Saturday, April 20, 2013

Scads of books.

I'm a pretty avid reader - 46 books last year. At the end of last year I picked 3 books to share that I had enjoyed reading. We're not even 4 months into the year and I already can't narrow it down to fewer than 5.  So I decided to share early.  Here are some recommendations for you:

Willpower:  rediscovering the greatest human strength
by Roy F. Baumeister & John Tierney

A book about willpower - imagine.  Seriously though, this was amazing.  It talks about the science behind willpower - and most notably strategies to increase yours.  What I found most fascinating is that studies show that we have a limited supply of willpower in a given day.  And we use willpower for all kinds of things - not just the traditional resisting of temptations.  We use it for all kinds of decisions.  That knowledge really can help you to make sure you're using your willpower at the right times. Luckily it talks about how to shore up that limited supply gradually.  Definite recommendation on this one.

Born to Run
by Christopher McDougall

A book about running.  It's a loosely narrative non-fiction book that follows the story of a secluded people in Mexico called the Tarahumara.  They're the greatest long-distance runners in history.  What I found most fascinating/helpful were the interwoven chapters involving the science of running.  That we're biologically engineered to run.  That running shoes have basically destroyed our natural running form.  I even started making fresh corn tortillas for nearly every meal because of this book.  I have also started running again.  I stopped because it was killing my knees, but then I read about forefoot-strike running, and barefoot running etc. and decided to just go for it.  Significant, and immediately noticeable improvements.  Check it out.

by R.J. Palacio

This is a fictional children's novel that tells the story of August - a boy with severe facial deformities caused by a bizarre twist of genetics.  He starts his first year of public school in the 5th grade and things progress and you'd expect, but end up - predictably, but delightfully - on a much more positive note.  I'm something of a crybaby, but this book had me weeping.