Monday, July 19, 2010

The latest books

This latest batch of books has been among my favorites of the year. Very entertaining reads. You can catch up on all of the books that I have read this year by going thru the column on the left of my blog. I have ranked the books from my favorites to least favorites in order, fiction and nonfiction.

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
This book is fabulous. It is the story of ultra runners. These are guys and girls that run 50 or 100 miles through mountains, towns, etc. These are the crazy people. This book focuses on a group of runners who do it for survival and because they can, the Tarahumara. It ends up having a mega race with the Tarahumara and other top runners in the world, Scott Jurek, Jenn Shelton and others. It is fascinating. This book has also created a huge buzz because it analyzes and discusses the benefits or running barefoot or in sandals and how that is the way to keep your body from breaking down. It makes the case that the latest and greatest shoes from Nike are causing more harm to your body than just running without shoes. Interesting and a fun read.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest by Stieg Larsson
The final of the trilogy. If you have yet to read these series of books, go pick them up. Great reads. Difficult as it can be very dark, but the action and pacing is well done. This wraps up the series very well with really no loose ends. This was my 2nd favorite book of the triology and it gave some good closure to the main characters, Michael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander.

English Assassin by Daniel Silva
Silva's books are addicting. The main character, Gabriel Allon, is an art restorer but he is also a jewish operative who tracks down terrorists or anyone out to harm Israel. This book focuses on the art world and Switzerland and the loss of hundreds of paintings stolen by the Nazis and hidden in Switzerland. Allon goes in to determine what happened to many of these paintings while also focusing on those that murdered to get the paintings. As usual, it is well written, interesting and a great read.

61 Hours by Lee Child
These books star Jack Reacher, a former military policeman, who is now just traveling across the country homeless. It is the middle of winter and the bus he is on crashes and he is stranded in a small town where a woman is about to testify against a drug lord. Reacher is asked to protect her but not everything is as it seems and the next 61 hours of Reacher's life is about to get crazy. I did not love the ending, but the story was entertaining and definitely worth the read.

The Associate by John Grisham
I have usually liked Grisham's books. They are easy to read, entertaining and quick. With that said, it really seemed that he was phoning in this book. It was pretty typical of his books--young lawyer in trouble, how does it get out of it and what does he need to do. But you never really like the main person. Nothing is really developed. The story is lazy and the ending is absolutely brutal. Terrible ending. There are a lot of Grisham books out there, go find one of those instead of this latest offering.

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