Book Review: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

What I Talk About When I Talk About RunningWhat I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book isn’t just about running. It’s also about writing. And a little bit about triathlons and running a jazz club in Tokyo. I think it would have universal appeal, not just to runners or writers. But then, I enjoy running and writing, so I’m probably not the best judge of this.

I also really like Murakami’s novels. I found it reassuring to find that he seems to be just kind of a regular guy, even though he writes pretty off-the-wall books. It has helped me feel like I can write off-the-wall books without being any more odd than I already am. As my friend helpfully pointed out, just because I think Murakami sounds kind of like me doesn’t mean he’s not strange.

Overall, I found this memoir to be very accessible and conversational. It showed me a lot about Murakami’s process as a writer and as a runner and how these two things feed into each other. I just liked it.

Oh, and here’s a quote from the book that I think applies to many people, not just runners or writers:

“To be able to grasp something of value, sometimes you have to perform seemingly inefficient tasks. But even activities that appear fruitless don’t necessarily end up so.”

It’s this general thought that keeps me going as a mother. I also see my daughter learning this lesson as she practices her flute every day. That may not be exactly universal, but it’s broader than just runners and writers.

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3 Replies to “Book Review: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami”

  1. maybe this was just the kick in the pants i needed to realize that every great journey starts with a single step and i should get my butt in gear and start working out JUST A LITTLE every day.. . . working towards a GOAL that won’t show up every single day 🙂


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