Marathon reads for your next reading marathon
Confession: I am not a runner. I fall firmly into the “reading is my cardio” camp. But one of my favourite things I’ve done with the library is volunteering at our aid station for the Queen City Marathon. It’s really inspiring to see how hard all of the participants work, and how much determination goes into achieving their race goals.
This year, we’re going the extra mile (pun intended), partnering up with QCM and RunRegina to welcome runner and science journalist Alex Hutchinson to the library to give an author talk about new research on human endurance.
We asked Alex to share some of his favourite reads as we gear up for the marathon (and the RPL cheer squad):
The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, by Florence Williams
“Part of the reason I love running is that it gets me outside every day. It’s not just the fresh air or the sunshine that I appreciate — it’s also the opportunity to get out among the trees and along a lakeshore or riverside trail. Williams’ book makes a powerful (and science-backed) case that we’re wired to respond to natural environments in ways that makes us happier and healthier.”
Alone Against the North: An Expedition into the Unknown, by Adam Shoalts
“According to Shoalts, a Canadian Geographic explorer-in-residence, the age of exploration is not over. This book recounts his obsession with finding a river somewhere on the planet that had never been paddled, so that he could be the first travel its course. For those who love spending time (even vicariously) in the Canadian wilderness, this is an entertaining and sometimes hair-raising read.”
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, by David Epstein
“This is my favourite book of the year so far. Epstein’s previous book, The Sports Gene, was what I consider to be the best sports science book I’ve ever read, thanks to fantastic storytelling and a willingness to accept complexity and ambiguity rather than search for falsely simple answers. Range tackles a broader topic, pushing back against the current emphasis on narrow specialization. As a parent of young kids, I found it very reassuring.”
Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery, by Christie Aschwanden
“These days, everyone knows how to train. The obsession, instead, is with how to recover between training sessions. Should we take ice baths? Book a massage or wear compression socks? Wear the infrared pyjamas peddled by Tom Brady? Ashwanden digs deep into the science behind all these claims, but her book extends beyond a mere debunking of athletic fads. Instead, it’s a look at how science works and how it’s often misused to sell us crap.”
Alex’s talk has sold out, but we’re all stocked up on running reads! Find more audiobooks to run by on our recommended reading list.