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Running: A Love Story: 10 Years, 5 Marathons, and 1 Life-Changing Sport Paperback – March 22, 2016
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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"Running, A Love Story is a frank and sometimes gritty look inside Jen Miller's heart. She speaks for a lot of us as she reveals her self-doubts, and then finds the confidence to quiet them through running. How running does that to us is, like love, very simple yet totally mysterious. But here's the bottom line: It works for everyone."—Kathrine Switzer, Author of Marathon Woman, First Woman to Officially Run the Boston Marathon and Leader of the 261 Fearless Movement. Led the drive to get the women's marathon into the Olympic Games, Winner of the 1974 New York City Marathon
"Millions of everyday men and women have a love affair with running. No book I've read captures the richness and complexity of this widely shared experience—the exhilaration and heartbreak and everything in between—more faithfully than Jen Miller's lovely memoir, Running." —Matt Fitzgerald, author of more than twenty endurance sports books, including How Bad to You Want It? Mastering the Psychology of Mind Over Muscle
A contemporary coming of age story that will speak to a generation of women, RUNNING: A LOVE STORY is the candid memoir of a young woman’s painful but triumphant search for her place in the world. Skillfully crafted and unsparingly honest, RUNNING is a courageous memoir written straight from the heart." —Amy Hill Hearth, New York Times and Washington Post Bestselling Author
"RUNNING is a ballad for anyone looking to discover themselves. Jen Miller is remarkably honest, candid, and approachable in her writing style. She narrates in a way that makes you feel like the two of you are tucked in the corner of a tapas restaurant sharing stories way into the late hours. As someone who has never been "good" at running, I was delighted to find this book to be about so much more than sneakers and mile marks. This is a book about finding love, discovering your breaking points, and letting go. Jen pieces together a moral I think the world needs: only when we fully let go can we finally grip tight to the stuff that really matters." —Hannah Brencher, author of If You Find This Letter
About the Author
Jen has degrees in English literature from the University of Tampa and the Graduate School at Rutgers University-Camden. She's currently preparing to run her sixth marathon. She lives in Collingswood, NJ.
Learn more at RunningALoveStory.com
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A good story introduces the reader to a main character that you can relate to and feel for or at least can understand (which this book seriously lacked). All I could feel for this woman was pity.
I couldn't relate to her.
I couldn't root for her success.
I couldn't wait for her self pitty to end.
This is not a book about running; it's a book about Miller. Specifically, it's about her love life. Her romantic life is a driving factor of the book, and it's melodramatically overwritten. Each of her relationships is characterized by her deep desire to meet her future husband and her inability to let go of her boyfriend after the relationship ends. Lots of crying. She seems to blame the men in her life for trying to change her, and never quite comes to the realization that she throws herself into every relationship, changing herself. She blames the men, she blames her family - and she never looks to the real cause for her relationships failing. Her last relationship is difficult to read about - I was torn between screaming at her to leave and rolling my eyes at her unwillingness to do so.
There is something slightly uncomfortable about how Miller's relationships show her as insecure while so much of the rest of her life paints her as, frankly, arrogant. She spends pages upon pages trying to show the reader that she's an athlete. She throws in an aside about Weight Watchers rejecting her for being "too light," even after she'd gained the freshman 15 in college. Despite being accepted to better schools, she chose her college based on scholarship money - and then found it way too easy for her. She's financially stable and emotionally better than her parents, who married too young and fought their whole marriage. Men like her and she wears a lot of short dresses. And oh, yeah, she runs sometimes, too. What's weird is that she doesn't seem to enjoy running, despite crediting it for changing and shaping her life. I suspect more accurately, she likes it because it gave her a niche in the freelance world.
The truth is that for many of us dedicated runners, running just is a part of our lives. I'm not going to write a memoir about brushing my teeth or taking showers and the impact those have had on my life; nor would I write about running. You wake up, you do it, you carry on with your day. You have good runs and bad runs but they don't define your life. Maybe if you are one of those who do find running to be something you struggle against, maybe if you refer to a short dress as "stop[ping] just inches short of my sn*tch," maybe you'll like this book. But maybe not. But be prepared to read not a book about a runner as much as a book about 30-somethings handful of unsuccessful relationships with ultimately no moral lesson at the end.