Monday, February 15, 2010

February May Well be the Cruelest Month

Cold, gray, Illinois. Not a whole lot to write since this has mostly been a blog about my running and frankly I haven't been running a whole ton lately, for reasons that you wouldn't really care about. My last really good "long run" was sometime early last fall. I'm ecstatic to get out for an hour here or there. The plan is to work back into shape and do some fun stuff in the summer. There are indeed miles to go.

Cold, gray, Illinois. All of those things, yet I still miss the trails for hours and hours even on bleak, frigid mornings. One thing I do love about winter is the sense of hibernation, the atmosphere of burrowing in and having free time to think or read instead of do. About the time that wears off, warmth is coming and outdoors becomes home. All the burrowing has allowed to sneak in a few books. All read over the last couple months and recommended:

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford: A good basic study of the Mongols, but flawed in his over-the-top revisionism and recasting the Golden Hordes as creators of everything from accounting to the postal system. Still, worthwhile.

Go East Young Woman - A true story about 125 years of life in the Russian steppe of Bessarabia by German farmers, and how it ended during World War II by Karl Horst Schwarzer

The Emigration from Germany to Russia in theYears 1763 to 1862 by Karl Stumpp

From Catherine to Khruschev-the Story of Russia's Germans- by Dr. Adam Giesinger

Tracing Romania's Heterogeneous German Minority from Its Origins to the Diaspora- by Jacob Steigerwald

Yes, I have an obsession with Eastern European and Central Asian history.

Tales From Out There by Ed Furtaw-- Really cool new book with everything you ever wanted to know about the Barkley Marathons