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Weekend Reading: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Reading about running inspires me to lace up my sneakers and hit the pavement. However, when I am curled around a book late at night in my PJs, a run isn't really a viable option. Setting my alarm, putting my running clothes out, and planning my route for the following morning — these are things I can do at 11 p.m. Reading What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, by one of my favorite novelists Haruki Murakami, definitely had me picking out a sports bra and a pair socks by the light of my bedside reading lamp. The tone of the book is considerably more contemplative than Dean Karnazes' book 50/50, but it still makes you want to get out and run.

Murakami is a solitary guy who began experimenting with running around the same time he began writing novels and explains how those separate activities influenced each other. He explains that he is not naturally a runner or a writer, but you can feel his pride at committing to both activities for years. I fully appreciate that he blows the hard drinking, cigarette smoking stereotype of novelists out of the water. He has run a marathon every year and has even started competing in triathlons. He explains that running keeps him healthy so he can keep writing. To him the endurance required to run 26.2 miles is not that much different from writing a novel. Murakami really enjoys running, even on the days he has to beat his leg muscles to start moving and you can feel his quiet love of running on each page.

I also appreciated that I could pick up this book, flip to any page, and find myself absorbed by Murakami's thoughts on running. He is a regular dude who runs. He just also happens to write really great novels too. This book would make a great gift for the runner your life, and you can put it on your wish list too.

Find it online or at your local bookstore. Enjoy the read, but keep your sneakers close!

Join The Conversation
otionfrost otionfrost 8 years
i am absolutely in love with murakami's work... i've read "the elephant vanishes" and "the wild sheep chase". i had no idea he was a runner. i am definitely going to check out this book. thanks!
Fitness Fitness 8 years
I am so happy that so many of you love Murakami too! Reading this running memoir made me want to read his first couple of novels too.
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
yea yea yea -- Murakami!! So excited for this chance to introduce my favorite author to my husband using a topic close to his heart! Unlike me, he doesn't go for the surrealist fiction of Murakami. On a different note, I can't recommend "Underground" enough - it's Murakami's non-fiction recount of the gas attacks in the Tokyo subway told through interviews with both victims and cult members.
Marlovestar Marlovestar 8 years
It seems like a very interesting book. I'll keep it in mind.
catander catander 8 years
i adore his writing
Calimie Calimie 8 years
Oh, I love Murakami. I'm not very into this type of books but I'd read this one.
Chaoticfury Chaoticfury 8 years
Wow! One of my favorite writers wrote a memoir! In addition its on a fitness routine I'm trying to get into for next year. I can't wait to pick it up!
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