Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Now that Mike and I are both full fledged running geeks, there are a lot of books on running being read. In the last couple months I've requested three of them from NetGalley alone, and several more from the library. The best of the NetGalley books is this one: The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances by The Oatmeal. Most of you are probably familiar with the webcomic/books by The Oatmeal and this book is exactly that style. It's funny and sad and very very short.
Here's the summary, tho the title alone should explain it well enough:
This is not just a book about running. It's a book about cupcakes. It's a book about suffering.
It's a book about gluttony, vanity, bliss, electrical storms, ranch dressing, and Godzilla. It's a book about all the terrible and wonderful reasons we wake up each day and propel our bodies through rain, shine, heaven, and hell.
From #1 New York Times best-selling author, Matthew Inman, AKA The Oatmeal, comes this hilarious, beautiful, poignant collection of comics and stories about running, eating, and one cartoonist's reasons for jogging across mountains until his toenails fall off.
Containing over 70 pages of never-before-seen material, including "A Lazy Cartoonist's Guide to Becoming a Runner" and "The Blerch's Guide to Dieting," this book also comes with Blerch race stickers.
As you would expect from The Oatmeal the humor isn't all politically correct, but it is pretty funny. He blames his running on being a inherently fat and lazy kid, and an adult who wants nothing more than to eat junk and look at a computer screen. He pokes fun of everyone at the gym, and all the other runners. He wanders off on asides about Japanese hornets. If you are a runner you'll see a lot you relate to. If you're not a runner, you'll wonder why on earth anyone would want to be one. If I had any complaint about the book it's that occasionally he seems not just snarky, but snotty towards runners who do it differently from him. He clearly feels that his way is the best way (ie, extra long distances, no gear, no earbuds, just running through the pain) and anything else is doing it wrong.
This book will be published on September 30th.
Other running books I've read this summer and not yet reviewed:
Older, Faster, Stronger by Margaret Webb
Interesting, with lots of science-y details, but I have to admit I don't want to think of myself as "older" yet. I did admire what Webb was doing in trying to make herself the best she'd ever been, but I occasionally found her voice hard to take. She's a bit more brash than I usually enjoy- which is saying something in the same blog post as a review of a book by The Oatmeal! This one will be published on October 7th.