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)