Yet another running memoir

Lawrence Block is a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America, probably most famous for his books about PI Matthew Scudder and burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr.

In the mid-2000’s, he entered the 24 Hour Around the Lake Ultramarathon, a race put on by my running club, the Somerville Road Runners.  As a fan of his work, I was excited to have him there.  Since he was there as a competitor and not as an author, I kept from bugging him for the most part, though I had a nice chat with his wife Lynne.  I did get a chance to talk with Block after the race, and he mentioned the possibility of writing an article about his experiences for a magazine or something.

Step by StepIn 2009, “something” turned out to be Step by Step: A Pedestrian Memoir.  All quality-related puns aside (he acknowledges that the book is somewhat self-indulgent), it’s the story of his travels on foot throughout his life, focusing in large part on his days as a racer in events ranging from 5Ks to ultramarathons.  The 24 Hour figures prominently in the book.

I wasn’t aware of Block’s book until I found it while poking around Amazon after publishing my own running memoir.  It’s not often that an accomplished writer delves into the field of running books.  Offhand, the only comparable example I can think of is What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami.  I’m glad I stumbled across it.

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