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Read more about your favourite sports or sportsmen and women with a unique perspective on their careers from the comfort of your sofa with this range of recommended books. Whether you’re a football fan, rugby reveller or fishing follower, we have a great read for you!
Following the exceptional running achievements recounted in Beyond Impossible, Mimi Anderson’s Limitless is a testament to the perseverance and adaptability of the human spirit (and body). Despite only taking up running at the age of 36 “because I wanted to have slimmer and more toned legs”, Mimi went on to become a record-breaking ultrarunner. Then, at the age of 55, she set herself a new huge challenge - to become the fastest woman to run across the USA, covering almost 3000 miles from LA to NYC. After running over 2000 miles battling tremendous pain, she wound up “groaning in agony every time my foot hit the ground”. Since carrying on meant she may never run again, Mimi was forced to curtail her American Dream. But while this journey was over, a whole new world opened up when she took up cycling and swimming. As Mimi counsels in her introduction, “If you want something you have never had, then you have to try something you have never done” - watch this space for her future achievements as a triathlete. Written in a chatty, energetic style, this isn’t only recommended for readers who are into running or extreme sports. It also has the broader appeal of being an honest, personal story about bouncing back and adapting in order to find fulfilment: “There will always be something else out there for you, even if you don’t find it right away. Keep looking.”
In addition to all the essential technical advice and insider knowledge that one would expect from a solid “How to..” book, the first half of How to Run a Marathon is very much focused on the “Why?". A few chapters in, you realise why radio presenter and sports journalist Vassos Alexander has afforded as much time to inspiration as he has to execution. Unless, deep down, you really want to run a marathon, it simply isn’t going to happen. To help you find the itch there are many inspiring (and funny!) tales of why running 26.2 miles is something so life-changing. From the blind to the barefoot, we hear the running stories of some extraordinary people from a man who seems to know everyone in the game. From Athens to Boston we run alongside a community where love and support are as present as personal achievement. And from Vassos himself we get the inside track on the very personal journey of the marathon runner in all its fun-loving, food-poisoned, rain-soaked and wall-hitting glory. Learn how to train, how to stretch, how to ‘respect the taper’.. and gain some crucial nuggets of wisdom: “A good laugh and a long run are the two best cures for anything”. This book has everything to get you over the line. ~ Greg Hackett Greg Hackett is the Founder & Director of the London Mountain Film Festival
Paul Armstrong’s Why Are We Always Indoors? is a slam-dunk account of the COVID-19 pandemic from mid-March 2020 to 21st June that Boris Johnson devotees might want to avoid, but should definitely read. On the other hand, readers enraged by the likes of PPE shortages, Dominic Cummings’s Barnard Castle road-trip eye test, and track and trace bungles will find a kindred spirit in Armstrong. It certainly packs potent personal and political punch. This London lockdown diary began life “as a way of recording daily reflections on the most bizarre football close-season ever known, and to fill the long hours of lockdown” but, “as events beyond our four walls grew darker, so the focus drifted from whimsical musings on football, TV and music to a growing unease with how a dreadful pandemic was being handled.” As so much has shifted, flipped and flopped since the author began keeping this journal, reading his account of the experience some seven months later is a vital reminder of what we’ve been through collectively. Alongside prescient reactions to governmental decisions, the author recounts experiences many of us will relate to - being horrified by reports from Italy. Taking daily walks that felt “like the pre-titles sequence in a zombie apocalypse movie”. Clapping for carers. The existential strangeness of having to psyche ourselves up to go to the shop. Fans of the author’s memoir Why Are We Always on Last? will also love the football and music musings and anecdotes. While right now (October 2020), no one knows how or when the pandemic will end, Why Are We Always Indoors? ends on a fittingly bittersweet note, pointing out that while we don’t know “whether we’ll taste the true freedom we once knew ever again”, we can “take comfort where we can and hope for happier times. We know there’s trouble ahead but, as Irving Berlin said, ‘While there’s music and moonlight and love and romance. Let’s face the music and dance.’ And, for now at least, there’s football, too.”
Follow Stig as he roams from the stifling heat of the Dakar rally to the redneck heartland of a NASCAR track, or from the nightime drama or Le Mans to the mud-soaked stands of Silverstone for the British Grand Prix. Along the way you'll also find Clarkson, Hammond and May as they indulge in a spot of home-made motorhome racing or Roman rallying, middle-eastern style. The Where's Stig books have taken Top Gear fans by storm - and his latest voyage is the most action packed yet!
Have you ever wanted to know what really happens when teams go on tour? Drawing on his extensive experience of touring, former international and acclaimed pundit Brian Moore tells you all you need ever know, with this in-depth but light-hearted expose, covering every level of the sport, from junior club rugby right up to the British Lions. With stories of bikini-clad forwards and Moore's own escapades, many of rugby's best-known names of recent years are featured, and no element of life on tour is left untouched. As they go, readers will learn how to survive the worst room-mates in the world, how to cope with the long hours of travel, and how to get the best room in the hotel. They will learn how the professionals do it - or at least used to - and how their would-be amateur counterparts try to do it; both having a blast along the way. Anyone who has ever gone away with a group of mates - male or female, sporting or not - will recognise similar situations and immediately identify with the book.
Longlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2010. In Who Ate All the Pies?, the gonzo sports journalist explores and celebrates the things we love about the whole culture of the game, tries to explain how we got to where we are now and speculates where we the game is headed.
Now fully updated, recording the “Wiggo” triumph of last year and providing a wealth of detail about the race, its location, history and participants. Nick Brownlee covers the Heroes and the Villains of the race, those who’ve strived against all the odds and those that cheated their way to the Yellow Jersey. Lots of entertaining trivia and records round out this entertaining and all-round tour of the Tour. Like for Like Reading French Revolution: Cycling the Tour de France, Tim Moore A Race for Madmen: The Extraordinary History of the Tour de France, Chris Sidwell
If you're a football fan and you're on Twitter, you probably follow @USASoccerGuy. His account is that rare thing - a genuinely funny Twitter account that has actually stayed funny, and he has a huge number of followers. His persona is that of an American soccer pundit with a very sketchy knowledge of the British game - live-tweeting along with matches on the telly, he talks in ridiculous ill-informed Americanisms and his best-loved catchphrases include 'GOALSHOT!', 'HAND DENIAL!' and 'COMPLETION WHISTLE!' . Particularly hilarious are his names for UK football teams (which he sells as T-shirts too) - including the Sunderland Red Stripers, Chelsea Blue Lions and Asstown Vanilla. In this exciting and important new volume, USA Soccer Guy brings you his unique take on the 25 most awesome moments in football history. Including Eric Cantona's classic kung fu kick in 1995, Maradona's Hand Felony of God in 1986 and David Beckham going to LA Galaxy, it's hilarious football fun for fans everywhere.
Jack Johnson battled his way from obscurity to the top of the heavyweight ranks and in 1908 won the greatest prize in American sports - one that had always been the preserve of white boxers. At a time when whites ran everything in America, he took orders from no one and resolved to live as if colour did not exist.
October 2017 Non-Fiction Book of the Month Published a few days before the start of the 3rd Invictus Games in Toronto where around 550 competitors – all “wounded warriors” will be competing. This is their story told by some of those who’ve taken part in the games. As the author Boris Starling says, Invictus is different to the Paralympic games, firstly those injured in both mind and body can take part, they have a military background and there is a greater emphasis on just being there and doing your best. It highlights just what these men and women have been through, their support - both medical and personal and what the games mean to them. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading The True Story of Great Britain’s Paralympic Heroes by Cathy Wood A Heavy Reckoning: War, Medicine and Survival in Afghanistan and Beyond by Emily Mayhew
Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2010. From an amateur footballer working on a bomb disposal unit in Liverpool, to celebrated Manchester City goalkeeper adored by thousands, Catrine Clay charts Trautmann's conversion from Hitler Youth star to all-England football hero, mirroring Europe's own journey through the horrors of war to a fragile post-war peace.
Winner of the Best Biography category of the British Sports Book Awards 2011. Shortlisted for the Best Football Book and Best Publicity Campaign categories of the British Sports Book Awards 2011. Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2010.From an amateur footballer working on a bomb disposal unit in Liverpool, to celebrated Manchester City goalkeeper adored by thousands, Catrine Clay charts Trautmann's conversion from Hitler Youth star to all-England football hero, mirroring Europe's own journey through the horrors of war to a fragile post-war peace.
A 2012 World Book Night selection. A true testament to the human will and spirit. Joe Simpson and his climbing partner Simon Yates both showed great courage and strength after Simpson fell and broke his leg descending Siula Grande but it is Simpson’s harrowing account of what happened to him and how against all the odds he got himself back to base camp that will leave the reader in awe and complete admiration. An intense and totally engrossing read. Listen to an audio extract by clicking on the orange arrow below. Touching the Void by Joe Simpson by Random House Audiobooks
Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 published by cycling specialist Raph Editions What the judges said: 'gives fresh insight into the life of trailblazer Tom Simpson, the first Briton to wear the Tour de France's yellow jersey, 50 years after his tragic death'. In the foreword to the title, Sir Bradley Wiggins said: "As a British cyclist, your identity is massively informed by him, so it goes without saying that he was instrumental in my 2012 Tour de France victory." Tom Simpson is British cycling's greatest icon. Fifty years after he conquered the continental sporting scene, he still captivates people around the world. After his dramatic death on Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour de France, amphetamines and alcohol were found in his system, a fact which often dwarfs his pioneering achievements. The other shortlist titles the Simpson book beat were:- The Greatest Combeack: From Genocide to Football Glory by David Bolchover (Biteback Publishing) Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig (Simon & Schuster) Quiet Genius: Bob Paisley, British Football's Greatest Manager by Ian Herbert (Bloomsbury Sport, Bloombsury) Swell: A Waterbiography by Jenny Landreth (Bloomsbury Sport, Bloomsbury) Centaur by Declan Murphy and Ami Rao (Doubleday, Transworld) Breaking Ground: Art, Archaelogy and Mythology edited by Neville Gabie, Alan Ward and Jason Wood (Axis Projects) Last year the prize was won by Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan (Corsair)
They are role models, heroes, spokespeople for major brands, they get millions in sponsorship, their personal lives are plastered over the gossip columns, they are at the top of their professions and love them or hate them, they’re all over our newspapers, TVs, PCs and radios. This section has everything the armchair enthusiast could wish for. Myth-busting biographies (Beware of the Dog by Brian Moore), detailed histories (A History of Football in 100 Objects by Gavin Mortimer), personal accounts of huge moments (Black White & Gold by Kelly Holmes), and atmospheric tributes to beloved games (A Last English Summer by Duncan Hamilton. This is the inside track on the lives, loves, losses and victories of some of the world’s most physically talented people, and the games they love to play.
Get into your favourite armchair, plump up the cushions, have a nice cup of tea and dive in. Just make sure you don’t pull a muscle!