Friday, June 1, 2012

A few more book reviews

I continue to really enjoy reading inspiring stories about runners, triathletes, etc.  I'm starting to run out of titles at the libraries.  I am praying one of the libraries I frequent will get Chrissie's new book.  Might have to take a break at some point and read something completely different like the Hunger Games series or that naughty shades of gray book.  But here are two more that I recently enjoyed thanks to the Daniel Boone Regional Library (and one I couldn't quite get into):

Becoming an Ironman was basically a collection of race reports similar to what I really enjoy reading on blogs (some had a bit more back story and some had less detail than most race reports, but you get the idea).  Each story is all about the person's first time doing the distance.  It was broken down into sections based on "like" factors - people who did their first Ironman in the early years (some good laughs here about how much it has really changed - LOL, one guy talks about putting his kickstand down when meeting his support crew b/c there were no aid stations then); some stories of pro triathletes; some stories about people who did their first Ironman after age 50; some who had a really fast first Ironman; some who did it physically challenged; etc.  Occassionally, the stories got slightly repetitive as some of these "like" factors made for similar stories.  But overall, it was a quick and easy read and I enjoyed it. 

Running with Angels was the personal story of a woman that spent well over a decade trapped in an obese body before finally making the decision to start moving after the loss of two children (one as an infant with birth defect and one in utero) and the diagnosis of two other children with debilitating diseases.  She grieves and copes with loss and struggles through getting moving.  Meanwhile, she decides that it is worth spending the money on Weight Watchers to add accountability to her diet that she had struggled with for so long.  Finally, she takes time for her and focuses on a slow, healthy weight loss (over 100 lbs in total) and fulfilling a life-long dream to run a marathon.  The story (and backstory) is told while reflecting on each section of that first marathon - letting the reader know how she was feeling at the various mile markers, but also how that correlated to feelings from her painful past.  This book had some gut-wrenching moments, but overall is a story of hope and faith in both God and herself.  While not all parts were applicable to me and my journey, I could definitely relate to many of the self-abusive habits of an obese person and the pain that it inflicts and the feeling of triumph from moving on and away from those thoughts, feelings and behaviors.

Picked this up as I figured it would be fun to read.  I read the first chapter which was a bit about how he got to where he was when the book starts and then the rest of the book turns into reading more like a Daily Mile log - pretty dry though truthfully, I gave up pretty quick.  Maybe I'll try again another time, but it wasn't really my thing.

I know I'm about 12 years behind the times here, but I finally read Lance Armstrong's book "It's not about the bike".  I knocked it out in about a day.  I found the story interesting and generally an easy read.  It's a bit odd since it stops after his first Tour win and just after his first child was born.  Kind of makes me want the rest of the story (besides what you read in magazines or web sites).  I liked the backstory of his childhood and his relationship with his mom; his own thoughts about how he raced before and after his battle with cancer; the frustration when no one believed he could come back from the brink of depth and compete as a pro again. The indepth story about his cancer battle was interesting too in its own way.  Say what you want about him - whether you are glad he is back to his tri roots or not - he's a fighter and his story was inspirational.

Decided it was time for some brain candy so I have read the first three Twilight books this week and have Breaking Dawn here ready to read over the weekend.  Interesting to note how much they are like the movies and how much they skipped or rearranged scene-wise.  I forgot that a while back I also read Jane Lynch's autobiography.  Generally I like her as an actress, but her book was so-so.  It was interesting enough to read, but she focuses a lot on her struggle with being a lesbian and not really thinking much of herself as an actress.  The low self esteem just didn't make for a thread I wanted to follow throughout a book.  I'd much rather read about someone who just fought and clawed their way to the top because they knew they deserved to be there.  But someone's life lessons are their own and not for me to judge.

Had a nice "summer vacation" day yesterday and will try to get some pics uploaded and a post about it later.  Really am behind on work so I need to get going on that.


  1. I am an incredible Chrissie fan, so I couldn't wait for her book to come out in the library. I sucked it up and bought it. Love the other reviews. I can't believe it, but I haven't read a single one of those books. Time to get on it!

  2. Every Second Counts is sort of a sequel to It's Not about the Bike, so it might be worth searching out if you're interested.

  3. All about the bike is a great book

  4. Thanks for the book suggestions. I don't read often but need books when I travel.

  5. I wanna get the "Becoming an Ironman" book. Actually, I listen to a lot of audio books while running. I would love to get this book on audio.