Need some ideas for what to read? Check out these recommendations:
Art of Racing in the Rain
by Garth Stein
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn't simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life's ordeals. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny's wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, ZoÃ«, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with ZoÃ« at his side. Having learned what it takes to be a compassionate and successful person, the wise canine can barely wait until his next lifetime, when he is sure he will return as a man. A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.
by John Grisham
High school all-American Neely Crenshaw was probably the best quarterback ever to play for the legendary Messina Spartans. Fifteen years have gone by since those glory days, and Neely has come home to Messina to bury Coach Eddie Rake, the man who molded the Spartans into an unbeatable football dynasty. Now, as Coach Rake s boys sit in the bleachers waiting for the dimming field lights to signal his passing, they replay the old games, relive the old glories, and try to decide once and for all whether they love Eddie Rake or hate him. For Neely Crenshaw, a man who must finally forgive his coach -- and himself before he can get on with his life, the stakes are especially high.
by Harlan Coben
From the "New York Times" bestselling author of "Promise Me" comes the first novel featuring Myron Bolitar--a haunting tale of betrayal and family secrets that explodes into a riveting powerhouse of suspense.
by James Patterson
The good New York's Lombardo's Steak House is famous for three reasons--the menu, the clientele, and now, the gruesome murder of an infamous mob lawyer. Effortlessly, the assassin slips through the police's fingers, and his absence sparks a blaze of accusations about who ordered the hit. The bad: Seated at a nearby table, reporter Nick Daniels is conducting a once-in-a-lifetime interview with a legendary baseball bad-boy. In the chaos, he accidentally captures a key piece of evidence that lands him in the middle of an all-out war between Italian and Russian mafia forces. NYPD captains, district attorneys, mayoral candidates, media kingpins, and one shockingly beautiful magazine editor are all pushing their own agendas--on both sides of the law. And the dead: Back off--or die--is the clear message Nick receives as he investigates for a story of his own. Heedless, and perhaps in love with his beautiful editor, Nick endures humiliation, threats, violence, and worse in a thriller that overturns every expectation and finishes with the kind of flourish only James Patterson knows.
Merry Wives of Maggody: An Arly Hanks Mystery
by Joan Hess
Maggody, Arkansas (Pop.755) is perceived as a two-bit hick town, filled with one-bit hicks. But Mrs. Jim Bob Buchanan seeks to change that perception with her latest scheme a charity golf tournament. This presents a bit of a challenge, since no one in Maggody plays golf and there is no course. But when the prize for the first hole-in-one is announced a top of the line bass boat nearly everyone in town develops a new-round interest in the sport. The town goes golf crazy, trying to learn the sport in time to win the bass boat, with limited success and maximum domestic disorder. Sheriff Arly Hanks, who has better things to worry about, just wishes it would go away. When a small-tow golf instructor wins the bass boat on the first day of the tournament, it looks like all the excitement is over. But the next morning, when he is found dead, sitting in the parking lot in the front seat of the bass boat, the prize is once again up for grabs and nearly everyone in town is a murder suspect.
My Sister My Love: The Intimate Story of Skylar Rampike
by Joyce Carol Oates
"New York Times"-bestselling author Oates is back with this dark, wry, captivating tale, inspired by an unsolved true-crime mystery.
Only a Game
by J.M. Gregson
Jim Capstick, the Chairman of Bruton Rovers Football Club, has guided the team to great success in the Premier League since he became the majority shareholder three years ago. But his brusque business style has made him many enemies in the small Lancashire mill town that is home to the club. As Bruton Rovers fight to stay in the Premiership, the club administrators are under pressure to tackle the mounting debts that come with the modern game. Many people would stand to lose out if the club failed to make a profit, including Darren Pearson, the club secretary with a guilty secret, Robbie Black, the fiery Scottish manager, and Edward Lanchester, the board member who ran the club in the days before millionaire footballers and Middle Eastern team owners.
by Mike Lupica
In "Bump and Run," Jack Molloy inherited half of the legendary New York Hawks and made them Super Bowl champs. But now he may lose them. It is only when he enlists the help of old friends and new allies, betting it all on one last play in the red zone, that things begin to get interesting.
by E. Lynn Harris
E. Lynn Harris has wowed and seduced more than three million readers with the wicked drama and undeniable heart in his novels. Now he's back with another winner sure to top the bestseller lists - a rip-roaring tale of sex, secrets, betrayal . . . and blackmail. Aldridge James "AJ" Richardson is living the good life. He has a gorgeous town house in always-flavorful New Orleans, plenty of frequent-flier miles from jet-setting around the country on a whim, and an MBA - but he's never had to work a regular job. He owes it all to his longtime lover, Dray Jones. Dray Jones the rich and famous NBA star. They fell in love in college when AJ was hired to tutor Dray, a freshman on the basketball team. But Dray knew if he wanted to make it to the big time, he must juggle his public image and his private desires. Built on a deep, abiding love, their hidden relationship sustains them both, but when Dray's teammates begin to ask insinuating questions about AJ, Dray puts their doubts to rest by marrying Judi, a beautiful and ambitious woman. Judi knows nothing about Dray's "other life". Or does she? In Basketball Jones, E. Lynn Harris explores the consequences of loving someone who is forced to conform to the rules society demands its public heroes follow. Filled with nonstop twists and turns, it will keep readers riveted from the first page to the last.
by Stephen King
Even the most diehard baseball fans don't know the true story of William "Blockade Billy" Blakely. He may have been the greatest player the game has ever seen, but today no one remembers his name. He was the first--and only--player to have his existence completely removed from the record books. Even his team is long forgotten, barely a footnote in the game's history. Every effort was made to erase any evidence that William Blakely played professional baseball, and with good reason. Blockade Billy had a secret darker than any pill or injection that might cause a scandal in sports today. His secret was much, much worse… and only Stephen King, the most gifted storyteller of our age, can reveal the truth to the world, once and for all.
In the Heat
by Ian Vasquez
Boxer Miles Young thinks he’s got one more shot in him before it’s time to hang up the gloves for good. He may be the only one who thinks so. The truth is, he enjoys the recognition his career has brought him at home, in the small Latin American country of Belize, and he’s worried about how he’ll support his daughter once it’s over. So when his promoter comes to him with a proposition that includes one last big fight, he listens. Isabelle Gilmore wants Miles to find her daughter, who’s run off with some of her mother’s money and her no-good boyfriend. Isabelle’s afraid Rian’s going to marry the kid, the only son of corrupt ex-police chief Marlon Tablada, and she wants Rian - and the money - found. In return, Miles gets put on a fight card with a $30,000 payday. He’s reluctant, but Isabelle thinks a hometown hero can get people to talk in ways a private investigator can’t. Trouble is, before he can find Rian, he learns that there’s much more to Isabelle, her daughter, and Marlon than Isabelle let on.
It Takes Two
by Patrizia Chen
From an author widely known in the international tango world comes this sexy, fast-paced novel about one woman's unforgettable experience rediscovering herself through the ecstasy of tango dancing.
Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail. Three men changed Seabiscuit s fortunes: Charles Howard was a onetime bicycle repairman who introduced the automobile to the western United States and became an overnight millionaire. When he needed a trainer for his new racehorses, he hired Tom Smith, a mysterious mustang breaker from the Colorado plains. Smith urged Howard to buy Seabiscuit for a bargain-basement price, then hired as his jockey Red Pollard, a failed boxer who was blind in one eye, half-crippled, and prone to quoting passages from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Over four years, these unlikely partners survived a phenomenal run of bad fortune, conspiracy, and severe injury to transform Seabiscuit from a neurotic, pathologically indolent also-ran into an American sports icon.
Across America by Bicycle: Alice and Bobbi’s summer on wheels
by Alice Honeywell
Biking from Oregon to Maine is no small feat, especially for two newly retired women who carry everything they need for three months, powered only by the strength of their legs and a desire for adventure. Alice Honeywell and Bobbi Montgomery invite readers to follow their ride by bicycle across the United States, as they face scorching sun, driving rain, buffeting winds, equipment failures, killer hills, wildfires, and even a plague of grasshoppers. As Alice and Bobbi pedal along their 3,600-mile journey, they test and deepen their friendship, defy their aches and pains, experience the vast and varied beauties of their country, and discover the challenges and satisfaction of a scaled-down lifestyle.
by Jonathan Snowden
Whether a casual fan or a longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) enthusiast, all MMA spectators will benefit from the information in this detailed reference. The complicated nature of MMA can create a barrier for potential fans, but this clear, concise guide breaks the MMA language barrier for those who don't know the difference between a wristlock and a wristwatch, while also offering various perspectives and analysis. This combination of facts, fundamentals, and fighters of the world s fastest-growing combat sport will delight and engage fans of this wildly popular sport.
Play Their Hearts Out: A Coach, His Star Recruit, and the Youth Basketball Machine
by George Dohrmann
Dohrmann, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for Sports Illustrated, spent eight years chronicling the struggles and triumphs of a select group of California youths who chased their dream in his wonderful and immaculately reported first book. Dohrmann largely focuses his work on Demetrius Walker, the hoops phenom who seems destined for stardom at a young age, his travel team from California, and the club's complex and bombastic coach, Joe Keller. Dohrmann began reporting on the book back in 2000, when Walker and many of his teammates were only 10 years old, and followed them through to their high school graduation. Along the way, he shows the brutal nature of "grassroots" basketball, in which coaches can view their players as "investments," the power of sneaker companies in youth basketball, and the cutthroat antics of collegiate recruiting. But this is equally a story about relationships and the sad deterioration of many of them, whether it be among teammates, parents and son, or coach and player. It's a brilliant and heart-wrenching journey, and a cautionary tale to any basketball player who thinks the path to the NBA is a slamdunk.
Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman
by Jon Krakauer
Krakauer ("Into the Wild") chronicles the riveting, tragic story of former NFL player Pat Tillman, who was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004, in engrossing detail highlighting his remarkable character and personality while closely examining the murky, heartbreaking circumstances of his death.
When the Game was Ours
by Larry Bird
From the moment these two players took the court on opposing sides, they engaged in a fierce physical and psychological battle. Their uncommonly competitive relationship came to symbolize the most compelling rivalry in the NBA. These were the basketball epics of the 1980s -- Celtics vs Lakers, East vs West, physical vs finesse, Old School vs Showtime, even white vs black. Each pushed the other to greatness -- together Bird and Johnson collected 8 NBA Championships, and 6 MVP awards and helped save the floundering NBA at its most critical time. When it started they were bitter rivals, but along the way they became lifelong friends. With intimate, fly-on- the- wall detail, WHEN THE GAME WAS OURS transports readers to this electric era of basketball and reveals for the first time the inner workings of two players dead set on besting one another. From the heady days of trading championships to the darker days of injury and illness, we come to understand Larry s obsessive devotion to winning and how his demons drove him on the court. We hear him talk with candor about playing through chronic pain and its truly exacting toll. In Magic we see a young, invincible star struggle with the sting of defeat, not just as a player but as a team leader. We are there the moment he learns he s contracted HIV and hear in his own words how that devastating news impacted his relationships in basketball and beyond. But always, in both cases, we see them prevail. A compelling, up-close-and-personal portrait of basketball s most inimitable duo, WHEN THE GAME WAS OURS is a reevaluation of three decades in counterpoint. It is also a rollicking ride through professional basketball s best times.
In the Blink of an Eye: Dale, Daytona and the Day that Changed Everything
by Michael Waltrip
An account of the colorful NASCAR driver's career describes his hardscrabble upbringing and strained relationship with brother Darrell, while recounting his historic win at the 2001 Daytona 500 and the death of mentor Dale Earnhardt in the same race.
I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness to the Blind Side and Beyond
by Michael Oher
The football star made famous in the hit film "The Blind Side" reflects on how far he has come from the circumstances of his youth. While many people are now familiar with Oher's amazing journey, this is the first time he shares his story in his own words.
Zero Regrets: Be Greater Than Yesterday
by Apolo Ohno
Gold medal-winning Olympic speed-skater Apolo Ohno, the most decorated American Winter Olympic athlete of all time, shares his inspiring personal story and life lessons learned through training and competition.
The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood
by Jane Leavy
Drawing on interviews with friends and family, as well as teammates and opponents, "New York Times"-bestselling author Leavy delivers the definitive account of one of the biggest talents and most tragic figures ever to play baseball.
Coming Back Stronger: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity
by Drew Brees
New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees pens the ultimate comeback story, the story not only of his recovering from a career-ending shoulder injury, but the rejuvenation of a city and a football team many had given up on. His inspiring message of hope and encouragement proves that with faith, determination, and heart, any obstacle can be overcome.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
by Aron Ralston
One of the most extraordinary survival stories ever told -- Aron Ralston's searing account of his six days trapped in one of the most remote spots in America, and how one inspired act of bravery brought him home. It started out as a simple hike in the Utah canyon lands on a warm Saturday afternoon. For Aron Ralston, a twenty-seven-year-old mountaineer and outdoorsman, a walk into the remote Blue John Canyon was a chance to get a break from a winter of solo climbing Colorado's highest and toughest peaks. He'd earned this weekend vacation, and though he met two charming women along the way, by early afternoon he finally found himself in his element: alone, with just the beauty of the natural world all around him. It was 2:41 P.M. Eight miles from his truck, in a deep and narrow slot canyon, Aron was climbing down off a wedged boulder when the rock suddenly, and terrifyingly, came loose. Before he could get out of the way, the falling stone pinned his right hand and wrist against the canyon wall. And so began six days of hell for Aron Ralston. With scant water and little food, no jacket for the painfully cold nights, and the terrible knowledge that he'd told no one where he was headed, he found himself facing a lingering death -- trapped by an 800-pound boulder 100 feet down in the bottom of a canyon. As he eliminated his escape options one by one through the days, Aron faced the full horror of his predicament: By the time any possible search and rescue effort would begin, he'd most probably have died of dehydration, if a flash flood didn't drown him before that. What does one do in the face of almost certain death? Using the video camera from his pack, Aron began recording his grateful good-byes to his family and friends all over the country, thinking back over a life filled with adventure, and documenting a last will and testament with the hope that someone would find it. (For their part, his family and friends had instigated a major search for Aron, the amazing details of which are also documented here for the first time.) The knowledge of their love kept Aron Ralston alive, until a divine inspiration on Thursday morning solved the riddle of the boulder. Aron then committed the most extreme act imaginable to save himself. Between a Rock and a Hard Place -- a brilliantly written, funny, honest, inspiring, and downright astonishing report from the line where death meets life -- will surely take its place in the annals of classic adventure stories.
Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life
by Richard Ben Cramer
No wonder we strove for more than sixty years to give Joe DiMaggio the hero's life. DiMaggio was, at every turn, one man we could look at who made us feel good. In the hard-knuckled thirties, he was the immigrants' boy who made it big -- and spurred the New York Yankees to a new era of dynasty. As World War II loomed, Joltin' Joe became our poster boy for American can-do, with his hitting streak of fifty-six straight -- and the nation was literally singing his name. In postwar ease and plenty, he was our Broadway Joe, the icon of elegance and manly class…until he wooed and won, in Marilyn Monroe, the most beautiful girl that America could dream up. And even when he lost that girl for good, in 1962, Joe was us at the start of our decade of national bereavement. Joe DiMaggio was a mirror of our best self…and he was also the loneliest hero we ever had. A nation of fans would give him anything…but what he wanted most was to hide the life he chose. In this groundbreaking biography, Richard Ben Cramer presents a stunning, often shocking portrait of the hero nobody knew.
by William Nack
"Secretariat is an elegantly crafted, exhilarating tale of speed and power, grace and greatness, told with such immediacy that the reader is lost in the rush of horses and the clatter and ring of the grandstand."
Got Fight?: The 50 Zen Principles of Hand-to-Face Combat
by Forest Griffin
Wondering why you should purchase this book when there are other titles on the shelves written by much higher-caliber fighters? Well, Forrest Griffin is not as good-looking as those guys. He's not as smart as them. He's also not as athletically endowed. And let's face it, neither are you. Those other fighters are pretty much better than you in every way. But you can actually aspire to be as good as Forrest one day. Why? Because he is nothing special, just like you. Forrest is not a martial artist. He's a fighter, and this book was written for his kin. If you're a hillbilly like Forrest and you get off on having your face rearranged,Got Fight? is for you. This is a manifesto more strategic than Sun Tzu'sThe Art of War, more philosophical than Bruce Lee'sTao of Jeet Kune Do, more powerful than a well-lubricated locomotive. In these pages you will learn about true mental toughness-whether it's scraping it out in the Octagon or picking up chicks. You will learn about the mental defects that made Forrest Griffin into the abomination he is today and how you can use your shortcomings to become equally horrible. You will learn the essential tactics of hand-to-hand combat as well as how to defend yourself in the event of a sword attack.