Adventure Book List: My Top Picks

assorted books on shelf

Looking for inspiration? Look no further! I’ve compiled a list of my favorite adrenaline-pumping books and documentaries that will leave you feeling energized and ready to crush your next big goal!

Documentaries

Boundless 

Starring: Simon Donato, Paul Trebilcock, Rory Bosio and Hunter McIntyre

Why it’s awesome: This 3-season documentary series by Esquire Network started it all. Tyler and I had never even heard the terms “ultramarathon” or “adventure race” before watching this show, but it didn’t take long before we were hooked. This show literally changed our lives.

Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young

Starring: Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell (and lots of amazing runners)

Why it’s awesome: Quirky and captivating, this documentary is a wild blend of humor, irony, grit, and a little bit of crazy.

Books

Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

Author: Dean Karnazes

Why it’s awesome: One of my favorite ultra-running books, Ultramarathon Man is a larger-than-life account of Dean’s introduction to endurance sports and his subsequent success. Highly entertaining and equally inspiring, it will leave you questioning whether you should ditch your car and start running everywhere.

Finding Ultra

Author: Rich Roll

Why it’s awesome: If you ever worry that your dreams are too big, read this book. Rich is a great storyteller, and he remains amazingly humble despite his uncanny ability to accomplish big goals that sound absolutely impossible. It also includes an extensive appendix with information about his diet and nutrition.

Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness

Author: Scott Jurick

Why it’s awesome: This was the first ultra-running book I read, and I still love it. Scott’s thoughtful, almost scientific approach to training and nutrition makes this a perfect resource for athletes who are particularly analytical. Even if you’re not, you’re guaranteed to learn something!

Touching the Void

Author: Joe Simpson

Why it’s awesome: Talk about putting things in perspective. You’ll finish this book believing that no obstacle is impossible to overcome, regardless of the odds. It’s a heart-pounding, gut-wrenching, awe-inspiring account that reminds us that big adventures can come with big risks.

Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss

Author: Dean Karnazes

Why it’s awesome: This collection of short stories is a fun and heartwarming read, featuring Dean’s own adventures as well as the adventures of those he’s inspired. Don’t be surprised if you pick up some new habits and sign up for another race by the time you finish this book!

Running Man: A Memoir

Author: Charlie Engle

Why it’s awesome: Reading this book is like riding an old wooden roller coaster. It’s both exhilarating and terrifying, and you’ll find yourself holding your breath until the very end because you’re not 100% sure that everyone’s going to make it to the other side…