No one does a sporting event quite like the Olympic Games. As one games ends, another is previewed – whetting the fanatic’s appetite for more heart stopping dead heats, and moments of tear jerking underdog tales for two whole weeks. Then, as the following years turn to months the torch procession begins, and the ramping up of press coverage paves the immediate route up to the all-exciting Opening Ceremony.

You have to love the Olympic games. It is the perfect opportunity to disperse your knowledge of obscure athletes to secret stories behind crowd pleasing sports stars. From committees to participants, mascots to the host city itself – everyone involved with the Olympic games rises to stardom during these hair raising few weeks.

The reason cities are so keen for Olympic hosting fame is that it is a chance to show off a culture from beneath the globally admired five-ring flag. It should be a time to learn history, about both Ancient Greece’s first games to that years hosting nations roots; discover the vibrancy of such a dynamic city and be ready to make modern day comparisons to ancient sporting legends.

These titles will give you all the necessary training for a very athletic August of Rio 2016!

The Games: A Global History of the Olympics

By David Goldblatt

The definitive sporting, social and political history of the modern Olympic Games, the world that made them and the world they helped to shape.

Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics

by Jules Boykoff

 A former member of the US Olympics soccer team, Boykoff takes readers from the 19th century origins of the modern games, through its flirtations with Fascism, and into the contemporary era of corrupt, corporate control.

In the spirit of Rio – Assouline

 With images even more dynamic than Rio itself, this book presents the magical beauty of Brazil’s inspiring city.



Faster Than Lightning

by Usain Bolt

The fastest man on the planet uses his renowned charm and charisma to tell his own story.

The Ancient Olympics

By Nigel Spivey

After reading this book, no one will see the Olympics as a graceful display of Greek beauty again, but as war by other means.

Today We Die a Little: The Rise and Fall of Emil Zátopek, Olympic Legend

By Richard Askwith

This gripping memoir strips away the myths to tell the complex and deeply moving story of the most inspiring Olympic hero of all.

MaRIO DE JANEIRO Testino – Taschen

Mario Testino’s love poem to the city that captured his teenage heart, and never let it go.

The Breakaway – Nicole Cooke: My Story

by Nicole Cooke

 In a frank and outspoken autobiography, Cooke reveals the real story behind Britain’s rise to global dominance in cycling.

Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics

By Jeremy Schaap

The intimate and complex tale of a high-profile athlete giving a performance that transcends sport.

Rio de Janeiro: Extreme City

by Luiz Eduardo Soares

A great city chronicle – Soares reveals one of the most extraordinary cities in the world in all its seething, agonistic.