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Marianne Silver's blog

Nonfiction Chronicles: Marathon Sunday

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall

Think the New York City Marathon is a grueling test of endurance?  Well, to the Tarahumara Indians of the Copper Canyons of Mexico, it’s a walk in the park.  This reclusive tribe of super-runners can go hundreds of miles on desert terrain clad only in thin sandals after an all-night party drinking homemade tequila.   Author McDougall goes on a quest to discover the secrets to their peace-loving, cooperative, and very physical lifestyle by seeking out the mythical Caballo Blanco, an American ex-pat who earned their trust and serves as intermediary.  Using the Tarahumara as a backdrop, McDougall digresses into interesting topics such as the biomechanical superiority of barefoot running, reasons for the decline of U.S. distance running, and how evolutionary evidence points to the fact that the human body was, in fact, built for running.

Nonfiction Chronicles: Sweet Transformations

Ever wonder what it would be like to chuck your job, pull up your roots, and follow your passion? For most of us, that’s not an option. But you can always experience it vicariously by reading biographies. In Confections of a Closet Master Baker, Gesine Bullock-Prado gives up the fast-paced, stressed-out world of Hollywood (she’s Sandra Bullock’s sister) for the opportunity to pursue her dream of opening a small, country bakery/café in Montpelier, Vermont.   Better not read this one if you’re on a diet, though; every chapter ends with a recipe for a delicious, mouth-watering pastry sure to send you to the kitchen hunting for the butter and sugar.

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