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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Running and Reading (but mostly reading)

I have noticed there isn't much substance to my last few posts. I don't know if it is the lack of running or the fact that I keep writing on here after I get my girls to bed when my brain is trying to shut down. So I am going to attempt to add some substance, although it is admittedly not really running related (OK maybe a little at the end so feel free to skip ahead if you get bored by the end of the next paragraph).

So we all know I am not doing that well with my "run more" goal for 2010, but that is somewhat out of my control so I decided to focus on one of my other goals, to read more, which is going pretty well. There hasn't been more than a day between finishing one book and starting another so far. Yet that isn't quite as amazing when you consider I am only on book number three, but it is what it is. The two books I completed are:
  1. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult (I have read several of her books and like how they make me think.)
  2. That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo (He won the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls. I enjoyed that book so decided to give this one a try. It wasn't as good.)

Book number three, with its 897 pages, is I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb. I'm not even 200 pages in yet. This book is a little older, but my to-read list is very long and keeps getting longer.

While just those three titles tell you a little about my reading habits, I will go into a little more detail because I'm sure you are dying to know. I have read a lot of Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winners; The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon is my favorite so far.

I have read and love the Harry Potter books. I haven't read and don't plan to read the Twilight books. Christopher Moore is one of my favorite authors. I also enjoy selected works by Stephen King. My brother has read everything King has written and guides me to the ones that are not going to give me nightmares. My favorite is Lisey's Story.

One book I could read over and over again is Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos. The book that made me cry more than any other was The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. I'm worried seeing the movie will ruin the book for me.

I am in a two person book club. The two people are my little brother and me. We are supposed to take turns choosing the books we read, but he probably chooses most of them. Some of our book club selections have been:

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
Lamb by Christopher Moore (and most of his other books)
The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
The Bourne Trilogy by Robert Ludlum
Most of Dan Brown's books

I have read many, many, many of the classics. A lot of them were required reading in college (I have a degree in English), but probably just as many were read by choice. I have read Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and War and Peace twice each. And F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of my favorite writers. John Steinbeck? Not so much.

And since this is a running blog, I should mention the running books that are on my shelves. I read and recommend The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life by Amby Burfoot. It is an easy, entertaining read. I read about half of Bart Yasso's My Life on the Run. I stopped reading it when my marathon training was derailed. I am saving it as motivation when I am back in the thick of my training. And Dean Karnazes' 50/50 is near the top of my to-read list.

Last but not least, since I am a mom and spend a good deal of time reading to my girls, my favorite kids books are:

  • Most of Sandra Boynton's. A few that stand out: The Going to Bed Book, Horns to Toes, Night-Night Little Pookie.
  • The How Do Dinosaurs...? books by Jane Tolen & Mark Teague. The top two on my list: How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? and How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?
I could write about what I read all night, including what I like about each book and why. But you didn't come to my running blog to read about things like this in the first place so I feel honored if you made it this far.

And since you're still here, let me know if you have found the secret to running and reading at the same time (on the treadmill of course). All I end up doing is reading the top line of the first page over and over and over.

In running news, tomorrow is my last 2 mile run if all goes well at PT on Friday. Then I'm up to three miles. I scheduled my appointment early Friday morning so I could make that my first three mile day.

Run happy!


  1. I just joined a book club and we are reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I've only read the first chapter but I'm intrigued! I haven't really heard of any of the books that you mentioned but you did say you were an English major. That means you must know all the good ones. I may need to write down a few of those. :)

    And running and reading just don't mix. I think it would give me motion sickness.

  2. This is a great post. I love books and I love hearing about possible reads. Thanks!

  3. I love reading about what other people are reading. I will have to post about reading some time. Did you also read Belong to Me: by Marisa De los SantosIt is the same chacters as Love Walked In. I liked it even more. I also loved Shelter Me by Juliette Fay. I will save others for a post. Thanks for the suggestions.

  4. Also it is awesome you read with your brother!

  5. Oooh - I love your book list! I love the classics - I can reread anything by Jane Austen over and over again. I do like Steinbeck, but it takes me 1/4 of the book usually to get hooked. I wasn't that impressed with Russo's books - Empire Falls was good, but every other one I tried fell flat.

    I'll have to check out the others on your past selection list!

  6. I love book lists..I have an ever growing one too. I've read one of Wally Lamb's books. It was She's Come Undone. It was definitely a different book.

  7. I cannot read on the treadmill to save my life, but can on the bike! I wish I had more time to read, but I'll def have to try out your recommendations :)

  8. I'm an avid reader and *wish* I could figure out how to read on the treadmill. It would combine two great loves of my life. How Do Dinosaur books are awesome...they are a favorite in our house too.

  9. And here I thought I was the only one who hadn't read the Twighlight series. You should check out The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. Both very good and quick reads. The only thing I can think of for your treadmill running would be books on tape. Good luck on Friday!

  10. No way am I coordinated enough to read and run on the treadmill. I would def kill myself. I loved that Wally Lamb book and also the Burt Yasso one, which I just finished. My mom had a hard time getting through the Russo book too, had to stop reading it. Right now I am reading A Wrinkle in Time with my 8 year old daughter and a really good novel called "Blame." I LOVE books and reading so thanks for all of your info!

  11. The secret is...audiobooks. I have tried about everything else and just can't do it.

  12. Thanks for the heads up on some great books. Hope the knee is doing well, good luck on the run!

  13. Oh how I envy those who can read an absorb QUICKLY. I am such a slow reader that it is hardly any fun.

  14. I can't read on the treadmill because I am dreadfully clumsy and uncoordinated.

    I love Michael Chabon. Adventures of Kavalier & Clay was great.

  15. Oh my gosh! So many titles/authors that you mentioned I absolutely love! Christopher Moore? Love him, "Lamb" was one of my favorites. The Wally Lamb book was good. I'm actually rereading the final Harry Potter right now.

    I haven't mastered reading and running on the treadmill. I tend to save the books for the bike.

  16. I cant read on the treadmill but I do try to read on the elliptical. Thanks for posting all of those books. I put a bunch on my list to get from the library!

  17. i just came upon your blog and i LOVE it! i love to this post caught my eye automatically. i have never read any of Stephen King's books ( i know...what?) could you recommend one of his books to me, to be my first. thanks!

  18. Thank you so much for your list of books. I will add them to my list! I am always on the lookout for recommendations! I love the "How Do Dinosaurs..." books too! Our elementary school had the illustrator come to our author's fair. It was really cool!


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