2017 Books

Late last year, I decided to read 50 books in 2017 when I saw a report that 40% of college graduates do not read another book after graduation.

I started off the year with They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery. Lowery is a national reporter for the Washington Post and covered multiple police shootings of young black men for the paper. His book recounts his coverage and introduces the people he met along the way. I loved this book and can’t recommend it enough, we are so fortunate to have journalists like Lowery that will put themselves on the front lines to cover the important stories happening in our country.

I continued my exposure to different American cultures with J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy. Vance grew up in Kentucky and Ohio, and describes his journey through graduating from Yale Law School. He overcame much hardship to break out of the cycle when so many of his peers find themselves trapped. I feel more exposed and understanding to their plight, but I wish Vance would have offered up ways to help people that cannot escape on their own.

For Christmas, my sister-in-law gave me a book on climate change called Six Degrees: Our future on a hotter planet by Mark Lynas. This book was written almost 10 years ago so it was interesting to see if his various scenarios lined up as predicted. I’m really freaked out after reading this book and seeing the recent news about us crossing the 400 parts per million CO2 and that 2016 was the first time that the hottest year on record occurred three times in a row. We are very close to the point where we can’t recover. I’m scared.

Most recently, I read Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime. I loved this book. I enjoy Trevor on The Daily Show, but I didn’t find this book all that funny. I found it to be more fascinating that a kid that didn’t think he fit in anywhere could make it to host such a popular show.

I’m enjoying this self-imposed challenge so far. I mostly ready on the subway to and from work and then a little bit each night. We’ll see if I can keep up this pace for the rest of the year. I’ve got the next eight books lined up, but after that I am open to suggestions.

Bermuda, Day 5

Our last day in Bermuda did not go exactly like we wanted. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 1:03 pm, but instead did not take off until 7:44 pm. What’s worse, that the delay started out at just an hour and kept being extended 30 minutes at a time, so we were unable to make the most of our nearly seven hour Bermudian extension.

The time actually passed quickly and Ken found a couple boys that were happy to run around the empty airport with him for hours. He also had a good nap in his stroller and we all had two good meals from La Trattoria, the only restaurant in the airport.

Before we left for the airport I was able to fit in one more trip to the market for breakfast and one more quick trip to the “hot” pool for Ken to swim around. We then packed up and hopped in the taxi back to the airport.

This was our third trip to Bermuda, but in various interactions with residents I learned a couple interesting things (that I am assuming are true):

  1. The Americas Cup is coming to Bermuda this summer and it’s impossible to miss the hype. On the Bermuda customs declaration form there were three different reasons for visiting Bermuda related to the Cup. This will be the first time it will be held in Bermuda and they are expecting 100,000 visitors for the event.
  2. Bermuda is expensive since everything on the island is shipped and comes with a high import tax. Gas costs nearly $8/gallon. It is for that reason that the local poverty level is $70,000 and minimum wage is $18/hour.

This trip, more than others, I found the relationship Bermuda has with the rest of the world to be very interesting. It’s a British Territory, but acts more like a US state. The marathon, for instance, was marked in miles, not kilometers, the outlets are the standard 110 volt outlets we use, and their currency is based on the US Dollar - they even take dollars for payment. Given their proximity to the east coast, most of the stores are stocked with US goods, but since they drive on the left side of the rode, you don’t see any cars from US manufactures. I’m not sure what all this means, I just found it interesting.

Bermuda, Day 4

We made it to marathon day and it was like I expected - hot and hilly, but also a lot of fun. There were about 250 half marathoners and only 60 doing the full, so by the second loop of the course, it was isolated, but still many dedicated people cheering us to the finish.

After the race we came back to the hotel for some rest (I finished Hillbilly Elegy, highly recommended). Ken’s been a bit behind on his sleeping since he and I are sharing a bed and he gets up when I wake up, but he had a great nap today and was ready for a celebratory dinner at Swizzle Inn.

We’ve had fantastic weather this trip and a lot of fun. We’ve gotten to see a few new places and spend some quality time with our friends Roshan and Nate. Whenever we are not with them, Ken is asking to go see Pup (Roshan) and Nay. He loves being with them and they are very accepting of a two-year-old on their island vacation.

We fly back to Brooklyn’s winter weather tomorrow and back to a full schedule. It was a great trip and I’m already looking forward to our next vacation here.

Bermuda, Day 3

This trip is going fast. It’s already the night before the marathon.

Today Rachel, Kenneth and I ran the Bermuda 10k together. The 10k is a preview for what’s to come in the marathon - heat and hills. We had a fun time and enjoyed all the spectators that came out to cheer on the runners.

After the run, we made our way back to my favorite restaurant on the island, Bouchêe. Breakfast here after the 10k has become a tradition that I was ready to repeat this year. Ken and I shared a pancake meal and a traditional English breakfast - Ken took care of our bacon and I took care of the rest.

In preparation for the race tomorrow, we came back to the hotel for some rest. Ken decided he didn’t want to nap, so we went to the pool and swam for an hour. I picked up dinner from the market and we ate it on the balcony while Ken played with his knives and bread.

I took a time-lapse video with my Garmin Virb during the race today that turned out well. Ken kicked it a few times and it mysteriously turned off midway through the run and took a few minutes before I noticed. Enjoy.

Bermuda, Day 2

Today we took the ferry over Dockyard to check out the National Museum of Bermuda and the rest of the area. This was our first time to this part of the island and we had a great morning. On our way over on the ferry, one of the crew told us about a playground near the museum, so we made that our first stop.

I did a some research beforehand and wanted to check out the special exhibit on the US Navy’s capture of the U-505 during WWII. My grandfather served in the Navy and was is Bermuda when they captured the German submarine.

The U-505 exhibit was a bit smaller than I was expecting, but they dedicated the rest of the room to the US Navy’s history on the island and was interesting.

The museum was small, but it also had a dolphin center with dolphins playing in the water, another small playground for Ken and incredible views of the water.

We returned to the ferry for the 25-minute ride back to Hamilton and all settled into the hotel for an afternoon nap.

After a little down time at the hotel, it was time for today’s main event - The KPMG Front Street Mile. I stopped by expo to pick up our race numbers and headed out to Front Street to wait for the race to start.

The race went well, I finished in 6:33, which was good enough for my fastest Front Steet Mile yet. Due to injury, I haven’t been running too much over the last six weeks, so I plan to take it easy tomorrow and hope to run the marathon on Sunday.

I’ll keep you posted.