The May Reading List

10 Jun

I’ve been waking up a lot of mornings thinking “I should post something.”  And I have a vague idea of what I should post but by the time I have a few free minutes, I’ve already forgotten it.  (So clearly it was something really special…not.)

Today, while walking home in the pouring rain from the T, I thought “I should blog!”

Then, I passed a bus with a Monsters University billboard on one side (“I can’t wait to see that!”) and a Pirates of Penzance poster on the other side and I spent the next 5 minutes thinking about how I hope I never ever have to watch The Point, The Phantom Tollbooth, or Pirates of Penzance with my kids someday. I think I’d rather scrub toilets for twice the length of each movie.  Then I spent another 3 minutes thinking about how weird it is that my 3 least favorite movies start with a P. If we want to make it 4, we could add Pearl Harbor.  Another movie my children will not see (but for different reasons).

By the time I returned to the “I should blog” thought, I was mostly thinking “Wow, if anyone knew how much my bizarre brain bounces around from idea to idea, they would never take me seriously.”

I’ve been bad about blogging lately.  I’ve gotten pretty wrapped up in some new and exciting running groups (more on that later) and working on my Crossfit skills and spending lots of time relaxing with friends rather than being a slave to the To Do List.  And I’ve been getting some reading done as well.

So here, in no particular order, is what I spent my May reading (and no, I’m sorry, I read no fiction this month).

1. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.
No, not personal choice. Have to read it for work. I found it to be…not as controversial as people said. I didn’t disagree with most of it. I didn’t think it was particularly revolutionary or new.  The stories she tells (particularly surrounding Facebook and Google) are insightful and fun but won’t necessarily be easily implemented in other situations.

2. Hell on Two Wheels by Amy Snyder.
This is about the Race Across America.  If you like biking, races across America, intense pain, reading about people doing things that cause intense pain, reading about people biking so much with so little sleep that their neck muscles stop working and their neck flops over entirely – this is the book for you.  Honestly, if you like biking, endurance races, or reading about the limitations of the human body, it’s fascinating.

3  Francona: The Red Sox Years by Terry Francona.
If you like the Red Sox, you will enjoy this book. If you like baseball and are curious about the internal workings (how do players get tickets for their friends and family, what is the behind the scenes day to day existence of a baseball manager like, what did Francona really think of Ellsbury’s injuries and Garciaparra and Joe Torre, this is the book for you.  It wasn’t a lot of ranting, it wasn’t ripping apart those who asked Francona to leave Boston, it was mostly respectful and insightful and fun.

4. Back of the House by Scott Haas (about Tony Maws of Craigie on Main)
My favorite restaurant in Cambridge and possibly the best restaurant I have ever been to.  If you like books about chefs, about brilliant people trying to let other people fulfill their visions, if you are fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes in a restaurant, the various restaurant jobs and personalities and how a menu is created, this is the book for you. If descriptions of cuts of meat freak you out or you get easily stressed reading about orders going wrong/being delayed/chaos, don’t read this book.

5.  Running with Joy by Ryan Hall. 
Emotionally, it was a little hard to read as it was about Ryan’s 2010 training for the Boston Marathon. But it was an excellent book at a perfect time for me – finding joy in running even when the run isn’t fun or is too easy or doesn’t feel right.  Joy when you don’t meet a goal or you lose a race or you don’t even finish. Reading about his daily workouts (yikes!) and his every day routine (so different from my life) and his race strategy and his Christian faith was also fun.

6. Ballad of the Whiskey Robber by Julian Rubinstein.
“A true story of bank heists, ice hockey, transylvanian pelt smuggling, moonlighting detectives, and broken hearts.”  The description says it all.  This book is making me laugh a lot. It’s unbelievable in a way that only real life can be – the robberies and the worst ice hockey goalie and the way Hungary worked (or did not work) in the 1990s.  Fascinating stuff within a gripping story.

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