Friday, March 26, 2010

Weekend Reading

I thought it might be nice to start reviewing some running books I've enjoyed. Although it's probably redundant as there are many book reviews floating around on the interweb, I don't really care because my opinion counts more. 

This past year I've become obsessed with running books and have been reading between 2 and 4 a month. Some have been great and some have been so-so. I'll start with one of the great ones and mention the so-so ones here and there.

One book I really enjoyed was "Duel in the Sun", by John Brant.  It's the story of Dick Beardsley and Alberto Salazar's epic race in the 1982 Boston Marathon. Before this past year I hadn't been a running history junkie and I knew very little about this race, so reading an almost stride-by-stride account of the race was very interesting.

The narrative of "Duel in the Sun" moves between the 1982 Boston Marathon and the lives of Beardsley and Salazar. For the most part does a pretty good job at it, though it can feel choppy at times. Leaving the race and moving into one of the racer's lives, Brant does a nice job keeping just enough tension to keep the narrative compelling. 

The book is a lean 203 pages and could probably be read in one sitting. At times it left me wanting to know more and it actually lead me to pick up "Staying the Course: A Runner's Toughest Race," Beardsley's memoir. "Staying the Course" was a decent read but I still preferred "Duel in the Sun." 

Some people don't enjoy reading race accounts, but if you're like me and don't mind reading about how runners jostle for position, surge, draft, and other race details, you'll probably enjoy this book. It had just the right mix of biography and running to keep me interested through this quick read. 

3 comments:

Julie said...

Excellent, I am always looking for good books on running:) Have a great weekend!

Nitmos said...

My favorite book about running of all time is Neal Bascomb's The Perfect Mile about the three men chasing to be the first to break the 4 minute barrier. Even though I'm sure you know who actually eventually did it, you'll still find the book suspenseful and fun. Check it out.

TCHusker - Nate said...

I love that one! Don't worry, it'll be coming up on a weekend reading post soon.