Jolabokaflod

Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

Sports

borntorunBorn to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
Christopher McDougall
(UK: Profile, 2010; USA: Vintage, 2011)

At the heart of Born to Run lies a mysterious tribe of Mexican Indians, the Tarahumara, who live quietly in canyons and are reputed to be the best distance runners in the world; in 1993, one of them, aged 57, came first in a prestigious 100-mile race wearing a toga and sandals. A small group of the world’s top ultra-runners (and the awe-inspiring author) make the treacherous journey into the canyons to try to learn the tribe’s secrets and then take them on over a course 50 miles long.

With incredible energy and smart observation, McDougall tells this story while asking what the secrets are to being an incredible runner. Travelling to labs at Harvard, Nike, and elsewhere, he comes across an incredible cast of characters, including the woman who recently broke the world record for 100 miles and for her encore ran a 2:50 marathon in a bikini, pausing to down a beer at the 20 mile mark.

Recommended by:
Jane Johnson

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon (Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen)
Available in the USA via Amazon (Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen)

runningthesmokeRunning the Smoke: 26 First-Hand Accounts of Tackling the London Marathon
Michael McEwan
(UK: Arena Sport, 2016; USA: Arena Sport, 2016)

This book tells the story of what it s like to take part in this iconic road race in the most enlightening and enriching way possible: from the perspectives of 26 different people who have participated in it since its inception in 1981.

Inspirational stories from Sir Steve Redgrave and Michael Lynagh sit alongside the story of a man of 70+ who has run every London marathon, a woman has beaten cervical cancer twice, a military figure badly injured in the course of his work, a homeless man who survived the Rwandan Genocide, a car crash victim who battled back to health within a year to be at the start line and many other heartwarming stories.

Recommended by:
Christopher NorrisJolabokaflod Book Campaign

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon (Running the Smoke: 26 First-Hand Accounts of Tackling the London Marathon)
Available in the USA via Amazon (Running the Smoke: 26 First-Hand Accounts of Tackling the London Marathon)

homeandawayHome and Away: Writing the Beautiful Game
Karl Ove Knausgaard and Fredrik Ekelund
(UK: Harvill Secker, 2016; USA: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017)

Karl Ove Knausgaard is sitting at home in Skåne with his wife, four small children and a dog. He is watching football on TV and falls asleep in front of the set. He likes 0-0 draws, cigarettes, coffee and Argentina.

Fredrik Ekelund is away, in Brazil, where he plays football on the beach and watches matches with friends. Fredrik loves games that end up 4-3 and teams that play beautiful football. He likes caipirinhas and Brazil.

Home and Away is an unusual football book, in which the two authors use football and the World Cup in Brazil as the arena for reflections on life and death, art and politics, class and literature. What does it mean to be at home in a globalised world?

This exchange of letters opens up new vistas and gives us stories from the lives of two creative writers. We get under their skin and have an insight into their relationships with modern times and football’s place in their lives, the significance the game has for people in general and the question: Was this the best football championship ever?

Recommended by:
Christopher NorrisJolabokaflod Book Campaign

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon (Home and Away: Writing the Beautiful Game)
Available in the USA via Amazon (Home and Away: Writing the Beautiful Game)

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