This week's bestsellers in sports books


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1 - Be Careful What You Wish For

Author: Simon Jordan
Published by: Yellow Jersey

Simon Jordan loved Crystal Palace. He grew up a stone's throw from Selhurst Park and his father was on the club's books.  Simon was not a footballer but his success in the mobile phone business enabled him to have a lifestyle all but the highest paid players would envy: 18 cars, six homes, a private jet on lease, a £2.5 million boat, a permanent suite at the Grosvenor House Hotel and the wherewithal to spend £100,000 on living costs.  Then he decided he would buy Crystal Palace.  Ten years later the bulk of his fortune was gone.   Be Careful What You Wish For lifts the lid on Jordan's story and how he discovered a world where hopes and aspirations sit alongside greed, self-interest, overpriced players, dodgy transfers and top-level incompetence. He doesn't hold back.

2 -- London 2012 Olympic Games: The Official Book

Author: The Press Association
Published by: Carlton Books

A stunning illustrated guide to the world's greatest sporting event and essential reading for sports fans everywhere. Packed with glorious photography and expert analysis of the star athletes and their prospects at the Games, written by the specialist journalists of the Press Association, the UK's leading national news agency. An authoritative and comprehensive preview of the 30th Olympiad, featuring a guide to each of the Olympic Games sports and venues, a brief history of the Games and the full competition schedule, so that you won't miss a moment, whether you are watching live in London or from the comfort of your own living room.

3 - Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Author: Christopher McDougall
Published by: Profile Books

How an American former war correspondent with a love of running discovered a remote Mexican tribe, the Tarahumara, whose frugal, healthy diet was undermined somewhat by a love of grain alcohol but who achieved longevity through running extreme distances, barefoot, without the need for training schedules or recovery regimes. He finds them to be capable of running as fast and as far as the best prepared, most finely tuned marathon runners of the developed world and dreams of seeing them compete in the ‘greatest race’ of the title.

4 - Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 2012

Editor: Lawrence Booth
Published by: John Wisden & Co Ltd

First published in 1864 and probably the world’s most famous sports book, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack has been in the hands for the first time of Lawrence Booth, the Daily Mail and former Guardian cricket writer who is its 16th editor. The 149th edition contains everything its readers have come to expect -- coverage of every first-class game in every cricket nation, reports and scorecards for all Tests and ODIs, the Cricketers of the Year awards and some of the finest cricket writing, its trenchant tone set by the Notes by the Editor.

5 -- Tuffers' Cricket Tales

Author: Phil Tufnell
Published by: Headline

Phil Tufnell used to be known as The Cat for his fondness for dressing room naps, when not sneaking off for a crafty cigarette. These and other examples of an unorthodox approach to cricket turned him into a cult figure as a spin bowler for Middlesex and England. Now more commonly referred to as Tuffers, he has developed a second career as a broadcaster and reality show contestant.  "Tuffers' Cricket Tales" is a deliciously eccentric collection of his favourite cricket stories, featuring a cast of colourful characters he has encountered in dressing-rooms and commentary boxes and who have provided him with dozens of entertaining and insightful anecdotes, told with warmth and humour.

6 - Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics

Author: Jonathan Wilson
Published by: Orion

Perhaps benefiting from the appointment of the cerebral Roy Hodgson as England manager, Jonathan Wilson's history of football tactics has enjoyed a surge of fresh sales.  Despite many diagrams, Inverting the Pyramid rises above mere analysis. Wilson is an entertaining writer with a gift for concise explanation and a clever turn of phrase, as a consequence of which his wide ranging account of the evolution of football tactics -- from the 1-2-7 line-up favoured by England in 1872 to the 4-3-3 favoured by José Mourinho at Chelsea -- is a compelling read.  Dissecting an enormous wealth of material, Wilson will provoke debate and disagreement but it is difficult not to admire the thoroughness of his research.

7 - Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice

Author: Matthew Syed
Published by: Fourth Estate

Matthew Syed, Times sports writer and former international table-tennis champion (after many hours of practice) explores the true nature of talent and attempts to reveal what really makes a champion, debunking the myths that we can be born brilliant and that genetic make-up and social background matter.  World record triple jumper Jonathan Edwards says: 'Intellectually stimulating and hugely enjoyable at a stroke… challenged some of my most cherished beliefs about life and success.’

8 - Strong Woman: Ambition, Grit and a Great Pair of Heels

Author: Karren Brady
Published by: Collins

Karren Brady did not become Britain’s best-known businesswoman by being a pussycat and her autobiography reveals she had a hard-nosed streak even when she was a child. When she entered the world of work, it enabled her to form the partnership with David Sullivan that led her to become managing director of Birmingham City at the age of 23. Lord Sugar, with whom she worked on TV show The Apprentice says: ‘Karren’s story will be an inspiration to women everywhere.’

9 - Her Majesty's Pleasure: How Horseracing Enthrals the Queen

Author: Julian Muscat
Published by:  Racing Post Books

Seldom has a nation's affection for their monarch been voluntarily expressed on such a scale as Britain has witnessed in the last few days, yet few of the Queen's admirers enjoy the privileged position occupied by the racing community, in whose company she is at her most relaxed. A patron of Royal Ascot and the Derby, she enjoys nothing more than 'talking horses' with trainers and jockeys or watching engrossed through her binoculars as a race unfolds. The racing world thus has a unique insight into Her Majesty at leisure. Journalist Julian Muscat has gone behind the scenes, talking to those who look after her own horses and others with whom she is in regular contact to bring to life a beautifully written portrait of the Queen away from the public eye, against the background of the sport she loves.

10 - Born to Ride: The Autobiography of Stephen Roche

Author: Stephen Roche
Published by: Yellow Jersey

On 6 September 1987, the Irishman Stephen Roche touched greatness, winning at the World Cycling Championship in Austria to complete a near-unprecedented 'triple crown' that included against-the-odds triumphs in the same year at the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia.  Roche's victory in Austria confirmed his virtuosity. In Born to Ride, his first full autobiography, Roche uses his best year as the starting point to explore the rest of his life, examining the ups and downs of his time on and off the bike, scrutinising victories, defeats, rivals, serious injury, doping allegations and agonizing family breakdown.  He reveals a character who combines charm and rare, natural talent with an incredible tenacity and determination.

As listed by on June 5, 2012

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