Saturday, August 31, 2019

August Books

I can't believe my goal of reading 17 books in 2017 (ha, I ended up with 88 in 2017 and 77 in 2018!) has morphed into this passion for books. Let's be real, not having cable TV to keep me "entertained" also gives me more free time to dive into a great book or seven ;) {PS One of my goals for 2019 is to read 19 books, let's see how many times over I can do that.}

There were THIRTY-SEVEN books in the first seven month, so when I add August's FOUR that brings my total for 2019 to FORTY-ONE thus far! If you're interested in what I read (or how I would rate them and whether I would recommend you giving them a read or not), make sure to check out my previous monthly book recaps! {January's BooksFebruary's BooksMarch's BooksApril's BooksMay's BooksJune's Books, July's Books}

  • The Happy Runner by David Roche and Megan Roche M.D. - I originally grabbed this book because it is written by the running coach of a friend of mine. It wasn't available at our library, but recently the Oceanside Library linked up with others through a "Link+" program, so now we have access to tons and tons of books. #SCORE Anywho, I started reading this one last month but didn't finish it until this month so had to save it till the August recap. I have to say, I really enjoyed the first half of the book. If you have been around my corner of the InterWebs for a while, you know I have been dealing with some Fibromyalgia issues and my running has definitely suffered. This book, and the reminders of how my worth as a person (or as a runner) aren't tied to my paces or distances, came at the perfect time for me. Like the authors mention, this book may not leave you with mind-blowing material, but the nuggets you grab can be life (or at least running life) changing. The second half of the book, when they get into the nitty gritty of training and the analytics of performance was a little much for me (I'm sure there are tons of people who are interested in the specifics, but due to where I was in my running at the moment, it wasn't something I was focused on). I can absolutely see how learning to love the process of running can lead to getting faster and running longer and stronger. Here's to hoping I can implement some of these suggestions in my current and future training cycles. I would give it an 8 out of 10. 

  • Run or Die by Kilian Jornet - This was another book I had been wanting to read for a while but the Oceanside Library didn't have it so I was stoked when I was able to grab it from one of the affiliate libraries. Unfortunately this book wasn't all I was hoping it would be. I was hoping that Kilian, this AMAZING ultra runner, was like the rest of us, but the book reminded me how different elite athletes can be from us recreational runners. Don't get me wrong, he still puts on one shoe at a time, but his drive and determination is something that seems unparalleled. He is one cray-cray guy! Maybe it's because I am the type of runner who believes running should be "fun" or it's not worth doing or maybe winning/ results just aren't that important to me, but while reading this book I felt like my eyes were wide and my jaw was agape most of the time. Kilian is on a whole different level, which is inspiring but also, at times outrageous and un-relatable. I did find it very interesting that although there were many challenges he was tackling throughout the book (a speed record on Mount Kilimanjaro, racing Western States, etc) he doesn't necessarily go into the outcome of the event. Maybe it really "is" about the journey (although his intensity often seems to say otherwise). I would give it a 7 out of 10. 

  • Thirst by Scott Harrison - A friend of mine mentioned this book to me a while ago, but like the other books I have recently read, it wasn't available at our local library so I hadn't had a chance to give it a read. I love that the Link+ program has opened the door to so many books! Although this book seemed thick, I flew through it in about a day and a half. It is the story of Scott, a party promoter turned philanthropist. As you all hopefully know, I have a huge heart for others and love giving back. This book was about the conception and creation of charity: water. I loved not only the behind-the-scenes view of the non-profit, but also the story of redemption and compassion of the founder. The hubby and I currently sponsor a child through World Vision, but after reading this book I'm definitely going to chat with him about becoming part of The Spring (giving on a monthly basis to help people get access to clean water). I love seeing others do good in the world and being invited to join in on the process. PS In case you are worried, in my opinion, this book is NOT a drive-by guilting. You don't have to fret that while reading this you'll be pressured to believe in God, donate to the cause, etc., but shoot, if those are outcomes from reading it, I doubt the author would be mad ;) I would give it a 9 out of 10. 

  • Finding Goby by Dion Leonard - A few months back a friend left a comment on a book recap I had posted with a few suggestions of titles I might want to check out; this was one of them. Since I didn't have any books on tap and this was on the shelf at the library one day while I was in printing something (we don't have a printer, so every time we need something printed I have to go to the library) I snagged it. This is the story of an ultra-runner who found a dog during one of his races and the story that transpired. I don't remember hearing about this while it was happening, so I wasn't sure how it'd turn out (although the pictures midway through did give away the ending) which meant I was engaged the entire time. It was a quick, light-hearted read. The one drawback was it left me sad that Walt the Wiener Dog doesn't run with me ;) I would give it a 7 out of 10. 

With that, August has come to a close. My reading may not be going gang-busters like it has in the past, but I hope it never completely stops. If you have any suggestions, let me know! I'm always willing to add them to my library wait list!

PS I created an Amazon list that includes all of the books I've read and would recommend to others. Check it out!

What was the best book you read this year?

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