Boilermaker Blog

What Reed Read

Last month I went ‘under the knife’ for a minor muscle procedure; will document in a future blog. The ramifications were that I had to be out of the office for about a week.
I’m not a big television guy but checking out the dials I saw daytime pretty much a TV wasteland. Fortunately I had received 2 books over the holidays so I charged headfirst into the land of the printed word and the world of imagination.
The first book Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand; I’d heard a fair deal of buzz about the story and it became my instant first choice to read.
One of my concerns with books (or movies) that receive great reviews is I develop a preconceived notion that it will not live up to expectations; Unbroken did not disappoint.
Unbroken is the chronicle of the life of Louie Zamperini; not exactly a household name, but then Louie deals with some more than household challenges.
The book looks at Louie’s life in stages; childhood, Louie the runner, military/plane crash/ocean experience, capture by Japanese, and life after WWII.
As a runner you’ll love his experiences culminating in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. While not overtly stated in the book, I’m convinced the lessons learned in running were a critical element to his survival. Lessons like dealing with solitude, running through pain, and perseverance.
The second book was clearly a different beast; Life by Keith Richards. After what Keith has done to himself it’s remarkable his memory is intact. Overall the book is good, not great. The period I feel the Rolling Stones were at their peak; the albums Beggar’s Banquet and Let It Bleed are given short shrift. Little comment about interaction with The Beatles who, in my opinion, helped craft some of the Stones early success.
Clearly both of them are survivors dealing with dramatically different trails. However, Keith does bear a physical resemblance to the POW’s freed from the Japanese POW camps.
Overall, buy Unbroken, borrow Life.

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