Here are some books. Most are non-fiction and about either running, hiking but also just some great adventures that everyone should read, and probably hope that they'll never be apart of.
Jennifer Pharr Davis
Beaufort Books, copyright 2011
Before Davis broke the record for the Appalachian Trail she was just a twenty something on the trail trying to discover who herself. This book is about her 2004 thru-hike and not her speed record. A good tale that was well written even though it is no more extraordinally than any other thru-hike tale. Although I have an unmeasurable respect for her accomplishments, I did find her to be too judgemental of other people's choices on the trail. I was hoping to read more about her record breaking hike a few years later so I would say this book is geared more to the hiker than the runner.
Running with the Kenyans; Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth
Ballentine Books, copyright 2012
A well told story about an Englishmen who takes his family to live in Kenya in order to become a better runner by learning from the greatest running country on the planet. A good light read but just missing that extra something to make it great. I wished I could have known more about his family's adaptation to living in Kenya and even maybe a bit more into his actual running. Overall, a good book, just not great.
I Hike, Mostly True Stories from 10,000 Miles of Hiking
Grand Mesa Press, copyright 2012
I'll be honest that I'm a little biased here as I know Lawton from some of my experiences on the Appalachian Trail with him, but this really is a great book! Lawton is a triple crown hiker, AT, Pacific Crest Trail (X2), and Continental Divide Trail but this book is not about each hike. He really creates a masterpiece by writing more about topics rather than, "on this day I hiked to here, got hungry, got blisters, and tried to find myself" blah, blah, blah. It may not inspire you to go out and do a long distance hike but will totally entertain you and give you great insight on what it really is like to be a long distance hiker.
Rowing the Atantic; Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean
Simon & Schuster, copyright 2009
Roz Savage is a badass! Or should I say really becomes a badass as she participates in a rowboat race across the Atlantic. This is a very inspirational story about a young woman who came to a bit of a crossroads in life, sat down and wrote her obituary and didn't like what she wrote. So instead living the life she thought she was supposed to live and being unhappy and unfulfilled in the process she took on this adventure. A very well written book that made me break out all my maps to plan an adventure as soon as possible and never, ever wanting to actually row across the Atlantic!
127 Hours; Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Pocket Books, copyright 2004
If I'm ever stuck in a place where I think I'm going to die, I think I would most want Aron Ralston to be there with me to help save my sorry butt. We all know the story of how he amputated his arm to save his life but what we don't really know is what really an extraordinary human being he really is. I'll admit I saw the movie first, which was really good and had me wincing in my seat, but of course the book is better, way better. Do yourself a favor, go to the library, go to your local bookstore (please don't order online) and read this book if there is any trace of an adventurer in you. Thank me later.