Today I’m proud to say I’m stealing a page from Oprah’s play book. Even though Oprah is about to go on a year and a half long goodbye tour, it’s never too early to pay tribute. Try this little experiment: walk into a large chain bookstore and look at the large display of new books directly in front of you. I’m willing to bet nine times out of ten, one of those books will have an “Oprah’s Book Club” sticker on the front cover. And if that’s the case, expect your Mom to have already read it. You have to respect any woman as powerful as Oprah to use her position as an advocate for reading.
So on one hand she has introduced classic literature to a whole new segment of the population, and on the other this is the same woman who unleashed Dr. Phil on society. I’ll call it a wash. So today I present you book recommendations that I’ve read recently.
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
~ Christopher McDougall
The author starts out by asking a simple question? Why do runners feet hurt? He starts to answer the question by following a reclusive tribe of runners in the canyons of Mexico. They run hundreds of miles a week and wear nothing but crude homemade sandals. How come this particular tribe can run for such long distances in extreme conditions and run well into their 80’s? The modern athletic shoe industry is also put under a microscope and McDougall’s recounting of the early days of Nike is fascinating to any homegrown Oregonian.
~ Evan Wright
I first learned about this book through the HBO mini-series of the same name. Evan Wright, who was working for Rolling Stone at the time, was embedded with the First Reconnaissance Battalion Marines right before and during the initial Iraq invasion in 2003. His writing of this time period is extremely honest and graphic in it’s depiction of what happens to these soldiers as a war is begun and it’s consequences to themselves and their friends and family. I would say read the book before you see the mini-series only because the more detailed account in the book does the soldiers portrayed more justice.
The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy
~ Bill Simmons
Bill Simmons (aka ESPN’s The Sports Guy) finally unleashes his 736 page tome to his first love: basketball. Anyone who has read his columns on ESPN in the past 5 years will know what to expect- lot’s of Boston sports references, copious amounts of foot notes and and an overload of 80’s pop culture references. But if your any type of fan of the modern NBA, this book is probably required reading.
Not only because you’ll want to know what angry fans are talking about on basketball message boards (if your in to that sort of thing), but because you can tell Simmons actually cares about what he’s talking about and his views and descriptions of the game have a way of seeping into the way you watch and study the game of basketball. Also, he has a pretty convincing chapter comparing Kobe Bryant to Teen Wolf.
About the Author: Mitch is the resident music wrangler, lifestyle guru, and all-around well connected LaxAllStars insider. The lacrosse playing ended but the friendships never did. Known as the prima-donna of the writers. Still not sure about this whole “internet” thing. Would love to be called “Sir” without the following: “You’re making a scene”.