This list of sports novels covers a wide range of sports and genres, so even if you aren’t a huge sports fan, you should definitely check out these books where sports fans and non-fans of all ages can find a story they’ll love.
When you need a little inspiration, there’s nothing quite like picking up a sports book and reading those epic speeches, living vicariously through those epic moments, and reveling in the epic victories. And when you can relate to these fantastic athletes, the awesomeness is all the sweeter. Here are some books about women in sports for all the inspiration you could ever need.
1. The Match: Althea Gibson & Angela Buxton: How Two Outsiders—One Black, the Other Jewish—Forged a Friendship and Made Sports History by Bruce Schoenfeld
This is a story about encountering prejudice and exclusion, and about an ultimate triumph. Althea Gibson, the daughter of sharecroppers who was born in the American South and grew up in Harlem, met Angela Buxton, the granddaughter of Russian Jews, at a tennis exhibition match in India. Despite their athletic prowess, they were excluded from the other tennis players at Wimbledon in 1956. In a truly remarkable and amazing story, they decided to team up and earn an epic victory. Seriously, go read this book!
2. In the Water They Can’t See You Cry: A Memoir by Amanda Beard with Rebecca Paley
For an intense and heart-wrenching story, you need to read In the Water They Can’t See You Cry. This is the story of Amanda Beard, who won two silvers and a gold medal at the Olympics at just fourteen-year-olds. The pressure of the public eye, driven from a place of admiration and later sex, Beard struggled with mental health, depression, bulimia, and drugs and alcohol. In this book, Beard tells her story of finding strength within herself and learning to live. This raw and relentless story will utterly enthrall you. Go read it.
3. Under the Lights and In The Dark: Untold Stories of Women’s Soccer by Gwendolyn Oxenham
Under the Lights and In The Dark is a compelling collection of stories about female soccer players from across the world. From the intriguing story of Portland Thorns player Allie Long’s training in an underground men’s team in New York City to the enthralling tale of English national Fara Williams hiding her homelessness from her teammates. And that’s just the beginning. For some truly inspiring stories about some definitely admirable women, Under the Lights and In The Dark: Untold Stories of Women’s Soccer will absolutely deliver.
4. A Life Without Limits: A World Champion’s Journey by Chrissie Wellington
Chrissie Wellington is definitely a world champion, both in spirit and because of her epic win in the Ironman World Championship. A complete underdog and unknown in the press, Wellington took the sport by surprise with her skill and athleticism. A Life Without Limits is a really inspirational story about the incredible challenges Wellington faced on her journey and her resiliency in defeating them. Go check it out!
5. On My Own Two Feet: From Losing My Legs to Learning the Dance of Life by Amy Purdy and Michelle Burford
This epically triumphant story is about Amy Purdy, who went from losing both her legs to bacterial meningitis at nineteen to winning a bronze medal for snowboarding and making it to the finale of Dancing With the Stars. Amy’s story is about resilience, big dreams, and finding faith in yourself when the world seems to be against you. Amy’s spectacular spirit and fearsome fortitude is truly inspirational, and you should definitely go read On My Own Two Feet: From Losing My Legs to Learning the Dance of Life!
When the world gets you down, go read one of these inspirational life stories of female athletes and their epic journeys. For stories of resiliency, spirit, passion, ambition, persistence, and strength, these stories are unmatched. Seriously, check them out!
Featured Image Via The Telegraph
Bryant’s idea for the book came from his reflection on the loneliness of swimming, having spent time with elite swimmers during the Olympics.
The coronavirus sent many fans and players wondering whether live, professional sports were done for in 2020. However, the soccer/football season has begun again, with the caveat of no fans in the stands. And while fans are waiting to see and experience these games live again, here are some books about soccer that can tide us over.
1. Among the Thugs by Bill Buford
Bill Buford, editor of the literary magazine Granta, explores the society of “football hooliganism,” where super-fans follow their favorite teams, play into the rivalries between teams, and even engage in conflict and violence in the name of the sport. This books “records both its savageries and its sinister allure with the social imagination of a George Orwell and the raw personal engagement of a Hunter Thompson,” says the book summary. Buford attempts to understand the thug movement and the motivation behind their behavior in this thrilling novel. If you want to learn more about the culture behind fans and fandom, and how group mentality can drive people to surprising lengths, read this book!
2. Soccernomics by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski
Soccernomics (2018 World Cup Edition): Why England Loses; Why Germany, Spain, and France Win; and Why One Day Japan, Iraq, and the United States Will Become Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport suffers from a title both way too long and way too catchy, but it’s worth it. Soccernomics uses economics and analytical tools to understand everything from everyday soccer topics to “counterintuitive truths about the world’s most beloved game.” It covers the players, coaches, soccer, finances, agents, soccer, clubs, soccer, and more soccer. If you want to know more about the game and the secrets behind what makes it tick, this book is for you.
3. Zonal Marking: The Making of Modern European Football by Michael Cox
Zonal Marking looks at soccer from a more historical and universal perspective. Cox explores Real Madrid in the ’50s, Italy in the ’60s, Dutch football in the ’70s, and how each major footballing nation changed the game and developed new tactics and ideas. The book is also sprinkled with personal and exciting anecdotes from Cox’s own experiences. Zonal Marking’s main thread is how a nation’s unique identity can shape and affect a universal sport over the decades. If the history of soccer and the nations that have influenced it over the years interests you, check out Zonal Marking!
4. The National Team: The Inside Story of the Women Who Changed Soccer by Caitlin Murray
If women’s soccer is more your style—and let’s be honest, if it isn’t, it needs to be—check out this book about the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. This amazing team has won World Cups, has been awarded Olympic gold medals, has set record TV ratings, and has changed the face of women’s soccer forever. Even though they’ve brought in huge revenues for FIFA and U.S. soccer, their team has dealt with low pay, poor playing conditions, and limited opportunities in what most people think of as a “men’s sport.” In this book, Murray explores the history of the team and of the women’s soccer league. She’s compiled interviews with team members and told their story in this excellent book. Read it!
5. Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference by Warren St. John
This is the inspiring story of how a refugee youth soccer team changed a small American town. In the 1990s, Clarkston, Georgia was designated a settlement center for refugees from war zones like Liberia, Sudan, Iraq, and Afghanistan, forever changing the makeup of Clarkston. Luma Mufleh, an American-educated Jordanian woman, founded a youth soccer team for the town’s refugee children. Outcasts United follows the story of this team as they grow together and become closer, while also exploring the interesting Clarkston environment. The players and their families face lots of daunting challenges, but they stick together and work together. St. John’s Outcasts United chronicles the “tale of a small town becoming a global community—and an account of the ingenious and complicated ways we create a home in a changing world.” If you want to read and learn about such a great story, read this book!
Feature Image Via He’s All Boy
Today, Reedpop announced that BookExpo and BookCon will be completely digital. The physical events were cancelled due to Ms. Rona and having to quarantine ourselves. But from May 26, to the 31st, there will be a full week of FREE online programs attendees can participate in.
The event director for BookExpo and BookCon, Jenny Martin had this to say, “We know how valuable it is for our community to gather and we felt it was important to reimagine the experiences you look forward to each year at BookExpo and BookCon to fit our current reality. We are excited to bring you BookExpo Online and BookConline this year, two unique digital events that will certainly be one for the books!”
Image via License Global
There will be all the same programs everyone look forward to. The Buzz Book panels, author dinners, and spotlights on graphic novels and picture books.
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
The event will kick off with Librarian’s Day where you’ll be getting a full day of library content.
Wednesday May 27, 2020 & Thursday May 28, 2020
Adult and Children’s Books & Author Dinners will be evening events to help everyone view them regardless of time zones.
The 2020 Adult Book & Author Dinner will be attended by Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, Carmen Maria Machado, Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Rebecca Roanhorse. They will be discussing their upcoming works and initiatives with Zerlina Maxwell, a MSNBC analyst and SiriusXM radio personality as the host.
The Children’s Book & Author Dinner will feature many brilliant children’s and YA authors such as Judy Blume, Natalie Portman, Marie Lu, Raj Haldar, Misty Copeland, and Kwame Mbalia who will discuss and lively conversation.
Friday May 29, 2020
Friday will be Buzz Day, where all the panels will be taking place. The panels offered are the Adult, YA and Middle Grade panels. Buzz Day will also include the New Picture Book and New Graphic Novel revels. The panels will be done in a format so that each author and editor of the works will be able to have a discussion.
BookExpo will present another day in July for bookseller programs, education, speed dating, publisher showcases and UnBound content.
image via book con.com
Unlike BookExpo which will be taking place over three days, BookCon will only be a two day event, taking over the weekend of May 30 – May 31st.
BookConline 2020 will be full of Q&A sessions, panels and discussions with almost 100 authors, bestselling and those who are making their debuts. Some authors who will be in attendance are Nic Stone, Jenny Han, Zoraida Cordova, Mike Curato, Cassandra Clare; just to name a few.
They will be discussing a number of prevalent topics like the new super heroes, LGBTQ+ characters in literature, social justice, and more. The official schedule will be coming in just a few days.
I’ve never been to BookExpo or BookCon and now that they are online and free, I will be attending everything I can. And we here at Bookstr hope you do to.
Featured image via Comic Book Daily
During this difficult time we could use your support more than ever! If we’ve brought some joy to you or brightened your day or even distracted you for a few minutes, please donate whatever you can – any little bit counts. If you tried before we had some technical difficulties, so please give what you can now. Thank you so much!!