What I Read - January 2019

31 Jan 2019

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald (Format: audio) - Part of my Reading Bucket List. I found the writing to be superb (it was a pleasure to listen to on my daily commute) while the story itself I found to be just so-so. That being said, Fitzgerald makes a strong case for not living in the past and takes quite the stab at the frivolity of the upper class at the time. Clearly the elegance with which Fitzgerald uses the written word is the reason why this one is a classic though. - Recommended

Favorite Quote:

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning—So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Born To Run - Christopher McDougall (Format: paperback) - I’ve recently gotten fairly serious about running and this book scratched me right where I itched. McDougall masterfully weaves running advice, human evolution, and the history of running shoes within a gripping story about a native Mexican tribe of super-athletes who compete in a secret race with some of the best utlra-marathoners in the world. A really gripping read. - Recommended, especially if you’re a runner.

Favorite Quotes:

“Ask nothing from your running…and you’ll get more than you ever imagined.”

“Suffering is humbling. It pays to know how to get your butt kicked..”

Believe It - Nick Foles (Format: hardcover) - I bought this book for my son and read it before he got a chance to! As a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fan I was intrigued by the story behind Nick’s improbable run to the Super Bowl following the 2018 season. What I found, however, was the story of a man who figured out how to let go, persevere and do things for the right reasons and what resulted was pure magic. Although it was a little bit too religious for my personal taste there are very valuable lessons that any of us (especially young men and women) can learn from Nick’s story. - Recommended

“My philosophy is, in the 4th quarter, when the games on the line, when you trust the men next to you, you’re going to get it done more times than not. This team is a testament to that.”

The Jungle - Upton Sinclair (Format: audio) - Another book from my Reading Bucket List. This book is famous for the change it brought about in the U.S. meat packing industry soon after its release in the early 1900s and it’s easy to see why when you read Sinclair’s vivid descriptions of the atrocities that took place behind closed doors. Beyond that, the story of Jurgis and his immigrant family is one of pure, unadulterated misery serving as a scathing criticism of capitalism. The last 2 chapters reveal Sinclair’s ultimate goal with The Jungle when he tries to convince his reader that socialism is a much superior philosophy to capitalism. - Recommended for its historical significance.

Favorite Quote:

“To do that would mean, not merely to be defeated, but to acknowledge defeat- and the difference between these two things is what keeps the world going.”