Books to Read After Running

by Sally Drake and Mark Mindel



We Begin our Ascent

by Joe Mungo Reed

This is a tense and entertaining novel about a pro-cyclist (Sol) on the Tour De France. Parallel narratives tell the story of the team during the race--including thrilling descriptions of the course and team strategy--and of Sol’s marriage to a research scientist who becomes embroiled in his coach’s doping scandal. The high-stakes race makes for gripping and dramatic storytelling and the relationship story gives fascinating insight into a unique partnership between two highly driven people. This is a rare novel about sports and athletes that is not over-simplified or cliche and in fact is brilliant in how it exposes the very dark side of professional sports.


Come WIth Me

by Helen Schulman

 A very timely and riveting novel about technology, social media, mid-life crisis, adolescence and family. This is the best novel I’ve read about how social media affects modern family dynamics, told in a real, empathetic way that avoids dystopian judgment or holier-than-thou conclusions.


The Music Shop

by Rachel Joyce

A lovely novel about a group of odd shopkeepers on a down and out street in London, including a record shop owner with an uncanny ability to match patrons of his shop with the song or artist perfectly suited to their mood. The group’s awkward personalities and sad pasts draw them together but outside forces, including a mysterious woman who appears suddenly in the music shop, disrupt their shaky equilibrium.  Loss, grief, love and fate are all themes of this compassionate story.


Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love

by Dani Shapiro

A thought-provoking memoir about the author’s discovery, at age 54 through a mail order DNA/ancestry test taken on a whim, that her beloved father is not her biological father, the result of questionable fertility clinic practices decades earlier. The discovery is traumatic to Shapiro, an acclaimed novelist and memoirist whose personal history is not only her life but her trade. The memoir delves deeply into the questions of self, secrets and how the stories we tell ourselves are often built on shaky ground, a blend of truth, wish, denial and avoidance. It’s also a fascinating look at how the now ubiquitous availability of DNA information can upend what we once believed historic and genetic fact.



Robert B. Parker’s Blood Feud

by Mike Lupica

Sports Writer Mike Lupica picks up Robert Parker's Sunny Randall (#7) and doesn't miss a beat. Other writers have reprised Spenser and Jesse Stone novels since Parker's death in 2010, but this is the first Sunny Randall in quite some time. All the usual suspects are there from the various crime families scattered throughout Boston. There’s Sunny's ex, Richie Burke (who is NOT involved in his family's crime ties)  who gets shot to start the ball rolling on a collision course of betrayals, revenge, greed and everything else crime bosses do.  There's Spike, Sunny's gay restaurant owner and tough guy (picture a gay Shaq).  There’s bodyguards and snipers: Tony Markcus, Ty Bop, Junior, and Vinnie Morris; the other crime family of Albert Antonioni and his crew; and of course the Boston and Providence, RI police departments all trying to figure things out.  Just leave it to Sunny, guys. A must-read if you're a Robert Parker or Mike Lupica fan.


Dark Sacred Night

by Michael Connelly

BOSCH (#21) has renewed life with the infusion of the young and fiery Renée Ballard (#2), basically a younger and more refined and feminine version of himself. They team up on a few cases: an unsolved cold case of Harry's where a young prostitute was found murdered nine years ago (he's friends with the victim's mom), and a few LAPD cases that Renée is following on the "late show," the midnight shift that she's been assigned to as 'punishment' for accusing her boss of sexual harassment (although of course HE'S the guilty party). Meanwhile, Bosch still works part-time for the San Fernando Police Dept. and becomes involved in solving a gang-banger's murder 14 years ago. Bosch gets in trouble with the SF'ers, the local gang, and they put a hit out on him. Needless to say, Renée helps Harry, Harry helps Renée and a tentative partnership is formed. Can't wait for the next one. Maybe it will even sneak its way into Amazon Prime's "Bosch," a must-see series if you haven't already watched it.


Double Blind: (Kendra Michaels #6)

by Iris Johansen

An interesting continuation of the Kendra Michaels series. Kendra was blind for most of her life but an operation has given her sight. Due to her heightened (other) senses, she has become a 'tool' of the FBI offices in San Diego, especially in murder cases. She also has an on-again, off-again relationship with agent-for-hire Adam Lynch. The newest case involves a murdered women who was trying to reach Kendra before she died. On her was a video of a seemingly innocuous wedding. Then people in the wedding party start dying and Lynch and Michaels and the FBI get tangled up with a mercenary outfit called Brock LTD, which does security around the world in dangerous places. Suddenly, Kendra's best friend Olivia, who is also blind, is kidnapped and the race is on to save her life. Can our heroes solve the case and save Olivia? You'll have to read it to find out. 


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