A couple weeks ago, I joked on Twitter about starting a book club for athletic bookworms, and somehow, it got a ton of traction. Apparently, I’m not the only bookworm-turned-jock out there! So, I thought, why the hell not? I love to read, and I love talking about books. Peter and I have had some amazing authors on The Consummate Athlete Podcast, and the more I talked about starting a book club, the more we loved the idea of being able to spread the love for some of the amazing authors we’ve had on and for authors we would love to have on. Added to that, it gives me a really good reason to buy more books—always a plus.
I’m really excited about the possibilities for this. I’d love to do one book a month, and have some discussions in the comments thread on here, possibly a video chat or Facebook Live, and maybe even move it over to Goodreads if there are enough people interested. I have grand ideas for bringing real life into it as well, like using a sport nutrition book that has a lot of recipes and doing some actual cooking and baking with it, and I think we’ll also dabble in some athletically-focused fiction as well.
I have three books in mind for the first Athletic Bookworm book, and I’m interested to see which you guys pick (there’s a poll below). I thought about it and came up with these three because they span the styles: the first is a bit more action-oriented and there’s a ton of cool advice in it; the second is a bit memoir and a bit advice-oriented; and the third is more literary memoir-style. I think all of them could be great choices—and I’ll add that if we opt for The Brave Athlete, I already have some bonus content from its author, Simon Marshall!
The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion by Lesley Paterson and Dr. Simon Marshall
The Brave Athlete is a practical, step-by-step guide that solves common mental conundrums athletes face in their everyday training and in races. In this mental makeover from professional athlete Lesley Paterson and sports psychology expert Dr. Simon Marshall, you’ll find new speed and joy in your sport by overcoming patterns of thinking, feeling, or acting that sabotage your potential and enjoyment. Whether you’re facing your first 5K or lining up at the World Championships, endurance sports demand courage, determination, and the ability to save yourself from mental pitfalls. Applying new science and hard-earned wisdom, The Brave Athlete gets down and dirty to conquer real problems faced by athletes of all levels. (Amazon)
Natural Born Heroes: Mastering the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance by Chris McDougall
Christopher McDougall’s journey begins with a story of remarkable athletic prowess: On the treacherous mountains of Crete, a motley band of World War II Resistance fighters—an artist, a shepherd, and a poet—abducted a German commander from the heart of the Axis occupation. To understand how, McDougall retraces their steps across the island that birthed Herakles and Odysseus, and discovers ancient techniques for endurance, sustenance, and natural movement that have been preserved in unique communities around the world. (Amazon)
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
An intimate look at writing, running, and the incredible way they intersect, from the incomparable, bestselling author Haruki Murakami.While simply training for New York City Marathon would be enough for most people, Haruki Murakami’s decided to write about it as well. The result is a beautiful memoir about his intertwined obsessions with running and writing, full of vivid memories and insights, including the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer. By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is rich and revelatory, both for fans of this masterful yet guardedly private writer and for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in athletic pursuit. (Amazon)
If you’re interested in being part of the Athletic Bookworms—even if you don’t care which book we start with—choose one in the poll below so I have a rough idea of how many people plan on reading and participating (participation style is still slightly TBD, since if there are 10 of us versus 100, that changes how we can best all converse!).
So, which should we read? Answer in the form here, and I’ll announce the first book for our Athlete Bookworm Club on Monday!
**Note: When you sign up, I’ll only email with Athletic Bookworm-specific content.
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