This is yet another humble addition to my (fairly new) series of two line reviews of books where, in a very brief two sentences, I not only let you know what I’ve been reading, but what I’ve thought of it.
This edition is, perhaps, a little heavy on the non-fiction. It seems that I’ve been picking through philosophical essays and thinking a lot about running. Heck, even the one fiction book on the list was written by an author, Haruki Murakami, also known for his interest in marathon running. It should be of little surprise, then that this particular set of reviews has me in the right state for a lot of long runs and a lot of deep thoughts.
Arrested Development and Philosophy by Various Authors Having been a fan of the pop-culture and philosophy series for nearly a decade now, I added this particular title to my groing collection a couple months ago and have been reading through the short but clever essays at the rate of a one or two per week. As usual, the subject matter is that of introducing undergraduate level philosophical concepts to the layman through the familiar metaphor offered by popular television show characters, in this case the Bluths et al of the short-lived show Arrested Development, and this particular title has repeated that formula with a level of success that is satisfying but still just average for the series.
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall Toted as one of the important and ‘must-read’ books for runners, this book is penned around the framework of a kind of anthropological travelogue and sports story that reflects the author’s awe and wonder at meeting and understanding groups of runners falling outside the marshmallow-shoed fitness geeks one finds trodding the streets of more urban climes. It is, admittedly, a compelling read, particularly for someone who is facinated and (now deeply involved) by the sport.
Fitness for Geeks by Bruce W. Perry Branching off my own (recent) personally escalated interest in bodily self-improvement and the geekily-hacking thereof, I sought out a copy of this newly released title from the famous publisher of all manuals technological, O’Reilly hoping it would align philosophically with my own goals. It is chock full of fitness data and positive lifestyle information, but stumbles by the assumption that geeks are all largely mouth-breathing, LCD-tanned lumps of goo and edges closer to the wacky fringes of irrelevancy by peddling a few questionable methods for weight-management and fitness-training to the same.
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami My second stab at the (translated) surreal fiction of Murakami, the popular Japanese speculative fiction author, was selected somewhat at random from a long list of his highly-regarded catalog of titles as recommended by Amazon and my Kindle. The story is one of mind and the complexities of the same, offering an alice-in-wonderland type of tumble into an every-more complicated reality that slowly untangles into a mezmerizing clarity that is quickly making Murakami one of my favorite authors, even after reading just two of his books.