Have you ever wondered about the years of struggle and hardships that went behind scoring a goal, crossing a finish line, hitting a six, or throwing a winning punch? If yes, then sportsbooks are your newfound buddies! Sportsbooks not only make up for interesting reads but also inspiring ones. They give us a glimpse into the life of individual sportspersons, sports teams, and their journey towards victory.
Generally, we spectators criticize the sportsperson(s) for losing a single game but neglect the years of struggle, hard work, and dedication they put in to reach this level. Sportsbooks give us a chance to dig a little deeper into their lives as common people with dreams who have the willpower to fulfil them.
Below is a list of the top sportsbooks you can read and take inspiration from
The Race Of My Life: An Autobiography by Milkha Singh (2013)
His unbeatable performance on the race track earned him the title of ‘Flying Sikh.' Milkha Singh’s life has been about running, initially from life and later from circumstances. As a boy who ran for his life during the partition and later from the police for stealing, Singh’s life changed after joining the army. He ran for the Indian army in the beginning and later for the country in the Olympics. He co-authored the sportsbook The Race Of My Life: An Autobiography with his daughter Sonia Sanwalka. The film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013) is based on the same book.
Touched By God: How We Won the Mexico ‘86 World Cup by Daniel Arcucci and Diego Maradona (2017)
The motivational sportsbook titled Touched By God: How We Won the Mexico ‘86 World Cup is the firsthand account of the most controversial yet remarkable World Cup victory. In June 1986, soccer’s greatest and celebrated player Diego Maradona registered his name in history, never to be erased. By hitting the Hand of God and Goal Of The Century in one match, Maradona proudly hoisted the World Cup above his head. Touched By God: How We Won the Mexico ‘86 World Cup is one of the best sportsbooks that chronicles the team’s journey to victory.
Unbreakable by Dina Serto and Mary Kom (2013)
An inspiring sportsbook of a woman who overcame many obstacles, and emerged victoriously. Mary Kom had to face the difficulty of belonging to a family of landless agricultural labourers along with being a woman athlete. In spite of many obstacles, she chose a sport that still is considered a taboo for women- Boxing. She crossed every hurdle on her path and became the most celebrated athlete, as well as a champion of a sport considered to be only suitable for men. Unbreakable is her sport autobiography that traces her childhood, her dedication, her will to win, and the Olympic Bronze medal- her most prized possession.
Moneyball: The Art Of Winning An Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (2003)
Moneyball: The Art Of Winning An Unfair Game is one of the best sportsbooks to read. It calls out the old ways of selecting players based on the scout's wisdom as subjective and flawed. The sportsbook outlines the story of the rise of baseball analytics, using the Billy Beane-era Oakland Athletics at its center. It was a brilliant idea of assembling a competitive baseball team despite Oakland’s small budget at that time. Today, 17 years later, with the baseball front offices filled with the Moneyball Generation executives, the idea continues to shine. Based on the same book is the American biographical sports drama Moneyball (2011) starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill.
Playing To Win by Saina Nehwal (2012)
Meet Saina Nehwal in the sports autobiography Playing To Win. Read the makings of a badminton champ who won an Olympic medal at the age of twenty-two and brought fame to our country. The sportsbook traces Saina Nehwal’s life on-and-off the court. It chronicles her journey from the district level competitions to the Olympics, the hardships faced and the sacrifices made for a celebrated sports career. She gives a glimpse into the many roles she had to play in life from childhood to adulthood- daughter, sister, student, and a normal girl behind her talent. Nehwal also sheds light on her interests outside of her beloved sport through this motivational sportsbook. Add this book to your shelf and read about her inspiring journey.
Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team and a Dream by Buzz Bissinger (1990)
Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team and a Dream is a non-fiction sports book written by Buzz Bissinger in 1990. It narrates the story of the 1988 Permian High School Panthers football team from Odessa, Texas, as they struck a goal to win the Texas state championship. Sports Illustrated regarded Friday Night Lights as the fourth-best sportsbook ever written in 2002. It later inspired the short-lived television series Against The Grain (1993) starring Ben Affleck and a movie of the same name in 2004 starring Billy Bob Thornton.
Playing It My Way by Boria Majumdar and Sachin Tendulkar (2014)
Whether you are a cricket fan or not, this sports autobiography by Sachin Tendulkar is a must-read. This book is as close as we can get to his life and the glorious sports career. The book traces Tendulkar’s early days, his 24 years of international cricket career, and some hidden aspects of his life. The sportsbook broke Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs' record as the most pre-ordered biographical book in India. It also earned a name in the Limca Book of Records for being the highest-selling book. Read this motivational sportsbook to know the inspiring journey of a boy with dreams to become one of the world’s greatest cricket players.
The Boys Of Summer by Roger Kahn (1972)
One of the best sportsbooks to add to your shelf, The Boys Of Summer by Roger Kahn, is the best baseball book ever written in history. It is a non-fiction book that traces his memories of boyhood and the history of Brooklyn Dodgers to their triumph in the 1955 World Series. It also sheds light on the life of the celebrated baseball players Jackie Robinson, Carl Erskine, Pee Wee Reese, and the others after their days in the limelight. The title of the book is inspired by a poem written by Dylan Thomas describing the “boys of summer in their ruin.” Sports Illustrated placed The Boys Of Summer in second place on the list of “The Top 100 Sports Book of All Times” in 2002.