Hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

This was a memoir week for me.

Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek and Steve Friedman

Scott Jurek is an ultramarathoner and a vegan. In this book he explains how he transformed from a Minnesota hunter to an elite athlete who eats no animal products.

I read this because I love reading about running almost as much as I hate actually running. Also, after being harassed by my trainer for being a vegetarian I wanted to read about his diet. He talks a lot about how he has never been known as a fast person but he has enough endurance to keep his relatively slow pace for 100 miles. I was buying that until he offered up his best marathon time as proof of his slowness – 2:38. That is fast. He also talked about how he wanted to work on his speed so he started doing track work. When he started he was super slow. He could only run a 5:30 mile. Yeah, I can do that – in a car.

Other than his delusions about being slow, this was an interesting book. There are a lot of recipes but you better plan on running ultramarathons to burn off the carbs in them. I liked reading about his relationship with his friend Dusty who helped him train and paced him in some races.

In My Father’s Country: An Afghan Woman Defies Her Fate by Saima Wasab

The author was raised as a favored child even though she was female. Her father was killed by the Soviets when she was 6 and eventually part of her family fled to the U.S. As an adult she signed up to be a Pashtun interpreter for the U.S. forces in Afghanistan because she wanted them to understand the country that she came from. While there she found that it was difficult to integrate her Pashtun past with her appreciation for western freedom.

The author had always felt drawn back to Afghanistan. She wanted to help soldiers understand the people who they were there to help because they were inadvertently offending the villagers around them. This was a good book because it gave insight into cultural communication barriers.

The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs

A.J. Jacobs has never paid much attention to his Judaism. Then he decides to see what life would be like if he followed all the rules in the Bible for 1 year – even the weird ones.

This was a big book a few years back but I never read it. I really liked it. For some reason I appreciated the fact that he actually stoned an adulterer. That was funny. At least he was trying to get into the spirit.

There’s No Place Like Here by Cecelia Ahern (audio)

Sandy Short investigates missing people for a living. All of her life she has been bothered by the fact that things go missing. If she puts her socks in the washer and only one comes out, where did it go? On the way to meet a new client whose brother is missing, Sandy finds herself missing. She is in a land where all the missing things are – books, bowls, cups, and lots and lots of socks.

This book made me paranoid. Now when I can’t find socks I imagine them running off into the missing place. It is even more like a conspiracy. The place was beautifully imagined as how civilization would grow up if people suddenly appeared and they made a life using all the things that people lost in this world. For example, the luggage you lost on your last flight? They would thank you for the new clothes.