Sports Books

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!

October 2021 Featured Books

Relentless

Relentless

Author: Eddie Hearn Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/10/2021

WINNER AT THE TELEGRAPH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS 2021 HEALTH AND FITNESS What does it take to succeed? What is the mindset required to be the best? How do you stay at the top of your field? How do you come back from failure? Eddie Hearn knows what it takes. In his remarkable career, Hearn has worked alongside some of the biggest names in sports entertainment and has seen first-hand the grit and relentless determination that it takes to succeed. Structured around the key skills that Eddie Hearn values the most, this book looks at his business, life, and the drive to succeed. Covering subjects such as discipline, passion, preparation, motivation and failure, this book shows you what it takes to get the most in your life and career. In this insightful and revealing book, Eddie talks about the highs and lows of his career - from negotiating a billion dollar boxing deal to selling out Wembley for the Joshua Klitschko fight - and draws the valuable lessons that we can learn from boxing's toughest performers. The perfect book for when life deals a knockout blow, an invaluable guide about making the most from life, drawn from the hard-won lessons of one of the most successful boxing promoters in the world.

Resilience

Resilience

Author: Elise Christie Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/09/2021

Resilience is the compellingly honest autobiography of Elise Christie- triple World Champion, ten-time European Champion and former world record holding short track speed skater. In a world where online scrutiny is more intense than ever, Elise's story massively transcends sport. Having been routinely bullied for being unconventional while growing up in Scotland, Christie first felt the full weight of online public opinion following three separate disqualifications at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Death threats followed amid a torrent of online hate whereby she was accused of having caused a rival South Korean medal hopeful to crash. And with that, Christie, aged just 24, retreated into a period of mental health support and medication to assist her through extremely traumatic times on the lead up to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, where again her dreams fell apart in barely believable circumstances. In December 2018, after months of experimental self-harm as her mental health spiralled out of control, Christie stood at a figurative cliff-edge with a razor blade held against her left wrist. Years of low esteem issues and PTSD triggered by a variety of events that included a house fire and a deeply personal event that until now she has never discussed, had led her to a place where she felt her life just couldn't continue as it was. And yet, she emerged stronger. Instead of personalizing her issues, Christie went public in April 2019 via Instagram - and in doing so became a vital, young female voice in the battle against mental health stigma as she approaches her final date with destiny at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Told with her trademark blend of unfiltered honesty and dark humour, Resilience is her incredible, inspiring story.

September 2021 Featured Books

Pitch Battles

Pitch Battles

Author: Peter Hain, Andre Odendaal Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/09/2021

There will be a black Springbok over my dead body. - Dr Danie Craven, President of the South African Rugby Board, 1969 Just a year after the controversial D'Oliveira affair, the organised disruption of the all-white 1969/70 South African rugby and cricket tours to Britain represented a significant challenge to apartheid politics. Led by future cabinet minister Peter Hain, the 'Stop the Seventy Tour' campaign brought about the cancellation of both tours, presaging white South Africa's expulsion from the Olympics and the end of apartheid sport altogether. With his brand of attention-grabbing, direct action sports protest, the 19-year-old Hain emerged as a hero to some and enemy to others. Now, reflecting on these experiences with fifty years of hindsight, Lord Hain, together with South Africa's foremost sports historian and fellow anti-apartheid activist Andre Odendaal, shows how decades of relentless international and domestic campaigning for equality led to a Springbok team captained by black athlete Siya Kolisi winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Interspersing a wide range of examples with personal testimony, Pitch Battles explores the themes of sport, globalisation and resistance from the deep past to the present day. Published in the same year as the Stop The Tour documentary from acclaimed director Louis Myles, this compelling story of sacrifice, struggle and triumph reveals how sport should never be divorced from politics or society's values.

26.2 Miles to Happiness

26.2 Miles to Happiness

Author: Paul Tonkinson Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/09/2021

***WINNER OF THE TELEGRAPH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS 2021 - SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT BOOK OF THE YEAR*** 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.

Blue Spaces

Blue Spaces

Author: Dr Catherine Kelly Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/04/2021

Why do so many of us feel drawn to water? Researchers around the globe are increasingly intrigued by our psychological response to blue space: oceans, rivers, lakes, canals and waterfalls. Research is showing that they are good for us, inducing a positive mood and reducing negative feelings. Many people naturally gravitate towards the nearest blue space for their regular walks. There is an innate soothing quality that water brings, whether it's crashing waves, the gentle lapping beat of the water's edge or the reflections we see... Water brings on a meditative, 'blue mind' state. Dr Catherine Kelly uses the study of Blue Mind, a term coined by Dr Wallace Nichols, which explores the study of water and why it makes us happy, to explore and understand the importance of blue space (water environments) and their therapeutic benefits. Looking at the most up-to-date research and evidence that supports its importance for our wellbeing, she suggests how we can all integrate blue mind practices into our lives, providing examples and exercises that anyone can use to enhance their mental health. *** You can hear Catherine Kelly explore our emotional connection to water and the therapeutic benefits of cold water swimming at A Day at the Riverside, 18th September.

August 2021 Featured Books

Too Many Reasons to Live

Too Many Reasons to Live

Author: Rob Burrow Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/08/2021

The inspirational memoir from rugby league legend Rob Burrow on his extraordinary career and his battle with motor neurone disease. ‘I’m not giving in until my last breath’ – Rob Burrow Rob Burrow is one of the greatest rugby league players of all time. And the most inspirational. As a boy, Rob was told he was too small to play the sport. Even when he made his debut for Leeds Rhinos, people wrote him off as a novelty. But Rob never stopped proving people wrong. During his time at Leeds, for whom he played almost 500 games, he won eight Super League Grand Finals, two Challenge Cups and three World Club Challenges. He also played for his country in two World Cups. In December 2019, Rob was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, a rare degenerative condition, and given a couple of years to live. He was only 37, not long retired and had three young children. When he went public with the devastating news, the outpouring of affection and support was extraordinary. When it became clear that Rob was going to fight it all the way, sympathy turned to awe. This is the story of a tiny kid who adored rugby league but never should have made it – and ended up in the Leeds hall of fame. It's the story of a man who resolved to turn a terrible predicament into something positive – when he could have thrown the towel in. It's about the power of love, between Rob and his childhood sweetheart Lindsey; and of friendship, between Rob and his faithful team mates. Far more than a sports memoir, Too Many Reasons to Live is a story of boundless courage and infinite kindness.

Adventureman: Running America

Adventureman: Running America

Author: Jamie McDonald Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/08/2021

In Running America, Jamie McDonald tells the story of his 5,500 mile fundraising dash through no less than 22 US states in an attempt to smash one of the world’s toughest records. Running solo, unsupported, and at times barefoot, Jamie also happens to be dressed as a superhero and pushing a trolley called Caesar. Oh, and then there’s the blistering 50 degree deserts, mountain lions and snakes.. It all sounds a bit much for someone whose mother was once told her son could end up in a wheelchair, because aged seven Jamie was diagnosed with a rare spinal condition called syringomyelia. He also suffered epilepsy and weak immune deficiency. It’s difficult to envision that poorly little boy growing into ‘Adventureman’ and powering his way across America, but there is something both innocent and brave about Jamie’s storytelling that lets you know the kid is still in there and he will never give up. Running America is an incredible journey that will melt hearts.

The Hedgerow Cookbook

The Hedgerow Cookbook

Author: Caro Willson, Ginny Knox Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/08/2021

It's free, it's fun and it's very tasty! Harvesting your own produce from the hedgerows, meadows and woods rather than just ordering food online from the supermarket is all the rage with both towndwellers and countryfolk. The joy of turning nature's bounty into delicious produce to enjoy with the family or to use to make a lovely gift is being rediscovered in kitchens across the country. Explore the deliciously different flavours of wild food, from bilberries and nettles to hazelnuts and damsons - all of which are free for the picking. Learn how to use a range of wild foods creatively in over 100 easy recipes, ranging from jams, jellies and chutneys to starters, main courses, cakes, puds, cocktails and cordials. With chapters on Flowers & Hips, Leaves, Berries, Fruit with Stones, Fruit with Pips and Nuts, why not treat yourself to fruit leather, cheese, rose petal syrup or a wickedly alcoholic drink?

Adventure Revolution

Adventure Revolution

Author: Belinda Kirk Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/08/2021

For the past twenty-five years, Belinda Kirk's professional life has revolved around adventure. She's seen it change people first hand: turning the timid into the confident, the addicted into the recovering, and the lost into the intentionally wandering. As a force for change, adventure can be powerful like few others. This book is about this transformational power, and the first to explore why adventure is essential to our wellbeing. From managing anxiety and overcoming fear, to finding self-worth and building interpersonal connections, to being happier, healthier, and more playful, Adventure Revolution draws lessons from more than two decades of experience leading groups into the wilderness around the globe. Illuminated with Belinda's personal narrative, her own research with modern hunter-gatherers, and the latest findings in neuroscience and behaviour, Adventure Revolution presents a compelling case for ditching the living room in favour of a longer, happier, and more adventurous life. *** Join Belinda Kirk and her adventure revolution at A Day at the Riverside, 18th September.    

There's a Hole in my Bucket

There's a Hole in my Bucket

Author: Royd Tolkien Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/2021

The hole in Royd Tolkien’s bucket is his beloved brother Mike who should have been with him to complete their adventure bucket list together. When Motor Neurone Disease hits it does so cruelly and without mercy. After a long battle Royd was alone, but Mike had bequeathed him an unusual gift which would push his risk-averse nature to the limits. There’s a Hole in My Bucket is Royd’s hilarious inheritance journey to complete 50 new and unexpected tasks that Mike has left him. The brief is comprehensive and mischievous, sending him all over the world and including everything from getting a tattoo to taking a terrifying bungee jump. It’s a truly Tolkienesque quest but instead of power, Royd’s reward is that Mike is with him every step of the way, cheering him on and helping him navigate his own grieving process with thrills and laughter. Mike has left Royd the greatest gift of all. Life.

Debut Books of the Month
Coasting

Coasting

Author: Elise Downing Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/07/2021

In Coasting, Elise Downing sets out to run the entire coastline of Britain - a 5000 mile / 300 day journey of pain, gratitude and discovery. Endearingly honest and unassuming, Elise describes herself as someone completely unsuited to the task - and yet she did it. She judges herself as an adventure imposter - and yet she isn’t. One wonders how on earth she manages to keep going - and yet she does. There must be thousands of women in their early twenties just like Elise - fresh out of a boozy university experience, career-disillusioned and in a toxic relationship - but the last time I looked they weren’t all queuing up in their trainers to set off round the country from Greenwich. There is certainly something extraordinary about Elise Downing, but of course she doesn’t think there is, and that absence of self-belief is what makes the book so engaging and relatable. With lots of support and encouragement from her adventure community, parents who should probably get an award of some kind and the inexhaustible kindness of strangers, she covers much of the distance with friendly co-runners and free access to warm spare rooms. The trip, however, is not without its traumas and tears - lots of tears - so many in fact one worries she might contribute to a rise in sea levels. Coasting is a classic adventure story wherein an individual has erased the challenges of their life through a bigger, all-consuming challenge and by putting themselves somewhere they perhaps shouldn’t be, has discovered much more of who they really are.    *** Don't miss Elise Downing share the story of her run around the UK coast at A Day at the Riverside, 18th September.  

The Great North Road

The Great North Road

Author: Steve Silk Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/07/2021

The Great North Road is a brilliantly researched historical journey by bicycle which follows an ancient highway that since 1921, for most of its length, has been known as the A1. Cyclist Steve Silk threads the 493 miles from London to Edinburgh following at a challenging but doable pace in the tracks of Charles G Harper’s 1901 journal of the same name. Steve’s eleven day journey is so rich in history at times he could be a time traveller, slipping in and out of centuries, bumping into legendary and influential characters and (unlike most touring cyclists) spending enough time to soak up the stories along the way. The book is probably more for travellers with an interest in history than it is for cyclists with a passion for endurance, but it does seem to be the case that the further one pedals north on this famous artery, the harder it gets. 

eBooks of the Month
Relentless

Relentless

Author: Alistair Brownlee Format: Audiobook Release Date: 08/07/2021

In his quest to define ‘sporting greatness’, double Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee has spent nearly 4 years interviewing and training with some of the greatest minds in sport to discover what it takes to become – and remain – a champion. Featuring: Ian Botham • Mark Cavendish • Alastair Cook • Alex Danson • Richard Dunwoody • Donna Fraser • Chris Froome • Anna Hemmings • Denis Irwin • Michael Johnson • Kílian Jornet • Stuart Lancaster • AP McCoy • Ronnie O’Sullivan • Michael Owen • Adam Peaty • Ian Poulter • Paula Radcliffe • Ian Thorpe • Mark Webber • Shane Williams From an early age Alistair Brownlee has been obsessed with being the very best, and not just improving his sporting performance across his three specialist triathlon disciplines of swimming, cycling and running, but also understanding how a winner becomes a dominant champion. Winning gold in consecutive Olympic Games has only strengthened this need and desire. Over the last 4 years Alistair has been on a journey to learn from the best, talking to elite figures across multiple sports as well as leading thinkers and scientists, to understand what enabled these remarkable individuals to rise to the very top, and to push the limits of human capability in their relentless pursuit of perfection. Alistair uses these fascinating interviews, along with extensive research, to explore a range of sports and environments – athletics, cycling, football, rugby, horseracing, hockey, cricket, golf, motor racing, snooker, swimming and ultra-running – to reveal how talent alone is never enough and how hard work, pain, pressure, stress, risk, focus, sacrifice, innovation, reinvention, passion, ruthlessness, luck, failure and even a lockdown can all play a crucial part in honing a winning mentality and achieving sustained success.

Audiobooks of the Month
Marathon Man: My Life, My Father's Stroke and Running 35 Marathons in 35 Days

Marathon Man: My Life, My Father's Stroke and Running 35 Marathons in 35 Days

Author: Alan Corcoran Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/06/2021

I was really interested to read this book, as I enjoy running myself. However, the thought of even one marathon is alarming let alone 35 in 35 days! However, that is what Alan Corcoran did in the summer of 2012. Following his father’s sudden stroke, Alan decided he needed to do something to channel his energy and raise money for the charities that helped his father. He thought up this idea of running around Ireland, which broke down to a total of 35 marathons. This book details his journey from thinking up the challenge, to setting it in motion, to each marathon at a time. He encountered huge challenges along the way even before he started, especially with the sheer amount of logistics involved from accommodation, to food, to a support team. He details each of the marathons that he completes and the highs and lows. I really felt for him along his journey and was willing him on as he encountered injury, after injury. The amount of determination this man has is incredible and I whole heartedly admire him for what he did – a fantastic read.  Nicola Coen, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love

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!