Ruffian McRuffian

Helpful votes received on reviews: 89% (68 of 76)
Location: Rural southern Japan

Books, coffee, music, cycling, wakeboarding, swimming, Japanese language study.


Top Reviewer Ranking: 312,023 - Total Helpful Votes: 68 of 76
The First Four Minutes by Roger Bannister
The First Four Minutes by Roger Bannister
I have to confess that I bought the book not really knowing anything about Bannister or a great deal about the history of British athletics. As a runner, I'd simply hoped to learn about the history and significance of the four-minute mile. I certainly wasn't disappointed.

The book covers Bannister's life up until his retirement from competitive in 1955, and provides an interesting insight into the athletics culture of post-war Britain.
Having read many quite poorly ghost-written sports memoirs, the eloquence of Bannister's writing was a pleasant surprise. I highly recommend it.

The book contains many quotable passages, but I particularly liked his description of… Read more
Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long Distance S&hellip by Lynne Cox
I stumbled across Lynne Cox's biography as I was trying to become reacquainted with swimming after an 18-year absence from the pool. Learning that Cox had swum in the Bering Straight - something that I didn't believe was possible for more than a few minutes - was enough to make me buy it.

Modesty definitely isn't a quality that I usually associate with sporting autobiographies, but Cox's book is a little different. We're told the story of a pioneer who swims in places people never thought possible, but it's never too self-congratulatory. The book traces her life in swimming from the hours she spent in the pool as a child right the way through to her swim in Antarctica. She comes… Read more
The Escape Artist: Life from the Saddle by Matt Seaton
The book's main focus is on the author's love affair with cycling. It covers, amongst other things, his time training with a south London club and his brief attempt at competitive cycling. The book does a good job of interweaving the author's personal experiences with insights into the cycling culture at the time, and also manages to explain the differences between various types of races and forms of cycling, such as track racing, cyclecross and time trials.

The book really lost me at times though. Pages taken up with boring clichés about life at Cambridge and how he (and his wife) soon after fell into editorial jobs made me feel as though I was reading about a couple of… Read more

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