The mother of a friend of mine loaned me this book when she found out I tend to like crime thrillers - she said this was one of her favorites, and I c...moreThe mother of a friend of mine loaned me this book when she found out I tend to like crime thrillers - she said this was one of her favorites, and I can see why! This book has so many twists and turns, that I really feel compelled to read it again, just so I can put it all together with the hindsight I have now. It's one of those stories where at the end, you think, wow! great story, great twists, but now I want to go back and do it again, to see if I can pick up on the clues that I missed the first time around, knowing what I know about how it ends.
There is a quote near the end of the book where the "mastermind" criminal really sums up how the whole book works: "(character) was reflecting back on a truth (s)he had learned over the years: that people heard what they wanted to hear, saw what they wanted, believed what they wanted." So true, isn't it? It really explains how the author is able to lead you down the path he wants you to take, then suddenly knock you sideways, spin you around blindfolded and put you back on the path of what really happened.
There is a lot of suspense successfully built into this book too. I was actually sitting in my car in the parking lot at work during lunch, reading this book. It was a beautiful day, the windows were down and it was quiet. I heard someone walk up next to the car, turned, and actually let out a squeal because I was so wrapped up in the book, this person startled me completely! I felt foolish, but that's how good this book was for me!
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good suspenseful crime thriller - you will not be disappointed! (less)
Considering I really did not want to read this book at first - I thought it was going to be a textbookish, boring history and explanation of the body-...moreConsidering I really did not want to read this book at first - I thought it was going to be a textbookish, boring history and explanation of the body-mechanics of running - I can say this book is truly amazing. I don't even like running although I love to hike, backpack and walk. After reading this, however, I might be inclined to start running (big maybe).
It is difficult to describe this book without making it sound like the textbook I was expecting... It is a mashup of a memoir, adventure story, travel documentary, historical account of running, biography of ultrarunners and running tribes of people, motivational guide, and scientific explantation of how human anatomy and locomotion evolved. It seems like a book with that many parts would be confusing & disjointed, but the pieces are woven together in a way that flows wonderfully.
Born To Run dove into myriad topics relating to running, including: the anthropological history of humans and how running fits in, persistance hunting, well-known and lesser-known runners, running events around the world, proper form, shoes (or lack thereof), the commercialization of running, anatomy of the foot, injruies and sports medicine, training, attitude, nutrition, and even a bit about cycling.
The amazing feats that these ultrarunners can accomplish so regularly is truly inspiring. For example, Ann Transon is noted for running 20 miles as a treat to herself after a hard day at work! Seriously?! That makes me feel like a slacker for opening a bottle of wine and curling up on the couch after a hard day...But I admire people with that much passion.
If you enjoy any sport/exercise that is performed on your feet - running, walking, hiking, basketball, soccer - especially if you have sustained an injury while performing this sport/exercise, you will find this book to be educational, eye-opening and perhaps even inspiring.
The author's website was also very interesting and helpful while reading this book - his blog contains photos and videos of some of the runners and doctors mentioned in the book, including visual explanations of the studies mentioned. There are also photos of the Mas Locos runners.(less)
I enjoyed the second installment of the Meredith Gentry novels. The plot was developed much more than in the first book, and this book was not so grot...moreI enjoyed the second installment of the Meredith Gentry novels. The plot was developed much more than in the first book, and this book was not so grotesquely full of sex like the first - a nice change, because although I enjoy a little fun in a romance novel, I had my doubts about these books having any plot whatsoever. Luckily, I have been somewhat wrong.
The story in a nutshell: Meredith still has to become pregnant to claim the Unseelie throne, but when a rogue creature kills hundreds of humans threatening to disrupt the alliance that allows Faerie to remain in America, Merry and her "studs" must come to the rescue.
Not overly complex, and a little sluggish at times. But all in all a good read - good enough to continue the series with anticipation for what happens next - Will Merry become pregnant? Will Andais actually let Merry have the throne if she does? Who will the father be? What will Prince Cel do upon his release from torture? (less)
4.5 Stars if it were possible - This was a really good book.
A very intense, graphic and suspenseful story. I am not even sure how to begin my review,...more4.5 Stars if it were possible - This was a really good book.
A very intense, graphic and suspenseful story. I am not even sure how to begin my review, other than to say, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Scott Sigler does not hold back when it comes to graphic description of the events in the book - my skin was crawling during many portions of the story. I am interested to see if a sequel is going to follow, and if so, I will be sure to pick it up. (less)
Great book - I have been on several day-hikes and backpacked a few times as well. While I've never day-hiked anything longer than 16 miles, or backpac...moreGreat book - I have been on several day-hikes and backpacked a few times as well. While I've never day-hiked anything longer than 16 miles, or backpacked more than two nights, I understand and appreciate Cheryl's feeling of accomplishment and challenge nonetheless. There was a lot I could relate to in this book: the parallel feelings of love and hate toward hiking, trudging one step after another, counting your steps to take your mind off the distance or elevation gain, the concurrent pride of accomplishment and sheer relief upon reaching the mountain peak or the end of the hike, the exuberance for a hot shower, a cold beverage, a hot meal that doesn't require boiled water to rehydrate, and a soft bed. There was also plenty that I've never experienced too, but I could still vaguely imagine what it must have been like. I loved the raw honesty about her challenges, feelings of unpreparedness, and determination to continue on the hike. I loved this book, it makes me want to go out backpacking!!(less)
Loved this book. Excellent plot twists. If you have any sort of interest in mystery/crime fiction, then I would recommend this book 100 times over. On...moreLoved this book. Excellent plot twists. If you have any sort of interest in mystery/crime fiction, then I would recommend this book 100 times over. One of the best!(less)
This was truly an eye-opening, educational experience for me. While, like many people in the book, I had heard of the Hmong, but I knew nothing of the...moreThis was truly an eye-opening, educational experience for me. While, like many people in the book, I had heard of the Hmong, but I knew nothing of them (including their origins) and I especially had no idea that California's Central Valley was so densely populated by Hmong refugees. Not only did this book provide a great deal of education and background on the origins of the Hmong, their beliefs and general way of life, it really pointed out the challenges we (both Americans and refugees) face with bringing refugees from any country into the American culture, government, schools, hospitals, etc.
Most striking to me was near the end of the book, Nao Kao tells of his family's first days in America: They told us a refrigerator is a cold box where you put meat... We had never seen a toilet before and we thought maybe the water in it was to drink or cook with. Then our relatives told us what it was, but we didn't know whether we should sit or whether we should stand on it. Our relatives took us to the store but we didn't know that the cans and packages had food in them... Our relatives told us the stove is for cooking the food, but I was afraid to use it because it might explode. (p. 182)
After reading that, I thought, "For goodness sake, it never occurred to me that someone might not know what a toilet at least is, even if they never had one in their home..." It made me realize that I am severely undereducated about how other cultures live. I guess, as Americans (for better or worse), we don't often stop to think about how life outside of America might differ from our own. On page 276, Francesca Farr is quoted saying, “our view of reality is only a view, not reality itself.” …so true!!
Some other concepts that I found striking (and have no answers to):
1. The dilemma posed on page 78: whether a doctor should simplify (and thereby diminish) a patient’s treatment due to their inability to follow the plan, or continue to provide the same level of care, knowing that the efficacy of care may be hindered?
2. Welfare vs. working income: Refugees are sometimes perceived as refusing to get a job and support themselves, but the book points out that for many cultures, not having a job is a serious blow to their self-worth, especially for people who once held positions of high esteem in their home countries. But although they possessed all the skills they needed to thrive in their home countries, once in America, those skills are proven to be severely lacking in order to obtain work. Add to that, they might not be able to find anyone who speaks their language to help get them started in the right direction (as with a Hmong family who were the only Hmong in their community in Iowa).
3. “Hmong refugees in America rated ‘difficulty with American agencies’ as a more serious problem to them than ‘war memories’ or ‘family separation.’” This was quoted from the book’s reader guide, but I was having trouble putting this concept into my own words – it still struck me that despite the terrifically horrible war stories that were shared by the Lee and other Hmong families, dealing with American agencies rated as more difficult…
I could easily keep going, as there are many topics of interest to me in this book, but you should read it and come up with your own! :-)(less)
Where do I begin?? This book is one that everyone should read. It really is a conversation-starter.
While this is a nonfiction story, it does not read...moreWhere do I begin?? This book is one that everyone should read. It really is a conversation-starter.
While this is a nonfiction story, it does not read like other NF books I have read (and that's a good thing). It is very well written - it feels like a conversation, someone telling you their story over a cup of coffee. There is a great deal of emotion which exudes from the author (who obviously grew to be very close to the Lacks family), as well as Deborah and her family. By writing phonetically, the reader is immersed into the culture and speaking style of the family (their southern drawl, grade-school vocabulary, and hot tempers are captured much more effectively than with a simple description).
The story of Henrietta and her family is so breathtaking. Their perseverance through decades of heartache, distress, and lack of valid information is truly a moving story. I have few words to describe how much I appreciate their willingness to share their story with all of us, despite the thousands of reasons they had to hide from the world forever. It is simply amazing...
I really enjoyed that both sides of the issues at hand are addressed. The Lacks family and countless other patients in the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s suffered horrendous violations of their personal bodies, family privacy, financial compensation for their "donations" and lack of simple respect for the human being... HOWEVER, if these atrocities never occurred, where would medical science be today? Would scientists have ever mapped the human genome which led to genetic testing for several diseases? Would cancer research be where it is today, with tests, preventative measures and treatments identified for many kinds of cancer and chronic diseases? This is a very complex issue, where it would be impossible to formulate a steadfast opinion one way or the other without at least thinking, "What if...?" This book does an excellent job of bringing the complexity to light, without forming its own opinion.
I would recommend this book to all my friends, family, strangers in the grocery store, and the guy on the corner down the road... (less)
I really enjoyed this (audio) book. The reader, which I think was the author himself, made everything so wonderfully real. I loved how ho-hum Coraline...moreI really enjoyed this (audio) book. The reader, which I think was the author himself, made everything so wonderfully real. I loved how ho-hum Coraline is throughout the story, with a defiance and courage to fend off the terrors of her "Other" mother. I would absolutely pick this one up again, maybe next time in actual paper-form. :-)(less)
I enjoyed this book and the perspective of Light and Dark, the idea that we are not pre-destined to one side or the other, and the setting in Russia....moreI enjoyed this book and the perspective of Light and Dark, the idea that we are not pre-destined to one side or the other, and the setting in Russia. The characters are relatable, and the plot takes place in (more or less) current times, rather than the distant past or far-advanced future, so it becomes a bit more realistic-feeling. The snapshots in time that make up the three stories contained in the book were at first a little wierd for me, but I got accoustomed to it quickly, as things started to intertwine. I was a little dissapointed with the ending, I had hoped for a little bit more complex "scheme" behind it all (maybe I was just in the mood for more of a mystery than it all turned out to be) but it was so simply wrapped up in the end... I am not sure where the remaining books in the series are going to go with it now, but I am interested to see. All in all, this was a good book, one I sometimes had trouble puting down (not always) and fits right into my usual themes that I like.(less)
I did not finish this book because I simply didn't find it interesting. Others whom I know really enjoyed this book, so I don't think it is a bad book...moreI did not finish this book because I simply didn't find it interesting. Others whom I know really enjoyed this book, so I don't think it is a bad book, it just didn't succeed in catching or keeping my interest - I got over halfway thru it before deciding I didn't have the time to keep trying to be interested in this book.I thought I might revisit it after a break, but I have had absolutely NO interest in picking it back up over a few months. Maybe one day in the future, when I have nothing else to read, I may actually finish this book, but I doubt it. (less)
A very good young-adult read. I really enjoyed how the author wove together the various myths we all know, it made for an interesting world in which t...moreA very good young-adult read. I really enjoyed how the author wove together the various myths we all know, it made for an interesting world in which the book is set... even though it is set in "modern" San Francisco. Looking forward to reading the second book.(less)
While I understand the reason behind some peoples' poor reviews of this book, I found it to be a very interesting story about a time in history that i...moreWhile I understand the reason behind some peoples' poor reviews of this book, I found it to be a very interesting story about a time in history that is typically re-told from the perspective of the victims of the Holocaust tragedy. This story is from the perspective of someone on the other side of the fence, a young naive German boy who doesn't understand why his family has been moved to a barren part of the country near a never-ending fence, which he is not supposed to go near.
I think it is an excellent way to introduce children to the concept and history of the Holocaust, especially since the book leaves many things unexplained, giving parents an opportunity to fill in the blanks as much or as little as they wish - with as much detail as the parent sees fit for the maturity of that child.
I think the phrase "Hindsight is 20/20" is very fitting here. Lots of reviews fault this book for making Bruno too naive to be real - but during the time of the Holocaust, many people did not know what was happening behind the fenceline, and no one imagined that it could be as horrible as it truly was. And from the perspective of a nine-year-old, whose parents would have shielded their child from that kind of knowledge, it is not too difficult to think that, although a work of fiction, a child like Bruno could have existed.
I thought this was a very good story, to get children and adults, alike, thinking and talking about the Holocaust, and the other events in world history which have followed the same path. Perhaps we can all take a little lesson from Bruno's innocence and learn to respect and love all people, no matter where they come from, which god(s) they choose to worship, what color their skin is, etc...(less)
Not as good as the first two stories, but still a heartwarming story of the importance of family, love, friends, and time together with the people we...moreNot as good as the first two stories, but still a heartwarming story of the importance of family, love, friends, and time together with the people we care about.(less)
I had the "privilege" of reading the California DMV Driver Handbook (2010 edition) because I got a speeding ticket - lucky me!! I figure it's a book,...moreI had the "privilege" of reading the California DMV Driver Handbook (2010 edition) because I got a speeding ticket - lucky me!! I figure it's a book, and I read it, so it counts. A recommendation to everyone out there - don't get a ticket! Reading this book is just torture!(less)