The Guy Who Reviews Sports Books
Guest Blogger - Lance Smith

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Have you ever picked up a book that ended up being so captivating that you didn't put it down until you finished?  That was the case for me with this book as the story of this man who has run eight miles on the sandy beach every single day for over 40 years was fascinating.  The title includes the word "amazing" - probably the best one-word description of this book.  Here is my review of "Running with Raven."

Review:

It can be difficult to make a resolution to do anything every day as unforeseen circumstances may force one to miss a day. Now imagine trying to do an eight-mile run on the beach every day – for 40 years! Believe it or not, that has been accomplished by Robert “Raven” Kraft, a resident of Miami Beach. That accomplishment and his story is captured in this outstanding book by Laura Lee Huttenbach.

The streak, while a wonderful accomplishment, is only part of the story. Raven’s personality and perseverance has grown into a running community that is like no other. Thousands of people have made the run alongside Raven over the decades and they share a common bond of not only running, but also being honored with a nickname given by Raven. Raven not only remembers nicknames, but also personal details of nearly every single running in this community. It has grown to have its own set of awards and an annual dinner since 1996. Raven’s steak also has been the subject of numerous news segments and an ESPN segment on the weekly show “Outside the Lines.

Huttenbach, who has many runs with Raven and the nickname “White Lightning” writes the book from an intimate view that most would not be able to see. Because of her membership in the community, she is able to share details about Raven’s life that many other authors could not obtain about their subjects. Such as the self-described hoarding that Raven does, the pain he felt for many years over the estrangement of his father and his belief that a country music song he wrote was plagiarized. By deciding to channel these emotions into an eight-mile run along the sandy beach, he not only changed his own life, but the lives of many others as well.

The reader will enjoy the many stories about Raven’s runs and some of the other members of this running family. Whether it was running through Hurricane Gilbert with “Springman”, running when Hurricane Andrew was arriving, or going on runs with others who have been there many times like “Taxman”, “Copy Man” and “Sailor” or even some who have only done it once, there isn’t a word wasted as the reader will be enthralled and want to know even more about the legendary runner. It may even inspire one to start his or her own running streak or just try to make a difference. It is a book that should be read by anyone who wants an uplifting and inspiring story.

I wish to thank Kensington Publishing Corporation for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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2017 Staff Picks & Staff Reviewed

April
An Extraordinary Union
by Alyssa Cole
Print | Ebook

March
Murder At An Irish Wedding
by Carlene O'Connor
Print | Ebook

February
Some Kind of Magic
by Mary Ann Marlowe
Print | Ebook

January
Boomer's Bucket List
by Sue Pethick
Print | Ebook

2016 Staff Picks & Staff Reviewed

December
Lone Wolf
by Sara Driscoll
Print | Ebook

November
Education Of Dixie Dupree
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Print | Ebook

October
British Manor Murder
by Leslie Meier
Print | Ebook

September
A Story to Kill
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Print | Ebook

August
The Beauty Of The End
by Debbie Howells
Print | Ebook

July
All In
by Simona Ahrnstedt
Print | Ebook

June
Powder River
by S.K. Salzer
Print | Ebook

May
Tumbledown Manor
by Helen Brown
Print | Ebook

April
Dreaming of Antigone
by Robin Bridges
Reviewed by Susanna G.
Print | Ebook

March
Lions in the Garden
by Chelsea Luna
Ebook

February
Summit Lake
by Charlie Donlea
Print | Ebook

January
The Center of the World
by Jacqueline Sheehan
Print | Ebook

 

2015 Staff Picks

December
Coal River
by Ellen Marie Wiseman
Print | Ebook

November
A Blossom of Bright Light
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Print | Ebook

October
Such a Dance
by Kate McMurray
Ebook

September
Not Always a Saint
by Mary Jo Putney
Print | Ebook

August
Down by Law
by Ni-Ni Simone
Print | Ebook

July
Faking Perfect
by Rebecca Phillips
Print | Ebook

June
Against the Tide
by Kat Martin
Print | Ebook

May
Liar's Bench
by Kim Michele Richardson
Print | Ebook

April
The Forever Bridge
by T. Greenwood
Print | Ebook

March
The Courtesan Duchess
by Joanna Shupe
Print | Ebook

February
Hades
by Candice Fox
Print | Ebook