7 Outstanding New Sports Books | SLMan
Wimbledon, Euro 2020, the Olympics – all gone. This year’s summer of sport is in ruins, so let these recent releases be your source of athletic entertainment and inspiration. Spanning Antarctic adventures to behind-the-scenes tennis tales, here are the sports books to know…

THE ART OF RESILIENCE BY ROSS EDGLEY

If there’s anyone that knows a thing or two about resilience, it’s Ross Edgley, the award-winning adventurer renowned for his gruelling athletic adventures. His most recent endeavour saw him become the first swimmer to circumnavigate mainland Britain, and lose parts of his tongue in the process. The epic 1,780-mile journey took Edgley through Arctic storms, jellyfish-infested waters and polluted shipping lanes – his tongue fell apart due to ‘salt mouth’, the effect of seawater build-up in the mouth and throat. Edgley has also run a marathon pulling a 1.4-tonne car and climbed a rope the height of Everest after living with Yamabushi warrior monks in Japan. Read this and you will not only start to understand the boundary-pushing psyche of an endurance athlete, but will uncover the secrets of mental fitness – for whatever challenge you face.
 
Out 28th May
 
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COMMANDER IN CHEAT: HOW GOLF EXPLAINS TRUMP BY RICK REILLY

Newly available in paperback, this shocking, witty book explores Donald Trump’s golfing career. Former Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly explores the US president’s outlandish claims about winning 18 club championships, his devious on-course tricks and his tainted reputation as a golf-course tycoon. There are intriguing insights into Trump’s disregard for rules and regulations of any kind – cheating at golf may seem trivial compared to his political shenanigans, but this humorous book cuts to the core of his character.
 
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THE FEAR BUBBLE BY ANT MIDDLETON

He’s completed the ‘holy trinity’ of Britain’s elite units – the Paras, Royal Marines and Special Boat Service – so you might think Ant Middleton is no stranger to fear. In fact, Middleton says he feels fear all the time, but knows how to use it to his advantage. His latest book aims to show readers how they can do the same. It’s primarily a detailed account of Middleton’s Everest climb in 2018, when he got trapped in the ‘death zone’ in a 90mph blizzard. Whether you’re looking to summit Everest or not, this accessible book explores the concept of the ‘fear bubble’, showing how we can harness its power to shift perspective and push through mental and physical barriers.
 
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FIFTY MILES WIDE: CYCLING THROUGH ISRAEL AND PALESTINE BY JULIAN SAYARER

Journalist and adventurer Julian Sayarer is an experienced touring cyclist who has biked across Europe, hitchhiked across the US, and in 2009 broke an 18,000-mile record for cycling around the world. A politics graduate, he frequently writes about what he calls ‘politics at the roadside’. In Fifty Miles Wide, he sets off to ride across Israel and occupied Palestine in search of hope, truth and change. He speaks with Palestinian combatants and Israeli soldiers working together to promote peace; Palestinian footballers with career-ending injuries from Israeli gunfire; and hip hop artists. This thoughtful, meditative travelogue is less of a personal adventure and more of an exploration into how the human spirit perseveres in the darkest of circumstances.
 
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THE GOLDEN ERA BY ROD LAVER

This is a fascinating account of an extraordinary two decades when Australia ruled the tennis world – written by the greatest Australian of them all. Rod Laver, who won 11 Grand Slams despite being unable to enter them for five years in his prime, harks back to the 50s to explore the country’s unprecedented domination of the global game. And his name still opens doors: there are interviews with other top-ranking Aussies including Frank Sedgman, Ken Rosewall, the late Lew Hoad and Mal Anderson. A must for anyone looking to fill the Wimbledon void.
 
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THAT WILL BE ENGLAND GONE BY MICHAEL HENDERSON

2019 has been acclaimed as the greatest summer of cricket ever seen in the UK. There was the World Cup on home soil, then the Ashes and it was also the last season of county cricket before the launch of The Hundred, a brash new short-format event designed to appeal to the masses. In this lyrical ode to the old days of cricket, Henderson revisits the much-loved places of his youth to explore how the game has changed since the 60s, and discusses how an idyll was set to be shattered by the arrival of a faster-paced tournament. With pavilions across the country now closed and beer tents empty, this is a timely dose of nostalgia.
 
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THE RISE OF THE ULTRA RUNNERS BY ADHARANAND FINN

They are a near-impossible test of mind and body, yet the number of ultramarathons has increased more than 1,000% in the last decade. In this eye-opening new book, Adharanand Finn travels to the heart of the sport to understand the psychological and social drivers leading increasing amounts of runners to push themselves further. As he enters several classic running events – from the deserts of Oman to the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies – to earn qualifying points for the UTMB (Ultra Trail de Mont Blanc), Finn reports on what he finds at the boundaries of human endeavour. One word of warning: if you’re even vaguely considering an ultra, this book will probably make you take the plunge.
 
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