Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Day 13 - Book Report: What Is Your Favorite Book and How Does It Relate to Your Life?

I am a voracious reader. I have been, ever since I read my first "real" book, Little House In the Big Woods, at the age of six. (I hope you know that the author of that book was Laura Ingalls Wilder.) As a child, a teenager, and an adult I pored through books by the stack. I'll admit that in the last five years or so, thanks to the ADD-making nature of the Internet, my book reading has slowed a little bit in favor of skimming blogs, and Facebook, and online articles. Sometimes it takes me longer to finish a book than I used to, especially with the book (or iPad) dropping from my grasp as I doze off.

When I was young (not just younger, young), it was common for me to reread books I loved many, many times. Anne of Green Gables (and the rest of the Anne books), all of the Little House books, the Betsy-Tacy series, and anything by Madeleine L'Engle grew tattered from my multiple readings. (Sorry not to have links for everything, it's a lot of work and, remember, ADD.)

In adulthood I don't reread nearly as much. I read, I love (or like, or not), and move on. I might read a book again if it becomes a book club book, or I might just rely on my past reading to save time. Oddly, one type of "Re-reading" I have been doing is listening to the audiobook of a book I've already read. I quite enjoy that. Actually, I am sure I would enjoy re-reading some of the books I especially loved as well. It's just that there are so many unread books, queued up in my Kindle app, in stacks around the house, and on bookshelves where they will probably remain unread as I browse Amazon for the latest discovery.

All that is a longwinded way of saying, I don't think I can pick a favorite book these days. A favorite should be a book you turn to again and again, year after year, like Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail reading Pride and Prejudice every year. (I can't choose P & P. It's become a pop culture cliche. But it is lovely, and worth reading, if you haven't.)

If you look at my Blogger profile, I list a bunch of favorite books, and looking at them makes me smile. Yes, I loved them all, and you should check them out and read them if you haven't. Most of them are novels, with a few travel memoirs and a couple of health books and a cookbook.

The list is missing a bunch of the running and other types of memoirs that I have become hooked on in the last few years. I may go in and add them, although I'm not sure where "books I really liked" become "favorites." It's a very fine line.

So I am going to modify the topic just a hair and write about one of the favorite books I read this year. Conveniently it just came out in paperback and it is also available on Kindle.

Iron War: Dave Scott, Mark Allen, and the Greatest Race Ever Run, by Matt Fitzgerald.

This is the story of the 1989 World Ironman competition, and the cutthroat competition between Dave Scott and Mark Allen. It is also a thorough biography of each of their lives from childhood up to the race, as well as some time afterward. It is exciting and gripping, even if you are not a triathlon participant or follower.

I was actually vacationing in Kona when I read this book, and I loved connecting the events in the book with the real locations on the island. (I spent a lot of time studying maps!)

While I still had no desire to do a triathlon myself, I was inspired by the toughness and ability to endure and overcome suffering demonstrated by the characters in the book (not just the two protagonists).

I recommend this book as a thrilling, exhilarating read!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Melodee said...

I just read Wild, about a woman who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail alone. If you haven't read it yet, I'd be happy to send it along.

I'm actually reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for the first time ever at the moment.

Kristin said...

I do have Wild in my Kindle line-up! Looking forward to it! Oh...A Tree Grows in Brooklyn...I did love that book. I hope it holds up over time! thanks Mel!