Dec 26 2009

An Honorable Run and American Power

When I’m at my house in Keystone, I work my way through my infinite pile of physical books rather than reading on my Kindle.  It’s always a mystery as to what has made it to the top of the pile (I don’t select anything particular – I just read whatever is “on top” and, since it’s an infinite pile, “top” doesn’t actually refer to any particular place in the pile.  Two of the ones that I gobbled down in the past few days were spectacular. 

If you are any sort of solo athlete (runner, swimmer, biker, triathlete) you must read Matt McCue’s An Honorable Run.  This also goes for anyone that is a coach, a mentor, or an entrepreneur that has a mentor.  It’s a great running story, a great coach story, a great human being story, and a great Colorado Buffs story.  Plus, McCue is an excellent writer. 

The other book, American Power, is by Mitch Epstein.  Amy gave this to me as a present. You might remember Epstein by my review of his incredible book Family Business which Amy gave me about five years ago.  The book inspired me to post a long essay about my dad’s dad (Grandpa Jack) which – after just reading the post again – brought me chills, especially against the backdrop of An Honorable Run

Epstein is brilliant photographer.  In American Power he travels the United States and takes photographs where he investigates the notion of power (both electrical and political).  I love great photography when it is tied around a particular theme and Epstein just nails it.  It is mostly photographs, but finishes up with a crisp essay about his experience of putting together the book, travelling the US, and running into all kinds of issues with cops and security guards as he photographs public buildings, or non-public buildings while on public property.

I’ve got another week up here to read a few more books from the infinite pile.  You’ll hear from me if I read any other excellent ones.