I read a lot, or try to… I always have. I never go anywhere without a book, although now I spend a lot of time reading blogs, which in many ways I hate, because I love the feel of a good book, you just don’t get the same feeling of immersion with a screen.
Anyway, thats by the by, I read a lot! About all sorts of things, from business to adventure, sport to mountain climbing, technical books to climbing guide, photography and art books, its all in there, my book shelves are massive… bulging with a bazaar electric mix of reading material.
I buy many books with good intentions, sometimes they sit on the shelves for years before they are read, other times I’ve almost finished a book by the time I’ve got it home…
As a sports photographer, I often read books on the subjects and industries I’m covering. So some of the sport books I’ve read recently include…. (All links to Amazon)
Willy Voet worked for many years as a soigneur for some of the world’s top professional road racing teams. A soigneur is a person who takes care of other people and that is just what Willy did. Making sure that everyone had the right food, massage regime and drugs. After being arrested in 1998 as he attempted to enter France with a supply of drugs intended for the Tour of France, Festina team, he was cut loose by the sport of cycling as a one off bad egg. So Voet attempts to speak out and set the record straight, from his own perspective and involvement in the sport. A great entertaining read, a must read for anyone with a passion for cycling or attempting to understand the culture of drugs in sport in general.
Jeremy Whittle, a sports journalist of high standing who has written on the Tour of France since 1993. Here he writes openly and frankly about his journey from unquestioning fan to Tour de France insider and confirmed sceptic. Whittle has a unique prospective and whilst he doesn’t really revile much in the way of new evidence, but he does give his own insight in to what he saw developing around him as he immersed himself in the most unique and gripping of races.
One of the most gripping moments in sporting history for me, was sitting in the bar of the Cairngorm Hotel after a day’s skiing, watching as Aviemore’s own set out to do the impossible, to bring home a Olympic medal for Scottish skiing! And he did, the town exploded in celebrations! But several days later the party atmosphere was shattered, as the nation learnt that he had failed a drugs test. It eventually transpired that he had used a decongestant inhaler which contained tiny amounts of a banned substance. This is Alain’s story, from his birth into skiing in Aviemore, the years struggling on the road, his Olympic glory and eventual battle with the FIS.
Lance Armstrongs account of his battle with cancer, his journey in cycling, his determination and those around him who supported him. This isn’t so much a book about cycling, its more about his battle with cancer, his treatment and what it is like to face a course of chemotherapy. Love or hate Lance this book is about more than just him, its about his battle, and everyone else’s battle with cancer, life after cancer and yes also life at the top of his game.
His brash, arrogant, cocky attitude, annoys many in the cycling world, but reading this gave me a deeper understanding and insight in to the life of the self proclaimed “fastest man in the World.” This is a no holds bared account of what it took for one man to reach the top, to take the cycling World by storm in the 2008 Tour de France age 23, with an unprecedented achievement for a British cyclist, of 4 stage wins. A very entertaining read for any cycling fan. Cavendish shares with us his many mistakes and weakness, the bitter disappointments and his poor reaction to setbacks just as much as the victories.
I’m always looking for new books to read, so if you have any recommendations, or views on these books let me know in the comments…