorical analysis of Glenn Beck’s show and how it affects voter decisions.

The binder weights about 500lbs and is made up of a lot of trees and ink, but in this case printing out the papers was super helpful for me. There’s just something about being able to write notes and highlight things that makes the research process 10X easier.

4. Inspirational (Note)Book 

I bought this notebook at Barnes & Noble a few years ago because I thought the saying was so beautiful.


I’ve never written anything in it because I do this weird thing where I feel like I can’t write in really nice notebooks unless I have something worthy to say.

Maybe someday I’ll know what to write in it. Until then I’ll just keep writing in this blog instead :).

If you HAD to choose, would you know what book to name as your absolute favorite book of all time?

What’s your fave running book? You know mine is “Eat & Run” by Scott Jurek!



  1. December 5, 2014 / 5:28 am

    Hmm favorite running book is probably Anatomy for Runners because it taught me so much about running and injury prevention! Im not sure what I would say my “all time” favorite book is. I have a few special books like my scrapbook from traveling in Europe and the guestbook we made for our wedding.

    • December 5, 2014 / 3:55 pm

      I bet the guestbook from your wedding is awesome, that has to be the one! What great memories!

  2. December 5, 2014 / 5:38 am

    I think it is really sweet that your dad made that book for you! It is a really cool way to keep the memory of your childhood Christmas Eve’s!!
    I also love that you wrote about books that are special to you! It makes it more personal and I think that is really what these challenges are for. They let readers get to know you more!!
    Thanks for sharing!! Happy Friday!

    • December 5, 2014 / 3:56 pm

      Happy Friday! 😉

      The book from my dad is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. It was so thoughtful! My dad’s a good egg! haha

  3. December 5, 2014 / 7:29 am

    I love your #1 and #2. Hmmm as for my favorite book that is a tough one.. need to sleep on that. I know one of my favorite childhood books (I guess that counts) were the Little House on the Prairie series.

    • December 5, 2014 / 3:57 pm

      It’s so hard to pick one favorite book, right? Usually my favorite book is the one I’m reading at the time because I get so pulled in to each book!

  4. December 5, 2014 / 8:43 am

    Of course #1 is awesome.

    I absolutely love #2, I’m going to get those for my kids so they can always have me there to read to them.

    • December 5, 2014 / 3:58 pm

      It’s such a great gift, I totally think you should do it for your kids! They will appreciate and love the book forever!

  5. December 5, 2014 / 9:37 am

    My favorite running book is my new “Believe” training journal from Lauren Fleshman. I’m so in love with it. It’s a weekly training log interspersed with training tips, nutrition tips, motivational quotes, wisdom, and worksheets on goal setting. I don’t know if that counts as a running book, but I will say that it is my new training BFF! It’s like having Lauren there with me as I train!

    I really like your list! Everything on it is unique and personally meaningful to YOU and each represents a different era of your life – how cool!

    • December 5, 2014 / 3:59 pm

      I keep hearing about this training journal, I may need to buy one! I’m just afraid I wouldn’t use it since I have a shared online training portal with my coach. Hmmmm. I don’t want to be left out of this Lauren Fleshman Believe club though!

  6. December 5, 2014 / 9:57 am

    Hmm, favorite book of all time – that’s a tough one! Harry Potter is high up there (I basically grew up with Harry, reading most of the books when he and I were the same age, until towards the end when the time between books grew). John Steinbeck’s East of Eden is one of the most formative books I’ve read.

    I’m surprised you and Adam don’t have a scrapbook of Cecil that made the list!

    Have a great weekend!

    • December 5, 2014 / 4:00 pm

      I almost included Cecil’s “baby book” LOL.

      It’s a book where I was able to track everything about his first year just like real mommies do. I didn’t want to seem too crazy though 😉

  7. December 5, 2014 / 10:06 am

    I love the photo books! I always make one after big trips =)

    I’m currently reading Born to Run!!!

    Happy Friday!

    • December 5, 2014 / 4:01 pm

      YES!! As soon as you finish Born to Run immediately start reading Eat & Run by Jurek!

      Born to Run was my gateway drug into ultrarunning and obsession with Scott! 🙂

  8. December 5, 2014 / 11:38 am

    Each and every one of your books (and binder) really touched me!!!

    1st – Europe!!! OMg, how AMAZING that you made that photobook for yourselves and RIGHT AWAY, too! My husband and I went to Europe the fall before I got pregnant, and once things really got hectic, I never did much with the pictures! Not too late to still make a photobook, right?

    2nd – I GOT TEARY-EYED! How incredibly sweet and heart-warming.

    3rd – Congrats on your master’s thesis!!! I can relate to the blood, sweat, and tears of such an accomplishment. Thanks for sharing something so near to your heart!

    4th – That quote is just AWESOME.

    Have a great weekend, Kristina!!!

    • December 5, 2014 / 4:03 pm

      No way, not too late at all! I think it would make a great holiday gift for your hubby if you can get it made and shipped in time! 🙂 Shutterfly makes it so easy to create the photobook and I was super impressed with the quality of the book. I make everyone who comes over to the condo look at it! haha

  9. December 5, 2014 / 12:08 pm

    Really love how these books show who you are & what you love. Your thesis topic sounds really interesting! I haven’t read that running book but am putting it on my list.

  10. December 5, 2014 / 12:56 pm

    I love the approach you took with your books!!! That grad school notebook is awesome – I wish I had done that now!!!
    I think that one day you will write in your notebook and have lots to put in there – maybe some of the stuff you have learned about yourself as a runner:)

    • December 5, 2014 / 4:06 pm

      I keep thinking I should just throw the binder away since it’s so big and ugly and I never look at it anymore, but I just can’t part with it!

  11. December 5, 2014 / 4:23 pm

    Fav running book: Again to Carthage by John L Parker Jr….it is such a good story!!!!!

    • December 7, 2014 / 8:27 pm

      I’ve never heard of that one! I need to go look it up ASAP! Thanks for the recommendation!

  12. December 5, 2014 / 7:48 pm

    The book of your dad reading The Night Before Christmas is PRICELESS! I wish I had something like that from my parents. 🙂

    I made a book of photos from our California trip! I started one with pictures from our Colorado trip but never finished. Hmmm maybe I should do that for Paul for Christmas this year!

    • December 7, 2014 / 8:28 pm

      Such a great gift idea!!!

      Originally I had thought about holding the book to give to Adam for Christmas but I just got too excited once it arrived! 🙂

  13. December 7, 2014 / 8:25 pm

    Oh man, Thailand! I’m so excited for you. I’ve never been, I usually stick to Europe when traveling, but lately I’ve been wanting to visit Asia. I think I want to start reading a running book to get pumped up for marathon training…

    • December 7, 2014 / 8:30 pm

      Well, I’m the biggest Scott Jurek fan girl EVER so I cannot recommend “Eat and Run” more! Scott’s an ultramarathon champion and in the book he recaps his training and all of his big races! I’ve read it about a million times and it always gets me pumped up for training!

      I can’t wait for Thailand! It looks absolutely incredible and will be so different from anywhere else we’ve visited!

  14. December 9, 2014 / 4:33 pm

    I love that your books are so deeply personal! That’s a great way to approach this list. I’ve been sitting here thinking “4 books, 4 books… how on earth can I list only 4 books!”.

  15. December 10, 2014 / 4:19 pm

    Omg I buy beautiful notebooks and never write in them too. I love to collect them but I feel like the blank pages are so much more inspiring and awesome than my notes lol.

    I love the Paris book. I have one from Matt from our time in Scotland/Europe that I love to look through.