4 out of 4 stars
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"Trust the human dolphins: they enjoy whatever they are doing and don't even bother wondering whether the glass is half full or half empty. They know how to be happy."
If you had to select a creature that most represents your personality, would you choose an ant, chimp, or dolphin? In Dolphins Don’t Run Marathons: 26.2 Loving Thoughts on Why You Should Not Run a Marathon, Sam Brand cleverly contrasts the differing lifestyles of three "human animals." Drawing from amusing caricatures of the human ant, human chimp, and human dolphin, the author playfully pokes fun at his previous lifestyle as a human ant obsessed with running marathons. With a healthy dose of humor, the author encourages readers to "live their best life," while expanding on the benefits of his transformation into a happy and well-rounded human dolphin.
This quick read includes 26 instructional "miles”--brief chapters representing each mile of a marathon. Since most of the 209 pages only contain a paragraph or two, I easily read the book in one sitting. While the author conveys specific thoughts related to running marathons, many of his humorous reflections on healthy active lifestyles and the value of being present in the moment apply to life in general. For example, the author elaborates on the social lives of the three human animals and also contrasts the business practices of the human ant and human dolphin.
I most enjoyed the author's entertaining portrayal of himself as a human ant marathon runner prior to his personal transformation into a happier and healthier human dolphin. "Human ants love to think very highly of themselves, but the perspective from an ant's view is less than an inch from the ground." In my organic Texas garden, destructive ants are the bane of my existence, so the author's depiction of obsessed and overworked human ants struck a chord with me. Readers will relate to the author's comical classifications of people as different animals while they are reminded of friends and family members. For instance, I seem to have several human chimps in my circle; these are people who don't necessarily enjoy sports but do like to encourage others in their endeavors.
The only issue I found with the book is its brevity. I wonder if some readers might be disappointed by 209 pages of only a paragraph or two. Based on the cover's caricatures and its novelty style, readers may also assume the book is illustrated; it isn't, which does leave a lot of blank space. Even so, the author humorously shared the promised 26.2 thoughts, and his short and sweet delivery didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the book.
Additionally, the book is exceptionally edited. I'm pleased to rate it 4 out of 4 stars. The book would make an excellent gift for runners and athletes. However, since much of the content applies to many aspects of life and not just exercise, I also recommend it to readers who appreciate humor and quick reads.
Dolphins Don’t Run Marathons
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