What I've Been Reading

Friday, September 06, 2013
Book 165:  World War Z (Max Brooks)
I finished this back in the middle of June but for some reason never bothered to review it.  By now, most of you may have already seen the movie version starring Brad Pitt.  I never did make it to the theatre to compare the two but from what I could tell there were a number of differences.  From Wikipedia:  Rather than a grand overview or narrative, World War Z is a collection of individual accounts wherein Brooks plays the role of an agent of the United Nations Postwar Commission ten years after the story's Zombie War. Other passages record a decade-long war against zombie, as experienced by people of various nationalities. The personal accounts also describe the social, political, religious and environmental changes that resulted from the war.

Its essentially a collection of short stories all revolving around a shared series of events beginning with the early days of the outbreaks and the confusion surrounding it, through the horrors of the war as seen and experienced by civilian and soldier alike, and ending with the "cleanup" and after effects of such a global catastrophe.  Very interesting and not in the least bit cheesy as many zombie tales can be.

Book 166:  Walking (John Stanton)
The founder of the Running Room, John Stanton is Canada's answer to Jeff Galloway.  From what I've been able to gather, their methods are very similar (run/walk).  I've taken a few of the RR's clinics (without much success - my own fault) and read his book "Running: Start to Finish" years ago.  As I mentioned in a previous post, a few months ago I had decided to really amp up my walking and began the journey/process by reading this book.  

To be honest, there was nothing in Walking that I hadn't already learned from the clinics and his running book.  The methods used to get from couch potato to marathon walker are the same as couch potato to marathon runner.  The only real difference is speed.  He touches on the same subjects: running in different seasons, proper clothes, proper shoes, technique, hydration, etc.  There is a little bit on proper nutrition but not much.  

While I have a lot of respect for Stanton and his own transformation (a two pack a day smoking couch potato to marathon running retail empire), I felt a bit like I wasted my money.  Or would have if I hadn't had a gift card that covered all but the shipping.  For absolute beginners, its a good resource and the training programs were keepers (in both KM and miles, thank goodness!) but for your average joe?  Get out and move.

Book 167:  419 (Will Ferguson)
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.  It was a recommendation from a coworker with whom I don't have a lot in common.  However, I had also added it to my wishlist when it first came out so when he raved about it, I decided to give it a go.  I'm so very glad I did.  Read this review from the Globe and Mail for a summary of the book.  It doesn't give too much away so don't worry about spoilers.  The middle portion of the book drags a bit (everyone seems to agree) but stick with it.  The ending definitely makes it all worth while.  This is a two thumbs up recommendation from me, and that doesn't happen too often.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Is Max Brooks the son of Mel Brooks?
World War Z actually sounds like a really good read. I have not yet seen the movie, but,as everyone knows, the book is always better.

I have been meaning to read 419. I'll have to push that further up my list.

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