Grab A Friend Link-Up and Olympic Books

So, I'm trying some new things out here in blogger world. I joined a link-up!

Grab a Friend 

Truthfully I don't even really know how these work. But I'm having a lot of fun clicking through all the linked blogs, and this week's question gives me an excuse to write a post I've been sitting on for awhile. Actually, I don't even know if you're supposed to make a post answering the question. But whatever, I was inspired!

Q: The book you're never gonna read again?

Ugh, any number of books that were assigned in school. I think The Art of Keeping Cool was my first experience with god-awful literature, followed several years later by Johnny Tremain. Then in high school, there was Beowulf and, of course, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. That was the only book ever assigned to me (at that point) that I ever made the conscious decision not to read, after I couldn't make it through the first chapter.

But I didn't link up with this to complain! If you're surprised that this got me thinking about Olympic books, than we clearly don't know each other very well. I've wanted to make a list of Olympic books to read for ages, and this was the perfect excuse to peruse Amazon! My list had over 20 books on it, and narrowing it down was a serious issue... so I didn't. Yay! :P

Okay, I've already read The Boys of Winter and Going for the Gold, but the more I read about this team, the more I want to read about this team. So One Goal is a total no brainer. As for Miracle On Ice, it's just a collection of all the New York Times stories written about the team. Um, as someone who wrote a thesis based on the Times' coverage of the Olympics, does this not sound like the most awesome thing ever? And apparently, used, it costs one cent. So, uh, this will shortly be in my possession.

I'm a big fan of a good sports biography. Apolo Ohno, RA Dickey, John Carlos... even the Miracle on Ice books I've read sort of fall into this category. I love when athletes turn into real people, know what I mean? Cool Runnings and Beyond has to be fascinating -- the movie was only loosely based on the true story, so learning what really happened is a must! Do I even need to explain about The Magnificent Seven? That's right up there at the top of the list of American Olympic moments. And, as for Running My Life, am I the only one who loved Seb Coe as the head of LOCOG? I think it's amazing that he was an Olympic athlete and cared enough to stay involved to that extent. He also seems like a really cool guy, and after looking at those photos of him competing in Moscow, arms thrown wide, face contorted into some unfathomable expression, I don't know how anyone can help but like him!

Okay, so, clearly this is where we have the problem, haha. I read Rome 1960 and didn't expect to love it nearly as much as I did, and I've been looking for a book like it ever since. So, in chronological order, we've got: Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler's Olympics, Nazi Games: The Olympics of 1936, The Austerity Olympics: When the Games Came to London in 1948, Snowball's Chance: The Story of the 1960 Winter Olympic Games Squaw Valley and Lake Tahoe, Something in the Air: American Passion and Defiance in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, Munich 1972: Tragedy, Terror and Triumph at the Olympic Games, Olympic Sports and Propaganda Games: Moscow 1980, Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, and A Long Shot to Glory: How Lake Placid Saved the Winter Olympics and Restored the Nation's Pride. Whew. Better get cracking.

These are the books that prove, without a doubt, how much of a nerd I am. I literally cannot believe A Century of Olympic Posters exists, I'm THAT excited about it. And Secrets of the Olympic Ceremonies? I mean, hello! (Though I could probably contribute to that one. ;D) The Book of Olympic Lists is subtitled, "a treasure trove of 116 years of Olympic trivia," so, y'know. Olympic Turn Around is about, "How the Olympic Games stepped back from the brink of extinction to become the world's best known brand and a multi-billion dollar global franchise." Call me crazy, but I find that fascinating. And then, of course, there's The Official History of the Olympic Games and the IOC: Athens to London 1896-2012. I could probably crawl into that book and live in it.

Is anyone else perversely interested in the play-by-play and minute details of the Munich Massacre? Just me? Ahem. Well then. I'm also super interested in the Holocaust, so there's that. But I think that reading One Day in September would be fascinating. Morbid, but fascinating. Much less morbid is The Second Mark which is about the figure skating judging scandal in Salt Lake City 2002 that gave Jamie Sale and David Pelletier the second gold medal of the pairs competition. Unprecedented stuff, man. And hey, that's something I actually remember witnessing! The programs, the first medal ceremony, the second medal ceremony, all of it! Whoa, how 'bout that? I loved them. I think they're divorced now and it makes me kind of depressed.

Well, I think I've fully cemented my status as the ultimate nerd. And I'm Not. Even. Sorry. #boom

1 comment :

  1. This is a fascinating and thoughtful bibliography of books about the Olympics. Surely there's an article in the making here. --- And you're a devotee, not a nerd!