Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them. Or a kindle. Perhaps. So long as it isn’t a SMART phone…
Here, Mr. Chris Green, soon to be departing these shores for Cambridge University (never heard of it – Ed), gives us a literary review for all you Bookish Seoul Flyers…
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (Haruki Murakami)
As a huge fan of Haruki Murakami and having read maybe 90% of all he has produced, it was actually this work of non-fiction that first piqued my interest in this acclaimed Japanese author. I‘m guessing that the potential readership for ― What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is 70 percent Murakami nuts, 10 percent running enthusiasts and an overlapping 20 percent who were on the brink of orgasm before they‘d even sprinted to the cash register.
I was one of the over-lappers. Well actually, in truth, it was my friend who probably only strolled to the cash register to purchase this book as a birthday present a couple of years ago, but knowing fine well as a runner that I‘d enjoy it. I did. It is non-fiction and is basically part training diary and part memoir. It is auto-biographical to an extent and gives the reader an understanding of Murakami as a person and how running helped his career as a writer. But most importantly he writes about running in the broader sense and there is a lot in there that we can identify with. Worth reading in my humble opinion.
Born to Run (Christopher McDougall)
And then we have Christopher McDougall’s “Born to Run” which I devoured in nearly one sitting on board a long-haul flight from someplace to somewhere. It escapes me now. In Born to Run, McDougall tracks down members of the reclusive Tarahumara Indian tribe in the Mexican Copper Canyons.
After being repeatedly injured as a runner himself, McDougall marvels at the tribe’s ability to run ultra distances (over 100 miles) at incredible speeds, without getting the routine injuries of most American runners. The book has received attention in the sporting world for McDougall’s description of how he overcame injuries by modelling his running after the Tarahumara.
He asserts that modern cushioned running shoes are a major cause of running injury, pointing to the thin sandals worn by Tarahumara runners, and the explosion of running-related injuries since the introduction of modern running shoes in 1968. McDougall also has received critical praise for his rich story-telling and the many quirky characters portrayed in the book, including not only the Tarahumara but exceptional Western runners who share the Tarahumara spirit of running for enjoyment and spiritual experience.