Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

This is the memoir of William Finnegan, a detailed and lovingly retold account of a life. Love, drugs, travel, apartheid, war reporting.  Between it all, between every facet of his life, like a spider web which returns each time it is brushed away, is waves. Surfing, in all weathers, all lands, thick, thin, overhead, glass… Continue reading Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

The Way of the Runner, and the Long Game.

 I have completed the Adharanand Finn Trilogy. First I read his latest (and greatest?), The Rise of the Ultrarunners, then his first book, Running with the Kenyans, and now his middle child: the deep immersion and investigation into the fascinating world of Japanese running culture, The Way of the Runner.  I am a big fan… Continue reading The Way of the Runner, and the Long Game.

Runners Book Club: The Lost Art of Running.

There is no magic bullet when it comes to getting better at running. When it comes right down to it, being an excellent runner is a combination (mostly) of two things: commitment to training, and genetics. For those willing to commit to the training (regardless of whether or not genetics are on their side) there’s… Continue reading Runners Book Club: The Lost Art of Running.

Runners Book Club: The Runner.

Markus Torgeby was an extremely talented teenage runner, but he could never quite get things together in races. The potential that everyone could see - his family, his coaches, himself - was struggling to come into fruition. Running was Markus’ solace, a way to make his body and mind sing together. He struggled in school,… Continue reading Runners Book Club: The Runner.

Runners Book Club: Footnotes.

This book came to me courtesy of the algorithm. Having previously read Richard Askwith’s Running Free my Kindle felt obliged to line this up next, and I’m glad that it did. Vybarr Cregan-Reid’s Footnotes: How Running Makes Us Human is, again, partially a memoir on running experience. Like Askwith, he is a runner who prefers… Continue reading Runners Book Club: Footnotes.

Runners Book Club: Running Free

My first experience of Richard Askwith’s work was a book which I have already discussed here - his biography of Emil Zatopek, Today We Die a Little - but what prompted me to pick up Running Free was an article in the September issue of Runner's World, written by Askwith, in which he returns to… Continue reading Runners Book Club: Running Free

Runners Book Club: Your Pace or Mine?

Most of the running books I’ve read have looked into the world of the elite. I’ve read about insane ultrarunners, for instance, learned of legends like Emile Zátopek, and have heard all about the intense natural ability of Kenyan marathon runners. It’s always nice to get a different perspective though, hence the enduring appeal of… Continue reading Runners Book Club: Your Pace or Mine?

Runners Book Club: North

This is how North begins: “Scott Jurek is one of the greatest ultramarathon runners of all time and a living legend. North tells the story of his biggest challenge, undertaken at the end of a career full of glittering achievements: breaking the speed record for the Appalachian Trail, the famous path that runs for nearly… Continue reading Runners Book Club: North

Runners Book Club: Today We Die A Little.

 Emil Zátopek (September 1922 - November 2000) is one of the greatest Olympians of all time. He is one of the ultimate distance runners.  Why? I don’t know. Or, I didn’t.  All I knew was the name, and a place. Emil Zátopek. Czechoslovakia. Having read this book, written by Richard Askwith, I now know what… Continue reading Runners Book Club: Today We Die A Little.

Runners Book Club: 26.2 Miles to Happiness.

Paul Tonkinson’s 26.2 Miles to Happiness: A Comedian’s Tale of Running, Red Wine, and Redemption has quickly ascended towards the top of my running book podium.  It is, admittedly, a relatively small pile, as reading about running is still a newer habit of mine but, nevertheless, it is very good.  Trust me.  Although that pile… Continue reading Runners Book Club: 26.2 Miles to Happiness.