Category Archives: Sport

Posts about sport literature, sport biographies etc.

Last Minute Gift Ideas for Dad

Hold onto your hats, can you believe it is now September? That means it’s Father’s Day on Sunday which makes it that time of year when we all celebrate the father figures in our lives and take time to see, chat, or simply remember them. It’s also traditionally the highest selling month for socks (no idea if that’s actually true but based on my Dad’s sock drawer when we were growing up, it’s probably about 90% true). 

If you’re looking to give Dad something a little different this year, we have some great suggestions for you. If you are worried about a gift arriving in time, you could always buy an ebook version for his e-reader, an audio book, send a voucher or simply make sure you’re shopping locally (here’s a reminder of how to shop for books locally here).

Finally, if your family is based in Melbourne, which is currently under Stage 4 restrictions, do take a look at Click for Vic where there are a ton of great local stores that can deliver a gift, food hamper or tasty beverage straight to Dad’s front door. 

Here are our picks for the Top Reads for Dad this Father’s Day:

The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku

Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. It is up to you. Eddie Jaku always considered himself a German first, a Jew second. He was proud of his country. But all of that changed on 9 November 1938, when he was beaten, arrested and taken to a concentration camp. Over the next seven years, Eddie faced unimaginable horrors every day, first in Buchenwald, then in Auschwitz, then on the Nazi death march. He lost family, friends, his country. Because he survived, Eddie made the vow to smile every day. He pays tribute to those who were lost by telling his story, sharing his wisdom and living his best possible life. He now believes he is the ‘happiest man on earth’. Published as Eddie turns 100, this is a powerful, heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful memoir of how happiness can be found even in the darkest of times.

The Mamba Mentality by Kobe Bryant

Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant gives us a lavish, deep dive inside the mind of one of the most revered athletes of all time. In the wake of his retirement from professional basketball, Kobe “The Black Mamba” Bryant shared his vast knowledge and understanding of the game and took readers on an unprecedented journey to the core of the legendary “Mamba mentality.” Citing an obligation and an opportunity to teach young players, hardcore fans, and devoted students of the game how to play it “the right way,” The Mamba Mentality takes us inside the mind of one of the most intelligent, analytical, and creative basketball players ever.

Bryant reveals his famously detailed approach and the steps he took to prepare mentally and physically to not just succeed at the game, but to excel. Readers will learn how Bryant studied an opponent, how he channeled his passion for the game, how he played through injuries. They’ll also get fascinating granular detail as he breaks down specific plays and match-ups from throughout his career.

Bryant’s detailed accounts are paired with stunning photographs by the Hall of Fame photographer Andrew D. Bernstein. The combination of Bryant’s narrative and Bernstein’s photos make The Mamba Mentality an unprecedented look behind the curtain at the career of one of the world’s most celebrated and fascinating athletes.

Pops by Michael Chabon

For the September 2016 issue of GQ, Michael Chabon wrote a piece about accompanying his son Abraham Chabon, then thirteen, to Paris Men’s Fashion Week. Possessed with a precocious sense of style, Abe was in his element chatting with designers he idolised and turning a critical eye to the freshest runway looks of the season; Chabon Sr., whose interest in clothing stops at thrift-shopping for vintage western shirts or Hermès neckties,” sat idly by, staving off yawns and fighting the impulse that the whole thing was a massive waste of time. Despite his own indifference, however, what gradually emerged as Chabon ferried his son to and from fashion shows was a deep respect for his son’s passion. The piece quickly became a viral sensation. With the GQ story as its centerpiece, and featuring six additional essays plus an introduction, Pops illuminates the meaning, magic, and mysteries of fatherhood as only Michael Chabon can.

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell

Utopia Avenue might be the most improbable British band you’ve never heard of. Emerging from London’s psychedelic scene in 1967, folksinger Elf Holloway, blues bassist Dean Moss, guitar virtuoso Jasper de Zoet and jazz drummer Griff Griffin together created a unique sound, with lyrics that captured their turbulent times. The band produced only two albums in two years, yet their legacy lives on. This is the story of Utopia Avenue’s brief, blazing journey from Soho clubs and draughty ballrooms to the promised land of America, just when the Summer of Love was receding into something much darker – a kaleidoscopic tale of dreams, drugs, love, madness and grief; of stardom’s wobbly ladder and fame’s Faustian pact; and of the collision between idealism and reality as the Sixties drew to a close. Above all, this captivating novel celebrates the power of music to connect across divides, define an era and thrill the soul.

Tea and Scotch with Bradman by Roland Perry

In 1995, journalist and author Roland Perry wrote to Sir Donald Bradman requesting an interview for a biography he was planning of the great cricketer. Surprisingly, the Don agreed. It was the start of a conversation that continued for years, during which the real Bradman shone, not only as a great sportsman but musician, brilliant thinker and humourist with a fondness for tea and a Scotch or two. In Tea and Scotch with Bradman, Perry paints an intimate and revealing portrait of the man many regard as the greatest Australian cricketer of all time.

Catapults and Key Hooks by Geoffrey Fisher 


Whether building a bee hotel or an insect house to help your garden’s ecosystem thrive, crafting a catapult, whistle, skipping rope or cup and ball game to give away, or making a key hook or table brush to organise your home, the result of each will be entirely unique while also effortlessly stylish. All basic woodworking techniques are covered, plus Geoffrey Fisher also shows how best to prepare materials, including checking for disease, drying and stripping bark, and gives a detailed guide on your essential tool kit – what to have, how to handle your tools safely and how to maintain everything to the highest standard meaning anyone can pick up Catapults & Key Hooks and dive straight into the world of Geoffrey’s designs.

Enjoy!

Learning from the new gurus – a new wave of biographies on the market

Every now and again there is a shift in what we consider great leadership. Biographies and autobiographies give us terrific insight into the minds of these leading individuals and there seems to be a shift as to which biographies are trending. It’s no longer mainly saturated with business giants, the biography genre is more balanced and uses athletes, small business owners, musicians to help us in our own lives. Understanding what athletes face on the sporting field can be applied to many businesses, acknowledging the grit required for a start-up is eye opening, and challenging an entire industry can lead to extraordinary results and a new normal. We have found six inspiring stories that are jam packed with lessons that you can transfer to your career and business. 

Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter by Curtis Jackson

For the first time, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson opens up about his amazing comeback from tragic personal loss to thriving businessman and cable’s highest paid executive. In this unique self-help guide, his first since his blockbuster New York Times bestseller The 50th Law.

In his early twenties Curtis Jackson, known as 50 Cent rose to the heights of fame and power in the cutthroat music business. A decade ago the multi-platinum selling rap artist decided to pivot. His ability to adapt to change was demonstrated when he became the executive producer and star of Power, a high-octane, gripping crime drama centred around a drug kingpin’s family. The series quickly became “appointment” television, leading to Jackson inking a four-year, $150 million contract with the Starz network, the most lucrative deal in premium cable history. Now, in his most personal book, Jackson shakes up the self-help category with his unique, cutting-edge lessons and hard-earned advice on embracing change. Where The 50th Law tells readers “fear nothing and you shall succeed,” Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter builds on this message, combining it with Jackson’s street smarts and hard-learned corporate savvy to help readers successfully achieve their own comeback, and to learn to flow with the changes that disrupt their own lives.

That Will Never Work by Marc Randolph

This is the incredible untold story of how Netflix went from concept to company.

Once upon a time, brick-and-mortar video stores were king. Late fees were ubiquitous, video streaming unheard of, and widespread DVD adoption seemed about as imminent as flying cars. These were the widely accepted laws of the land in 1997, when Marc Randolph had an idea. 

It was a simple thought, leveraging the internet to rent movies, and was just one of many more proposals, like personalised baseball bats and a shampoo delivery service, that Randolph would pitch to his business partner, Reed Hastings, on their commute to work each morning. 

But Hastings was intrigued, and the pair, with Hastings as the primary investor and Randolph as the CEO, founded a company. Now with over 150 million subscribers, Netflix’s triumph feels inevitable, but the 21st century’s most disruptive start-up began with few believers and calamity at every turn. From having to pitch his own mother on being an early investor, to the motel conference room that served as a first office, to server crashes on launch day, to the now-infamous meeting when they pitched Blockbuster to acquire them, Marc Randolph’s transformational journey exemplifies how anyone with grit, gut instincts and determination can change the world, even with an idea that many think will never work. 

What emerges, however, isn’t just the inside story of one of the world’s most iconic companies. Full of counterintuitive concepts and written in binge-worthy prose, it answers some of our most fundamental questions about taking that leap of faith in business or in life: How do you begin? How do you weather disappointment and failure? How do you deal with success? What even is success? From idea generation to team building to knowing when it’s time to let go, That Will Never Work is not only the ultimate follow-your-dreams parable but also one of the most dramatic and insightful entrepreneurial stories of our time. 

What It Takes by Raegan Moya-Jones

This book is set to inspire many business ideas. I loved it and read it in a day and it is the perfect read while staying safe at home.

When Raegan Moya-Jones was told by her overbearing male boss that she didn’t have an ‘entrepreneurial bone’ in her whole body, she almost laughed in his face. What he didn’t know was that the business she’d been secretly working on in the small hours of the night after putting her baby to bed had just hit a revenue of $1 million. Today, aden + anais, the swaddling blanket and baby goods company Moya-Jones founded is a global, multi-million dollar franchise and one that Beyonce, Gwen Stefani and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge loyally support. In this clever, relatable and iconoclastic success story, Moya-Jones busts every myth and misconception about women in business and argues that women should embrace the attributes that set them apart from men. Blanket conventions and perceived barriers attached to the female entrepreneur can be transformed into assets and profit – all you have to do is take the leap.

Quirky by Melissa Schilling

From historical figures such as Marie Curie to contemporaries such as Steve Jobs, a handful of innovators have changed the world. What made them so spectacularly inventive? Melissa A. Schilling, one of the world’s leading experts on innovation, looks at the lives of seven creative geniuses; Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Elon Musk, Dean Kamen, Nicola Tesla, Curie, and Jobs to identify the traits and quirks that led them to become breakthrough innovators.

Though all innovators possess incredible intellect, intellect alone does not create a serial innovator. There are other very strong commonalities: for instance, nearly all exhibit very high levels of social detachment. They all have extreme, almost maniacal, faith in their ability to overcome obstacles. And they have a passionate idealism that pushes them to work with intensity even in the face of criticism or failure. These individual traits would be unlikely to work in isolation being unconventional without having high levels of confidence and direction, for example, might result in rebellious behaviour that does not lead to meaningful innovation.

Schilling reveals the science behind the convergence of traits that increases the likelihood of success, and shows us how to nurture and facilitate breakthrough innovation in our own lives.

We Are The Nerds by Christine Lagorio-Chafkin

We Are The Nerds is a riveting look deep inside the legendary rise of message-board start-up Reddit; its controversies, its struggle for profitability, and the way its unique platform has changed the culture of the Internet. Reddit hails itself as ‘the front page of the Internet’. It is the fourth most-visited website in the UK and USA, whose army of highly engaged (obsessed even) users have been credited with everything from solving cold case crimes to seeding alt-right fury and helping to land Donald Trump in the White House.

We Are The Nerds is the gripping tale of how Reddit’s founders, Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, met as two idealistic young men at the University of Virginia in 2001, with the common goal of creating something that would make a mark on the world. Within a few years they had become millionaires and created an icon of the digital age, before seeing the site engulfed in controversies and nearly losing control of it for good. This is the story of Alexis and Steve losing grasp of the beast they created, as it lurched out of their control and morphed into an untameable creature, and their return to try to tame that beast. Based on Christine Lagorio’s unprecedented and exclusive access to founders Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman, We Are The Nerds is also a compelling exploration of the way we all communicate today and how we got here. Reddit and its users have become a mirror of the Internet: it has dingy corners, shiny memes, malicious trolls, and a sometimes heart-melting ability to connect people across cultures, oceans, and ideological divides. The legend of Reddit embodies all the triumphs and challenges of the start-up age.

LeBron Inc. The Making of A Billion Dollar Athlete by Brian Windhorst

With eight straight trips to the NBA Finals, LeBron James has proven himself one of the greatest basketball players of all time. And like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan before him, LeBron has also become a global brand and businessman who has altered the way professional athletes think about their value, maximise their leverage, and use their voice.

LeBron, Inc. tells the story of James’s journey down the path to becoming a billionaire sports icon – his successes, his failures, and the lessons both have taught him along the way. With plenty of news-making tidbits about his rollercoaster last season in Cleveland and high-profile move to the Lakers, LeBron, Inc. shows how James has changed the way most elite athletes manage their careers, and how he launched a movement among his peers that may last decades beyond his playing days.

Enjoy!

The best at home exercise books and DVDs on the market

While we are all staying safe and remaining home there are only so many days on the sofa we can have before we start to feel sluggish. So we have rounded up a few of the best exercise books and DVDs that we think will inspire you to get moving. Fear not, we have something for everyone; toned legs, slow movement, buff abs or a toned face!

Yoga, A Manual for Life by Naomi Annand

Be calmer, happier and more creative. In Yoga, A Manual for Life Naomi Annand shows you how to use the ancient practice of yoga to live better in the modern world. Utilising simple, breath-led movement, this beautiful practice companion teaches you how to wake up feeling energised, calm an anxious mind, sleep better, feel inspired. It’s ideal for total beginners and even for more experienced yogis, this manual includes everything you’ll need to live a more balanced, grounded life, from five-minute life hacks to longer sequences with specific goals in mind.

Boundless by Ben Greenfield

What if the ability to look, feel, and perform at peak capacity wasn’t the stuff of lore but instead was within easy reach? Sure, some of us find ways to hit peak performance in one area or another there are professional poker players, computer programmers, and race car drivers hunched over card games, keyboards, and steering wheels with optimised minds; UFC and NFL gladiators fighting for glory on television with optimised bodies; and monks and meditators roaming the planet with optimised spirits. But in a perfect world, you would be able to have it all: complete optimisation of mind, body, and spirit. In Boundless Ben Greenfield offers a first-of-its-kind blueprint for total human optimisation by maximising cognition, mental clarity, and IQ. 

Ballet Beautiful Total Body DVD by Mary Helen Bowers

Do not be fooled by the tutu, pretty satin ballet shoes and the floating arm movements. This ballet workout is crazy hard. Take it from this wanna-be ballerina who was looking to tone her arms and legs. After about two minutes the body was quivering at the thought of another set of plies while holding arm weights. I can happily report that this gets easier…it just takes three weeks of daily workouts. This DVD offers a total body workout from Mary Helen Bowers, Natalie Portman’s trainer for her Academy Award-Winning Role in Black Swan! Get a tight, toned and elegant body with this ballet inspired workout. Sculpt sleek and strong legs, arms, butt, abs and upper body. Shape a lean and graceful dancer’s body with targeted mat work and standing exercises that lengthen and tone. Workouts include focused exercise on trouble areas while increasing flexibility and improving posture. 

The Pilates Body by Brooke Siler

It may be 20 years old, but this is still a fabulous book. In The Pilates Body author Brooke Siler, owner of one of New York’s top studios for Pilates and personal trainer to supermodels, actors and actresses, provides a complete, easy-to-follow programme of Pilates exercises to give you a whole new body in thirty sessions. Pilates is the ultimate mind-body exercise for those who want to tone, streamline and realign their bodies, without the bulked-up results of more conventional workout methods. Brooke Siler guides you through a complete circuit of mat-based exercises, each clearly illustrated with photographs, line drawings and unique visualisation exercises. With this guide you can streamline your figure, create longer, leaner muscles, improve posture, flexibility and balance, enhance your emotional well being, build self-esteem and confidence, and reduce stress and fatigue.

Bigger, Leaner, Stronger by Michael Matthews

If you want to get muscular, lean, and strong as quickly as possible without steroids, good genetics, extreme dieting, or wasting ridiculous amounts of time in the gym, regardless of your age, you will want to read this book. Imagine enjoying the added benefits of high energy levels, no aches and pains, better spirits, and knowing that you’re getting healthier every day. This book aims to debunk myths that keep people from ever achieving the lean, muscular, strong, and healthy bodies they truly desire. 

If all of that running and jumping and weight lifting is just too much we have found the most relaxing exercise book for you to tackle while staying safe at home…and you can do it on the sofa!

Press Here! Face Work Outs for Beginners by Nadira Persaud

Press Here Face Workouts for Beginners offers age-defying results through a series of easy-to-follow pressure and massage techniques, which can be used as part of your daily skincare regime. Benefits of facial workouts are more than aesthetics; a daily workout can have remarkable results in the way you feel. You’ll be encouraged to focus on the feeling of each movement to identify problem areas or muscle tension in the face which can display deep lines, sagging skin, and an overall tired appearance. Through the power of touch and focused breathing, these simple routines will help you feel more energised, de-stress, and maintain a toned and firm facial structure without the use of specialised equipment, whether you want to see a transformation immediately or over time.

Enjoy!

The brain-changing benefits of exercise

What’s the most transformative thing that you can do for your brain today? Neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki says it’s exercise. Watch this Ted Talk to get inspired to go to the gym as Suzuki discusses the science of how working out boosts your mood and memory — and protects your brain against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.