Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

4/5 stars.
ebook, 311 pages.
Read from August 29 to September 09, 2013.

This was an outstanding read. As a runner, this book was not only informative but inspiring. I definitely feel the need to ditch my running shoes now!

We are truly born to run. This book explains why we are and what we can do to get back to our running roots. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone practically tell me that running was bad for me and it’s because runner’s get hurt. A lot. This I knew, but I didn’t understand why so I found myself asking the same questions as the author in regards to the injury rates of runners and how something just didn’t add up. The author provides the reader with facts about our anatomy and how that make us running creatures and just how the creation of the running shoe has brought about most running injuries. The author also goes in the psychological aspects of running. Like why it is that runners crave to run and why the challenge of a marathon is becoming so increasingly popular.

Along with all of this information the author was also able to detail his amazing journey to find the answers to these questions with his pursuit of the world’s greatest runners, the Tarahumara. I found myself truly wishing that I knew how to run like these tribesmen so I paid close attention to the lessons the author received. At least I have one thing in common with them, that I love to run too.

I loved the personal flare that the authored added to this book and the information that he provided but I did not find that the transition between the two transitioned well. I found myself getting lost a bit and having to go back just make sure I didn’t accidentally skip a few pages as I felt so thrown into the next paragraph at times.

Overall, a must read for anyone who loves to run.

Bear by Marian Engel

4/5 stars.
ebook, 128 pages.
Read from August 27 to 29, 2013.

I could easily see how someone would struggle reading this novel due to the content but for me, I felt that I was really able to connect with what the story was trying to get across.

This story is about a woman discovering herself. Lou has come to stalemate with her life. It is lacking in substance and adventure. She has meanless sex with men and doesn’t allow herself to connect with anyone, especially herself. Lou does love what she is doing for work but has taken very little joy out of it recently so she agrees to take up an assignment in a cabin out in the middle of no where to document the history of the family that lived there. What she didn’t know was that during her stay there that she would be required to take care of a bear who has been living on the property for years.

The progression and building of her relationship with the bear is an exploration into herself and who she is. She learns to explore her own sexuality, get rid of the meaningless relationships and assert herself. She tests her own capabilities, reassess the things that are important to her and ultimately learns to take control of her own life. She finds so much clarity after leaving the cabin and the bear.

Overall the story is short, potent and phenomenally written. I would recommend this book to any female.

World War Z by Max Brooks

3/5 stars.
ebook, 291 pages.
Read from July 10 to 24, 2013.

This book was nothing like I was expecting. I thought it would get the standard one plot and story whereas what I was actually presented with was a collaboration of short stories/oral narratives that are centered around the same plot. With that being said, it was very effective.

The one consistent but barely talked about character in the book is the narrator, or rather the person carrying out the interviews, otherwise each chapter is a different character speaking about their experiences before, during and after “Z” day. I have yet to see the movie but now that I’ve read the book I’m really baffled as to how it was pulled off seeing that the book is just a collaboration of different stories. I suspect that they made something more of the interviewer, which, there is part of me that hopes that they do as I was left wishing I knew more about the person who conducted all of these heart-retching interviews. I wanted to know his story, so maybe the movie will take that stance. Once I watch it, I will update my review.

I think that Brooks was very successful in portraying what a real-life zombie invasion would be like, and let’s be honest, it would be as terrifying as he describes. I actually have Zombie related dreams more than I would like to admit and I’m certain it’s because the idea of something like this actually occurring definitely strikes a fair amount of fear into me. I also appreciated the wide scope of characters that he had. He had people from all over the world with different backgrounds and moralities and that is truly what made this story dynamic and terrifying. I felt that he was able to get an accurate grasp of humanity and the different people that shape it. What we as humans would do to each other during a chaotic event like this is what inspires more horror than the zombies themselves.

I’m very glad that I finally got around to reading this cult-classic. I think that I’ve read at least two zombie themed novels now, including this one. Now that I’ve read that standard classic I feel that I can venture the genre more if I wanted to.