I recently finished reading the book Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod. It was chosen by my book club as our August read and I still haven't gotten over it. Have you ever read a book and grieved when it ended simply because it meant you would not be able to read it any more? This book did that to me and I'm not really sure why.
I checked the book out from the library and it is not a new book (I believe it was written in 1995), so the cover was not exciting. Yes, I judge books by their covers - I'm shallow like that. But, that being said, I don't (always) let it keep me from reading the book. I will admit, I wasn't excited about reading this book and it sat on the table for about a week after I had checked it out before I made myself start reading it.
Once I did, it wasn't like other great stories that don't let you put them down because of the suspense. And the writing wasn't terribly eloquent. It was just that it was fascinating stuff! I couldn't believe why someone would subject themselves to the things the author had subjected himself to in training for and running the Iditarod. And yet, his stories somehow drew me into his crazy world of dogs and snow and sleeplessness and moose attacks. I found myself relating everyday occurrences to the book, as in "that's how it is on the Iditarod" as if I have any idea what it is like on the Iditarod.
I became addicted to the stories he told. I fell in love with the lead dog. I held my breath when he told of running on bad sea ice. And I cried when the author, after being diagnosed with heart disease and ordered by the doctor not to run dogs any longer, had to call someone to take his dogs away before he got home as he couldn't stand to see them go. It was a great read.
And now I must see Alaska.