Posted in Reviews

Book reviews – Scott Jurek and Gerald Durrell

Over the past two weeks I’ve read two books – one I loved and one I kinda… meh…

Eat & Run
My Ultimate Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness
by Scott Jurek

Eat & Run

So I don’t know a great deal about ultramarathoning – however I have read Born to Run, and I know the name Scott Jurek, so I could guess what this was going to be about.  Don’t get me wrong, I scour the bookshelves for running books (the same way I devour blogs about running – what is it with runners and writers?).  I wanted to love this book, but it was perhaps a bit depressing for my tastes.  That said, Jurek’s writing has inspired me to think about eating vegetarian and gave me the perfect answer when my husband asked “but if I’m working out won’t I need protein?” – yes, but (a) you can get it from plant based food and (b) this guy ran 165 miles in 24 hrs on plants, so it’s gotta be possible.

The book contains a vegan recipe at the end of each chapter – reason enough to buy the book if you are into cooking.  The thing with these recipes for me is that they all have about 100 ingredients.  Ok, slight exaggeration, but if a recipe has more than 5 ingredients I can’t be bothered.

Jurek has certainly has an interesting career, and an inspirational one at that, but I just didn’t get that from the book. Sorry.

Birds, Beasts and Relatives
by Gerald Durrell

Birds, Beasts and RelativesThis is the sequel to “My family and other Animals” – a book I read at school, and several times since.  Birds, Beasts and Relatives contains more stories, with very little overlap and just as much rich detail, of the Durrell’s life in Corfu before the Second World War.  Durrell has a wonderful, and often hilarious, way of describing animals, people and landscapes and the book makes me yearn for Greece.  Example:-


The puppies now would have made a suitable subject for an RSCPA poster. Never, at the best of times, a prepossessing breed, Bedlingtons can, in moments of crisis, look more ill-used than any other dog I know.  They stood uttering quavering, high-pitched yelps like miniature sea-gulls, shivering violently, periodically squatting down bow-legged to decorate the platform with the results of their fear.


Mercifully at that moment the train arrived with a roar and a blast of hot air […] The effect on the puppies was immediate.  One minute they had been standing there shivering and wailing like a group of half-starved grey lambs and the next minute they had taken off town the platform like a team of virile huskies, dragging Aunt Fan in their wake.

Love it!


Travel, photography, blogging, being an expat. And that's just in my spare time.

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