It always feels as though McPhee can make any subject interesting and this collection is more proof of his talent. Even the bits on matters that I thought I would have no interest in left me caring about the man writing these stories.
Ellie the author is every bit as quirky and adorable as the characters she has portrayed on television shows like The Office and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. From her childhood in St. Louis to her life in New York as a wife and mother, these are tales of a real person finding success in a very unreal world.
Stargazing on an island in Maine -- ah, that is my happy place! You can simply enjoy the pleasure of viewing the amazing constellations, or, like Lightman, you can ponder man's search for truth and meaning through science and religion.
Each generation tends to believe they are living in the worst of times, but this great book is chock-full of charts and graphs and stories that will remind you of the amazing progress that mankind has made over history. Science and facts are great things, but don't let the twenty-four hour news channels get you down.
This book is one woman's personal journey through the Hebrides, full of landscapes and history. It's amazing to think that there is such wild under-explored land just off the coast of Scotland. My family is from the Hebrides islands, like the author, and this book makes me want to brush up on my Gaelic and live on a deserted island.
This book is both heartfelt and hilarious. Hodgman is full of clever observations on so many subjects, such as facial hair, middle age, the horror of freshwater clams, and the painful beaches of Maine, which have tried to kill him. I have been to many of the areas he mentions in the book, and he is spot-on correct about them!
Preaching to the choir here, but Gros' book on the joys of walking and history's great walkers makes you feel as though you are walking through a peaceful forest on a spring day. My rhythm was: read a chapter, hike for three hours, repeat.
I read this book because my ridiculously stunning friend loved it, and if she said that the phonebook was an engrossing read then I would have read that. I would totally lie to her and tell her that I loved it regardless of my opinion on the book, but I have no reason to lie to you -- this book is fantastic. Told in a scholarly yet personal way, it's a biography of Eliot, autobiography of the author, and review of Middlemarch. You emerge from the book fired up to re-read Middlemarch, so it's like getting two wonderful books in one.
If you aren't ready to commit to reading everything ever written by or about Thoreau (and why wouldn't you be?) this book is a great place to start. Well researched, it covers a lot of ground for such a small book. Read it and then head over to Walden Pond -- just not when I'm going for a swim... I kind of like to have the place to myself.
Sometimes you read a collection of clever stories & you think that yes, over a period of years, writers can come up with a few good ideas. It would take many lifetimes for even the best of writers to come up with the fantastically warped tales that BJ Novak has put together here. I'm used to being the most clever guy in the room, but I have yet to share a space with BJ. I'm sure that when we do meet that we'll become the best of friends. Totally worth reading this book!
A good behind-the-scenes look at the only team that matters. Not as bitter as the press would lead you to believe. If you follow the team, you've had hints of the tension amongst the management -- and if you don't follow the Sox then I suggest you leave the store right now. Still waiting for an answer as to why a management group that wants its baseball team to play in a more sexy and exciting manner would then go out and buy a soccer team.
In the early 80's Salazar, who grew up in Wayland, was the best marathoner in the world and appeared to be on his way to becoming the greatest marathoner of all time before injury and illness cut his career short. Salazar has never been afraid to say what he believes and this makes for an informative read.
It's good to see one of the leading voices of the Transcendentalists movement finally getting her due credit.
The humorous tale of Thoreau disciple David Gessner and his journey down the Charles. You don't need to travel to the national parks, the beauty of nature can be found in the most unexpected of places.
The Art of Fielding covers all the bases - small college baseball, Melville, and many memorable characters. The best baseball-related fiction since Brothers K. You don't need to be a baseball fan to appreciate this book.
The most thorough work on the Alcott family and their utopian experiment. Francis really captures the battle of trying to raise a real family while attempting to yourself to such lofty ideals.
Now in paperback and ready to accompany you to the beach, Finch's examination of Cape Cod over many years is essential summer reading. It is jam-packed with fascinating people with all of their quirks. It's wonderful to read about the wild and raw side of the Cape shore.
A well-written history of cancer. Neither "we can beat this!" nor "we're all doomed!" Just a good factual history of what we know and don't know about the disease.
A fantastic history of Boston whether you have read extensively on the city or if this is your first real exposure to the greatness that is Boston.
Emotional story of a young woman following the trail of her dead sister. Both Phoebe and Faith are compelling and conflicted characters. In Faith we see the promise and the dangers of the 60's. One of my favorite books about love and family.
As an adventurous trailblazer I had already discovered many of these runs on my own, but if you can ever find a couple of these that work for you, then these books will be of tremendous value to you. If you can find 15 enjoyable miles of running routes and you put in a few hundred miles on these routes over the years then these books will be on of the best bargains that you've ever had.
If anybody deserved an outlet from the problems at home it's MacDonald. Great insight into the music scene in Boston.
If you were a thinker or artist in the mid-19th century then you knew the Peabody Sisters. I like to think that I might have been hanging out with their crowd.
Fantastic storytelling. Really puts you in the time and place of the characters.
It works both as an an adventure book and as a running book. I usually find books about ultra runners to be self glorifying and overly dramatic, but this book is full of great characters.
I love a book that has a strong sense of place and in Island, Alistair MacLeod has cast Cape Breton as his main character.
Bowerman is like the Forrest Gump of running history. If there was a major event, then he was there.
A history of New York City as told through the life of Cormac O'Connor which extends from 1741 to 2001. Despite the magic of the premise, this book is distinguished by the very real love that the author feels for his city. Unfortunately, O'Connor's story ends before A-Rod arrives so we don't get to see if his feelings about the city have been soiled.
Worth a read if only for its descriptions of the Irish coast, The Heather Blazing is a simply beautiful portrait of a family.
Zenia is one of the most evil, manipulative, and seductive characters that I have ever come across. I think I'm in love.
Universally acknowledged to be the best fiction book about running ever, this classic is being republished after being out of print for years.
Part Dickens, part Angela's Ashes, it's incredible that people lived like this in modern day Boston.
A fantastic story about baseball, family, and religious philosophy. It's also a favorite of Globe baseball writer Amalie Benjamin as well as top Sox prospect Lars Anderson.