Birth of a Unicorn, by Heather Wilde


I received this book thanks to Virtual Author Book Tours
in exchange for a honest review.

I will start on this occasion by pointing out what the synopsis of this book promises because, having finished it, I think I have read a totally different book:

In this book, you’ll find the true story behind one of Silicon Valley’s famous companies on its rise to the top. Peek behind the curtain as you see the highs and lows from an insider perspective, on the roller coaster that is the startup life. What emerges is a lasting friendship, a billion-dollar company, and an understandable framework of success for you to replicate.

How to find the balance between your career and personal life.

Why emotional awareness and critical thinking are as important as specialized knowledge.

How to identify the real skills you need to build a “Unicorn” team.

What is supposed to be a tale about the origins of Evernote, is actually an autobiography about a woman who worked for this app from the start, but managed to do so in an unconventional way: her own.

The Wildes were an ordinary couple living an ordinary life, usually miles away from each other because of the husband’s job as a pilot, when the attack on the Twin Towers occurred. I suppose that there are times when an external or internal event makes you pause and reflect about the mindless routines that shape our lives; it could be a terrorist attack, an illness, a killer pandemic… And, thus, the Wildes decided they wanted to live together, and to do so on a boat in Mexico. When Heather was asked to join Evernote, she put two conditions: one, to work remotely; two, to be paid (!!)

You need to read between the lines to know that Heather had already been in contact with the intricacies of Silicon Valley’s startups and that she knew that there were times and enterprises where you just had to show up and work not for money, but for a promise of a better, more profitable future, if it finally comes. She also had already made a name for herself, thanks to previous jobs, that led the founder of Evernote to want her in the team, and the road to gain that position in which her own conditions for the job are accepted is one of the points that are not really explained in the book and I would like to know more about.

In any case, both Wildes joined Evernote and they went to live on a boat in Mexico. The rest of the story goes back and forth in time with anecdotes of their time there: the problems when travelling with pets across borders; the good relationship with their neighbours; cultural shocks with the Mexicans, of course; and the intricacies of working endless hours for a startup that keeps growing.

The line that promises to teach you “how to find the balance between your career and personal life” is what I found most utterly misleading, even purposely deceiving, since the author explains in detail how they worked for more than 12 hours a day, worked every day also on holidays, and went to marathon sessions of in-person meetings, to finally collapse crying in an elevator in Evernote headquarters and decide to quit her job. Work-life balance? Sure.

In addition, the book ends with a Heather’s many-times-postponed visit to the doctor only to discover she had a tumor, having had an emergency operation while her husband was in another country for work (obviously).

There are parts of the story that soothe you into the graciousness of these businesses which were once managed by a few kind persons like you and me, like when she talks about the policy of providing premium access to homeless people and to people in areas affected by natural disasters. There are also truly interesting insights from a psychological point of view, such as the discovery that female tech supporters needed more interactions with the users to solve a problem and, therefore, they were less productive because they spent more time in solving one ticket, only to catch up with their male counterparts when they began to use men or gender-neutral names.

However, I cannot say this book really penetrates into the foundations and the development of Evernote. As I said before, this is a memoir of the time she worked for the company, with anecdotes of their time and routines in Mexico, as well as their trips to the headquarters in California; and the feeling that lingers after finishing the book is that, yes, they managed to work from what they consider paradise but, no, if you have two people working twelve hours per day, you really need three employees to do that job, and you are burning people out.

I have no doubt that the author loved working for the startup and seeing it grow, since she and her husband were an important part of it, and I have no doubt either that it was very remunerative for them after the increased popularity of Evernote; but I am positive that they should have had the chance to do so in another way—in a way in which she does not quit due to an anxiety breakdown, or neglects her health due to lack of time. After all, the only people to be remembered in a company like this, if any, are just the CEOs.

You can follow the tour and enter the giveaway to get a copy of the book here.

Book on Amazon.

Book on Goodreads.


30 days of Digital Minimalism


Cal Newport is an author I have been following for some time, as I am interested in his books and posts about study techniques, career advice, and deep, concentrated work. Now, with Digital minimalism, Newport has produced a manifesto to encourage people to be more conscious of their use of digital services while reducing it to the minimum.

As an unaware user of social media, I knew I was spending more time on it than I should, but what brought me to the book was the radical change of circumstances right after the coronavirus outbreak: I was working and studying from home but I couldn’t get anything done since I was spending my waking hours scrolling on social media and reading every piece of news. This is not the whole truth, I must say, because I was keeping many of my good habits regarding waking up and going to bed at the same time as ever; exercising once or twice every day, now without leaving the house; doing a bit of spring cleaning; and even trying some recipes and making crafts. I was actually enjoying the situation, safe at home and spending time with my partner, after months of different work timetables that prevented us from seeing each other much, but the struggle came every time I sat down with a screen, computer or phone, because I would open social media and news sites, as always, but I was now getting caught in a loop that kept me scrolling and refreshing to the point of not even opening the document I was supposed to be working on until 2 or 3 hours had passed by. So I read the book, I acknowledged I had a problem, and I tried Newport’s approach: I got rid of social media for a month.

In the book, you will find plenty of ideas about how necessary it is for our brains to be “bored” from time to time, to spend time alone, to engage in hobbies that make us be creative, to maintain face to face conversation with others… All those things that social media has transformed into interactions based on likes and shallow comments that have stolen our attention and have only brought anxiety and a lack of time for the things that we really value.

So I started the 30-day challenge by posting on my social media accounts about my endeavor, and then I deleted Facebook, Twitter and Instagram apps on my phone and I used Cold Turkey to block them for a month on my computer. I kept free access to WhatsApp, to communicate with family and friends; YouTube, my source of workouts during the confinement; the sports watch and its app, because it keeps me motivated to move; and GoodReads, a service as necessary as oxygen for a reader. I also blocked news sites so I could only access them at lunchtime, and I did nothing about Netflix or TV because I don’t use these services (and it would have actually been nice to find time for a good film or TV series, but it didn’t happen in the end).

I have to say that the first day was glorious: I finished the first draft of my End of Degree Project by working all day on it and writing about 9 pages without distractions, a huge accomplishment for me. Of course, I couldn’t keep that level of performance, but on the subsequent days I started to get work done and get on track with my studies, which was really stimulating. The number of books I read was joyously increased that month, and I started to resume writing on my Spanish book blog, which led me to announce my very first newsletter. Had I known how easy and satisfying my time away from social media was going to be, I would had become a digital minimalist much earlier, for sure!

However, I would also like to address the difficulties that I found during those thirty days:

  • The days prior to the shutdown were the worst: after reading the book I was getting to the false conclusion that I was an addict and, therefore, I would suffer without my dose. On the contrary, from the first day, being unable to access social media was actually a relief.
  • GoodReads has a feed resembling Facebook’s, and it might tempt you to scroll down, which I did at first but soon stopped, as I was aware of the danger.
  • When I baked something nice, or when we were allowed to go for walks after the lockdown, it was strange to take pictures and not to post them on Instagram. You really miss it! So I made the decision to post them after the thirty days, and that delay gave me clarity about how we have been deceived to post and seek recognition from unknown people that cannot care less about us.

This leads me to the final step of the process: going back to social media. The proposal of the book is to think carefully about how you want to use the services and make the proper arrangements: delete accounts, unfollow people you are not interested in, establish timetables and rules, etc. In my case, my desired strategy consists on, first, unfollow people and leave my account with a feed showing my real interests, books and all kind of crafts; and, second, keep the blocking during the week and access social media only on the weekend. I haven’t got around to do the former yet so, for the moment, I only allow myself to check social media on the weekends, but I don’t spend much time on it anymore.

I would like to end this long post with two final notes. On one hand, a warning: don’t rely on willpower to overcome the use of social media. That means don’t just turn off notifications or leave the phone inside a drawer; block and delete apps mercilessly instead of depleting your energy by constantly exercising self-control. I know this because I have had the notifications on my phone turned off for years, and look where I was. Above all, don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are cured, reformed, after the thirty days: recently I had two-week holiday with free allowance to social media and, from the first day, I was back to my old habits of checking and scrolling. These services are designed to get you hooked, so the best approach is to make them disappear from your life.

On the other hand, I have noticed that, without social media, your brain is naturally inclined to engage in new endeavors, and sometimes it is a bit overwhelming to have all these ideas when you are already engaged in other pursuits. It is as if your head is constantly producing unexpected and enticing projects now that it perceives you have more time and you spend it more consciously. This is definitely a positive outcome, though: to have lots of ideas plus the freedom to finally focus your time and attention on them.

Would you abandon social media for a month?

Black people don’t write

This is the conclusion you would come if you took a look at my bookshelves [1].

Due to current events, one fellow blogger proposed July as a “Black literature month” here in Spain (the Black History Month is in February/October — if you are live either in the UK or in the US — but is not yet widespread here) to which I gladly joined, ready to immerse myself in search of black authors among my shelves… Only to realize (to my horror!) I don’t own any book written by a black person. My library as a whole is pure whiteness and a bit Asian, except for a couple of books that specifically talk about black people but written by white authors, and that, guys, makes me feel ashamed.

Like men who don’t realize there are no women among the CEOs or World Leaders pictured on the news, I wouldn’t have noticed the lack of diversity in my shelves if it hadn’t been pointed out by the protests all around the world and my social media feeds filled with fellow readers recommending antiracism books.

What’s more, my utter dismay came when I couldn’t think of any book written by a Spanish black author. A quick search on the internet gave a grand total of five books, and one is actually a photo book [2] to which, surprisingly, I leafed through last autumn visiting a museum. Being a black woman in Spain [3] is the only title available in my public library, and I already made a reservation to go and borrow it tomorrow.

I can only guess the challenges a black person must face here in my country… You see, I have grown up in a city where there was not a big black community: in my primary and high schools (both public) there were only three black children studying at the same time as me, none of them in my class and to whom I never talked. By chance, I worked with one of them for a brief period of time in our twenties but, apart from a strange surname from her father, I never even thought about asking what role her race had played in her life. Because I wouldn’t have thought there was any issue! Privileged whites don’t occupy our time with problems we didn’t know existed and, maybe, with exception of the big cities, I guess, this is the background of my country; a place where black people are thought to be either immigrants or tourists, but certainly not Spaniards.

So here I am, feeling embarrassed, but ready to learn the lesson and start paying close attention to my literary choices. After all, I just aspire to be well-read, and that requires embracing all the literary voices.


[1] You can also come to the conclusion that I am a privileged white a**hole, but I was trying to emulate the “White people can’t jump” statement for the punch.

[2] It is “And you, why are you black?”, by Rubén H. Bermúdez, and it is available in English here.

[3] This is my translation; the original title is “Ser mujer negra en España”, by Desirée Bela-Lobedde.

The benefits of breathing, by Christopher Meeks


I received a copy of this book thanks to Virtual Author Book Tours
in exchange for an honest review.

The coronavirus confinement started on March 14 in my country and the subsequent days felt a bit hectic, me being unable to concentrate on anything but the news, so I began reading short novels and also short stories, because they somehow provided a so much needed sense of completion in the midst of those first weeks.

The benefits of breathing is a collection of short stories, all of them set in an urban environment where human relationships are stripped bare. Most of the stories are based on romantic relationships that either are beginning or finishing, and they explore the way human beings mess things up with our own worries and the weight we carry from past experiences, or the difficulty we find when we have to examine and understand our own feelings to make others understand them as well.

In one story the protagonist starts dating a man who is fun and kind but, despite feeling right by his side, she decides to end the relationship because she finds him too devoted to her and this arouses her fear of commitment, even to a good man. In another, we find a man recently separated who tries an online dating app for the first time, only to feel more and more confused by the rules of these encounters – by what date do you consider you are in a relationship? Are you allowed to make friends or do you just need to search for a partner? These are everyday life stories with everyday life people of all ages who are looking for their dream jobs, a loving partner, or just a way to be happy again.

From the point of someone foreign to the US, I felt surprised by some of the customs that are reflected in the stories through the characters, such as the variety of cuisines and restaurants in the cities of California, or the way everybody seems to relay on therapy when facing a breakup.

In a sense, the stories address ordinary events happening to ordinary people, so the reader can put her or himself in the shoes of the characters. They appear in all lengths, which sometimes made me feel some stories were quite long, but I ended up thinking that this was the purpose of the author, trying to show that sometimes life events seem not to have an end while, in other occasions, they end too abruptly for our liking.

You can follow the tour and enter the giveaway to get your own copy here.

The benefits of breathing
Christopher Meeks
White Whisker Books (May, 2020)
Ebook, 238 pages

The benefits of breathing on
The benefits of breathing on Goodreads

It’s Groundhog day!

Have you noticed that every day has a name these days? Poetry day, Star Wars day, rare illnesses day… I learn about them thanks to twitter, as one does, and that was how my feed got filled with images from the film Groundhog day last February 2nd.

In Spain we didn’t know anything about the furry weather forecaster, so the film was translated with a different title (Atrapado en el tiempo, Trapped in time), and the concept of that day was alien to me. Since the film appeared to be already ingrained in popular culture and I felt disconnected for not knowing about it, I decided to put it on my to-watch list, whose time came during the first weekend of the lockdown (the lockdown started on March 15 in my country).

The surprise came when of what I thought was going to be just a comedy I found such a profound story that I am sure would have had a shallow effect on me had it not been for the difficult times we are living worldwide. So, please, let me talk about the film in detail, and beware if you haven’t watched it, because there will be plenty of spoilers (the film is from 1993, so we all agree that I am not breaking any law, don’t we?).

groundhog day

The protagonist is Phil Connors, a self-centered, cranky, and selfish weather forecaster who travels to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the celebrations and the weather prediction on Groundhog Day. The weather doesn’t let the team go back home, so they stay in town and, the next morning, to Phil’s surprise, it is Groundhog day again, he being trapped in a time loop the rest of the people are not aware of.

At this point, one can’t but notice the similarities with the confinement because all days feel the same. Perhaps not at first, when you try to adapt to the new routine, but after a few days you begin to feel trapped (you are not allowed to leave the house anyway, so it is not just a feeling). And then, if you allow yourself to consider the situation further on, you realize that everyday life might also be a time loop. There are changes, there are special days, but the majority of our days are the same day repeated over and over because it is hard to take responsibility and use our own time wisely.

In the film, Connors is at first enraged with the situation. He dislikes the small town of Punxsutawney and the locals, and he shows it constantly, causing not surprise to Rita, the producer, and the cameraman, who are already used to Phil’s bad temper. Sounds familiar? We all know people whose aim in life is to let others know they are not happy; just don’t be one of them. In these bizarre circumstances of confinement, the only thing I can complain about is being confined at home, which is what everybody else is, at least, experiencing if they are lucky: there are people in hospitals where you can’t have visitors to stop the spreading of the virus; there are people who have lost relatives and they can’t even organize a funeral because gatherings are not allowed; and there are old men and women alone in their houses, terrified to get the virus. The majority of us are in the lucky lot, so just don’t be a jerk and don’t complain.

Going back to the film, and after some groundhog days under his belt, Connors makes sure that his acts have no consequences and takes advantage of the situation by committing minor crimes, having sex with all the women he is able to, and eating candy like there is no tomorrow. Sadly, I have seen such behaviors these days. As an example, the animal shelters are reporting a raise in adoptions because people are allowed to go out to walk the dog so, suddenly, everybody wants one. I suppose they think they are clever, but NO.


However, Connors changes towards the end of the film: he decides to use his time wisely both for him and for others. He gets to know all those locals that he once despised and helps them: a boy that falls from a tree, a man who chokes in a restaurant, genuine tenderness and care to an old beggar on his last day on earth. He goes (groundhog) day after (groundhog) day to piano lessons and learns how to make stunning ice sculptures, contributing to the beauty in this world. And he is kind with his coworkers and makes the most remarkable covering of the festivities, while his love for Rita grows until, on one last groundhog day, she realizes what a loving and generous man he is, and she loves him back.

This confinement is as close as we are going to get to a time loop like the film’s. Dance in the sitting room, create art, do yoga in the afternoons, enroll in a MOOC, give as many kisses as you can. Let’s use that time wisely.

2019: A year in books

Ready for some bookish statistics? Come on in!


Challenges: as many previous years, I set my Goodreads challenge to 65 books, an amount I easily used to read in a year… Not this one, unfortunately. With so many courses and exams, my reading has slowed down considerably and I fell short of my original plans: I have read only 45 books, of which:

Authors: I have read 18 books written by women (40%) and 27 written by men (60%). In previous years I have been closer to 50% each.

Formats: I have read 7 digital books, 14 audiobooks, and 24 physical books.

Languages: I have read 22 books in English and 23 books in Spanish. All the audiobooks were in English, as always.

Origin of the books: of those 24 physical books, 18 were borrowed from two public libraries, one was a classic epic English poem that the teachers of my literature course provided to print, and the rest came from my own shelves.

Genres: without getting into details, I have read 21 non-fiction books, 6 comics, 4 poetry books, and 14 novels.

Pages: According to Goodreads, I have read 11,840 pages. The shortest book was a short story by Stephan Zweig (75 pages), and the longest was the third book of Justin Cronin’s trilogy The passage (768 pages).

Other numbers: I have re-read one book; I have read 2 books together with a reading group; I have read two classic English poems; and I have read 2 books on writing in English.

Best books of the year

Among the non-fiction books I have read, I particularly enjoyed Becoming, Michelle Obama’s autobiography; Atomic habits, by James Clear; and Learning how to learn, by Barbara Oakley.

I re-read again The princess bride at the beginning of the year and that makes it, of course, one of the best books of the year. It’s amazing how this book ends up in the top list every year, ha! The great alone, by Kristin Hannah, also standed up among my fiction reads.

I have read a couple of classics that surprised me positively, taking into account my reluctance to pick up these kind of books. Evelina, by Frances Burney, was one of them.

Finally, I have discovered another favourite author: Julian Barnes. I borrowed one of his novels from the library and immediately read a second one. Now I want to read them all.


I hope you have had a wonderful 2019, and I wish you an even better 2020.

Happy New Year!

Am I too old to start a new degree?

It is said that you will find time for the things you really want to do, but it is clear that those who agree on this are not working eight hours a day while studying a Law degree.


As an adult, studying is a sacrifice. It is no longer what you are supposed to be doing, and by spending the time and effort it requires you are subtracting quality time from the off-hours you would dedicate to your friends, family and hobbies otherwise. It is also unbelievably satisfying: the thrill of the new books at the beginning of the course; the mastery of your organizational skills (especially if you are enrolled in online courses),;the grades at the end of the semester that mean you are still capable of understanding and retaining new knowledge. And the process of learning itself is its own reward when the motivation comes from within.

When I started studying Law after my veterinary degree, people used to ask me if I liked it. I just couldn’t understand the question, first because one cannot like or dislike things that they don’t know yet and, second, because as a result of deepening your knowledge about a subject you deepen your interest in it. They also proclaim that, ‘I couldn’t study again at my age,’ which happens to be my age as well. And, you know, when I visit the study room at my university I always find students beyond retirement age engrossed in their books, not to mention some cases among my Law classmates of people who couldn’t afford to study when they were young and enrolled in their first degree at the age of 50. These people are my role models.

After finishing the degree, the masters’ degree, and the Examination for Access to the Legal Profession, I decided to continue studying another degree, a degree in Legal Sciences of the Public Administration, which all Law students seemed to be doing as being complementary to the Law studies, so it felt kind of mandatory.

And now, with the Public Administration degree almost finished – I have only four subjects left – I have decided to finally indulge myself with something I was looking forward to studying: English Philology.

In my university the degree is called English Studies, and includes culture of the English-speaking countries, English grammar per se, translation, communication in Spanish… But the subjects I am more excited about are the ones about Literature. This semester in particular I am studying Medieval literature, submerged in ancient epic poems I had never heard of.


It is still a surprise how much I am enjoying reading about these texts: the historical context, the topics, the structure of the poems… Learning has become a source of pure pleasure again, and I am wondering if I shouldn’t have started the degree in Spanish language and literature first; I feel that I would get much more out from the classic texts now than I did in school, when you only focused on memorizing authors, dates and titles of literary work.

As a result of my new endeavor, these days you can find me walking around the room reading poems out loud so I can appreciate the alliterations on the verses, or inventing kennings following Beowulf’s example. Besides, my partner is incredibly encouraging, so much so that he looks for further readings and radio programs about the poems I have to read, and sometimes I have to catch up with him regarding the texts that he has just acquired all the knowledge about, which makes me laugh because it is supposed to be me who is studying literature!

So, if you are also too old to study, I am pleased to make your acquaintance. We will take advantage of the quietness of the hours before sunrise, or maybe we will be the last in the house to go to bed. We will turn in assignments on time while complaining there is an echo coming back from the fridge. Every single day we will wonder why the hell we are torturing ourselves like this, but no expense will be spared at the exam results’ celebrations. And we will learn. Medieval literature, Microbiology, Criminal Law, Macroeconomics. We will learn.


Learning how to learn, by Barbara Oakley and Terrence J. Sejnowski



I don’t know about you, but I have always felt that the only thing I wasn’t taught at school was how to learn. Is it not ironic?

I’m attending an online English course and at some point we were discussing non-fiction books, when the teacher mentioned Barbara Oakley’s MOOC Learning how to learn. I enrolled in the course that very evening and, whereas I found it really interesting, I started the book before finishing the course due to my preference for the written word.

In the book, Barbara explains the techniques you need to master in order to learn better, and she does it in a didactical manner, even making you practice with her own book through reminders in every chapter about scanning through it first, addressing a series of questions at the end to see if you understood the material, etc.

She talks, among other things, about chunks of time, focused and difuse mode, active recall, memory palaces… And she bases their explanations on research about our brain’s way of working and storing new information. The book is intended to be read by young people or together a child with an adult and, therefore, she uses easy-to-understand metaphors so that all readers can understand and apply the techniques to the subjects and materials they need to learn.

But don’t underestimate the quality of this book: if the first sentence of this post resonates with you, you will get invaluable benefit from the reading of Learning how to learn. The techniques won’t be novel to you, I’m sure, but Barbara presents them in a comprehensive form, adding examples to help you get started, and basically compiling them together so you have the feeling of finally knowing everything you need to know about memory and learning.

Now, I am aware that when you read all this you’ll be tempted to make excuses like “I don’t have time for this, I need to study”, and by that you mean coming back to your familiar study routine of opening the book, highlighting half of it in bright yellow, and forgetting most of it the day after. Changing these old patterns is been also a challenge for me who, after 36 years studying, still follows the same unproductive path for learning my subjects at the university, but I’m making an effort now in order improve how I learn. As Barbara says, practice makes permanent, and by implementing the techniques you will end up having more time for other things!

I wish someone had the idea of including a subject on how to learn in schools curriculae when I was a child. It is frustrating when you have to educate yourself years later on the matter; it would have been easier to acquire these habits at a young age but, anyway, this is where we are at the moment. So, please, if you are a person who believes one must learn new things throughout her life, read this book – you won’t be disappointed!

HIIT your limit. Hight Intensity Interval Training for fat loss, cardio, and full body health, by Dr. Len Kravitz


I received a copy of the book to review

Maybe you don’t know this about me, but I worked in a gym as a fitness instructor for almost nine years. Back then, in my classes, I never thought about working smarter, but harder: I was basically focused on getting my clients the sweatiest they could be within an hour of aerobics, steps, cycling, etc. That’s what they demanded, too, feeling their time was worthy by achieving that sweaty goal. Only some guys at the weight-lifting room would try different techniques to improve their muscle gain by controlling their sessions at the gym and their food intake to crazy-to-me levels.

But it turns out if you want certain results, you have to educate yourself and work smarter, right?

Back then I was working out for 20 hours per week. The time I was not exercising, I would eat insane amounts of every food available, including ice-cream, pastries and junk food. I was thin, lean, as hard as a rock. And perpetually exhausted.

That should have told me something, but there are things you can only acknowledge in retrospect. When I left that job, I couldn’t dedicate all that time to exercise anymore, so I did (and still do) what’s recommended -three to five sessions a week- while trying to eat less even though I was −and I am– hungry all the time (spoiler alert: when you stop exercising you are as hungry as before; your stomach is an independent entity altogether).

And, while all the blood and cardiovascular tests show I am an extremely healthy person, I am overweight. And it’s not that I say so; the doctor has told me I should lose some weight. But I can’t. And it’s kind of frustrating when you swim three times per week, run two times per week, go everywhere by foot, eat less than your stomach would like to… and still you don’t look good. The only thing that comes to mind is “maybe I should eat even less or run for 15 minutes more”, coming back to what I said about focusing on quantity instead of quality.

A few months ago, YouTube “recommended” me a HIIT (High Intensity Intervals Training) video. I tried it out and was amazed: I could only do half of it and I felt that my body couldn’t have been worked more intensely in those 20 minutes. That was when the book I am reviewing today (yes, all this was only the prelude of a book review) came into the picture to help me understand this kind of training better and schedule my own routines.

In my opinion, this -and a park- is all the equipment you’ll ever need to get fit

The first half of the books is dedicated to biology and physiology and includes data and research to better understand how the body works during and after exercise, focusing on HIIT in particular and what the benefits of this training are. For those of you who have already tried it, you would have noticed that you can do much more in less time, but it also helps improve cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and cardiorespiratory fitness faster than other kinds of training.

There is a section dedicated to help you stick with your exercise program, for which I really recommend you read James Clear’s Atomic habits in order to better approach a change in your daily routines either to include exercise or any other new habit. There are also frequently asked questions that I found very informative –“Can I reduce the number of fat cells in my body? No.” I’m still crying over this–. And, at the end of the book, there is advice on how to cut calories with small changes – I can’t apply the majority of them, since I hardly ever eat out, I don’t drink sodas or alcohol, nor do I have sugar with my coffee, etc.

Finally, we have the HIIT workouts. I like that the author recommends reducing your normal workouts and add HIIT ones instead of increasing the total amount of weekly exercise, which was what I had in mind when I started reading the book, and had an exponential increase in anxiety because you don’t really know if you will ever find the time to do it all.

Regarding the workouts themselves, I found them very beginner-like, thought to be done only with a certain exercise mode instead of creating different exercises for every interval, which is what I have been trying lately and found more enjoyable. Don’t get me wrong – I truly believe they are good workouts, but doing running work and recovery intervals is what I have always called “Interval Training”, but not “High Intensity Interval Training”. I know you can increase the intensity, of course, but I guess I was expecting something more like this.

I think the book is primarily targeted towards people who hasn’t developed a steady habit of exercising, so they can start by including these short but effective workouts in their weekly routines and get fast results. For the rest, the book will make you aware of those intervals you only did from time to time and how it is better to focus more often on them without increasing the total amount of time devoted to exercise, in order to achieve your aimed weight and fitness level.

In any case, it is a matter of adapting your routines. I will sure change more of my steady-state running, swimming and walking workouts to intervals, and I will also keep an eye on including different high intensity exercises a couple of days per week.

And now it’s time to start exercising!

HIIT your limit. High Intensity Interval Training for fat loss, cardio, and full body health
Dr. Len Kravitz
Apollo Publishers
216 pages

Book on Goodreads
Book on Amazon

2018: A year in books


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It is that time of the year again.

2018 has been a wonderful year – many of the goals achieved, some wonderful surprises that have come right until the last day of December; I have moved into a flat where I can watch the moonrise, and I have spent time with my loved ones, who are all fine…

But let’s talk about books, because this post was meant to be a summary of my bookish statistics of the year. Ready?

I have read a total amount of 61 books, of which:

  • 31 were written by women and 30 by men.
  • 30 were in English and 31 in Spanish.
  • There were 20 audiobooks (all of them in English), 7 ebooks and 34 regular books.
  • 19 were books from the public libraries of my hometown and other places I have visited this year.
  • Regarding genre, 31 has been non-fiction books (all of the audiobooks were non-fiction, by the way).
  • 10 were comics.
  • I’ve read 2 poetry books.
  • 4 were re-reads.

I didn’t reach my Goodreads goal of reading 65 books, but it has been a busy year. I should start counting text books for the challenge!


Best books of the year

I rated 15 books with five stars, and I am recommending you the following:

Deep work (Cal Newport): for those who are worried about the time wasted on social media and willing to improve their productivity.

Writing down the bones (Natalie Goldberg): you don’t need to be an aspiring writer to read Goldberg’s inspirational book. I actually read it twice this summer.

Firefly lane (Kristin Hannah): a wonderful story about a friendship, with relatable characters.

The Guernsey literary and potato peel pie society (Mary Ann Sheffer): I know I should have read this one long time ago, and now I know you were right: it’s wonderful.

The smoke jumper (Nicholas Evans): I picked this one in the library by chance, and I enjoyed every line.

Under Gemini (Rosamunde Pilcher): it’s not the book, but the author who makes me feel at home in her stories.


I hope you have a very happy New Year with all the reasons to smile.