Honor roll: Sports books

Each of these Sports books has received at least one award nomination. They are ranked by honors received.

Book:Swimming Studies

Swimming Studies

Leanne Shapton

Swimming Studies is a brilliantly original, meditative memoir that explores the worlds of competitive and recreational swimming.

From her training for the Olympic trials as a teenager to enjoying pools and beaches around the world as an adult, Leanne Shapton offers a fascinating glimpse into the private, often solitary, realm of swimming. Her spare and elegant writing reveals an intimate narrative of suburban adolescence, spent underwater in a discipline that continues to inspire Shapton’s work as an artist and author. Her illustrations throughout the book offer an intuitive perspective on the landscapes and imagery of the sport. Shapton’s emphasis is on the smaller moments of athletic pursuit rather than its triumphs.

For the accomplished athlete, aspiring amateur, or habitual practicer, this remarkable work of written and visual sketches propels the reader through a beautifully personal and universally appealing exercise in reflection.

Book:Scoreboard, Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime, and Complicity

Scoreboard, Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime, and Complicity

Ken Armstrong, Nick Perry

The adjectives associated with the University of Washington’s 2000 football season—mystical, magical, miraculous—changed when Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry’s four-part exposé of the 2000 Huskies hit the newspaper stands: “explosive…chilling” (Sports Illustrated), “blistering” (Baltimore Sun), “shocking…appalling” (Tacoma News Tribune), “astounding” (ESPN), “jaw-dropping” (Orlando Sentinel).

Now, in Scoreboard, Baby, Armstrong and Perry go behind the scenes of the Huskies’ Cinderella story to reveal a timeless morality tale about the price of obsession, the creep of fanaticism, and the ways in which a community can lose even when its team wins. The authors unearth the true story from firsthand interviews and thousands of pages of documents: the forensic report on a bloody fingerprint; the notes of a detective investigating allegations of rape; confidential memoranda of prosecutors;…[more]

Book:Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption

Laura Hillenbrand

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood.  Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared.  It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard.  So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini.  In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails.  As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile.  But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the…[more]

Book:H.O.R.S.E.

H.O.R.S.E.

Christopher Myers

One day at the basketball court, two kids, a familiar challenge—H.O.R.S.E.?

But this isn’t your grandmother’s game of hoops.

Not when a layup
        from the other side of the court
                     standing on one foot
                               with your eyes closed is just the warm-up.

Around the neighborhood, around the world, off Saturn’s rings, the pair goes back and forth.

The game is as much about skill as it is about imagination.

A slam dunk from multi-award-winning author/illustrator Christopher Myers, H.O.R.S.E. is a celebration of the sport of basketball, the art of trash-talking, and the idea that what’s possible is bounded only by what you can dream.

Book:Sacrifice Fly

Sacrifice Fly: A Mystery

Tim O'Mara

Raymond Donne wasn’t always a schoolteacher. Not only did he patrol the streets of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as one of New York’s Finest, but being the nephew of the chief of detectives, he was expected to go on to bigger things. At least he was until the accident that destroyed his knees. Unable to do the job the way he wanted, he became a teacher in the same neighborhood, and did everything he could to put the force behind him and come to terms with the change.

Then Frankie Rivas, a student in Ray’s class and a baseball phenom, stops showing up to school. With Frankie in danger of failing and missing out on a scholarship, Ray goes looking for him, only to find Frankie’s father bludgeoned to death in their apartment. Frankie and his younger sister are gone, possibly on the run. But did Frankie really kill his father? Ray can’t believe it. But then who did, and where are Frankie and his sister? Ray doesn’t know, but if he’s going to have any chance of…[more]

Book:The Dog Sox

The Dog Sox

Russell Hill

Ray Adams buys his girlfriend, beautiful Ava Belle, a baseball team for her birthday. She loves dogs and baseball. Ray’s gift is a broken-down semi-pro team in California’s Central Valley, with a 70-year-old Jewish manager who’s been in baseball for fifty years and breaks into Yiddish homilies when the going gets tough. He assembles a rag-tag lineup of sheetrockers, farm laborers, wanna-be big leaguers, and a freak submarine pitcher—10-year-iold Billy Collins. The only problem is that Billy has a drunken, abusive father who, when he shows up at the ballpark, causes Billy to fall apart. How to get rid of Bucky Collins becomes a primary goal, not just for the team’s sake, but for Billy’s. Rough him up? Pay him off? See that he has an “accident”? With him around, the team and Billy are simply not functional.

Book:The Art of Fielding

The Art of Fielding: A Novel

Chad Harbach

At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended.

Henry’s fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight, a longtime bachelor, has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne, Henry’s gay roommate and teammate, becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz, the Harpooners’ team captain and Henry’s best friend, realizes he has guided Henry’s career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight, Guert’s daughter, returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life.

As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties,…[more]

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