Pining for Playoffs

When the novel coronavirus pandemic sent us to seclusion, affecting all aspects of our lives, it also caused a dramatic impact on the world of sports, with major sporting events being cancelled or postponed. This left fans looking for other ways to stay connected to various sports.

ESPN’s timely release of Last Dance, a 10-part documentary about NBA legend Michael Jordan, immediately became hugely popular among sports fans. The series takes an in-depth look at Chicago Bulls’ dynasty through the lens of the final championship season in 1997-98. It features exclusive footage and interviews with athletes and journalists.

If you are into the sports and would like to read and watch more about basketball – or any other sports subjects – Abbot Public Library has much to offer.

These books are available through Overdrive/Libby with your library card.

Basketball: A Love Story is a book written in conjunction with the ESPN series of the same name, released at the end of 2018.

It is a story about basketball: its invention in Canada, its expansive history, and the game’s trailblazing players.

Authors interviewed more than 100 players, coaches, and journalists to collect their insight. The book seems to cover every issue pertaining to basketball, including fighting for racial and gender equality.

Another popular team sport, baseball, is the subject of Alex Speier’s Homegrown.

The book is an excellent record of the exceptional accomplishment of the Boston Red Sox winning the 2018 World Series and about building one the best baseball teams of all the time.

Marking the 40th anniversary of the US men’s hockey team winning a gold medal in the 1980 Olympics, beating four-time medalists from the USSR, team captain Mike Eruzione’s book, The Making of a Miracle, recounts that 1980 Lake Placid game in detail. Dubbed “Miracle on Ice,” it is a tale of the underdog, as an amateur team of young American college students faced off against seasoned professional players from the Soviet Union and, against all odds, came out victorious.

Historian and National Book Award-winning author Nathaniel Philbrick (author of In the Hurricane’s Eye among other titles) takes on sailing in his book Second Wind, recounting his triumphs in regattas in his youth and going back to competing 15 years later, following vigorous retraining.

First-person accounts of major league athletes offer a unique perspective into the lives of people participating in professional sports. Numerous biographies of various sports players can be found in Overdrive/Libby when you click on the images: 

The following charming and heartwarming stories will make you smile. They are about sports, but also they are about creating a bond between humans and animals. Christopher McDougall writes about training a rehabbed donkey for the World Championship of burro racing – a very particular type of competition in which humans and donkeys run together. Training a donkey is a big job!

The author of Finding Gobi came across a stray dog while running an ultramarathon in the middle of the Gobi Desert – and gained a running buddy for the rest of the route. Click the images below to view these ebooks in Overdrive.

hoopla, a free service brought to you by the Abbot Public Library, contains an entire sports movie section, where you will find documentaries, biographies, instructional videos to learn new skills (or sharpen existing ones) in a particular sport, and more!

Rediscovering Biographies

Rediscover the biography genre, one of the oldest, most significant and popular genres in literature.

Read about famous and eminent people, learn more about them, and sometimes be surprised. The subjects of other biographies in the display are people whose names you may never have heard of. There are individual biographies and collective biographies, such as family biographies.

Books presented in this display are the newest biographies in our digital collection, highly recommended in the press.

The following are a few titles that stand out, even among the other critically acclaimed books.

The subjects of the new biography from Adam Hochschild are political activist Rose Stokes and her idealistic upper-class reformer husband Graham Stokes, their magical love story, and marriage.

 At the start of the 20th century the couple was among the Rich & Famous, often the subject of newspaper headlines, and their circle included the most notable and interesting people of their time. 

Adam Hochschild is a journalist and nonfiction writer, known for his books on the social justice movement, such as King Leopold’s Ghost and Spain in Our Hearts.

This biography is a delight for baseball buffs, with the legendary baseball player Yogi Berra as its subject.

The sportswriter Jon Pessah gives a wide-ranging account of Berra’s career and his evolution into one of the  greatest players, as well as his post-player careers as a team manager and a coach. 

It is also a story of a human being, with all his triumphs and heartbreaks, overcoming obstacles. 

The book is peppered with fun anecdotes of the golden era.

Fun fact: he coined some aphorisms, and eight of those Yogi-isms are in the famous book of Bartlett’s Quotations.

If you’ve seen the TV series The Crown, you will definitely recognize the main character of this book, Lady Glenconner, the maid of honor at Queen Elizabeth’s coronation and the lady-in-waiting for Princess Margaret.

Sharing stories with the visiting actors preparing for their roles in The Crown inspired the book. You will read about the private lives of the royal family and society elite through the eyes of Lady Glenconner. You will learn about her private life and her family. Her sense of humor, which shines through her writing, gained much praise.

The book was selected as the Times (UK) Memoir of the Year.

This Oprah’s Book Club Pick is a biography of a family with 12 children, six of whom were diagnosed with schizophrenia, and the role the family played in helping scientists understand the illness.

It is also an authoritative look at the disease itself, and a record of evolution of thoughts on its biology and nature.

The book is based on very thorough research and multiple interviews with family members and close family friends.

Read more biographies on Overdrive/Libby and hoopla.