Cover Image: Running Is a Kind of Dreaming

Running Is a Kind of Dreaming

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Member Reviews

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
Nature, ultra running, mental illness, healing from trauma. This book has it all. Nature is always good therapy and Thompson got the urge to start running and realized it was very good for not only his physical health but his mental health too.
Enjoyable book that takes the reader on quite a journey.
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As a runner, I really enjoyed reading this book.  I loved the insights and would highly recommend reading it.
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A harrowing tale of madness, addiction, and eventual solace and recovery through (ultra)running. JM Thompson juxtaposes scenes from a 200 mile ultramarathon he is participating in with flashbacks of his traumatic childhood, wayward young adulthood, and eventual descent into the abyss of depression as he attempts suicide and is admitted to a psych ward. It's a brutally honest memoir: Thompson pulls no punches in his depictions of his family, his own poor decision making, and drug usage. The reader is dragged into the darkness with the author as he stuggles to find hope while his mind actively rebels against life. It all seems overwhelming until Thompson finds himself born anew on the trail, concentrating only on the next step forward, and the next, and the next. 

**I was given a copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Netgalley and HarperOne**
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Running Is a Kind of Dreaming is the author's memoir of his experiences of life with severe depression. Thompson chronicles the childhood trauma that led to his depression and the struggle to find treatment that actually worked for him. After hitting the lowest of lows, he finds a path to healing, most importantly with ultrarunning. 

Running Is a Kind of Dreaming is a powerful and intense book. The author is brutally honest in all of his experiences, and I really want to applaud the voice he brings to mental health struggles. I found the format of the book to be interesting, with the author running an ultrarun as a continuous backdrop throughout the book. All aspects of the author's life are covered in this book with seemingly little held back, which adds to the authenticity of his story. And I appreciate the hope offered in this book, namely how running has helped him heal. 

While the summary of the book does a good job point this out, please note that there are trigger warnings for the topics of mental health issues discussed in great detail and suicidal thoughts/attempts. 

Thanks to Netgalley and HarperOne for this ARC; this is my honest and voluntary review.
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"Running is a Kind of Dreaming" by J.M. Thompson is a memoir of the author's life, specifically how running saved his life. The book opens with the beginning stage of a 200 mile run that Thompson is doing around Lake Tahoe, and the ensuing chapters go back and forth between different stages in the run and other parts of Thompson's life. I wasn't sure how much I was going to enjoy reading about Thompson's participation in the race, but it fits in really well with the rest of the book, and by the end, I am rooting for him to finish when he doesn't want to go on anymore!  Thompson is born and raised in the U.K., and on a whim, he decides to attend the Burning Man Festival where he meets his wife and ultimately becomes a California transplant. His childhood is scarred by the mental and emotional unraveling of his parents, and the trauma he experiences as a result of this is a catalyst for his own unraveling as a husband and a father. Thompson spends years being incapacitated by severe depression coupled with drug and alcohol addiction. Through it all, though, he finds solace and strength in running, and eventually establishes a career for himself as a psychologist. I couldn't put this book down!
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