Going for Gold

July 21, 2012

   

Bust out your patriotic gear – the Summer Olympics are almost here!  Let the Games begin in six short days, on the 27th of July, live from London. It’s only taken a few athlete profiles in recent media to remind me to stock up on tissues – I am a sucker for those inspiring back stories of grit and sacrifice and loving support … and inevitably I’m impressed to tears. Now wait, good stories? (check!) emotional engagement? (check!) adventure, challenge and love? (check!) – aren’t these the qualities we want in a great book?  A-ha!

Here are four new-ish releases – just in time for the Summer Games – all with an Olympic theme.

The Underwater Window by Dan Stephenson (June 11, 2012)

Swimming is the sport and rivalry and friendship spark the emotion. The novelist was/is a competitive swimmer so knows of what he writes.

The Secret Olympian by Anon (June 26, 2012)

Secret? Anonymous? Here is clearly the titillating non-fiction entry in the list. Reviews aren’t stellar but it might just be perfect for the beach while waiting for the North American and European time zones to coincide. “Anonymous” is a former British Olympian sharing stories from competition and the Olympic Village (“Dorm sports” are apparently medal worthy) extricated from his journals.

Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron (January 9, 2012)

This sounds like a winner! Award-winning itself, (The Bellwether Prize for Fiction) the novel tells the tale of a young boy –  a Rwandan Tutsi runner  – and his drive to compete and survive within the political conflict that surrounds him. Despite the challenges, he maintains his dream of being an Olympian for Rwanda.

Gold by Chris Cleave (June 5, 2012)

Due to Cleave’s enormous success with his previous release, Little Bee, this novel is being welcomed enthusiastically and covered broadly. You’ve no doubt seen the bright yellow cover in every book shop window. The sport is Cycling and the athletes are women balancing “ambition, loyalty and love”. Another athletic writer, Chris Cleave knows cycling and is being commended for his ability to capture the speed and intensity of the racing.

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