Adventure Sports

Why We Play by Eva Holland

Doing what we love, despite the risks

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

I understood on some dim, detached level that it was a spectacular sight, but now that I was finally here, standing on the summit of Mount Everest, I just couldn’t summon the energy to care

Unclimbable by Eva Holland

An expedition to the Cirque of the Unclimbables — some of the toughest, most spectacular climbing in the world

The Mountain of Mountains by Kevin Fedarko

The afternoon I stumbled across the human leg bone at the bottom of K2, it was one of those flawless days you almost never see in the Karakoram

Out in the Great Alone by Brian Phillips

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race pushes participants to the brink on an unforgiving trek to the end of the world

Kashmiri Extremism by Kevin Fedarko

It’s 4:00 a.m., and outside the fog-shrouded windows of the Kashmir Alpine Ski Shop, the Indian village of Gulmarg sleeps in the shadow of a 13,576-foot ridge that looks directly into Pakistan

The Fast Track to Dharma by Michael Paterniti

60 Degrees Straight Down, Mind the Boulders and Avalanches. A postcard from La Grave, France – alpinism’s new lost horizon

Excuse Us While We Kiss The Sky by Matthew Power

By day they work as computer programmers and stock boys and academics. But at night they are urban explorers


Life’s Swell by Susan Orlean

To be a surfer girl in Maui is to be the luckiest of creatures. It means you’re beautiful and tan and ready to rip. It means you’ve caught the perfect dappled wave and are on a ride that can’t possibly end…

The Wave-Maker by William Langewiesche

A 58-year-old maverick’s record-breaking encounter with 85 feet of “Condition Black” water

Off Diamond Head by William Finnegan

To be thirteen, with a surfboard, in Hawaii

Playing Doc’s Games by William Finnegan

On surfing San Francisco (part 2 is here)

Mavericks by Alice Gregory

Life and death surfing

Is That Even a Sport??

The Last American Hero Is Junior Johnson. Yes!
by Tom Wolfe

Ten o’clock Sunday morning in the hills of North Carolina. Cars, miles of cars, in every direction, millions of cars…

The Most Amazing Bowling Story Ever
by Michael J. Mooney

In a bowling alley one night, a man came so close to perfection that it nearly killed him.

Maximum Speed! by Joshua Foer

Over in Germany, water sliding is serious sport.

Horse Racing

The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved
by Hunter S. Thompson

I got off the plane around midnight and no one spoke as I crossed the dark runway to the terminal. The air was thick and hot, like wandering into a steam bath…

Gone Like the Wind by Buzz Bissinger

None of them had ever seen a horse like Barbaro: the speed of a rocket, the spirit of a champion in his eyes…

Four Good Legs Between Us by Laura Hillenbrand

A battered little horse named Seabiscuit, that captivated the nation and transcended its sport

Bull Riding

The Ride of Their Lives by Burkhard Bilger

Children prepare for the world’s most dangerous organized sport

America is Bull by Jeanne Marie Laskas

When you get on your bull, you have to, just, be on your bull


What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Inspirational advice about the importance of motivation, practice and persistence

Moneyball by Michael Lewis

A book-length version of the classic essay The Trading Desk (see above) tells the story of the people behind baseball’s statistical revolution

The Blind Side by Michael Lewis

Another classic that became a film, Lewis fleshes out his great essay The Ballad of Big Mike (see above) with an incisive analysis of the role of football’s unsung heros

Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand

One of those rare books that grabs you regardless of whether you have an interest in the subject matter

The Fight by Norman Mailer

The story of the Rumble in the Jungle as told by one of the greatest journalists in history

Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger

The story of a small town’s obsession with high-school football offers a great window onto a cultural phenomenon

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