Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Turn The Page ... Tuesday

Please forgive the Amazon quotes today - since blogger deleted the majority of my post I didn't have the engery to recreate what I had written. I hope you understand!

I'm not a runner. Never have been. I do run though. On a treadmill or on fairly flat terrain. After 3 miles I'm toast. So how can I say I'm not a runner? Well, I don't run races and my 'running' is pretty slow and stead ... and as I mentioned - lacking hills. So what does this have to do with the book I'm reviewing? Well, after reading Born To Run I as inspired; not to run a marathon but to get out there and learn to run the right way. I have to say, it's been quite satisfying.
Born to Run is so much more than the shoe industry taking runners for a hike (bada bing bada boom). It's a human interest story to. Here's the summary from Amazon:
"Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world’s greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong.

Isolated by the most savage terrain in North America, the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons are custodians of a lost art. For centuries they have practiced techniques that allow them to run hundreds of miles without rest and chase down anything from a deer to an Olympic marathoner while enjoying every mile of it. Their superhuman talent is matched by uncanny health and serenity, leaving the Tarahumara immune to the diseases and strife that plague modern existence. With the help of Caballo Blanco, a mysterious loner who lives among the tribe, the author was able not only to uncover the secrets of the Tarahumara but also to find his own inner ultra-athlete, as he trained for the challenge of a lifetime: a fifty-mile race through the heart of Tarahumara country pitting the tribe against an odd band of Americans, including a star ultra marathoner, a beautiful young surfer, and a barefoot wonder."

I have recommended this book to runners and couch potatoes alike. It's so inspiring (not like get up and run 150 miles inspiring mind you but the heart warming kind). I found my self googling the runners mentioned in the book and trying to find out more about this beautiful tribe that live in Mexico. Even if your sneakers were retired long ago (or only used for fashion purposes), I think you find this book fascinating not only for it's people but for the insight on marketing, sports medicine, and beautiful landscape that this takes place.  Who knows ... you might discover that you too were born to run!

I like to describe my next book as an adult Harry Potter kinda read. Fantasy mixed in with reality - the fragile human existance, difficult relationships, and a dose of wonder and 'magic' mixed in for good measure. Blue is good. Blue makes you grap some kleenex. Blue makes you smile.

Here's a great summary from Amazon:
"Chris Astor is a man in his early forties who is going through the toughest stretch of his life. Becky is Chris's fourteen-year-old daughter, a girl who overcame enormous challenges to become a vibrant, vital young woman - and now faces her greatest obstacle yet. Miea is the young queen of a fantasy land that Becky and Chris created when Becky was little, a fantasy land that has developed a life of its own and now finds itself in terrible, maybe fatal trouble. Together, Chris, Becky, and Miea need to uncover a secret. The secret to why their worlds have joined at this moment. The secret to their purpose. The secret to the future. It is a secret that, when discovered, will redefine imagination for all of them. Blue is a novel of trial and hope, invention and rediscovery. It might very well take you someplace you never knew existed. "

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was on my to read list forever. Book club finally pushed me over the edge. From Amazon:

"From a single, abbreviated life grew a seemingly immortal line of cells that made some of the most crucial innovations in modern science possible. And from that same life, and those cells, Rebecca Skloot has fashioned in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks a fascinating and moving story of medicine and family, of how life is sustained in laboratories and in memory. Henrietta Lacks was a mother of five in Baltimore, a poor African American migrant from the tobacco farms of Virginia, who died from a cruelly aggressive cancer at the age of 30 in 1951. A sample of her cancerous tissue, taken without her knowledge or consent, as was the custom then, turned out to provide one of the holy grails of mid-century biology: human cells that could survive--even thrive--in the lab. Known as HeLa cells, their stunning potency gave scientists a building block for countless breakthroughs, beginning with the cure for polio. Meanwhile, Henrietta's family continued to live in poverty and frequently poor health, and their discovery decades later of her unknowing contribution--and her cells' strange survival--left them full of pride, anger, and suspicion. For a decade, Skloot doggedly but compassionately gathered the threads of these stories, slowly gaining the trust of the family while helping them learn the truth about Henrietta, and with their aid she tells a rich and haunting story that asks the questions, Who owns our bodies? And who carries our memories?"

I liked this book; but I also worked in health care for over a decade so have an interest in this genere. Some of our book club members thought it was a bit to heavy on the medical jargin. I say read it anyway. This is a part of your history too. Mrs. Lacks contribution (albeit unknown to her) has made medical history and ultimatley saved lives. It's a shame how she (and how knows how many others) were treated and what her family had to endure after her death.


I was lucky enough to win this book from Paula after she had reviewed it for a TTPT. To read her review head here. This author is going on my list for my boys to read one day. Most of his books are geared towards late elementary to middle school boy sand judging by the number of books in our library by him and the wonderful reviews I'd say he's hit the mark. . I really enjoyed this book despite the fact that I am a quickly approaching middle aged mom ;-) It's time for Leaving Protection to leave Virginia ... Paula (who lives in Oregon) received this book from her sister Stacey (who lives in North Dakota)! Let me know in the comments if you wish to be entered in the drawing for this great book.

Now don't be shy - let me know what you've been reading:


~ The Jolly Bee ~ said...

"Born to Run" sounds really neat....I'm more of the couch potato variety myself, but I don't mind reading about great athletes.

And, I think I mentioned before that my daughter has to read "HeLa" before going to college. As soon as she finishes it, I plan to read it.

Sorry you got frustrated by blogger. We've all had our blogger moments, that's for sure!

Debi said...

Blogger has certainly been giving a lot people fits lately... you are not alone!

Blue intrigues me and it sounds like it might be a good gift for a couple of my Harry Potter friends who are in HP withdrawal!

Jill said...

Oh... Born to Run might be a good one for me... I started running about a year ago (I don't love it, but I love what it does for my waistline), so getting some inspiration might be helpful to keep me motivated.

Blue sounds neat, too. Going to keep my eyes out for that at the book sales.

Hope you're having a great summer!

Paula said...

The Immortal Life sounds really good. I've read a couple of reviews and it is on my Amazon wish list. Definately an interesting read.

Glad you enjoyed Leaving Protection and hope it finds another interested reader!

Ruth said...

So many great reads! I want to read them all.

I would love a chance to win that book.


Unknown said...

These all sound like good reads to me.
Leaving protection is realy getting around the country. How fun!

Sara said...

I'm a bit late, just added my name today. I agree, the running book sounds like one to add to the list!