Books·Holiday Gift Guide

8 books for the sports fan in your life

Know someone who loves watching the big game? Here are 8 books they are sure to cheer for.

Know someone who loves watching the big game? Here are 8 books they are sure to cheer for.

You can see the complete CBC Books gift guide here.

Game Change by Ken Dryden

Ken Dryden speaks at the "We Can Do Better" Governor General's Conference on Concussions in Sport in 2016. (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press/Signal)

What it's about: NHL Hall of Famer Ken Dryden investigates the serious consequences of concussions in hockey. The book tells the tragic story of enforcer Steve Montador, a former defenceman who played for the Calgary Flames and the Boston Bruins. Montador died in 2015, when he was 35 years old, and arranged to have his brain sent for examination to see if he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) from his time as a professional hockey player.

How We Did Itby Karl Subban and Scott Colby

Karl Subban is an educator and father of NHL players P.K., Jordan and Malcolm Subban. (Getty Images, Random House of Canada)

What it's about: Karl Subban is a teacher, coach, community leader and father. All three of his sons went on to play in the NHL — including Nashville Predators star P.K. Subban — and his two daughters are accomplished teachers. Subban combines his family's story with his parenting philosophy in How We Did It. The book aims to help teachers, coaches and parents inspire the young people in their own lives.

Ali by Jonathan Eig

Jonathan Eig is the author behind Ali, a biography of boxer Muhammad Ali who died in 2016. ( Mifflin Harcourt)

What it's about: Ali is an in-depth, unauthorized biography of Muhammad Ali, the groundbreaking athlete who was unafraid of calling out America's problem with racism. Eig interviews several key people in the iconic athlete's life, including his three wives, and scours hundreds of legal documents and interview tape, to paint a nuanced portrait of an extraordinary and complicated man.

Baseball Life Advice by Stacey May Fowles

Stacey May Fowles is the author of Baseball Life Advice. (N. Maxwell Lander/McClelland & Stewart)

What it's about: Baseball Life Advice: Loving the Game That Saved Me is a series of essays that uses the sport as a springboard to talk about mental health, gender stereotypes and more within baseball culture. The essays are eye-opening, surprising and often very personal, showing you that loving something a lot can completely change who you are and how you see the world.

Nine Lessons I Learned from My Father by Murray Howe

Murray Howe, the youngest son of hockey legend Gordie Howe, found his calling away from the game he grew up loving. (Liam Richards/CP Images/Penguin Canada)

What it's about: Murray Howe is best known for being the son of Gordie Howe. The older Howe may have been the greatest hockey player the world has ever seen. But he was also a remarkable father. In Nine Lessons I Learned from My Father, the younger Howe shares with readers the remarkable wisdom and life lessons he learned from a man who was hero to many, especially his children.

Unbound by Steph Jagger

Steph Jagger is the author of Unbound. (Steph Jagger/HarperCollins Canada)

What it's about:  A lifelong planner and goal smasher, Steph Jagger thrives on setting and overcoming ambitious challenges. Ski four million vertical feet in one year? Check. Go on a journey of self-discovery? Check. Write a book about it? Check. Unbound chronicles the year after which she decided to give her life of corporate ladder-chasing and chase an impossible dream: skiing all around the world.

Turning by Jessica J. Lee

Jessica J. Lee is the author of Turning. (Hamish Hamilton, Paul Capewell)

What it's about: While completing her PhD studies in Berlin, Jessica J. Lee decided to swim 52 local lakes — one for each week of the year. Lee discovers what it means to be human along the way. She chronicled this journey in her debut memoir, Turning: A Year in the Water.

Sisterhood of the Squared Circle by Pat Laprade

Pat Laprade is the author of Sisterhood of the Squared Circle. (Linda Boucher/ECW Press)

What it's about: Women's wrestling has a fascinating history, dating back to the 1800s all the way up to today's professional superstars. Sisterhood of the Squared Circle chronicles this remarkable history and highlights many of the figures who shaped women's wrestling past and present both in the ring and behind-the-scenes.


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