Teams, extremes and everything in between – sport and fitness books

From inspiring stories about extreme athletes, sporting champions, and blind sportsman, to more everyday exercises with jump rope, the wide ranging topics covered in this selection will inspire you to get ready for the more active summer months.

Eat Like an Athlete : boost your energy and performance through nutrition / Austin, Simone
“In Eat Like an Athlete, sports dietitian Simone Austin shares practical tips and suggestions on how to boost your energy and performance through nutrition, derived from her years of experience advising elite athletes. Simone’s hands-on manual allows people of all ages, from weekend warriors to professional players, to give their bodies optimal nourishment for training, competition and recovery.” (Catalogue)

Ballerina body : dancing and eating your way to a leaner, stronger, and more graceful you / Copeland, Misty
““The celebrated ballerina and role model, Misty Copeland, shares the secrets of how to reshape your body and achieve a lean, strong physique and glowing health. Misty Copeland believes “There has been a shift in recent years in which women no longer desire the bare bones of a runway model. Standards have changed: what women do want is a long, toned, powerful body with excellent posture.” In other words, the body of a ballerina.” (Catalogue)

Incredible Sporting Champions / Amson-Bradshaw, Georgia
“These women showed what it really means to “play like a girl.” Includes Marie Marvingt, Cathy Freeman, Sarah Storey, Serena Williams, Kaori Icho, Tatyana McFadden, Katie Ladecky, and other female sports legends. In Incredible Sporting Champions, you will meet just a few of the incredibly talented, dedicated and brave women who have refused to let people decide for them what they are capable of achieving.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Extreme athletes : true stories of amazing sporting adventurers / Guillain, Charlotte
“This title is part of the ‘Ultimate Adventurers’ series. This series tells real-life stories of courage, endurance and survival against the odds. There will be stories of success and disappointment, individual achievement and teamwork.” (Catalogue)

The Captain Class : the hidden force that creates the world’s greatest teams / Walker, Sam
“Walker starts with one of the most hotly debated questions in sports: What are the greatest teams ever–particularly those that sustained success over a long period of time. At that point, Walker became obsessed with another, more complicated question: What did these teams have in common? A genius coach? A transcendent superstar? A groundbreaking system? Or was it all a matter of chemistry?” (adapted from Catalogue)

101 Best Jump Rope Workouts / Lee, Buddy
“Get moving with 100 high intensity jump rope workouts for all fitness levels. A jump rope is the most effective fitness equipment you can own. Great for cardio, endurance and HIIT training a jump rope is versatile, portable, and efficient. Buddy Lee, recognized internationally as the world’s expert at jump rope fitness, provides 100 challenging, dynamic and varied workouts in this unique collection. Simple and effective, these jump rope workouts can be done anywhere and anytime.” (Catalogue)

No Barriers : a blind man’s journey to kayak the Grand Canyon / Weihenmayer, Erik
No Barriers is about my journey since coming down from Mt. Everest in 2001, and the path to where I am today. It is the story of my own life, the personal and professional struggles in the pursuit of growth, learning, and family, as well as a dream to kayak one of the world’s great rivers as a blind athlete. It is also about the many people I’ve encountered along the way who possess what I call a “No Barriers” mindset, who live a No Barriers life.” (Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Running Rewired, Jay Dicharry (ebook)
In Running Rewired, America’s leading endurance sports physical therapist and coach shares a program for runners to become stronger, faster, and more durable. Jay Dicharry distills cutting-edge biomechanical research into 15 workouts any runner can slot into their training program to begin seeing real results in about 6 weeks. Running Rewired will show you how to shed old injuries, mobility problems, weaknesses and imbalances and rewire your body-brain movement patterns.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Latest Sports and Fitness books

This selection features books on weird sporting events, mountain climbing, camping, running, soccer scandals through to biographies of sporting personalities. The armchair athlete will find inspiring reading in these fascinating accounts.

Syndetics book coverThe World’s 100 Weirdest Sporting Events : from gravy wrestling in Lancashire to wife carrying in Finland / Geoff Tibballs.
“When we think of the world’s great sporting events, we tend to focus on spectacles such as the World Cup, the Olympics or the Monaco Grand Prix. Yet there is also an alternative world of competition where participants risk life, limb and often dignity for meagre rewards in truly weird sporting pursuits. Step forward the Indonesian sport of sepak bola api, a variation of football in which the barefoot players kick a ball that is on fire; yak racing from Mongolia; Oregon’s Pig-N-Ford Races where drivers speed around the track while carrying a live pig under one arm; and Australia’s variation of the Boat Race. This book lists geographically the world’s 100 weirdest sports events, giving full details of their rules and colourful history.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRed Card : how the U.S. blew the whistle on the world’s biggest sports scandal / Ken Bensinger.
“Presents an account of the FIFA corruption scandal that implicated nearly every aspect of international soccer, sharing insights into the roles of key personalities while tracing the efforts of law enforcement officials to expose the truth.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBruce Lee : a life / Matthew Polly.
“The first noteworthy treatment of its subject–and a definitive one at that…Fascinating narrative threads proliferate.” — (The New York Times Book Review).
“Forty-five years after Bruce Lee’s sudden death at age thirty-two, journalist and bestselling author Matthew Polly has written the definitive account of Lee’s life. This is an honest, revealing look at an impressive yet imperfect man whose personal story was even more entertaining and inspiring than any fictional role he played onscreen.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTo the Mountains : a selection of New Zealand alpine writing / selected by Laurence Fearnley & Paul Hersey.
“This stylish hardback is an exciting compendium of adventure and nature writing, history, philosophy and literature, from the quirky to the sublime. Aimed at real mountaineers as well as the armchair variety.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat the Physio Saw/The Secret Footballer
“He’s back – and this time he’s got company. The Secret Footballer has teamed up with one of the most highly respected physios in the game to bring you the stories of a football season through the eyes of someone who has covered over 1000 games in his career and who knows the most intimate of details about every player he treats. Alongside this privileged glimpse into the physio’s world, The Secret Footballer will be telling his own tales of injury, pain and perseverance with his trademark insight and wit.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMurdoch : the All Black Who Never Returned / by Ron Palenski.
“The story of Keith Murdoch, who passed away earlier this year, is the great unsolved mystery of world rugby. The All Black who was sent home from the tour of the British Isles in 1972 and who exiled himself to the vastness of the Australian outback remains a banner headline in rugby memories. Murdoch only appeared publicly a few times in all those years since the tour, but never said much and nothing at all of the events of that night, or how he felt then and later. But now, the story can be told more fully than before through anecdotes and memories of teammates and colleagues and through the damning words of those who condemned him to his life on the run.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCamping with Kids : hundreds of fun things to do in the great outdoors / Simon McGrath.
“Seasoned camper Simon McGrath draws on a lifetime’s experience so your kids can enjoy every minute of their camping holiday. Start in your backyard and graduate to the wilderness. Go orienteering or hang out at a festival. Watch the sun rise or go on a night walk. Climb a mountain or spot a constellation. And cook up a storm – even in a storm. Camping With Kids has more than 300 cool ideas – from games for the car trip to recipes and adventure activities – to help you and your family get the most out of any camping experience.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Competitive Runner’s Handbook : the bestselling guide to running 5Ks through marathons / Bob Glover and Shelley-lynn Florence Glover.
“For both runners entering that first neighborhood race and elite marathoners, trainers Bob and Shelly-lynn Florence Glover’s completely revised guide is the book on training to compete. The Competitive Runner’s Handbook offers all the latest information needed to design basic training programs; special workouts to increase strength, endurance, and power; schedules and worksheets to develop individual goals; and specifics on preparing for all kinds of races’with an emphasis on the 10K and the marathon. Informed by their over thirty years of coaching experience, the Glovers give winning tips on alternative training, footwear and diet, as well as sensible advice on balancing running with work and home life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Girl who Climbed Everest / Bonita Norris.
“What drives us to go to our limits and beyond? What does it take to make dreams come true over all else? And how can you turn fear into courage? From Everest to K2, The Girl Who Climbed Everest is the story of Bonita Norris’ journey undertaking the world’s toughest and most dangerous expeditions. Once an anxious teenager with an eating disorder it was the discovery of a passion for climbing that inspired Bonita to change her life. An indispensable and important book for anyone who has ever doubted their potential or put limits on themselves – whatever challenge you face or ambitions you want to achieve, The Girl Who Climbed Everest will inspire you to take action and live life more fearlessly.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe official history of the FIFA World Cup / FIFA World Football Museum.
The Official History of the FIFA World Cup is an authoritative and comprehensive review of the 20 FIFA World Cups to have taken place since the inaugural tournament in 1930. Packed with stunning photography, exclusive interviews of the biggest stars of each edition, unique official documents and statistics from the FIFA World Football Museum. This unique book features the biggest stars and many previously unknown ones too, all with a unique worldwide point of view.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNorth : Finding my way while running the Appalachian Trail / Scott Jurek with Jenny Jurek.
“From the author of the bestseller Eat and Run, a thrilling new memoir about his grueling, exhilarating, and immensely inspiring 46-day run to break the speed record for the Appalachian Trail. With his wife, Jenny, friends, and the kindness of strangers supporting him, Jurek ran, hiked, and stumbled his way north, one white blaze at a time. A stunning narrative of perseverance and personal transformation, North is a portrait of a man stripped bare on the most demanding and transcendent effort of his life. It will inspire runners and non-runners alike to keep striving for their personal best.” (Syndetics summary)

Epic adventures await: New sport and fitness books

Turning

From epic adventures, self-discovery, re-living childhood memories, to biographies of sporting legends, this selection highlights sports such as swimming, hunting, running, cycling, golf, rowing
and rugby.

Syndetics book coverTurning : a swimming memoir / Jessica J. Lee.
“At the age of twenty-eight, Jessica Lee, who grew up in Canada and lived in London, finds herself in Berlin. Alone. Lonely, with lowered spirits thanks to some family history and a broken heart, she is there, ostensibly, to write a thesis. And though that is what she does daily, what increasingly occupies her is swimming. So she makes a decision that she believes will win her back her confidence and independence: she will swim fifty-two of the lakes around Berlin, no matter what the weather or season. This book is for everyone who loves swimming, who wishes they could push themselves beyond caution, who understands the deep pleasure of using their body’s strength, who knows what it is to allow oneself to abandon all thought and float home to the surface.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDark Forest, Deep Sea : reflections of a hunter / Richard Hall.
“In the wild there is an element that cannot be seen, tasted, heard or smelt – it can only be felt, and it is a feeling of enchantment. After his first hunting experience in New Zealand as a young man, Richard Hall has been drawn back again and again, wanting to relive the feeling only this country’s wilderness can give him. Dark Forest, Deep Sea goes beyond recollections of one man’s hunting trips. It delves into the emotions and sensations at the heart of the experience, and the reason for doing it. This is the human story of hunting.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBattling the Oceans in a Rowboat : crossing the Atlantic and North Pacific on oars and grit / Mick Dawson.
“The heart-pounding story of rowing expert Mick Dawson’s most challenging feats on the open water, culminating in his greatest achievement: crossing the North Pacific Ocean in a small rowboat. Storms, fatigue, equipment failure, intense hunger, and lack of water are just a few of the challenges that ocean rower Mick Dawson, endured whilst attempting to complete one of the World’s “Last Great Firsts.” In this nail-biting, man-against-nature true story, Dawson, former Royal Marine Commando, Guinness world record ocean rower and high seas adventurer, takes on the Atlantic and ultimately the North Pacific Oceans.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn the Line of Fire : the inside story from the Lions head coach / Warren Gatland with Gerry Thornley.
“Warren Gatland’s British & Irish Lions Tour Diary is the ultimate chronicle of this summer’s remarkable and historic Lions tour to New Zealand. The book is the Head Coach’s wonderfully candid and vibrant record of the turbulent peaks and troughs, the triumphs and despairs, of one of sport’s toughest challenges. It gives rugby fans an unparalleled front-row seat with the squad, recounting intriguing details on everything from pre-tour planning and strategy, to on-tour experiences, analysis and decision-making. It all adds up to a thrillingly definitive exposition and post-mortem of a mind-blowing six weeks in the cauldron which forged the mighty All Blacks.” (Publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverRun for Your Life : mindful running for a happy life / William Pullen.
“We all know how a long walk, a slow jog or a brisk run can free our minds to wander, and give us a powerful uplifting feeling. Some call it the ‘runner’s high’, others put it down to endorphins. But what if we could channel that energy and use it to make positive change in our lives? William Pullen is a psychotherapist who helps people to work through their issues using his revolutionary method, Dynamic Running Therapy. His is a radical new approach to mindfulness. Whether you are looking for strategies to cope with anxiety, change or decision-making, or simply want to focus your mind while pounding the streets, Run for Your Life offers a series of simple mental routines that unleash the meditative, restorative powers of exercise.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGames from Childhood : a nostalgic compendium of games we used to play / compiled and edited by Karen Dolby.
“A wonderfully nostalgic collection of the games we played in our childhood, when all you needed was a pen, paper, and your imagination. All the classics are here, from filling in the grids of battleships and hangman, to tic-tac-toe, categories, crossed words, fortune teller, and more, all presented in a gorgeous vintage style. The perfect antidote to our modern, digital world, you’ll enjoy re-living your childhood as you test your logic and reasoning and have fun playing these wonderful games.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVentoux : sacrifice and suffering on the giant of Provence / Jeremy Whittle.
“Mont Ventoux, the “Giant of Provence,” is a legendary and extreme mountain climb. The formidable ascent of Ventoux’s south side encapsulates both the unforgiving brutality and epic beauty of this intense sport, but also brings to the forefront cycling’s on-going battle with scandal. Revealing the little-known history of racing on Ventoux, author Jeremy Whittle interviews such memorable cyclists as Chris Froome, Eddy Merckx, Greg LeMond, Lance Armstrong, Bernard Hinault, Dave Brailsford, Tyler Hamilton, and many others, exploring both the fear and respect of those who dare to conquer cycling’s most notorious ascent.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA History of Cycling in 100 Objects / Suze Clemitson.
“Absorbing and quirky look at the history of cycling and the development of bike-related design through 100 pivotal objects. Charting the journey from the Laufmaschine to the Brompton, through the early prototypes and the two-wheeled toys of the aristocracy, to the speed machines we know today. Filled with fascinating photographs and illustrations, immerse yourself in the history of cycling, from the boneshaker via the bicycle powered washing machine, to cuddly lions and ball bearings.” (adapted from back cover)

Syndetics book coverLosing It : a lifetime in pursuit of sporting excellence / Simon Barnes.
“Simon Barnes has taken part in seven summer Olympic Games, five World Cups and ten Ashes series. Well, not exactly taken part, but certainly he was there and writing hard. And always, behind every victory and every defeat he ever recorded, there was the reference of his own sporting career, in which the bitter beauties of failure were occasionally varied with the intoxication of success. His sporting failure has been a joyous and profoundly informative part of his life, and here he tells the story of it.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverNo is a Four-Letter Word : How I failed spelling but succeeded in life / Chris Jericho.
“Three-time New York Times bestselling author and six-time WWE champion Chris Jericho shares 20 of his most valuable lessons for achieving your goals and living the life you want, jam-packed with fantastic stories and the classic off-the-wall, laugh-out-loud Jericho references he’s famous for, with a foreword by Paul Stanley. After reading No Is a Four-Letter Word, you’ll discover that you might have what it takes to succeed as well… you just need to get out there and do it. That’s what Jericho would do.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTiger Woods / Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian.
“Based on years of reporting and interviews with more than 250 people from every corner of Tiger Woods’s life–a sweeping, revelatory, and defining biography of an American icon.” (Book jacket)

New Sport & fitness books in July

Go the distance with these books if you want to go further than you’ve ever gone before. You can read about the life of an ultra distance runner, slow down with the man who walked across America or push your mental limits as you hear the story of a chess world champion. Alternatively you can go off the beaten track with pub games or even hot air ballooning in Graham Lanceley’s exploration of unique sports and pastimes.

Syndetics book coverWalking to Listen : 4,000 miles across America, one story at a time / Andrew Forsthoefel.
“A memoir of one young man’s coming of age on a cross-country trek, told through the stories of the people of all ages, races, and inclinations he meets along the highways of America.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverBaseball : steps to success / Kenny Thomas, DJ King.
“Become a fundamentally sound player in every aspect of the game with ‘Baseball: Steps to Success’. For years, the Steps to Success series has helped people around the world master the fundamentals of sport. Its unique progressive instructional approach to every skill makes learning the game of baseball easier and more enjoyable than ever before.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTrail Blazer : My Life as an Ultra-distance Trail Runner / Ryan Sandes with Steve Smith.
“What does it take to run a six-day race through the world’s harshest deserts? Or 100 miles in a single day at altitudes that would leave you breathless just walking? More than that, though: what is it like to win these races? South Africa’s ultra-trail-running superstar Ryan Sandes has done just that.” (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverAlternative Sports and Pastimes : an A-Z / Graham Lanceley.
“This book takes us through a selection of fifty alternative sports and pastimes. Some of these are activities that readers won’t have heard of, such as ‘tchoukball’. This modern sport, invented in the 1970s, based on teamwork and with the intention of avoiding collisions or injuries, takes its name from the sound of the ball rebounding from a frame. Graham also covers more well-known sports and pastimes, such as gliding and hot air ballooning. Traditional English pub games are also represented, such as bagatelle, shove ha’penny and skittles, as well as traditional outdoor activities such as falconry and morris dancing.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNo Barriers : A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon / Erik Weihenmayer and Buddy Levy.
No Barriers is about my journey since coming down from Mt. Everest in 2001, and the path to where I am today. It is the story of my own life, the personal and professional struggles in the pursuit of growth, learning, and family, as well as a dream to kayak one of the world’s great rivers as a blind athlete. It is also about the many people I’ve encountered along the way who possess what I call a “No Barriers” mindset, who live a No Barriers life. This book is about making the hard choices to fuel that flickering light, so that we can ignite with purpose and become our very best selves.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverUnbound : A Story of Snow and Self-discovery / Steph Jagger.
“A young woman follows winter across five continents on a physical and spiritual journey that tests her body and soul, in this transformative memoir, full of heart and courage, that speaks to the adventurousness in all of us…. She quit her job, took a second mortgage on her house, sold everything except her ski equipment and her laptop, and bought a bundle of plane tickets. For the next year, she followed winter across North and South America, Asia, Europe, and New Zealand–and up and down the mountains of nine countries–on a mission to ski four million vertical feet in a year.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverTimman’s Titans : My World Chess Champions / Jan Timman.
” Jan Timman, a world chess champion combines his passion for the game with his love of writing. In this fascinating book, Jan Timman portrays ten World Chess Champions that played an important role in his life and career. Champions that not only inspired him, but also champions he did battle with.” (Book cover)

Discipline, Science and Humour – New Health and Wellbeing books

This month, explore different resources to transform your health and wellbeing. Take a page out of the book of a ballerina, a comedian, a spartan athlete and various scientists. Whether you are preparing for a race or implementing a training regime or wanting to map out a plan for weight loss that is tailored specifically to you, we have some new books for you! Finally, remember the importance of fun and laughter and find ways to make sure you do something that makes you laugh every day.

Syndetics book coverBig fat myths / Ruben Meerman
“This book lifts the veil on weight loss by tracing every atom you eat into and out of your body. Diet myths and wellness nonsense topple like dominoes along the way, restoring your confidence in common sense and the age-old wisdom that to lose weight, you simply need to eat less and move more. Meerman begins this diet myth-busting book by reminding us what we already know- that human beings are carbon-based, oxygen-dependent life forms.” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBallerina body : dancing and eating your way to a leaner, stronger, and more graceful you / Misty Copeland
“Misty Copeland believes “There has been a shift in recent years in which women no longer desire the bare bones of a runway model. Standards have changed: what women do want is a long, toned, powerful body with excellent posture.” In other words, the body of a ballerina. In her first health and fitness book, Misty will show women how to find the motivation to get healthier and stronger, and how to reshape their bodies to be lean and flexible, with step-by-step advice, meal plans, workout routines, and words of inspiration. ” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe metabolism plan : discover the foods and exercises that work for your body to reduce inflammation and lose weight fast / Lyn-Genet Recitas.
“Are you gaining weight despite spending hours at the gym? Are you eating health food and still seeing no results? Discover why your thyroid is the unsung hero of your metabolism and create a unique plan designed specifically for your unique body! Nutritionist Lyn-Genet Recitas shares her ground-breaking new 30-day program that helps readers create a customized diet and exercise plan to boost their metabolism and burn more fat.”(adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSpartan fit! : 30 days. Transform your mind, transform your body, commit to grit / Joe De Sena with John Durant
“From the best-selling author of Spartan Up! Try out a complete 30-day workout and diet plan to help you reach peak performance for whatever your goal! Joe De Sena with his signature take-no-prisoners approach, has taken the endurance world by storm and inspired millions. Now in Spartan Fit!, De Sena breaks down that approach and gives readers a complete Spartan training guide that will arm them with the strength, knowledge, and grit to never question their potential again.” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMidlife : look younger, live longer & feel better / Dr. Muir Gray.
“Written in support of the ‘One You’ programme – a major Public Health England initiative – Midlife has everything you need to make simple, effective, lifestyle changes that will have a real impact on your health and wellbeing. From reducing your stress to getting better sleep, from eating healthier to quitting smoking, Midlife is full of practical, actionable, and uplifting advice on how to survive your middle years.” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow not to die : discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease / Dr Michael Greger with Gene Stone.
“Based on the latest scientific research, How Not To Die examines each of the most common diseases, to reveal what, how and why different foods affect us and how increasing our consumption of certain foods and avoiding others can dramatically reduce our risk of falling sick and even reverse the effects of disease.With emphasis on individual family health history and acknowledging that everyone needs something different, Dr Michael Greger offers practical dietary advice to help you make valuable decisions about your diet in order to live a longer, healthier lives.” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMiranda’s daily dose of such fun / Miranda Hart.
“Doing something jolly every day that you can look back on with a smile and be grateful for, knowing it has also brought kindness to others, can gently help replace old negative thought patterns with more positive ones. The tasks included in this little book are designed to be universal and free (or as cheap as possible). And all the ideas here, however silly they may seem, offer genuine and healthy ways to change the way we feel for the better!” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat doesn’t kill us : how freezing water, extreme altitude, and environmental conditioning will renew our lost evolutionary strength / Scott Carney ; foreword by Wim Hof
“Each year millions of ordinary people train in CrossFit boxes, compete in Tough Mudders, and challenge themselves in Spartan races, connecting with their environment and, attempting to unlock their hidden evolutionary potential. Award-winning journalist Scott Carney investigates the astonishing and sometimes dangerous world of body transformation through his own journey, a 28-hour climb to the peak of Mt Kilimanjaro – wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and running shoes.” (adapted 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)

New Sport & Fitness books in May

Reach beyond yourself. This selection covers a smorgasbord of interests; from sports involving working with animals, teamwork, and those that call upon personal interests.

Syndetics book coverThe Goshawk / T.H. White ; with a foreword by Helen Macdonald.
“First published in 1951, T.H. White’s memoir describes with searing honesty his attempt to train a wild goshawk, a notoriously difficult bird to master. With no previous experience and only a few hopelessly out-of-date books on falconry as a guide, he set about trying to bend the will of his young bird Gos to his own. Suffering setback after setback, the solitary and troubled White nonetheless found himself obsessively attached to the animal he hoped would one day set him free.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAfter the Final Whistle : the first Rugby World Cup and the First World War / Stephen Cooper ; foreword by Jason Leonard, OBE.
“As Britain’s Empire went to war in August 1914, rugby players were the first to volunteer. They led from the front and paid a disproportionate price. In 1919, a grateful Mother Country hosted a rugby tournament: sevens teams at eight venues, playing 17 matches to declare a first “world champion.” There had never been an international team tournament like it. For the first time teams from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Britain, and France were assembled in one place. Rugby held the first ever “World Cup.” This is the story of rugby’s journey through World War I to its first World Cup, and how those values endure today.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover101 Great Football Players : the best players in the modern era / Colin Mitchell.
“101 Great Football Players profiles the best and brightest players in the beautiful game today. From veterans such as Lionel Messi and Frank Lampard, to promising up-and-comers like Jack Wilshere and Edinson Cavani, the chosen 101 have all made, or look set to make, an indelible impression on the game.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFight Like a Physicist : the incredible science behind martial arts / Jason Thalken, PHD.
Fight Like a Physicist provides an in-depth, sometimes whimsical look into the physics behind martial arts for sport and self-defense. Whether you are an experienced martial artist or a curious enthusiast, this book can give you an “unfair advantage” by unraveling the complex science of effective fighting techniques and examining the core principles that make them work.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMountain Biking : The Manual / [Chris Ball and Huw Williams].
“This is an essential reference book for anyone wanting to learn more and improve their skills in mountain biking. Each chapter features step-by-step guidance and is supported by unique insights from today’s best riders.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe World at My Feet / Tom Denniss.
“On 31 December 2011, Australian Tom Denniss took two years off from his successful business career to take on a remarkable challenge. He embarked upon a run around the world. A run that would take more than 20 months, and cover over 26,000 km, the equivalent of 622 marathons in an equivalent number of days. In The World at My Feet, he shares his fascinating and sometimes frightening experiences along the way, with insights and anecdotes from all over the world — all at a pace which allows you to really appreciate the experience.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFast into the Night : a woman, her dogs, and their journey north on the Iditarod Trail / Debbie Clarke Moderow.
“A captivating memoir of one woman’s attempt to finish the Iditarod, led by her team of spunky huskies with whom she shares a fascinating and inextricable bond…. Fast into the Night is an exquisitely written memoir of a woman, her dogs, and what can happen when someone puts herself in that place between daring and doubt — and soldiers on.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInverting the Pyramid : the history of soccer tactics / Jonathan Wilson.
“In INVERTING THE PYRAMID, Jonathan Wilson pulls apart the finer details of the world’s game, tracing the global history of tactics, from modern pioneers right back to the beginning when chaos reigned. Along the way, he looks at the lives of great players and thinkers who shaped the sport and probes why the English, in particular, have ‘proved themselves unwilling to grapple with the abstract’.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover101 Magic Tricks : any time, any place / Bryan Miles.
“Learn 101 simple magic tricks to astonish and amaze!….amaze everyone you know with easy-to-master tricks and illusions…. Bryan Miles will guide you through astonishing feats such as: the foundations of magic including: The Hand, The Deck of Cards, Mechanic’s Grip and Biddle Grip, Classic Two-Handed Spread, Cutting the Cards and magic at school or college, birthday magic, restaurant magi, and more.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA Little Bit of Dirt : 55+ science and art activities to reconnect children with nature / Asia Citro, MEd.
“Dandelion Bubbles, Rain Drums, Seed Bomb Lollipops and more! Bursting with creative hands-on outdoor science and art activities, A Little Bit of Dirt is full of motivation to get outside and explore. Whether you’re investigating the health of your local stream, making beautiful acrylic sun prints with leaves and flowers, running an experiment with your backyard birds, or concocting nature potions, you’ll be fostering an important connection with nature. The engaging activities encourage the use of the senses and imagination and are perfect for all ages. Discover more about the natural world waiting just outside your door!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDesperate Steps : life, death, and choices made in the mountains of the Northeast / Peter W. Kick.
“In the backcountry, a single piece of gear could mean the difference between a comfortable night under the stars and a harrowing tale to tell once you’re home. Or it could mean that you don’t make it home at all. In this all-new collection, author Peter W. Kick recounts twenty true tales of backcountry misadventure and misfortune, including incidents along the famed Appalachian Trail, and seeks the lessons learned in each. Readers who immerse themselves in these near misses, methodical searches, and the gut-wrenching clarity of hindsight will be better prepared for whatever the wilderness brings.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFirst Ladies of Running : 22 inspiring profiles of the rebels, rule breakers, and visionaries who changed the sport forever / Amby Burfoot.
First Ladies of Running tells the inspiring stories of these and other fiercely independent runners who refused to give up despite the cultural and sports barriers they faced. Legends such as Doris Brown, Francie Larrieu, Mary Decker, Jackie Hansen, Miki Gorman, and Grete Waitz are chronicled by Runner’s World editor Amby Burfoot. Burfoot even runs the 1994 Marine Corps Marathon with Oprah Winfrey, whose successful finish opened the floodgates for other women runners. First Ladies of Running is a beautiful and long-overdue tribute to the pioneers of women’s running and a gift of empowerment for female runners everywhere.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover50 Evening Adventures / Tim, Kerry, Amy and Ella Meek.
“Here are simple and exciting ideas for spending time together out of doors, during the working week. The book is divided into two main sections with ideas for places to GO, and things to DO. A shorter final section offers ten healthy and filling dinner recipes that can be made or cooked outdoors.” (Syndetics summary)

New Sport & Fitness books in March

This selection includes books on indoor and outdoor sports, including running, rugby, tap dancing, mountain climbing, party games and more.

Syndetics book coverMy Story / Dan Carter with Duncan Greive.
A personal account of a New Zealand sporting icon who became a world superstar – the greatest fly-half in international rugby.
“In this memoir he opens up for the first time about his stellar 12-year career, looking back on the highs, and, with an equal measure of honesty, the lows of his career.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat the Eye Hears : a history of tap dancing / Brian Seibert.
“The first authoritative history of tap dancing, one of the great art forms–along with jazz and musical comedy–created in America….It’s a hybrid of traditional African dances brought over by slaves and jig, clog, and other folk-dance forms from the British Isles. Brian Seibert’s magisterial history illuminates tap’s complex origins and its theatricalization in blackface minstrelsy.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverTramping in New Zealand : 40 great tramping trips / Shaun Barnett ; maps by Geographx.
“In print for nearly 10 years, Tramping in New Zealand has become a best-selling tramping guide to 40 of the most popular tramps in New Zealand. In order to keep the title current and accurate, Tramping in New Zealand has been fully revised and updated. Each tramp is illustrated with at least one accurate panoramic Geographx map, and is supported by relevant, up-to-date route information, as well as photographs…If you were to have one guide book on New Zealand tramping, this is the one to have.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRunner : a short story about a long run / Lizzy Hawker.
“Lizzy Hawker is one of the greatest ultra-distance runners Britain has ever produced. She is the first woman to finish on the overall podium of the Spartathlon, one of the world toughest footraces, and has won the legendary The North Face Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc five times in its ten year history, the only person, man or woman, to achieve this. Runner is the story of her journey and will get inside the head of the physical, mental and emotional challenges that runners go through at the edge of human endurance…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBackstage : Cirque du Soleil / photographs by Véronique Vial ; [English translation by Christopher Caines ; French translation by Florence Leroy ; preface by Guy Laliberté].
“As Cirque du Soleil celebrates its thirtieth anniversary, it opens the doors to a world usually reserved for the initiated. Backstage Cirque du Soleil is the fruit of a collaboration between Cirque du Soleil and the photographer Veronique Vial, who through her unique lens has examined the world behind the curtains for more than twenty years. With touching humanity, Vial’s photographs invite the reader into an intimate universe distilled to its most essential element: Behind each character there is an artist.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRun, ride, sink or swim : a year in the exhilarating and addictive world of women’s triathlon / Lucy Fry.
“Here’s how Lucy Fry felt about the component parts of triathlon: swimming – fairly terrifying, especially in open water. Cycling – brilliant when done on a stationery bike, indoors. Running – sometimes fantastic, sometimes hideous.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGoing Up is Easy : the first woman to ascend Everest without oxygen / Lydia Bradey, with Laurence Fearnley.
“In 1988, Lydia Bradey became the first woman in the world to climb Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen. She made the ascent alone and to date she is the only New Zealander to have made an oxygen-free ascent. Her climb was a truly remarkable achievement but also a controversial one. In the spirit of John Krakauer’s Into Thin Air or Joe Simpson’s Touching the Void, Going Up is Easy celebrates a life lived on the edge.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverLore of Running / Timothy D. Noakes.
“Noakes describes the physiology and biochemistry of running, and offers practical training advice for both the beginner and marathon runner. Previously published by Oxford University Press Southern Africa in 2001, the fourth edition recognizes the dominant role played by the brain in determining physical activity performance.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVintage Party Games / Marion Paull.
“A fascinating exploration of old-fashioned children’s games and toys, including parlor games, board games, ball games, and more.” (Cover)

Syndetics book coverInside the Cup : secrets behind our All Black campaigns / Phil Gifford.
Inside the Cup is the definitive story of the triumphs, oddities, heartbreaks, dramas and disasters of every All Black campaign at the Rugby World Cup.” (Publisher information)

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)