These books win Olympic gold

Updating the Recommendations from Readers handout, I noticed a theme…three of the books recommended in the past few weeks have to do with the Olympics! It’s a timely subject, so I’ll highlight them here, and then I want to know: what other Olympic-related books have you read?

 Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
According to the reader who recommended it, Unbroken is a “riveting WWII survival story of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini.” I couldn’t have put it better myself. This is a great book for those interested in history as well, and if “triumph over adversity” appeals to you, then you’ll definitely want to immerse yourself in this story.

 Gold by Chris Cleave
This is an “incredible story of Olympic athletes – a story of love, ambition, and sacrifice.” Cleave, author of the bestselling Little Bee, is a brilliant storyteller who examines the friendship and rivalry between two women competing for Olympic gold in cycling. Is the medal worth winning at all costs, or are other things sometimes more important? This is a heartbreaking book.

 Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron
I haven’t read this one, but thanks to this recommendation, I’m intrigued. Winner of the 2010 Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, the book is set in 1990s Rwanda. Jean Patrick Nkuba dreams of running track in the Olympics, but the Hutu-Tutsi conflict arises and threatens him and his family.

The New York Public Library has also prepared a (nonfiction) “2012 Summer Olympic Reading List,” which is well worth checking out. Do you have other favorite books about the Olympics or Olympians? Fiction or non-fiction – tell us about them in the comments!

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