As 2022 comes to a close I want to share with you my favourite reads. Reading is my favourite way to recover from a big run session and the best way to fall asleep. I read a mix of both fiction and non-fiction, generally non-fiction to start my day and fiction to fall asleep. I’m excited to begin Sasha’s Stories, the iRun Book Club, in the new year.
Below is a selection of some of my favourites from this year.
To purchase these books, I provided a link to the author’s preferred place of purchase. Alternatively head to your local independent bookstore, Indigo, local library or wherever you get your books.
The first book we’re going to read in Sasha’s Stories Book Club is Harvey Mitro’s Taking Life in Stride. As promised with this book club, I’ll release a review of the book approximately four weeks before the scheduled podcast—complete with details on how to listen in and provide questions prior to us meeting. Don’t forget to checkout upcoming authors below as well!
Happy Holiday Reading,
The Practice of Groundedness by Brad Stulberg & Do Hard Things by Steve Magness
Yes, this is two books, but if you’re aware of the work by Stulberg and Magness, you know these two go hand in hand. Stulberg’s book is my go-to for a reminder to celebrate where I’m at in life, especially when it comes to running and hitting specific ‘times’ or paces. Magness tells you how to be tough, defining toughness through a lens of vulnerability and courage not false bravado, which we all need on cold winter mornings, at the start of a hard workout, or just getting back into running.
Preferred Reading Order: First, The Practice of Groundedness, then Do Hard Things. Purchase here.
Take Back the Game: How money and mania have Ruined Kids Sport by Linda Flanagan
Flanagan is a cross-country coach and she’s seen first-hand how we are ruining kids sport. It’s not just the early specialization but the increase in overall training and competition time to help kids ‘get ahead.’ Families sacrifice being a family and she argues to what end. While her evidence primarily focuses on baseball and soccer, we Canadians know this happens in hockey and gymnastics, but it’s also starting to wiggle into running. [I’m really hoping to get Flanagan on Sasha’s Stories].
It Pays to Play: How Play Improves Business Culture By Kristi Herold
You know how you go for a run and you’re all energized to get back to work? You can think more clearly, you can settle in to your task, and you just feel better at your job? Herold demonstrates why this is true and now you can take this book to your boss and celebrate why playing, which for us is running, is good for office culture and the company bottom line. This is a great gift to the head of HR or those in the C-suite—or, if you sit at the top of a company consider gifting yourself this book so you can make people happier, more productive, and improve your bottom line.
The Circus Train by Amita Parikh
I instantly fell in love with this story. Yes, you’re right, this book is not about running, but it is written by a runner. The Circus Train winds us through the hardships of World War II through the lens of the circus. A story of hardship and resilience, a story about friendship and love, read it first for the story and then for Parikh’s writing. I’m hoping that Parikh will agree to come on Sasha’s Stories to share more about her book and, of course, her love of running.
Purchase The Circus Train here.
Watership Down by Richard Adams
A funny thing happened at the World Mountain Running Championships in Thailand, I slipped on the pool steps and everything went swimming, phone and e-reader included. The e-reader didn’t fair so well and I found myself in a foreign country that speaks a foreign language and terrified I wouldn’t have a book. I stumbled upon a little bookstore in Chang Mai that not only sold English books, but classics. I bought this book because it has bunnies on the cover and little did I know that I’d be drawn into story of Hazel and his colony of friends as they must search for a new warren (home). Watership Down is a story of courage and survival, of what divides us and what reunites us; this is a wholesome story you can read with your kids, but I promise you’ll get so much more than that.
Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Yes, I sure was late to the game reading this book. After watching the movie on a flight home I serendipitously came across the book and knew I had to read it. My gosh, I get what everyone was talking about: a story of survival, a story for introverts, a story about getting lost in nature (I feel you trail runners), what stuck we with Owen’s writing was the beauty in the simplicity. Owen’s is a Wildlife Scientist and is an accomplished non-fiction writer with many publications and a few other non-fiction books to her name.
Purchase Where the Crawdads Sing here.
What I’m looking forward to reading over the holidays and with you in 2023:
In no particular order, here are some of the books I’m looking forward to reading in 2023. Please note that some of the books below:
- Harvey Mitro’s Taking Life in Stride(January’s guest)
- Alison Mariella Désir’s Running While Black (Yup, Ben and I are trying to secure Alison for an episode)
- John L Parker Jr’s The Once A Runner Trilogy (1. Once a Runner, 2. Again to Carthage, 3. Racing the Rain. And by reading, I mean re-reading!)
- Lauren Fleshman’s Good for a Girl (January 2023 Release; pre-order available now. Also trying to secure Fleshman for an episode)
- The First Season and The River Road by Dennis Barker (Thanks for reaching out from my initial post Dennis!)
- Bruce Kidd’s A Runner’s Journey (February’s guest)
Happy holidays and happy reading! Stay safe, and be kind, out there.