By Mike Brearley
A TIMES SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR'A treasure of recollections and reactions, talking heroes, controversies and big themes' i paper'Brearley is at his best in these quirky, delightful essays when he is exploring the human qualities of humbler players . . . Brearley's admiration for his friends' decency, craftsmanship and modesty seems to recall a golden age of country cricket' The Times'Brearley has a knack for paying respect to the past without denigrating the present and for calmly considering the future' Mail on SundayMike Brearley was arguably one of England's finest cricket captains; not just for his outstanding record leading his country but also for the way he orchestrated, during the 1981 Ashes series, one of the most extraordinary reversals in sporting history.In this collection of sparkling essays, Brearley reflects on the game he has come to know so well. He ranges from the personal - the influence of his Yorkshire father and the idols of his youth - to controversial aspects of the professional game, including cheating, corruption, and innovation, the latter often being on a borderline between genius and rebellion.Brearley also evaluates his heroes (amongst them Viv Richards, Bishan Bedi and Dennis Lillee), the game changers, the outstanding wicketkeepers, the 'Indian-ness' of four generations of Indian batsmen and the important commentators (including Harold Pinter, John Arlott and Ian Chappell). The Ashes, the most sustained love-hate relationship in the history of sport and key to Brearley's test-playing career, are raked over. Central to the book is an important section on race and cricket, and the legacy of C. L. R. James.Insightful and humorous, On Cricket is an intelligent exposition of the game's idiosyncratic culture and its enduring appeal.
On the Court with... Stephen Curry
By Matt Christopher
Discover the amazing achievements of fan favorite two-time MVP Stephen Curry in this brand-new, comprehensive biography Steph Curry is a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, record-breaker, and Finals champion who electrifies fans with his incredible on-court feats. He's also a dedicated husband, father, and philanthropist who inspires people on and off the court. Learn more about this remarkable athlete in this biography, complete with stats and photographs.
By Adam Skolnick
One Breath is a gripping and powerful exploration of the strange and fascinating sport of freediving, and of the tragic, untimely death of America's greatest freediver Competitive freediving-a sport built on diving as deep as possible on a single breath-tests the limits of human ability in the most hostile environment on earth. The unique and eclectic breed of individuals who freedive at the highest level regularly dive hundreds of feet below the ocean's surface, reaching such depths that their organs compress, light disappears, and one mistake could kill them.Even among freedivers, few have ever gone as deep as Nicholas Mevoli. A handsome young American with an unmatched talent for the sport, Nick was among freediving's brightest stars. He was also an extraordinary individual, one who rebelled against the vapid and commoditized society around him by relentlessly questing for something more meaningful and authentic, whatever the risks. So when Nick Mevoli arrived at Vertical Blue in 2013, the world's premier freediving competition, he was widely expected to challenge records and continue his meteoric rise to stardom. Instead, before the end of that fateful competition Nick Mevoli had died, a victim of the sport that had made him a star, and the very future of free diving was called into question. With unparalleled access and masterfully crafted prose, One Breath tells his unforgettable story, and of the sport which shaped and ultimately destroyed him.
By Bob Cooper
'a guidebook that might just save your life' HERALD SUNBob Cooper's incredible bushcraft skills have been developed through more than 30 years of experience in Australia's harsh outback. He has picked up tools of survival from the experiences of living with traditional Aboriginal communities, instructing Special Forces units, lecturing with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Service on desert survival in the Mexican Desert, delivering wilderness lessons in the UK and learning the skills of the bushmen of the Kalahari Desert in Botswana.Bob has put his own lessons to the test and showed that with the right knowledge of the land, you can survive in even the harshest of conditions. OUTBACK SURVIVAL tells you WHAT you need to do, and HOW, if you want to survive. Based on Bob's Big 5 techniques, he explains:WATER - how to find, purify and transportWARMTH - fire and wind-proofingSHELTER - against rain, cold, wind and sunSIGNALS - by day and nightFOOD - foraging and fishingThis new edition also features Bob's OUTBACK DRIVING guide.The outback of Australia is one of the most unforgiving regions of the world, but Bob Cooper is committed to protecting and enhancing the experience people have when venturing out into the bush.
The Old Man and the Sea
By Anthony Smith
Octogenarian Anthony Smith's journey was originally inspired by both the Kontiki Expedition of Thor Heyerdahl (who he knew) and the incredible story of the survivors of a 1940 boat disaster, who spent 70 days adrift in the Atlantic, eventually reaching land emaciated and close to death. While this might sound like a voyage no-one would wish to emulate, to octogenarian Anthony Smith it sounded like an adventure, and he placed a typically straightforward advertisement in the Telegraph that read "Fancy rafting across the Atlantic? Famous traveller requires 3 crew. Must be OAP. Serious adventurers only." In his inimitable style, Smith details their voyage and the hardships they endured with a matter-of-fact air that makes his story seem all the more impressive. His advanced age allows him a wider perspective not only on the journey but on life itself, and his never-say-die attitude to the difficulty of the journey is inspirational. 'Old men ought to be explorers' said T.S. Eliot, and this book certainly gives a compelling argument in his favour. It is both a great story (a huge storm on the final night of the voyage almost wrecked them on a reef) and a call to action for the older generation - do not go quietly, says Anthony Smith, but seek out adventure as long as you are able.
One on One
By John Feinstein
After numerous bestselling sports books based on his own deep reporting, John Feinstein crafts a narrative of the most interesting and revealing encounters he's had, with some of the most enduring figures in sports--from hallowed coaches such as Bob Knight, Jim Valvano, Mike Krzyzewski , and Joe Torre to beloved athletes such as Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer, Ivan Lendl, and Mary Carillo. Here we have John Feinstein at his very best-opening up sport's most private, closed-door places.These are the mentors and athletes who know their games the best, and the legends and legendary moments that gave inherent shape to our favorite pastimes.
By Robert Winder
The Open Championship has been a high point of the British sporting calendar for 150 years, but few have been so memorable as in 2009. After four heady days on the fabled Turnberry links (one day it went see, the next it went saw) Tom Watson, an all-time great but nearly 60 and with an artificial hip, faced an eight-foot putt to become not just the oldest but also the most successful (along with Harry Vardon) player in Open history. The golfing world held its breath. History hung on the roll of a small white ball. As drama it verged upon the magical. Surely he couldn't prevail; surely he couldn't falter. But this was only one of hundreds of such moments. Robert Winder followed them all, from the start of the qualifying process to the dramatic last gasp. Here he traces the thrills and spills of a resonant sporting drama, listens to the players and administrators, and describes the many ways in which the Open truly is open: the world, to the elements, and to the neverending outrages of fortune.
On The Court With...Dwight Howard
By Matt Christopher
Outstanding. Unbelievable. Mindblowing. A three-time All-Star, three-time All-NBA team selection, two-time All-Defensive member, and the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year, Howard has been ranked consistently as one of the best in the league in field goal percentage and rebounds, and has set numerous league records. He has led the Orlando Magic to two division titles and one conference title, and he was the winner of the 2008 NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
By John Feinstein
In June 2002, the US Open was played, for the first time in history, on a true public golf course. Bethpage State Park is owned by the state of New York, and no membership is required to play there. This is golf at its most populist, most pure - and most challenging. In what Tiger Woods himself would declare 'the most difficult national championship', Sergio Garcia, Phil Mickelson, Nick Faldo and the rest would, through days of rain and roughs, learn the hard way that while Bethpage may be open to the public, even for the pros the chance of winning can be closed off to mere mortals. The Bethpage course was so challenging that only one player finished under par; this was golf at its most intense.With unprecedented backstage access, John Feinstein finally removes the mystery shrouding golf's most famous event, unravelling how pairings are made; qualifiers; setting up the golf course; and all the complexities of bringing golf's most exclusive competition to a truly public setting. In fascinating detail, Feinstein takes readers through every step, every thorny hole, every bitter rivalry of one of golf's greatest tournaments.
By Chad Millman
One gambler is a manic former cokehead with an Ivy League degree. The second is a college dropout trying to make a living at the only thing he enjoyed at school,gambling. The third, one of Vegas's most respected bookmakers, is perilously close to burning out. The Odds follows the lives of these three professional gamblers through a college basketball season in a one-of-a-kind city struggling to reconcile its lawless past with its family-friendly makeover. With a wiseguy attitude and a faultless eye and ear for the sights and sounds of Vegas and its denizens, Chad Millman has created a portrait that the Wall Street Journal called "fascinating. . . often screamingly funny." The Las Vegas Review-Journal had just one word for the book: "Superb."