adult novels · book reviews

What I talk about When I talk about Running by Haruki Murakami


Title: What I Talk about When I Talk about Running
Author:Haruki Murakami
Source: Bought
Edition: Paperback
Publication: July 29th 2008 by Knopf Publishing Group
Pages: 180 pages
Category: Non-fiction, Memoir


In 1982, having sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing, Murakami began running to keep fit. A year later, he’d completed a solo course from Athens to Marathon, and now, after dozens of such races, not to mention triathlons and a dozen critically acclaimed books, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and–even more important–on his writing. Equal parts training log, travelogue, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon and takes us to places ranging from Tokyo’s Jingu Gaien gardens, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston among young women who outpace him. Through this marvelous lens of sport emerges a panorama of memories and insights: the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer, his greatest triumphs and disappointments, his passion for vintage LPs, and the experience, after fifty, of seeing his race times improve and then fall back. 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 distance running.



This memoir was short (literally) and sweet . The writer’s writing was direct to the point and witty. It had its own rhythm which never bored me. The book is about Haruki Murakami as both a runner and a writer. He started running the same time his writing career blossomed. Running appealed to him because he likes being by himself. On the other hand, writing came as a thought which he acted upon. The story was full of reflections from the author which anyone can learn from. Most of his reflections are related to life in general. He has a lot principles which everyone could agree or disagree to.

I love how honest and direct to the point the author wrote this memoir .I learned a lot from it. I could definitely connect with the author since I’m also a person who loves being alone. Somehow, it has made me decide that its better to exercise than not.It was the first memoir and book by Haruki Murakami which I read and it did not disappoint. I gave this book a 5 hearts rating because anyone can learn from it and its a definite re-read for me. I believe its also a perfect gift for readers and non-readers because its a short memoir and the writing is superb.


“An unhealthy soul requires a healthy body.”
― Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

“The most important thing we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can’t be learned at school.”
― Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

“I’m the kind of person who likes to be by himself. To put a finer point on it, I’m the type of person who doesn’t find it painful to be alone. I find spending an hour or two every day running alone, not speaking to anyone, as well as four or five hours alone at my desk, to be neither difficult nor boring. I’ve had this tendency ever since I was young, when, given a choice, I much preferred reading books on my own or concentrating on listening to music over being with someone else. I could always think of things to do by myself.”
― Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

“If you’re young and talented, it’s like you have wings.”
― Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

“In other words, let’s face it: Life is basically unfair. But even in a situation that’s unfair, I think it’s possible to seek out a kind of fairness. Of course, that might take time and effort. And maybe it won’t seem to be worth all that. It’s up to each individual to decide whether or not it is.”
― Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

“You have to wait until tomorrow to find out what tomorrow will bring.”
― Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

“Forgive me for stating the obvious, but the world is made up of all kinds of people.”
― Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running


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