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GHH’s Second Book Reviews

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike Phil Knight

I read this book about 1.5 months into lockdown and it felt like perfect timing, I was in a bit of rut with working out and feeling unmotivated to do much. I started to read this on a whim and loved it. I’m sure everyone has pre-conceived notions about Nike, and I have spoken to a few people who like me love the book and others who hate it. As always it comes down to personal preference.

For me, it really helped me find my mojo again. I got back into running and managed to run 80km throughout the month of June with PB’s for my 5km and 10km. I also started to work on things that I had been putting off and just felt better overall. I’m sure it was more the running that helped with my mood but the book gave me the push I needed to start. I’m not usually one to read auto-biography’s but this is definitely one that I would recommend.

From reading how Nike started and all the side journey’s the book takes you on, I realised that it’s just about starting somewhere and not always the end goal. Nike is still growing now and doesn’t plan to stop. This is something that really resonated with me, as long as you start at something you don’t know where it will take you.

By Samantha Westwater-Peers, Recruitment Consultant


Normal People By Sally Rooney

I was given this book as a gift after thoroughly enjoying ‘Conversations with Friends’ also by Sally Rooney.

The book and now TV drama is a quirky and touching story of two teens from a small Irish town that are trying to navigate their on and off relationship throughout the pressures and pre-conceived ideas of who they are and how they should in the different stages of their young adult years.

I found the book to be a deeply sensitive and intriguing novel that is far superior than the normal coming of age story, Rooney writes in such a personal way that you really feel as though you know the characters in-side out and can become truly invested in their story.

I enjoyed this book because it wasn’t your normal happy ending love story but actually thought provoking and many times throughout I was both empathetic and then also annoyed and repulsed by the actions of Marianne and Connell. I think it’s a great commentary on dating and relationships in present times for many young adults.

By Bryony McQuade, Recruitment Consultant


The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker

I think it is important to think why we pick up each book we read. Books can deliver different feelings/results/emotions and I have to pick the book which is going to create the right mood. I often read to escape therefore choose sci fi or fantasy.  I choose to be filled with adrenaline so love a good thriller or a chiller even. If I need to be inspired, I will read a fictional, historical (a book based on events) or a book inspired by a person or event. I am not a fan of true stories or autobiographies, not because I do not find these events/people remarkable and very novel worthy, because it lacks the escape element which always overrides every other aspect for me.

The end of the world running club ticks nearly every think I look for in books. It is post-apocalyptic, a fanciful look open the world if everything goes wrong.  Your imagination controls the landscapes, the very essence of each page.  There is no real reference so you can smash together idea and images you have collected from TV, books and all media.  The incredible scenes with jagged roads mauled by violence and towns ravaged by human desperation and fight for survival, mixed with beautiful scenes of nature are inspiring.

The comradery between the main 4 characters is brilliant, and holds a natural sense of jovial banter and underlying uncomfortable parts to people’s behaviour that sit awkwardly in forced situations. The main protagonist is actually a uninspiring, selfish middle of the road person.  A every day man, but with a selfish streak that would make you pass him by.  When faced with the possibility of never seeing his loved ones (Family) every again, love and passion slowly changes him into someone you are routing for by the end of the story.  The other characters our brilliantly written, both inspiring and imperfect in equal measures. The journey they all undertake and the challenges they over come are remarkable, and by the end of the book there is a real maturing and development of each of the main protagonists.

The inspirational part of the book and playing to my sporty genre involves the incredible, never ending run that they all have to finish in order to live.  Never mind the hope that in doing this run, they might be with loved ones again. The endurance and unbelievable feats the human body and mind can survive to overcome hardships and be reunited with loved ones is incredible .  Inspiring, fanciful heroic, adrenaline filled, epic… I would highly recommend.

By Rory Gibson, Managing Director