WSIRN Episode 217: Making up for lost time in your reading life

At the start of every new year, there’s a buzz of goal-setting and self-improvement in the air, and around here we believe that when you improve your reading life, it does good things for the rest of your life. Today’s guest Pamela Hernandez has found creative ways to pull together reading goals and fitness goals in her personal training business. Pamela loves to read about women who mirror herself and her clients — seasoned female characters who live life on their terms, strive to make the best of their life circumstances, and thrive. Today I’m recommending 3 books that fit the bill, plus a self-help book that hopefully won’t leave Pamela shaking her head in disappointment. 

What Should I Read Next #217: Making up for lost time in your reading life with Pamela Hernandez

You can follow Pamela Hernandez on Instagram @thrivefit, and hear more from her on her podcast Fit in 417, where book segments are part of the regular rotation. 

Click here to read the full episode transcription (opens in a new tab).

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Books mentioned in this episode:

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Books mentioned:

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Tangerine, by Christine Mangan
She’s Come Undone, by Wally Lamb 
●  I Know This Much is True, by Wally Lamb
Wishin’ and Hopin’, by Wally Lamb
11/22/63, by Stephen King
The Stand, by Stephen King
How the Lights Get In, by Louise Penny
Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant To Be, by Rachel Hollis
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brené Brown
Everything is Figure-Out-Able, by Marie Forleo
Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, by James Clear
The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles that Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other Peoples Lives Better, Too), by Gretchen Rubin
● Author Pema Chödrön (try Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion)
Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, by Emily Nagoski PhD and Amelia Nagoski DMA
Whiskey When We’re Dry, by John Larison
Another Brooklyn, by Jacqueline Woodson
Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson
Red at the Bone, by Jacqueline Woodson
Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing As We Age, by Mary Pipher
Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, by Mary Pipher PhD
The Birds of Opulence, by Crystal Wilkinson

Also mentioned: 
● Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies


What do YOU think Pamela should read next?


Leave A Comment
  1. Alison says:

    You mentioned you weren’t sure what to serve for your next tea/book club meeting? In some of the later Little House books, Ma serves the girls Cambric Tea!

  2. Abigail M says:

    I came up with this recommendation after hearing the intro to the podcast; after listening to the whole thing it may be less on point than I first thought. But what the hell.

    Pam Houston is very hit or miss for me, but I love her debut short story collection “Cowboys Are My Weakness”. Strong, or at least trying to be strong, female protagonists in stories mostly set in the West mostly with an outdoor focus. And I also like her essay collection “A Little More About Me” very much. She has the wanderlust, and these essays span the globe. I think both books are very well written.

    Do most bookstores have “African American Fiction” and similar sections? I think my local bookstore shelves all fiction together.

  3. Patty says:

    I think we might be book twins! I also love Wally Lamb and read She’s Come Undone twice too. First time in my late 20’s and second time in my late 40’s. I heard to much hype about Girl Wash Your Face and I just didn’t like it at all, I think for some of the same reasons you didn’t like it. I have really liked all the Lisa See books I have read. I have read many of Gretchen Rubins books and I am a Questioner. Some of my favorite books have been The Red Tent, A Place for Us, Being Mortal, Animal Vegetable Miracle, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, Tell Me More. I could go on!

    • Sadie says:

      Patty, consider me your “book triplet”! I am in my mid-40’s, couldn’t get past some of the same issues with Girl, Wash Your Face, and I love many of the same books/authors you mentioned, especially Lisa See. I will need to pick up Wally Lamb again…I started a few of his books years ago, but it wasn’t the right time in my life.
      I thought this was a great episode of WSIRN!

  4. Rachel says:

    As a fellow tea and book lover, can I suggest that your woodsy reads might pair well with Lapsang Souchong or a Russian Caravan tea of some kind? They are both black teas that incorporate pine/wood smoke. They both give a lovely campfire aroma and work well with milk and honey or without.

  5. Jan says:

    Working out and reading is perfect wish you had one here. I pretty sure my fellow gym goers think I either really weird or very talented. I go to my local gym 5 days a week and I have a specific book loaded on my black and white kindle. I block out one hour and I walk out about 3 miles on the treadmill at about 3-3.6 for my speed. Depending on the book i get going at a great clip as I get lost. So yeah reading and working out huge awesome and I will gladly keep taking my kindle and know that I not the only one who who enjoys it.

  6. S says:

    Really enjoyed this episode – what a great business and community Pamela has built with her unique book club in her gym! Not sure why this book came to mind as I listened, but maybe because I remember the female lead character as being very groundbreaking and sassy – Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier is about a woman who is a fossil hunter which was a male dominated area. I don’t know if it would hold up if so re-read it as it’s been a number of years but for whatever reason it immediately came to mind listening to Pamela.

  7. Marie says:

    Loved this episode! Pamela, I have a podcast recommendation for you – “By the Book”! In each episode, the co-hosts live by a different self-help book. It’s funny and real and they often talk about the problematic aspects of the authors’ perspectives… and definitely had some issues with “Girl Wash Your Face” so thought you would want to check out this episode particularly. Note they also have an “epilogue” mini-episode with listener comments.

  8. Annie McCloskey says:

    I found my book twin as well! 11/22/63 and anything by Wally Lamb are fabulous. Although I didn’t read Girl Wash Your Face, I felt the EXACT same way about Eat, Pray, Love. I love Elizabeth Gilbert’s fiction, but felt that she came off very entitled in that book. Not knowing her, this is harsh, but as a reader and a teacher with limited means and budget, it seems most of us can’t trek across the world for self discovery. Anyway… back to Pamela! She was charming and as a runner I related to many of the things she said. She may love City of Girls (ironically, Elizabeth Gilbert!) and What Made Maddy Run, incredibly powerful non-fiction that I believe any parent, coach, teacher should read. Loved this episode!

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