5 Books Every Sports Lover Must Read
Invigorating the competitive, pushing limits past their barriers and becoming the best there ever was—these are just a few things that sports can bring to athletes and viewers. They can also bring incredible tales from underdog to hero, from obscurity to fame and from small to bigger than ever before.
From the finish line to the court, sports have inspired some of the greatest stories ever written, and when they are written, they're bestsellers that can't be missed. Check out this list of top five favorites for sports lovers the world over.
1. Moneyball: The Art of Winning An Unfair Game by Michael Lewis
While it’s most notorious rendition stars Brad Pitt and a serious Jonah Hill, the story’s printed version is the real MVP and the one that started it all. When the Oakland Athletic’s general manager Billy Beane's creates a new analytical system to get out from behind an aging system that helped leagues with bigger budgets stay on top, he introduced an aging, flawed tradition with tactics that provided some fresh blood and resulted in a reinvigorated game. Written by Michael Lewis, who investigated the success of Billy Beane and the meteoric rise of the Oakland A’s to the playoffs for the book, Moneyball is a narrative take on a sport that has long had the heart of the nation, but gets a refreshing update and an exclusive story in this bestseller.
2. My Fight/Your Fight by Rhonda Rousey
Rousey—Olympic medalist, judo master, and one of the most dynamic sportsmen in popular culture—charts her meteoric rise in My Fight/Your Fight, which offers a deep look at all the struggles and wins of this incredible athlete from a training neophyte to a titled fighter. From never-ending practices inside the ring to surviving the world outside of it, My Fight/Your Fight gives the background story of the UFC Undefeated Champion and Hollywood star on how hard you have to hit to turn your opportunities into wins.
3. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
Definitely a thinking man's sport, marathons may not be the athletic department that inspires the most literature, but Murakami's take on the New York Marathon is one for the ages. The famously reclusive Japanese writer started participating in long distance running in the early 1980s, and his tale of writing, running and everything in between is a close look at how much of life interests when we are interested in it. From philosophical to funny and inspirational to deeply introspective, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is a perfect read for everyone between getting into the groove with long distance running and completing many marathons.
4. Friday Night Lights: a Town, a Team, a Dream by Buzz Bissinger
Longtime Vanity Fair contributor and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Buzz Bissinger came out with Friday Night Lights and changed the way high school football (and American life) was perceived across the country forever. Documenting the true story of the 1988 season for Permian High School in Odessa, Texas, Friday Night Lights followed the Permian Panthers as they took their chance for the Texas State Championship title and ended up rewriting the perceptions of America's obsessions with football. From players to coaches and all the families living in Odessa mixed up in the football craze, this book about a small town in America's heartland is perfect for any lover of the game.
For fans of the books, the ABC show is currently available on US Netflix for binge watching sessions. International watchers never fear, just grab a VPN such as ExpressVPN before streaming and you're ready to go. It offers five seasons of stellar storylines and plenty of football.
5. Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball by George F. Will
This New York Times bestselling book from the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist is one that lavishly lays the love for the greatest game and also delivers real world applications that don't easily leave a reader. Will spent three years researching, which included interviewing Tony Gwynn (a right fielder for the San Diego Padres), Tony La Russ (a manager of the Oakland Athletics), Cal Ripken, Jr. (shortstop of the Baltimore Orioles), and Orel Hershiser (pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers). The book takes a close and serious look at how baseball works as a game. Calling for more walks and fewer strikeouts, Men at Work was on top for nine consecutive weeks, making it one of the most successful baseball books of all time.
When the game’s over and you’re still begging for more action, head to any of these volumes for a sports story that keeps on giving even after the final score is set.
About the Author: Cassie is an entertainment blogger and avid sports and literature fan. Whether it's watching a game or reading about the greatest teams and players of all time, she can’t pass up an inspiring account of the underdog overcoming impossible odds.