Summer Reading List

Today’s post is about one of my favorite things – books! I’m going to break it down into a few different categories:

Running Books I Have Read:

Running With The Kenyans is one of my favorite running books. Adharanand Finn moves himself and his family to Kenya and gives you an inside look at training, racing and living in Kenya. While this might not give you much insight into your own running, it is a very entertaining book and I highly recommend it.

This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite running books. For me, it wasn’t really about minimalist running or the Tarahumara. It was just about running – and this book made me want to run. If you have not read it yet, it is a must!

This book was just okay for me. I think it’s a fine book, but to be honest, I think the Pre story may be somewhat played out.

I didn’t love this book. Paula, who is someone that I look up to a tremendous amount as an athlete, comes off a bit narcissistic – I think that is the curse of the autobiography!

Chrissie has the same issue as Paula – I think she comes off as a bit narcissistic, which I doubt she is based on her television and public appearances. The curse of the autobiography strikes again!

I think I may be guilty of sacrilege, but I hated this book. It just struck me as kind of corny. I actually found myself skimming and occasionally skipping pages, which I never do! I realize that this is a running classic, but it wasn’t for me.

I thought this was a pretty fun book. It wasn’t my favorite but it was definitely entertaining. I wanted to keep reading, while at the same time it made me want to go out for a run.

I’m currently in the middle of this one so it’s too early to give an in-depth comment. I’ll just say that Kilian seems to be a very introspective guy, and I’ll leave it at that for now.

Running Books I Have Not Read:

I’m a Scott Jurek fan and I’m very interested to read more about his diet. Also, if I can motivate myself, I’d like to try some of the recipes in the book. This is definitely on my to-read list.

This one is probably next on my to-read list. I’m a huge fan of irunfar, and Bryon Powell, the author, is the “Runner-In-Chief” of the site. I’ve flipped through this one at the bookstore and it looks like it is loaded with good info, including numerous training plans. Check it out if you’re interested in running an ultra!

I’m interested in this book because Lopez Lomong went to high school about fifteen minutes from here and he has an amazing story.

Non-Running Books That I Would Like To Read:

I’m a huge fan of Tatiana de Rosnay! Sarah’s Key is one of my all-time favorite books and I have yet to read something of Tatiana’s that I do not like. I can’t wait to start her new book!

I don’t really know anything about this author but this sounds like a very good book. It’s not at the top of my list, but hopefully I’ll have a chance to give it a go.

I enjoyed Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and this is the sequel. I’m looking forward to it!


What is your favorite running book?

What is your favorite non-running book?

What are you reading right now?

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20 Responses to Summer Reading List

  1. irenejean says:

    Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is on my to-read list at the moment! Glad to hear you liked it. Also on my reading list is Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. Currently reading Hal Higdon’s Marathon to get training ideas for my Fall marathon.

  2. RunningTall says:

    I always have a few things going of different types, right now it is Running on Empty by Marshall Ulrich, Wisdom of Insecurity – Alan Watts, and 77 Shadow Street by Dean Koontz and when I am hungry Thrive Energy Cookbook by Brendan Brazier

  3. piratebobcat says:

    Looks like some good books there. I like to wait for the movie though. 😉

  4. erinobrienruns says:

    My favorite running book is What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. He is an author who memoirs his training for the NYC marathon, and how the process intersects with his identity as an author. It’s a quick read and as a runner and writer I think you would like it 🙂

    My favorite non running book of all time is Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I love the classics and I re-read this one about every 2 years. It takes about 150 pages or so to get used to the old English, but the characters are intriguing and timeless and its a great lesson in how things we think we know to be true are not always as they seem.

  5. It’s funny you talk about Pre being so promoted. I talked to someone who ran with Pre (older guy from Colorado) last week. He said when Pre was actually running, yes he was well known but nothing like now. In fact, the guy went to the same college as Pre a few years back and Pre donated all his old spikes to fellow runners. If they still had those spikes, I’m sure that they could sell them for millions.

  6. Great list. I need to read some of these? Last night a friend told me about Daniel’s Running Formula by Jack Daniels, PhD. It breaks a lot of things down into simple concepts even I can understand. Yet another book to read!

    • Jason says:

      That is a great book – I definitely recommend that one too! Daniels coached right near here for decades and the guy is a legend. It’s one of the reasons that Syracuse (the city) has such an impressive group of runners!

  7. Andrea says:

    I haven’t read any of these, but really need to read Born to Run. Bob Roncker, the owner of some of our local running stores, brought some of the Tarahumara to Cincinnati last year to run the Flying Pig. It was very cool just to see these men at the race!

  8. Amy says:

    Running with the Kenyans is on my list of books to read! I read Once a Runner on the plane ride to my first marathon, so while it is cheesy, it was inspirational for me at the time, and I associate it with a great race experience! My husband got a lot of out of the Scott Jurek book. Great list!

  9. Angie says:

    I really liked Born to Run and haven’t read Run with the Kenyans yet, but will have to. I just read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand – about Louis Zamperini, the WWII POW survivor who was felt could’ve been the first to run a sub 4 minute mile pre war, but then WWII changed everything. It was a very interesting biography. Unbelievable what he lived through actually. My favorite recent read was Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, really cool story, I’d read it again.

  10. A few good ones (disclosure: I think Kenny Moore is the bee’s knees):

    1) The perfect mile — about the three guys chasing the 4-minute mile. Bannister fairly well known, Landy somewhat, Santee even less. Very different styles in different ways.
    2) The lore of running (Tim Noakes) — comprehensive: a lot of physiology, but also great profiles of good runners
    3) Bowerman and the men of oregon — great look at the Oregon running program in the 1960’s/’70s (including a long look at Nike)
    4) Best efforts — a collection of Kenny Moore’s best work. He is just excellent. It can be hard to find — I also recommend just searching the Sports Illustrated vault for all of his articles, since the ones he wrote for them can be found there. Among the best: his longform pieces on Viren, Mamo Wolde, Gerry Lindgren
    5) 30 phone booths to Boston — a collection of Don Kardong’s best writings. A full step below Moore as a writer (if not as a runner — I believe both were 4th in the olympic marathon), but entertaining nonetheless
    6) Dual in the sun — about the 1982 Boston Marathon; just a stretched out version of a Runner’s World piece which I think can be found online, so maybe just easier to read that
    7) Boston Marathon (by Tom Derderian) — this book has ~3-4 pages about each Boston Race, with focus on how it was perceived at the time, etc. I found it extremely compelling, and a great book to have in the smallest room in my house — each chapter can be read fairly distinctly, but they weave a great story as you trace the evolution of running through the prism of the one race

    There are a couple other good ones (and tens of bad ones…) that I haven’t mentioned. Recommend carving through the Sports Illustrated archive for good articles. Runner’s world has some solid ones in its archive as well (there’s a great Zola Budd article from there — can be found in the collection Going Long)

    • Jason says:

      Excellent! Thanks for all of this – some of it I’m familiar with, some of it I’m not. I think I’d really like Boston Marathon – I’ll have to check it out!

  11. bpangie says:

    I think everyone needs a copy of JD’s Running Formula and Noakes’ Lore of Running. Two of the best running texts I’ve come across. I wish the VT library’s had a better selection of running books though…

  12. Robin says:

    Add “the sports gene” by David Epstein to your list! Currently reading. Really interesting.

  13. Love. This. Post. Love. Love.

  14. Brianna @ I run He tris says:

    Aww I LOVED Chrissie Wellington’s book. I didn’t think she sounded narcissistic but in my eyes she can do no wrong. 🙂 When you NEVER lose an Ironman and win at Kona 4 times it’s hard to make it sound like you are anything but a beast. I’m currently reading Run Less, Run Faster to see if I want to change up my training schedule.

  15. dnardi710 says:

    I really liked Scott Jurek’s book, he’s very interesting. I also liked Bart Yasso’s book – that guy has had some CRAZY running experiences! One of my favorite books is The Long Run by Matt Long, incredibly amazing and inspiring story, a must read as far as I’m concerned!

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