The 30 Best Sports Books Ever WrittenThe thrill of victory. The agony of defeat. The playing field has long been a vehicle for writers to explore the human experience. From lyrical odes to the glory of the game to explorations of how athletics have intersected with history to insights that have changed sports forever, here are the 20 greatest sports books ever written. With its unblinking look at the side of locker room culture most of us will never see up close, it was critically lauded at the time and has become a non-fiction classic—even though it cost him friends on the diamond.
The 20 Greatest Sports Books of All Time
The very first fragments of the book that would become True were written over 20 years ago as part of a planned non-fiction book about soccer in America that, even before I was 20 pages in, had become a fiction book about rival soccer teams in a Los Angeles amateur league. Three years ago I returned to the material, but for some reason, this time I was writing as a female soccer player, one so talented she could dominate in pick up soccer games with men. Her life story, how she came to be this girl who played on dusty, far-flung pitches on weekday afternoons, turned out to be the story I wanted to tell. Why had nobody heard of the best soccer player of her generation? She was the female soccer equivalent of basketball playground legends like Joe Hammond or Earl Manigault. Sports novels seldom make the bestseller list.
There are many books out there that can decode the intricacies of sports, creating enlightening profiles of athletes and coaches, or turning the complex strategies of gameplay into something riveting on the page. We bring you ten books for sports fans: game on.
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Playing sports — almost as fun as reading about them. The book is not nearly as much of a tearjerker as the movie is, but that makes it a tiny bit better. Perhaps the definitive examination of the machine that produces tiny girls who achieve remarkable feats of athleticism both on the ice and on a balance beam, the San Francisco Chronicle sports writer looks at the inner workings of what it takes to make a champion in the physically trying and emotionally crippling worlds of gymnastics and figure skating. Drawing upon interviews with sports psychologists and hundreds of former gymnasts and figure skaters, Ryan paints a picture of a training practice that robs children of their childhood, and stunts development, both physically and mentally. If you find yourself in wonder every year at the year-old on your television set performing feats of mental and physical wonder, then this is a must-read. Best enjoyed with: a contraband strawberry Nesquik, over in the corner by the locker room, sipped through a straw. A well-researched and understanding work, this book highlights both trailblazers and contemporary figures in the sport while tackling larger issues like the impact of homophobia and the resultant tensions between the traditional roles of women versus the demands of the sport.