Besides Bob Bowman’s Golden Rules: 10 Steps to World Class Excellence in Your Life and Work, there are a host of new books to choose from this sporting season. From Sania Mirza’s autobiography to James Patterson’s special Private book set in Rio, here’s what you should not miss.
Ace Against Odds
Published by: Harper Collins
Price: Rs 499
After tennis star Sania Mirza’s epic retort to journalist Rajdeep Sardesai’s uncharacteristically sexist question became viral, the book was all over social media timelines. Launched by Shah Rukh Khan in Hyderabad, Mirza says about the book, “It is an ode to me. It is to my fans and family to know about how I felt during all the struggles.” The autobiography talks about Mirza’s journey of becoming the World’s No.1 player in women’s doubles and the struggles and difficulties she faced.
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Price: Rs 599
While Nike India’s advertisement campaign — with female athletes encouraging and inspiring women to take up sports — is a rage online, this memoir penned by the brand’s creator Phil Knight is a must read for all non-fiction fans. The New York Times bestselling novel was published earlier this year and speaks about the US Olympic team co-sponsor’s journey from its early days as a start up to one of the world’s most profitable brands.Details: crossword.in
Ringside With Vijender
Published by: Juggernaut Books
Price: Rs 30
Authored by Rudraneil Sengupta , the book traces the decision of India’s only Olympic medallist in boxing to go pro and the controversy surrounding his choice. Available exclusively on the Juggernaut Books app, the book provides an insight as to why Vijender Singh made that decision and also chronicles his struggles, the training he went through besides some trivia on his personal life.
Available on the Juggernaut Books app.
Enter The Dangal: Travels through India’s Wrestling Landscape
Published by: Harper Sport
Price: Rs 350
With the release of Salman Khan’s Sultan and the heavy buildup to Aamir Khan’s Dangal, wrestling has taken centre stage and how. Chartering the history of the centuries old sport is Rudraneil Sengupta’s recently released novel that talks about the akharas and a way of life that exists far from our urban realities.
The Games: A Private Novel
Published by: Little, Brown and Company Price: Rs 269
Part of the bestselling thriller writer James Patterson’s Private series, the novel set in Rio, centres around a threat of sabotage at the Olympic Games. Banking on the hype around the sporting event, the book, co-authored by Mark Sullivan, caters to the thrill-loving fan base of Patterson and promises to keep you at the edge of your seat.Details: amazon.in
Getting to an Olympics itself in majority of the sports is a Herculean task.
Digvijay Singh Deo believes that it was one gold medal that changed our perception of the Olympics. After shooter Abhinav Bindra won the gold in 2008, the sports journalist — whose book co-authored by Amit Bose was launched earlier this month — agrees that now “the Indian audience wants winners.”
As he talks to us about the idea behind the book, My Olympic Journey: 50 of India’s Leading Sportspersons On The Biggest Test Of Their Career, Deo’s passion for the sporting event and the athletes comes across immediately. “All my career (of 13 years) I have followed the Olympic athletes not cricket or anything else and I always felt that the narrative that we used to get among the athletes was very one-sided,” says Deo, adding that often an athlete’s worth was his rank and the fact that qualifying for the Olympics, in itself “a Herculean task”, was overlooked. He explains how he was prompted to write this book in an attempt to show the athletes’ perspective of the Olympics. The stories and their individual journeys “to and at an Olympics game” written in the first person account, chart the history of Olympic athletes through 50 sportspersons in India from 1948 — when India competed as an independent country with Balbir Singh Dosanjh winning the gold medal — to the upcoming 2016 Olympics. Here the 35-year-old author shares his journey from conception last July to the final draft of the manuscript being submitted to Penguin Random House in February this year.
From hockey player Balbir Singh Dosanjh winning the first ever gold for the tricolour and the national anthem being played at Wembley in 1948 to Bindra admitting (being both shy and reclusive) that he hated every moment of the furor that followed his win – the book has a lineup of hitherto unheard stories. There is the human element and the frustration and struggles that make up the life of an Olympian. One can also expect personal insights like archer Deepika Kumari opening up about her loss at the London Olympics laying “bare the deepest emotions in her heart, saying that she was so shocked she couldn’t even cry.” From travelling to Imphal to shoot with Mary Kom to planning around the rigourous training schedule of the athletes, Deo and Bose have a lot of interesting stories to share. Once, when shooter and Olympic silver medallist Vijay Kumar, who is serving in the Indian Army, had turned up at the shoot without his medal because it would only be returned to him after he retired, he suggested that Deo borrow wrestler Sushil Kumar’s medal who had also won a silver. While Kumar complied happily, Deo recounts the anecdote with great pride, and tells us how that moment showcased the innate camaraderie the achievers shared with each other.The book, riddled with anecdotes like wrestlers Yogeshwar Dutt and Sushil Kumar being inspired to become Olympic medallists when they saw Leander Paes on the podium in 1996 (a fact that even Paes was unaware of), currently ranks as the number one bestseller in Amazon’s Active Outdoor Pursuits category.
Published by Penguin Random House. Rs 299. Details: amazon.in