Category: Recent picks

The Australian Ballet, cycling, mountain-climbing, & camping under the stars

We’ve put together our picks of the new sports and fitness books for this month, and they’re heavy on sports biographies – including tomes from Benji Marshall, Jack Ralston, Mick Foley, and more. Plus, nail-biting, suspenseful and insightful stories of mountain climbers! Have a browse.

Syndetics book coverSecond Wind : One Woman’s Midlife Quest to Run Seven Marathons on Seven Continents / Cami Ostman.
“Second Wind is the story of an unlikely athlete and an unlikely heroine: Cami Ostman, a woman edging toward midlife who decides to take on a challenge that stretches her way outside of her comfort zone. That challenge presents itself when an old friend suggests she go for a run to distract her from the grief of her recent divorce. Excited by the clarity of mind and breathing space running offers her, she keeps it up albeit slowly and she decides to run seven marathons on seven continents…..Insightful and uplifting, Second Wind carries the reader along for the ride as Ostman runs her way out of compliance with the patriarchal rules about being a woman that long held her captive and into authenticity and self-love.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverMankind / Mick Foley.
“This intimate glimpse into the passionate personality of a World Wrestling Federation champion is updated with a bonus chapter summarizing the past 15 months–from Foley’s experience as a bestselling author to his parting thoughts before his final match.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBenji Marshall : A Tribute to a Rugby League Genius / John Matheson.
“Not long ago Benji Marshall was contemplating life on the rugby league scrapheap. Multiple shoulder operations had taken their toll, but the Wests Tigers and Kiwis superstar is yet to meet a challenge worth giving in to. This is the story of the Kiwis captain from his early years growing up with his extended family in small-town New Zealand to his move to a rugby league school on the Gold Coast.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverLuminous : Celebrating 50 Years of The Australian Ballet / [edited by Kate Scott and Lorelei Vashti ; picture research Jo Sapir and Jasmin Tulk ; art direction & design by 3 Deep Design].
Luminous captures 50 years of The Australian Ballet, revealing dancers at work and at play, on stage and on tour, in rehearsals and in love, and the designers, director and choreographers who nurtured its artistic vision. This handsome coffee table book features defining images and never-before-seen photos accompanied by essays by Australia’s leading arts writers.

Syndetics book coverThe Sports Insider : A Life Among Champions / Jack Ralston with Steve Kilgallon.
“Jack Ralston is New Zealand’s ultimate sports insider. Having started his sporting career training with Arthur Lydiard, he went on to head up Nike Sports Marketing working with greats like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Carl Lewis. Drawn back to New Zealand, Jack then worked for the New Zealand Rugby Union, trained triathletes like Hamish Carter and worked with Round-the-World yachting syndicates. He’s a businessman, a sportsman, a trainer and a great story teller.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverBike Snob : / BikeSnob NYC [i.e. Eben Weiss] ; illustrations by Christopher Koelle.
Systematically and mercilessly re-aligning the world of cycling. “In this wickedly funny rant and rave about the world of bikes and their riders, blogger and cyclist BikeSnobNYC offers a unique look at yhe ins and outs of cycling…” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverWind from a Distant Summit / Pat Deavoll.
“For over three decades Pat Deavoll has been climbing at the elite level of her sport, in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, in the Canadian Rockies and Alaska and undertaking extreme, world-class expeditions to the great mountain ranges of Central Asia, including the Himalayas and the Karakorum. In WIND FROM A DISTANT SUMMIT she tells of her beginnings in the mountains of New Zealand, and of how far a singular level of drive, determination and talent has taken her – there are few mountaineers in New Zealand, women or men who have managed her level of achievement, and who have climbed so hard for so long.” (Global Books)


Sport & Fitness – new books for November

In this month’s sport and fitness recent picks: English cricketing greats, psychological warfare on the 1986 Tour de France, and a stunning book of photographs from the Rugby World Cup (Black: Back Where it Belongs). Plus, an account of a year spent fly-fishing in New Zealand, and another of climbling New Hampshire’s collection of four-thousand foot mountains with a very special miniature schnauzer. Have a browse!

Syndetics book coverJack Hobbs : England’s Greatest Cricketer / Leo McKinstry.
“The astonishing feats of Sir Jack Hobbs continue to resonate more than a century after he first played Test cricket. During his long career that stretched from the age of W.G. Grace to the era of Don Bradman, he scored more first-class runs and centuries than any player. Even today, he remains England’s greatest run-maker in Ashes Tests. He changed the art of batting with his elegant style, and transformed the status of professional cricketers through the strength of his quiet, dignified personality. Despite his significance in the game, there has never been a comprehensive biography of Hobbs. Now Leo McKinstry, the acclaimed author of a best-selling life of Geoff Boycott, has remedied that.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverSlaying the Badger : LeMond, Hinault and the Greatest Ever Tour de France / Richard Moore.
“The 1986 Tour stands out as the year in which a show-stopping rivalry had spectators across the world gripped. When Greg LeMond – a blue-eyed, blonde-haired Californian boy, dubbed ‘L’American’ – won the 1986 Tour, he made history. The first non-European to win the Yellow Jersey, he broke the Old World stranglehold and changed the face of the competition. But LeMond’s victory was hard won. It was seemingly snatched from the jaws of the man ominously dubbed ‘The Badger’. Frenchman Bernard ‘The Badger’ Hinault was five times winner of the Tour and as tough as boots. After winning the 1985 Tour, in which LeMond came a close second, Hinault vowed to return for one final Tour, and with a single purpose: to help LeMond win. But could Hinault be trusted?” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverGreats of Origin / Neil Cadigan.
“In 1980 the State of Origin series was born at Lang Park in front of a crowd of 33,000, a hard-fought game in an electrifying atmosphere. Little has changed in three decades, the intensity and determination of the players running onto the field is the stuff from legends. Only now it has become Australia’s premier sporting event, attracting a huge television audience and constantly sells out the stadium. Cadigan interviews the highest profile players of the game, including Allan Langer, Mal Meninga, Wally Lewis, Andrew Johns, Ricky Stuart, Phil Gould, Wayne Bennett and Steve Mortimer amongst others, discovering what Origin means to them, how it has changed from ‘their day’ and what they think of their old foes.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverOur Game / photographed by Arno Gasteiger ; written by Peter Malcouronne.
“Our Game celebrates the grassroots of our national game – rugby played by weekend warriors and embryonic All Blacks, far from the steely glare of stadium lights. It takes place in snow and mud in the south, on sun-parched plains in the north, on provincial fields, in back paddocks, back lawns and on beaches….As much as it is a sport of the people, rugby is a sport of the landscape. Taking in these themes, New Zealand Geographic photographer Arno Gasteiger has captured the sport, the heart and soul of New Zealand, and the landscape in which it is played….” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverThe trout Diaries : A Year of Fly-fishing in New Zealand / Derek Grzelewski.
“With disarming honesty and freshness, Derek Grzelewski has written a highly readable account of his year dedicated to fly-fishing in New Zealand, relating the highs and lows, and the intricacies and finesse, of pursuing trout in the wild places and pristine waters he loves so much… The Trout Diaries contains a wealth of captivating and often amusing anecdotes as well as useful technical information making it a true angler’s companion, both literary and practical”–Jacket.

Syndetics book coverBlack : Where It Belongs / Bob Howitt.
“The must-have souvenir record of the 2011 RWC. One of rugbys most respected commentators, Bob Howitt, provides definitive commentary to the stunning array of images from leading international photo library TRANZ. Text and photos include: Introduction; Pool A New Zealand games, along with other B, C and D pool games (56 pages); quarter-finals (26 pages); semi-finals (14 pages); playoff for 3rd (2 pages); the Final (10 pages); profiles of tournament players; an interview with Graham Henry; statistics; and a selection of colourful spectator photos.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverFollowing Atticus : Forty-eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship / Tom Ryan.
” After the death of his dog Max, newspaper publisher and writer Ryan meets a breeder with one very special miniature schnauzer pup available. From there, in a story at times reminiscent of Marley & Me though without that book’s blatant humor, the reader is pulled into the relationship that develops between Ryan and Atticus… Ryan uses his newspaper columns to discuss Atticus’s impact on his life. The companionship improves Ryan’s physical and emotional health. He reconnects with family and bears his father’s death and the loss of his friend Vicki to cancer. Eventually, tired of the strain of an investigative reporting career and wishing to honor Vicki’s memory, he decides to climb New Hampshire’s 4000 White Mountains to earn money for charities, with Atticus at his side.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverDoyle Brunson’s Super System 2 : A Course in Power Poker / contributions by Doyle Brunson … [et al.] ; [foreword to the new edition by Avery Cardoza].
“This essential guide features winning strategies and professional secrets from the world’s best poker players.” (Syndetics summary)

New sport & fitness picks

Now that the rugby fever is over, it’s time to look at some other activities to keep fit.

Syndetics book coverTaekwondo Taegeuk Forms : The Official Forms of Taekwondo / by Sang H. Kim, Kyu Hyung Lee ; [photos by Marc Yves Regis].
“This is a concise reference for the Taegeuk forms (poomsae) of Taekwondo. Grandmasters Sang H Kim and Kyu Hyung Lee have combined their extensive knowledge of traditional taekwondo forms to teach you the correct way to perform the 8 official taegeuk poomsae as required for all taekwondo students up to black belt level.” – (adapted from Global Books)

Syndetics book coverSports Coaching : A Reference Guide for Students, Coaches and Competitors / edited by Anita Navin.
“Written by acknowledged experts, (this book) presents a detailed analysis of performance and good coaching practice , and provides a concise overview of the coaching process from a scientitic and pedagogical perspective.” – (adapted from Global Books)

Syndetics book coverSport Psychology : A Practical Guide / Arnold LeUnes.
“This new, updated, fourth edition of Arnold LeUnes’s textbook has comprehensive coverage of sport psychology with a healthy balance between theory and application. The strong applied approach is emphasized throughout but is essentially apparent in the second half of the book. The book features a strong pedagogical program including interesting applied vignettes, chapter outlines, emboldened key terms with glossary, very thorough chapter summaries, student-oriented suggested readings, and numerous tables and figures to visually summarize the key concepts.” – (adapted from Global Books)

Syndetics book coverRoger Federer : The Greatest / Chris Bowers.
“For several years, tennis aficionados wondered whether they could really call Roger Federer the greatest ever tennis player. In 2009, Federer ended that debate by completing his collection of career Grand Slams and overtaking Pete Sampras’ all-time record of 14 major titles. With his olympic gold medal from 2008, Federer is now recognised as the greatest tennis player and has achieved legendary status in the wider sporting world…. In characteristic style, Federer silenced his critics by winning the French Open title for the first time, reclaiming his Wimbledon crown and ending 2009 at the number one position for the fifth time.” – (adapted from Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverThe Ledge : An Adventure Story of Friendship and Survival on Mount Rainier / Jim Davidson, Kevin Vaughan.
“Davidson relates the story of the mountaineering accident that claimed his best friend, and his own 80-foot climb out of the crevasse into which the two had plunged after “summiting” Mt. Rainier…. Davidson and journalist Vaughn have crafted a modern Aristotelian tragedy.” – (adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverThe Football Men : Up Close with the Giants of the Modern Game / Simon Kuper.
“The great footballers and coaches are rarely glimpsed from up close. They shield themselves from the tabloids, hide their personalities behind professionalism, and in the words of the cliché, ‘do their talking on the pitch’. The Football Men describes the upbringings of these men, the football cultures they grew up in, the way they play, and the baggage that they bring to their relationships at work.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSoccernomics : Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the US, Japan, Australia, Turkey– and even Iraq– are destined to become the kings of the world’s most popular sport / Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski.
“Just in time for the world’s most anticipated and watched sporting event–the World Cup–two award-winning journalists reveal the secrets, mysteries, and oddities of the beautiful game.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Sports books!

Rugby fever is here, and our selection of new sports books this month certainly reflects it! Have a browse:

Syndetics book coverIRB Rugby World Cup 2011 : The Official Guide / Chris Hawkes ; foreword by Bernard Lapasset.
“Packed with expert analysis of all the 20 teams involved, from France to South Africa and from England to Russia, this fascinating guide also features detailed profiles of the star players…and the key statistics that all fans will need to enjoy the Tournament.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverA History of the Rugby World Cup / Gerald Davies ; foreword by John Eales.
“In The History Of The Rugby World Cup, Wales and Lions legend and current correspondent for The Times, Gerald Davies gives a detailed analysis of the evolution of the tournament, providing commentary, statistics and interviews with those players and coaches who have battled it out for the ultimate prize.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Rugby World Cup 2011 / Jon Richards.
“Find out everything you need to know about rugby, from the players and laws of the game to the teamwork involved in winning the ultimate tournament, the Rugby World Cup” – (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to Watch the Rugby World Cup 2011 / Spiro Zavos.
“Since the Rugby World Cup tournament began in 1987, it’s powerful players, speed-charged runs, soaring kicks, brutal scrums and controversial refereeing decisions have gripped billions of people around the world. In 2011 the tournament returns to its birthplace, New Zealand, where 20 qualifying nations will battle to win rugby’s most coveted prize.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverAli’s Utterly Unreliable Guide to the 2011 World Cup / with James Griffin.
“This book takes a light-hearted look at the All Blacks squad members, all of the countries participating and brings to light statistics that many players would have preferred never to have seen the light of day.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverRugby League Through the Decades : all the players, all the statistics– everything that’s happened in rugby league since 1907 / Ian Collis, Alan Whiticker.
“A celebration of each epoch of the game throughout Australian history. Including almost 1000 images, many never before published, rare memorabilia, season records and international details, it is completely up to the minute with chapters about recent events, new clubs and fresh controversy.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRugby in Focus.
“Rubgy in Focus is a visual, historical record of the development and growth of the game, with background on more than a century of the most successful teams and the greatest matches, a players’ hall of fame, and a guide to the hallowed grounds where the game is played.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverRugby Union for Dummies / by Greg Growden.
“With the 2011 World Cup coming up fast, you need to know why a haka is not someone feeling queasy and why a goose-step is nothing to worry about! Let this second edition of RUGBY UNION FOR DUMMIES guide you past the high tackles, teach you how to spot a decoy and help you avoid a yellow card.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTitch : Sevens Is My Game : The Gordon Tietjens Story / Heather Kidd.
“Gordon Tietjens is arguably New Zealand’s most successful sporting coach of the past 25 years. He has set the standard in Sevens coaching since taking over as national coach in 1994. Tietjens has coached the NZ Sevens team to numerous IRB World Sevens Series titles and, as well, his sides have won World Championships and four Commonwealth Games gold medals under his stewardship. His story is unique in the annals of New Zealand sporting achievement.” (Global Books)

New sports and fitness books

Are you ready for the Rugby World Cup? Whether you’re excited and gearing up or just want to cover all bases with some background reading on the subject, our selection of new sports and fitness books this month includes a few titles for you (as well as our regular content!).

Syndetics book coverIRB Rugby World Cup 2011 : The Official Guide / Chris Hawkes ; foreword by Bernard Lapasset.
“The Official IRB Rugby World Cup 2011 Guide provides excellent background information about the host nation, New Zealand, key details of the venues along with tourist highlights. It includes a must-have tournament fill-in chart, to keep fans in-tune and involved with the matches.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverHow to watch the Rugby World Cup 2011 / Spiro Zavos.
“Since the Rugby World Cup tournament began in 1987, its powerful players, speed-harged runs, soaring kicks, brutal scrums and controversial refereeing decisions have gripped billions of people around the world. In 2011, the tournament returns to its birthplace, New Zealand, where teams from 20 qualifying nations will battle to win rugby’s mo’st coveted prize. For players and coaches, this is the ultimate test. [...] Zavos also unveils the inside stories and controversies surrounding all six Rugby World Cup tournaments to date. This is a book that thrills from start to finish.” (Drawn from Fishpond)

Rugby World Cup 2011 : Official Tournament Guide / [editor, Mark Cashman].
This guide analyses all 20 teams and profiles key players.

Syndetics book coverFrom Last to First : A long-distance runner’s journey from failure to success / Charlie Spedding.
“An inspirational tale brilliantly told – of how a lad who finished last in his first race on school sports day reached the heights of the Olympic rostrum.” – Independent (Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverMile Markers : The 26.2 most important reasons why women run / Kristin Armstrong.
“Built on the success of her popular blog on, Kristin Armstrong’s new book is an intensely personal look at how running creates a special sense of community for the women who participate, and how it has helped her and many others mark the milestones of their lives.”(Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Sweetest Thing : A boxer’s memoir / Mischa Merz.
“Mischa Merz takes a wild and unpredictable journey through the fascinating world of womens boxing in America”– Provided by publisher.

Syndetics book coverI’m Here to Win : A world champion’s advice for peak peformance / by Chris McCormack with Tim Vandehey.
“Details the motivational and practical fitness secrets of a world-class athlete. Macca shares his secrets on what it takes to be a champion – his strategies for success, training and motivation tips and his diet and exercise programs. Whether you are a weekend enthusiast, a fitness professional or a seasoned veteran who needs that extra push, Macca’s book is a unique fitness guide to inspire you to achieve your own peak performance and give you the heart to win your own race.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverThe Art of the Swing : Short game swing-sequencing secrets that will improve your total game in 30 days / Stan Utley with Matthew Rudy.
“In the first golf book to link to smartphone video lessons, “the hottest instructor in golf” (Sports Illustrated) delivers a thirty-day greenside clinic for revolutionizing your full swing….” Provided by publisher.

Syndetics book coverThe Complete Fishing Manual / Henry Gilbey.
“Explains the basics of fishing, including equipment, types of lure to use in freshwater or saltwater, different varieties of fish, and places to fish around the world.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverCaught Out : Shocking revelations for corruption in international cricket / Brian Radford ; foreword by Darrel Hair.
“International cricket is being contaminated by crooked players, ruthless gamblers and bent officials. This staggering catalogue of revelations exposes appalling scandals involving the biggest names in the sport.” (Library Catalogue)

All New Zealand Sports & Fitness

For all of you New Zealand manly blokes!

Syndetics book coverHunter / Graeme Marshall.
“Graeme Marshall has always loved to write. This, his tenth book, is devoted to his passion for hunting. He wrote his first magazine article for fledgling Rod and Rifle in 1981 and has contributed to every issue bar one since then. Whilst most of his books have revolved around trout fishing this is his fourth hunting book, including the most recent, Aerial Hunter, The Dick Deaker Story.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverSouth Island Trout Fishing Guide / John Kent ; photography by Patti Magnano Madsen.
“John Kent’s South Island Trout Fishing Guide is a comprehensive guide to the South Island’s incomparable trout fishing waters. More than 400 rivers and 150 lakes are described, along with their location, access, fishing season and appropriate techniques and flies. This book will be of special interest to anglers who enjoy the challenge of exploring and fishing new water.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverThe New Zealand tramper’s handbook : everything you need to know to stay safe and have fun / Sarah Bennett & Lee Slater.
“New Zealand has some of the most magnificent and accessible wilderness areas on earth, and exploring them on foot is both exhilarating and rewarding. The key to an enjoyable and safe outdoor adventure lies in sound preparation, and THE NEW ZEALAND TRAMPER’S HANDBOOK is an excellent starting point. Aimed at beginner trampers, it gives practical and sensible information on: clothing, footwear and equipment; maps and navigation; weather, river crossings and other challenges; safety and survival skills; camping tips and hut etiquette; the trampers’ pantry – eating well on the track; useful pre-trip checklists.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverBlue Water : Stories from a Life Afloat / Lindsay Wright.
“Blue Water is a book for all those who hear the call of the ocean and dream of whenthey can next go down to the sea.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverHooked on Hunting : Stories from the Bush / Martin Brenstrum.
“Martin Brenstrum has been exploring New Zealand’s backcountry since as far back as he can remember. In HOOKED ON HUNTING he shares a decade and a half of hunting yarns (and a few good fishing yarns along the way), from the days when you could go bush in the morning and be home in the evening with a deer cheque in your pocket and a satisfied, if knackered, grin on your face. Recalling the many friends he hunted with and the often hugely entertaining – at least in the telling – experiences they had in all weathers, in all conditions, but invariably with equal doses of enthusiasm and determination, Brenstrum also shares his keen knowledge of their quarry, the surrounds and the skills needed to be successful in the rough terrain they traversed. Thoroughly engaging reading, this is not a book just for hunters but for anyone who enjoys a good yarn.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFishing New Zealand : Over 1000 Fishing & Diving Spots / [edited by] Mark Draper, Tony and Jenny Enderby.
Book includes
- North Cape to Stewart Island boat fishing & diving spots
- shore fishing & fresh water spots
- marine charts & topographic maps
- GPS marks, target species, best conditions & expert tips.

Syndetics book coverThe New Zealand Pig Hunter’s Handbook : and Resource Guide / Paul Askin.
“At last a book that covers all aspects of pig hunting in New Zealand, practical information based on experience, written by a skilled and knowledgeable hunter. It covers everything an aspiring hunter needs to know and a lot of information an experienced hunter can learn from.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverFly Fishing in New Zealand Lakes / John Kent & David Hallett.
“New Zealand has a worldwide reputation as a fly fisher’s paradise. Renowned author and trout-fishing specialist John Kent has selected 20 of the very best lakes, covering both the North and South islands, and presents here, complete with stunning photography by David Hallett, a complete guide to New Zealand’s premier fly fishing spots.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverSoft Plastic Bait Fishing in New Zealand / John Eichelsheim.
“Fishing with soft plastics has continued to grow in New Zealand. The baits continue to catch more fish. John Eichelsheim has returned to the file to update and revise the text with new develolpments in the soft bait revolution. John is perfectly placed as a freelance writer for a number of fishing and boating magazines – and a keen fisherman – to be able to access key information related to soft baits.” (Global Books)

Sports and Politics mixing it up

In Rugby World Cup year the New Zealand collection picks take you from grassroots rugby sidelines to World Cup fever and then mixes in a little politics in an edited collection of essays that re-evaluate the legacy of former Prime Minister William Ferguson Massey.

Syndetics book coverFor the love of the game : grassroots rugby in heartland New Zealand / Gregor Paul, text & Gregory Crow, photographs. “For the Love of the Game is a celebration of New Zealand grassroots rugby and the people who make it happen. In words and stunning photographs, it tells the story of a great love affair that is pursued in every corner of New Zealand.” (Summary adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverHow to watch the Rugby World Cup 2011 / Spiro Zavos. “Since the Rugby World Cup tournament began in 1987, its powerful players, speed-charged runs, soaring kicks, brutal scrums and controversial refereeing decisions have gripped billions of people around the world. In 2011, the tournament returns to its birthplace, New Zealand, where teams from 20 qualifying nations will battle to win rugby’s most coveted prize. For players and coaches, this is the ultimate test. Will Robbie Deans bring the Wallabies to glory? Can Graham Henry’s All Blacks break their 20-year jinx?” (Summary adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverA great New Zealand prime minister? : reappraising William Ferguson Massey / edited by James Watson and Lachy Paterson.
“‘Massey’s Cossacks’ — citizens called in to help break the 1913 General Strike — have long been cited as just one of the sins of William Ferguson Massey. One of New Zealand’s longest-serving Prime Ministers, his political legacy has not always been treated kindly. However, recent work by historians suggests that a reappraisal of Bill Massey — which this book provides — is overdue. It is clear, a century later, that Massey was Prime Minister at a particularly turbulent time in its history.” (Summary adapted from publisher’s information)

Get off the couch and get moving

Here are some new titles for June (Sports and Fitness) to inspire you to get off the couch and get moving!

Syndetics book coverNatural Horse-man-ship / by Pat Parelli ; with Kathy Swan ; photographs by Karen Parelli Hagen.
“The horse- and rider-training handbook of an internationally renowned master horseman.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBlood Over Water / David and James Livingston.
“SHORTLISTED FOR THE BEST NEW WRITER CATEGORY OF THE BRITISH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS 2010. On an overcast April day in 2003, David and James Livingston raced against each other in the 149th Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race. Watched by over seven million people, it was the first time for over a hundred years that brothers had battled against each other in this gladiatorial contest… In Blood Over Water, David and James tell their stories for the first time, giving an intimate insight into one of our best-loved national sporting occasions, whilst also describing a brotherly relationship tested to breaking point. It is an emotional and searching joint self-portrait that looks at the darker side of sibling rivalry and asks just what you would be willing to sacrifice to achieve your dreams.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverTwirlymen : The Unlikely History of Cricket’s Greatest Spin Bowlers / Amol Rajan.
“They are the masters of deception, the jokers in the pack; illusionists conjuring wickets out of thin air with nothing more than an ambled approach and a wonky grip. Not for them the brutish physicality of the pace bowler nor the reactive slogging of the batsman. Theirs is a more cerebral art. They stand alone in a team sport. They are Twirlymen. Having himself failed through a combination of injury and indolence to become a leg-spinner of renown Amol Rajan pays homage to that most eccentric of all sporting heroes u the spin bowler.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverCraig Revel Horwood’s Ballroom Dancing / Craig Revel Horwood ; foreword by Len Goodman.
“Whether you are an absolute beginner, a Strictly Come Dancing wannabe or simply want a fun way to get fit, Craig Revel Horwood’s guide to ballroom dancing offers something for everyone. Learn how to become a ballroom babe or a Latin lover as Craig shows you all the basic moves in a fun, lively and straightforward way…. Each section of dance provides lots of suggestions for great music to strut your stuff to, with helpful tips from Craig to encourage you to practice until you have truly mastered your moves.” (

Syndetics book coverThe Bicycle Book / Bella Bathurst.
“A rip-roaring narrative celebration of the 21st century’s great transport success story: the bicycle. Millions of us now cycle, some obsessively, and this glorious concoction of history, anecdote, adventure and lycra-clad pedalling is the perfect read for two-wheelers of all kinds. Two wheels. A frame. Two pedals. What could be simpler than a bicycle? And yet the bike — old, and cheap, and slightly comic — continues to inspire a passionate following…Thousands now cycle to work, and more take it up every day. In trial after trial, it is the bike which reaches its urban destination faster than the car, the bus, the underground or the pedestrian…Acclaimed and prize-winning author Bella Bathurst takes us on a journey through cycling’s best stories and strangest incarnations, from the bicycle as weapon of twentieth-century warfare to the secret life of couriers and the alchemy of framebuilding.”

Syndetics book coverHealthy intelligent training : the proven principles of Arthur Lydiard / Keith Livingston.
“This book is for all serious middle distance athletes and coaches. The book is based on the proven principles of Arthur Lydiard, the Runner’s World Coach of the Century.” (Syndetics summary)

The Rugby Almanack of New Zealand.
“The Rugby Almanack is New Zealand rugby’s book of record and is widely regarded as the finest publication of its type in the world. Now in its 75th edition, the 2011 Rugby Almanack records another huge year, including the All Blacks’ remarkable Tri-Nations and Bledisloe Cup victories, the All Blacks end-of-season tour, the ITM Cup, Super 14 and a full summary of women’s rugby.” (Global Books)

Sports in all weathers

This selection of Recent Picks (for Sports & Fitness) offers books on winter sports as well as summer, for those heading to warmer climates.

Syndetics book coverSkateboarder’s Start-Up : A Beginner’s Guide to Skateboarding / Doug Werner ; [technical advisor], Steve Badillo.
“Providing updated and revised chapters on safety, equipment, and basic skills, this instructional guide discusses the fundamentals of skateboarding. More than 500 new images and step-by-step instructions promise to turn skateboarding novices into experts.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhy We Run : A Story of Obsession / Robin Harvie.
“Where the book truly excels is in its depiction of Harvie’s internal landscape. He largely shuns training tips and inspirational advice in favour of a true memoirist’s tone, exploring the reasons why he runs – grief, ambition, boredom – with an almost brutal honesty. These passages are as moving as they are illuminating.” (

Syndetics book coverSurf for Your Life / Mick Fanning and Tim Baker.
“The ultimate grom’s glimpse into the life of a two-time world champion and a guide to living and breathing the surf life. Mick tells his own story of overcoming the odds to become one of the best surfers in the world while dropping pearls of wisdom gained from his life on and off the tour.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverSwimming Anatomy / Ian McLeod.
“For swimmers, McLeod, an athletic trainer and massage therapist who has served on the US Olympic team’s medical staff, presents 74 exercises with step-by-step descriptions and anatomical illustrations that show the muscles in action, as well as how each exercise is linked to performance in each of the four competitive strokes.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGotta Tango / Alberto Paz, Valorie Hart.
“Gotta Tango is your guide to the authentic Argentine tango. Master teachers Alberto Paz and Valorie Hart take you on a journey through the rich culture, history, and music of Buenos Aires that inspired the romantic passion, alluring creativity, and natural elegance of the Argentine tango dance. Book jacket.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKings, Queens and Four-Legged Athletes : the Telegraph book of horse racing / [edited by Martin Smith].
“It is the Sport of Kings. And Queens. And Lords and their Ladies. It is also the sport of knaves and bounders, spivs and cheats. Horse racing, moreover, is the sport of the ordinary man: from housewives with their 50p on whichever horse Lester is riding in the Derby, to anyone who has entered the office Grand National sweepstake. It is a massive commercial industry with a multi-million pound turnover in betting, breeding and prize-money. Yet it is a fun day out, whether it be the splendour of Royal Ascot, Epsom dolled up for the Derby, Cheltenham rocking to the Irish enjoying ‘the craic’, or the homeliness of the most humble country course.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book cover1000 checkmate Combinations / Viktor Henkin.
“Checkmate, the object of the game of chess, can be executed in more ways than anyone can count. This truly outstanding book, first published in Russian in the ’70s and regarded as a classic, contains one of the most comprehensive collection of checkmate combinations ever assembled. Available for the first time in English, it also sports an introduction by former world champion Mikhail Tal.” (Global Books)

Sport & Fitness – May

Syndetics book coverPig Huntingitis / Chris Fraser.
“Warning: PIG HUNTINGITUS is very infectious, people have been known to catch it just by reading about it. If you own an old 4WD truck with a dog box on the back, a long pointed knife, a collection of motley looking dogs and when you are talking to your mates every second sentence has the word “pig” in it at least once, don’t panic, you already have it. As for the rest of you, proceed with caution. Chris Fraser discovered pig hunting later in life. Already a successful hunter, the invitation to join a friend on a pig hunt started something that continues to this day.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverClassic : the Revival of Classic Boating in New Zealand / Ivor Wilkins.
“Renowned yachting writer and photographer, Ivor Wilkins, showcases the leading lights of the recent classic yacht revival movement: big names such as Waitangi, Rainbow and Ariki, treasures such as Little Jim and Rona, and the classic dinghies and launches which dot our coast. It is a tribute both to the original builders of these magnificent craft but also to their current owners and restorers, who have gone to what might seem incomprehensible lengths to bring them back to their former glory and return them to home waters. Lavishly illustrated with contemporary and historic photographs, this book tells the fascinating stories of these boats and at the same time tells a story of New Zealand’s own history.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverDressage School : a sourcebook of movement and tips demonstrated by Olympian Isabell Werth / by Britta Schoffmann.
“In this fantastically detailed and uniquely organized reference, 2008 Olympic gold and silver medal-winner Isabell Werth demonstrates the what, the how, and—most importantly—the why of more than 100 dressage movements. She shows readers how each should look, explains common mistakes and how to avoid them, and then describes the benefit of the exercise and how it contributes to the dressage training scale. In addition, emphasis is placed on the horse as an individual and customizing movements and lessons to benefit any animal, with their particular physical and psychological characteristics in mind. Practical and easy-to-follow, this resource promises to take the mystery out of dressage schooling forever.” (Amazon)

Syndetics book coverTop Catch : hook up New Zealand’s top 12 species / John Eichelsheim.
“Popular fishing writer John Eichelsheim spills the beans on how and where to catch he best examples of New Zealand’s top fish species. John draws on his own forty years of experience fishing around the country to tell personal stories of his own ‘top catch’ for each species, then provides biological/ geographical information on the fish, the nuts and bolts of tackle and technique, including the peak season, and the current records (biggest fish ever caught etc.)” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverApollo’s Angels : A History of Ballet / Jennifer Homans.
“This is a history of ballet by a dancer turned historian and critic. It begins in the courts of Europe, where ballet was a form of aristocratic etiquette and a political event as much as it was an art.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverOne Mountain Thousand Summits : The Untold Story of Tragedy and True Heroism on K2 / Freddie Wilkinson.
“When eleven men perished on the slopes of K2 in August 2008, it was one of the deadliest single events in Himalayan climbing and made headlines around the world. Yet non of the surviving western climbers could explain precisely what happened. Their memories were self-admittedly fogged by exhaustion, hypoxia, and hallucinations. The truth of what happened lies with four Sherpa guides who were largely ignored by the mainstream media in the aftermath of the tragedy, who lost two of their own during the incident, and whose heroic efforts saved the lives of at least four climbers. Based on his numerous trips to Nepal and in-depth interviews he conducted with these unacknowledged heroes, the other survivors, and the families of the lost climbers, alpinist and veteran climbing writer Freddie Wilkinson presents the true story of what actually occurred on the “savage” mountain.” (Amazon)

Syndetics book coverBasketball’s Greatest Stars / Michael Grange.
“Profiles of the best NBA players provide a great history of the game.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFishermen’s Tales : Incredible Stories from New Zealand and the World of Fishing / Peter Jessup.
“Fishermen’s Tales is a collection of favourite stories, from the streams and coastlines of New Zealand to the rivers, lakes and seas of the world. As incredible as these stories seem, all of them are true.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverKook : what surfing taught me about love, life, and catching the perfect wave / Peter Heller.
“Heller details the strenuous, exciting adventure of learning to surf in only six months.” (Syndetics summary)

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