The best books on sports, games and hobbies, as recommended by some of the most eminent sportsmen and other public figures. Reading lists on subjects including American football, soccer, cricket, tennis, chess, basecall, video games and novels about sport.
As World Cup fever builds to irresistible levels, there is no better time to get kids reading by presenting them with a few books about ‘the beautiful game.’ Award-winning children’s author and self-confessed football fanatic, Dave Cousins, recommends five fantastic football books for kids and young adults.
You don’t have to be a professional arachnologist to study and get excited about spiders—nor do you need to travel away from home. The author of Britain’s Spiders, Lawrence Bee, recommends all the books you need to become an amateur arachnologist.
The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses
by Jesse Schell
What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy
by James Paul Gee
Communities of Play: Emergent Cultures in Multiplayer Games and Virtual Worlds
by Celia Pearce
Raising the Stakes: E-Sports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming
by T L Taylor
Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline
Video games have never been more popular – or more intricately designed. But we haven’t yet developed the vocabulary to analyse a game’s impact the way we do a film’s, says professor of computational media Katherine Isbister. Here, she chooses five of the best books that explore the art of video game design, and the subcultures that grow up around them.
It’s America’s favourite sport – at its best, a wonderful, thrilling spectacle; at its worst, legitimised violence exacting a terrible price on players. The Chicago Sun-Times sportswriter takes us inside the dark heart of American football.
Fast, violent and with a passionately political history, hockey is the sport that defines Canada. The sports columnist tells us how this came to be, and why hockey, still a thrilling spectacle, has also become more dangerous to play. He picks the best books on ice hockey.
Monty Don OBE, Britain’s most loved gardener and lead presenter of Gardeners World, discusses his favourite books on gardening including one he describes as “the best gardening book ever written.” This is a strong endorsement, given that his own gardening library extends to over three thousand books.
When the World Cup comes around, many of us think of our national teams and their chances of winning. But the beauty of football is how international it is, and its ability to cut across borders. John Turnbull of the Global Game blog introduces us to football (or soccer) ‘as a second language.’
Computer games aren’t just for teenage boys locked in their bedrooms says author and former Prospect senior editor Tom Chatfield – they are vital tools for social development. Here he selects five of the best books on the theory behind games, and the culture that grows up around them.
Goalkeepers Are Different
by Brian Glanville
The Illustrated History of Football
by David Squires
The Kingfisher Football Encyclopedia
by Clive Gifford
Kane (Ultimate Football Heroes)
by Matt & Tom Oldfield
Football School Season 1: Where Football Explains the World
by Alex Bellos, Ben Lyttleton & Spike Gerrell
There are a lot of books about football for sale in bookshops these days, but which ones are any good? 11-year-old Alexander, who loves football as well as reading, shares his choices of the best football books for kids as part of our ‘By Children for Children‘ series.