"What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" - Haruki Murakami
"It was a book choice out of left-field to an extent, I have never read this novelist's books, I have never taken part in a running event with this runner, but a colleague during one of those random conversations that crops up about my own running suggested I should take a look at this "great philosophical running book by one of my favourite authors". I was intrigued and marked the book on one of those on-line lists as one to buy at some point, my birthday came around I plundered the list and thus I own a copy. Without giving away all my thoughts in one sentence, it is not a book I intend to part with in a hurry.
It is a book that is simple, straight-forward in concept and delivery, but where it goes with style and often humorous grace is into the mind of a lifelong mover (the life of someone who values the benefits of motion and activity in fuelling the other elements of their day to day). If indeed like me you have ever struggled to explain quite what the 'addiction' and 'pull' of your sporting endeavours are then try and get your nearest and dearest to read this book. Murakami sets out the majority of the reasoning behind persistent fitness efforts coupled with sporting goals, and so eloquently frames them against the ever present backdrop of life and the phenomenon of ageing. It will draw you in and make you smile, both with shared humour and recognition of the human condition.
From this one book runners and non-runners, tri-athletes and non-tri-athletes, authors and non-authors will take so much. I read the short volume in near enough two days straight, it is rare that a book has that much pull on an otherwise busy existence. Can I recommend it? Well if you haven't gotten the gist yet, then - YES, it is simply one of those enriching books that will leave an impression on you long after you close the cover."