Total fitness – New Sport & Fitness books

Here is an eclectic mix of titles for the sports enthusiasts. The collection includes books on running, yoga, cycling. curling, rowing, swimming, and more.

Syndetics book coverSports Geek : A Visual Tour of Sporting Myths, Debate and Data / Rob Minto.
“Sport revolves around two things: narrative and numbers. You need the narrative, otherwise why would anyone care about sport? But sport also needs numbers. Without them, we have no idea who has won. Sports Geek is a visual and numerical tour through sporting debates and ideas. Teams in all sports use data to create extraordinary analysis of how their players perform, to assess tactics and to get an edge over arch rivals; but fans are rarely presented with challenging and informative data that would help them to further understand sport. You’ll never see sport the same way again.” (Syndetics summary)

Behind the Silver Fern / Tony Johnson, Lynn McConnell.Image from Amazon.com
“Go behind the scenes with the world’s most successful sports team. This is a complete history of rugby’s most famous yet enigmatic team, the New Zealand All Blacks, told by the men who have had the honour of wearing the iconic black jersey. From the legendary 1905 ‘Originals’ all the way through to Richie McCaw’s record-breaking back-to-back World Cup champions of 2015, this is a history of the All Blacks like you have never experienced it before. Absorbing and illuminating, this is the ultimate history of New Zealand rugby – told, definitively, by the men who have been there and done it.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverDeclared / Brendon McCullum ; with Greg McGee.
“Brendon McCullum is known as an explosive wicketkeeper, then batsman, who went on to captain the New Zealand cricket team to glory. The holder of many records, ‘Baz’ is known for speaking his mind. He talks about growing up loving sport more than anything, getting better and better at cricket, and his uncertain transition to international cricketer. In this explosive autobiography he opens up on the many controversies he has been involved in, including the Chris Cairns affair and the leadership change from Ross Taylor. He exposes behind-the scenes machinations as well as the private moments of exultation, tumult and despair. One of New Zealand’s and the worlds most admired cricketers, he is credited with changing the face of the game internationally.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWonderland : how play made the modern world / Steven Johnson.
“This lushly illustrated history of popular entertainment takes a long-zoom approach, contending that the pursuit of novelty and wonder is a powerful driver of world-shaping technological change. Steven Johnson argues that, throughout history, the cutting edge of innovation lies wherever people are working the hardest to keep themselves and others amused. He introduces us to the colorful innovators of leisure: the explorers, proprietors, showmen, and artists who changed the trajectory of history with their luxurious wares, exotic meals, taverns, gambling tables, and magic shows. You’ll find the future wherever people are having the most fun.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBolshoi Confidential : secrets of the Russian ballet from the rule of the tsars to today / Simon Morrison.
“On a freezing night in January 2013, an assailant hurled acid in the face of the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet, Sergei Filin. The crime, organized by a lead soloist, dragged one of Russia’s most illustrious institutions into scandal. As renowned musicologist Simon Morrison shows in his tour-de-force account, the attack, and its torrid aftermath, underscored the importance of the Bolshoi to the art of ballet, to Russia, and to the world… The Theatre has been bombed, rigged with explosives and reinforced with cement. Its dancers have suffered unimaginable physical torment to climb the ranks. But, as Morrison reveals, the Bolshoi has transcended its own fraught history, surviving 250 years of artistic and political upheaval to define not only Russian culture but also ballet itself.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuild Your Running Body : a total-body fitness plan for all distance runners, from milers to ultra-marathoners : run farther, faster, and injury-free / Pete Magill, Thomas Schwartz, and Melissa Breyer ; photographs by Diana Hernandez.
“Whether you’re a miler or an ultra-marathoner, if you want a fit, fast, and injury-resistant running body, there’s a better way to train than relentlessly pursuing mileage. This easy-to-use workout manual draws on the latest research in running physiology to target all the components that go into every stride–including muscles, connective tissue, cardiovascular fitness, energy production, the nervous system, hormones, and the brain. With the breakthrough whole-body training program in Build Your Running Body, runners will improve their times, run longer and more comfortably, and reduce injury.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeth Shaw’s Yogafit.
“Whether you are searching for a new physical challenge or a way to incorporate yoga into your exercise routine, Beth Shaw’s YogaFit will help you reach your physical potential. Expanded and updated, this highly acclaimed program combines challenging conditioning work with strength- and flexibility-building yoga to create a total-body workout.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverTotal Road Cycling.
Total Road Cycling starts by looking at choosing the right kit from buying a bike to deciding on the right clothes and accessories. It then looks at how best to train for the rigours of the open road by getting your bike-specific fitness up to scratch. But riding a bike is much more than just pedalling hard, so next come the essential skills necessary for efficient speed, including climbing, cornering, and descending. Road riding also has its own tactics and this volume shows you the strategies that will keep you at the front of the pack. You won’t get far if you don’t eat the right food, so next comes a section on fuelling for rides. Illustrated throughout with annotated photographs and step-by-step artworks and images, this is the only book any road rider will ever need.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCurling : steps to success / Sean M.R. Turriff.
“Internationally renowned coach Sean Turriff brings his extensive experience and expertise to Curling: Steps to Success, providing players and coaches with a practical, step-by-step format that develops and improves curlers’ fundamental skill level and decision making. Supplemented by more than 90 photos and illustrations, the book covers essential curling skills such as throws, brushing, delivery, basic shots, and ice reading. Included are detailed explanations of the roles and responsibilities of each team member as well as practical check points for gauging players’ mastery of skills. Whether you are just beginning or have experience on the sheet, the book will have you targeting the rock accurately and consistently in no time.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFuel of Champions : food, fitness and mind-set secrets revealed / Brian Roselt & Tiffany Roselt.
“If you want to be the best, you must learn from the best – international authors Brian and Tiffany Roselt have interviewed some of the world’s greatest role models and champions. This book breaks down these champions’ success secrets, giving you a blueprint that allows your mind to be filled with a wealth of powerful ideas and strategies that can immediately fuel your way to the top.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTraining for the Complete Rower : a guide to improving performance / Paul Thompson and Alex Wolf.
“This book aims to provide and challenge coaches and rowers with best practice, advice, principles, and training programs to improve their rowing experience and performance. Regardless of whether you are looking to improve on-water performance, set an indoor rowing personal best, or enhance the quality of your training, you will find something of value within these pages. Topics covered include training and technique; ergometer training; specific rowing conditioning; strength training; monitoring and assessing land training; mobility and flexibility; weightlifting technique; trunk training; nutrition; and mental skills.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLeap In : a woman, some waves and the will to swim / Alexandra Heminsley.
“Alexandra Heminsley thought she could swim. She really did. It may have been because she could run. But, as she learned one day while flailing around in the sea, she really couldn’t. Believing that a life lived fully isn’t one with the most money earned, the most stuff bought or the most races won, but one with the most experiences, experienced the most fully, she decided to conquer her fear of the water. From the ignominy of getting into a wetsuit to the triumph of swimming from Kefalonia to Ithaca, in becoming a swimmer, Alexandra learns to appreciate her body and still her mind. As it turns out, the water is never as frightening once you’re in, and really, everything is better when you remember to exhale.” (Syndetics summary)

Books on bikes and boats – New sports & fitness books

This month’s selection includes books on cycling, boat racing, running, cricket soccer and fishing. Perhaps you’ll find inspiration for a hobby to take up in the new year!

Syndetics book coverUrban Cycling : from the BMX to the fixie / Laurent Belando.
“City cycling is on the up all over the world, and this stylish book is the perfect celebration of its growing popularity. With beautiful photography and street-style profiles of cyclists of all walks of life, Urban Cycling is a fascinating study of the cyclists that roam our city streets – from BMX gangs to cycle couriers and everything in between.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWinning Isn’t Luck : how to succeed in racing dinghies and yachts / Fred Imhoff ; translated by Chris Schram.
“Whether racing dinghies or yachts, every sailor wants to drive through the fleet and cross the line first. In this ground-breaking book, international racer Fred Imhoff shows how to do just that. By means of on-the-water action shots and detailed commentary about a sailor’s tactics, sail trim, helming, crew positioning and psychological attitude, Fred shares the secrets of competitive racing success….this book is full of never-before-discussed gold dust that will be absolutely indispensable to all racers, whatever their age or level.” (Sydetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRunning Man : A Memoir / Charlie Engle.
“After a decade-long addiction to crack cocaine and alcohol, Charlie Engle hit bottom with a near-fatal six-day binge that ended in a hail of bullets. As Engle got sober, he turned to running, which became his lifeline, his pastime, and his salvation. He began with marathons, and when marathons weren’t far enough, he began to take on ultra-marathons, races that went for 35, 50, and sometimes hundreds of miles, traveling to some of the most unforgiving places on earth to race…. In Running Man, Charlie Engle tells the gripping, surprising, funny, emotional, and inspiring story of his life, detailing his setbacks and struggles–from coping with addiction to serving time in prison–and how he blazed a path to freedom by putting one foot in front of the other.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverToday We Die A Little : the rise and fall of Emil Zátopek, Olympic legend / Richard Askwith.
“No runner has generated myth like Emil Zátopek, the Czechoslovakian soldier who revolutionised distance running after World War II. Zátopek won five Olympic medals, set 18 world records, and went undefeated over 10,000 metres for six years. His triumphs put his country on the map, yet when Soviet tanks moved in to crush Czechoslovakia’s new freedoms in 1968, Zátopek paid a heavy price for his brave stance as a champion of ‘socialism with a human face’. Expelled from the Army, he was condemned to years of degrading manual labour, far from his home and his adored wife. Rehabilitated two decades later, he was a shadow of the man he had been – and the world had all but forgotten him… Today We Die A Little strips away the myths to tell the complex and deeply moving story of the most inspiring Olympic hero of them all.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeclared / Brendon McCullum ; with Greg McGee.
“Brendon McCullum is known as an explosive wicketkeeper, then batsman, who went on to captain the New Zealand cricket team to glory. The holder of many records, ‘Baz’ is known for speaking his mind. He talks about growing up loving sport more than anything, getting better and better at cricket and his uncertain transition to international cricketer. In this explosive autobiography he opens up on the many controversies he has been involved in, including the Chris Cairns affair and the leadership change from Ross Taylor. One of New Zealand’s and the worlds most admired cricketers, he is credited with changing the face of the game internationally.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverForward : A Memoir / Abby Wambach.
“Abby Wambach has always pushed the limits of what is possible. At age seven she was put on the boys’ soccer team. At age thirty-five she would become the highest goal scorer (male or female) in the history of soccer, capturing the nation’s heart with her team’s 2015 World Cup Championship. Called an inspiration and “badass” by President Obama, Abby has become a fierce advocate for women’s rights and equal opportunity, pushing to translate the success of her team to the real world. As she reveals in this searching memoir, Abby’s professional success often masked her inner struggle to reconcile the various parts of herself: ferocious competitor, daughter, leader, wife. With stunning candor, Abby shares her inspiring and often brutal journey from girl in Rochester, New York, to world-class athlete.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRunning Your First Ultra : customizable training plans for your first 50k to 100-mile race / Krissy Moehl ; photography by Fredrik Marmsater.
“Using the tactics that have made her one of the top female ultra-marathon runners – with more than 100 races and 46 female wins – author Krissy Moehl will help new ultra-marathon runners get across the finish line of their first 50-kilometer, 50-mile or 100-mile race. This detailed, yet flexible training plan offers everything a runner needs to successfully complete their first ultra. When Moehl isn’t racing, she serves as a coach for people who want to run ultra-marathons. Her positive, encouraging attitude, deep knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport will make sure that readers train right and have fun doing it.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFishing Impossible : Three Fishing Fanatics, Ten Epic Adventures / with Blowfish, Charlie and Jay ; and David Bartley.
“Based on the massive new ITV/BBC Earth TV show that follows three buddies as they go extreme fishing around the world, Top Gear-style.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe World of Cycling According to G / Geraint Thomas ; written with Tom Fordyce.
“Sit back or saddle up as double Olympic gold medallist and multiple world champion Geraint Thomas gives you a warts and all insight into the life of a pro cyclist. Along the way he reveals cycling’s clandestine codes and secret stories, tales from the peloton, the key characters like Wiggins, Hoy and Cav, the pivotal races and essential etiquette. Geraint Thomas is treasured for treating his sport just as the rest of us see it: not a job but an escape and an adventure. Geraint reminds us that getting on the bike still puts a smile on your face and fire in the legs like nothing else. Funny, informative, diverting and droll, this is a joyful celebration of the world of cycling.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy Story / Michael Clarke.
“He was the greatest batsman of his generation and, as captain, possessed the sharpest tactical mind in the game. Bursting onto the scene in 2004 with a Test century on debut, Michael Clarke was Australian cricket’s golden boy. And the batting prodigy they nicknamed ‘Pup’ certainly fulfilled his destiny in a stellar 11-year international career of 115 Tests, 8643 runs and 28 centuries. For a decade his personal life, career fortunes and controversies – real or imagined – were splashed across front pages and scrutinised. Was he simply a hard-working, western suburbs kid living every Aussie boy’s dream? Or a 21st century cricketer mired in all the trappings of celebrity? In the echo chamber of social media, the truth about Michael Clarke was warped, then lost. My Story is the real Michael Clarke, standing up and speaking out for the first time.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Cycling, camping, climbing – New Sport & fitness books

Cycling, boxing, running, camping, mountain climbing, chess and yachting are subjects included in this month’s recent picks. Also covered are related subjects such as the psychology of winning and how neuroscience is as relevant to sports as the physical side of sports.

Syndetics book coverOnly Two for Everest : how a first ascent by Riddiford and Cotter shaped climbing history / Lyn McKinnon.
“The First New Zealand Himalayan Expedition, in 1951, was initiated by Earle Riddiford, who with Ed Cotter and Pasang Dawa Lama made the first ascent of Mukut Parbat, their target peak in the Garhwal Himalaya. Accompanying them on that expedition, though not to that summit, were two other New Zealand climbers, Edmund Hillary and George Lowe. The New Zealand Alpine Club suggested that acclimatised New Zealanders would be a valuable asset on the forthcoming 1951 British Reconnaissance of Mt Everest, but which two should go to Everest? In this enthralling narrative, journalist Lyn McKinnon tells the stories of Earle Riddiford and Ed Cotter, two extraordinary New Zealanders whose climbing achievements were forever eclipsed by the exploits of others.” (Adapted from cover)

Syndetics book coverUltimate Encyclopedia of Boxing / Harry Mullan with Bob Mee & Matt Bozeat.
The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Boxing is the world’s most comprehensive single-volume illustrated work of boxing reference, covering all aspects of the sport since its rise from the days of illegal big-money challenge matches to the multi-million-dollar televised extravaganza it is today. As well as details of the careers of the world’s greatest boxers, it traces the progress of the world title from champion to champion in all the weight classes, outlines the status of boxing around the world, recalls some of the great stadiums where boxing history was made, and much more.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTotal Road Cycling.
“Cycling has never been more popular, whether as a pro-level sport on TV, or as a way of commuting on city streets. This book is aimed at those legions of weekend heroes of all levels of fitness and experience who inhabit the world of road riding. The book starts by looking at choosing the right kit, from buying a bike to deciding on the right clothes and accessories. It then looks at how to best to train for the rigors of the open road by getting your bike-specific fitness up to scratch. Road riding also has its own tactics and this volume shows you the strategies that will keep you at the front of the pack. Lastly, a workshop section guides you through essential pre- and post-ride maintenance and upgrades.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHello, Bicycle : an inspired guide to the two-wheeled life / Anna Brones ; illustrations by James Gulliver Hancock.
“An inspirational and encouraging illustrated guide to the world of bicycles and cycling, with practical information on bike buying, riding, repairs, and maintenance.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverFifty Places to Camp Before You Die : camping experts share the world’s greatest destinations / Chris Santella ; foreword by Mike Harrelson.
In Fifty Places to Camp Before You Die, Chris Santella illuminates the best destinations for exploring the great outdoors. The book features the world’s top spots for sleeping under the stars and enjoying a host of outdoor recreational activities that make camping such a time-honored tradition. Featuring favorite US National Parks destinations—as well as more exotic locales in Italy, Chile, France, Botswana, Germany, and more—Santella provides helpful information and tips that will appeal to novice campers and seasoned outdoorsmen alike.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThe Boy Who Runs : the odyssey of Julius Achon / John Brant.
“Julius Achon is the director of the Achon Uganda Children’s Fund, a charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life in rural Uganda. He was captured at 12 and turned into a boy soldier; then miraculously found a career as one of the world’s foremost middle-distance runners. How these life jumps happened is told here.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat it Takes to Become a Grandmaster / Andrew Soltis.
“Becoming a Grandmaster is the ultimate aim for serious chess players, but whatever your abilities, this book will take you to the next level. Written by the ever-popular chess writer Andrew Soltis, this book teaches you how to identify the kinds of moves and techniques that go the extra mile.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverThe Athletic Brain : how neuroscience is revolutionising sport and can help you perform better / Amit Katwala.
“The future of sport is being shaped in high-tech labs and run-down gyms. Leading scientists and forward-thinking coaches armed with electrodes and iPad apps are harnessing the brain’s hidden power. A football club in Germany is using computer games to help players make better decisions. In America, a start-up hopes to use brain waves to find baseball’s next star pitcher. Elite sports people excel because sport has changed their brains. But neuroscience and psychology can offer shortcuts that anyone can take advantage of. In The Athletic Brain, Amit Katwala combines cutting-edge science, exclusive interviews, and unique access to pioneering teams and coaches to provide a fascinating insight into how unlocking the secrets of the brain will change sport forever.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to Win Games and Beat People / Tom Whipple.
“Games are more fun when you win– especially when you crush your friends and family! Whipple explores inside tips, strategy, and advices from experts to teach you how to dominate the competition when playing a wide range of classic games, from Hangman to Trivial Pursuit.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverWinning Isn’t Luck : how to succeed in racing dinghies and yachts / Fred Imhoff ; translated by Chris Schram.
“Whether racing dinghies or yachts, every sailor wants to drive through the fleet and cross the line first. In this ground-breaking book, international racer Fred Imhoff shows how to do just that… Fred’s logical, clinical analyses accompanied by fantastic action shots, including many from the 2012 Olympics, will be a godsend to budding and improving racers alike. From advice on mental preparation, honing your gear, working the weather and analysing the course, to briefing your crew, sussing out the other competitors and analysing your mistakes, this book is full of never-before-discussed gold dust that will be absolutely indispensable to all racers, whatever their age or level.” (Syndetics summary)

Athletics for your mind and body – Sports picks for Winter

Long winter months do not mean we have to curl up in the armchair with no exercise. This selection of books offer a wide range of activities indoors to stimulate the mind as well as the body.

Syndetics book coverThe Sports Book : the sports, the rules, the tactics, the techniques / editorial consultant, Ray Stubbs.
“The ultimate armchair companion to over 200 sports. The 4th edition presents fully up-to-date information covering all sorts of sports, from equestrian sports, athletics and gymnastics to winter sports and extreme sports. Check out the rules, history, players and events for the world’s greatest sports such as football, cricket, basketball and golf.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMathletics : a scientist explains 100 amazing things about the world of sports / John D. Barrow.
“Drawing on vivid, real-life examples, mathematician John D. Barrow entertainingly explores the eye-opening, often counterintuitive, insights into the world of sports that math and physics can give us. For example, we learn that left-handed boxers have a statistical advantage over their right-handed opponents. Through clear, detailed, and fascinating mathematical explanations, Barrow reveals the best techniques and strategies for an incredible range of sports, from soccer and running to cycling, archery, gymnastics, and rowing.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverSnooker and Billiards : skills, tactics, techniques / Clive Everton.
“In this second edition of Snooker & Billiards – Skills, Tactics Techniques, the history of the game is covered along with the rules of the game; choosing the right equipment and top tips from many of the game’s great players. All the skills and techniques are explained clearly with full-colour sequence photography and detailed table diagrams help explain more advanced tactics such as breakbuilding and safety play.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverTai Chi : 37 steps to happiness : with an introduction to aqua tai chi / Peter Chin Kean Choy.
“As the physical body flows more easily, Choy demonstrates, it is able to tune in to its own internal chi, and to the positive chi energy in the world around. In addition to the 37 movements of the traditional T’ai Chi form, the book contains a section of exercises to be done with a partner and some specially devised movements to be performed in water. The step-by-step color photography and accessible writing style make this a must for beginners, while the greater insights and unique new sequences will also appeal to the more experienced student or teacher.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverKrav Maga for Beginners : a step-by-step guide to the world’s easiest-to-learn, most-effective fitness and fighting program / Darren Levine, John Whitman, Ryan Hoover ; photographs by Andy Mogg.
“In Israel, Krav Maga is the official system used to teach self-defense. The no-holds-barred techniques–including cardio, strength training, and fight moves–are easy to learn, require a minimal amount of strength, and, most importantly, are designed to immobilize an attacker.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTraining Fencing / Barth/Barth [i.e. Berndt Barth & Katrin Barth].
“Building on the book Learning Fencing, this book explains how to train for technique and tactics in fencing and shows why fencers must improve their endurance, strength, and speed. Young fencers learn to go beyond practice bouts and enrich their training with exercises that may seem at first to have nothing at all to do with fencing. With the help of this book, young fencers learn to manage their own development and to take responsibility for their own behavior.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAikido :The Basics : techniques, principles, concept / Bodo Roedel in collaboration with Nadja Gaertel and Susen Werner.
“Aikido is a highly developed martial art form based on standardized principles which the book explains by numerous examples of movements. The basics of the foot and hand movements are also covered. The details of the basic techniques of Aikido are not merely described; the reader also learns their implementation. A closer look is further taken on the roles of the defender and the attacker.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverRock & Wall Climbing / Garth Hattingh.
“A colorful, clear, comprehensive reference for climbers of all skill levels. Here in one volume is a basic guide to the equipment and techniques for rock and wall climbing, training the mind and body, and the vitally important skills of safety and first aid. A chapter on where and when to climb highlights some of the best sites around the world, with detailed maps and locations of climbing gyms.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDancing with the Stars / written by Guy Phillips and Tasha Brown ; exercise routines by Cal Pozo.
“Part fitness guide and part scrapbook, this official guide to the hit television show features an easy-to-follow exercise plan that will help readers samba, salsa, and rumba their way to the best shape of their lives.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks : an epic quest for reality among role players, online gamers, and other dwellers of imaginary realms / Ethan Gilsdorf.
“In an enthralling blend of travelogue, pop-culture analysis, and memoir, former role-player Gilsdorf asks gaming and fantasy geeks how they balance their escapist urges with the kingdom of adulthood.” (Syndetics summary)

New Sport & Fitness books in December

New Sport & Fitness books cover a range of topics, including equestrian, mountaineering and dance, plus much more.

Syndetics book coverBridled Passion : a tribute to our Kiwi equestrians / Margot Butcher.
Bridled Passion is a beautiful compendium dedicated to celebrating the 30-year success story of New Zealand’s best equestrian sportspeople and their fine-tuned steeds in one of the few sports worldwide in which men and women compete as equals. From 1960 Olympics pioneer Andrew White through to the magic medal-winning moments of Sir Mark Todd, Andrew Nicholson, Sally Clark, Blyth Tait, Tinks Pottinger, Vaughn Jefferis and their contemporaries, from our leading show jumpers to emerging stars, this book celebrates New Zealand’s high-performance equestrian story.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Naked Mountaineer : misadventures of an Alpine traveler / Steve Sieberson ; foreword by Lou Whittaker.
The Naked Mountaineer recounts a series of solo journeys to some of the world’s most exotic peaks in places such as Switzerland, Japan, and Borneo. Although Steve Sieberson did reach many summits, in most cases his travels were more memorable for what he encountered along the way than for the actual climbing. On the Matterhorn he met an English alpinist who revelled in naked selfies, he stumbled into a cockfight in a Balinese village, and on a volcano in Italy he was mistaken for a famous singer by an insistent fan. The Naked Mountaineer offers mountain-themed travel stories with a wide-eyed view of the world, while presenting irreverent commentary on climbers and their peculiar sport.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHell and High Water : one man’s attempt to swim the length of Britain / Sean Conway.
“In June 2013 Sean Conway set out from Land’s End in his bid to be the first person to swim the length of Britain. It was a challenge so extreme that not only had it never been attempted before, but most of the sponsors Sean approached turned him down as they were worried that he would die trying. The physical challenge was gruelling, but came with unexpected rewards. Sean swam with dolphins and seals and among stunning night-time phosphorescence. He had a unique view of the British coast, discovering tiny hidden coves and exploring shipwrecks. This is a remarkable and funny story about how anything is possible if you truly put your mind to it.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBoy on Ice : the life and death of Derek Boogaard / John Branch.
“Widely regarded as the toughest man in the NHL, Boogaard was a gentle man off the ice but a merciless fighter on it. Branch recounts Boogaard’s unlikely journey from lumbering kid playing pond-hockey on the prairies of Saskatchewan to his days and nights as a star enforcer with the Minnesota Wild and the storied New York Rangers. But, as Branch reveals, behind the scenes Boogaard’s injuries and concussions were mounting and his mental state was deteriorating, culminating in his early death from an overdose of alcohol and painkillers. This is a book that raises deep and disturbing questions about the systemic brutality of contact sports and the damage that reaches far beyond the game.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOut of the Rough / Steve Williams with Michael Donaldson.
“One of the most successful caddies of the modern era, having amassed 150 wins, Kiwi Steve Williams has worked with some of the golfing world’s best, including 13 years on the bag of Tiger Woods. Together, Woods and Williams won more than 80 tournaments – with 13 major championships among them. In this candid reflection on his years caddying for Tiger Woods, Greg Norman, Raymond Floyd, Terry Gale, Ian Baker-Finch and Adam Scott, Williams shares the highs and lows of their careers, explains the critical role of a caddy and offers a rare insider’s view of the professional golfing world.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to Fly Fish : from newcomer to improver / John Symonds.
“In this clear and attractive book are all the essential skills you need to be a competent all-round fly fisher. With John Symonds you will learn how to fish for trout and salmon in still waters from both bank and boat; in rivers; dry fly and wet fly. You will know how to tie reliable and easy knots, to construct the right leaders, learn where the fish are most likely to lie, how to cast to them and which flies to use. How to Fly Fish will bring you up-to-date with all the latest on leader construction and knots, boat control with the paradrogue, traditional nymphing methods to the popular tenkara style. Packed with useful tips and clear diagrams.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Complete Practical Guide to Poker and Poker Playing / Trevor Sippets.
“Poker is a game of skill, bluff, deception and sometimes a little luck. This book details the house rules, sequence of play, betting terms, structure and showdown, as well as card reading, body language and the art of bluffing. For more advanced players, the betting structures are outlined, as are the subtle differences between cash games versus tournaments. This comprehensive, practical book is suitable for beginners and advanced players alike, and will teach all the tips, tricks and tactics that make poker one of the world’s most thrilling games.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMen in Green / Michael Bamberger.
“Was golf better (to use one of Tiger’s favorite phrases) back in the day? In [this book], Michael Bamberger, who fell for the game as a teenager in its wild Sansabelt-and-persimmon 1970s heyday, goes on a quest to try to find out. The result is a candid, nostalgic, intimate portrait of golf’s greatest generation–then and now.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBlock City / Robert Louis Stevenson ; illustrated by Daniel Kirk.
“What are you able to build with your blocks? Renowned illustrator Daniel Kirk has joined his “blocks” — in this case, bright colors, bold shapes, and retro style — with Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic poem to construct a nostalgic yet exuberant celebration of fun and imagination. It is a joyous look at playtime that will encourage toddlers to build dreams all their own!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFinding Ultra : rejecting middle age, becoming one of the world’s fittest men, and discovering myself / Rich Roll.
“On the eve of his 40th birthday, Rich Roll was in bad shape. His days were filled with work, stress, and junk food, and his nights were spent on the couch, remote in hand. At 50 pounds overweight, a walk up the stairs left him winded. He decided it was time to make a change. After undergoing a diet detox, adopting a vegan lifestyle, and pushing his fitness regimen to undreamed-of heights, he was profiled by Men’s Fitness as one of the world’s 25 fittest men. This is the story of that remarkable transformation, a complete physical and spiritual rejuvenation that proves that anyone can “find ultra” if they know how.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStreet Dance : The Best Moves / D. J. Hooch.
“Street Dance: the Best Moves is the perfect introduction to major street dance styles with easy-to-follow step-by-step photography. As well as learning the various types of street dance, including B-boy, Popping, Locking, Hip Hop and House – and the basic moves of each of these – you’ll get tips on the best tracks to dance to, what clothes to wear to look the part, and be given expert advice from top dancers across the globe. . Throughout the book there are also embedded videos, showing the step-by-steps put into practice so you can check you’re doing it right!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBlindsided / Michael Lynagh with Mark Eglinton.
“On an April day like any other in 2012 Michael Lynagh – retired rugby great – set for a successful career in commercial property and rugby analysis was suddenly forced to re evaluate everything. While with friends in Brisbane having a relaxed beer or two, a seemingly fit and healthy Lynagh suffered a stroke and was admitted to the Royal Brisbane Hospital. He was just forty-eight years old and a father of three young boys. For three days, as his brain swelled to the point of catastrophe, his life hung in the balance. What followed is an inspiring story of recovery, rehabilitation and remembering. Blindsided is a life-affirming memoir about luck, family, mates and rugby; and a timely reminder of how you play the game of life, as much as rugby, matters.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Fitness & Sport books in November

A fun selection of new sports materials, with subjects as varied as ballet, boxing, and Bullrush, a popular game among NZ children.

Syndetics book coverBullrush! : A Celebration of the Great New Zealand Game / David Slack.
“Bullrush! A Celebration of the Great New Zealand Game
is David Slack’s tribute to the game. It’s a fun, fact-filled history, from the origins and its various bannings to its modern revival in the post-PC playground. It also features the memories of a wide range of people, from All Blacks to actors, a few politicians and a few Joe Bloggs’ as well.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Ballet Lover’s Companion / Zoe Anderson.
“This engaging book is a welcome guide to the most successful and loved ballets seen on the stage today. Dance writer and critic Zoe Anderson focuses on 140 ballets, a core international repertory that encompasses works from the ethereal world of romantic ballet to the edgy, muscular works of modern choreographers….Reliable, accessible, and fully up to date, this book will delight anyone who attends the ballet, participates in ballet, or simply loves ballet and wants to know much more about it.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNo Middle Ground : Eubank, Benn, Watson and the last golden era of British boxing / Sanjeev Shetty.
“2014 will mark the 25th anniversary of Nigel Benn and Michael Watson stepping into a purpose built tent in Finsbury Park to contest the WBO Middleweight Championship, marking the start of an epic saga in British Boxing….Between 1989 and 1993, Chris Eubank, Nigel Benn and Michael Watson fought each other repeatedly for the World Middle-weight championship belt. No Middle Ground is the story of the greatest, and last, rivalry between three of the most talented fighters Britain has ever produced. Sanjeev Shetty takes us back to when these three boxers graced the heavy bags and tells their story as well as that of Britain’s love affair with the sport.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuild Your Running Body  / Pete Magill, Thomas Schwartz, and Melissa Breyer ; photographs by Diana Hernandez.
“Whether you’re a miler or an ultramarathoner, if you want a fit, fast, and injury-resistant running body, there’s a better way to train than relentlessly pursuing mileage. This easy-to-use workout manual draws on the latest research in running physiology to target all the components that go into every stride….With the breakthrough whole-body training program in Build Your Running Body, runners will improve their times, run longer and more comfortably, and reduce injury.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLong Shots : the greatest underdog stories in New Zealand sport / Bronwyn Sell & Christine Sheehy.
“This book celebrates some of the most inspiring against-the-odds stories in New Zealand sport…the tales within are a tribute to determination, self-belief and bloody mindedness…Tour de France pioneer Harry Watson, Invercargill speed demon Burt Munro, Waiuku whitebaiting wonder Stephen Donald, tenacious runner Anne Audain, legendary tail-end batsman Ewen Chatfield. The dozens of sportspeople (and one horse) in this book come from across the codes but they have one thing, at least, in common. The odds may have been daunting, the critics scathing, the challenges formidable, but they never gave up.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Ryder Cup : the complete history of golf’s greatest competition / Nick Callow ; foreword by Tony Jacklin.
“Every two years, the Ryder Cup pits teams from Europe and the US against each other in a sport usually associated with individual play. But with national pride at stake, the best players from both sides of the Atlantic fight for a place on their respective teams. This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of golf’s most unique tournament, from its humble beginnings in 1927 to the titanic struggles of the modern day. The Ryder Cup is the definitive history of this prestigious international sporting event.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSky Sports Football Yearbook 2014-2015 / compiled by John Anderson.
“1056 fact-filled pages with everything you need to know about domestic and international football. This 45th edition of the football bible brings you all the Premier League, Football League, Champions League and Europa League stats. It never fails to deliver with unrivalled stats and information including a comprehensive season-by-season players’ directory with an invaluable A-Z of all entries; the most informed stats for English and Scottish league and cup matches and English and Scottish important dates at home and abroad for the 2014-2015 season. As ever, this is the ‘first reference book you should turn to’.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Kiwi Surfcasting Guide / Andy Macleod.
“All you need to know to master the art of surfcasting in New Zealand. Getting a fish on your line is a thrilling experience so give yourself more than a fighting chance with this accessible guide to surfcasting in New Zealand. Even if you already have surfcasting skills and experience under your belt, you will find this book useful for taking your fishing to new levels. No matter where you live in New Zealand, if you are interested in surfcasting then this book is for you.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA Complete History of World Cup Cricket / Mark Browning and James Grapsas.
A Complete History of Cricket’s World Cup is a timely addition to the great body of cricket publications. The book holds information on every World Cup competition since 1975 and traces the history and development of the World Cup. Every game is covered; but it is a story that goes beyond the mere statistics of matches.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKiteboarding : Where It’s At … / Alex Hapgood.
“Over the past fifteen years, the extreme sport of kiteboarding has developed from an unlikely concept into a worldwide phenomenon. Kiteboarding: Where It’s At tracks these changes and looks at the various tangents that the sport has taken. With stunning photography, each part reviews one of the four main disciplines within the sport: Freestyle, Waveriding, Wakestyle and Course Racing. Within each part is a background to the discipline, the kit, profiles of prime locations, key events and some of the riders and brands who have come to define the sport….this book is full of great images of a strikingly visual and technically challenging sport.’ John Bilderback'” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhen Two Spines Align : Dressage Dynamics : attain remarkable riding rapport with your horse / Beth Baumert ; foreword by Axel Steiner.
“Within riding exists a fundamental conflict of interest: The rider needs to have control–her confidence depends on her ability to control the balance of her own body as well as that of her very powerful horse. The horse, by nature, needs to feel free–free in both mind and body to express himself through movement. In When Two Spines Align, author Beth Baumert, resolves the freedom-control enigma by taking a close look at the individual components that make up riding and dressage and providing practical ways riders can learn to harness the balance, energies, and forces at play.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Recent Sports & Fitness books in October

This month’s selection covers a wide range of sports and fitness activities from tennis and rowing, to tramping, cycling, dancing, and more!

Syndetics book coverBoris Becker’s Wimbledon / with Chris Bowers ; foreword by Novak Djokovic.
“Boris’s story is almost without parallel in tennis, from astonishing teenage talent, to champion, to a renowned television commentator, manager, and now coach to one of the world’s greatest contemporary players, Novak Djokovic. In this wonderful new book, Boris shares his unique story, tracing his career through the many changes in the sport but which has, at its heart, his loving relationship with Wimbledon, the place where it all began for him.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRowing and Sculling : Skills, Training, Techniques / Rosie Mayglothling with Tristan Mayglothling.
“An instructional and no-nonsense guide aimed at beginning rowers and scullers at the club, university, and junior levels. This guide to rowing and sculling covers choosing and setting up equipment, safety and risk assessment, capsize drill, steering and coxing, skill development and techniques, and much more.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBobby Fischer for Beginners / Renzo Verwer.
“Bobby Fischer’s lone fight against the Soviet chess powerhouse made him a global hero, also for people who did not play chess at all. The Russians trembled before him, the Americans and the rest of the world cheered him on. Fischer’s chess prowess and his will to win were unparalleled. But so were his eccentric behaviour and his paranoia. After he won the world title, Bobby Fischer vanished and the former prodigy became a mystery. In 2008 Fischer died as an exile, on the run for the American authorities in the country where his chess career had reached its peak, Iceland. Bobby Fischer for Beginners relives the glory and the tragedy of Robert James Fischer, a troubled genius whose legacy is tremendous.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTramping : a New Zealand History / Shaun Barnett & Chris Maclean.
Tramping: A New Zealand History tells the story of the development of tramping in New Zealand, tracing its origins to the way Maori and early Europeans engaged with the sometimes forbidding New Zealand mountains and bush. It describes how state-sponsored tracks and huts were developed for tourism in the late nineteenth century. The growth of an extensive hut and track network in the 1950s and ’60s saw New Zealand become one of the best-developed countries in the world for hiking. Trampers’ battles to have national parks and wilderness areas established, changes to gear and technology, and the role women have played in tramping are additional themes.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Urban Cycling Survival Guide : need-to-know skills and strategies for biking in the city / Yvonne Bambrick ; illustrations by Marc Ngui.
“North America’s cities have long been the domain of the car, but thanks to the undeniable benefits of active transport, bicycles have an increasing presence in the urban landscape. Yet our cities weren’t designed for bicycles, making for intimidating, and sometimes dangerous, environments for cyclists. The Urban Cycling Survival Guide is an accessible, straight-forward pocket guide that helps cyclists new to the urban environment negotiate all the challenges, obstacles, and rules — spoken and unspoken — that come with sharing the roads.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA Book of Walks / by Bruce Bochy.
“Walking can do anyone good – and Bruce Bochy knows that as well as anyone. As a Major League manager, he has one of the more stressful jobs imaginable. So what does he do to relax? He goes for long walks. Whenever possible, he takes long walks as a way to clear his head, calm his soul and give his body a workout. In this charming little volume, he shares his thoughts on walking in terms that can inspire everyone to get out more often for a good walk, a great way to stay fit and healthythrough the forties and fifties and beyond. Along the way he provides glimpses into his life and character that will delight his many fans.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew Zealand Mountaineering : A History in Photographs / John Wilson.
“Ever since mountaineering began in New Zealand, with the first attempt on Aoraki/Mount Cook, we have had a special affinity with our mountains, and climbing them in particular. Mountaineers climb for many reasons ; not least for the thrill of the challenge and the sense of achievement from reaching a summit, or purely for pleasure and relaxation. The long and colourful history of this marvellous sport is told here in over 200 fascinating photographs, accompanied by informative captions and text covering the decades from those early beginnings in the 1880s to the present day.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRiding Free : Bitless, Bridleless, Bareback / Andrea and Markus Eschbach ; translated by Julia Welling.
“Demonstrating how to work freely with a horse in its most natural state, this equestrian guide covers the essentials of minimizing the use of artificial equipment while riding horses. Whether it’s riding bitless, bridleless, or without a saddle, research continues to show that natural riding is gentler and puts less stress on the horse. The step-by-step instructions in this manual combine Native American horsemanship with classical training to make the transition from riding traditionally to riding free gradual and safe, and helps to develop a more harmonious relationship between horse and human.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeyond the Horizon : Extreme Adventures at the Edge of the World / Richard Parks with Michael Aylwin.
“Soon after he turned thirty, the professional career in rugby that had been Richard’s life for over a decade was cut short by injury, leaving him faced with an uncertain future. Richard decided to tackle his fears, anxiety and depression head on. Richard created history with his first endeavour – the 737 Challenge – by becoming the first person to conquer the highest mountain on each of the world’s continents and venture to both the North and South Poles within seven months. Then in 2013 he tackled three hugely challenging events – an ultramarathon through the Peruvian jungle, the world’s highest mountain bike race, and a double iron man triathlon in Snowdonia – in preparation for an even more extraordinary challenge: to record the fastest solo, unsupported and unassisted journey to the South Pole. Beyond the Horizon is an amazing, inspiring, and exciting story for armchair adventurers, extreme sports and mountaineering fans alike.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSo You Want to be a Dancer : practical advice and true stories from a working professional / Matthew Shaffer.
“Performer, choreographer, director, Broadway collaborator, writer, and producer Matthew Shaffer discusses everything from how to break into the industry to practical advice–from how to audition and book a job to dealing with movie stars on-set.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverBoy on Ice : the life and death of Derek Boogaard / John Branch.
“The death of hockey star Derek Boogaard at twenty-eight was front-page news across the country in 2011 and helped shatter the silence about violence and concussions in professional sports. Now, in a work of narrative nonfiction, reporter John Branch tells the story of Boogaard’s life and heartbreaking death.” (Syndetics summary)