Here are the 42 best sports books of 2020 according to Google. Find your new favorite book from the local library with one click.
Click Read Review to read book reviews on Amazon. Click Google Preview to read chapters from Google Books if available. Click Find in Library to check book availability at your local library. If the default library is not correct, follow Change Library to reset it.
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE BESTSELLER The legendary Willie Mays shares the inspirations and influences responsible for guiding him on and off the field in this reflective and inspirational memoir. “Even if, like me, you thought you had pretty much read and heard all there was to read and hear about Willie Mays, this warmhearted book will inform and reward you. And besides, what true baseball fan can ever get enough of Willie Mays? Say Hey! Read on and enjoy.” —From the Foreword by Bob Costas “It’s because of giants like Willie that someone like me could even think about running for President.” —President Barack Obama Widely regarded as the greatest all-around player in baseball history because of his unparalleled hitting, defense and baserunning, the beloved Willie Mays offers people of all ages his lifetime of experience meeting challenges with positivity, integrity and triumph in 24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid. Presented in 24 chapters to correspond with his universally recognized uniform number, Willie’s memoir provides more than the story of his role in America’s pastime. This is the story of a man who values family and community, engages in charitable causes especially involving children and follows a philosophy that encourages hope, hard work and the fulfillment of dreams. “I was very lucky when I was a child. My family took care of me and made sure I was in early at night. I didn’t get in trouble. My father made sure that I didn’t do the wrong thing. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for children and their well-being, and John Shea and I got the idea that we should do something for the kids and the fathers and the mothers, and that’s why this book is being published. We want to reach out to all generations and backgrounds. Hopefully, these stories and lessons will inspire people in a positive way.” —Willie Mays
*NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* From the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Tiger Woods comes the definitive inside story of the New England Patriots—the greatest sports dynasty of the 21st century. It’s easy to forget that the New England Patriots were once the laughingstock of the NFL, a nearly bankrupt team that had never won a championship and was on the brink of moving to St. Louis. Everything changed in 1994, when Robert Kraft acquired the franchise and soon brought on board head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. Since then, the Patriots have become a juggernaut, making ten trips to the Super Bowl, winning six of them, and emerging as one of the most valuable sports franchises in the world. How was the Patriots dynasty built? And how did it last for two decades? In The Dynasty, acclaimed journalist Jeff Benedict provides richly reported answers in a sweeping account based on exclusive interviews with more than two hundred insiders—including team executives, coaches, players, players’ wives, team doctors, lawyers, and more—as well as never-before-seen recordings, documents, and electronic communications. Through his exhaustive research, Benedict uncovers surprising new details about the inner workings of a team notorious for its secrecy. He puts us in the room as Robert Kraft outmaneuvers a legion of lawyers and investors to buy the team. We listen in on the phone call when the greatest trade ever made—Bill Belichick for a first-round draft choice—is negotiated. And we look over the shoulder of forty-year-old Tom Brady as a surgeon operates on his throwing hand on the eve of the AFC Championship Game in 2018. But the portrait that emerges in The Dynasty is more rewarding than new details alone. By tracing the team’s epic run through the perspectives of Kraft, Belichick, and Brady—each of whom was interviewed for the book—the author provides a wealth of new insight into the complex human beings most responsible for the Patriots’ success. The result is an intimate portrait that captures the human drama of the dynasty’s three key characters while also revealing the secrets behind their success. “The Dynasty is…[a] masterpiece…It’s a relationship book, it’s a football book, it’s a business book…you’ll just eat up these stories” (Colin Cowherd).
How money, guts, and greed built the Warriors dynasty — and then took it apart The Golden State Warriors dominated the NBA for the better part of a decade. Since the arrival of owner Joe Lacob, they won more championships and sold more merchandise than any other franchise in the sport. And in 2019, they opened the doors on a lavish new stadium. Yet all this success contained some of the seeds of decline. Ethan Sherwood Strauss’s clear-eyed exposé reveals the team’s culture, its financial ambitions and struggles, and the price that its players and managers have paid for all their winning. From Lacob’s unlikely acquisition of the team to Kevin Durant’s controversial departure, Strauss shows how the smallest moments can define success or failure for years. And, looking ahead, Strauss ponders whether this organization can rebuild after its abrupt fall from the top, and how a relentless business wears down its players and executives. The Victory Machine is a defining book on the modern NBA: it not only rewrites the story of the Warriors, but shows how the Darwinian business of pro basketball really works.
Named a Best Book of 2020 by NPR and Lit Hub. A Los Angeles Times Bestseller. A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice “In The Cactus League [Emily Nemens] provides her readers with what amounts to a miniature, self-enclosed world that is funny and poignant and lovingly observed.” –Charles McGrath, The New York Times Book Review An explosive, character-driven odyssey through the world of baseball from Emily Nemens, the editor of The Paris Review Jason Goodyear is the star outfielder for the Los Angeles Lions, stationed with the rest of his team in the punishingly hot Arizona desert for their annual spring training. Handsome, famous, and talented, Goodyear is nonetheless coming apart at the seams. And the coaches, writers, wives, girlfriends, petty criminals, and diehard fans following his every move are eager to find out why—as they hide secrets of their own. Humming with the energy of a ballpark before the first pitch, Emily Nemens’s The Cactus League unravels the tightly connected web of people behind a seemingly linear game. Narrated by a sportscaster, Goodyear’s story is interspersed with tales of Michael Taylor, a batting coach trying to stay relevant; Tamara Rowland, a resourceful spring-training paramour, looking for one last catch; Herb Allison, a legendary sports agent grappling with his decline; and a plethora of other richly drawn characters, all striving to be seen as the season approaches. It’s a journey that, like the Arizona desert, brims with both possibility and destruction. Anchored by an expert knowledge of baseball’s inner workings, Emily Nemens’s The Cactus League is a propulsive and deeply human debut that captures a strange desert world that is both exciting and unforgiving, where the most crucial games are the ones played off the field.
A beautifully observed narrative of American sport: character, grit, tragedy, unremarked heroism, and, always, the illuminating story behind the story. As a columnist for Time magazine, among many other publications, Tom Callahan witnessed an extraordinary number of defining moments in American sport across four decades. He takes us from Roberto Clemente clinching his 3,000th, and final, regular-season hit in Pittsburgh; to ringside for the Muhammad Ali–George Foreman fight in Zaire; and to Arthur Ashe announcing, at a news conference, that he’d tested positive for HIV. There are also little-known private moments: Joe Morgan whispering thank you to a virtually blind Jackie Robinson on the field at the 1972 World Series, or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar saying he was more interested in being a good man than in being the greatest basketball player. Brimming with colorful vignettes and enlivened by Callahan’s eye for detail, Gods at Play offers surprising portraits of the most celebrated names in sports. Roger Rosenblatt calls Callahan “the most complete sportswriter in America. He knows the most and writes the best.”
An authoritative, “must-read” (Keith Hernandez) biography of Hall of Fame pitching legend Tom Seaver, still the greatest player ever to wear a Mets jersey, by a journalist who knew him well. He was called Tom Terrific for a reason. Tom Seaver is “among the greatest pitchers of all time” (Bob Costas). He is one of only two pitchers with 300 wins, 3,000 strikeouts, and an ERA under 3.00. He was a three-time Cy Young award winner, twelve-time All Star, and was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame with the highest percentage ever at the time. Popular among players and fans, Seaver was fiercely competitive but always put team success ahead of personal glory. Born in Fresno, California, Seaver signed with the New York Mets in 1967, leading them to their stunning 1969 World Series victory. After a legendarily lopsided trade, he joined the Cincinnati Reds, then later played for the White Sox and the Red Sox before ending his career following the 1986 season. After his playing days, Seaver retired back to California to establish a successful vineyard. The in 2013, a recurrence of Lyme disease severely affected his memory, which Madden was the first to report. In 2019, Seaver’s family announced that he had been diagnosed with dementia and was withdrawing from public life. Tom Seaver died on August 31, 2021. Madden began following Seaver’s career in the 1980s. Seaver came to trust Madden so completely that, eager to return to New York from Chicago, he asked Madden to explore a possible trade to the Yankees which never materialized. Drawing in part on their long relationship, Madden “has crafted a biography as terrific as the subject” (Jane Leavy, New York Times bestselling author of Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy).
A Time Magazine Must-Read Book of 2020 A Best Book of the Season: BuzzFeed * Bustle * San Francisco Chronicle A Best Book of the Year: NPR’s Book Concierge * Washington Independent Review of Books “A fascinating and beautifully written love letter to water. I was enchanted by this book.” —Rebecca Skloot, bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks An immersive, unforgettable, and eye-opening perspective on swimming—and on human behavior itself. We swim in freezing Arctic waters and piranha-infested rivers to test our limits. We swim for pleasure, for exercise, for healing. But humans, unlike other animals that are drawn to water, are not natural-born swimmers. We must be taught. Our evolutionary ancestors learned for survival; now, in the twenty-first century, swimming is one of the most popular activities in the world. Why We Swim is propelled by stories of Olympic champions, a Baghdad swim club that meets in Saddam Hussein’s palace pool, modern-day Japanese samurai swimmers, and even an Icelandic fisherman who improbably survives a wintry six-hour swim after a shipwreck. New York Times contributor Bonnie Tsui, a swimmer herself, dives into the deep, from the San Francisco Bay to the South China Sea, investigating what it is about water that seduces us, despite its dangers, and why we come back to it again and again.
Hall of Famer, Cy Young winner, and All-Star will forever be used to describe the illustrious career of Roy Halladay. With a repertoire of masterful pitches wielded with impeccable command, he piled up accolades during his 16 major league seasons, the very image of stability and dominance whenever he took the mound. Doc is a celebration and a profound remembrance of a beloved player, friend, and family man. Todd Zolecki traces Halladay’s remarkable journey, from garnering the attention of major league scouts as a teenager in Colorado, to Halladay’s methodical reinvention and ascent to ace status in Toronto, to the signature no-hitter he authored in his playoff debut with the Philadelphia Phillies. Also examined are Halladay’s distinctive, disciplined approach to pitching, his impact as a teammate and community member, and the baseball world’s honoring of these qualities in Cooperstown in 2019. Thoroughly and thoughtfully reported, with input and reflections from Halladay’s teammates, coaches, competitors, and more, this is an essential biography for baseball fans everywhere.
From 1996 through 2004, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal combined– and collided– to help bring the Lakers three straight championships and restore the franchise as a powerhouse. From public sniping and sparring, to physical altercations and the repeated threats of trade, it was warfare. The eight years of infighting and hostility were by turns mediated and encouraged by coach Phil Jackson. Pearlman shows how the Shaq-Kobe duo resulted in one of the most enduring, and ever-evolving, teams in NBA history. — adapted from jacket
Catherine Spencer was the captain of the England women’s rugby team for three years. She scored eighteen tries for England, won six of the eight Six Nations competitions she took part in, and captained her team to three championship titles, a European cup, two Nations Cup tournament victories and the World Cup final held on home soil in 2010, which thrust women’s rugby into the limelight. All of this while holding down a full time job, because the women’s team, unlike the men’s, did not get paid for their sport. Mud, Maul, Mascara is an effort to reconcile alleged opposites, to show the woman behind the international sporting success. Painfully honest about the mental struggles Catherine faced during, and after, her career as an elite athlete, it is also warm, funny and inspirational – a book for anyone who has ever had a dream, or self-doubt, or a yearning for a really good, mud-proof mascara.
An instant New York Times bestseller! “Rapinoe’s ‘signature pose’ from the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup is synonymous to the feeling we got when finishing this book: heart full, arms wide and ready to take up space in this world.”—USA Today Megan Rapinoe, Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women’s World Cup champion, reveals for the first time her life both on and off the field. Guided by her personal journey into social justice, brimming with humor, humanity, and joy, she urges all of us to ask ourselves, What will you do with your one life? Only four years old when she kicked her first soccer ball, Megan Rapinoe developed a love – and clear talent – for the game at a young age. But it was her parents who taught her that winning was much less important than how she lived her life. From childhood on, Rapinoe always did what she could to stand up for what was right—even if it meant going up against people who disagreed. In One Life, Megan Rapinoe invites readers on a remarkable journey, looking back on both her victories and her failures, and pulls back the curtain on events we know only from the headlines. After the 2011 World Cup, discouraged by how few athletes were open about their sexuality, Rapinoe decided to come out publicly as gay and use her platform to advocate for marriage equality. Recognizing the power she had to bring attention to critical issues, in 2016 she took a knee during the national anthem in solidarity with former NFL player Colin Kaepernick to protest racial injustice and police brutality—the first high-profile white athlete to do so. The backlash was immediate, but it couldn’t compare to the overwhelming support. Rapinoe became a force of change. Here for the first time, Rapinoe reflects upon some of the most pivotal moments in her life and career – from her realization in college that she was gay, through the disputes with soccer coaches and officials over her decision to kneel, to the first time she met her now-fiancé WNBA champion Sue Bird, and up through suing the US Soccer Federation over gender discrimination and equal pay. Throughout, Rapinoe makes clear the obligation we all have to speak up, and the impact each of us can have on our communities. Deeply personal and inspiring, One Life reveals that real, concrete change lies within all of us, and asks: If we all have the same resource—this one precious life, made up of the decisions we make every day—what are you going to do? “One Life makes it clear that Rapinoe’s greatest accomplishments may ultimately come away from the soccer pitch. She’s a new kind of American hero.”—San Francisco Chronicle
LONGLISTED FOR THE WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR PRIZE 2020 ‘One of the funniest books I’ve read’ Arthur Mathews, co-writer of Father Ted Widely regarded as one of the best football books ever written, The Far Corner was a vivid portrait of the sport in the north-east and of the people who bring such passion to it. Now, a generation later, Harry Pearson returns to the region to discover how much things have changed – and how much they have remained the same. In the mid-1990s, Kevin Keegan brought sporting romance and expectation of trophies to Newcastle, Sunderland moved the the Stadium of Light backed by a wealthy consortium, Middlesbrough signed one of the best Brazilians of the era and won their first major trophy – even little Darlington had a former safe-cracker turned kitchen magnate in charge, promising the world. The region even provided England’s two key players in Euro 96 in Alan Shearer and Paul Gascoigne – the far corner seemed destined to become the centre of England’s footballing world. But it never happened. Using travels to and from matches in the 2018-19 season, The Farther Corner will explore the changes in north-east football and society over the past twenty-five years. Visiting new places and some familiar ones, catching the stories, the sentiment and the sound of the supporters, locating where football now sits in the life of a region that was once proud to be what John Arlott suggested was ‘The Hotbed of Soccer’, it will be about love and loss and the happiness to be found eating KitKats and joking about Bobby Mimms on cold February days in coal-scented northern air. The region may have been left behind in the Champions League stakes, but few would doubt the power of its beating heart.
The ultimate book for young sports fans is back with the past year’s top sports stories, including the biggest wins from the thrilling Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympics.
INSTANT USA TODAY BESTSELLER! WITH A FOREWORD BY TOM BRADY “As a sportscaster and sports historian, Jim’s career genuinely stands the test of time. . . . This book is sports history about some of the greats by one of the greats, who was taking it all in on the sidelines, in the stands or the dugout, by the eighteenth green, courtside, or in the broadcast booth.” —Tom Brady, seven-time NFL Super Bowl champion GOAT A riveting, insightful memoir of never-before-told stories from Jim Gray, twelve-time Emmy Award-winner, Hall of Fame sports broadcaster, and renowned interviewer— that explores the author’s career and the inside stories and memorable moments of the famous legends he has covered including, Muhammad Ali, Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Mike Tyson. In Talking to GOATs, award-winning broadcaster Jim Gray looks back at his four decades of sports reporting from the unparalleled perspective of one of the world’s most respected and skilled interviewers. A journalist who many iconic athletes have trusted to tell their stories (of both triumph and disgrace), Jim has had unprecedented access to the people, places and extraordinary events in the world of sports. Asking tough but fair questions, he has broken numerous stories, and landed squarely in the middle of others, from the Ben Johnson and Barry Bonds steroid scandals, to Michael Jordan’s surprise retirement, to the off-the-court Kobe/Shaq feud which led to their on-the-court break up, to being part of the live broadcast for twenty-two Super Bowls. He’s climbed into the ring to interview Mike Tyson after he bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield’s ear, and stood next to Ron Artest when the “Malice at the Palace” melee erupted, and was on site at the bombing of the Atlanta Olympics. Anyone who has watched Jim effortlessly engage his subjects at the precise moment of triumph or tragedy has little idea what it takes to secure the interview, or what actually happens when the camera cuts away. These are real, mesmerizing, and previously untold stories. Talking to GOATs features numerous world-class athletes, including Muhammad Ali, Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Floyd Mayweather, Michael Phelps, Mike Tyson and Tiger Woods, and world leaders George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Mikhail Gorbachev, and many more. On each page, Jim gives the reader a coveted all-access pass as he reviews the best interviews, the best athletes, and the best games in modern sports history. It’s like a personal introduction to the characters and careers of these heroes and villains we’ve known since childhood. He examines how money, celebrity, the media, and power interact, and how sports, more than any other institution, has led to momentous transformations in American society.
An inspiring memoir that shows that anyone can achieve their dreams if they are willing to fight for them. In 1958, Willie O’Ree was a lot like any other player toiling in the minors. He was good. Good enough to have been signed by the Boston Bruins. Just not quite good enough to play in the NHL. Until January 18 of that year. O’Ree was finally called up, and when he stepped out onto the ice against the Montreal Canadiens, not only did he fulfil the childhood dream he shared with so many other Canadian kids, he did something that had never been done before. He broke hockey’s colour barrier. Just as his hero, Jackie Robinson, had done for baseball. In that pioneering first NHL game, O’Ree proved that no one could stop him from being a hockey player. But he soon learned that he could never be just a hockey player. He would always be a black player, with all that entails. There were ugly name-calling and stick-swinging incidents, and nights when the Bruins had to be escorted to their bus by the police. But O’Ree never backed down. When he retired in 1979, he had played hundreds of games as a pro, and scored hundreds of goals, his boyhood dreams more than accomplished. In 2018, O’Ree was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in recognition not only of that legacy, but of the way he has built on it in the decades since. He has been, for twenty years now, an NHL Executive and has helped the NHL Diversity program expose more than 40,000 boys and girls of diverse backgrounds to unique hockey experiences. Inspiring, frank, and shot through with the kind of understated courage and decency required to change the world, Willie is a story for anyone willing to persevere for a dream.
Jerry Izenberg’s career in newspapers began eight decades ago as a college student. And since 1962, he has penned sports columns for The Star-Ledger, a New Jersey newspaper. Memories from throughout his career, insights on mentors and general impressions of historic figures (Muhammad Ali, Grambling University football coach Eddie Robinson, thoroughbred legend Secretariat and columnists Red Smith and Jim Murray, among others) provide an overview of what he’s observed and written about in his distinguished career, which included 53 consecutive Super Bowls through 2019. Izenberg’s upbringing in New Jersey ignited a love of baseball at a young age, and tales from the ballpark are presented, from the 1930s in Newark to Fidel Castro in Havana in the late 1950s to decades later. Izenberg connected with people and told meaningful stories about their lives, including Nelson Mandela’s after meeting him and watching Olympic boxing with him in the stands in Barcelona in 1992. It’s a topic briefly explored in the book. Above all, Going 15 Rounds With Jerry Izenberg illuminates the breadth and depth of his extraordinary career and gives a wide range of prominent sports media members an opportunity to also reflect on his career and legacy.
‘He’s one of the best players I’ve ever played with. As a forward, I’d say he’s the best.’ Johnny Sexton Seán O’Brien does not come from a traditional rugby background. He grew up on a farm in Tullow, far from the rugby hotbeds of Limerick and Cork or the fee-paying schools of Dublin. But as he made his way up through the ranks, it soon became clear that he was a very special player and a very special personality. Now, Seán O’Brien tells the remarkable and unlikely story of his rise to the highest levels of world rugby, and of a decade of success with Leinster, Ireland and the British and Irish Lions.
As every sportsperson knows, the dream can’t go on forever. After years of dedication, sacrifice and single-minded obsession to get to the top, one day it all has to end. When the World Stops Watching tells the real inside stories of what happened next for sixteen Irish sports stars, as they faced the brand-new challenges of normal life. From the highs of Grand Slam rugby, World Cup football, the Olympic Games, European Tour golf and GAA stardom, these born competitors recount the seismic aftershocks of retirement and the effect it had on them, both physically and mentally. The lives of sporting icons can change overnight. This is a searingly honest and compelling account of what life is really like after the game.
In Wenger: My Life and Lessons in Red and White, world-renowned and revolutionary soccer coach Arsène Wenger finally tells his own story for the very first time. Wenger opens up about his life, sharing principles for success on and off the field with lessons on leadership, personal development, and management. This book charts his extraordinary career, including his rise from obscurity in France and Japan to his 22 years at the helm of Arsenal Football Club. • Covers the years of controversy that led up to his resignation in 2018 and his current seat as chief of global football development for FIFA • Wenger offers studious reflections on the game and his groundbreaking approach to motivation, mindset, fitness, and the winning edge. •He popularized the attacking approach and belief that the game should be entertaining. • Includes full-color photo insert. Among the most successful managers of all time, Wenger, affectionately nicknamed “the professor,” has won multiple championships and run one undefeated and unmatched English Premier League season. This is a must-read for Arsenal fans, soccer fans, athletes, trainers, business leaders, and anyone seeking the tools for success in work and life. The story of one of the most revered and successful coaches—and his tactics and vision—in the world’s largest sport • Makes a great book for diehard soccer fans around the world • You’ll love this book if you love books like Alex Ferguson: My Biography by Alex Ferguson, Beckham: Both Feet on the Ground: An Autobiography by David Beckham and Tom Watt, and Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success by Phil Jackson and Hugh Delehanty. Digital audio edition read by the author.
Bruce Lee’s daughter illuminates her father’s most powerful life philosophies—demonstrating how martial arts are a perfect metaphor for personal growth, and how we can practice those teachings every day. “Empty your mind; be formless, shapeless like water.” Bruce Lee is a cultural icon, renowned the world over for his martial arts and film legacy. But Lee was also a deeply philosophical thinker, learning at an early age that martial arts are more than just an exercise in physical discipline—they are an apt metaphor for living a fully realized life. Now, in Be Water, My Friend, Lee’s daughter Shannon shares the concepts at the core of his philosophies, showing how they can serve as tools of personal growth and self-actualization. Each chapter brings a lesson from Bruce Lee’s teachings, expanding on the foundation of his iconic “be water” philosophy. Over the course of the book, we discover how being like water allows us to embody fluidity and naturalness in life, bringing us closer to our essential flowing nature and our ability to be powerful, self-expressed, and free. Through previously untold stories from her father’s life and from her own journey in embodying these lessons, Shannon presents these philosophies in tangible, accessible ways. With Bruce Lee’s words as a guide, she encourages readers to pursue their essential selves and apply these ideas and practices to their everyday lives—whether in learning new things, overcoming obstacles, or ultimately finding their true path. Be Water, My Friend is an inspirational invitation to us all, a gentle call to action to consider our lives with new eyes. It is also a testament to how one man’s exploration and determination transcended time and place to ignite our imaginations—and to inspire many around the world to transform their lives.
Irish sportswomen have been breaking the mould for a long time. From Maeve Kyle becoming Ireland’s first female Olympian in 1956, to motorsport pioneer Rosemary Smith breaking the land-speed record in 1978. Through the 1990s and 2000s we had world champions in Sonia O’Sullivan, Derval O’Rourke, and Olive Loughnane. More recently, the success of Katie Taylor, Kellie Harrington, and Annalise Murphy has kept Irish sportswomen on the global map. But amidst their success stories, the battle for recognition continues. Female athletes still receive only a small proportion of the media coverage their male counterparts receive. This book will break the mould once more with a first ever compendium of stories for young girls about our most accomplished contemporary sportswomen. With a fairy-tale touch, RTÉ’s Jacqui Hurley tells the real-life stories of women who have proved that gender is not a barrier to success. Each story in Girls Play Too is one of overcoming adversity, and the role models celebrated here are sure to inspire the next generation of Irish sportswomen.
For over twenty-five years, The Best American Sports Writing has been a showcase for the most exceptional sports journalism of the previous year, selected by an acclaimed guest editor. Represented in this year’s collection are giants in the field as well as up-and-coming writers to watch–the only shared traits among the diverse styles and voices are the extraordinarily high caliber of writing and the pure passion they tap into.
Sports-mad Eoin Madden is home in Tipperary for the holidays. There’s no rugby over the summer, so he and his Castlerock boarding school friends, Dylan and Alan, head down to Ormondstown GAA club and get involved with the hurling and football teams. The summer is full of fun as the boys all get into playing GAA – well, apart from Alan, who’s more into studying the opposition, and checking out the GAA stats. Eoin and Dylan take part in a hurling and football blitz against other clubs in the county and find some of the skills they’ve developed in rugby translate well to their native sports. The lads also have a bit of fun setting up a gardening business with their new teammates Vladis and Isaac to make some money. Everything is going well, so Eoin isn’t sure why he bumps into his old ghostly friend, Brian Hanrahan – along with the ghost of Michael Hogan, who died in Croke Park on Bloody Sunday. Usually when ghosts appear to Eoin it is because there’s something brewing. Some mystery or danger! The only thing going wrong in Ormondstown seems to be a bit of trouble with a gang of bullies. But Eoin and Dylan have handled the bullies – or have they? The ghostly action really hots up when the friends go to Dublin for the All-Ireland Hurling final. Eoin gains a deeper understanding of the tragedy of Bloody Sunday 100 years ago. But will he be in time to stop a modern tragedy unfolding? Book 7 in the acclaimed Rugby Spirit series.
From picking coffee in the Dominican Republic to reaching icon status as a Major League pitcher in America, here is the story of baseball’s most colorful player told in his own words Bartolo Colón—also known as Big Sexy—is a baseball icon and one of the most beloved players to ever play the game. In a career spanning 21 years, Colón has won the Cy Young Award and won more games than any other Latin American–born pitcher. But more importantly, Big Sexy has captured the hearts of fans of the game as well as the stars he has played against. Colón plays the game the way it was meant to be. In Big Sexy: In His Own Words, Bartolo Colón opens up as never before. The result is a touching and deeply personal story of a truly unique baseball life.
It was the story that shocked the world: Russian athletics was revealed to be corrupt from top to bottom, with institutionalised doping used to help the nation’s athletes win medals they did not truly deserve. But the full story of the couple who blew the whistle has never been told – until now. When Russian anti-doping official Vitaly Stepanov met the young 800m athlete Yuliya Rusanova, for him it was love at first sight. Within two months, they were married. But there was a problem – in fact, there were lots of problems. She admitted she was doping and that everyone else was doping, and she let him know that she came from a dark place … It could all have brought a very swift end to a very hasty marriage, but gradually the Stepanovs began to realise that whatever you did, the system in Russia was stacked against you. In the end, the only ones they could rely upon were each other. Fully aware of the risks they were taking, they decided to turn the tables on those who had manipulated them and cheated the sporting world. The result of their investigative work sent shockwaves around the planet and led to Russia’s athletes being banned from world sport, while the Stepanovs themselves had to go into hiding. The Russian Affair is a gripping true-life drama that at times reads like a spy novel and at others like an epic love story. But, at the centre of it all, is a quietly determined couple who knew that if they stood together they could shine a light on a corrupt system and bring it crashing to the ground.
Barry Geraghty, an Irish horseracing legend. From his first win in 1997 to when he retired in July 2020, he rode almost 2,000 winners, making him the fourth most accomplished rider of all time. With more wins at Cheltenham than any other jockey, he has worked with all the greats – Moscow Flyer, Kicking King, Monty’s Pass. But Barry is covered in scars. He has broken all his limbs, his shoulders, his ribs and his nose. He has survived falls too numerous to recall and spent most of 2019 with a metal cast on his leg. And yet, he kept getting back on the horse. This book is about resilience; the mental power that enables the great to keep going despite the pain, despite the odds. Containing startling revelations and a searingly honest insight into the life of a top jockey, this is a must-read for all sporting fans.
‘Essential reading for players, fans and coaches’ – Steven Gerrard ‘A cracking read’ – Chris Evans ‘I couldn’t put it down’ – Joey Barton What are the greatest games ever played? From Jurgen Klopp to Gary Neville, Xavi to David Beckham, Jamie Carragher speaks with teammates, rivals, managers and legends of the sport to identify and analyse football’s greatest encounters. As Carra and his contributors take you into the dressing rooms and out onto the pitches of the world’s most celebrated stadiums, they relive some of the defining moments of their playing careers as well as many more from the greatest football matches ever played – from title deciders and cup finals to against-all-odds comebacks, tactical masterclasses and old school classics. Packed full of hilariously stories, exclusive anecdotes and refreshing appraisals, in The Greatest Games Jamie Carragher takes you into the heart of these matches, revealing new insights into the teams, players and coaches that have shaped football.
Meet the Irish men & women who topped the Sporting world. From heavyweight boxing champion Dan Donnelly to our greatest runner, Sonia O’Sullivan. From Brian O’Driscoll’s amazing rugby performances to Rosemary Smyth’s rally driving brilliance. Inspiring words and pictures for children of all ages.
‘Who are we?’ ‘Ballymarra! Ballymarra!’ everyone shouted loudly. Thirteen-year-old Anna loves Gaelic football, and she’s good: focused, skilled and strong. But then everything changes; after a terrible loss, Anna and her family move to a new town. How will she cope with a new home, new school and new GAA club? It seems like even football can’t give her comfort, maybe some help from an unexpected place is just what she needs…… Football, friendship & family forever
The inside story of J rgen Klopp’s astonishing revival of Liverpool Football Club, culminating in the club’s first domestic league trophy in thirty years. Featuring incisive and insightful reporting, and exclusive interviews with players, management and club hierarchy, Believe Us paints a vivid picture of this titanic sporting success. “Now you’re gonna believe us, we’re gonna win the league.” Liverpool Football Club’s stunning 2020 Premier League title victory deserves a place in the official record of great sporting achievements. The Reds became the first team in British history to hold the European Cup, Super Cup, World Club Cup and domestic league title simultaneously in a masterclass of free-scoring, full throttle footballing prowess. Journalist Melissa Reddy reveals the inside story of J rgen Klopp’s astonishing revival of Liverpool, culminating in the club’s first domestic league trophy in thirty years. Featuring incisive and insightful reporting, and the thoughts of players, management and club hierarchy, Believe Us paints a vivid picture of this titanic sporting success. Reddy’s unparalleled access to the club brings interviews with everyone from fans and key backroom staff to players including talismanic captain Jordan Henderson, and of course Klopp himself. The perfect gift for any fan of the club or its inimitable leader, this is heavy metal football writing at its best.
The long-awaited autobiography from Georgetown University’s legendary coach, whose life on and off the basketball court threw America’s unresolved struggle with racial justice into sharp relief. John Thompson was never just a basketball coach and I Came As A Shadow is categorically not just a basketball autobiography. After five decades at the center of race and sports in America, Thompson—the iconic NCAA champion, Black activist, and educator—was ready to make the private public at last, and he completed this autobiography shortly before his death in the historically tumultuous summer of 2020. Chockful of stories and moving beyond mere stats (three Final Fours, four-time national coach of the year, seven Big East championships, 97 percent graduation rate), Thompson’s book drives us through his childhood under Jim Crow segregation to our current moment of racial reckoning. We experience riding shotgun with Celtics icon Red Auerbach and coaching NBA Hall of Famers like Patrick Ewing and Allen Iverson. What were the origins of the the phrase “Hoya Paranoia”? You’ll see. And parting his veil of secrecy, Thompson brings us into his negotiation with a D.C. drug kingpin in his players’ orbit in the 1980s, as well as behind the scenes of his years on the Nike board. Thompson’s mother was a teacher who had to clean houses because of racism in the nation’s capital. His father could not read or write. Their son grew up to be a man with his own larger-than-life statue in a building that bears his family’s name on a campus once kept afloat by the selling of 272 enslaved Black people. This is a great American story, and John Thompson’s experience sheds light on many of the issues roiling our nation. In these pages, he proves himself to be the elder statesman whose final words college basketball and the country need to hear. I Came As A Shadow is not a swan song, but a bullhorn blast from one of America’s most prominent sons.
Discover the heartwarming true story of a life-changing friendship between a man and his rescue cat, Nala, as they adventure together on a bike journey around the world — from the Instagram phenomenon @1bike1world. When 30-year-old Dean Nicholson set off from Scotland to cycle around the world, his aim was to learn as much as he could about our troubled planet. But he hadn’t bargained on the lessons he’d learn from his unlikely companion. Three months after leaving home, on a remote road in the mountains between Montenegro and Bosnia, he came across an abandoned kitten. Something about the piercing eyes and plaintive meowing of the bedraggled little cat proved irresistible. He couldn’t leave her to her fate, so he put her on his bike and then, with the help of local vets, nursed her back to health. Soon on his travels with the cat he named Nala, they forged an unbreakable bond — both curious, independent, resilient and adventurous. The video of how they met has had 20 million views and their Instagram has grown to almost 750k followers — and still counting! Experiencing the kindness of strangers, visiting refugee camps, rescuing animals through Europe and Asia, Dean and Nala have already learned that the unexpected can be pretty amazing. Together with Garry Jenkins, writer with James Bowen of the bestselling A Street Cat Named Bob, Dean shares the extraordinary tale of his and Nala’s inspiring and heart-warming adventure together.
This is the story of Niki Luada’s racing career. Climbing the ladder: starting against his family’s wishes with a Mini in 1968, Niki Lauda drove a Formula Vee Kaimann in 1969 and had a disastrous Formula 3 season with McNamara in 1970 before switching to a Porsche sports car; with progress stalling, he took out a loan to buy a Formula 2 seat at March in 1971. Faltering in Formula 1: he debuted with March at the 1971 Austrian Grand Prix, then stayed with the team in 1972; he moved to BRM for 1973, still paying his way with further borrowing and some income from racing touring cars — but in all this time he had only one points-scoring Formula 1 finish. The Ferrari years: finally Lauda fulfilled his promise after receiving the call to Maranello, winning the World Championship twice in his four years there, in 1975 and 1977, but he left after tensions with the team arose in his final season. The Brabham years: Lauda famously won the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix in Brabham’s ‘fan car.’ but thereafter the team’s competitiveness declined and he retired at the end of 1979, tired of driving round in circles’ and focused instead on his new airline, Lauda Air. The McLaren years: tempted by a salary of unprecedented size, Lauda returned in 1982 after a two-year absence, silenced doubters by winning his third race, and in 1984 secured his third World Championship; at the end of 1985, with a career tally of 25 Grand Prix victories, he hung up his helmet for good.
THE NO.1 BESTSELLER! ‘I read it in one sitting, it’s a superb book’ Eamon Dunphy, The Stand ‘An astonishing exposé’ Martin Ziegler, The Times Over the course of fifteen years, John Delaney ran the Football Association of Ireland as his own personal fiefdom. He had his critics, but his power was never seriously challenged until last year, when Mark Tighe and Paul Rowan published a sequence of stories in the Sunday Times containing damaging revelations about his personal compensation and the parlous financial situation of the FAI. Delaney’s reputation as a great financial manager was left in tatters. He resigned under pressure, and the FAI was left hoping for a massive bail-out from the Irish taxpayer. In Champagne Football, Tighe and Rowan dig deep into the story of Delaney’s career and of the FAI’s slide into ruin. They show how he surrounded himself with people whose personal loyalty he could count on, and a board that failed to notice that the association’s finances were shot. They detail Delaney’s skilful cultivation of opinion-formers outside the FAI. And they document the culture of excess that Delaney presided over and benefited from, to the detriment of the organization he led. Champagne Football is a gripping, sometimes darkly hilarious and often enraging piece of reporting by the award-winning journalists who finally pulled back the curtain on the FAI’s mismanagement. ____________ ‘Excellent’ Irish Sun ‘A jaw-dropping story … brilliant’ Irish Times ‘Essential reading’ Irish Daily Star ‘Astonishing … Side-splittingly hilarious’ Guardian ‘A damning account’ Sunday Independent ‘An instant classic, one of the all-time great Irish sports books’ Alan English ‘Excellent … includes staggering detail’ Daily Mail ‘A cracking read … [An] incredible amount of jaw-dropping detail’ Matt Cooper ‘One of the most hotly-anticipated sport books of the year’ Brendan O’Connor ‘A masterpiece’ Tommy Martin ‘At last, the truth of his ruinous reign has been rigorously and painstakingly exposed’ Irish Daily Mail ‘An absolutely extraordinary book’ Eoin McDevitt, Second Captains ‘Remarkable. The desperate story of Irish football but also a book about how Ireland works. Outstanding’ Dion Fanning
‘Rugby is great for the soul,’ he writes, ‘but terrible for the body.’ Rugby hurts. It demands mental resilience and resistance to pain. It explores character, beyond a capacity to endure punishment. Dylan Hartley, one of England’s most successful captains, tells a story of hard men and harsh truths. From the sixteen-year-old Kiwi who travelled alone to England, to the winner of ninety-seven international caps, he describes with brutal clarity the sport’s increasing demand on players and the toll it takes on their mental health, as well as the untimely injury that shattered his dreams of leading England in the 2019 World Cup. The Hurt is rugby in the raw, a unique insight into the price of sporting obsession. ‘Few have had more twists and turns in a pro rugby career’ Robert Kitson, Guardian ‘Anyone who cares about the game, in which he won 97 caps for England and played 250 times for Northampton, should read Hartley’s book’ Don McRae, Guardian
“An outstanding book.” —The Wall Street Journal * “Gripping at every turn.” —Outside * “A gem of a book.” —The Guardian * “A hell of a ride.” —The Times (London) An extraordinary true story about one man’s attempt to salve the wounds of war and save his own soul through an audacious adventure. In the 1930s, as official government expeditions set their sights on conquering Mount Everest, a little-known World War I veteran named Maurice Wilson conceives his own crazy, beautiful plan: he will fly a plane from England to Everest, crash-land on its lower slopes, then become the first person to reach its summit—all utterly alone. Wilson doesn’t know how to climb. He barely knows how to fly. But he has the right plane, the right equipment, and a deep yearning to achieve his goal. In 1933, he takes off from London in a Gipsy Moth biplane with his course set for the highest mountain on earth. Wilson’s eleven-month journey to Everest is wild: full of twists, turns, and daring. Eventually, in disguise, he sneaks into Tibet. His icy ordeal is just beginning. Wilson is one of the Great War’s heroes, but also one of its victims. His hometown of Bradford in northern England is ripped apart by the fighting. So is his family. He barely survives the war himself. Wilson returns from the conflict unable to cope with the sadness that engulfs him. He begins a years-long trek around the world, burning through marriages and relationships, leaving damaged lives in his wake. When he finally returns to England, nearly a decade after he first left, he finds himself falling in love once more—this time with his best friend’s wife—before depression overcomes him again. He emerges from his funk with a crystalline ambition. He wants to be the first man to stand on top of the world. Wilson believes that Everest can redeem him. This is the tale of an adventurer unlike any you have ever encountered: complex, driven, wry, haunted, and fully alive. He is a man written out of the history books—dismissed as an eccentric, and gossiped about because of rumors of his transvestism. The Moth and the Mountain restores Maurice Wilson to his rightful place in the annals of Everest and tells an unforgettable story about the power of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
Calling all petrolheads, Lights Out, Full Throttle is the riotously funny tour through the best, worst and downright outrageous of F1. Johnny and Damon have become the one constant for passionate British F1 fans in a rapidly changing landscape. They have earned cult status as commentators and pundits, with viewers loving their unerring dedication to the sport’s greatness. From Monaco to Silverstone – discussing Johnny’s crowdsurfing and Bernie’s burger bar, the genius of Adrian Newey and Colin Chapman, what it’s like to have an out-of-body experience while driving a car in the pouring rain at 200 mph, and the future of the sport in the wake of a tumultuous year – Johnny and Damon assess the good, the bad and the ugly of the F1 enthusiast’s paradise. Whether you’re a fan of Nigel, Niki, Kimi or Britney, pine for the glory days of Brabham, Williams, Jim Clark and Fangio, or believe that Lewis Hamilton will retire as the GOAT, Lights Out, Full Throttle gets you to the front of the grid without the inconvenience of having to leave your seat.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER ‘Hilarious, and straight talking but also articulate and insightful – I am just hugely fond of this guy’ –Eddie Jones ‘James Haskell: what a flanker, what a book’ –Rugby World
*A MULTIPLE AWARD-WINNING SPORTS WRITER* ‘Hamilton’s book is a marvel . . . I’m not sure he could write a dull sentence if he tried’ Spectator One of Duncan Hamilton’s favourite writers on cricket, Edmund Blunden, wrote how he felt going to watch a game: ‘You arrive early, earlier even than you meant . . . and you feel a little guilty at the thought of the day you propose to give up to sheer luxury’. Following Neville Cardus’s assertion that ‘there can be no summer in this land without cricket’, Hamilton plotted the games he would see in 2019 and write down reflectively on some of the cricket that blessed his own sight. It would be captured in the context of the coming season in case subsequent summers and the imminent arrival of The Hundred made that impossible. He would write in the belief that after this season the game might never be quite the same again. He visits Welbeck Colliery Cricket Club to see Nottinghamshire play Hampshire at the tiny ground of Sookholme, gifted to the club by a local philanthropist who takes money on the gate; his village team at Menston in Yorkshire; the county ground at Hove; watches Ben Stokes’s heroics at Headingley, marvels at Jofra Archer’s gift of speed in a Second XI fixture for Sussex against Gloucestershire in front of 74 people and three well-behaved dogs; and realises when he reaches the last afternoon of the final county match of the season at Taunton, ‘How blessed I am to have been born here. How I never want to live anywhere else. How much I love cricket.’ “/i>font size=”+1″>One Long and Beautiful Summer forms a companion volume to Hamilton’s 2009 classic, A Last English Summer. It is sports writing at its most accomplished and evocative, confirming his reputation as the finest contemporary chronicler of the game.
‘Utterly joyous!’ – Bryony Gordon ‘The funniest book about running I have ever read. In fact it is the only book about running I have ever read, but it is HILARIOUS!’ – David Walliams ‘…insightful, inspiring and laugh-out-loud funny!’ – Michael McIntyre ‘Pain. Hope. Misery. Joy. All the big stuff. Excellent.’ – Dara Ó Briain ‘This book is funny (which I expected) and concerns running (ditto), but it is also exceptionally moving and profound. Don’t be fooled: it’s not really about completing a marathon. It’s about life and all its joy and weirdness. Recommended to all…’ – Miranda Sawyer ‘Very good book… very funny, very insightful, very inspiring’ – Chris Evans, Virgin Radio ‘Fabulous book’ – Radio 2 The hilarious trials and tribulations of stand-up comedian Paul Tonkinson as he attempts to beat the much lauded 3-hour mark at the London Marathon. With a supporting cast of fellow comedians, this is a warmly written and wonderfully honest adventure-through-sport that will both entertain and inspire. Along the way, we are introduced to the characters helping Paul with his quest. Celebrity names such as Bryony Gordon, Russell Howard, Roisin Conaty and Vassos Alexander pop up with wit and wisdom, alongside an alpine adventure to the Mayr Clinic with Michael McIntyre that pushes Paul to the limit. And not forgetting the ‘words of wisdom’ and derision from Paul’s anti-running friend, Richard.
The story of Johnny Sexton, one of Ireland’s greatest rugby legends for children aged, 7+, especially reluctant readers. Foreword by Johnny Sexton.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE TELEGRAPH RUGBY BOOK OF THE YEAR The truth about being a rugby player from the horsey’s mouth. This book is not just about how a psychiatrist called Humphrey helped me get back on my horse and clippity-clop all the way to the World Cup semi-final in Japan. It’s the story of how a fat kid who had to live up to the nickname Psycho grew up to play and party for over a decade with rugby’s greatest pros and live weird and wonderful moments both in and out of the scrum. That’s why I’m letting you read my diary on my weirdest days. You never know what you’re going to get with me. From being locked in a police cell to singing Adele on Jonathan Ross (I’ll let you decide which is worse), being kissed by a murderer on the number 51 bus to drug tests where clipboard-wielding men hover inches away from my naked genitalia, melting opponents in rucks, winning tackles, and generally losing blood, sweat and ears in the name of the great sport of rugby. This is how (not) to be a rugby player.
Last updated on October 17, 2021