Book Review: My Midsummer Morning

I’m almost 6 months into my #OldDogNewTricks adventures now and, as the year moves on, I’ve welcomed the inspiration offered by several books and films. 

With my second adventure looming large (400m/800m track races – first at the West Midlands Masters Track & Field Championships in Nuneaton on Sunday 9 June and then at the Northern Irish Masters Track & Field Championships in Belfast on Saturday 29 June), I was hoping that Alastair Humphreys’ new book, My Midsummer Morningwould see me to the start line this weekend. I’d planned to read a little of it every night, finishing it on Saturday, just before the first athletics meet. Unfortunately, that’s no longer a possibility because I consumed the whole thing in two short sittings!

I review Alastair’s book in today’s video blog (scroll down). In the video I also talk about how the book got me thinking about my own adventures and the motivation behind them. If you want to avoid any kind of spoilers at all, please DON’T WATCH THE VIDEO! Here’s a very brief spoiler-free written review for those of you who want to enjoy Alastair’s book with completely fresh eyes:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Alastair Humphreys sets out to recreate Laurie Lee’s journey through Spain, a journey made famous by the book As I walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969). Earning his daily crust by busking with a violin (which he is not very good at playing), Alastair’s adventure offers him the joy of human connection, the challenge and reward of vulnerability, and perfect conditions to re-assess his relationship with adventure and with life. It’s a brutally honest, refreshing and heart-warming read. It’s also a rare book in the adventure/travel-writing genre: you feel like you really get to see the human behind the adventurer’s mask. Reading this book, you don’t just feel like you’re a spectator, watching a man or woman complete a challenge. Reading this book, you feel like you’re in Alastair’s head, looking out of his eyes, hearing his (sometimes uncomfortable) thoughts – the kind of thoughts that don’t usually get written down in a book like this. This proximity to the ‘real’ action (Alastair’s honesty with himself) is what sets this book apart. I loved it!

I’m just going outside and may be some time 😉 . (By the way, if you’re new to my blog, you can find more out about my #OldDogNewTricks project here.)

JT 🙂