Great Olympics Books to Read

Great Olympics Books to Read

It has been an amazing week already with several countries winning their first ever medals! These Olympics books will feed your games fever long after the last medal is given out.  From the complete Olympic book, greek and olympic history to individual stories you will be uplifted and more knowledgeable.  Always handy for trivia nights.

Share the Olympic fever with your kids too, with a great Baby Professor book of Olympic Sports.  Adults will likely learn a thing or to at the same time.

1. Olympic Sports: When and How – Baby Professor

Olympic BooksOlympics Books
Introduce your kids to the Olympics with this fact and picture book. It talks about the different events and the history of the Olympics. Written by Baby Professor this book aims to make the Olympics accessible and understandable to young kids. There are interactive sections, stories about great Olympians and all around fun facts. It may even inspire a few future athletes. All in all, this book will give kids a great first look at the games and what all the numbers, podiums and events mean. Us adults may even learn a thing or too.

2. The Complete Book of the Olympics: 2012 Edition – David Wallechinsky

Olympic BooksOlympics Books
This book is the Holy Grail for sports fans and journalists alike. Packed with historical facts, statistic, history and background information, it is a MUST HAVE for anyone who takes the Olympics seriously. David Wallechinsky provides a ‘tell-all’ book with some unusual facts to lighten the very number laden text. This book is reprinted every four years allowing sports fans to stay in the know and Olympians to know what records need to be broken. Perfect to whip out for some fun sports trivia and to have by your side as you watch the games. After all, how many of us know how gymnastics is scored or what a “ pike” dive really is. Look out for the 2015 Rio Olympics edition next year.

3. National Geographic The Greeks – Diane Harris-Cline

Olympic BooksOlympics Books
The Greeks were the creators of the Olympic games. And while we may not adorn our athletes with laurels there is a lot to thank the Ancient Greeks for. The Greeks by Diane Harris-Cline is packed with information on the people that brought us philosophy, art, the Olympics, poetry and so much more. This illustrated book tries to give us an overview of people who seemed, in many ways, very futuristic. This book is great as a reference guide but also as an interesting read. Learn everything from the Gods on Mount Olympus to why they ran naked at the Olympic games.

4. The Boys in the Boat – Daniel James Brown

Olympic Books
Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest of Gold at the 1936 Olympics.

We all love a story about people who defy the odds. In The Boys in the Boat, we follow the nine American rowers who competed in the 1936 Olympic games. They were unlikely winners, untrained and up against Hitler’s unbeaten team. This true story reads like an epic quest with average Americans as the heroes. By compiling journal entries, memoirs and photographs James Brown gives us an inspiring look at the men who made up this team and how the gold they won in 1936 meant so much more than a sporting achievement. It was a message from America to Hitler and the world.

5. Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith – Gabrielle Douglas

Olympic BooksOlympics Books
Gabrielle Douglas may be a 2012 Olympic double gold medalist in gymnastics, but she did not get there without determination and more hard work than most. Douglas teamed up with journalist Michelle Burford to bring her life and Olympic triumph to young women and athletes everywhere. She retells stories about her mother working two jobs, her move to Iowa to train away from her family and how God was with her every step of the way. Grace, Gold & Glory is an uplifting story about how a girl found faith in God and herself and proved that hard work does not come without sacrifice.

6. Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong – Juliet Macur

Olympic BooksOlympics Books
Lance Armstrong use to be synonymous with glory and cycling success. However, after he was caught doping in 2013 his life took a sharp turn. Cycles of Lies recounts the story of Armstrong’s fall from grace by looking at those who betrayed him, his mistakes and how his life unravelled. Juliet Macur (New York Times sports journalist) had unprecedented access to Armstrong and his family during this time, and this novel shows how quickly the man in the yellow jersey fell. With all the lies and uncovered stories, this book is the definitive piece on a story that exploded across the sporting world.

7. The Perfect Mile – Neil Bascomb

Olympic BooksOlympics Books
Running a mile in under 4 minutes was considered impossible in 1954. The Perfect Mile weaves the stories of three unlikely athletes who aimed to do the unthinkable and break records doing it. They were an English medical scholar (Rodger Bannister), an Australian butterfly collector (John Landy) and an American farm boy (Wes Santee). This international best seller will charm readers with its story of determination and how one of those ‘amateur’ athletes broke a record that would place him firmly in the history books. The Perfect Mile is rumored to be in production for the big screen, but there is no release date yet.

8. Power Games, A Political History of the Olympics – Jules Boykoff & Dave Zirin

Olympic BooksOlympics Books
While the Olympics are primarily about sporting achievement, there is no doubt they are steeped in politics. Whether it is about the countries competing, the officials or the host nations. Power Games looks at the way in which the games affect the host countries and how human rights violations are swept under stadiums. The authors also plot the racist and sexist beginning of the games as well as the money making monster that the Olympics has become. If you are looking to read about the underbelly of the Olympics games, this is a compelling read. You may never look at the games the same way again.

These Olympics books will hopefully keep you going until the next Summer Olympics in 2020 in Tokyo.  WhyToRead is looking forward to it already.

An English Teachers Non-Fiction Book List

An English Teachers Non-Fiction Book List

Most people read fiction for entertainment – humor, mysteries, horror – we escape to another world. Non-fiction can also entertain. Non-fiction can be “how to” or text books and documentaries, but also includes memoirs, biographies, science, self-help,  business and art. Non-fiction is basically anything based on real people, events or facts. This list of non-fiction books is guaranteed to entertain you as it expands your knowledge and view of the world.

1. LeviathanJohn Birmingham

Leviathan: The unauthorised Biography of SydneyThis award winning book is subtitled “The unauthorized biography of Sydney”, as in Sydney, Australia – a city . More like techno-thriller, this book is underpinned by extensive research. It will teach you more about this gorgeous harbor city than most locals would know. Highly recommended.

2. Notes from a Small IslandBill Bryson

In this humorous travel memoir, Bill Bryson records his jaunt around the old country, England (and Wales & Scotland). Enjoyable, funny and educational. Learn about British quirks and oddities whilst being entertained.

3.Moab Is My WashpotStephen Fry

Actor and comedian Stephen Fry shares his early life story in this autobiographical novel. Brutally honest, Fry shares his mistakes and misconduct along side the difficulties and challenges of growing up gay in a British boarding school in the 1960’s. There is no pointing the finger of blame here, simply a wry, funny and wise memoir.

4. Fever PitchNick Hornby

Featured in the fiction of out English Teacher’s lists with his novel High Fidelity Hornby returns with his tribute to his obsession to football (soccer). An easy to read coming of age story, fans of any sport will relate to the highs and lows of his team dictating the happiness and direction of his life. Mandatory reading (or ideal gift!) for any obsessive sports fan.

5. No LogoNaomi Klein

Written by an award winning journalist, this 10 year anniversary edition was published in 2009 following the GFC. Part exposé, part political and cultural study, Klein dives into the world of image and brands in the global economy. Well-reasoned, she shows how the “superbrands” of huge corporations are penetrating our lives and manipulating many of our choices. Certainly if the rise of ‘product placement’ in movies and sports fields is any indicator, she is spot on.  A book that will change the way you view the world, marketing and brands.

See also Conspiracy Theory book list for a review of her earlier book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

6. The FightNorman Mailer

The Fight is an account of the classic 1974 heavyweight boxing title fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Transcending the sporting event, the book captures the drama of the struggle both in the sporting rings and in the psyche with a unique insightful literary style.

7. Down and Out in Paris and LondonGeorge Orwell

This was Orwell’s debut book, written before his works of political fiction such as the classic 1984 and Animal Farm.  It is, as The Nation put it, “the most lucid portrait of poverty in the English language.”  With vivid and precise descriptions he humanizes and brings empathy to the poorest people (including himself as narrator) in a simple sociological study of homelessness in France in early 1900’s and Edwardian England.

Previously reviewed in 10 books that will broaden your life perspective.

4 Of The Best Fitness And Workout Books Ever Written

4 Of The Best Fitness And Workout Books Ever Written

Fitness Books

For any fitness enthusiast or someone looking to start strength and fitness training, these books are essential in giving you the tools and knowledge to get you off to a powerful and efficient start. You do not want to be in the gym, day in and day out, using the wrong form and wasting your time. These fitness books will teach you the right techniques and the ideal form to get the results that you want.

As part of a healthy lifestyle and a nutritious diet, these fitness books will help you get the body you want. Not only will you have more energy and be naturally happier, your body will build a stronger immunity to diseases and defend against ageing.

For more healthy eating books, check out our Health, Diet and Fitness section and our Weight Loss Recipes.

Without further ado,

4 Of The Best Fitness And Workout Books

1. The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding : The Bible of Bodybuilding – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Fitness Books

This book has everything you need to know about all aspects of bodybuilding. It starts with basic recommendation and training techniques for the beginner. It ends with bodybuilding contests, but if that’s not your goal, you can simply ignore that and use the training tips instead.

2. Overcoming Gravity: A Systematic Approach to Gymnastics and Bodyweight Strength – Steven Low

Fitness Books

This book mainly focuses on upper body strength development in a gymnast’s way. In Overcoming Gravity, the progressions are in much smaller steps which allows for the reader to pick up at his or her ability easily and immediately begin developing their strength.

3. Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance – Kelly Starrett

Fitness Books

This book seeks to “Improve your athletic performance, extend your athletic career, treat body stiffness and achy joints, and rehabilitate injuries—all without having to seek out a coach, doctor, chiropractor, physical therapist, or masseur”, and according to the hundreds of reviews and tens of thousands of sales, its safe to say it does just that.

4. Starting Strength – Mark Rippetoe

Fitness Books

Beginners can greatly benefit from this book to learn good form right off the bat. Experienced lifters might also want to check it out because,

a) there’s always more to learn, and

b) your form might not be as good as you think it is.

Leave any comments and suggestions below.

Adventure Books – 3 Thrilling True Story Adventure Books

Adventure Books – 3 Thrilling True Story Adventure Books

Adventure Books

These books are true life tales of exploration, adventure, and survival. They have inspired their readers to go and explore the unknown and conquer their fears.

3 Thrilling True Story Adventure Books 

1. Touching the Void: The True Story of One Man’s Miraculous Survival – Joe Simpson

Adventure Books

There have been many a lot of mountaineering stories over the years, but none more amazing than the story of Joe Simpson, who with his climbing partner, Simon Yates, had just reached the top of a 21,000-foot peak in the Andes when disaster struck. Simpson plunged off the vertical face of an ice ledge, breaking his leg. This is their thrilling story.

2. Between a Rock and a Hard Place – Aron Ralston

Adventure Books

Between a Rock and a Hard Place describes Ralston’s life-changing experience in having his arm pinned down by an 800-pound boulder in a canyon. As he runs out of food and water, he is forced to make some incredibly difficult decisions.

3. A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts – Andrew Chaikin

Adventure Books

The story of the first and only ever human mood landing, and the other 23 Apollo A Man On The Moon has been described by the astronauts themselves as the definitive account of their missions.

6 Best Selling Lonely Planet Travel Guides of All Time

6 Best Selling Lonely Planet Travel Guides of All Time

Lonely Planet is the world’s most successful travel publisher and the number one travel guidebook brand in Australia, the UK and the US. Here are the 6 Best Selling Lonely Planet Travel Guides of All Time.

6 Best Selling Lonely Planet Travel Guides of All Time

1. Lonely Planet Vietnam – Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet Guides are usually quite informative and the newest Vietnam guide is no exception. Updated info and new sections make this one worth purchasing even if you have earlier editions.

2. Lonely Planet Pocket New York City – Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet

This is a really informative, useful book and an excellent introduction to a vibrant, high-energy city.

3. Lonely Planet Pocket Paris – Lonely Planet

lonely planet

This guidebook is perfect for somebody that wants to see all the key sights in Paris. It hits all the high points, all the critical attractions that every tourist will want to see. It describes those sights in just enough detail to entice visits, but not give away the discovery of something new.

4. Lonely Planet Discover Europe – Lonely Planet

lonely planet

This book includes information on sights to see, local events, hotels, cafes, restaurants, street maps, addresses, telephone numbers, web sites, shopping, museums, and many other items of interest.

5. Pocket London – Lonely Planet

lonely planet

London has so much to offer. While this book does not begin to cover everything you might like to know about London, it does a very good job on giving you the highlights. It would be best for a first visit to London.

6. USA – Lonely Planet

lonely planet

Trying to jam information about visiting a country as large and diverse as the USA into a single guidebook is a formidable task. Inevitably there will be things left out and people will wonder why the editors picked some attractions while skipping over others. Lonely Planet did a commendable job of providing an overview of the United States, with enough detail to help a person planning a trip know the best spots to go.