Athlos Book Recommendations Jun 02, 2016 Mark Twain once wrote that “Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” Here at Athlos HQ, we couldn't agree more. We just recently raided our kindle library and book shelves to share recommendations of some of our favorite recent reads. ON THE ROAD On the Road encompasses one of the finest work from the authors of the beats generation. An autobiographical novel which narrates a series of cross-country road trips made by two main characters of the book Dean Moriarty and Sal Paradise. the characters were inspired by Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac. In fact, the inspiration for the book came from a sublime, rambling 40,000-word composition Neal Cassady wrote in the 40's. Legend has it that Kerouac wrote “On the Road” in three weeks on a 120-foot scroll made from taped-together sheets of papyrus. We are kidding! We just like to imagine it was papyrus scroll, but it was literally just tracing paper. After typing that first draft, Kerouac kept on revising the manuscript for the next six years before it was finally published. As for the letter by Neal Cassady which inspired On the Road, Kerouac remarked "It was the greatest piece of writing I ever saw, better'n anybody in America, or at least enough to make Melville, Twain, Dreiser, I dunno who, spin in their graves." Yes, the story of the book itself is that rad. Favorite quote: “The best teacher is experience and not through someone's distorted point of view” Recommended reading experience: While on a road trip or backpacking. BORN TO RUN Here's a disclaimer, I initially dismissed assuming its a preachy book on the health benefits of Running. However, this book was a complete revelation. This book is more about the joy of running and use of science to establish the fact that as a race we are born to run. Christopher McDougall is a great storyteller and he uses his narration style to great effect in narrating the evolution of running. A quest to meet and study the running habits of a shadowy tribe of Mexican Indians known as the Raramuri (translated as “The Running People) forms the core premise of the book. The narration wavers from recounting McDougall's excruciating adventures in the Copper Canyons, an insight on the life of his running companions, to discussing the journey of modern running shoes. There is also a gripping description of some of the famous ultra-races and an in depth description of some of the ultra-runners. The beauty of the book is it is equally relatable by all kind of readers, whether you are into running or not. A highly recommended read – you won’t be disappointed. Favorite quote: "Suffering is humbling. It pays to know how to get your butt kicked." Recommended reading experience: Everyday commute or weekday night reading. CITY OF THIEVES If there is a book you should shelve in the fast-paced category, this is the one. Written by David Benioff, the creator of the HBO series Game of Thrones, City of Thieves is setup in Nazi occupied Leningrad during WW2. To avoid execution, two men captured during the Nazi’s brutal siege of Leningrad are thrusted with the task of procuring eggs for a Soviet colonel to use in his daughter’s wedding cake. And thus begins a rollercoaster of a ride to find a dozen eggs amidst german army camps and dodging Russian snipers. Based upon the stories shared by Benioffs's grandfather, Lev and Kolya's character develop from boys into men, and the book provides a thrilling, albeit harsh glimpse into the realities of WWII-era Russia. Favorite quote: “Truth might be stranger than fiction, but it needs a better editor. ” Recommended reading experience: A weekend of doing nothing.