We all like to see someone who’s down on their luck. So that’s why we like sports movies. There’s something special about the magic in Remember the Titans or Miracle or even something silly like The Waterboy, even if it’s just for fun. When we say “good” books, we mean books that are really good. As long as you’re in charge of painting the pictures inside your head and you’re learning about something you already care about, there’s always going to be more when you’re the one painting the pictures. This is true even if you’re reading a book set in a universe that’s completely different from your own.
And now that there’s still a pandemic going on, sports fans need to find other ways to get their fix. When there isn’t an NBA Playoffs Game 5 to watch the end of on ESPN, it doesn’t feel the same. If you think of an epic sports moment or figure, there’s likely a book where you can learn more about it.
Learn more about Mike Tyson: Got it. Michael Jordan is a good person to think about. Sure. Is there a Yogi Berra quote you want to text to your mom to make her laugh? A good choice! All of that and more can happen if you pick the right book. This is why, below, we’ve put 33 of the best things that can help make this sports-free quarantine period a little less painful.
The Jordan Rules: The Inside Story of One Turbulent Season with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls
If you were a fan of the NBA in the 1990s, you’ve heard of this person. If you’ve seen “The Last Dance,” you’ve heard of this. The Chicago Bulls won their first championship in 1990-1991, and sportswriter Sam Smith went inside to find out what it was like to be a member of the team. Many people saw that Michael Jordan wasn’t just a two-dimensional basketball god. He was a real person who had a real personality and had real problems, for the first time in their lives. People from that time, too, are affected. A must-read for anyone who wants to learn more about recent NBA history.
You’ve probably heard of this movie in the form of a 2004 romantic comedy starring Jimmy Fallon. It was about a guy who had to balance his love life with his love for the Boston Red Sox. The movie, on the other hand, is based on a book written by author Nick Hornby about a man’s obsession with the English football team Arsenal (High Fidelity, A Long Way Down). Is it funny? Is it interesting? If you’re a sports fan who can’t figure out why you keep rooting for the loser even though you know you should stop, this is the place for you.
24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid
While we all miss baseball, why not read a new book from one of the game’s all-time greats? Willie Mays and co-author John Shea worked together to write a book about Mays’ long and impressive career. Mays played from 1951 to 1973, and he was one of the game’s first superstars.
What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen
Things may not always be as shiny as they seem. They may not be as good as they seem. That’s what Kate Fagan’s book about Madison Holleran’s death, which she wrote for ESPN Magazine, is all about. In this story, we learn about a college athlete who, on the surface, looked like he had it all, but there was always a dark side bubbling beneath the surface. A heartbreaking story, but one that should be read.
Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN
For a nonfiction book about ESPN’s history, it has 763 pages. It’s an oral history, which means that it’s easier to read through than a book of written text. This book starts with stories about how the network started back in 1979. It also talks about a lot of people you see on TV every day. This book is very interesting, and it’s also very film-like. So movie-like, in fact, that a major adaptation has been in the works for a few years now. Get ahead of the game by reading the book now.
The Yogi Book
This isn’t a book you’ll read for hours on end. It’s more like something you’ll pick up when you’re with your family and friends and have a good laugh. When it comes to a collection of Yogi Berra’s best quotes and funniest stories, “The Yogi Book” is hard to beat. It’s also less than 200 pages long.
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
No, I didn’t think so. If you have, that’s great. What if you haven’t thought about it? It’s a never-before-told story from PhilKnight about how he came up with the idea for Nike. People say, “Just do it.” Where did this phrase come from? Here is the answer.
Doc: The Life of Roy Halladay
Todd Zolecki’s new book, which came out on May 19, is about the late baseball player Roy Halladay. It looks at him in more depth. Halladay, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame last summer, is another example of a person who had demons lurking beneath the surface. Doc tells the fascinating story of how Halladay managed to do both. He was a star on the field and a great father and husband, but he also had to deal with the dark demons that come with addiction. This is what happened to him.
People who write celebrity memoirs can sometimes feel like there’s a big gap between them and other people who write about their lives,
Even though you want to read and learn from them. The book isn’t in their voice. It’s in the voice of someone else who has not been named. Well, UndisputedTruthal most likely has its own ghostwriter, but he or she is a very good one. It reads just like a book that Mike Tyson would write, which is why it’s so good. There are so many interesting stories in this book that it doesn’t feel like you’re getting your facts from anyone but the man himself.
When The Last Dance came to an end, a lot of people started talking about who else could be as interesting as Michael Jordan. Who could run a 10-part documentary series on their own? A lot of people said Tiger Woods, and this biography by Jeff Benedict, which came out just before he won the 2019 Masters, shows that there’s a lot to dig up. Tiger Woods talks to more than 250 people who are close to the golfer and paints a picture that is as clear as you can imagine.
You know what? The Dynasty hasn’t come out yet, so we’ll be honest with you. In September, it comes out. But you’re going to want to pre-order this book from Jeff Benedict, the author of the above. The Tiger Woods. There will be a book about the New England Patriots written by the same person. It will have more than 200 interviews with people who work for the team, such as Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, and Tom Brady, who are all very bright. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed Brady. We think there may have been some last-minute changes to the draft. We can’t wait to read them.
The Victory Machine: The Making and Unmaking of the Warriors Dynasty
As someone who read The Jordan Rules, I think this book by an NBA writer called Ethan Sherwood Strauss might be the closest thing to a modern-day version of it. This book focuses on the late-2010s Golden State Warriors dynasty years. It looks at how the Warriors were owned and how the dynasty came to be, as well as how Kevin Durant came and went in and out of the story. The mercurialDurant didn’t want to be interviewed for the book, but in many ways, that makes it even more interesting.
The Cactus League: A Novel
We love baseball. Do you enjoy good writing? Then The Cactus League, Emily Nemens’s first book, is for you. People who play baseball have a lot of stereotypes, like tobacco-chewing, steroid-using, meathead beefcakes. The people in The Cactus League are not like this. Instead, it looks at the opposite; the guys who are in spring training. These are guys who don’t know where their lives are going. They don’t know if they’ll even make the team. It’s not real, but it’s a baseball fan’s dream when there aren’t any games going on.
Friday Night Lights
Bissinger’s book about high school football in West Texas is a look at how the sport has a strong hold on small towns across the country.