At the NYC marathon, Jennie Finch was running for charity. She was given the last place number and starting time, and money for charity was raised for each person she passed. I joked with friends prior to running that in view of this I would allow her to pass me if I saw her, and puncuated that promise with "as if I could stop her!" (As predicted, she did pass me and finished before me).
There is no doubt that Jennie Finch is a world-class athlete. Her long lists of accomplishments on the softball field speak for themselves. In Throw Like a Girl, we get to read her background story and philosophy of life. Much hangs around softball, of course, but the lessons she aims at young women (and I would argue at young men as well) go beyond the playing field. There are frank discussions of peer pressure and body image and peer relationships and balance in one's life. In a world that seems to honor celebrity, regardless of the reason, this book stands in strong contrast. Readers are told in no uncertain terms that they need to think out the consequences of their actions in view of the long-term benefits and drawbacks (e.g., Jennie's decision to turn down offers from certain men's magazines and the reasons she did so). There are no-nonsense statements about what it takes to be successful, and readers are told quite bluntly that success comes from hard work, not from updating your facebook status. This is excellent reading for the young people in your life, particularly girls, as they struggle with the pressures of their age and deciding who they want to be. This has been a "go to" present for families with young girls/women this holiday season.