Book Review – Twenty-four Years to Boston

“Never lose the child inside.” – jb

I’ve confessed on more than one occasion that I am a miserable failure as a blogger. It comes down to the self-promotion thing. It’s just not my nature. So sharing these two reviews of my memoir with you is uncomfortable. One is by Wayne Fish, sports columnist for the Intelligencer, and the other by Bridget FitzPatrick, Associate Vice President for Advancement at Lackawanna College in Scranton, PA, for the Bucks County Herald.

Intelligencer – December 5, 2013

Holiday reading: Just finished an exceptional book called “Twenty Four Years to Boston: My Journey from the Vegetable Aisle to Boylston Street” (St. Johann Press) by local writer Jim Brennan.

It’s an everyman’s tale of a kid from the Mayfair section of Northeast Philly who stumbled across running while training for high school football and ended up, a quarter-century later, qualifying for and competing in the Boston Marathon.

The story begins with Brennan deciding to run a 26.2-miler just to test his limits. So he enters the 1981 Philadelphia Marathon, endures the discomfort of those closing miles and eventually decides that one of these is enough.

Over the ensuing years, Brennan takes us through his life – career, family, running – and the journey is an interesting one. He starts as a welder at the U.S. Navy Yard and eventually works his way up to where he’s a professional advisor, consulting with personnel at the Pentagon.

But through it all, he’s always kept a passion for running. As he approaches middle age, he gets back into the long distance scene. Finally, he puts all his training on the line, runs the Steamtown (Scranton) Marathon in the time necessary to qualify for Boston and realizes that setting goals – and attaining them – are practically universal for all like-minded athletes.

Brennan, 59, currently resides in Chalfont and recently ran the Bucks County Marathon along the Delaware River right around four hours.

Brennan’s book has something for every long distance runner, from anecdotes to advice, from injury recovery to the thrill of crossing the finish line in Boston.

The second review, written by Bridget FitzPatrick, Associate Vice President for Advancement at  Lackawanna College, appeared in the November 28, 2013 edition of the Bucks County Herald – Review – 24 Years to Boston

If you’d like to join these two journalists and four readers, you can go to Customer Review on and write your own review. Thanks!


About Jim Brennan

Jim is a Philadelphia-based writer, author, poet and editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal.
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12 Responses to Book Review – Twenty-four Years to Boston

  1. LB says:

    So glad you not only got some great reviews but that you shared them! Congrats, Jim!


  2. That’s brilliant Jim, congratulations on the fantastic reviews. I’m looking forward to reading your book and hope I’ll be able to get my hands on it here in the UK!


  3. very interesting blog , i follow you and will read you , and hope you the succeed, thanks for accepting me as a reader .


  4. Very nice reviews. including the reader reviews on Amazon. Have you planned to do signed copies at one of the larger local races or bookstores?


    • Jim Brennan says:

      Thanks, Marylou. The reviewers are so kind they make me blush. I sold some books at the Philly Marathon Expo and Bucks County Marathon, and signed a few. I’ve been to a few books stores, no signings yet. I have to psyche myself up for a signing, but it’s not out of the question. This is still all new to me. Thanks for nudging me, though.


  5. Looks really great! I’m going to read it!


  6. briapittman says:

    Jim, that is awesome 🙂 Wow I can’t wait to read the book. What an inspiring story. Your humility is inspiring. Keep writing. Someone needs to read you.


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