Sports can simply be defined as “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” With an increase in popularity, we see or hear about sports every day on television, in the newspaper, during conversation, etc. Normally we hear about professional teams like the Packers or the Brewers, but this month’s Non-Fic Picks delve deeper than the big names and daily stats to look at everyday people who participate in an activity all their own.
Brian Benson meets Rachel, falls in love, and together they embark on an adventure of lifetime—a bicycle trip across the United States. Starting in Brian’s home town in northern Wisconsin, the couple pedals towards Portland, Oregon, Rachel’s hometown. But, just like Brian and Rachel’s budding romance, the journey has its ups and downs. Picture stunning landscapes, forests, lakes, and open highways combined with gusty winds, scorching heat, broken bikes, and just overall physical wear and tear. Benson writes in such an honest, engrossing tone that will definitely take readers away in a sweeping tale of moving forward both geographically and emotionally.
Known simply as “football” around the globe, soccer often takes a second seat to American football when it comes to popularity in the United States. But popularity and lack of recognition didn’t stop writer Michael Agovino from falling in love with the game. After seeing a match at Giants Stadium in 1982, Agovino threw himself into the sport as a player, fan, and journalist, and The Soccer Diaries chronicles more than just his experiences with soccer—it expounds upon the game’s culture, history, identity, people, and gradual coming-of-age following in the U.S. Whether you’ve jumped on the soccer bandwagon or are about to, The Soccer Diaries shares personal insights and anecdotes that will warm you up to the game.
The truth about running: it can be brutal, especially when you’re just starting out. Ask Alexandra Heminsley who comes from a family of runners. With an idealistic approach, Heminsley took up running to quickly find out that t is much more than a simple get up and go. Through trial and error, Heminsley explores the logistics of running as well as the benefits like weight loss, better health, and increased self-confidence. Heminsley also provides detailed notes on how to get started—how to endure various weather conditions; notes on picking out the correct shoes; and making sure you’re eating the best diet for optimal performance. From a non-athlete to a five-time marathon runner, Heminsley’s entertaining and practical memoir will motivate you to hit the pavement.
Superstar sports agent J. B. Bernstein is looking for his diamond in the rough—Major League Baseball’s next big pitcher—in India, a country with a big love for cricket and little knowledge of America’s favorite pastime. Traveling to Mumbai, Bernstein initiates The Million Dollar Arm, a reality television show that featured a pitching contest; the winner would be the first Indian to sign a contract with a Major League team. Bernstein takes two young men back to the states, guides them through the game, and inspires them to overcome huge obstacles—a story sure to help you fall in love with baseball again. (Million Dollar Arm has inspired the movie with the same title and is also available at the Shorewood Library.)