Category Archives: Sport

Posts about sport literature, sport biographies etc.

Scandals and the Books Behind Them

Global media has had a field day of late with scandals behind recent book releases. One was a podcast, which was aiming to celebrate US author Roxane Gay, that went horribly wrong – global headline-making wrong.

Another began with a Facebook post share that angered men’s rights activists, and ended with more than 2000 people showing their support to a popular independent bookstore in Brisbane.

Then, unsurprisingly, there was sport and politics…

Hunger by Roxane Gay

The day before this book was to be released Roxane Gay heard the introduction to the Mia Freedman Mamamia podcast in which she was described as “super-morbidly obese” and also made a series of sensational claims about the “planning” that went into accommodating Gay such as “Will she fit into the office lift?”. The following day, Hunger was released amid global headlines about the incident with Mamamia, including from The New York Times, Washington Post and The Guardian, as well as equivalent women’s websites in the US. Gay tweeted: “Today was supposed to be about my new book. That is what I wanted. And then an Australian website made today painful.”

So what is the book about?

In her phenomenally popular essays and long-running Tumblr blog, Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she explores her past -including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life- and brings readers along on her journey to understand and ultimately save herself.

With the bracing candour, vulnerability, and power that have made her one of the most admired writers of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to learn to take care of yourself: how to feed your hungers for delicious and satisfying food, a smaller and safer body, and a body that can love and be loved -in a time when the bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes.

Fight Like a Girl by Clementine Ford

One Monday morning, West End’s Avid Reader (an independent bookstore) shared a post by feminist writer Clementine Ford who announced she had signed a contract with her publisher for a new book to be published next year.

The social media post was going smoothly until men’s rights activists started bombarding the Facebook page with one star reviews.

So what is the book about?

Online sensation, fearless feminist heroine and scourge of trolls and misogynists everywhere, Clementine Ford is a beacon of hope and inspiration to thousands of Australian women and girls. Her incendiary debut Fight Like A Girl is an essential manifesto for feminists new, old and soon-to-be, and exposes just how unequal the world continues to be for women. Crucially, it is a call to arms for all women to rediscover the fury that has been suppressed by a society that still considers feminism a threat.

Bomber The Whole Story by Mark Thompson

After 34 years in the game, Mark ‘Bomber’ Thompson stepped away from AFL footy following the Essendon drugs scandal but not before the press discussed it every week for over a year.

So what is the book about?

Mark Thompson has had more than his fair share of challenges and dramas in his career. He’s been part of five premierships: three as a player at Essendon where he was coached by the best and two at Geelong where he coached that club’s greatest team of all. He exited the game amid the Essendon supplements scandal with unfinished business. After 34 years ‘at a thousand kilometres an hour’, Thompson has taken the opportunity to reflect on the game that shaped him and to reveal the personal cost of his involvement at the top level. We ride the bumps of the coaches’ box, the boardroom and the press conferences as Mark Thompson handles things his own way. He talks about his mentors, his protégés and contemporaries with insight and candour. And he reveals the development of what became his trademark as a successful coach: building a team from the ground up to play defence-first accountable footy, with kamikaze ball movement, under a teacher-mentor relationship. This is as good a book about football as you’ll get, from a purist who is not interested in the politics of the AFL. His legacy is some of the greatest footy to be played in the modern era. ‘I hate group-think, it’s just not my style. I have never been part of any boy’s club in footy. I have been an independent going right back to my youth . . . I make no apologies for saying what I think. It is my story, after all.’

The Road to Ruin by Niki Savva

From buttock-slapping to pushing the PM’s wife out of the picture, this was the book political junkies have been salivating over and Tony Abbott loyalists had been fearing.

Former Liberal staffer and journalist Niki Savva’s explosive account of the former prime minister’s downfall, Road to Ruin: How Tony Abbott and Peta Credlin Destroyed Their Own Government, made headlines with its revelations about the pair facing affair rumours and the former chief of staff’s temper.

So what is the book about?

In The Road to Ruin , Niki Savva reveals the ruinous behaviour of former prime minister Tony Abbott and his chief of staff, Peta Credlin. Based on her unrivalled access to their colleagues, and devastating first-person accounts of what went on behind the scenes, Savva paints an unforgettable picture of a unique duo who wielded power ruthlessly but not well.

Enjoy!

The Great Wide World of Sport

They say sport is a universal language: it bridges divides between race, religion and culture.  The ability to achieve a goal through skill, persistence and team work is lauded in many modern societies.  Here are our collection of new sporting titles to satiate the most fervent sporting fan.

https-::covers.booko.info:300:gameThe Game: A Collection of the best AFL Stories, edited by Dennis Cometti

If there is someone equipped to write about the best AFL stories (both on and off the field) over the past 10 years, it’s Dennis Cometti.  As one of the most respected sports broadcasters in Australian history, Cometti and writers such as Greg Baum, Caroline Wilson, Martin Flanagan, Rohan Connolly, Emma Quayle and Jake Niall examine the characters, moments and champions that have impacted the game in modern history.

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:aliThe Greatest – My Own Story by Muhammad Ali

The life and recent passing of boxing great Muhammad Ali has had an impact on sporting and non-sporting fans alike.  However, while we all witnessed the glory of ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’ or ‘The Thrilla in Manila’ , only Muhammad Ali knew his life as he lived it. The Greatest is Ali’s own story. For six years he worked, traveled and talked with Richard Durham, a writer with a stunning talent, and the result is mesmerizing in its brilliance, drama, humanity and sheer entertainment.

 

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:rouseyMy Fight/Your Fight by Ronda Rousey

“The fight is yours to win”. This is The Sunday Times and New York Times Bestseller.  An Olympic medalist in Judo and #2 ranked UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Ronda Rousey had a difficult path to glory.  A childhood marked with speech problems and loss, she pushed her mind and body to the limit in pursuit of victory.  My Fight/Your Fight is about showing us all how we can turn our limitations into opportunities.  An inspiring read.

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:roadThis Road I Ride by Juliana Buhring

In December 2012, Juliana Buhring became the first woman to circumnavigate the world by bicycle. With only a few months of training and little sponsorship, support, or money she left from Naples on 23 July 2012.  18,060 miles, 152 days, 4 continents, 19 countries, 29 punctures, 4 breakdowns, 6 mountains, 1 desert and a cyclone later, she made it back just days before Christmas with a Guinness World Record, proving that anyone can achieve the extraordinary. Discover a story of adventure, blood, sweat and gears.

 


Life As I Know It
 by Michelle Payne

First put on a horse at age four and at 5 declaring she would win the Melbourne cup, Michelle Payne is no overnight success story.  Riding into history as the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup, she and her 100-to-1 local horse Prince of Penzance took the international racing world by surprise. Michelle’s story is about hope triumphing over
adversity, and how resilience and character made a winner.

 

 

 

The Straight Dope (updated edition)The Inside Story of Sport’s Biggest Drug Scandal by Chip Le Grand

What happened at Essendon, what happened at Cronulla, is only part of the story. From the basement office of a suburban football club to the seedy corners of Peptide Alley to the polished corridors of Parliament House, The Straight Dope is an inside account of the politics, greed and personal feuds which fuelled an extraordinary saga. Clubs and coaches determined to win, a sports scientist who doesn’t play by the rules, a generation of footballers held hostage by scandal and injected with who knows what, sport administrators hell bent on control, an anti-doping authority out of its depth, an unpopular government that just wants it to enda for two tumultuous seasons this was the biggest game in Australia.

You can find more sporting books on our Pinterest boards Sporting Biographies and Sports Books.

Segment Choice: Sport

Many of the world’s great writers have been drawn to writing about sport. They make for great reads: high drama, human tension, effort, payoff, win or lose. Here are our top 5 recommended reads for classic sports action:

https-::covers.booko.info:300:boundaryBeyond a Boundary by CLR James

In C. L. R. James’s classic Beyond a Boundary, the sport is cricket and the scene is the colonial West Indies. Always eloquent and provocative, James–the “black Plato,” (as coined by the London Times)–shows us how, in the rituals of performance and conflict on the field, we are watching not just prowess but politics and psychology at play. Part memoir of a boyhood in a black colony (by one of the founding fathers of African nationalism), part passionate celebration of an unusual and unexpected game, Beyond a Boundary raises, in a warm and witty voice, serious questions about race, class, politics, and the facts of colonial oppression. Originally published in England in 1963 and in the United States twenty years later (Pantheon, 1983), this second American edition brings back into print this prophetic statement on race and sport in society.

 

Fhttps-::covers.booko.info:300:feverever Pitch by Nick Hornby

A famous account of growing up to be a fanatical football supporter. Told through a series of match reports, FEVER PITCH has enjoyed enormous critical and commercial success since it was first published in 1992. It has helped to create a new kind of sports writing, and established Hornby as one of the finest writers of his generation.

 

 

 

Friday Night Lights: A Town, A Team & A Dreamhttps-::covers.booko.info:300:fridaynights by H G Bissinger

Return once again to the enduring account of the Permian Panthers of Odessa — the most successful high school football team in Texas history.

 

 

 

 

 

King of the World by David Remnickhttps://booko.com.au/works/1140921?utm_source=blog

Explores the transformation of a young boxer into an internationally renowned athlete, mythic hero, American icon, and central figure in the twentieth century’s social, cultural, and racial conflicts

 

 

 

 

https://booko.com.au/works/5694476The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

Follows Peekay, a white British boy in South Africa during World War II, between the ages of five and eleven, as he survives an abusive boarding school and goes on to succeed in life and in the boxing ring.

 

 

5 of the best sporting autobiographies

The sporting autobiography is often about the motivation, the sacrifice and the drive that it takes to succeed at such high levels of professional sport. We have included 5 of our favourites, including some controversial characters:

https-::covers.booko.info:300:keaneKeane: The Autobiography by Roy Keane

Roy Keane, captain of Manchester United and the Irish national team, was born in Cork in 1971. He signed for Manchester United from Nottingham Forest in 1993. In 2000 he was awarded the PFA Player of the Year 2000. His footballing intelligence and fierce determination helped Ireland to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. But his passion has sometimes given rise to the wrong kind of headlines. His commitment to winning has led to violent confrontation on the pitch and controversy off it.

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:openOpen: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi

A candid memoir by the tennis champion includes coverage of his Grand Slam wins, establishment of a charitable foundation for underprivileged children and marriage to Stefanie Graf.

 

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:gritAussie Grit: My Formula One Journey by Mark Webber

In the exhilarating, high-stakes world of Formula One, only the fastest make it to the top. And no one knows this better than Australian Formula One legend Mark Webber. His career in F1 stretched for an incredible eleven years, seeing him garner thirteen poll positions, earn forty-two podiums and win nine races including the crown jewel of F1, the Monaco Grand prix, twice. But there’s more than F1 to the story of the boy from Queanbeyan. In this candid book, Webber divulges the personal struggles that formed his Aussie grit character and reveals for the first time what really went down at Red Bull and the truth behind his rivalry with teammate Sebastian Vettel. From his near career-ending injury in 2008, his breakthrough ‘not bad for a number two driver’ win in 2009 to the ‘Multi 21’ controversy of 2011 and his new beginning with Porsche and the challenge of Le Mans 2014, Mark Webber pulls no punches in this captivating, personal story.

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:fanningSurf for your Life by Mick Fanning

Two-time world champion surfer Mick Fanning may only be twenty-eight, but he’s already experienced more than most of us ever will. How does it feel to lose a brother? Win a world title? Rip your hamstring muscle clean off the bone? Weave through a zippering Superbank barrel for twenty to thirty seconds or paddle over the ledge at places like Pipeline and Teahupo’o?

 

https-::covers.booko.info:300:kpKP: The Autobiography by Kevin Pieterson

The fascinating life story of professional cricketer Kevin Pietersen, MBE, from his childhood in South Africa to his recent experiences as one of the leading lights in the world of international cricket. Kevin was dropped from the England squad in February of this year, seemingly calling time on an international career that began nearly ten years earlier.

 

 

Top 5 gifts for Dad

There are lots of different types of dads: the sporty, the thrill seeker, and the foodie (amongst others). Whatever type of dad your dad is, we have the book for him.   Here are our top 5 picks for Father’s Day:

The New Dad

https-::covers.booko.info:300:978125000934020150609Your baby’s first word will be Dada by Jimmy Fallon

Your baby’s first word will be . . . “Dada!” Right? Everyone knows that fathers wage a secret campaign to ensure that their babies’ first word is “Dada!” But how does it work? One of the most popular entertainers in the world and NBC’s The Tonight Show host, Jimmy Fallon, shows you how.

 

The Foodie:

From Venice to Istanbul by Rick Steinhttps-::covers.booko.info:300:venice

From the mythical heart of Greece to the fruits of the Black Sea coast; from Croatian and Albanian flavours to the spices and aromas of Turkey and beyond – the cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean is a vibrant melting pot brimming with character. Accompanying the major BBC Two series, Rick Stein: From Venice to Istanbul includes over 100 spectacular recipes discovered by Rick during his travels in the region.

 

The Thrill Seeker:

https-::covers.booko.info:300:sydneyPrivate Sydney by James Patterson and Kathryn Fox

The world’s bestselling thriller writer teams up with Australia’s bestselling crime writer for the latest action-packed instalment of the PRIVATE series.

Even for Private Investigations, the world’s top detective agency, it’s tough to find a man who doesn’t exist . . .Craig Gisto has promised Eliza Moss that his elite team at Private Sydney will investigate the disappearance of her father. After all, as the CEO of a high-profile research company, Eric Moss shouldn’t be difficult to find. Except it’s not just the man who’s gone missing, all evidence he ever existed has vanished too. And there are powerful figures pulling the strings who want Moss to stay ‘lost’.  But when a woman is found brutally murdered and a baby is missing, Private is suddenly drawn into another frantic search. And this is a case Craig has to throw everything into, because he may well be responsible for sending the killer straight to the victim’s door . . .

 

 The Sporting Fan:

https-::covers.booko.info:300:short

The Short Long Book: A Portrait of Michael Long, the man who changed the Australian game by Martin Flanagan

A portrait of Michael Long, the man who changed  the AFL. In 1995, Aboriginal footballer Michael Long gave the AFL its ‘Mandela moment’. He quietly revolutionised Australian sport by refusing to let a racial insult pass during the Anzac Day match between Essendon and Collingwood. When the majority white football public backed a black man against a white institution (the AFL), the culture of the game flipped and the AFL became a leader in Australian race relations.

 

The Quirky Dad:

https-::covers.booko.info:300:sick

Sick in the Head: Conversations About Life and Comedy by Judd Apatow

The director of The 40-Year-Old Virgin presents a collection of uproarious and intimate conversations with some of today’s most popular comedians, drawing on his teenage radio hosting days to include pieces from the early years, in a book that includes interviews with such names as Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno and Sandra Bernhard.