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Top 10 Sports Books

Sports Books

Table of Contents


  1. Great American Novel
  2. Never Die Easy
  3. Quiet Strength
  4. The Boys of Summer
  5. Where Dreams Die Hard
  6. Shoe Dog
  7. Open
  8. Dream Season
  9. Alone on the Wall
  10. Everything They Had

1. Great American Novel

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

The Great American Novel is a book written in 1973 by Philip Roth. This novel takes a look at the culture of baseball and its impact on society while also creating his own fantasy world within the book. A baseball team turns into a traveling one when the United States government requires their home stadium while involved in fighting World War Two. The book is involved with a communist conspiracy to erase its past history in order to push forward a communist agenda and organization. Fans love this book because of the fantasy world it creates and also because you can tie a lot of what is written in this book and connect it to sports events in today's world.


2. Never Die Easy

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Never Die Easy is the autobiography of Walter Payton, the star of the Chicago Bears, and was written in 2001. This novel entails Walter Payton's incredibly inspiring life and every trial and tribulation he endured during it. From starting football at a young age to impress a girl, to leading the Chicago Bears' to their only Super Bowl championship, Payton's life was no small feat. Nicknamed 'Sweetness,' Payton is known as the NFL's top leading rusher but also as one of the hardest working men to ever be part of the NFL. Fans love this book not only because it follows the life of a legend, but also because it provides an introduction into a side to Payton that not many knew prior.


3. Quiet Strength

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Quiet Strength, written by Tony Dungy, is a book detailing the course of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Indianapolis Colts during his life as head coach. Dungy was known for his incredible coaching skills along with being very religious off the field. During the course of his life, Dungy faced a tragedy that no parent should have to, dealing with his son's suicide. The book relays the message to fans that you can persevere through all of life's challenges with faith on your side. Fans also loved all of the inside looks at Dungy's incredible coaching career and what was going through his mind during some of the best moments.


4. The Boys of Summer

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

The Boys of Summer, written by Roger Kahn, is a fan favorite because it is written from the perspective of a die hard baseball fan who lived during the 1950s. Roger Kahn recounts what life was like growing up as a Dodgers fan living in Brooklyn, New York during the 1950s which was also recognized as the golden age of baseball. Khan had the pleasure of watching one of the best baseball teams completely dominate the National League and make several world series over the course of their time in New York. Khan also goes into detail about where players ended up after they were finished with baseball, such as Don Larsen, Roy Campenella, and Jackie Robinson.


5. Where Dreams Die Hard

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Where Dreams Die Hard is a novel written by Carlton Stowers. The book follows the journey of the Penelope High Wolverines, a small town of around 200 people, in their fight to avenge a lost game. Readers are fans of this book because it is a reminder that just because something is a sport does not mean it can not impact people's lives. In this book the community is united over the motivation for their town's high school team to finally succeed which is extremely motivating and inspirational. Although a small town may seem like an unlikely place for an incredible underdog story, Where Dreams Die Hard proves that wrong.


6. Shoe Dog

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Shoe Dog is a memoir written by Phil Knight, the creator of the one of the most iconic brands in the world, Nike. Phil Knight did not start out at the financial status that he is at today. Knight has an incredible work ethic and tells the story of how he created something that was doubted by many and threw it into an unknown market. Readers love this book for the inspiring insights and world Knight shares throughout the memoir. The main point Knight wants readers to take from the book is to go for whatever you want in life, and not to doubt yourself because many others already will be. Knight's story is motivating and an amazing tale of an underdog winning.


7. Open

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Another inspiring sports book on this list is Open, written by Andre Agassi. Open is a book which explains how sports may make some feel as if they are free, but to others they are living in their own personal prison. Andrew Agassi was the top ranked men's tennis player in the world and seemed to have it all, but in Open he describes how he felt "trapped" by something his father forced him to endure at a young age to adulthood. Readers find this story to be shocking yet informative about how far is too far when pushing your own children to pursue sports. Although Agassi has faced many roadblocks throughout his career, Open provides amazing insight and warnings for others entering the competitive sport world.


8. Dream Season

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Dream Season is a book written by Bob Cowser Jr., a professor who stops his career as a professor and joins the country's oldest semi-professional football team. Readers love this book because they find it relatable; everyone at one point in their life had thought what their life would be like if they continued with the sport they were passionate about. Dream Season tells the story of Cowser's experience rejoining the football world and how much more complicated his life got juggling, sports, family, and teaching. This memoir provides a real life example about living out the "what if?" scenario many people have pondered.


9. Alone on the Wall

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Alone On The Wall is a book written by Alex Honnold with David Roberts about free climbing, one of the most intense and dangerous sports in the world. In this book, Honnold tells the story of some of his most incredible achievements while partaking in the sport. The book goes over how your body responds to the intensity of free climbing and also provides jaw dropping recounts of high risk free climbing situations. Readers love this book for the stories of risk, excitement, and what the human body is truly capable of when you push it to the limits. Honnold and Roberts do an amazing job of recounting some of the most dangerous moments while free climbing.


10. Everything They Had

Warning: (Possible Spoilers Ahead)

Everything They Had is a sports novel written by award winning journalist David Halberstam. This book is a major collection of Halberstam's works over the years with a wide variety and range of stories from anonymous fishermen to much more well known sport stars like Muhammed Ali. Readers love this book because of all the variability it offers to them, within this book there is truly a story about every sport for everyone. Halberstam also details his insane career including covering the Vietnam War, Civil Rights movements, and how sports journalism is his second career in his inspiring and incredible life.



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