Move past the headliners and superstars and try some of the more offbeat and quirky stories of athletes and sports to shake up your summer reading list.
Eleven years of live seals, painted skates and death defying games characterized one of the most infamous NHL sagas of all time. The California Golden Seals is a definitive document of the league’s most losing team and the stunts and stories that made them unforgettable.
Writer Jon Ball would be the first to tell you that he’s no pro athlete and in Man versus Ball, he’s a regular guy out to take on those who claim the title, racing up the Empire State Building, learning the proper way to pin a pro wrestler and goes looking for glory in the World Cup of roller soccer.
At the turn of the 20th Century, one of the biggest sports in the country was women’s bicycle racing, a grueling competition where women took part in marathon races, drawing massive crowds of spectators. In Women on the Move, author Roger Gilles unearths the stories of these nearly forgotten competitors, showcasing their athletic accomplishments and placing them in the context of the burgeoning women’s rights movement.
Less Hemingway, more Sedaris, The Naked Mountaineer explores the people and experiences met and made climbing than the adventures themselves, exploring the experiences found on the way to the summit rather than reflections from the top.
Before becoming an icon in Hong Kong cinema, Bruce Lee was facing off with early American Martial Arts practitioners in 1964 San Diego. Striking Distance chronicles these overlooked years of the screen icon’s career, profiling the fighters he battled and the impact Lee had on the rise of martial arts in America.
Radio broadcasts of baseball have been around nearly as long as the sport itself, bringing some of the most famous moments to play out on the diamond to listeners around the country. Crack of the Bat traces that broadcasting history, working to answer the question of how baseball radio broadcasts endure, despite competition from TV and streaming services today.
The 1999 Women’s World Cup catapulted the US Team into stardom but the roots of women’s soccer go back much further. Beyond Bend It Like Beckham covers the sport’s rise from World War I era Britain and traces the history of women’s soccer as a force of social change and the struggle for acceptance that women players still face.