What kind of nut runs 200 miles at a time? Dean Karnazes answers that question in the fascinating Ultramarathon Man, an engaging memoir from the 2004 Badwater Ultramarathon winner. The 42-year-old Karnazes, who's now training to run 300 miles nonstop, comes across as a man addicted to seeking out and overcoming adversity; his triumph is not just in completing preposterously long runs but also in shrugging off the obstacles, such as full-body cramps, hallucinations and Texas-sized foot blisters, that he encounters along the way. An alternate title for this book: The Joy of Pain. --B.S.
COURTESY TARCHER PUBLISHING (MARATHON BOOK)