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Rest, Recover, and READ !

Wendy Crink Madden  | Published on 6/27/2021

Rest, Recover, and READ!

                                                                                                              ~Wendy Madden
Newsletter bookshelf 2

Summer is fast approaching and our calendars are filled with running races, triathlons, hiking, golf, and a myriad of other outdoor adventures. However, summer is also a time to sit back, relax, and resist the urge to over-schedule.  And, despite our training goals to run faster, swim further, and flex those beer stein muscles, we need to put those feet up and recover.  Why not do so while reading a good summer novel?

But, what to read?!  Hmmmm….?  

I reached out to our MVS teammate and bibliophile, Denise Sylvain, to help with that question.  I asked Denise about her avid reading hobby and this is what she had to say:

“I started reading, heavily, in the fourth grade after we had a reading assignment of as many books as you could finish and writing a report thereafter (not fond of writing!) but I won with the most books read! So it continued most of my life with a brief stint in my teenage years. Then I found, which is a wonderful way to track my books because I couldn't keep up with all the titles and authors I've read or wanted to read. This site also allows you to rate the book, share ideas for books to read and comment on others' books from people near and far. It's a great, free resource. also started a reading challenge where you set your goals for the year. In 2015, I started a goal of reading 60 books which was met, increased to 65 the following year then to 100 thereafter and since. I've read up to 971 books since I've started tracking them; I'll hit 1,000 this year!”




1. The Long Run: One Man's Attempt to Regain His Athletic Career-and his Life-by Running the New York City Marathon by Matt Long

2. Wesley the Owl: The remarkable love story of an owl and his girl by Stacey O'Brien

3. Walking the Americas: 1,800 miles, Eight Countries and One Incredible Journey from Mexico to Columbia by Levison Wood

4. 48 Peaks: Hiking & Healing in the White Mountains by Cheryl Suchors

5. The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony

6. Our Italian Summer by Jennifer Probst

7. Jackie's Girl: My Life with the Kennedy Family by Kathy McKeon

8. The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand

9. Jelly Bryce: the Legend Begins (Trilogy) by Mike Conti

10. The Dog Who Saved Me by Susan Wilson

11. One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles and a Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues by Cara Sue Achterberg

12. Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike by Phil Knight

13. Don't Go by Lisa Scottoline

14. Nature's Silent Message by Scott Stillman

15. Girls of Summer by Nancy Thayer

16. Cabal of the Westford Knight: Templars at the Newport Tower by David Brody

17. The Last Season by Eric Blehm

18. Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country by Pam Houston

19. Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

20. Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote


I've selected mostly feel good books for the summer with life lessons from hiking in the mountains with a woman's best friend in great locales or with animals in nature who can teach us a thing or two. I've also selected local authors and debut novels.


Trying to identify a favorite book is like asking what was your favorite vacation, favorite meal. There's just way too many to choose from! I like murder mysteries, memoirs, historical, fiction, feel-good stories, spiritual stories, whatever I'm in the mood for. I've tended to gather authors that are local, stories about Nantucket, New England, the mountains, Europe. So many great stories. Look me up on if you want to share books!”


Since it’s 2021, I decided to throw out one more book suggestion to make it “21”: 


21. Without A Paddle: Racing Twelve Hundred Miles Around Florida By Sea Kayak by Warren Richey.


Thanks to Denise for compiling a thoughtful list that may appeal to many MVSers.  Hopefully, with this extensive list, you’ll be able to find something to take you “away” while you put your feet up and REST, RECOVER, and READ!

Denise Sylvain