54 books like Today We Die a Little!

By Richard Askwith,

Here are 54 books that Today We Die a Little! fans have personally recommended if you like Today We Die a Little!. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and America's Greatest Marathon

Nicholas Smith Author Of Kicks: The Great American Story of Sneakers

From my list on running history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I get it, to most people running isn’t fun, but its simplicity can be deceptive. To some, running (especially when done in nature) can be a spiritual act. To others, it (along with its cousin jogging) should’ve been included in the Geneva Conventions. Me? I’ve been running since the third grade and watching running for even longer. Growing up, the Olympics were required viewing and an interest in running naturally flowed from it. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a runner to enjoy the great many books out there about runners and their impact on sports, culture, and world events. 

Nicholas' book list on running history

Nicholas Smith Why did Nicholas love this book?

Few races match the majesty of the Boston Marathon, often called the “People’s Olympics” for giving everyone who can qualify the chance to compete alongside the sport’s best. Few runnings of the Boston Marathon can compare to the 1982 race, which concluded with a down-to-the-wire finish that separated the first and second finishers by only two seconds. The book profiles both of those runners, Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley, their build-up to the race, the back-and-forth of race day, and how the careers of each of those runners fell apart after the race. Dual in the Sun is one of the rare books that makes a two-hour race feel like an edge-of-your-seat sprint.

By John Brant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Duel in the Sun as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The 1982 Boston Marathon was great theater: Two American runners, Alberto Salazar, a celebrated champion, and Dick Beardsley, a gutsy underdog, going at each other for just under 2 hours and 9 minutes. Neither man broke. The race merely came to a thrilling, shattering end, exacting such an enormous toll that neither man ever ran as well again. Beardsley, the most innocent of men, descended into felony drug addiction, and Salazar, the toughest of men, fell prey to depression. Exquisitely written and rich with human drama, John Brant's Duel in the Sun brilliantly captures the mythic character of the most…


Book cover of Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler's Olympics

Nicholas Smith Author Of Kicks: The Great American Story of Sneakers

From my list on running history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I get it, to most people running isn’t fun, but its simplicity can be deceptive. To some, running (especially when done in nature) can be a spiritual act. To others, it (along with its cousin jogging) should’ve been included in the Geneva Conventions. Me? I’ve been running since the third grade and watching running for even longer. Growing up, the Olympics were required viewing and an interest in running naturally flowed from it. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a runner to enjoy the great many books out there about runners and their impact on sports, culture, and world events. 

Nicholas' book list on running history

Nicholas Smith Why did Nicholas love this book?

In one of the indelible images from the 20th Olympic Games is the grainy footage of American sprinter Jesse Owens racing down a dirt-running track to victory during the notorious 1936 Berlin Olympics, which Adolf Hitler sought to exploit as a propaganda opportunity. Owens won an unprecedented four gold medals during those Games, a stark defiance to the Nazi’s racist ideology. Triumph tells the story of those Olympics, along with Owens humble origins as a talented black athlete in Jim Crow America, his unlikely friendship with a German long jumper, and his inglorious return to the U.S. that prohibited him from profiting from his success on the track because of draconian amateur rules of the time. 

By Jeremy Schaap,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Triumph as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

The remarkable behind-the-scenes story of one of the most iconic clashes in sports and world history.

In 1936, against a backdrop of swastikas flying and storm troopers goose-stepping, an African-American athlete won a staggering four Olympic gold medals. Jesse Owens, the son of sharecroppers, had single-handedly crushed Hitler's myth of Aryan supremacy. The story of Jesse Owens at the 1936 games is that of a high-profile athlete giving a performance that transcends sports. But it is also the intimate and complex tale of the courage of one remarkable man.

This is the incredible true story of one of the moment…


Book cover of Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women's Sports

Nicholas Smith Author Of Kicks: The Great American Story of Sneakers

From my list on running history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I get it, to most people running isn’t fun, but its simplicity can be deceptive. To some, running (especially when done in nature) can be a spiritual act. To others, it (along with its cousin jogging) should’ve been included in the Geneva Conventions. Me? I’ve been running since the third grade and watching running for even longer. Growing up, the Olympics were required viewing and an interest in running naturally flowed from it. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a runner to enjoy the great many books out there about runners and their impact on sports, culture, and world events. 

Nicholas' book list on running history

Nicholas Smith Why did Nicholas love this book?

For much of the 20th century, women were banned from taking part in some of running’s biggest races, because of misogynistic beliefs about supposed female fragility. A few women were brave enough to challenge this sexist idea by competing in the same arena as men. By 1967, some women had managed to sneak in to run the Boston Marathon, then all-male, but Kathrine Switzer was the first to officially receive a race number by registering with only her initials. Yet her run wasn’t without drama, as Switzer explains firsthand in her book. A race official noticed Switzer running and attempted to force her off the course. Press photographers captured the whole confrontation. When the resulting photos ran in newspapers, it pushed forward the movement for women’s equality in sport.

By Kathrine Switzer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Marathon Woman as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Katherine Switzer ran the Boston Marathon in 1967 where she was attacked by one of the event's directors who wanted to eject her from the all-male race. She fought off the director and finished the race. From the childhood events that inspired her to winning the New York City Marathon in 1974, this liberally illustrated book details the struggles and achievements of a pioneering women in sports.


Book cover of The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It

Dennis Barker Author Of The River Road: Becoming a Runner in 1972

From my list on discovery & experience of running.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a runner for 50 years and a coach for 30 years. From 2001-2016 I was the coach of Team USA Minnesota Distance Training Center. During that time I coached 24 U.S. National Champions, including an Olympian & 2 USATF Running Circuit Champions, at 1500 meters, 3000 meters, and 10,000 meters on the track; the mile, 10k, 15k, 10 miles, half-marathon, 20k, 25k, and marathon on the road; 4k, 6k, 8k and 10k in cross country.  Athletes I coached qualified for 30 U.S. national teams competing in IAAF World Championships in cross country, indoor track, outdoor track, and road, and achieved 73 top-three finishes in U.S. Championships. 

Dennis' book list on discovery & experience of running

Dennis Barker Why did Dennis love this book?

Three runners on different continents simultaneously pursue the goal of running history’s first sub-four-minute mile. With little scientific research on distance running to guide them, they discover how to run fast and sustain it for four laps of a track through trial and error. While some of their training techniques have been discarded, others have since been validated by scientific research and are widely used today.

By Neal Bascomb,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Perfect Mile as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Perfect Mile is the stirring account of their quest for sporting martyrdom, charting their journey through triumph and failure, along the way capturing the moment when Bannister broke the record in a monumental run at the Iffley Road cinder track in May 1954. It was a feat that became one of the most celebrated in the history of British sport. Far from bringing an end to the rivalry, this watershed moment turned out to be merely the prelude to a final climactic battle three months later -- the ultimate head-to-head between Bannister and Landy in what was dubbed 'the…


Book cover of Running Man: A Memoir of Ultra-Endurance

Dean Karnazes Author Of A Runner's High: My Life in Motion

From my list on running from an ultrarunner.

Why am I passionate about this?

An internationally recognized endurance athlete and New York Times bestselling author, Dean Karnazes has pushed his body and mind to inconceivable limits. Among his many accomplishments, he has run 350 continuous miles, foregoing sleep for three nights. He's run across Death Valley in 120-degree temperatures, and run a marathon to the South Pole in negative 40 degrees. On ten different occasions, he's run a 200-mile relay race solo, racing alongside teams of twelve. His long list of competitive achievements include winning the world's toughest footrace, the Badwater Ultramarathon, running 135 miles nonstop across Death Valley during the middle of summer. His most recent endeavor was running 50 marathons, in all 50 US states, in 50 consecutive days, finishing with the NYC Marathon, which he ran in three hours flat.

Dean's book list on running from an ultrarunner

Dean Karnazes Why did Dean love this book?

To say Charlie Engle has led a colorful life would be putting things mildly. An addict and alcoholic, after nearly losing his life to a hail of bullets, Charlie turned to running as his savior.

By Charlie Engle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Running Man as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After a decade-long addiction to crack cocaine and alcohol, Charlie Engle hit rock bottom after a near-fatal six-day binge ended in a hail of bullets. Then he found running, and it has helped keep him sober, focused and alive. He began to take on the most extreme endurance races, such as the 155-mile Gobi March, and developed a reputation as an inspirational speaker. However, after he made the documentary Running the Sahara, narrated by Matt Damon, which followed him on a 4500-mile crossing of the desert and helped raise $6 million, he was sent to prison after failing to complete…


Book cover of Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Sam Murphy Author Of Run Your Best Marathon: Your trusted guide to training and racing better

From my list on challenge the status quo about how to run.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a journalist, writing about health and fitness for women’s magazines and national newspapers, I had a strong sense that much of the advice being doled out by personal trainers and other ‘experts’ was dubious, to say the least. I decided to see for myself, embarking on an Exercise and Sport Science degree and training as a running coach. Two decades on, with a handful of running books and a 13-year-strong column in Runner’s World to my name, I still like to delve into the science underpinning physical activity to see if it really stands up, and if so, for who, and under what circumstances?  

Sam's book list on challenge the status quo about how to run

Sam Murphy Why did Sam love this book?

This must be one of the most widely read running books. For good reason – it’s a great read – exciting story, quirky characters – by an excellent journalist.

But at the heart of it lies one question: ‘Why does my foot hurt?’ McDougall’s quest to find out, his deep dive into the evidence underpinning many accepted aspects of the ‘science’ of running, is what influenced me as a runner, and as a coach.

Why do runners wear built-up shoes? Why do runners only move their bodies in one plane of motion and expect to have all-round fitness? Why do so many people lose the joy in running? Why don’t we eat salad for breakfast? If you read this book, and change nothing about your running, I’ll be surprised.

By Christopher McDougall,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Born to Run as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the heart of Born to Run lies a mysterious tribe of Mexican Indians, the Tarahumara, who live quietly in canyons and are reputed to be the best distance runners in the world; in 1993, one of them, aged 57, came first in a prestigious 100-mile race wearing a toga and sandals. A small group of the world's top ultra-runners (and the awe-inspiring author) make the treacherous journey into the canyons to try to learn the tribe's secrets and then take them on over a course 50 miles long.

With incredible energy and smart observation, McDougall tells this story while…


Book cover of Inner Running: The Ultimate Natural High

Scott F. Parker Author Of The Joy of Running qua Running

From my list on the inner life of running.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been running for a quarter of a century now, ever since I got the irresistible urge in high school to quit the soccer team and make my way over to cross-country practice junior year. In that time, running has been a source of mental clarity and physical expression for me, a source of joy and even of meaning. Naturally, it has become one of the focuses of my writing life, too. I’ve written three books about running and now write the On the Run column for Sport Literate. It is gratifying to write about a sport that has such a rich literature.

Scott's book list on the inner life of running

Scott F. Parker Why did Scott love this book?

I might call Donald Porter’s Inner Running a forgotten classic if I could tell that it had ever been known. Running’s answer to Timothy Gallwey’s The Inner Game of Tennis, it emerges from the human-potential movement of the nineteen sixties and seventies, with the tube socks and tracksuits to prove it. Porter’s promotion of slow, meditative, and inward-focused style of running offers an antidote to the hyper-competitive, results-obsessed attitudes that tend to rule running. You’ll feel grounded just by reading it and especially if you put it into practice.

By Donald Porter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Inner Running as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

All runners can attest to the well known fact that running is beneficial to the heart, weight control, and general fitness. But many runners ignore a benefit that can not only add enjoyment to a run, but can actually change a runner's attitude about life itself. In Inner Running, author Donald Porter examines the psychological and spirtual aspects of running. He explains how the sport can server as a soothing mini-vacation from the pressures of modern life. Using Porter's inner methods the runner needn't push to complete a set time or distance. The inner runner glides easily and runs solely…


Book cover of Elements of Effort: Reflections on the Art and Science of Running

Bruce Grierson Author Of What Makes Olga Run? The Mystery of the 90-Something Track Star and What She Can Teach Us about Living Longer, Happier Lives

From my list on actually living before you die.

Why am I passionate about this?

Writing the Olga book was a privilege in several senses. I got to hang out for five years with a remarkable human who kicked my butt (in the nicest possible way) and pulled me out of a midlife funk with the example of her indomitable spirit. Just as significantly, I got to delve deeply into the question of What makes some people almost … bulletproof? To what degree is healthy aging, well … a choice? This is really all a writer can ask for: to stumble on a subject that will never exhaust itself, that will just continue to open new angles. One way or another, I keep writing about Olga, and I suspect I always will.

Bruce's book list on actually living before you die

Bruce Grierson Why did Bruce love this book?

An absolute denominator of life is resistance. Nietzsche had it right: adversity helps so long as it doesn’t do us in, and we make the biggest changes in our life when life pushes back. That applies to longevity too; the kites that stay longest in the air are pinned there by resistance. John Jerome gets this. This isn’t a book about longevity, it’s a book about running – slight but wise, with a kind of shopcraft-as-soulcraft turn of mind, if you think of your own body as the machine in the shop. Really, the book is a defense of stretching, in every sense of the word. You have to make periodic jaunts to “edge city,” where you eat the beans of just-manageable difficulty.

Takeaway sentence: “Heroism is endurance for one moment longer.”

By John Jerome,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Elements of Effort as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

All runners, from beginners to Olympians, will delight in this luminous compendium of wisdom wrought from many years of running. Applying his clear vision and wry wit to a smorgasbord of running-related topics, including stretching, dancing, bugs, falling, spaghetti, sweat, and the food police, John Jerome shares his contagious passion for the most basic of sports. Stripping the art of running down to its barest elements, he takes readers and runners with him on a joyous journey -- a run that revels in a profound affection and respect for the single sport that is as pure and simple as it…


Book cover of Running and Philosophy: A Marathon for the Mind

Bruce Grierson Author Of What Makes Olga Run? The Mystery of the 90-Something Track Star and What She Can Teach Us about Living Longer, Happier Lives

From my list on actually living before you die.

Why am I passionate about this?

Writing the Olga book was a privilege in several senses. I got to hang out for five years with a remarkable human who kicked my butt (in the nicest possible way) and pulled me out of a midlife funk with the example of her indomitable spirit. Just as significantly, I got to delve deeply into the question of What makes some people almost … bulletproof? To what degree is healthy aging, well … a choice? This is really all a writer can ask for: to stumble on a subject that will never exhaust itself, that will just continue to open new angles. One way or another, I keep writing about Olga, and I suspect I always will.

Bruce's book list on actually living before you die

Bruce Grierson Why did Bruce love this book?

Because the 21st century belongs to friendships. And camaraderie is the number 1 ingredient in the longevity recipe. We need each other. We need mutual assistance if we want to live not just longer but better. (What’s the saying? “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”) It’s easy to forget that in the tech age, which promotes ferocious independence (which ultimately isn’t much fun). Think of Durkheim’s notion of “collective effervescence”—which we missed big-time during Covid lockdown – and you’ll appreciate what Michael Austin, a philosopher from the University of Eastern Kentucky, is offering here. This is a philosophy with a healthy heart in every sense.

By Michael W. Austin (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Running and Philosophy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A unique anthology of essays exploring the philosophical wisdom runners contemplate when out for a run. It features writings from some of America's leading philosophers, including Martha Nussbaum, Charles Taliaferro, and J.P. Moreland.* A first-of-its-kind collection of essays exploring those gems of philosophical wisdom runners contemplate when out for a run* Topics considered include running and the philosophy of friendship; the freedom of the long distance runner; running as aesthetic experience, and "Could a Zombie Run a Marathon?"* Contributing essayists include philosophers with athletic experience at the collegiate level, philosophers whose pasttime is running, and one philosopher who began running…


Book cover of What I Talk about When I Talk about Running: A Memoir

Fumio Sasaki Author Of Hello, Habits: A Minimalist's Guide to a Better Life

From my list on harnessing the power of habits.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I became a minimalist, I found that having less made my household chores so much easier. Before then, I thought I was a loser who lets dirty dishes and laundry pile up. But when my environment changed, what I had believed was my personality also shifted. Once my apartment was tidy, it became a habit to do the dishes right away and vacuum the floor before going out, and my life became consistently enjoyable. But other habits were harder nuts to crack, like quitting drinking or exercising regularly. In Hello, Habits I write about my journey of acquiring these habits through a process of trial and error.

Fumio's book list on harnessing the power of habits

Fumio Sasaki Why did Fumio love this book?

What really fascinates me about Haruki Murakami is not his body of work per se, but the process through which he rose from anonymity and became a world-renowned author. Until he was 29, he’d never imagined he had the talent to write a novel. Before his rise to fame, novelists were known to live a wild and intemperate existence, drinking lots of alcohol into the wee hours and getting started on their manuscript past deadline. Murakami, however, broke this stereotype as someone who wakes up early, works out every day, and has run multiple full marathons. I have no doubt it was the power of his habits that made him a world-famous author. He even says his motto is to turn himself into “a creature of habits.”

By Haruki Murakami,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked What I Talk about When I Talk about Running as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional'

A compelling mediation on the power of running and a fascinating insight into the life of this internationally bestselling writer. A perfect reading companion for runners.

In 1982, having sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing, Murakami began running to keep fit. A year later, he'd completed a solo course from Athens to Marathon, and now, after dozens of such races, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and on his writing.

Equal parts travelogue, training log and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his four-month preparation for…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in running, Czechoslovakia, and marathons?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about running, Czechoslovakia, and marathons.

Running Explore 18 books about running
Czechoslovakia Explore 28 books about Czechoslovakia
Marathons Explore 27 books about marathons