As alluded to in my previous review, I figured out a way to copy my notes of the book to my computer. Which will make the process of writing reviews of ebooks a little easier in the long run. Talking about long runs, this book was a great summary of the journey into running not all that dissimilar to mine. Let me list some of the things in the book that I liked; First, there was the term ‘wild runner’, used for a running not affiliated with any athletics club, which amused me quite a lot. Secondly, the fact that you can run with any weather, except when the road is covered in black ice. Which is very true, because I have ran in all weather times and the most dangerous one was while it was slippery as hell. Let me add though that running in the middle of a field with thundering clouds above is something that also needs to be avoided. Thirdly, the lesson that if your persist long enough, eventually you’ll gain the strength and the skill that is required. Fourthly, that nothing is as frustrating as seeing someone run while you are injured yourself, that is a weird kind of jealousy, that makes me feel super sorry for the people that are permanently disabled. Lastly, the fact that you need to warm up cold water in your mouth to prevent digestive issues. I do know that cold wind can play a role in how the bowels feel, but I never made the connection with temperature of the water I consume. Luckily, my running backpack has a water bladder that warms up through the heat of my back, so even to the water in the drinking tube might cool down out in the cold, it will always be followed by warmer water. In the end, the book describes the life of an average runner and is therefore maybe more relatable than the stories of the accomplished runners. The fact the book was written in Dutch, the examples used were rather familiar so that must have helped as well. All in all, an enjoyable quick read!
The title of the book was what triggered my curiosity and as the title of the English translation, it is clear that this book had a good marketing team. The book wasn’t bad, the information about the title’s topic was very kept to a minimum. Some blog posts have written a more concise and extensive overview on the topic. However, a little repetition never hurts and there were a lot of things I had changed over last two years that made me feel good about my choices and the path I am on. Furthermore, the biggest lesson for me was that being optimistic has a significant impact on one’s life expectancy — extend it up to seven years — compared to more pessimistic people. Being aware that correlation is not causation, there is still a lot of merit to this observation and something I would want to work on the coming years if not decades. As a sidenote, this was the first book in which I extensively used the note-taking feature on my e‑reader to help me improve my vocabulary and highlight the sentences that resonate with me and that I would like to use in the summary. However, I find that many of these are in Dutch and not all of them would work well after translation. So for now, I’ll leave it at this and in the future I hope to extend this review with those lessons, after I figure out how to export them to a more manageable format instead of having to type it word for word. Even though the latter seems better for retention of the information, I think I would be less likely to do it for most of the books I read.
Knowing more about a person’s upbringing helps you better understand their personalities and traits. As an avid watcher of the programs that the author presents on Dutch television; ‘Keuringsdienst van Waarde’ and ‘De monitor’, I would like to know more about the presenter’s personal views. in the former program the goal is mostly to discover the truth behind all the promises that the food packages make, while in the latter, a more broader and idealistic goal is pursued, with the help of the stories from everyday people that write in. All in all, I was surprised at how well it was written, from a linguistic perspective, which makes sense knowing that he read a lot when he grew up, you pick up on a thing or two while you do so, I like to believe. The main topic of the book was the relationship with his ambitious and artistic father, which differs hugely from my own upbringing, as are the time and place of course. I found it to be a worthwhile read, with plenty of funny and recognizable examples. The only thing that was missing for me, was a bridge between his early past at primary school and how this affected his bond with his dad. For example, when he became a father himself and how this might have changed his relationship with his own dad. I doubt there will be a sequel.
The main selling-point of this book is the idea that (static) stretching is worthless as a warm-up for your run. Better would be to dynamically stretch, as many other sources online recommend, but what was new to me was the fact that it focused on joint extensions. Basically, moving through the whole range of joint movements that will be used in the exercise thereafter, and that simply starting from walking, to brisk-walking, a slow tred and jog to proper running. That this build-up can really help preparing the muscles and tendons for the motions to come. Since I could pick up this book for a cheap price, I wonder if there’s anything wrong with its advice, but to me the evidence seems to hold up.
The other part of the book talks about the physiology of the human musculoskeletal system and what goes wrong when you are injured. The importance of scar tissue is discussed, and when you take complete rest, the scar tissue grows in random directions and when you move within your limits, that you can force this tissue to grow in the correct direction, which will help increase the chances of a full recovery. So that is definitely something to keep in mind for the future, and seems to hold true for the two times I have been injured myself, first fully resting, secondly resting while moving. Note: The second injury was a little less severe, so that might skew the data.
The last lesson I learned was about the synovia, the fluid inside the joints and how it feeds the cartilage of the joints. And with inactivity, this fluid doesn’t move and the cartilage deteriorates. Contrary, to common believe, it is this moving of the joints that helps it keep in good shape and there is no wear and tear of joints, only this type of rusting, so to speak!
Stories like these make me appreciate investigative journalism and the thorough fact-checking that is required to deliver an objectively as possible look at the story at hand. I found the latter episodes a bit lacking, as it didn’t discuss the moral quibbles and the impact of long-term confinement. I would have like to know more how difficult Bowe found it to readjust after getting back into society. Probably there was not much footage, but that would have been more fascinating to me than the political outfall that ensued. Overall, this was worth my time and I appreciated getting such an intimate glimpse in the mind of a person that struggled with these moral conundrums.
As with S‑town, the question is whether this qualifies as an audiobook, but for me this audio narrative does. Personally, I want to keep track on the stories and ideas that I expose myself to, so this for me falls in that category.
This novel was recommended me by someone from the bookclub after reading Flowers for Algernon. It promised a similar exploration of the effects of intelligence on the social life of the protagonist. The first half of the book was really great and was five-star material. There was lots of unique, absurdists ideas that were great to explore. The pacing was quick and I could relate to the main character in various ways. However, half-way into the book, when the downfall started to happen, I thought the book was going a bit to quick. Even though I disliked the course the book took, I think with some extra pages they could be explained better and it might have made more sense. Now it didn’t do so much, and that is a pity, because I felt like this could be one of my all-time favourite books.
Flowers for Algernon is the first book that I have read for a book club, and what a great book to start this tradition with. As this is a book of fiction, which I usually don’t read, I found this book to be really resonating with me in multiple levels and I am impressed by the author’s ability to portray the transition so vividly. Hats off to the narrator for making the changes in character even more pronounced! In the end, this books shows once more than being all-rounded and balanced is the thing that will get you along the furthest. Initially, I got to know about the book through the episode ‘Flowers for Charlie’, from the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia TV-show, which is one of my favourites.
The audiobook version was better I believe, but you can’t go wrong with either of the two.
After knowing of its existence for a couple of years, I knew I would have to read a book to get invested in the way of life that is bulletjournaling. I do think it fits my needs and I had to be in the right place to be tuned to hear its message. There are some good exercises mentioned in the book. Personally, I didn’t like part IV as much (nor the backcover of the book), but overall a great synthesis on current productive journaling. Definitely going to try it this spring and see how it evolves throughout the year! This coming March, I start incorporating this into my life and fine tune it, until I am ready to go full-time.
The book started off the really strong, but I found that halfway it lost some steam. Still plenty of good trivia and taboo topics about the human body that are worthy of further pursuit. This was my first book of the author and I look forward to reading the others! I mean, the concept is great, it just depends on the stories that have happened in the past and how they unfolded, that determine if the book is interesting. This book shines at the moment the book touches on topics people are not likely to discuss in their day-to-day life due to shame and fear.
This was an impulse buy on Amazon Kindle. The thing that triggered me was the banality that you find in online post about running tips. They are never that exhaustive or new to me, but in this book there sure were some. Another thing that swayed me into buying this book was the section about the dogs you might encounter during your runs. However, even though they were quite useful, I found myself being attack and ambushed by two black rottweilers during one of my nightly runs. After a ten-minute fight, I was glad to have survived it with but a few scratches and single bite in my left leg. The book helped me with the right attitude to recover and get back into running soon after. Overall, it made me look forward to travel and explore!