#1 Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
This book is a really inspiring story about people who run ultra marathons. It is also a huge pitch for barefoot running. It starts off describing a tribe in Mexico called the Tarahumara, who are known for being able to run huge distances, seemingly effortlessly. There is an ultra marathon raced planned to take place in a canyon near where they live and the book takes you through the journey of the idea for the race, who is invited, and then the race itself. It made me want to start running again. It also made me want to start running barefoot or with really minimal shoes. I did a couple of hikes on my days off and during each of them I took off my shoes/chacos and did some barefoot. It was fun and felt nice. Some people looked at me like I was crazy. Just a warning, I might become one of those crazy town people that never wears shoes. But you should read the book and maybe you will understand.
#2 Folks This Just Ain't Normal by Joel Salatin
Joel Salatin is the owner and operator of Polyface Farms. If you have read Michael Pollen's famous book Omnivore's Dilemma, Polyface Farm was the organic farm featured in that book. Folk's This Just Ain't Normal talks about how the way food is grown and processed isn't normal and how that affects our health and the health of the environment. It is really well written and has some great tips on how to eat a more healthy diet, buy locally grown food, and how to start to grow your own food. It also talks about the tragedy of how local food producers are blocked from the market and how we as consumers can make a difference. My favorite quote from the book was “I'm waiting for the day when environmental sciences majors realize that the most valuable thing they can do is actually cover thier hands in calluses growing ecological food”, I read that and thought, hey that's me!! He also has one called Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal is supposed to be really enjoyable as well.
Again - two books you HAVE to read!!