More of Ender…


I read both Speaker of the Dead and Xeoncide, and I’m about one forth of the way into Children of the Mind, but I have to admit I’ve lost interest, at least for now, and probably won’t finish the series.  Ender’s Game was great.  I loved the concepts in Speaker of the Dead, though the book was not as engaging…  Xenocide was really when I began to lose interest.

Ender’s Game. Orson Scott Card.

Drawn in like I was for the Hunger Games, though this one has more of a sci-fi feel.  I only wish that I had read this 25-30 years ago when I was 10 or 12…

Somewhat reminds me of the old Apple Commercial “The Crazy Ones,” about “those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that do.”

One quote:

…and when their loved ones died, a believer would arise beside the grave to be the Speaker for The Dead, and say what the dead one would have said, but with full candor, hiding no faults and pretending no virtues.  Those who came to such services sometimes found them painful and disturbing, but there were many who decided that their life was worthwhile enough, despite their errors, that when they died a Speaker should tell the truth for them.

Of course, this is a trilogy, and “Speaker for the Dead” is next..

Healthy Intelligent Training. Keith Livingstone.

Here’s another Lydiard book I read, and this one is much better.  It especially digs into the physiology of the training philosophy, probably in a way Lydiard never understood.  (Our science and understanding is far beyond anything he had to work with so long ago…)   While the physiology aspect is great, there really is not much in terms of training schedules.  So you may want to combine this book with something else, such as a program from

I’m reading Daniels now so perhaps that is the solution.  🙂




Running to the Top. Arthur Lydiard.

After Uhwarrie in early February, I wanted to take a little time off from running (which ended up being just a week), and then I had planned to start a 12 week program geared towards a 5k.  Life kind of through some curve balls in, so I’ve not quite trained like I would have like, but I”m still running pretty well.  Just not “training” for something specific.

Anyway, I wanted to follow a Lydiard style program, which I got from  But I also wanted to learn more about Lydiard and his training philosophies, so I got this book.  I have to say it is pretty disappointing.  It is just a bunch of his writing from various times, and they don’t always flow that well together.  And the last few chapters are written more for training footballers (soccer players), than runners!

Reamde. Neal Stephenson.

After I finished my last Stephenson book, I just wrote “It is finished!”  That was the end of the 3 volume, ~3000 page work on the Baroque.  While Reamde as not quite so long, it was 1000+ pages of nearly non-stop action.  Kind of makes me want to pick up Cryptonomicon again…

Mockingjay. Suzanne Collins.

Like the 2nd book, this one took a little longer to reach the stage of “can’t put it down,” and the 1st book was by far my favorite.  I was not crazy about the ending in this one, though at least part of it was expected and needed.  Can’t say more than that without spoiling.

I will say that if you need to take a break from heavy reading or non-fiction, this series is a fun, entertaining read all around.  I am looking forward to the movie The Hunger Games coming out in March.

Catching Fire. Suzanne Colllins

Ok, so this one took me 50 or 60 pages to get fully engrossed…

One interesting note is when reading on a Kindle device/app, and you get to see the most highlighted sections…  I’m not finding a whole lot here that is quote worthy — in fact I don’t think I’ve highlighted one sentence in either book, yet the Kindle shows lots of stuff highlighted.

2011 Reading Shelf

I was pretty bad about my normal reading notebook posts this year, probably only posting about half of the books I’ve read.  For that, I apologize, but above you can see a book shelf of the year.  Life got pretty busy and it was difficult to find time to write about each book — even to get my own personal notes from each of these books in order.  A few of these I didn’t quite finish, and probably never will, such as “Good Calories Bad Calories” and “The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.”  Not that they are bad books, just that I reached a point where I had gotten all I wanted to out of them.

“Watership Down” and “The Hobbit” were re-reads, both classics, the latter read to my 6 year old son Reece.  He now wants to move on to the Lord of the Rings trilogy!  Of course there were several food/diet related books, as I continue to investigate my own digestion (which has been doing much much better, but is still not quite where I want it to be!)

If I were to make recommendations, “Unbroken,” Watership Down,” and “The Hobbit” are must reads in the fiction category.  “Steve Jobs” is an amazing biography of a pretty amazing man that influenced our technologies tremendously during his life.  “The Perfect Health Diet” is probably the closest to where I am in my diet right now, though I’d guesstimate I’m only 75-80% PHD compliant.  And finally, “Never Silent” is truly an amazing and eye-opening account of where and how the Anglican Church in America has come to be…

While the total number of books read is a bit lower, most of that is due to reading more articles on-line, but it was still a good year in reading for me.



The Big Book of Endurance Training. Dr. Phil Maffetone.

I could write my own review, or I could point you at Tuck’s to save a lot of time.  🙂  There’s not a whole lot I don’t agree with there.  Plus, I personally know the sock-doc and agree with most of what he writes, and he has a recommendation/commentary in the Big Book…  (Though the sock doc does not agree fully with Dr. Phil….  He’s a bit more attuned to Joe Friel for the better trained athlete in terms of HR zones…)

I would add that I found Dr. Phil a bit all over the place, a bit more “new age-ish” than scientific in spots, which makes it hard to follow, especially if you are more of a logically oriented reader.   So it is a good read with a lot of good information, but a bit spaghetti-like; however, if you are looking for a reference book on training and diet, this is not it.  I.e. it is not quick to pick up and find something specific that you are looking for.  You’d probably have to read a chapter or two; though since the chapters are mostly short, that’s perhaps not too bad of a drawback.