Swim, Bike, Run, Read Weekend

Horseshoe Pond, Concord NH

What a great weekend! Swim – Bike – Run – Read.

Saturday:
Swim – I started Saturday with a 3,100 yard swim.

Bike – Then immediately went for a bike ride and decided to take a more scenic, never-been-on-this-road route. Hopkinton is just the next town over but I rode past an Army Corp of Engineer damRowell's Bridge Hopkinton NH and a covered bridge.

Run – Then once back at HQ I immediately ran; in pretty decent temperatures and cloud cover.

Then I finished reading Desperate Steps as part of my recovery.

Sunday:
I woke up sore! Sore! I knew I needed to run but I was completely enthralled reading Critical Hours.

It’s such a great book about recent Search and Rescues in the White Mountains. The author, Sandy Stott will be in Concord this week for an event. I can’t wait to see his talk.

Critical Hours

But eventually I knew I need to run, so I ran. This weekend was about new routes so I ran towards NHTI and took a few pictures along the way so I could rest from fatigue, sweat and just overall tiredness; it was hot and muggy as well.
Here is Horseshoe Pond. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a lily pad.

Horseshoe Pond, Concord NH

And a random tree with interesting things growing on them near the Heritage Trail by the NHTI boat launch. (no clue what the tree or thing was, I’m no botanist that’s for sure).

Foliage in Concord NH

Now as evening approaches on Sunday evening I chill out and read more Critical Hours.

And hang out with this pup:

Winnie Dog

Critical Hours, Search & Rescue themed reading

Critical Hours Search and Rescue in the White Mountains

Today I got the Gibson’s Bookstore newsletter and learned about a new search and rescue book, Critical Hours: Search and Rescue in the White Mountains by Sandy Stott and he is coming to the bookstore next week for an author event.  This book will be a perfect next-read after I finish Not Without Peril for this month’s themed reading about rescues in the White Mountains.

I did a bit of research and Sandy Stott is a teacher, editor and ultra runner. In one article he wrote he talks about how trail running is the new endurance event for people looking to push their limits so there are much more runners on hiking trails (and that they are rescued less). I’m looking forward to attending the event and buying his book.

I’m still reading Desperate Steps and it’s really good. The stories are so intriguing and at times I’m actually holding my breath waiting for the rescue teams to arrive. I can’t put it down even though my eyes want to close and go to sleep (I tend to read at night). Many of the stories brought me to tears when a hiker/climber dies. Mathew Potel Foundation. I admire the rescued hikers and the other survivors who let Peter Kick tell their stories in this book to educate others. I particularly like the detailed information about how each search was executed and communicated between each organization; it’s what I enjoyed so much about Ty Gagne’s book about Kate Matrosova. Interesting connection that I just learned: the article I reference in this post is written by Sandy Stott.

P.S.
Last week’s training (read: giggling from happiness from the number of hours and actually feel pretty darn good on Sunday night).

Why I hate East of Eden

I really wanted to read and finish East of Eden. But last night I stopped mid-way. I hated it. I hated Cathy, and I hated the philosophical wanderings from the narrator at the beginning of some chapters.

Then, this morning I started reading Why Teach, In Defense of a Real Education by Mark Edmundson, which I found in the library while I was looking for a book on the GRE.

In the first chapter, while discussing classroom evaluation he writes –  what he really wants to know from his students is what about the class changed them. He wants them to measure themselves against what they’ve read. He tells the story of a Columbia University instructor who asked a two-part question to students: “One: What book did you most dislike in the course? Two: What intellectual or characterological flaws in you does that dislike point to?”

Hm.

I start thinking about the book I disposed of last night.

I really disliked East of Eden. I didn’t like that Adam Trask leaves New England on a train and just arrives in California. It had to be an arduous trip but the narrator leaves no details. I hate that Trask doesn’t notice the evil in his wife, and Cathy is pure evil. I stopped shortly after the torture she performs on the madam in the brothel to whom she calls her new “mother”.

Earlier in the book I hated the brutality between the Trask brothers.

What do these dislikes say about my intellectual flaws?

I give up easily when I don’t like something. Unfortunately I’ve been this way since middle school.

Violence in any form is so disturbing to me that I have to leave the situation: turn off the TV, stop reading a book, or walk away.  I want to be educated on my own terms. When I start my first graduate  class in November I will need to be more willing to address these character flaws and to open my mind.

I know I will need to eventually finish East of Eden but for now, I’m going to start another reading list book: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. I think I read it in high school but I don’t remember it.

A New Literary History of America – What are you reading?

I’ve been reading A New Literary History of America for the last few weeks. Today I am reading about Leslie Fielder, a literary critic who spent much of his career living and working in Montana.

I have never heard of him until now, and he has just two citations in The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism ; he doesn’t have a chapter.

He was controversial because of his insolent style. However, what I like about the article in the book, written by Carrie Tirado Bramen, is how Fielder left the stogy east and could be more open about his thoughts and disagreements with the establishment out west. He wrote to the common reader and thumbed his nose at formality. [Perhaps why he didn’t have more written about him in Norton.]

I am going to look for Fielder’s books including “Love and Death” and read some of DH Lawrence’s books such as “Studies in Classic American Literature” and “Love and Death in the American Novel”.

I have so much to read and the list keeps growing while reading A New Literary History of America. The list now includes the ones above and I still have to read Moby Dick and Uncle Tom’s Cabin.