The first I have to mention, a truly essential book, is The Complete Book of the Olympics 2012 Edition by David Wallechinsky and Jaime Loucky (Published by Aurum Sport).
|Wallechinsky & Loucky's masterpiece (Photo taken by me)|
This mammoth book (1325 pages cover the sports reports) really does capture the glory, the tragedy, the justices and injustices of the Olympic Games, the very definition of an encyclopedia to the Games. I can't think of a more engrossing book in my personal library. The authors have also released a similar compendium for the Winter Olympics, which I will definitely add to my collection in time for Sochi 2014. It would be great to see a similar publication for the Paralympic Games. (One final piece of trivia related to this book: the authors are an Uncle and Nephew team.)
The second book in this review is How to Watch the Olympics by David Goldblatt and Johnny Acton. (Published by Profile Books).
|A title that does what it says (Photo taken by me)|
You couldn't fairly call any of the backgrounds to the sports histories or main protagonists extensive, but it is just enough to enhance the viewing experience, and definitely whets the appetite to find out more about the sports that interest you - as the subtitle says, 'an instant initiation into every sport'.
The final book I want to talk about in this review is The Games: Britain's Olympic and Paralympic Journey to London 2012 by Brendan Gallagher (Published by John Wiley and Sons).
|A history of Britain in the Olympics (Photo taken by me)|
It is a challenge to write an appraisal of British participation at the Olympic and Paralympic games in 288 pages, but it is a challenge that Gallagher has risen to. There are so many sport history books where the balance of the content is tipped more in favour of recent years, so I'm pleased to say that this is not the case in this book. It is clear that there has been a conscious effort to provide as much information about the 1900 games as there is about the 2008, and that is definitely to the authors credit. Lets hope Gallagher continues the story at the conclusion of the 2012 games: a story that is still playing out on our television screens and in our venues.
In Part Two, I shall be looking at more Olympic books, including some academic texts.