You’ve got a champion horse with a crooked leg who captures the heart of post-Depression, pre-WWII America. Throw a half-blind, handicapped boxer-turned-jockey into the mix, conspiracy and a seemingly career-ending injury with an incredible recovery, and you’ve got yourself the perfect American underdog/comeback story.
Born to Run
Why can some people run marathons and others can barely make it 3 miles without knee, hip and back injuries? Author Christopher McDougall attempts to answer exactly that question by comparing some of the top distance runners in the U.S. with a tribe of runners from Mexico’s copper canyons in this memoir, which culminates in a friendly race between the two groups to see who’s got the best legs.
Andre Agassi may not have landed on your radar until he married Brooke Shields. But this memoir about his life as one of the best tennis players of all time goes into the personal struggles of fame, success, failure and drugs that you didn’t realize he had, truly humanizing this legendary champion.
Chicago Bulls and L.A. Lakers coach Phil Jackson has won more championships than any other coach in sports history. So how did he do it? With the help of psychology, authenticity, teamwork and Zen meditation. Tools we can all use to live more balanced, successful lives.
Among the Thugs
Editor Bill Buford dared to enter the social strata of the world’s most violent and volatile fans in sports—the English soccer hooligans, and he lived to write about it. They hate anyone who is not them and they take their vitriol around Europe to follow their beloved football club, terrorizing everyone in their path.
Not everyone is a huge sports fan (cough, me, cough). But if you take the fan-demonium out of the equation, athletics can be an incredible metaphor for the trials and tribulations we face in life. Here are five sports books that offer such excellent storytelling about hard work, disappointment, redemption and victory that you won’t mind all the athletic stuff.
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