Honey Do You Need a Ride? Confessions of a Fat Runner

by Jennifer


honey do you need a rideHoney, Do You Need a Ride? Confessions of a Fat Runner is the story of Jennifer Graham’s 25-year pursuit of running. I accepted the book for review because I had hoped it would live up to the PR pitch:

Like any memoir worth its salt, it’s about more than it appears to be. Yes, it’s about running, but it’s also about a woman dealing with a tough divorce and finding herself suddenly a single mom.

I would say that Confessions of a Fat Runner is definitely a memoir worth its salt. The things that exceeded my expectations were numerous:

  • The humor — I laughed out loud several times — many — enough that I’ve included it in the “humor” category.
  • The plot — With a memoir, especially one such as this which figures around a definite topic, sometimes you end up with more of a collection of essays than a story. Though each entry mostly stands alone, they each build upon the other, and it’s definitely a book that you want to finish, to see how her running progresses, how her personal life resolves.
  • Her candor — A good memoir offers transparency without crossing the line into TMI. Graham does this. She writes about the heartbreak of divorce and her effort to go to any length to reconcile without sharing private details.
  • Her encouragement — Yes, I’m a runner.  Sort of. Years ago, I had no desire to run.  My husband runs. I had friends who ran. I couldn’t image anything worse. And then as life became busier and more overwhelming, and as I saw friends go from jiggly to joggers, the idea of pounding the pavement became more appealing.  After a few false starts over the last few years, I can say that now in 2013, I’ve met some of my running goals, and I hope to continue. As Jennifer shared in her guest post yesterday Books to Make You a Runner, encouragement is key. And the tone of her book is encouraging. She does talk some shop, about clothes and shoes and routes and races, but it’s her love of running, her commitment to it, that most spoke to me.
  • The donkeys — Really. Who isn’t intrigued by a book which features donkeys? One of the chapters she’s made available to preview is Incriminating Hoofprints. Read it to get a sense of her style and to meet the donkeys (A mild swear word is used at the beginning of this chapter. There are a few mild swear words throughout, but it’s not excessive or gratuitous). Then, to get an idea how the essays build on each other, you can read How Nike Made Me a Terrorist, which appears several chapters later. These excerpts are great representations of the book as whole. If you like them, I feel confident that you’ll love the book.

Can we talk about the f-word? It makes me uncomfortable too. As you can see from the picture in her guest post Books to Make You a Runner, she’s not obese. No, she’s not svelte, and her efforts to lose weight are not simply an exercise in vanity, but “fat”?  Graham has struggled with her weight her whole life (another prominent theme of the book), and so she’s completely self-aware and a bit self-deprecating about the issue. She’s not really making herself the butt of her own jokes, nor is she at all looking down on others who struggle with their weight. I think she’s sort of owning it.  And since a “fat runner” as compared to the typical long and lean type, is a broad spectrum (no pun intended, but feel free to laugh anyway), I came around to acceptance of the title.

Check out her guest post, on books that have inspired her as a runner.

I’ve just found out that I also have a giveaway copy to offer one of you (U.S. shipping only). I’m thrilled! Just leave a comment here if you are interested in winning your own copy of Honey, Do You Need a Ride? Confessions of a Fat Runner. If you leave a comment on her guest post, I’ll give you an additional entry. The giveaway is closed.

Check out our current giveaways. Subscribe to our feed. Follow us @5M4B on Twitter or on Facebook.

Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer

Jennifer lives in Houston with her family. In addition to reading, she enjoys travel, Bible study, food, and fun. She blogs about some of these things -- when her nose isn't in a book -- at Snapshot.

View all articles by


This post may contain affiliate links. When you use them, you support this site. Thank you!
See our Disclosure Policy for details.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jen April 29, 2013 at 12:39 am

I would LOVE this. I feel like I’d definitely relate.


2 Angel S. April 29, 2013 at 2:50 am

This sounds great!


3 ellie April 29, 2013 at 9:31 am

I would enjoy this memoir. Your review was captivating and special. I commented on the running post.


4 Rea Tschetter April 29, 2013 at 10:50 am

I read the sample chapters and would love to read the rest! I can definitely relate to her as someone who runs (sometimes) and yet doesn’t look like the ‘typical’ runner.


5 Linda April 29, 2013 at 12:26 pm

I’d love to win this for my grandsons.


6 Amy Lauria April 29, 2013 at 12:37 pm

I actually don’t need to win a copy of this book. I’ve read Jennifer’s essays in Ladies Home Journal, as well as on her blog. Love her witty sense of humor, so I had to buy a copy of Confessions when it came out.

Everything in the above review is dead on accurate. I highly recommend the book!!! To the winner of a free copy…enjoy!!


7 amyc April 29, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Sounds like a fun read! Everyone could use some humor.


8 Anne April 29, 2013 at 4:12 pm

I would love to read this and give it to my d-i-l who would enjoy it very much.


9 diane April 29, 2013 at 4:19 pm

This would provide me with a humorous and interesting nighttime read which is what I could use now.


10 Jennifer April 29, 2013 at 7:52 pm

That’s exactly the way I enjoyed it :)


11 Staci A April 30, 2013 at 5:33 pm

It sounds like an interesting read!


12 Jennifer May 21, 2013 at 9:49 pm

You won, Staci! Please reply to this email with your shipping info.


13 Holly C May 1, 2013 at 11:35 am

This sounds like a good read


14 Jessica Tan May 3, 2013 at 12:53 am

This looks perfect for me!


15 Anita Yancey May 6, 2013 at 9:56 am

Sounds like a great read. I love any book that has humor in it. Please enter me. Thanks!


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: