A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t read as much as I should — or would like. Between training all summer, taking care of kids, blogging, and coaching, my days were filled. Lately I’ve had a tad more time on my hands and I’ve found myself being able to actually sit and read and — *gasp* — finish a book!
I’ve read three pretty amazing running books this year. One was purposeful — it was Scott Jurek’s Eat and Run. The second one was by complete accident and it’s called Don’t Tell Me You’re Afraid. The third, and final one, I’m actually still reading for a review. It’s the newly released Grand Trail. Let me tell you a little bit about each one and hopefully you’ll decide to pick up a copy of one of these beauties for yourself as a little holiday treat.
Great Running Books to Teach You Something New
Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness
My original intent to reading Eat and Run was to garner some insight on Scott Jurek’s plant-based diet. It was at the time he was busy setting the record on the AT. My intrigue with Scott Jurek started after I read Born to Run. I wanted to know more about this ultra legend. His incredible dedication and determination to literally just keep running was fascinating to me. After I finished Eat and Run, I was pleased to have read his story. He’s an incredible athlete but was honest and open about battling some personal issues with himself as well as his family.
The recipes he shared throughout were a nice touch. It brought him down a few notches from “superhuman” to “real” human. His story solidified that we are all capable of accomplishing and dealing with really hard things.
Don’t Tell Me You’re Afraid: A Novel
I’m the first to admit that I pick books by their covers. I’ve found some of my favorite books using this method. There’s something about a beautiful cover that entrances me and the words behind the cover usually reveal an equally beautiful story. Finding and reading Don’t Tell Me You’re Afraid was serendipitous. I saw it on the “new releases” shelf at the library and was immediately drawn to the cover design. I checked it out and brought it home, without knowing what it was about.
Don’t Tell Me You’re Afraid is the story of Samia Yusuf Omar, an Olympic runner from Somalia. When I picked up the book, I had no idea what it was about. When I realized it was about Samia and running, of course I loved it. But in the final chapters, when Samia was on the move out of Somalia, it became a much deeper, more important story for me. It opened my eyes to the injustices and human rights issues that affect all migrants and refugees. It’s one thing to see these things on the news and read about them online. It’s an entirely different experience to read the narrative of one person, one individual, that endures all those hurdles on her own. It was a humbling literary journey and I’m so grateful the cover lured me in to read it.
Frederic Berg and Alexis Berg
I’ve been blessed with a copy of the newly released Grand Trail hardcover book. It’s a narrative, but also a handsomely organized coffee table style book. I’ve only gotten about 20 pages in so far, but I will say this — so far it’s an amazing, engaging journey. The stories I’ve read can be heart-wrenching and simultaneously heart-warming. It’s raw. It’s beautiful. The photography in this alone is worth the purchase price. I’ll be back with a full review of this one in a couple weeks but for now, I would definitely put it on your list of “must read” running books — even if you just skim through to look at the photos.
If you’re looking for a great running book to lose yourself in for a couple hours at a time and teach you something new, I highly recommend any of these three books. I’m so happy I read them. I feel enriched in ways I didn’t realize I could be enriched.
TALK TO ME!
What’s the last book you read? Was it good?
And be truthful — do you judge a book by its cover?