Here’s a compilation of screen shots of my Apple watch workout that was recorded while on the treadmill. My goal is to read while walking on the treadmill for at least one 30-minute mile per day.
For this stretch, I did very little off-treadmill reading for this book in addition to the treadmill workouts shown. It was nice to have the motivation of this lovely story to get me back on the treadmill each day, but mostly, I found myself without a lot of free reading time off-treadmill and used what little time I scrounged to read stuff I can’t really feature here (non-m/m, etc.).
Also, I did the immersion-reading thing with this book with the absolutely fabulous audiobook (approx 7 hours) while I followed along with the ebook, and that only goes so fast, thus, it took a while to get through!
What I #AmReading…
The Weight of It All by N.R. Walker
I’ve been meaning to read this for a long, long time, and when I (once again) saw it being recommended somewhere, I figured it was time I did something about it. I went to Amazon to buy it and—oops—discovered I’d already bought it (and the audiobook) more than a year ago. Darned TBR always burying stuff!
More than likely, you’ve already read this book. It’s one of those that “everyone” who reads the genre has read. So you already know what a beautiful story it is.
It features MCs Henry Becket and Reed Benske. Henry takes a good long look at his life and what he wants out of it after being dumped by his long-time boyfriend for being “old” (despite their being the same age) and very overweight.
At first I thought it might end up being a bit of fat shaming, but it’s really not. Henry does resolve to lose some weight and get into shape, but he’s doing it for himself (and not necessarily to make himself attractive to catch a new guy) and for his health. He doesn’t aspire to become a gym bunny or slim beyond what’s reasonable for someone who’s a bit of a foodie, but he recognizes that he’s gone beyond what he wants for himself.
What I absolutely love is that Reed, a personal trainer at the gym Henry joins) falls for Henry for himself…for his humor…for always making him laugh, and doesn’t hold Henry’s present physical appearance against him. It’s not a factor as Reed falls for Henry.
I love that Reed has the opposite problem, shallow guys wanting to date him for his appearance rather than for himself. And, of course, N.R. Walker’s writing style is top notch (and Joel Leslie’s narration was superb), so this book was a joy to experience.
The POV is 1st-Person Present (which I tend to be leery of because it’s often poorly done and the POV just jumps out at me in an annoying fashion, but in this case, it was very well done, and worked beautifully) told from Henry’s perspective.
This is the opening paragraph, but I’m using it anyway, because it’s a fabulous intro:
Most people can’t tell you the moment their life changed. One day they’re twenty years old with the world at their feet, then the next they’re closer to forty and wondering where the hell their life went. There’s no Logan’s Run age qualifier that deems you’re past your use-by date. There’s no ceremony with gowns and funny hats to say you’ve graduated from ticking one age-group box on a survey to ticking the next age-group box. You just turn around, and wham-bam-thank-you-very-fucking-much, you’re old.
Part of Henry and Reed’s first meeting, and we can see why Reed falls for him:
So with a deep breath, I filled out the rest of the form. There were other questions like allergies and other sports-related injuries, which made me snort because they assumed I’d actually done some kind of sport in my life.
“What’s so funny?” Reed asked. He was now standing in front of where I sat, obviously finished with his phone call.
He was so tall, I had to crane my neck to look at him, and I briefly considered writing down that as an injury. “Well, sports-related injuries would imply partaking in some kind of physical activity. The only marathons I’ve done are Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad marathons.” Then I remembered another one. “Oh, and Sex and the City, but I was sick that week, so it doesn’t count.”
This time, he sat down beside me. “You’re really funny.”
A little later in that same scene (Reed is the first speaker):
“Come on and I’ll show you what I’ve got planned for you.” He walked with a bounce in his step over to a row of treadmills.
I did my best David Attenborough impersonation. “Ah, modern, yet archaic torture devices in their natural habitat. Not a particularly threatening species unless you’re an overweight thirty-five year old who hasn’t run since high school.” Then I remembered that wasn’t exactly true. “Okay, well, running to grab a half-priced KitchenAid in the Boxing Day sales doesn’t count.”
Reed was staring at me, still smiling. “Did you get it?”
Henry is hung over, and he and Reed are texting:
I smiled, despite the pain in my head. Did you know fire ants vomit lava?
Um, that’s random, but no I didn’t know that.
True. They’re inside my brain right now.
Feels like it.
Oh, poor you.
I only have enough lemon butter for one citrus tart.
Then one will have to do.
I tried sitting up in bed and fell back with a groan. Nope. Can’t even sit up. I think fire ants vomit lava and wield tiny swords.
Still not funny.
Go back to sleep Henry.
They’re good buds at this point and clothes shopping together (Anika is Henry’s best friend):
I turned to face the sales assistant, who was staring, dazed and slack-jawed, at Reed’s change room door. He seemed to have forgotten where he was, and it took him a moment to look at me. I slowly raised my bitch brow at him, which Anika once said could level the bravest of men, and I watched as he paled. I didn’t really want this to become a bottom-bitch fight, but I had this guy beat. I mean, I had fifteen years on him at least: I had mastered the “back the fuck off from my man” look when this kid was still in nappies.
He gave me a weak smile and retreated, wandering off to another customer, and it occurred to me that maybe Reed wanted to meet someone new. It also occurred to me that I’d just thought of Reed as my man.
Which he wasn’t. Friend, maybe. Boyfriend, definitely not.
The Weight of It All by N.R. Walker
Contemporary M/M Romance
(I love that French edition cover, so I put it up here, too.)
After being dumped by his long-term boyfriend for being overweight, Henry Beckett decides to make some drastic changes. In a vain attempt at getting his boyfriend back, Henry does the most absurdly frightening thing he can think of. He joins a gym.
Reed Henske is a personal trainer who isn’t sure he’ll ever be ready to date again. He’s sick of guys who are only interested in the perfect body image, never seeing him for who he really is. As Reed tortures Henry with things like diet and exercise, Henry enamours Reed with recipes and laughter.
As the friendship lines start to blur, Henry is convinced there’s no way Thor-like Reed could ever be interested in a guy like him. Reed just has to convince Henry that life isn’t about reaching your ideal bodyweight. It’s about finding your perfect counterweight.
Spreading more book love! Here are more of my…
✓ recent reads ✓ current reads ✓ re-reads ✓ want-to-reads
(all genres included)
About My #Treadmill / #AmReading Posts
I started out with this being a Sunday thing, but sometimes I’d rather not mash multiple books into a single post, so now, you never know when you might see one of these posts.
Rather than give a true “review,” which I’m not entirely comfortable doing as an author myself, I share snippets from books I’ve read and enjoyed, letting the authors’ words speak for themselves.
As you’ve possibly noticed, if you’ve been following along, I highlight snippets for reasons of my own which might veer from what is often seen. Sometimes my highlights have more to do with a paragraph simply impressing the heck out of me for its fabulous writerly technique, other times it has to do with the lovely way it gives subtle insight into the story/characters. Still other times simply because it made me laugh.
Anyway, I sometimes add a little commentary, but not always, which is not in any way, shape, or form, to be taken as unwritten commentary. Most likely it just means I’m short on time and/or context isn’t needed to understand what’s happening, and/or my brain doesn’t feel like putting out the effort in that particular moment.
Also, I’m going to try to spread the book love by tacking on covers of more books at the end of the post that I’ve either recently read, am currently reading, or want to read. Not seeing a full post with snippets for any of these books is not a commentary on anything other than how much time I have available in a day either to read or to create a post about what I’ve read. It might also mean I listened to the audiobook only or that it’s a reread that I’ve featured previously, or it’s not M/M so probably not a good fit for featuring on this blog.