Author: Haruki Murakami
Rating: 4 stars
I picked up What I Talk About When I Talk About Running because of a vague goal to tackle Murakami’s nonfiction, as I already enjoy his fiction. I was not expecting it to be so personally inspiring, or the fact that would talk about writing almost as much as running.
This is a short volume (I read it in a few sittings over two days–although I was also sick, and had nothing else to do.) Murakami talks about how he took up long distance running at age 33, how he runs a marathon every year, and about his training regimen and his experiences with specific races and triathlons.
I’ve been thinking about taking up running almost since my surgery. The reason being that after surgery my breathing vastly improved–I had literally no idea that I was living with impeded breath until suddenly I could breathe. It’s a big lifestyle change for me, and I basically have no stamina, but this book totally inspired me to start trying. If Murakami could do it at 33, surely I can at least try at 30.
But as I mentioned, there is as much writing advice in this book as there is talk of running. Murakami is a prolific novelist with a very distinct style. He talks here about how the discipline of running every day mirrors the discipline of his writing. There are a ton of interesting little tidbits and asides that I found quite interesting and surprising.
There are things in this book to appeal for a lot of different types of readers. Murakami is one of modern literature’s most interesting minds, and this slim memoir is an inspiring piece.