Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lit: Uniquely Portable Magic - The Olympics Edition

You know I'm focused on the Olympics this week which got me to thinking about books related to all things Olympics. Considering my love of this event and my fondness for memoirs, I'm surprised by how few books about the events and the athletes I've read. Perhaps it's the idea that there are only so many ways to tell the story of amazing talent, astonishing perseverance, incredible hard work, and victory in the face of overwhelming odds. Still, there must be some that stand out.

Books I have read with an Olympics element:

*The Underwater Window by Dan Stephenson: a work of fiction about an Olympic swimmer (think Michael Phelps)

*Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand: the story of Louis Zamperelli, an Olympic runner, who became a World War II prisoner of war after his plane was shot down

*The Other Side of the Mountain by Evans Valens: the story of skier Jill Kinmont who was in training for the Olympics when a tragic fall left her a quadriplegic

The long list of books with an Olympic theme includes these books that are getting added to the TBR list:

*The Boys In The Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

*Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed The World by David Maraniss

*Something In The Air: The Story of American Passion and Defiance in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics by Richard Hoffer

*Munich 1972: Tragedy, Terror, and Triumph at the Olympic Games by David Clay Large

*In The Water They Can't See You Cry by Amanda Beard

Have you read any books  about the Olympics or Olympic athletes that you would recommend?


  1. I have The Boys in the Boat in my stacks and have read Unbroken. One of my favorite movies in the mid-70s was The Other Side of the Mountain. I think I fell in love with Beau Bridges after seeing that film. Loved it!! I also read the book, but the movie stands out in my mind.

  2. I haven't read any of these (yet), but Unbroken and The Boys in the Boat are both on my TBR list. Although both will have to wait until the Olympics are over and I have more time to read. :) Love your blog.

  3. I haven't read any Olympic related books but Rome 1960 and The Underwater Window sound intriguing. I'd love to read something involving figure skating or skiing.

  4. Interesting. I'd love to read some of those!

  5. I've read and loved Unbroken but haven't read any of the others. I will have to check them out.