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!
Parody to the point of farce at times, ‘Divine's Choice’ by Alastair Carthew sees Queen Liliana’s struggle to keep her Saxe-Coburg and Gotha royal lineage, and the Commonwealth in tact while her daughter and heir Princess Divine, falls for a farmer with his own elite heritage; connections and aspirations to join the All Blacks Rugby team. The plotline picks apart the different challenges that face a modern British monarchy, as well as presenting a parody of the emphasis and importance we can place on sporting rivalries, and the pedestals sporting figures and teams are put on. The characters throughout the book are all lively and interesting, each with their own quirks such as Queen Liliana’s penchant for “roll-your-own” cigarettes, or Filip’s striking Viking helmet or disturbing but comical refusal to wear anything under his kilt (or underwear in general). ‘Divine’s Choice’ is an entertaining saga of ridiculous events that leaves the reader wondering throughout whether Divine will choose to marry for love or for country, and what the actions of the scheming secondary characters will mean for Proud, formerly New Zealand. I liked how the book combines actual history with fiction, the incorporation of political and sporting figures amongst Divine and Joshua’s story as well as the integration of New Zealand and Maori culture into the narrative. I also found the book’s insight into Republicanism and the Commonwealth as a whole quite poignant in its own way as, at the time of writing, we’ve just seen Barbados become a Republic. I think that this would be an enjoyable read for those who enjoy satire, parodies and tumultuous family dramas.
Pull on your wellies, grab your flat cap and join Jeremy Clarkson in this hilarious and fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the farm we're all obsessed with Welcome to Clarkson's farm. An idyllic spot offering picturesque views across the Cotswolds, bustling hedgerows and natural springs, it's the perfect plot of land for someone to delegate the actual, you know, farming to someone else while he galivants around the world in cars. Until one day, Jeremy decided he would do the farming itself. After all, how hard could it be? . . . Faced with suffocating red tape, biblical weather, local objections, a global pandemic and his own frankly staggering ignorance of how to 'do farming', Jeremy soon realises that turning the farm around is going to take more than splashing out on a massive tractor. Fortunately, there's help at hand from a large and (mostly) willing team, including girlfriend Lisa, Kaleb the Tractor Driver, Cheerful Charlie, Ellen the Shepherd and Gerald, his Head of Security and Dry Stone Waller. Between them, they enthusiastically cultivate crops, rear livestock and hens, keep bees, bottle spring water and open a farm shop. But profits remain elusive. And yet while the farm may be called Diddly Squat for good reason, Jeremy soon begins to understand that it's worth a whole lot more to him than pounds, shillings and pence . . .
'They were utterly alone inside the mountain, isolated from the rest of the world. They might as well have been on another planet . . .' In July 2018, twelve boys and their football coach disappeared into Tham Luang Cave in Thailand. Trapped miles beneath the surface, not even the Thai Navy SEALs had the skills to bring them to safety. With the floodwater rising rapidly, time was running out . . . Any hope of survival rested on Rick Stanton, a retired Midlands firefighter with a living room full of homemade cave-diving equipment. As unlikely as it seemed, to those in the know, Rick and his partner, John Volanthen, were regarded as the A-team for exactly this kind of mission. The Thai Cave Rescue was the culmination of a lifelong obsession, requiring every ounce of skill and ingenuity accumulated by Rick over a four decade pursuit of the unknown. While the world held its breath, Rick, John and their assembled team raced against time in the face of near impossible odds. There was simply no precedent for what they were attempting to do . . . In Aquanaut Rick reveals the real story of the cave rescue for the first time. And of a life lived without compromise in which any mistake could have been his last. It's an edge-of-your-seat story of courage and conviction that will take you deep into the most remote and unforgiving places on the planet, told with humour, unflinching honesty, and a relentless drive for adventure.
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.
Unflinchingly frank, Elise Christie’s autobiography recounts her experiences as an elite athlete - the immense pressures, the ups, the downs, the triumphs and the trials - alongside sharing her struggles with self-harm, low self-esteem and PTSD. While getting the inside story of what it’s like to compete at such an elite level is compelling and revelatory (as Triple World Champion, ten-time European Champion and former world record holding short track speed skater Christie sure knows what that’s like), Resilience is a sports autobiography that transcends the genre. Christie’s voice is incredibly engaging - the book’s style is conversational, chatty, witty, and strong. Here she tells it like it is no matter what her subject - relationship break-ups, corrupt doping practices, dubious penalty and disqualification decisions, the abuse she endured (including death threats) in the aftermath of an incident at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Then there’s her struggles with self-harm, which she explains provided “a good couple of hours of relief” while acknowledging that she “absolutely hated myself for doing it, I thought it was so fucking weak.” Powerful stuff, and always shot-through with an inspirational steely determination that will see Christie compete in the 2022 Beijing Olympics - “Whatever happens going forward, I’ll be fine. And that includes the Olympics in 2022.”
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!