Friday, December 31, 2010

Best Athletics Books (Ever?)

Here's what is on my shelves:

The Perfect Mile, by Neal Bascomb. Fantastically written, it does a phenomenal job of documenting the lives of Santee, Landy, and that British guy, Dr. What's his Name.

The Four Minute Mile, by the aforementioned Doctor. Plain spoken, less technical, more nuts and bolts. This man did it with 30-45 minutes of running on his lunch hour while finishing medical school. Today's so-called 'multi-taskers' are mere posers in comparison.

Running with the Buffaloes, by Chris Lear. Follow the Colorado XC team through a trying season, while their leader, Adam Goucher, brings it home with an NCAA win. I saw Mr. Goucher run at the 2008 Trials; the man is iron.

Better Runs, by Joe Henderson. Good advice for relics like me who think they can run again.

The Perfect Distance, by Pat Butcher. Breathtaking depiction of the rivalry between Steve Ovett and Sebastian Coe. For those who saw their races, we won't forgot the talent and power of these two men. I'd love to add these gents to my list of people to see at the 2012 Trials, but:
  • Coe is a bit busy planning the next Olympics
  • Ovett lives Down Under somewhere (watch his kick in this race)
  • Neither are American citizens.
Best Efforts, by Kenny Moore. A compilation of articles he wrote for Sports Illustrated back in the day. I never knew this book existed until I found it in 2008, and I got chills re-reading words I first saw in the 1970's.

Bowerman and the Men of Oregon, by Kenny Moore. The book that prompted me back into running after 20 years. Not enough adjectives to describe the prose. Brilliant writing, just brilliant.

Out of Nowhere, by Geoff Hollister. While not a professional writer, he tells amazing stories of his days in field support of Coe, Ovett, Henry Rono, and (!) Elton John.

Run with the Champions, by Marc Bloom. Training secrets from the fast, faster, and fastest.

The Olympics' Most Wanted, by Floyd Conner. A compilation of Olympics trivia that only a track hack could love.

The Last Protest: Lee Evans in Mexico City, by Frank Murphy. A telling biography of a tough, tough man.  He ran 6 races in 5 days, a brutal schedule for a 400m runner, and set two world records along the way. The running may have been easier than his desire to make a valid statement in the face of massive opposition.

Gold in the Water, by P.H. Mullen. Heart-wrenching true story of Olympic dreams tainted with chlorine.

My Losing Season, by Pat Conroy. The man can write, and the boy could dribble a basketball.

Dead Solid Perfect, by Dan Jenkins. While I'm not sure about golf being voted into the Olympics, this has got to be the funniest book I've ever seen.

Please give your recommendations. I always look for more quality reading.

No comments:

Post a Comment