66 of the Best Sports and Fitness Books

Our list of 66 of the best sports books includes a couple of top reads for each major sport. Read about baseball, marathons, the Olympics, and swimming. 

You'll also find some great reads about car racing, the NFL, and walking.

On our list, you will find book by and about athletes, more about some of the biggest events in sports history, and tips to improve your performance. 

Baseball Books

1. Jackie Robinson: A Biography

Jakie Robinson Book

Written by: Arnold Rampersad

Published: 2009 (1991)

Pages: 512

It is hard to believe that it has been over sixty years since Jackie Robinson first donned a Brooklyn Dodgers uniform. In his biography, Arnold Rampersad details Robinson's difficulties both on and off the field as the MLB's first African American player.

Through exhaustive research and personal interviews with those who knew him best, Rampersad provides an intimate portrait of one of America's most influential icons.

This book is a fitting tribute to one of baseball's greatest players and civil rights pioneers.

Although Robinson endured many hardships, he never lost sight of his goal to break down racial barriers and make a difference in society. It didn't matter whether it was abuse from fans, teammates, management, or the government; he would never back down.

2. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

Written by: Michael Lewis

Published: 2003

Pages: 286

Moneyball is a book about the Oakland Athletics and their general manager, Billy Beane. The Oakland A's were a small market team, and Beane had to find a way to compete with teams like the New York Yankees, who had much larger salary caps. Beane did this by using statistics to find underrated players who he could sign for less money.

Used by almost every team and even in other sports, this book is an exciting look at how analytics can be used to win in competitive situations. Most teams thought this idea was insane, but the A's won 20 consecutive games in 2002, proving it would work. The approach was successful, and the A's made the playoffs several times despite having one of the smallest payrolls in baseball.

>> Additional books about baseball

Golf Books

3. Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

Written by: Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian

Published: 2018

Pages: 512

When Tiger Woods burst onto the golf scene in 1996, he was anointed as the next superstar. With his good looks, pleasant personality, and prodigious skills, it seemed like there was no limit to what Woods could achieve.

In retrospect, it's incredible to think that just two years later, he would win the Masters by a record 12 shots and announce himself as one of the greatest golfers ever.

But even more astounding is the fact that his fall from grace has been even more spectacular than his rise to fame. This includes Woods' public admission of infidelity, among other ups and downs during his life. With access to over 400 people that know him, this is as in-depth as any book about him anywhere.

4. A Course Called America: Fifty States, Five Thousand Fairways, and the Search for the Great American Golf Course

A Course Called America

Written by: Tom Coyne

Published: 2021

Pages: 416

If you love golf, there's no better way to see America than by hitting the links from state to state. Veteran sportswriter Tom Coyne has done just that, playing numerous different courses in each of the 50 states. In this book, Coyne takes readers on a journey across the U.S., exploring everything from traditional country clubs to quirky municipal courses.

If you've ever dreamed of touring America's most beautiful golf courses, this book is a must-read! Coyne brings his insider knowledge and passion for the game to every page, whether rooting for underdogs or championing top-ranked destinations.

If you are a golf fan, you will know many of the more famous courses; you might be surprised at ones that may be right near you and your home.

>> Additional books about golf

Football Books

5. Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty

Boys Will Be Boys

Written by: Jeff Pearlman

Published: 2008

Pages: 406

In the 1990s and early 2000s, the Dallas Cowboys were an NFL dynasty. Dallas won three Super Bowl titles in four years, led by America's team, quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith, and wide receiver Michael Irvin. However, most people don’t realize that off the field; the Cowboys partied just as hard as they played ball on it.

This was a team that loved to drink and carouse, with players like cornerback Deion Sanders living up to his "Primetime" nickname. From wild nights to raucous Super Bowl victory celebrations, you won't believe what went on behind the goalposts. Jeff Pearlman takes an in-depth look at this booze-soaked, among other vices, an era in Cowboy history.

>> Additional books about football and the NFL

6. Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream

Friday Night Lights

Written by: H.G. Bissinger

Published: 2003 (1988)

Pages: 416

On a Friday night in October of 1988, the small town of Odessa, Texas, came alive. The high school football team, the Permian Panthers, was playing its arch-rival, Midland Lee. A record crowd of 30,000 people descended on Ratliff Stadium to watch the game and support the Panthers.

This is the story of that season and of a town obsessed with its team and a team determined to win at all costs. It is a story of hope and heartbreak, disappointment and triumph. But above all, it is a story about passion and what it means to be devoted to something larger than oneself. This true underdog story will have you rooting for the Panthers even if you aren't a football fan.

Basketball Books

7. When the Game Was Ours

When the Game Was Ours

Written by: Larry Bird, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, and Jackie MacMullan

Published: 2009

Pages: 340

In this fantastic book, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson recount the golden age of the NBA, when their rivalry produced some of the most memorable games and moments in league history. It was a time when players like Bird and Johnson elevated the sport to an entirely new level, making it one of America's most popular pastimes. Winners of a combined 8 Championships and six MVP awards, this was a time like no other in the NBA.

Their battles on the court were legendary, with Bird being the local boy who makes good and Magic being the flashy and Hollywood hero. This book provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at what it was like to play against each other, and with each other, during that magical time. If you're a fan of basketball, or just enjoy a good sports story, then you'll love this book.

>> More books about basketball, the NBA and coaching tips

8. Sum It Up: 1,098 Victories, A Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective

Sum It Up

Written by: Pat Head Summit and Sally Jenkins

Published: 2013

Pages: 390

Pat Summit was one of the most important coaches in college basketball. She won 1,098 games during her 41-year coaching career at the University of Tennessee. During her career she coached her teams to eight national championships and 18 Final Four appearances. she also led the United States to three Olympic gold medals and is in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

As if that doesn’t show her incredible talents enough, 74 of her players have become coaches throughout their lives.

While it is easy to focus on Summit's impressive resume, it is important to remember that she was human, and that life wouldn’t always be perfect and rosy. This includes her figuring out how to balance being a mom and a coach at the same time, a few blow out losses, and worst of all her diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Even with all these difficulties, she continued to win and preserve all with a great sense of humor and humility.

Soccer Books

9. Among the Thugs

Among the Thugs

Written by: Bill Buford

Published: 1991

pages: 317

In Among the Thugs, Bill Buford delves deep into the subculture of soccer hooligans. Drawing on his experiences as a fan, Buford provides an in-depth look at the culture of Football violence and how it has evolved over the years. In doing so, he paints a complex and often disturbing portrait of these men (and occasional women) who are, as he puts it, "among the thugs."

You will get a deep dive into their mindset by looking at events interviewing the thugs and the police that try to keep control. While it's not always easy to read about their exploits - which include everything from drunken brawls to full-blown riots - Buford's book offers a unique and eye-opening perspective on this underreported phenomenon.

10. A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke

A Life Too Short

Written by: Ronald Reng

Published: 2011

Pages: 400

In 2009, professional German soccer goalkeeper Robert Enke committed suicide by stepping in front of an oncoming train. The tragedy rocked the sports world and left those close to him reeling in disbelief. In A Life Too Short, author Ronald Reng takes an exhaustive and personal look at the circumstances surrounding Enke's death, exploring how a life filled with promise could come to such a premature end.

This wrenching book is a window into the mind of a troubled but talented young man and offers insights into the factors that can lead someone to take their own life. It is also a tribute to all who loved Robert Enke and honored his memory by shining a light on the often-hidden issue of mental illness and how to deal with it.

>> More great books about soccer

Hockey Books

11. The Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team

The Boys of Winter

Written by: Wayne Coffey

Published: 2005

Pages: 288

What does it take to win Olympic Gold? And what does it take to win it against the juggernaut that was the Russian team? Just ask the boys of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team, and they'll tell you it takes hard work, dedication, and teamwork. In this book, Wayne Coffey tells the story of that unforgettable team and their legendary coach, Herb Brooks.

Drawing on exclusive interviews with players and coaches, Coffey brings readers inside the locker room to witness the incredible camaraderie and determination that led to one of the greatest upsets in sports history. Even if you aren’t a hockey fan, you will be inspired by these kids who were nobodies before they stunned the world.

12. The Rebel League: The Short and Unruly Life of the World Hockey Association

The Rebel League

Written by: Ed Willes

Published: 2004

Pages: 288

In the 1970s, the upstart World Hockey Association caused a stir in the hockey world with its high-scoring style and disregard for tradition. The league was characterized by chaotic governance, financial instability, and rampant drug use. Some of the stories include when Bobby Hull got in a fight and lost his toupee during a game.

Or when the Birmingham Bulls showed up, stark naked, looking for a fight. Despite this, or maybe because of this, the WHA managed to produce some of the most talented players in history.

The Short and Unruly Life of the World Hockey Association explores the fascinating story of this intriguing league. Written by Ed Willes, a sports columnist for the Vancouver Province, it tells the story of how a group of mavericks shook up professional hockey and left their mark on the sport.

>> More hockey books to add to your list

Boxing Books

13. The Sweet Science

The Sweet Science

Written by: A. J. Liebling

Published: 1956 (1949)

Pages: 306

It doesn't take a genius to see that boxing is one of the world's oldest and most revered sports. However, what may come as more of a surprise is just how intricate and complex this sport can be. Whether studying an opponent's tendencies or learning how to block and evade punches, becoming a successful boxer requires years of dedication and discipline.

In this book, A. J. Liebling provides a fascinating look into the world of boxing, exploring all aspects of the sport, from training to competition. He looks at Rocky Marciano, Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis, and others during the 50s. If you're interested in learning more about this demanding but undeniably intriguing sport, then you need to read this book.

14. Harry Haft: Auschwitz Survivor, Challenger of Rocky Marciano

Harry Haft

Written by: Alan Scott Haft

Published: 2006

Pages: 172

Harry Haft was born in 1919 in a small village in Poland. When he was just seventeen, Nazi soldiers invaded his town and took him to Auschwitz concentration camp, where he spent the next three years of his life. The guards forced him to fight other inmates for food as a young man.

He survived and became one of the few people who ever challenged Rocky Marciano. It is an inspiring story of determination in the face of tremendous adversity.

After being liberated from Auschwitz, he made his way to the United States and competed as a professional boxer. Haft never gave up hope or surrendered to his complicated past despite many ups and downs. His story is one of courage and perseverance that will inspire readers everywhere.

>> More great books about boxing

Running Books

15. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Born to Run

Written by: Christopher McDougall

Published: 2009

Pages: 287

In Born to Run, Christopher McDougall tells the story of the reclusive Tarahumara Indians of Mexico and their superhuman ability to run long distances. McDougall was a skeptic until he met the Tarahumara and saw them in action. In this engaging book, he takes readers on an exciting journey from the highlands of Copper Canyon to the scorching deserts of Mexico as he attempts to uncover the secrets of the Tarahumara's success.

Along the way, McDougall meets ultra-marathoners, American runners who have adopted the Tarahumara lifestyle, and scientific experts who are finally beginning to understand why humans are designed to run. This book will make you want to get up off the couch, tie up your sneakers, and hit the road!

16. The Perfect Mile: Three Athletes, One Goal, and Less Than Four Minutes to Achieve It

The Perfect Mile

Written by: Neal Bascomb

Published: 2004

Pages: 322

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to run a mile in just under four? Neal Bascomb tells the story of three young men who make this their quest. The three runners, Roger Bannister, John Landy, and Christopher Chataway, all wanted to do it. In 1954, Roger Bannister became the first man to break the seemingly impossible four-minute barrier on a hot summer day. In doing so, he raised expectations and shattered records around the world.

The perfect mile takes us into the heart of this pursuit—from training on high-altitude treadmills to avoiding obstacles (both natural and manufactured) along the way. With each step, these runners come closer to achieving something once thought impossible. Filled with suspense, determination, and triumph, The Perfect Mile is a perfect book.

>> Additional books about running

Marathon Books

17. Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and America's Greatest Marathon

Duel in the Sun

Written by: John Brant

Published: 2006

Pages: 210

On a hot and humid day in the summer of 1982, two runners stepped to the line to run what would become one of the most epic marathons in American history. Alberto Salazar, then considered the best marathoner in the world, took on Dick Beardsley, an up-and-coming challenger looking to make a name for himself.

The race quickly turned into a battle as the two men pushed each other mile after mile. In the end, Salazar narrowly defeated Beardsley to win America's greatest marathon. This matchup between Salazar and Beardsley is one for the history books and is still studied by runners today.

18. 26 Marathons: What I've Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life From Each Marathon I've Run

26 Marathons

Written by: Meb Keflezighi and Scott Douglas

Published: 2019

Pages: 256

Meb Keflezighi, Olympic marathon medalist and winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon, and Scott Douglas, award-winning journalist and running expert, team up to present this inspiring book. Together they cover everything you need to know about running a marathon—from injury prevention tips to postrace recovery advice.

Reading Meb’s anecdotes throughout, this book is an essential guide for anyone considering running a marathon or looking to improve their performance. Meb also talks about his faith, his family, and how inspiration, along with perspiration, allowed him to become one of the greatest marathoners of all time.

Swimming Books

19. Total Immersion: A Revolutionary Way to Swim Better and Faster

Total Immersion

Written by: Terry Laughlin and John Delves

Published: 1996

Pages: 286

Most swimmers believe that the only way to swim faster is to practice more often. But what if there was a revolutionary way to swim better and faster without putting in extra time at the pool? In their new book, Terry Laughlin and John Delves explore this very question, providing readers with techniques and strategies that can help them improve their swimming performance.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced swimmer, this book has something for you. Their techniques have been proven, and this book has helped thousands of swimmers achieve their goals. So, ditch the old practice routine and give these methods a try – your swimming times are about to take a giant leap forward.

20. I FOUND MY TRIBE: A Memoir


Written by: Ruth Fitzmaurice

Published: 2017

Pages: 208

Ruth's husband, Simon, is a filmmaker or was a filmmaker until he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2008. This basically left him unable to do anything other than sit in a wheelchair, lie in a bed, and communicate using a voice through an eye-controlled computer. Being that Ruth had to run the house, raise their five young kids, and keep her husband alive, all the while nurses and caretakers came and went 24 hours a day, and she was becoming overwhelmed.

Living in Ireland at the time, she realized that she needed some way to care for herself. How did she do this? She found her tribe, "The Tragic Wives' Swimming Club," of others who loved to go swimming in the Atlantic Ocean and take time for themselves. This is an extremely powerful and moving read and one that you will never forget.

>> Additional swimming books to add to your list

Diving Books

21. Springboard and Platform Diving

Springboard and Platform Diving

Written by: Jeff Huber

Published: 2015

Pages: 312

There are two types of diving: springboard and platform. Springboard diving is done from a raised board, while platform diving is done from a smaller platform. Both types of diving require great athleticism, precision, and balance.

Several different dives can be performed, each with its own set of requirements. The world-renowned coach, Jeff Huber, gives you all the information that you'll need to master these incredible feats of beauty and grace.

Being that he has worked with beginners who have never tried a dive before, to some of the most famous divers ever, this is an excellent guide for you to start mastering your technique. Maybe if you work hard enough, you’ll be able to take your place on the medal stand at the Olympics!

22. Breaking the Surface

Breaking the Surface

Written by: Greg Louganis and Eric Marcus

Published: 1995 (1985)

Pages: 290

In the world of professional diving, Greg Louganis is a legend. His accomplishments at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where he won four gold medals and set two world records, are still unmatched. You’ll also remember him hitting his head on the diving board but coming back to compete that same day. But what's even more impressive than his talent as a diver is Louganis' personal story: overcoming obstacles both in and out of the water to achieve success.

Louganis tells his story for the first time as he discusses his issues with depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and becoming HIV positive. However, no matter what was thrown at him, he preserved and wouldn’t quit. If you're looking for an inspirational read, look no further than this memoir of one of history's greatest athletes.

Olympics Books

23. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

The Boys in the Boat

Written by: Daniel James Brown

Published: 2013

pages: 404

No one expected the boys from the University of Washington to make it very far in the 1936 Olympics. They were up against serious competition, including the reigning champions from Hitler's Germany. But these nine young men, most of them sons of immigrants, managed to defy the odds and take home the gold. Their story is one of heartache, heroism, and unexpected victory.

In The Boys in the Boat, author Daniel James Brown brings their journey to life, painting a stirring portrait of an underdog team that made history. This book is a must-read for any fan of sports history or underdog narratives.

24. My Marathon: Reflections on a Gold Medal Life

My Marathon

Written by: Frank Shorter

Published: 2016

pages: 288

On a brisk autumn day in 1972, Frank Shorter became the first American to win the Olympic marathon in nearly fifty years. Shorter reflects on his life and career as an athlete in this autobiography. After that tremendous high, he ended up winning a silver medal, beaten out by a German runner who was most likely cheating by using performance-enhancing drugs.

Instead of just giving in and giving up, he decides to help start the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and provides keen insights into what it takes to be a champion—both physically and mentally. He describes the trials he faced throughout his career, including the emotional and physical abuse he endured as a child and shares the lessons he learned along the way.

>> Additional books about the Olympics

Paralympics Books

25. Unsinkable: From Russian Orphan to Paralympic Swimming World Champion


Written by: Jessica Long

Published: 2018

Pages: 112

Orphaned as a baby and abandoned in a Russian orphanage, Jessica Long never gave up hope of one day having a family. When she was just thirteen months old, she was adopted by American parents and began her new life in Baltimore, Maryland. Despite using a wheelchair due to a rare form of leg deformity, Jessica pursued her dream of becoming a champion swimmer.

In 2004, at the age of eighteen, she became the youngest person ever to win a gold medal in swimming at the Paralympic Games. Since then, Jessica has broken more world records and won more medals than any other Paralympian athlete in history. Her incredible journey is documented in this awe-inspiring autobiography.

26. Just Don't Fall: How I Grew Up, Conquered Illness, and Made It Down the Mountain

Just Don't Fall

Written by: Josh Sundquist

Published: 2010

pages: 322

At the age of nine years old, Sundquist was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma. Being raised in a small Southern town, he ended up being lucky enough to go to a hospital that just happened to be near a mountain where he decided he wanted to try skiing. In an instant, his life went from carefree and fun to one where he would end up losing his left leg because of cancer.

However, this was just the beginning of his life. During these times, he had to learn how to deal with being a teenager, moving from being homeschooled to a public school, and having another possible cancer occurrence, among so much more. Because of this, he started to question his faith, his abilities, and whether he was good enough of a person. Being humble, kind, and incredibly caring, he eventually finds his way to greatness.

Cycling Books

27. The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs

The Secret Race

Written by: Tyler Hamilton

Published: 2012

Pages: 290

The Tour de France is one of the most prestigious cycling competitions in the world, watched by millions of spectators each year as riders cycle across France. However, what you see on the surface is not always what you get – behind the scenes, there is a hidden world of doping and cover-ups that has been exposed in Tyler Hamilton's new book. As one of Lance Armstrong’s teammates, he saw it all from the inside and outside.

In The Secret Race, Hamilton tells his own story of how he became a professional cyclist and eventually reached the pinnacle of the sport, only to be pulled down by doping and corruption. If you're interested in learning more about this dark side of cycling or just want to read an exciting biography, then we recommend giving Tyler Hamilton's book a read.

28. Miles from Nowhere

Miles from Nowhere

Written by: Barbara Savage

Published: 1985

Pages: 340

Do you ever find yourself wondering what it would be like to get away from it all? To leave the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind and just pick up and go? Barbara Savage's book, Miles from Nowhere, takes readers on a journey to some of the most remote places on earth.

In this incredible book, Savage and her husband Larry's journey is mind-boggling…especially when you consider she was basically new to cycling.

From dealing with a camel attacking them to the harshest weather imaginable, to people throwing rocks at them, Savage never gives up and continues her travels as she offers an up-close and personal look at some of the most stunning – and challenging – landscapes on the planet.

Whether you're an armchair traveler or looking for some inspiration for your next adventure, Miles from Nowhere is sure to take your breath away.

>> More cycling books

Tennis Books

29. Open: An Autobiography

Open: An Autobiography

Written by: Andre Agassi

Published: 2009

Pages: 388

This autobiography is so much more than just a tell-all account of the tennis legend's life and career. It was also a confession of sorts: Agassi had long been open about his personal struggles with drugs and alcohol, but he'd never revealed the full extent of his problems until that point. He also delves into his childhood, with an overbearing father who decided everything, and his marriage to Brooke Shields.

In Open, Agassi writes frankly about how addiction took over his life and threatened to destroy his career - and how he eventually got sober and turned things around. The book is an honest look at both the good and the bad in Agassi's life, and it offers a fascinating glimpse into the mind of one of tennis' all-time greats.

30. Unstoppable: My Life So Far

Unstoppable: My Life So Far

Written by: Maria Sharapova

Published: 2017

Pages: 304

In her autobiography, Maria Sharapova tells the story of her incredible life and career—from Russia to Hollywood, California. She opens up about her early years as a tennis phenom; the devastating injuries that threatened to end her career; and her three major championship victories. As an unrestricted account of life as one of the world's most famous athletes, Unstoppable is remarkable not only for its candor but also for its insights into the mind of a champion.

Because of this, she doesn't shy away from issues such as her suspension for a banned substance during the heart of her career. Sharapova offers readers a rare look at what it takes to achieve success at the highest level and tells stories of guts and determination that will inspire anyone who has ever faced down adversity.

Horse Racing Books

31. Seabiscuit: An American Legend

Seabiscuit: An American Legend

Written by: Laura Hillenbrand

Published: 2001

Pages: 399

Hillenbrand tells the story of one of the most improbably successful racehorses in history. In a period spanning from the early 1930s to the late 1940s, Seabiscuit competed against some of the best thoroughbreds in America and won—despite starting as an underdog time and again.

Hillenbrand's beautifully written narrative takes readers on a journey from Seabiscuit's humble beginnings as a sickly pup to his thrilling victory at the prestigious Santa Anita Handicap.

She also examines how three men, Tom Smith, Charles Howard, and the one-eyed jockey, Red Pollard, turned this horse into a champion. As with any good sports story, Hillenbrand also details all of the drama and setbacks that occurred along the way, making for a page-turning read.

32. Secretariat: The Making of a Champion

Secretariat: The Making of a Champion

Written by: William Nack

Published: 2002 (1988)

Pages: 384

In this book, Nack tells the story of how one horse became a racing legend. With exclusive access to Penny Chenery Tweedy, the owner of Secretariat, and many of the people who worked with him, Nack provides an intimate account of the horse's life on and off the track.

From his wrenching early defeats to his stunning Triple Crown victory, Secretariat is revealed as a complex and charismatic creature whose courage transcended sporting excellence. This riveting book offers readers a new understanding not just of one horse but also of the sport he so embodied.

>> Additional books about Horse Racing

Figure Skating Books

33. Beautiful on the Outside: A Memoir

Beautiful on the Outside: A Memoir

Written by: Adam Rippon

Published: 2019

Pages: 256

When people think of figure skaters, they typically imagine someone who is petite, agile, and graceful. However, Adam Rippon is not your average skater. At 6'2" and 170 pounds, he breaks the mold. Yet his extraordinary talent on the ice has made him one of the most recognizable names in skating today. In his memoir, Beautiful on the Outside, Rippon opens up about his life on and off the ice rink.

No matter what happens, including being so poor that he had to eat apples at his gym or riding the bus to and from practice, Rippon dares to let it all shine through so others can benefit from his knowledge. From obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) to his struggles with body image and self-esteem, Rippon shares all naturally and candidly. Through it all, he maintains an unyielding sense of self-confidence and a positive outlook that has

34. Tessa and Scott: Our Journey from Childhood Dream to Gold

Tessa and Scott

Written by: Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir, Steve Milton

Published: 2010

Pages: 192

Since they were children, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have been skating together. They dreamed of becoming Olympic gold medalists one day, and this dream became a reality in 2010 when they won the ice dancing competition at the Vancouver games. Virtue and Moir recount their journey from first skating together to winning Olympic gold in this memoir.

They offer insights into what it takes to be successful in competitive ice dancing and touch on the personal challenges they faced along the way. If you're looking for an inspiring read about two athletes who never gave up on their dream, then Tessa and Scott are definitely worth checking out.

Surfing Books

35. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

Written by: William Finnegan

Published: 2015

Pages: 447

William Finnegan tells the story of his lifelong love affair with surfing. He takes readers on a journey from his early days as a young surfer in California to his exploration of the coastlines of Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand, and finally to his current life as a journalist living in New York City.

However, it is almost impossible to explain this book in a few short paragraphs as it delves into his time in a whites gang, war correspondent, doing drugs during the 60s, and so much more.

If you've ever been drawn to the sea – or if you're simply curious about the appeal of surfing and the people that love it – then this book is for you. This is more than just a surfers' memoir; it is also a meditation on time, place, and self-discovery. As Finnegan puts it: "The ocean called me forth."

36. Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell: A True Story of Violence, Corruption, and the Soul of Surfing

Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell

Written by: Chas Smith

Published: 2013

Pages: 247

It was the perfect Hawaiian vacation: sun, sand, and solitude. But for Chas Smith, it turned into a living nightmare. This true story of violence takes you on a dark journey from the paradise of Hawaii to the hellish underbelly of its criminal underworld. Smith provides an unflinching account of his harrowing experiences with drugs, gangs, and murder - and how he narrowly escaped with his life.

If you're looking for a gripping read that goes beyond the typical tourist traps and surfing hang five attitudes, then you will need to read this book. It will open your eyes to the truth of how corrupt this seemingly easy-going and relaxed sport can be.

>> Additional books about surfing

Skiing Books

37. Higher Love: Climbing and Skiing the Seven Summits

Higher Love

Written by: Kit DesLauriers

Published: 2021

Pages: 288

In the world of professional athletes, there are those who compete in one sport and those who cross boundaries to become proficient in many. Kit DesLauriers is one such athlete. A champion ski racer and mountain climber, she has now added another title to her resume: Seven Summits finisher.

What is a Seven Summits Finisher? This means that she has climbed the highest peak on each of the seven continents. This is a feat that only about 400 people have accomplished. This book follows her for two years as she climbs, then skis, down these mountains…and all the adventures and misadventures during her journey to achieve this impressive accomplishment.

38. Tracking the Wild Coomba: The Life of Legendary Skier Doug Coombs

Tracking the Wild Coomba

Written by: Robert Cocuzzo

Published: 2016

Pages: 254

In the ski world, Doug Coombs was a legend. His skiing prowess and passion for the sport earned him widespread respect in the ski community, as well as numerous awards and accolades. Skiing Magazine readers voted him one of the top 10 skiers of all time, and he was one of only two Americans to be inducted into France's prestigious Ordre des Monaghan.

In this biography, author Robert Cocuzzo takes an in-depth look at Coombs' life, from when he was young to his death while skiing in Japan and trying to save another skier. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand what made Doug Coombs one of the greatest skiers of all time.

Triathlons Books

39. Operation Ironman: One Man's Four Month Journey from Hospital Bed to Ironman Triathlon

Operation Ironman

Written by: George Mahood

Published: 2015

Pages: 316

In 2011, George Manhood was in a hospital bed for four months. In 2015, he completed an Ironman Triathlon. This is his story.

In the early 2010s, George Manhood was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and given just a few months to live. Against all odds, he survived and began an even more challenging journey—from hospital bed to Ironman triathlon. Though his path has been filled with setbacks and pain, George has refused to give up and kept a great sense of humor; his inspiring story of strength and determination is a testimony to the human spirit.

With each step, with stroke, with each pedal, with each victory, big or small, George reminds us that anything is possible if we dare to dream it and fight for it. He was even swimming 2.4 miles, cycling 112 miles, and running 26.2 miles just four months after having surgery for cancer. You will be cheering for him all through his journey and his drive to never give up.

40. Triathlon Bike Foundations: A System for Every Triathlete to Finish the Bike Feeling Strong and Ready to Nail the Run with Just Two Workouts a Week!

Triathlon Bike Foundations

Written by: Triathlon Taren" Gesell

Published: 2019

Pages: 185

Most of the books on this list are biographies or autobiographies, but since triathlons have become such a beloved sport, we thought we'd add a "how-to" book here. The beauty of this book is that "Triathlon Taren” will help you find exactly the right way for you to succeed. This includes the gear, positioning your body correctly on both the bike and the run, and more can be totally confusing to newbies.

And that is where this book comes in, as Taren will show you the best way to achieve your goals. This short book is full of insights and information that will enlighten and inspire you. With so many tips and hacks, you will feel secure and confident, even if you've never attempted a triathlon, to be at your best.

Walking Books

41. In Praise of Walking: A New Scientific Exploration

In Praise of Walking

Written by: Shane O'Mara

Published: 2020

Pages: 224

Shane O'Mara provides scientific evidence that walking is good for our brains in this book. O'Mara believes that the physical and cognitive benefits of walking are so great that we should all be making more time for it in our lives.

Whether you are looking to boost your brainpower, improve your mood, or simply get some exercise, walking is a great option. So, get off the couch, lace up your shoes, and hit the pavement! Through a mix of personal stories and exciting new research findings, O'Mara makes a convincing case for the importance of walking.

42. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail


Written by: Cheryl Strayed

Published: 2012

Pages: 315

Finding herself lost and alone, 22-year-old Cheryl Strayed embarked on a 1,100-mile solo hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. Her reasons for taking on this arduous journey were personal: to deal with the aftermath of her mother's death and to find herself after a series of failed relationships. What she found was not what she expected.

This is the story of her remarkable journey, told in her own words. Wild is at once a breathtaking adventure tale and an introspective memoir that will change readers' lives. If you've ever thought that you couldn't achieve your goals, this book will help inspire you because Strayed hadn't planned anything…and yet ended up accomplishing her goals and regaining her life.

Weightlifting and Strength Training Books

43. Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story

Total Recall

Written by: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Published: 2012

Pages: 656

In his book, Arnold Schwarzenegger tells the story of his life—from growing up in Austria to becoming one of the most successful actors, a businessman in the world, and even the governor of California. This candid autobiography offers a unique glimpse into Schwarzenegger's life and career and provides readers with an inside look at the highs and lows of his remarkable journey.

As he reflects on his personal and professional successes, Schwarzenegger also opens up about the tragedies that have affected him deeply, including the death of his father and brother. Honest, engaging, and powerful, Total Recall is a must-read for anyone who wants to know more about this iconic figure.

44. Convict Conditioning: How to Bust Free of All Weakness Using the Lost Secrets of Supreme Survival Strength

Convict Conditioning

Written by: Paul "Coach" Wade

Published: 2012

Pages: 320

What if there was a way to sculpt an incredible body, increase your strength, and boost your health without spending hours in the gym? Believe it or not, there is—and his name is Paul Wade. To be honest, this is going to be unlike any workout book you’ve ever read anywhere. In this, Wade shares the lost secrets of supreme survival used by convicts to get in the best shape of their lives.

Instead of being bitter and resenting the world, he decided to use his knowledge to pay it back and help others at the same time. One of the prisons he stayed at included Alcatraz, so you can get an idea of how hardcore these workouts can be. These simple but powerful exercises can be done anywhere without any special equipment so that you can get started today regardless of your current fitness level.

Exercise Books

45. The 4 Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex and Becoming Superhuman

The 4 Hour Body

Written by: Tim Ferriss

Published: 2010

Pages: 571

Tim Ferriss is famous for writing about stopping wasting time and using a 4-hour workweek. This book is not your average health and fitness book. He is also not your average health and fitness writer. Ferriss takes an unconventional approach to losing weight quickly and safely. If you're looking to break out of your weight-loss rut or simply want to learn some new tricks, the 4 Hour Body is a must-read.

Ferriss draws on his own experience and interviews with experts in the field to help you create a customized weight loss plan that fits your unique lifestyle. So, if you're ready to start shedding pounds like never before, stop wasting time and working for hours and hours, grab a copy of this book and get to it! Trust us, and you won't regret it!

46. The China Study: Revised and Expanded Edition: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health

The China Study

Written by: T. Colin Campbell

Published: 2018

pages: 320

Do you ever feel bombarded with health advice, all of which seems to contradict the last thing you heard? It can be challenging to know who to believe. One source that you can trust is this incredible book by T. Colin Campbell. This book presents solid scientific evidence that a whole-food, plant-based diet is best for your health.

Campbell draws on decades of research, including his groundbreaking work in China, to show how a diet based on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can prevent and even reverse many chronic diseases that are killing Americans. If you're looking for an authoritative guide to healthy eating, this has to be at the top of your list.

Stretching Books

47. Built from Broken: A Science-Based Guide to Healing Painful Joints, Preventing Injuries, and Rebuilding Your Body

Built from Broken

Written by: Scott H. Hogan

Published: 2021

pages: 348

Arthritis, joint pain, and injuries can make everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs, or getting dressed difficult and painful. Many people turn to over-the-counter medications or surgery to relieve their symptoms. However, there are many natural ways to address joint pain and prevent injuries that are backed by scientific evidence.

Hogan goes into why these injuries occur, how to prevent them, and how to heal them using simple guides and suggestions. You'll be surprised at how quickly your body responds to them and starts to heal.

48. Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance

Becoming a Supple Leopard

Written by: Kelly Starrett and Glen Cordoza

Published: 2013

Pages: 400

Are you having pain in your neck, shoulders, and upper back? Do you feel like you can't seem to get rid of the stiffness and discomfort no matter what you do? Are you feeling pain even doing simple things like lifting grocery bags? If so, then you need to read this book! This is the ultimate guide to improving your flexibility and mobility.

Written by Kelly Starrett and Glen Cordozo, two of the world's leading experts on functional movement, this book includes a fourteen-day guide to rebuilding your flexibility. It is adaptable to almost everyone and will help you feel like a younger and more vital person once again.

Pilates Books

49. Pilates Anatomy

Pilates Anatomy

Written by: Rael Isacowitz and Karen Clippinger

Published: 2019

Pages: 272

No matter how you approach Pilates exercises – whether you're a beginner or an experienced practitioner – understanding the anatomy behind each movement is essential for getting the most out of your practice. In their book, the authors take you through each Pilates movement and show how understanding the anatomy can help you achieve better results.

There are over 46 exercises to help focus on each part of the body and allow you to rebuild your body. Whether you're looking to refine your technique or just learn more about what's going on in your body during a Pilates workout, this is the book for you.

50. Return to Life

Return to Life

Written by: Joseph H. Pilates

Published: 2012 (1945)

Pages: 106

The originator of Pilates wrote up this thoroughly researched and comprehensive guide that takes you back to basics-the exercises and principles upon which the Pilates method is based. With nearly 400 photographs and illustrations, this book makes it easy to follow and workouts on the equipment or at home.

For beginners and experienced practitioners alike, this is an essential reference for anyone interested in improving strength, posture, flexibility, and overall health. If you are trying to understand how Pilates works, why not start from the original and learn from the best?

Yoga Books

51. Light on Yoga: The Bible of Modern Yoga

Light on Yoga

Written by: B. K. S. Iyengar

Published: 1979 (1966)

Pages: 544

Yoga is a 5000-year-old physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word "yoga" is derived from the Sanskrit root "yuj," which means joining, unite. B. K. S. Iyengar is one of the world's foremost yoga teachers, and this book is his magnum opus on yoga. It provides a comprehensive overview of all aspects of yoga, including its history, philosophy, Theory, and Practice.

This book is unique because Iyengar provides photographs and instructions for each asana (pose), making it an invaluable resource for students and teachers alike. If you are interested in learning more about Yoga or want to deepen your practice, we highly recommend this incredible book.

52. Yoga Girl

Yoga Girl

Written by: Rachel Brathen

Published: 2014

Pages: 153

Rachel Brathen is a yoga teacher, author, and speaker who travels the world sharing her love of yoga. In her new book, Yoga Girl, she tells her own story – from finding her mother during her attempted suicide at age 4 to her rebellious teenage years to finding herself in the jungles of Costa Rica and finally becoming a yoga teacher.

This inspiring tale will show you that it's never too late to follow your dreams. Rachel's passion for yoga is evident on every page, and her tips for living a healthy and happy life will help you find balance in your own life. The photos in this book are gorgeous beyond belief and from all over the world. We love this book because you can then follow her on Instagram and find out more about her and her practice whenever you want to do it.

Skateboarding Books

53. The Disposable Skateboard Bible

The Disposable Skateboard Bible

Written by: Sean Cliver with photography by Eric Simpson

Published: 2009

Pages: 367

If you're looking for a way to get around town and you don't want the hassle of owning a car, a skateboard might be the perfect solution. Skateboarding is a great way to get some exercise, and it's also a lot of fun. If you're just starting out, though, it can be tough to know where to begin. That's where The Disposable Skateboard Bible comes in.

This handy guide will teach you everything you need to know about skateboarding, from how to choose the right board to how to do tricks like ollies and nollies. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced skater, The Disposable Skateboard Bible is sure to help you take your skating to the next level.

54. Skateboarding and the City: A Complete History

Skateboarding and the City: A Complete History

Written by: Iain Borden

Published: 2019

Pages: 336

Skateboarding is one of the most iconic activities associated with city life. But how did skateboarding become so closely intertwined with urban environments? This question is at the heart of Iain Borden's latest book, Skateboarding, and the City. Through a comprehensive history of the sport, Borden examines skateboarders' relationships to concrete jungles worldwide.

From early adopters in 1950s California to contemporary street skaters and even to the Olympics, Borden traces the unique ways that skateboarders have used their surroundings to create a sense of community and belonging. Originally known as a rebel and outsider sport, this amusing and fascinating change is perfectly shown in this book with photos and interviews of the best of the best.

BMX Books

55. Ride: BMX Glory, Against All the Odds

Ride: BMX Glory, Against All the Odds

Written by: John Buultjens and Chris Sweeney

Published: 2017

Pages: 256

This book is inspiring beyond all belief because Buultjens' story is fantastic. He grew up with an abusive dad, was sent to a foster home, and adopted bi-racial parents. Not knowing any better, he had to find out that racism is alive and well in the USA. As he grew, he learned about BMX and dedicated his life to it.

One of the greatest racers in the sport's history, competing worldwide, he didn't decide just to stop there. He started working for Haro, probably the most famous BMX company ever, and has helped many younger riders get their start. There is so much more to this story, including murders, that it can barely be described on this list.

56. The Ride of My Life

The Ride of My Life

Written by: Mat Hoffmann and Mark Lewman

Published: 2002

Pages: 320

Get ready to have your mind blown when you read this life weirder than fiction. Mat Hoffman was one of the youngsters of BMX riding when he was 14 years old and already famous for his skills. Never accepting the easy way out, he did tricks that caused so many injuries that he had over fifty broken bones!

However, when the 1980s rolled around and BMX started to wane in popularity, he decided to become a one-person show and save the sport. He bought a semi-truck, drove around from city to city, and started Hoffman Bikes. He has ended up being a ten-time world champion, one of the biggest BMX X games supporter, and more. Learn more about his stories and his interviews with other famous and not-so-famous stars of the skateboard and BMX world.

Motor Racing Books

57. Racing to the Finish: My Story

Racing to the Finish: My Story

Written by: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan McGee

Published: 2018

Pages: 208

Dale Earnhardt Sr. was one of the most significant drivers alive. Then came along his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr., who proved to be even better. Instead of doing a simple life story and biography of Earnhardt, he and McGee worked together to focus on the years of 2012 to 2017 when he retired.

Why are these years critical? Because during this time, Earnhardt started to have memory issues, problems with his vision, and lots of other symptoms from concussions.

Because he was starting to lose control of his life, Earnhardt realized that this would have massive implications for the rest of his life. He is a humble and honest man who writes about his regrets in not telling others earlier, hiding the symptoms, and how that could affect other racers.

It is also about how he could find ways to heal and regain himself. It is a truly sad and yet utterly inspiring, biography and even if you aren't a fan of NASCAR, you'll be a fan of the man.

>> More books about car and auto racing

58. Driving with the Devil: Southern Moonshine, Detroit Wheels, and the Birth of NASCAR

Driving with the Devil

Written by: Neal Thompson

Published: 2006

Pages: 432

This book is an engaging and speed-filled read that tells the story of two iconic American pastimes - moonshine and automobile racing. This leads to the muscle cars of Detroit being built and used to escape the law and other gangsters. Thompson weaves a tale that is both captivating and informative, taking readers on a journey from the backwoods of Appalachia, where running moonshine would be the most lucrative way to pay the bills if you survived.

This book provides a unique perspective on both subjects, offering insights into their histories and how they have evolved. It also delves into how NASCAR was built out of this “need for speed” and became a part of today’s culture. Whether you're a fan of cars, moonshine, NASCAR, or just interested in learning more about America's culture, this is a rip-roaring ride through time.

Rugby Books

59. My Life and Rugby: The Autobiography

My Life and Rugby

Written by: Eddie Jones

Published: 2020

Pages: 423

Rugby is a physical and demanding sport that requires strength, agility, and endurance. For Eddie Jones, it has also been a way of life. Jones tells the story of how rugby has shaped him as a person and helped him overcome challenges both on and off the field.

As an accomplished coach and player, Jones offers insights into what it takes to be successful in this challenging sport and life in general. After coaching for over 30 years and winning the Rugby World Championships in 2003, 2007, and 2019, this man has experienced the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. And no matter what, that didn’t stop him from achieving his goals and will help you achieve yours too.

60. Loose Head: Confessions of an (un)professional rugby player

Loose Head

Written by: Joe Marler

Published: 2021

Pages: 320

It has been said that confession is good for the soul. In his new book, Loose Head prop Joe Marler takes a long, hard look at himself – and what rugby has done for and to him. Marler bares all in a brutally honest account of life as a professional rugby player from his earliest days as an ambitious youngster dreaming of playing for England to the now-infamous 'Gypsy Boy' incident.

What emerges is a portrait of a sport that can be both exhilarating and brutal, where athletes are expected to perform under immense pressure and scrutiny. With insights into the inner workings of the English rugby set-up, Loose Head offers readers a unique perspective on one of the world's most popular sports.

Cricket Books

61. Golden Boy: Kim Hughes and the Bad Old Days of Australian Cricket

Golden Boy

Written by: Christian Ryan

Published: 2009

pages: 304

No one knows what it is like to be the golden boy quite like Kim Hughes. Overnight, he became the toast of Australian cricket in 1978 when, at just 20 years old, he was made captain of the national team. But his appointment would herald the beginning of a long and challenging journey -- a journey that would see him labeled as both a genius and a failure.

In Golden Boy, Christian Ryan brings to life one of the most intriguing figures in Australian sporting history. This is Hughes' story: from being hailed as Australia's next great hope to tearfully retiring from the game he loved. It is a tale of spectacular triumphs and devastating setbacks, of teammates who loved and hated him, of boundless courage and utter despair.

62. Playing It My Way: My Autobiography

Playing It My Way

Written by: Sachin Tendulkar

Published: 2014

Pages: 486

If there is one name synonymous with cricket, it is Sachin Tendulkar. The Indian cricket superstar has enjoyed a career that is the stuff of legends. In his new autobiography, Playing It My Way, he shares all the details of his amazing journey. This starts from being a youngster to retiring after 24 years of mastery of the game.

From his early days as a youngster practicing in the streets of Mumbai to his record-breaking years playing for India, including winning the World Cup and often being the best in the world Test Rankings, Sachin opens up about everything. And being that he is a very private man, it is incredible to read about both the good and the bad that he had to endure during his playing time.

Scuba Diving Books

63. Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II

Shadow Divers

Written by: Robert Kurson

Published: 2004

Pages: 375

What could be more interesting than a book about diving? How about a book about divers who explore the wreckage of ships sunk during World War II? That's the topic of Shadow Divers, by Robert Kurson. The book tells the story of two divers who become obsessed with exploring a German U-boat that was sunk off the coast of New Jersey in 1991.

The story is full of adventure and suspense, as the divers face physical and mental challenges in their quest to explore the wreck. This book also examines the difficulties of their addiction to finding out the facts caused on their lives and their relationships. Not everything was beautiful under the surface. Kurson does an excellent job of describing the beauty and terror of diving, and he brings the characters to life in a way that makes you feel like you're right there with them.

64. The Boys in the Cave: Deep Inside the Impossible Rescue in Thailand

The Boys in the Cave

Written by: Matt Gutman

Published: 2018

Pages: 320

When news first spread that twelve young boys and their soccer coach were stranded in a Thai cave, the whole world held its breath. With time running out, an impossible rescue mission unfolded before our eyes. The Boys in the Cave tells the story of the heroes who risked everything to bring those boys home. In this incredible book, you'll journey deep into the heart of the Tham Luang Nang Non cave system and experience every moment of the astonishing rescue.

From navigating treacherous waters to battling hazardous conditions, these brave men never gave up on saving those boys. Featuring stunning photographs and firsthand accounts from those involved, The Boys in the Cave is a thrilling account of one of the most successful rescues ever undertaken. So buckle up and get ready for an amazing above and underwater ride!

Gymnastics Books

65. What Is a Girl Worth?: My Story of Breaking the Silence and Exposing the Truth about Larry Nassar and USA Gymnastics

What Is a Girl Worth

Written by: Rachael Benhollander

Published: 2019

Pages: 352

Larry Nassar, the disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor, sexually abused over 250 young girls over 20 years. This is an appalling statistic, and it's shocking to think that this could have gone on for so long without being exposed. However, there are still many questions about why Nassar could get away with this for so long, and Rachael Benhollander's new book aims to uncover the truth about what went on at USA Gymnastics.

Benhollander was the first gymnast to come forward and speak out about her abuse at the hands of Nassar and fight back. This book promises to be an essential account of what happened behind the scenes at one of America's most prestigious institutions and how these young women were mistreated and ignored.

It also delves into how we ensure that other vulnerable women are not taken advantage of in their own families, churches, and other parts of their lives. A powerful read no matter what your opinion of the sport.

66. Fierce: How Competing for Myself Changed Everything


Written by: Aly Raisman

Published: 2017

pages: 359

If there's one thing Aly Raisman knows, it's how to be fierce. The Olympic gymnast has learned how to compete and win against some of the best in the world. In her book, Raisman shares what it takes to be a champion both in and out of the gym.

She writes about the ups and downs of her journey, from becoming a breakout star at the 2012 Olympics to coping with devastating personal losses.

She also investigates the abuse by Dr. Nassar and how it affected her during so much of her young life. Much of this story is taken from his diaries and other memorabilia, so it is as honest as an autobiography. The photos in the book are also excellent and will inspire you to be fierce and excellent no matter the obstacles you face in your life!

Through it all, Raisman has shown that she is a fighter who never backs down.

>> Additional books about gymnastics

Additional Sports Books to Add to Your Reading List