Run On: An Adventure In Running

Summer Reading List

I didn’t make as much progress in my reading list as I would’ve liked this summer, but I did knock off a couple of books that were pretty good. 

Flash Boys:  Michael Lewis

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Since I do finance stuff, I always like to pick up the latest Michael Lewis book.  I don’t always agree with everything he says, but he has a knack for turning complex situations into interesting narratives.  I thought Flash Boys fell short of Liar’s Poker and The Big Short, but it was still a worthwhile read.  People would tell you that the book is about high frequency trading, but I would actually argue that the book is about the creation of IEX exchange.  Worth the time to read, but maybe not worth the price of buying the hardback (which I did).

The Fault in Our Stars: John Green

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I had mixed feelings about this book.   It’s definitely an emotional roller coaster.  The book follows Hazel, a young girl with a terminal tumor and how her perspective changes when she meets a cancer survivor that is her age.   Everything in this books moves so fast, like the story is being told on fast-forward.  Maybe that pacing was intentional since life does move pretty fast, but I had trouble taking everything in because of it.  I do want to see the movie eventually and I can definitely see why this book is so popular with the YA audience (star-crossed lovers!).

Grayson:  Lynne Cox

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I have a mild obsession with whales, so when I saw this book in a used book store I snatched it right up.  It’s is a true story about the swimmer Lynne Cox and the time she helped a baby whale find his mother of the coast of California.  A great read if you like whales, swimming, or California.  It’s such an easy read and good story that I will probably bring it to the kids I babysit for, since I think they are old enough to appreciate slightly longer books now.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma:  Michael Pollan

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This is the kind of obsessive nonfiction that I love.  I could write an entire post just on this book (and maybe I will).

I would describe myself as a realist label reader.  I know that just because something is organic does not mean it is healthy for me or for the environment.  I know that pretty much any processed food, organic or not, comes with a lot of chemical baggage.  I know the happy cows on my milk carton are probably a big fat lie.  However, I try and buy organic or local products and produce when possible because I believe they are less bad than many alternatives.  Reading this book made me realize that there is no such thing as too skeptical when it comes to food though.

Outside of the obvious health implications of what we eat, there is a lot at stake when we decide what we stock in our pantries and refrigerators.  What we eat has environmental, economic, political, and cultural implications. 

I had such mixed feelings reading this:  anger with our culture and government, frustration with the lack of real choices consumers have, and guilt when I think about whatever part I have played (and continue to play) in an unsustainable system.

Even after reading this book though, the question remains- What should we eat?  The answer seems to be some combination of veganism and local eating.  That’s probably not what you were hoping to hear, but tough shit.

On a happier note, I think this video offers a good summary and a pretty attainable way to be a more responsible consumer: http://vimeo.com/55577240

Like I said, I could write a lot more about this book, but I’ll let you read it yourself and make up your own mind.

Comments

Notes

  1. angeldrinkstea said: I LOVE reading books on food, labels, nutrition, etc. etc. It all just makes me upset though because, no, we will never be able to eat “perfectly.” We just can’t in the world we live in. We don’t realistically have access to that kind of lifestyle.
  2. whitneyrunson posted this