Diana Nyad's Find A Way is an unbelievably incredible story of struggle, failure and triumph. Diana begins with a heartbreaking history of abuse throughout her childhood by people she trusted and reveals how she managed to regain her trust in and love for others and herself. She reveals how she became interested in and then practically obsessed with swimming. From getting up before the sun to swim laps every single day of high school to swimming all the way around Manhattan, we see how she finally wound her way to the dream of swimming from Cuba to Florida. We learn of the troubles and issues that arise from such a huge feat. From dehydration and sheer mental exhaustion from staying up for days at a time to tropical storms and the venomous box jellyfish. And we get to share in the pure exhilaration as she stumbled from the ocean after that final swim. This book definitely serves as a reminder that, the only way you won't accomplish your dreams is if you stop trying.
Baseball, as a sport, is a slog. In The Grind, The Washington Post’s Barry Svrluga looks at the mundanities that dot every level of the Washington Nationals organization, from players to scouts to spouses. It’s a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at professional baseball, and a rather intimate one at that—Svrluga’s sections about players’ families are particularly fascinating and nearly intrusive. The Grind is also, thankfully, relatively free of reverential platitudes that infect so much baseball writing. The Grind may apply to baseball, but not this book.
Perry Wallace, a star athlete at Vanderbilt University in the 1960s, made civil rights history as the first black basketball player in the Southeastern Conference. Now, half a century later, Andrew Maraniss, a Vanderbilt graduate, tells the story not only of Wallace’s historic struggle to overcome incredible obstacles but sets this struggle insightfully and instructively in the larger context of the American civil rights movement.