Books·Holiday Gift Guide

15 books for the sports fans on your gift giving list

These 15 books will give sports lovers reasons to cheer this holiday season.

These 15 books will give sports lovers reasons to cheer this holiday season. 

You can see the complete CBC Books gift guide here

Cujo by Curtis Joseph with Kirstie McLellan Day

Retired Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Curtis Joseph, pictured above in 2009, has written a memoir about his life. (Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Curtis Joseph grew up in an institution for mentally ill patients run by his adoptive parents and then went on to spend 19 seasons playing in the NHL as a goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. He delves into how his childhood paved the way for his hockey career in his new autobiography Cujo: The Untold Story of My Life On and Off the Ice. In this revealing memoir, Joseph talks about his highly unusual upbringing and what led him to put on his first pair of skates.

Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict

American golfer Tiger Woods is the subject of a biography by author Jeff Benedict. (Simon & Schuster/AP Photo, John Locher)

American professional golfer Tiger Woods was at the top of his game for years. Then it all came tumbling down one Thanksgiving night. A car crash exposed his serial infidelity and changed his life — and the lives of the family and friends around him — forever. This researched biography explores the life of Tiger Woods and the reasons why the most successful golfer of all time became one of the most scrutinized figure in recent times.

The Men in White by Anosh Irani

The Men In White is a play by Anosh Irani. (Glen D'Mello/House of Anansi Press)

Author and playwright Anosh Irani's latest work is based in Vancouver and Bombay. Eighteen-year-old Hasan Siddiqui is a boy in Bombay who dreams of becoming a star cricket player and winning the heart of Hassena. Meanwhile, over in Canada, older sibling Abdul toils as a worker in an Indian restaurant, hoping to earn enough money to reunite his family. The Men in White is a sobering look at racism and intolerance through the eyes of youth.

Tessa and Scott by Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir with Steve Milton 

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir are Olympic champion figure skaters. (House of Anansi Press/Getty)

Tessa and Scott is a behind-the-scenes look at the iconic ice dancing duo. Veteran sports columnist Steve Milton draws from hours of conversations with Tessa and Scott — from their initial meeting back in the mid-1990s to their recent ascent within the international scene. Using interviews and photos, it takes a look at the how hard work and discipline led to their Olympic achievements in Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014, through to their exhilarating triumph in Pyeongchang in 2018.

Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor

Let Your Mind Run is a memoir by Deena Kastor. (AP Photo/Damian Dovargane, Crown)

Deena Kastor is the best female distance runner in United States history. In her memoir, Let Your Mind Run, Kastor looks back at the pivotal races and moments that shaped her career and who she is as a runner and reflects on the mental techniques she developed over the years — the ones that turned her into an Olympic medallist and an American record holder.

Born Into It by Jay Baruchel​

Born Into It is Jay Baruchel's first book. (HarperCollins Canada)

To say that actor Jay Baruchel is a superfan of the Montreal Canadiens would be an understatement. The Ottawa-born, Montreal-raised Baruchel examines his lifelong passion and love for the team with the colours rouge, bleu et blanc — and his obsession for the sport known as Canada's national pastime in his humorous memoir Born Into It.

The Mamba Mentality by Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bean Bryant is an American former professional basketball player. (Farrar Straus & Giroux/Getty)

Recently retired from the sport, superstar Kobe Bryant was one of the most intelligent, analytical and creative basketball players ever. The Mamba Mentality reveals his unique approach to prepare mentally and physically to not just succeed at the game, but to excel. The book includes photographs by NBA Hall of Fame photographer Andrew D. Bernstein and shares Bryant's perspective on the sport he loves and how he played the game his way. 

Soulmates on Ice by Eric Radford, Laura E. Young and Meagan Duhamel

Soulmates on Ice looks at the career of Canadian figure skaters Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford. (Latitude 46/Getty)

Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford are two-time world pair champions and three-time Olympic medallists. Soulmates on Ice is a look at the path the skaters from Northern Ontario took on their way to success. It examines their working relationship — including their highs, lows and injury setbacks — and the resilience and sacrifice it took to succeed, despite the odds.  

Bobby by Bobby Orr

Bobby Orr is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest of all time. (Viking Canada)

To say that hockey player Bobby Orr is a legend would be an understatement. Bobby: My Story in Pictures looks at the incredible life and career of the retired hockey player from Parry Sound, Ont. It tells his story though a personal collection of photos while bringing into focus a different time, when the hockey was grittier and less complex. 

Home Ice by Angie Abdou

Author Angie Abdou was born and raised in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. (ECW Press)

Angie Abdou recalls the emotional, physical and financial highs and lows of having a child play amateur hockey. No stranger to elite sport herself, in Home Ice Abdou talks about the life of a hockey parent. She takes on the sport that is Canada's national obsession and questions the role it plays in shaping young players.

Open Look by Jay Triano

Jay Triano is a retired pro basketball player and current assistant coach of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association. (Getty/Simon & Schuster)

Hailing from Niagara Falls, Ont., Jay Triano was and still is a basketball junkie. This memoir by the retired professional basketball player and former coach of the Toronto Raptors takes a look at his love of basketball and the rise of sport's popularity in Canada.

Arthur Ashe by Raymond Arsenault

Arthur Ashe was an American professional tennis player and the the only black man ever to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open. (Getty/Simon & Schuster)

Known as one of the first black American athletes to succeed on a global level in the sport of tennis, the late Arthur Ashe is an icon. This biography by Raymond Arsenault delves into the life of the pioneering athlete who was passionate about civil rights, racial equality and the elimination of apartheid in South Africa. 

Everyday Hockey Heroes by Bob McKenzie and Jim Lang

Ottawa youth coach Karina Potvin is one of the everyday hockey heroes profiled by authors Bob McKenzie and Jim Lang. (Simon & Schuster)

Canadian broadcasters Bob McKenzie and Jim Lang look at the present and future of the sport of hockey through the eyes of the players that make the game so special. From small-town rinks to big city arenas across the country, this collection celebrates everyone who loves the sport. It features profiles of national names including Philadelphia Flyer Wayne Simmonds and Paralympian gold medalist Greg Westlake, who wouldn't be at the top of their sport without the never-ending support of their respective families and communities, to local hero Karina Potvin, the Ottawa youth hockey coach introducing the revered pastime to Syrian boys and girls in Canada.

Blue Monday by Danny Gallagher

The Montreal Expos were a Canadian professional baseball team from 1969 to 2004. (Dundurn/Wikimedia Commons)

While the professional baseball team known as the Montreal Expos no longer exists, their sports legacy lives on. Author Danny Gallagher takes readers back to 1981 when Rick Monday of the Los Angeles Dodgers hit a home run off of Montreal Expos pitcher Steve Rogers in the ninth inning, giving the Dodgers a berth in the World Series. Blue Monday looks at the players involved in that fateful game to tell secrets and untold stories about that era of Canadian baseball. 

Come on You Reds by Joshua Kloke

Come on You Reds looks at Toronto's MLS team, Toronto FC. (Canadian Press/Frank Gunn, Dundurn)

Toronto Football Club, commonly referred to as Toronto FC, is the city's professional soccer team. Written by sports journalist Joshua Kloke, Come on You Reds looks at the team's early struggles behind-the-scenes and on the field and its recent success in winning a Major League Soccer championship in 2017. It's a passionate examination of the team, its wild fan base and what the franchise means to the city. 


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