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Running is a common addition to people's list of New Year's Resolutions, and it is also a favorite hobby of many writers, including Joyce Carol Oates, Kay Ryan, Adam Hochschild, and Peter Hessler. So we figured it would make a good theme for our January issue.

Enjoy. (And lace up those kicks!)

—The Good Sentences Team
1. Essay: The Writer Runner by Michael Heald (2014)

Favorite Sentence: "As Green pulls out my beaten blue insoles and slides the bright new orange ones into my aging running shoes, I try to reconcile the fierce, often disturbing intelligence behind I Want to Show You More with the friendly woman worrying about my foot."

—Picked by Lily Sawyer-Kaplan (Favorite Race: Nashville Rock & Roll Half Marathon, Class of 2022)

2. Poetry: Wish You Were Here You Are by Rachel Zucker (2014)

Favorite Sentence: "as I run through Central Park
at a speed not much faster than walking but slightly
I am shattering fields of time around me
& experiencing time differently from those I pass."

—Picked by Christine White (Favorite Race: Media Maratón Internacional de Cobán, Class of 2023)

3. Fiction: Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron (2010)

Favorite Sentence: "A wild noise filled Jean Patrick's head, and at first he didn't realize it came from his own throat."

—Picked by Professor Nicolas Cornell (Favorite Race: Worlds End Ultramarathon)
Michigan Sentences: Here is an article about a University of Michigan PhD student who ran (and jumped and splashed and did all the other things that the steeplechase event requires) in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Syllabus Sentences: Here is a chapter I give students when we're learning about the importance of considering both word choice and word order. (The chapter includes an example from one of the picks in this month's Book Recommendations, Born to Run by Chris McDougall: "You don't stop running because you get old. You get old because you stop running.")
Book Recommendations:
  • For good sentences about running the Appalachian Trail
    • North by Scott and Jenny Jurek (2018)
  • For good sentences about trying to run a marathon in under 2 hours 
  • For good sentences about running without shoes (kind of) 
Notes on Nuance:
"Even" (Again)

Note how, in the following running-focused sentence, Haruki Murakami uses the word "even," which was the first nuance move we learned about all the way back in the inaugural November 2018 "Good Sentences" email.

"No matter how mundane some action might appear, keep at it long enough and it becomes a contemplative, even meditative act."

—Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (2008)

*For more on the "even" move, check out Chapter 2 of Notes on Nuance.

Additional Resources
Online Courses

Good with Words: Speaking and Presenting
Good with Words: Writing and Editing

Good with Words: Speaking and Presenting
Good with Words: Writing and Editing  
Notes on Nuance                                                    
The Syntax of Sports: Class 1 
The Syntax of Sports: Class 2
  Running Rhetoric
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