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The 2016 Summer Olympics have begun in Rio de Janeiro! Dive deeper into the history, people and events behind the Games with this list of top reads from VPL’s reading experts:
How to Watch the Olympics by David Goldblatt
How to Watch the Olympics is a must-read accompaniment for enjoying the Olympics. Originally released for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, this book is a valuable resource for Rio 2016. Immerse yourself in the Games with this entertaining and informative read.
Dancing with the Devil in the City of God by Juliana Barbassa
Brazilian native and award-winning journalist Juliana Barbassa explores the socio-economic and political influences that have impacted Rio de Janeiro and its preparation for the Olympic Games. This is a timely portrayal of a beautiful but deeply flawed city.
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel Brown
Nine working-class boys from the University of Washington rise above their struggles to row for the Olympic gold medal at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. With evocative and vivid prose, The Boys in the Boat will leave a memorable and compelling impression.
The Three-Year Swim Club by Julie Checkoway
This is a moving real-life account of a group of underprivileged children who were transformed into Olympic swimming champions in three years. Author Julie Checkoway offers a captivating underdog story about determination, faith and hope.
Olympic Lyon by Michael G. Cochrane
Before Tiger Woods there was George S. Lyon – Canada’s great Olympic golf legend. Follow Lyon’s momentous path to the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis. Michael Cochrane brings to life an inspirational and deeply personal story of a forgotten Canadian athlete.
Games: A Global History of the Olympics by David Goldblatt
Bestselling sports writer David Goldblatt scribes a definitive history of the modern Olympics – from the reinvention of the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens to present day in Rio de Janeiro. In addition to a chronicle of top moments, Goldblatt offers brilliant insights on the political and social realities surrounding the Olympics.
Unsinkable: My Untold Story by Silken Laumann
Ten weeks prior to the 1992 Summer Olympics, world champion Canadian rower Silken Laumann shattered her right leg – leaving her unable to compete. With perseverance and ambition, she makes “the greatest comeback in Canadian sports history.” This is her extraordinary story of triumph.
Rome 1960 by David Maraniss
Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss tells the story of the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome and the historical events during this era of great change. Maraniss delves into what is considered the first ‘modern’ Olympic Games, and with rich detail and precision makes this story a must-read.
More Than Just Games by Richard Menkis
This year marks the 80th anniversary of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin and the politically fueled series of events that was the cause of so much dissent. This book is a definitive history of Canada’s involvement in the 1936 Olympic Games.
Triumph by Jeremy Schaap
During the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, track and field athlete Jesse Owens navigated the political landscape to win four gold medals and become one of the greatest track stars of all time. Owens’ rich legacy lives on in this meticulously researched story.