Though I've written some posts about running books before, I thought I'd share some books runners (and non-runners) may enjoy. For my non-running readers, I'll share some fiction and biographies, and memoir first. Though avid running readers would most likely enjoy all of these books, non-runners would likely enjoy several as they are well-written and tell good stories.
Once a Runner series
by John L. Parker Jr.
These books include "Once a Runner," "Again to Carthage," and "Racing the Rain." "Once a Runner" is a cult classic among runners--a well written novel about a collegiate runner, Quenton Cassidy, striving to reach the top of his sport.
"Again to Carthage," the sequel, follows Cassidy several years after his collegiate career as he tries to make the Olympic team in the marathon.
"Racing the Rain," the prequel to "Once a Runner," chronicles Cassidy's athletic endeavors in middle and high school as Cassidy moves from basketball to running as his primary sport.
You don't have to be a runner (though it helps) to enjoy these well-written novels. The characters are believable and the story is engaging. I read the novels in order of when they were written, but it may be more interested to read them in chronological order, starting with "Racing the Rain" and ending with "Again to Carthage."
The Perfect Mile
by Neal Bascomb
"The Perfect Mile" tells the story of three runners racing to break the four minute barrier in the mile. It follows Wes Santee, Roger Bannister, and John Landy attempting the break the elusive four minute mark, less than 60 seconds around a track four times.
Duel in the Sun
"Duel in the Sun" tells the stories of Dick Beardsley and Alberto Salazar, framing the story leading up to and after the 1982 Boston Marathon, know as "the duel in the sun." This book is very well-written, and you'll enjoy it whether you know who one the race or not.
Born to Run
by Christopher McDougall
"Born to Run" is a story both of adventure and of barefoot running. The author, along with several friends and acquaintances, head to Mexico to visit and run with the Tarahumara, a native Mexican tribe known for their distance running. This book sparked the barefoot running phenomenon, and though barefoot running has somewhat faded from the trend of "barefoot" running shoes, it still enjoys a popular niche in the running (and walking) communities.