Editor’s note: We feature the brilliant recommendations of our partner, the Champaca Bookstore, in the Read section twice a month. FYI: Champaca is an independent women-run and founded bookstore and children's library in Bangalore.
Sweat it out with Sports
Like us, if your hearts and minds are with our wrestler queens protesting for their rights or the conclusion of the IPL has left you wanting for more, sample our collection of sporty reads—we have lined up memoirs, books about data science in sports, essay collections, autobiographies, historical accounts, fun novels and even a cookbook!
When most biographies or autobiographies tend to be sanitised hagiographies projecting sides of a person that we already know about, Tennis star Andre Agassi’s ‘Open’ is eye-opening. Did you know that Agassi hated playing tennis, and calls the game one of the most isolating sports? Though Agassi was touted as a child prodigy, his life was tumultuous and he often rebelled, be it through how he presented himself or his on-field antics. ‘Open’ takes you on a journey through Agassi’s life, his childhood, his marriage to Brooke Shields, his grand slam performances and finally finding love and inspiration through his marriage with Steffi Graf. This is a riveting, insightful read on the vulnerabilities of being a star and playing a sport as a profession.
Data has changed everything. Today we can track every ball within millimetres, calculate its release point, speed and bounce, measure how much the ball swings or deviates off the pitch, the exact height and line while it passes the stumps, and multiple other variables. ‘Hitting Against the Spin’ is the story of that data, and what it can tell us about how cricket really works. Leading cricket thinkers Nathan Leamon and Ben Jones lift the lid on international cricket and explain its hidden workings and dynamics—the forces that shape cricket and, in turn, the cricketers who play it.
Sport is often more than about the stars or the team. This is a collection of essays on the different aspects of sports in India—the different types and formats, the institutions that help the sport flourish and other factors that contribute. ‘Field of Play’ discusses body cultures, the strong sporting culture in India and the intimate relationship between sports, literature and cinema.
For some, running is not just a sport. It's a right to move, a right to reclaim public space. ‘Running While Black’ by Alison Mariella Desir is a memoir on how running for pleasure or fitness is a right but remains unavailable for most black Americans. Desir, an endurance athlete, activist and mental health advocate talks about how running and specifically training for the marathon helped her regain her physical and mental health, especially when her life hit rock bottom. Weaving historical context—from the first recreational running boom to the horrific murder of Ahmaud Arbery—together with her own story of growth in the sport, ‘Running While Black’ unpacks how we got here and advocates for a world where everyone is free to safely experience the life-changing power of movement.
What is more important for a sportsperson—training or a good diet? ‘Cycling Chef: Recipes For Getting Lean and Fuelling the Machine’ is a collection of recipes by Michelin-starred chef and leading sports nutritionist Alan Murchison. The book reveals how one can enjoy delicious, nutritionally balanced food and achieve sustainable long-term weight loss whilst positively impacting cycling performance. A follow-up to Alan's award-winning ‘The Cycling Chef: Recipes for Performance and Pleasure’, this is flavoursome food to get you lean and make you go faster.
Join writer and swimmer Bonnie Tsui as she explores the unique skill of swimming from five angles—survival, well-being, community, competition and flow. Propelled by stories of polar swim champions, a Baghdad swim club, Olympic athletes and modern-day samurai swimmers, ‘Why We Swim’ takes us around the globe in a remarkable, all-encompassing account of the world of swimming. This is a joyous meditation on our innate connection to water and a true celebration of the wonders of swimming.
At eight years old, Tani Adewumi, a Nigerian refugee, won the 2019 New York state chess Championship after playing the game for only a year-long. Tani and his family fled their home amid Boko haram's reign of terror in their native country of Nigeria. They lived in a homeless shelter in New York while waiting for asylum. Tani soon started attending school where his classmates were unaware that he and his family had no home. Learning the game of chess from a teacher at school allowed him to learn, compete, and experience the pressures of the game and the ultimate joy of winning. ‘My Name is Tani… and I Believe in Miracles’ is a story about hope, survival and the many life lessons that a sport can teach.
Zoya Singh is an advertising professional and the newly minted lucky charm of the Indian cricket team. What's Zoya’s connection with cricket? She was born on the day the Indian Cricket team won the 1983 World Cup and every time Zoya has breakfast with the players, the team wins. Soon Zoya is invited by the team to accompany them to the next World Cup. Will the team come back with the coveted cup? Many readers claim that the book is a lot more fun than its popular movie version. Why don't you read and find out?
Life at Champaca
Summer showers in Bangalore formed a lovely backdrop as we hosted a plethora of events at our store—we made our own comics, listened to poetry and attended insightful sessions by academicians and library educators. In June, from book launches to crafty workshops, we have an exciting line-up of events—check them out here! If you’re in Bangalore, we invite you to come to our lush, leafy store, attend the events and browse through our shelves with cold tender coconut water/ a hot cup of coffee, as per the whims and fancies of the ever-changing Bangalore weather!