Book Reviews — Joss Naylor and Bob Graham Round

Two smallish books arrived in the mail yesterday; maybe properly called booklets; one about twenty pages, the other a few over forty.  They can’t be about any significant adventures being that few in pages, can they?

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Here in the U.S. they might be more appreciated by runners east of the Mississippi where the valleys and peaks are many, but not so tall as those out west.  The debate over which is more difficult–a series of medium length ups and downs versus the five-mile, six-mile, and even longer climbs or descents of the Rockies, Sierra, or Cascades–will never be settled.  That is as it should.  It is there as conversation as well as physical and mental challenge.  These books deal with those lesser nuisances; the constant ups and downs.

The books:

Joss Naylor MBE Was Here : A personal account of the complete traverse of the ‘Wainwright’ Lakeland peaks, Joss Naylor, M.B.E. (The shorter one.)  KLETS, Braithwaite, UK   ***A special thanks to Jacqui Byrne for alerting me to this being available.***

42 Peaks : The Story of the Bob Graham Round, Paddy Buckley (2005) & Roger Smith (1982), Brian Covell  — Hayloft Publishing, Cumbria, UK

were written long before blogs, e-mail missives, and other text limiting devices came on the scene.  The pictures are black and white–leading the reader to view and imagine.  Midges and rocks, roots and burning sun, grassy slopes where naps should be taken are only to be crossed as quickly as possible.  A finish line awaits.

Both books provide just enough words to lead a person to put the book down and let the mind wander–and wonder.  They both remind us that the challenge someone faced in 1932 is still there in 2014 (maybe all our batteries will go dead).  History begs us to come, retrace!

—–Run gently out there—–