Thursday, October 30, 2014


I have never thought much about the history of running as a sport, but, because I'm a runner, I decided to give this book a try. Kings of the Road is the story of how running became such a popular sport. I hadn't realized that, prior to these three men, Shorter, Rogers, and Salazar, running wasn't a huge American sport.
The story begins by introducing and giving brief descriptions of the three men, how they grew up, what their running style was. Runners weren't big name athletes, most could barely live on their paltry earnings. These men ran because they loved it, not for fame or fortune. He also talks a bit about the history of Falmouth Road Race, the NY Marathon, and the times these men competed against each other. The only time all three ran against each other was once, in Falmouth.
You wouldn't think that reading about someone running would be terribly interesting, but Stracher does a great job describing the race in a way that makes it exciting. He also really brings the "characters" to life, describing their personalities and lifestyles.
I recommend this book to readers of sports non-fiction. Doesn't matter if you are a runner, the writing, suspense and competitiveness will appeal to all.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure

This book by Matthew Algeo is a fabulous retelling of Harry and Bess Truman's post-presidency road trip. It gives us a glimpse of what life was like for ex-Presidents. Harry had one of the most normal post-Presidential lives and this excursion is just one example. It was interesting to read about how people reacted to his trip and where him and Bess ate and stayed. It's a quick fun read that takes you back to the 1950s when the open road offered recreation, not traffic and headaches.

Our book discussion group enjoyed reading and reminiscing about simpler times with this one! 

Thursday, October 16, 2014


If you're looking for another exciting YA series to try, check out the Maze Runner by James Dashner.  It's the first in an exciting thriller series and is a finalist for the Iowa Teen Book Award. 

In the Maze Runner, we meet an unnamed character who wakes up in an elevator.  He has no memories of his previous life, and no idea how he got in the elevator.  When the doors open, he finds himself outdoors crowded by a group of men about his same age, which he guesses is 16.  He slowly learns that all of them are in the same predicament.  Some have been there for several months, but no one really knows where they are or why.  Various supplies and food is sent up in the elevator for them.  They were able to build a farm and a small house but they are enclosed by giant walls.  Every day the walls open to reveal a path that leads to a giant maze.  Several of the boys enlist as maze runners to try to map the maze and see where it goes.  If they get stuck out there at night, they are stung by giant mechanical beasts.

Okay, so it sounds kind of weird but it will really pull you in.  The mystery will keep you turning pages.  The book has two sequels and a prequel, so you won't learn all of the secrets in the first one.  Check this out if you enjoyed Hunger Games!