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North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail by Jenny Jurek - Book Review

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$17.99
ISBN: 9780316433808
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Little, Brown Spark - April 9th, 2019

World champion utramarathoner Scott Jurek had either hit a wall mentally or was having a mid-life crisis when his wife challenged him to either retire from the sport he dominated or get back in the game with everything he had. He responded in true Jurek fashion by deciding to set the record for the fastest known time running/hiking the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail. This is far more than a physical challenge. Jurek also pushes himself (and is pushed) mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Scott and his wife Jenny tell of the trials, pain, anguish and ultimately joy they experienced as they worked as a team to complete the trip from Georgia to Maine. Truly inspiring. ~ Reviewed by Allen Boulet


Not for You: Pearl Jam and the Present Tense by Ronen Givony - Book Review

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$16.95
ISBN: 9781501360671
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Published: Bloomsbury Academic - October 21st, 2021

A backstage pass to the story of Pearl Jam, written by a fan trying to understand why this band means so much to him and how they came to be one of the most influential bands of a generation. Givony covers their journey from playing small Seattle clubs to selling out massive arenas, all while maintaining the integrity of the influential music they continue to make. There is a lot of emphasis on the live performances which have made Pearl Jam legendary, as well as their willingness to stand up for progressive causes even when doing so hurt their career. Givony doesn't shy away from the contradictions of a band that claims to not want fame while at the same time seeking to become the biggest band in the world; a goal they actually achieved. A must read for any Pearl Jam fan and anyone looking to understand the culture they influenced with their music and their activism. ~ Reviewed by Allen Boulet


Day Zero: A Novel by C. Robert Cargill - Book Review

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$27.99
ISBN: 9780062405807
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Published: Harper Voyager - May 25th, 2021

Can we program robots to feel and think for themselves? Can we give them free will and even a conscience? And if so, what are the repercussions for what it means to be a person or a machine? In this apocalyptic adventure robots have been given these very human characteristics, with many choosing to start a murderous revolution to win their freedom, while some choose to fight for the survival of the humans they were made to serve. The question remains as to who is really pulling the strings. Do these machines actually have free will? Ultimately, this book left me to ponder the nature of my own free will, and whether the emotions I feel and the choices I make are somehow programmed in much the same way we have programmed our machines. I couldn't put this book down. ~ Reviewed by Allen Boulet


Running to the Edge: A Band of Misfits and the Guru Who Unlocked the Secrets of Speed by Matthew Futterman - Book Review

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$18.00
ISBN: 9780525562573
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Anchor - April 14th, 2020

Bob Larsen is considered to be one of the great distance running coaches America has ever had, yet it wasn't always so. Many eyebrows of people in the running world were raised when he started his career in the early 70's with his unorthodox training methods, despite the fact that his runners were beating the best almost every time they raced. Larsen's training philosophy of running to the edge in a group and staying there was largely intuitive, but in time the science backed up what he believed to be true about getting fast. Futterman details the cast of characters drawn into Larsen's orbit, and the different reasons they run and seek to be the fastest runners on the planet. In time, they become just that. The writing is fast paced and pulls you along like a rabbit setting the pace for a world record. You don't have to be a runner to appreciate this book, but I would bet you will be one before you finish it. ~ Reviewed by Allen Boulet


I Had a Hammer: The Hank Aaron Story by Hank Aaron - Book Review

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$18.99
ISBN: 9780061373602
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Published: Harper Perennial - June 12th, 2007

From his humble beginnings in Mobile, Alabama to his becoming baseball's all-time home run leader, Aaron chronicles the struggles facing black ballplayers in a newly segregated national pastime. He faced bigotry and even death threats as he neared the coveted home run record held by Babe Ruth, yet he did so with a quiet grace that belied the anger inside him. Aaron's reflection on his life and career is peppered with personal glimpses from some of the game's greats who played with and against him, all of whom considered him to be a great baseball player, but a better man. ~ Reviewed by Allen Boulet


The Cactus League: A Novel by Emily Nemens - Book Review

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$17.00
ISBN: 9781250785763
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Picador - February 2nd, 2021

You don't have to be a baseball fan to enjoy this excellent novel, but if you are you will truly appreciate it and how the nuances and the ups and downs of baseball so closely reflect life. Nemens is clearly a fan of the game and, refreshingly, she speaks the language without trying to overexplain things. Spring season is the backdrop for this story of a myriad of characters. There are superstars, has-beens, players struggling to make their mark, and everyone drawn into the orbit of a team trying to find its way. Ultimately, the one thing they all have in common is that they are broken, yet like every baseball team in the spring, they have some sense of hope. ~ Reviewed by Allen Boulet


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