If you are a football fan, like I am, you know that David Goldblatt's new book is a must read. His vast knowledge of the game and extensive research goes beyond what's happening within 90 minutes between twenty-two players on the football field. To the fans it is so much more: it's passion, sense of belonging, dedication, religion - and Goldblatt manages to capture that and so much more. Football has gotten into every aspect of today's world and every aspect of our lives. Exploring socio-economic, political, national and global implications of the game throughout continents, teams and competitions, Goldblatt will take you on a journey - through football and the world in the 21st century - that you won't regret taking.
A heartwarming tale of the bond between humans and animals, Running With Sherman (Knopf, $27.95), by Christopher McDougall—best known for his bestselling Born to Run—is another masterful, fun, and inspiring memoir. This time he tells the story of Sherman, an abused donkey McDougall and his family adopted and brought to their farm in the Amish Country. Sherman was not expected to survive, but after McDougall did as someone advised and gave him a job—the donkey began to thrive. The job was preparing for the World Championship Leadville Burro Race in Colorado, an annual marathon run by humans and donkeys, side-by-side. Full of the kind of kooky characters and long-distance runners typical of McDougall’s other books, this one is more than just a compelling, feel-good page-turner. It’s also a powerful argument for why animals matter in our evolution of society, and how damaged we humans become when we turn away from them.
What I love about Murakami’s running book is that he does not pretend that all life’s problems can be solved by running a faster marathon. Murakami is frank not only about the human limitations of running but about his very own, openly acknowledging that he cannot run a faster marathon anymore. To him, running is not a means to a qualifying race time--and no, it’s not a “way of life,” either: it’s an exercise for the mind and the body. You should only run if it makes you happy, and I was happy to learn that I’m not alone in this sentiment.