This one is not a cookbook, though there are some recipes in it. Each chapter finishes with a recipe, which usually ties in to something in the chapter proceeding it in some way. I think the premise of including these recipes does work better when there is a link, so its not just a random recipe. I must admit that I didn't make any of the recipes, as, to be honest, I'm a little backlogged in recipe books I have to review at the moment!
This book is the story of the life of Scott Jurek, elite athlete, ultra-runner, and vegan. It tells the story of how he came to both ultra-running (running in races of greater than marathon distance) and veganism from his beginnings in rural Minnesota, through the early influences, his struggles with finding his focus and the impact eating plant based foods has had on him as an athlete and as a man. It is a complex story, seeing as how we all have complex stories, but it is well told, written in a manner which invites you inside his world in a friendly and approachable manner. It is easy to read, and quite a compelling story.
Each chapter takes on a part of his life, in later chapters there tends to be a focus on one race, and the struggles surrounding that race, which has meaning, and from which he grows as a person. Each chapter, as noted above, finishes with a vegan recipe (some are even raw), and usually, also running / training hints. The hints are actually really helpful (not that I am an athlete) but do provide inspiration and helpful encouragement.
The only thing negative I would have too say about the book, is that I found the chronology of a couple of chapters a little confusing. (Not the first chapter which ties in later in the book but the chapters which follow) These set the scene of Scott's early life and introduce his family and the background of his childhood. There were stories related which felt a little out of sequence, a little jumbled, but this may have been my misreading. On the whole this didn't affect my enjoyment of the book.
Scott Jurek really is an inspiration, whether you are a runner, serious or otherwise, or whether you are vegan or not as well. This book makes you think of the things you could achieve, and the spiritual growth which is available to you, if you just get out there and try. All in all, I really would recommend reading this book if you get a chance - ask your library to buy a copy!