Nonfiction November- Be the Expert

Week three of Nonfiction November, hosted by Doing Dewey, give us a few options- I'm choosing the "Be the Expert" one and giving you not one, but two, lists. I couldn't choose! First up? Running. Second? Food/Restaurant Memoirs.


I have been a very slow runner (fine, fine, jogger) for well-over decade. I've run twelve or so half marathons and a handful of other distances and try to get on the treadmill to run, or run/walk, five times a week. I've actually recently decided to train for a half in February, after taking a few years off from long distances. I have an ankle issue, but I've decided to push through the problem and get back to running for a purpose (other than health). Running books always help me get motivated, stay on track, and be inspired, so here are my top three favorites, plus a bunch of runners-up (ha, see what I did there?):

Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor- This one is without a doubt imperative for the psychological aspect of running. She is so insightful, honest and motivating. I actually started off the year with an excerpt from this and one other running book to help my kids get started. 

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall- Honestly, can you have a running book list without this one? The ultra marathons that he describes are incredibly and make you realize that the 5k or half or whatever it is you're training for is totally doable. 

Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide by Hal Higdon- This is my go-to guide of training plans, tips on nutrition, and basically anything else you could ever need, whether you're a newbie or an advanced runner. 

Also worth a read:
26 Marathons by Meb Keflezighi

Run Less Run Faster by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, and Ray Moss

Confession of an Unlikely Runner by Dana Ayers

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

The Long Run by Catriona Manzies-Pike

And now my other nonfiction love, chef memoirs, restaurant start up stories, etc... I love cooking and baking, and I've worked in a few restaurants in my lifetime (and have really loved it). The Food Network is seriously the only thing I really feel sad about missing, since we gave up cable years ago. Here are my all time favorites:

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat- I read this cover-to-cover. The first four sections are a primer on each area, followed by recipes. 

I Hear She's a Real Bitch by Jen Agg- The Canadian restauranteur talks about her struggles as female in this male-dominated world.

Sous Chef by Michael Gibney- This work is a syntactical wonder, told in a sort of stream-of-consciousness day-in-the-life style. 

Runners Up:

Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton

A Thousand Hills to Heaven by Josh Ruxin

Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson

Anything by Anthony Bourdain 


  1. These are great lists. I've only read Murakami's book about running from that list, but I've read lots and lots from your list of foodie books. I'd also recommend Around the World in 80 Dinners: Voracious; Relish: My Life in the Kitchen; Save Me the Plums; and The Flavor Thesaurus.

  2. I’m (definitely) not a runner nor much of a foodie but thanks for sharing your recommendations

  3. I've recently read several food related memoirs that I've enjoyed (Burn the Place by Iliana Regan and Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl), so I'm excited to check out the ones on your list :)